House of Commons Hansard #208 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was research.


TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.


Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous government, which understood how trade works, the Liberal government just does not get it. Small businesses need to be competitive to take advantage of trade. These tax hikes raise the cost of doing business and make our country uncompetitive.

If the Prime Minister cannot protect local businesses from massive tax hikes that undermine their survival here in Canada, then how could he possibly be trusted to protect our local businesses when he is negotiating with the United States?

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario


Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we start with a point of view that it is critically important for small businesses to be successful. We know how important they are to our economy. We know that keeping small business tax rates low is very important, and that is in fact what we are absolutely committed to do.

We also know of the need to be able to continue to invest so they will be able to continue to invest, but we also know that the next generation of small-business owners want to have a fair tax system so they can have the opportunities to invest as well.

We are going to satisfy all those goals: allowing business to have a low tax rate, making sure they can invest, and making sure the next generation has a fairer system.

Parliamentary Protective ServiceOral Questions

3 p.m.


Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the changes made to the Parliamentary Protective Service are not working.

The House of Commons protective service officers have been without a contract since March, and negotiations have stalled. Furthermore, we recently learned that the employer has started threatening employees who are simply exercising their charter rights.

Let me be clear. The colour of a baseball cap does not make me and my colleagues feel any less safe.

Will the government amend the Parliament of Canada Act to guarantee the independence of the Parliamentary Protective Service?

Parliamentary Protective ServiceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia


Scott Brison LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we are working to restore a culture of respect for the public service, and we will continue to do so throughout our public service, which includes the House of Commons protective service.

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.


Yves Robillard Liberal Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, this summer, I had the opportunity to travel around my riding of Marc-Aurèle-Fortin in Laval to talk to many of my constituents and to again note the congestion on our roads.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities inform the House of the action taken to support public transit in Laval in order to improve the quality of life of workers and their families, who use it every day?

InfrastructureOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs Québec


Marc Miller LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my colleague from Marc-Aurèle-Fortin for his question and his commitment to the citizens of Laval.

On August 8, together with my four colleagues from Laval, I was delighted to announce that our government will be contributing more than $16.9 million to 29 public transportation projects in Laval, including the purchase of 22 hybrid buses, the renovation of many bus garages, and the addition and replacement of bus shelters. More reliable and efficient public transit systems will result in stronger communities in Quebec and Canada.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

September 28th, 2017 / 3:05 p.m.


Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a posh room at the Chateau Laurier, the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced the creation of Netflix Canada, a foreign company that is exempt from the QST, GST, and income tax. Up for grabs, though, is $500 million over five years towards the creation of Canadian productions.

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage give us assurances that at least 33% of that money, the same as what is provided by the Canada Media Fund, will be allocated to French-language productions?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.


Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, our commitment to Canada's creative industries is clear. This agreement, the first of its kind, includes an investment of at least $500 million, as the member said, in original Canadian productions in both official languages.

This investment will create jobs and opportunities for creators and producers so that they can share their content with the rest of the country and around the world. The investments planned for Creative Canada will help us ensure that our creative industries are reliable—

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3:05 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The hon. member for Montcalm.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.


Luc Thériault Bloc Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, Saudi Arabia uses Canadian weapons against civilians. On July 28, the minister said that she was going to take action. Nevertheless, armoured vehicles are still making their way to Riyadh, and Saudi money is still making its way to Canada.

Why does the Minister of Foreign Affairs want to sign the Arms Trade Treaty, when her government does not even intend to abide by it?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario


Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada expects the end user of all exports to abide by the end use terms in issued export permits. I requested a review of the situation and department officials are actively requesting more information on these allegations. I can confirm that no new export permits have been issued for Saudi Arabia.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Blaine Pedersen, Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade for the Province of Manitoba.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Now I believe the House leader for the official opposition has the usual Thursday question.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.


Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, you may recall that last week I asked the government House leader if we would have an opportunity to have a supply day so that we could discuss some of the important issues that are affecting Canadians.

We know what we are all hearing about, so this week we asked the government, because it had not given us any opposition days over the last two weeks, if we could possibly have a take-note debate. At this point in the last Parliament, we had already had nine take-note debates, whereas in our current Parliament we have had only two, so there was a reason to grant us the take-note debate. That was not allowed, so we have had no opportunity. Basically, members of Parliament have been completely shut out of the consultation process on these tax changes that are so fiercely impacting and concerning Canadians right across the country.

I would ask the government House leader if she or her representative would be able to tell us what the upcoming business is and if we would be able to have a supply day so we we can discuss some of these important issues.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba


Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am sure my colleague across the way will be happy with what we are about to say.

We will continue today with second reading of Bill C-47, the Arms Trade Treaty. When the debate is completed, we will then proceed with Bill C-55, the protection of Canada's marine and coastal areas. Tomorrow we will return to Bill C-55.

The business for Monday and Wednesday next week will be Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium bill. Tuesday and Thursday shall be allotted days.

Resignation of Member for Bonavista—Burin—TrinityOral Questions

3:10 p.m.


Judy Foote Liberal Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, NL

Mr. Speaker, when I ran to be a member of Parliament in beautiful Newfoundland and Labrador, I did not expect to be standing here today resigning from a job I love, representing people I love, and spending time with an incredible caucus, but as well, in the company of incredible individuals on both sides of this place. That includes you, Mr. Speaker, the table officers, pages, security, and all who work in the public service.

We work here, because we know we can play a part in making a difference in our country. As MPs, we are here, because others made it possible for us to have the privilege to serve. I am so thankful to my constituents for giving me this opportunity. It has been an honour to be here. It has been an honour to serve with all fellow MPs, and it has also been an honour to serve for 10 years as cabinet minister in Newfoundland and Labrador and here in Ottawa, supported by a dedicated public service, men and women who are committed to doing their very best.

I have also been blessed with very caring and capable constituency employees in both Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa. They worked tirelessly with me over the past 20 years to respond to the issues facing our constituents. To the many volunteers who worked on my campaigns over the past 20 years, there are no words to express just how much I appreciated their commitment and hard work.

Making my decision was not an easy one for all of the reasons I just stated. However, given my reasons for reaching that decision made it easier, and the outpouring of support for and appreciation of that decision has been overwhelming. No one has been more understanding and supportive than my seatmate and friend, the Prime Minister. He continually reminds his caucus to put family first, because it is so easy for us as MPs to get caught up in our work, work that we love, but can consume us if we let it, and many of us do that.

Standing here saying goodbye, I think of our friend and colleague Arnold Chan, who was taken from his family and friends way too soon. I think of all who battle cancer, and do so with courage. I can think of no one who faced a battle with cancer with more courage than Arnold.

I was the whip when he was elected in 2014, and in addition to other responsibilities in that role, became a confidante and source of strength when needed. For Arnold, I know that sharing my experience with cancer helped in some way as he fought to survive while doing a job he loved. We often spoke about how staying involved and keeping one's mind occupied really does help. He was such a kind, courageous man who fought until the end, and inspired many, including all of us in the House.

Things happen in life to all of us that impact, and sometimes change completely the direction in which our lives go. Things also happen in life to help prepare us for those changes, and while we may not realize it when they happen, it does become apparent that strength and courage are needed to get through difficult times.

The memories I have of the strength and courage of another young man, who dipped his leg in the Atlantic Ocean in Newfoundland and Labrador before starting his marathon of hope, will always stay with me.

I was a reporter with CBC at the time and assigned to cover the story. Terry and I talked about his bout with cancer, and his vision of using his experience to bring a focus to the need for research. As the interview ended, I commented on his curly hair. He had a lot of it. He told me it was a positive outcome for him, having lost his hair while being given chemotherapy drugs to battle the cancer. As anyone who has fought cancer will say, remaining positive is half the battle. Unfortunately, there are other factors beyond our control.

I followed Terry's trek across the country and, like other Canadians, was saddened when it was reported he could not continue. While Terry could not complete the marathon, he made a difference, and 37 years later, people throughout our country take part in the annual Terry Fox Run. In fact, this week is the Terry Fox school run throughout Canada. Terry inspired many, and just as I was inspired by Arnold, I was inspired so many years ago by Terry.

Little did I know that several years later I would be diagnosed with breast cancer, not once but twice, most recently three years ago. Like Terry, I lost my hair, and while it may not look like it now, it grew back curly. As it grew back, I thought of Terry and his curls, but especially his positive attitude.

When illness strikes a family the natural thing to do is pull together and go in survival mode. I saw that with the Fox family, and that is what happened in my family. No one was more determined that I was going to survive my first bout with cancer than my daughter Carla, who was only 25 at the time.

Carla sat through all of my chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and made sure a chart was prepared listing all of the medications I needed to take if I was going to survive. She was determined to make sure I did not miss any. Needless to say, she has a full appreciation of the toll cancer can take, but she also knows surviving cancer is possible.

Being aware of that became even more important, when it was discovered two years ago that I carried a BRCA gene. Having the BRCA gene means the body is susceptible to any number of cancers. It also means those closest to the person are at risk. Getting my head around what having the gene could mean for my children Carla, Jason, and Heidi, and their children, if they inherited it from me, was difficult, and needless to say remains so, because unfortunately, two of my three children did.

While we believe knowledge is power, very personal decisions that involve taking measures to prevent cancer require a lot of courage.

Having a BRCA gene also means running the risk of dealing with genetic discrimination in areas like insurance access and workplace practices. No one should be discriminated against on the basis of his or her genetic characteristics.

Resignation of Member for Bonavista—Burin—TrinityOral Questions

3:15 p.m.


Judy Foote Liberal Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, NL

I am pleased this government supports adding genetic characteristics as an explicit prohibited ground for discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act. The Minister of Justice has written to the premiers of the provinces and territories to get their support. In her correspondence with the premiers, the minister wrote:

In conclusion, I reaffirm the high importance that the provinces and territories take the necessary steps within their respective jurisdictions to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of genetic characteristics.

With an interlocking scheme of federal, provincial, and territorial legislation, our country has achieved comprehensive human rights measures prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, and others.

The prohibition of genetic discrimination should be added to that proud human rights heritage. My plea today, on behalf of all Canadians who have genetic characteristics, is that every premier in our country would join the federal government, and take the action required to do so.

As a woman who has spent 28 years in political life, I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to encourage more women to get involved in what I consider an honourable profession, where it really is possible to make a difference in the lives of others, especially the most vulnerable.

Unfortunately, I have observed over the years why they may choose not to go down that path. It takes a strong individual to stand up and fight back against bullying of any sort, especially if the bully is in a position of authority. While I refer to politics as a profession in which women may choose not to get involved because of these tactics, the harassing and belittling is not limited to politics, nor is it limited to women, but it is safe to say it is more pervasive among men toward women. The question is, why? Why do some people feel it is okay to treat another individual as less than equal?

As I continue to encourage more women to get involved, I tell them of my positive experiences, and that in my opinion there is no profession more rewarding. I also say to them my encouragement does not mean I think women do a better job; instead, we do a different job, based on our experiences.

I thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity to serve in a gender-balanced cabinet. It reinforced my belief that when men and women work together, respect each other, and are treated equally, the best work can be accomplished.

In my 28 years of political life, I have seen and heard it all. I have dealt with and heard about experiences of others that should never have occurred. As I look at my daughter and granddaughter in the gallery, and know that in the 2015 election only 88 of the 338 members of Parliament elected were women, just 26%, the fight for gender equality is far from over.

While some in-roads have been made, it is a fight that all of us, men and women, should take on, so that daughters and granddaughters in our country can have the opportunity to serve and make a difference. As the Prime Minister says repeatedly, better is always possible. By working together, better is indeed possible.

I have said to anyone who will listen that I am blessed with an amazing family. As they watch today from the gallery and at home, I thank them for their tremendous support during the entire 28 years I have been in political life, support that never wavered. They knew how much I appreciated the opportunity I have been given, and that I thrived on it.

Having served in provincial politics prior to being elected in 2008 as a member of Parliament, we knew as a family the job would take me away from home more often than I would be at home. As an MP representing a riding of 240 communities, even when I was in Newfoundland and Labrador, it meant I was rarely home.

My husband of 43 years, Howard, has put up with such a crazy lifestyle, and knowing how much I enjoyed my job, he campaigned vigorously every election to help me keep it. In fact, I always said it was we who ran.

He has been the stalwart in our family: a husband, a dad, a father-in-law, and now a poppy to Katie May, Meadow, Ruby Jude, and Elliott to whom we say, “We love you to the moon and back”. Katie May's response is always “I love you more”.

I thank you for always making me feel you understood how important my job was. Thank you as well for showing me that, as important as it was, you knew it was never more important than you. I am so looking forward to spending more time at home making memories with you for many, many years to come.

Resignation of Member for Bonavista—Burin—TrinityOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec


Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is with some pleasure and sadness that I rise today to thank a colleague and dear friend, the member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity.

From the first moment I arrived on Parliament Hill, almost 10 years ago, I got to meet good people who every day strived to do great things; people who were focused on serving Canadians, on tackling difficult challenges, on trying to figure out the best way forward for our country; people whose diligent efforts and dedicated work never failed to make a positive, meaningful difference in the lives of those who elected them. The member for the then-riding of Random—Burin—St. George's was one of those people.

Newly elected to the House together in October 2008, we were both technically rookies, but I knew very well that, unlike me, the member did not fit that label.

Having previously worked as a senior advisor to Premier Wells and a provincial minister in Newfoundland and Labrador, she had answered the call of public service well before we crossed paths. She had already dedicated her career to what she does best, and that is serving the people of Newfoundland and Labrador with passion and commitment.

Once she arrived in Ottawa, she quickly became known for her incredible work ethic and her determination to help others.

She was appointed opposition deputy House leader and then Liberal whip. We all know that the whip's job is nominally about discipline, but she understood that it was actually more about morale and team-building. Remember, the party had been dealt its worst-ever election defeat in 2011, and we were reeling without a permanent leader. It was this member who wrangled and managed and motivated the 35 of us, helping us with her strength and resilience to remain united and focused.

Once I became leader, I relied on her time and time again, through some extremely difficult moments, for her support and leadership. No matter what the situation, she has always been, for me, a model of grace and compassion, a source of intelligence and deep wisdom.

Whether in opposition or in government, as a member of caucus or cabinet, the hon. member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity was always an excellent voice for her constituents here in Ottawa. She always made sure that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador had a place at the decision-making table and that their interests were represented and their voices heard. Canadians are all the better for it.

However, what has perhaps left the greatest impression on her colleagues, constituents, and fellow citizens is the member's strength of character. We will miss not only a skilled politician but also a dedicated citizen, a devoted wife, an incredible mother, and a loving grandmother; a great Canadian who will continue to inspire women across the country to choose a career in politics; who will continue to motivate young people to serve their community, and continue to encourage those who are fighting an illness to keep on fighting.

Canadians, like the members on all sides of the aisle, will not forget the courage and fortitude shown by the member in the face of adversity. She is and always will be an example of resilience, passion, and grace to us all.

The hon. member is without a doubt one of the hardest-working people I have had the pleasure to know.

It was a true privilege to have her by my side since the day I decided to serve this great country.

She has dedicated her career to serving the world in which her children and grandchildren would grow up, and now the time has come for her to enjoy it with them, and of course with Howard, her extraordinary husband to whom we are all deeply grateful for having shared her for so many years in service to her community, her province, and to her country. Thank you, Howard.

Judy, my dear friend, I am going to sorely miss you, miss having you by my side, but I know, we all know that your family and friends need you by their side even more. I love you. Thank you.

Resignation of Member for Bonavista—Burin—TrinityOral Questions

3:30 p.m.


Tom Lukiwski Conservative Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have to say at the outset what a pleasure it is to see again my friend from Newfoundland sitting in her accustomed place at the right hand side of the Prime Minister.

One of the most commonly asked questions we MPs get when we go back home from our constituents is, “What is that MP like; what is that person like who you work with?” When it comes to answering questions about my friend opposite, I only had one answer and will always have one answer, and that she is one of the good ones.

There are so many reasons for that, but primarily it comes down to one thing. She just simply has a good heart, and that is the measuring stick I use when evaluating MPs, or citizens, or people whom I meet perhaps for the first time. Do they have a good heart? Not only does the member opposite have a good heart, but she has a big heart and that has been exhibited time and time again over the last few decades that she has been in public service.

I know what motivated her back in 2006 to seek public office and it was not the glamour, not the money; it was merely the fact that she wanted to help people. She wanted to make a positive contribution to her constituency, to her province, and to her country, and she has surely done that in spades.

From 2006 to 2008, she served in the cabinet of the Province of Newfoundland in several capacities. She was a minister looking after several portfolios. She did all admirably well. Then of course came the inevitable call to move up and onward, and she did. She arrived in Ottawa in 2008, and as the Prime Minister said, immediately demonstrated to all of her parliamentary colleagues on both sides of the aisle her work ethic, her competency, and her love for this place.

Almost immediately, she was appointed deputy House leader and fulfilled all of those obligations admirably, but I think she left perhaps her greatest mark on this Parliament starting in 2011, when she was appointed party whip. Mr. Speaker, I know that you understand and many others in this place may understand that being a party whip is not the easiest job in the world, and the Prime Minister has referenced that. Think of this. Not only is the job of whip itself a difficult position to attain and a difficult job to perform well, but this member inherited the job, was asked to do the job of party whip of a third party, a party that, as the Prime Minister explained quite rightly, had just suffered one of the most devastating electoral defeats that the grand old Liberal Party had seen in its long storied history. It was reduced to 35 seats, having only a few years previously been in government.

Not only was that a daunting task for anyone to take on, to be the whip of a morale-ridden party in third place—the interim leader at the time, Mr. Rae, asked my friend from Newfoundland to take on this job—but the challenges were even greater than one would think. First, she was a female in a very heavily ridden testosterone-driven caucus, whose morale was low, whose unity was questioned, and yet against all of those obstacles she not only survived but she thrived. Why? It was not only because she is competent, but she is the consummate team player.

As we all know in this place and in politics in general, loyalty is everything. My friend demonstrated her loyalty to her party, her friends, her colleagues, and her constituents time and time again, and for that I say not only do we thank her, but I admire her and respect her greatly, and I always will.

The year 2011, when my friend opposite inherited the role of whip, also brought with it some other challenges far greater than anything she had experienced before in her life, and that is when she discovered she had cancer. As many of us have experienced through our families' personal tragedies—family members who have contracted insidious diseases like cancer—it is not the easiest thing in the world to talk publicly about it. In fact, many people try to keep their condition private.

This member did not do that. She chose not to take that path. She chose to go public with her cancer, letting thousands upon thousands of women and men across Canada know that it is okay to talk about a disease that could potentially kill her. She wanted to demonstrate the fact that she was willing to fight as hard as she could to beat this terrible disease, and she did.

Back in those days, every Tuesday afternoon I had the pleasure of spending time with my friend opposite because we were both members of the House leaders' offices, I in government and she in the third party. From 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Tuesday we would have House leaders' meetings and would discuss all the issues of the day, come to some conclusions, and move on. That period of time was also when the member opposite was severely ill. Some meetings she could not attend, and others she did. I remember watching with great admiration how she faced this insidious disease head on with courage, equanimity, determination and, more than anything else, an unfailing sense of humour. I recall on several occasions wondering whether, if the situations were reversed and I were the one facing these health challenges, I would be able to meet the challenges with the grace and dignity of the member opposite. I think I could not.

To her I say this: she has demonstrated above and beyond not only her courage and determination, but also her unflagging spirit for life. She truly is an inspiration to all of us, and to all women across Canada who have battled a similar disease. We thank her for that. It will never be forgotten.

Thankfully her health has returned, and other challenges were just around the corner. As a matter of fact, if I recall, in 2015 there was an election in which the Liberals sprang from third party to government. Almost immediately, one of the first appointments the Prime Minister made, and I congratulate him for it, was the appointment of my friend to cabinet. I always learned and heard from my former boss Prime Minister Harper that the way he approached cabinet positions was simply to find the most competent people and give them the toughest jobs. My friend from Newfoundland must be competent, because the job she was given by the Prime Minister was almost unspeakable.

Think about this for a moment. Think about the files that the member had to manage in her time as cabinet minister: Phoenix and the payroll problems, Canada Post and the conflict of whether home delivery would be abandoned or retained, and Shared Services Canada with the massive government IT transformation. I would think those would be formidable for three cabinet ministers to manage, yet this cabinet minister did all three, and exceedingly well.

My only regret is that I was hoping that the minister would stay in Parliament and continue her roll. As chair of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, where the minister appeared on several occasions, I was looking forward to continued appearances by the member until at least 2019, when I hoped I would be meeting her as an opposition member. However, that is for another discussion that we will not get into now.

Without question, her level of politics has only been exceeded by her love of family. Anyone who knows this member knows that she has an unqualified and unreserved love for her entire family. They are her heart, her soul, her being. Family is everything to this minister, and for that I admire her so very much as an example of what can be done to combine both the love of family and the love of country in one very competent package. Even though we will miss her in Ottawa, I know that her family is going to receive her well.

Probably the only little people who are going to love seeing their grandma more are future grandchildren. I am sure that they will know, as I do, since I am a grandfather myself of two beautiful granddaughters, they are going to be receiving the greatest gift all. They will see their mother, their grandmother home at last to stay. I have no doubt that the member opposite will be the greatest grandma in Canada.

On behalf of all of my colleagues in Her Majesty's loyal opposition, I want to congratulate my friend for her many years of service to this place, to her constituents, and to her country. I wish her nothing but health and happiness in the future. Let me just conclude by saying that the member is and always will be one of the good ones.

Resignation of Member for Bonavista—Burin—TrinityOral Questions

3:40 p.m.


Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my leader and all members of the New Democratic Party, I also rise in the House today to pay tribute to the member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, who is leaving public life to spend more quality time with her family.

I am sure it is a decision that many of us struggle with from time to time, but as we hear today about this member's journey through her public and professional life, we know that she has made a decision that is in her best interests and those of her family.

Truly, this was not something arrived at lightly, given that the member has been involved in public life for more than 28 years. We know that people are often called in service of their communities, provinces, or country.

When someone manages to build as fine and impressive a political reputation over the years as the hon. member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity has, it is easy to see why the people put their trust in her so many times.

She was a member in our provincial and federal legislatures and a cabinet minister, but above all she was a very popular political personality who dedicated a very large part of her life to representing her constituents.

Those who are most familiar with her record and work, her constituents, have consistently supported her efforts on their behalf. It is no small testament to her good work that the voters returned her with 82% of the vote, the largest percentage of votes in Canada during the last election. In that respect, she will go out at the very top. That is something we can all congratulate her for.

The member talked about her constituency and how many communities she represented. It is only an honour for me to be able to speak today and honour her, given the large constituency that I represent of Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing. I fully understand when she said, “Even though you're home, you're not home.” I have not been home for two weeks now. I really enjoy what I do, but I know there will come a time as well when I will decide at some point that it is time.

The people in our constituency understand that as well. Sometimes we feel extremely sad that we cannot be there for birthdays or anniversaries. However, it is those people who keep us going. Therefore, none of us are able to hold these posts without a lot of help. We ask for the goodwill of our constituents, but we rely on the teams we are a part of to help us along the way: the like-minded individuals, in truth an army of volunteers, who help us get elected; staff members who support us in Parliament and in our constituencies; community contacts who keep us grounded and help focus many of our efforts; and, of course, our families who carry us through the roughest patches and help us celebrate the very best moments too.

Perhaps it is the family who pay the highest price when someone is called to public service. While we can speak of the commitment, dedication, and sacrifice of the individuals who decide to embark on this path, we understand that those who make the greatest sacrifice are often the ones at home. The path of political success can be a hindrance to the goals and desires we have for our homes and lives. In that respect, we are borrowing the politician from his or her family. Therefore, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the member's husband Howard; her children Carla, Jason, and Heidi; and her grandchildren for their generosity in sharing the member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity with us.

I became an MP in the same election that brought the member to this place. Although we did not have an opportunity to work together much while she was in opposition, I did have occasion to work with her once she became a minister. In that capacity, she was always approachable and understanding. It was clear that she understood that although we can be partisan players, the work we do on behalf of our constituencies and the people who trust us to represent them must cut above that fray. I am sure that many of us would echo these sentiments, and I would like to thank the member for her kindness and work on behalf of all people of Canada.

The member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity is leaving us so she can spend more quality time with her family. That is entirely understandable, but few of us would be surprised if we see her adding her voice to the issues of the day from time to time. It would be too much to ask someone who is so obviously driven to disconnect in every way.

I want to wish the member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity farewell but not goodbye. On behalf of the New Democratic Party, we wish you the very best as you begin the next chapter in your life. Good luck.

Resignation of Member for Bonavista—Burin—TrinityOral Questions

3:45 p.m.


Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me to say a few words on this truly moving occasion, because the member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity is not only a colleague, but a dear, close friend.

I was privileged to work with the member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity in the 41st Parliament. I remain personally grateful for many kindnesses, not least of which was the use of a couch during the 62 hours of the filibuster over the Canada Post lockout. I had a very nice nap in her office, and no one else noticed that I looked like I might be needing one.

There were many acts of kindness, but what sticks with me so much is that at the time, she was so busy. We have heard from other members—accurately, generously, and graciously—what kind of job she did and what kind of person she is. As busy as she was, she never adopted the mantel of, “I am busy and important. Who are you?” I am not naming anyone in particular, but we all know people who when they get to an elevated position are suddenly like that. That never happened with the hon. member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity. She never failed to have time for colleagues and time for friends.

When the cancer came back, and all of us who know and love her were wrenched by it, she was consistently courageous. She reassured us that she was okay, and she showed up day after day, even at times when I really wished she could go home and have a rest.

There have been many good things pointed out about the hon. member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity. I was particularly moved by the remarks by the member for Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan.

Those of us who say goodbye to her today do so with tears in our eyes and love in our hearts, because this is a member who will continue to make a difference at home. The reasons she is stepping down now are entirely just and proper. As loved as she is in her riding, she is walking away from a job she loves for the best possible reason: being a good mom.

Thank you so much.

Resignation of Member for Bonavista—Burin—TrinityOral Questions

3:50 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I wish to thank all the members who have spoken and certainly endorse what has been said about my dear friend, the hon. member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity. I would like to express my own admiration, affection, and best wishes to her and her family.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-47, An Act to amend the Export and Import Permits Act and the Criminal Code (amendments permitting the accession to the Arms Trade Treaty and other amendments), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Export and Import Permits ActGovernment Orders

4 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Is the House ready for the question?