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House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was languages.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of O Canada, led by the hon. member for Kitchener—Conestoga.

[Members sang the national anthem]

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, International Women's Day is not about celebration. It is about the struggle for women's rights because we still have a long way to go. In Quebec, the Collectif 8 mars selected “equality without limits” as the theme for this internationally recognized day.

Equality without limits is a laudable goal. It is a rallying cry because there are far too many obstacles to gender equality. Women represent half the population, so their voices must be part of the democratic process. Democracy needs women, and women need democracy to change the systems that prevent them from achieving their potential.

On this international day of the fight for women's rights, I encourage all women to claim their rightful place, seek the experience they need, make their voices heard, and express their ideas so that we can achieve equality without limits.

HeroismStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Sahota Liberal Brampton North, ON

Mr. Speaker, on February 14, tragedy struck my riding of Brampton North. Jyoti Kapadia and Iftekhar Niazi lost their lives, alongside their oldest daughter, Amina, after a fire engulfed their home while they slept. If not for the heroic act of one young man, another life could have been lost that day. Sheldon Teague, the 19-year-old basement tenant, heard the screams of the youngest daughter, Zoya, and rushed in to save her.

We know that Sheldon fought hard to save all of them and that he wishes he had, but his bravery saved Zoya, and for that he will forever be known as a true hero.

To avoid tragedies like this, I encourage all Canadians to check their smoke detectors regularly so that no lives are lost by fire.

I ask members to join me in thanking Sheldon for his heroic act that day and for inspiring us all.

Women in Small BusinessStatements By Members

March 8th, 2017 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Alice Wong Conservative Richmond Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise on this day, International Women's Day, to highlight women in small businesses. In Canada, 47% of small and medium-sized enterprises are wholly or partly owned by women. As a former small business owner myself, I understand that running a business requires dedication, hard work, and finding the right balance between business and family.

We must continue to encourage and empower women of all ages to accomplish their goals. We also need to ensure that the right tools, mentorship, and opportunities are provided to guarantee the success of our small businesses.

I hope this day reminds us that every day women in Canada and around the world greatly impact our economies and communities for the better. We must ensure that all women have a chance to pursue their dreams.

Karam KitchenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Filomena Tassi Liberal Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, in February 2014, Hamilton City Council passed a motion declaring itself a sanctuary city. Since then, Hamilton has opened its arms and its resources to Syrian refugees.

I am very proud today, on International Women's Day, to share a success story with this house. This has to do with three Syrian refugee women: Rawa'a Aloliwi, Dalal AI Zoubi, and Manahel AI Shareef. For these women, English was not their first language, so they had to think of a way to communicate, and what better way than through food? Karam Kitchen was born. Within four days, they had reached their first goal, and shortly after they had raised more than $15,000. Months on, the business is booming and they are cooking up a storm.

On International Women's Day, I want to celebrate the success of these three entrepreneurial women and also celebrate my great, beloved city, Hamilton, the sanctuary city.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this International Women's Day and as part of an initiative led by Equal Voice, for a short time today, the House of Commons was made up entirely of young women: Daughters of the Vote.

The seat normally occupied by my colleague from Newmarket—Aurora was empty. In a courageous act of protest to remind us of all the women who have not been able to reach their full potential and whose political voices have been silenced because of systemic violence against women, Arezoo Najibzadeh chose to leave her seat vacant. Thank you, Arezoo, for reminding me that Canadian women won the right to vote through protest, not silence.

I am protesting here today, too. I protest the government's broken promises. The government could have taken action to improve the lives of women, through electoral reform and pay equity. I protest on behalf of all Canadian women who are counting on us to bring about change.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this International Women's Day we are standing up for “equality without limits”. I want to commend my female colleagues in the House of Commons on their dedication to public service. I also want to acknowledge my assistants and all women who work on the Hill, not to mention the women in my life: my mother, my sisters, and my wife, and especially the volunteers in Alfred-Pellan.

I also want to express my support for those organizations, such as the Table de concertation de Laval en condition féminine, that do incredible work to help women.

I would like to commend the young women who get involved and actively work to promote equality, including Lina Benredouane, the Alfred-Pellan delegate for Daughters of the Vote.

I sincerely believe that we, as men, have our work cut out for us if we are to catch up to Canadian women who are making their mark in every sector. I hope that we will continue the fight so that all women can have equal opportunities.

I send a special shout-out to Nathan Scuderi, a young artist from my riding, who designed this tie for me.

Daughters of the VoteStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today on International Women's Day to recognize two young women who live in my constituency of Saskatoon—Grasswood: Mariah Hillis and Sakeena Akhtar.

Mariah is a fourth-year University of Saskatchewan student who would like to pursue a career in social work, education, or law. She is a champion for disability rights and accessibility, and she volunteers in support of students with disabilities.

Sakeena is in her final year at the University of Saskatchewan. She is completing her Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering. Sakeena is passionate about preventive health care, the environment, and developing education and equal opportunity programs.

Mariah and Sakeena are in Ottawa today to participate in the Daughters of the Vote initiative marking 100 years of federal suffrage for women. I congratulate these outstanding constituents who are our future leaders in Canada.

Canadian Agricultural Safety WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Alaina Lockhart Liberal Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today as the first woman representative for Fundy Royal, the dairy centre of the Maritimes. On International Women's Day, I want to recognize the immense contribution women have made, and continue to make, to agriculture in Canada. In fact, more than half of the new farmers in the Atlantic region are women.

I would also like to alert this House that next week is Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, which is why I proudly wear my AgSafe ribbon today. I encourage all members to wear their ribbons next week to affirm their commitment to keeping all Canadian farmers, farm families, and farm workers free from injury.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Arif Virani Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, every year on March 8 we celebrate International Women's Day. It is a day to recognize the profound contributions of women around the world and right here at home.

On this day, I would like to recognize The Redwood shelter, a centre for women fleeing domestic abuse and violence in my riding of Parkdale—High Park. Abi Ajibolade, and her predecessor, Anne-Marie Gardner, have built The Redwood over the past 24 years into one of the most pronounced voices in the campaign to end domestic violence.

Unfortunately, the very real need for their work continues, because the battle for gender equality and to bring to an end violence against women continues. That battle will not be won until Canadian men also take up the fight, side by side with their sisters, daughters, mothers, and partners.

On this International Women's Day, I call on all men in this chamber, men in my riding, and men around the country to join the important work of community pillars like The Redwood shelter to bring to an end gender violence and abuse against women.

Criminal CodeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Len Webber Conservative Calgary Confederation, AB

Mr. Speaker, later today, Bill S-217, Wynn's law, will come to a decisive vote. Members of the House will decide if the death of RCMP Constable David Wynn was in vain or if his death was the catalyst for meaningful change. Members will vote. They will decide if we are willing to lose another life, or lives, or if we will take responsible steps to protect Canadians. Members will cast a vote to keep a flawed justice system or a vote to improve our justice system.

We have the opportunity to honour the legacy of Constable David Wynn. We have the opportunity to make our streets safer. We have the opportunity to fix a loophole in our justice system. We have the opportunity to make a positive difference.

I encourage all colleagues to seize that opportunity and support Bill S-217.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Vandenbeld Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is International Women's Day, a time for us to reflect on the hard-won progress of women and their male allies toward real gender equality.

It is a unique privilege to represent a riding with such a wide diversity of feminists.

During the past week, I have had the honour of joining local women's organizations at the annual Ottawa Italian Women's FILO, the Ottawa Muslim Women's Organization, and the Somali Women's Circle Network.

Two days ago, we announced funding for Planned Parenthood Ottawa to combat sexual violence and reproductive coercion.

Today, as part of Equal Voice's Daughters of the Vote, we welcome young women from across Canada who are already community leaders.

I am proud to represent women who champion equality.

Happy International Women's Day.

Organized LabourStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, organized labour has served and continues to serve a crucial role in our society.

From labour's earliest days fighting for safe working conditions, reasonable hours, and decent pay to more recent campaigns for improved pensions, job preservation, and community betterment, unions give much to many.

It is in this context that I rise to honour Joseph Mancinelli, the international VP and regional manager for central and eastern Canada for the Laborers' International Union of North America.

With Joseph's leadership, LiUNA has become one of the largest building trade unions, with some 150,000 Canadian members. These are families who contribute to Canada by working each day to build something we can all be proud of.

I salute Joseph, his team, and organized labour across the country. Together we are building better futures for the middle class and those who are working hard to join it.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, because of every 100 incidents of sexual assault in Canada, only six are reported to the police; because 57% of aboriginal women in Canada have been sexually assaulted; because women workers in Canada earn an average of 67¢ for every dollar earned by men; because 45% of Canadian companies have all-male boards and only 26% of the people in this chamber are women; because in this decade more than 140 million girls will become child brides; because women are murdered in honour killings; because women's sexuality is seen as something to be repressed, hidden, and punished; because thousands of Yazidi women are being held as sexual slaves in Iraq; because half a billion women around the world are malnourished; because menstrual stigma prevents millions of girls from going to school; because people deny that women's rights are fragile. Because, because, because.

We need International Women's Day. We need feminism. Most importantly, we need action.

Daughters of the VoteStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Duguid Liberal Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, as part of International Women's Day, it is our honour to welcome 338 extraordinary young women to the House of Commons. They are here to represent every federal riding in Canada as part of the Daughters of the Vote initiative.

These young women are the future of Canada's democracy. Today, they are experiencing the thrill of taking a seat in this chamber for the first time. They are also making a powerful statement, showing us that they belong here. Their ideas matter. They belong because gender equality matters.

Change does not happen overnight, but by being engaged day after day it is possible to make a difference. I have no doubt that these young women will continue using their energy, conviction, and commitment to drive Canada toward a more equal future for everyone.

On International Women's Day, that is something worth celebrating.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, after decades of marching, resisting, and persisting for equal rights, on International Women's Day we see first-hand the women's movement is stronger than ever.

Today, young women filled this House, a powerful show of new leadership. I honour especially delegate Arezoo Najibzadeh. She chose to leave her seat empty to represent the countless women who have been denied their political voice.

We need all women's voices. We need all hands on deck for the challenges that Canada faces. Yet successive Liberal and Conservative governments have failed to act. It is far past time for the Liberals to live up to their feminist claims and get to work.

We need action for women and for future generations. New Democrats will never stop fighting for women's equality and human rights.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Mr. Speaker, today is International Women's Day, and Conservatives are celebrating the role of women in Canada's public life. We are encouraging the next generation of women and girls to reach even higher. That is why we are so proud to welcome the 338 Daughters of the Vote into the House today. In fact, they were a little rowdier than question period usually is.

However, as we celebrate, we are also thinking of how we can do more to achieve gender equality.

We also reflect on the ways in which we can build confidence in Canada's judicial system. Too many women and girls do not come forward to pursue justice after being sexually assaulted. That is why I recently introduced the judicial accountability through sexual assault law training act, or the just act, to improve the training of our judges in handling the most sensitive sexual assault cases.

On this International Women's Day, I invite all members to join me and pass this bill.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Eva Nassif Liberal Vimy, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we are celebrating International Women's Day, our annual tribute to women's contributions to society and a reminder that we are working diligently to achieve gender equality.

As a member of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, I had the privilege of addressing the 338 delegates from Daughters of the Vote, to highlight the achievements of many women pioneers in Canada and to discuss the importance of continuing to lead the way in the fight for equality and women's rights.

Equality matters. The work being done by community organizations as well as Status of Women Canada and its Standing Committee on the Status of Women is of vital importance. Equality is crucial because an inclusive society that strives to make women independent is more prosperous than one that marginalizes them.

I invite everyone to work together to achieve gender equality.

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I recently introduced a bill on sexual assault law that will help restore confidence in the justice system. The bill seeks to provide training to future judges, among other things. It will also require written reasons to be provided in a greater number of decisions.

Does the Prime Minister agree that we should all work together to expedite passage of this bill?

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all survivors of sexual assault must be treated with compassion and respect, particularly when they are seeking justice before the courts.

It is very important to do everything we can to protect and encourage these women, and sometimes men, to seek justice for the violence they have suffered. I am therefore very happy that this bill will give us an opportunity to discuss this important issue.

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last week, a Halifax taxi driver was acquitted of sexual assault charges. The circumstances are disturbing, and incredibly, the judge ruled, “Clearly, a drunk can consent”. Countless legal experts have pointed out the mistakes in this judgment. I have introduced a very common sense bill to make sure that judges are not making basic errors or, even worse, painful comments that make victims think twice of ever pursuing justice.

Will the Prime Minister support moving my bill to committee this week and help restore confidence in our justice system for victims of sexual assault?

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is important that survivors of sexual assault be treated with respect and compassion, particularly before the justice system when they are seeking justice. We need to make sure that we are doing a much better job than we are right now. That is why I look forward to parliamentarians having an opportunity to discuss ways in which we are going to be able to improve it, including with the member's bill as it goes to committee.

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Shelly Wynn is the widow of Constable David Wynn, who needlessly died because the justice system failed to protect him. His death was preventable. Shelly is in Ottawa today helping us fight to protect others. The Liberals have an opportunity to show Shelly that this will never happen again. We implore those on the other side to see the good that they will do if they vote for this bill.

Will the Prime Minister close this loophole that will save lives and vote in support of Wynn's law today?

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased that Ms. MacInnis-Wynn was able to sit down with the justice minister and have a very constructive conversation on how we can improve our system of bail to do justice in this country. It is important that we keep our communities and families safe. It is important that we protect victims. It is important as well that we uphold the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That is what we remain committed to and we are going to continue to work hard on that.

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, here in Canada and around the world, human traffickers physically and sexually exploit women and girls. It is a brutal and disgusting crime that deserves to be punished harshly, but when the Liberals introduced their human trafficking law, they weakened the punishments that could be handed out to these criminals. They crafted Bill C-38 to deliberately get rid of back-to-back sentencing for those convicted of multiple crimes of human trafficking.

Why is the Prime Minister unwilling to get tough on human traffickers and will he protect vulnerable women and girls by returning back-to-back sentencing to Canada's human trafficking laws?