House of Commons Hansard #252 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sexual.

Topics

Canada Labour CodeGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his question.

With regard to any amendments that might be made, I have to say that I am not on the committee that will be studying this bill. However, it would be advisable to pass this bill.

It is unacceptable that people are being victimized. Obviously, victims of harassment in the workplace have higher absenteeism rates and are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. This is a situation that must absolutely be prevented.

We cannot afford to lose employees in today’s job market. The unemployment rate is so low. More than 700,000 new jobs have been created in Canada in the past two years. We must make sure that all workers without exception have access to a healthy work environment. This will ensure productivity for both employees and employers.

Canada Labour CodeGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

London West Ontario

Liberal

Kate Young LiberalParliamentary Secretary for Science

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all our colleagues today for the very moving speeches about this very important topic. I know our staff members are very busy, but I hope they are able to hear what has been said in debate so they can see how important this is and know that harassment in this workplace, in any form, is unacceptable.

I remember when I was a young woman just getting into journalism. Back 45 years ago, we were told that if we wanted to work in a man's world we had to put up with almost everything. We did, and it was wrong. It was wrong in so many ways. We all have stories over the years of things we have had to put up with, but as the saying goes, “time is up” and we must move forward.

We cannot wait for the bill to go through. We must act now. Does the member have any advice as to what we can do now in our workplaces to ensure our employees feel safe?

Canada Labour CodeGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for her question.

My hon. colleague is from the world of journalism. I am also from a traditionally male-dominated field. I was the only woman who owned a grocery store or supermarket, so I was an easy target. I, too, probably put up with comments that I should not have tolerated.

I am thinking about my daughters. We need a change in culture, whether it is for my daughters or for our female co-workers. We cannot afford to lose anyone who is involved in our society’s economic development. We cannot. All of these people must be active and find their own way. The culture needs to change.

If we as women hear unacceptable comments, we must say so and report them right away, both for ourselves and for our employees.

With respect to the date when the measures will be implemented, I would like to point out that the bill is in its second reading. The sooner we pass the bill, the clearer our message will be. We will then be able to effect change more quickly. It is very important for everyone here, but also for everyone who is watching us, everyone who works with us, and everyone who works under federal jurisdiction. We must send a clear message: these things are unacceptable and they must be reported. We must not put up with these comments.

Canada Labour CodeGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.

It is with mixed feelings that I stand to speak in the House today. On the one hand, I am deeply grieved that we even have to have this conversation right now with regard to this topic of sexual harassment. On the other hand, I am glad that we are having this conversation to bring attention to a very important matter, and my hope is that we are able to do something about it going forward.

All parties in this place agree that there is zero tolerance for sexual harassment, but if we were to pick up a newspaper or watch the newscasts at night, or if we were to read through the comments staffers from the Hill have posted to social media, we would see that there are far too many stories with regard to sexual harassment taking place in the workplace.

The issue before the House is not a partisan issue, and we must begin by agreeing not to make it so. This is an issue of power and the balance of power between an employee and an employer.

When it comes time to hire or fire, members of Parliament have complete control over this process and the staff in their offices. For every paid staffer, it is important to understand that there are a dozen interns hoping to take that job. This places employees in an extremely precarious position and makes them very vulnerable. Add to this the lack of an independent process for handling harassment allegations and it is no wonder employees can quickly find themselves in a position where they feel that they have no option but to keep silent and hope not to rock the boat. For those reasons, I welcome the initiative of the government to implement a more formal structure for preventing and responding to sexual harassment in the public workplace.

I believe it is very important for this bill to make it to committee as soon as possible, where it can be further assessed. At that stage, legislators would have the opportunity to examine it closely and make the necessary changes to strengthen it going forward.

To serve all employees and all employers well, sexual harassment must be clearly defined. That said, we must discuss whether it is better to define sexual harassment through legislation or to allow cabinet to define it through what is called regulation. Traditionally, sexual harassment has been defined in part III of the Canada Labour Code. However, clause 16 of the bill before this House would delete the legislated definition of sexual harassment from the code. In its place, the Liberals would give authority to cabinet members to define sexual harassment through part II of the Labour Code. This means that the government of the day would be empowered to define what sexual harassment is in both the House of Commons and all federally regulated workplaces, with zero input from this place, Parliament.

As a general principle, important changes like this should be enshrined within legislation.

Canada Labour CodeGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I hate to interrupt, but I just want to remind the hon. members that debate is taking place, and I am kind of having a hard time. Maybe it is my age. My hearing is not as good as it used to be. I am having a hard time hearing the hon. member for Lethbridge.

The hon. member for Lethbridge. The rest of the members could maybe whisper a bit more softly or take the discussion into the lobby.

Canada Labour CodeGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, as a general principle, important changes like this should be enshrined in legislation. Now, it stands to reason that most Canadians, including the employers bound by the Canada Labour Code, believe that the definition of sexual harassment is something worth preserving in law and that it is the process we should be going through.

The second thing that will need to be examined by the committee is how we ensure that all employees, including those who work for government members, enjoy the full protection of this legislation.

The House of Commons is not like other federal government workplaces. This place, by design, is meant to be partisan. Democracy is best served by the official opposition skilfully testing the government's policies and bringing them to the Canadian public's attention. The ability of the opposition to do its job without fear of reprisal or retribution by the Prime Minister, or any member on that side of the House, is foundational to our democracy, which is why I am a little concerned about how this legislation would actually be applied to the House of Commons.

The bill before us would bring members of Parliament and their staff under the authority of part II of the Canada Labour Code. It is important, then, to understand how this code uniquely empowers the Liberal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour to personally initiate investigations and make compliance orders under the act.

Upon receiving a complaint from an employee or employer, it is the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour who would be authorized to conduct an investigation. Once an investigation was conducted, it would also be the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour who was authorized to issue compliance orders. This would be done, of course, through the member of Parliament who was brought forward through a complaint.

The minister also has the power to issue emergency directives to an employer and to make those orders public. We can see how devastating this could potentially be to a member's career if, in fact, a complaint was found not to hold water.

For those watching from their homes and workplaces today, let me take a moment to quickly outline the implications. An employee would have the opportunity to make a complaint directly to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. At this point, the minister could decide not to investigate if she felt that the complaint was vexatious or made in bad faith. Right away, this should raise some red flags, given the circumstances.

The question we must ask is whether Canadians can have complete confidence that the minister, behind closed doors, would impartially judge complaints when she had the power to protect her Liberal colleagues from allegations that could potentially end their careers.

What also worries me is that there would be no appeal process. Once the minister made her ruling, the complaint would simply go away. On the other hand, if the minister decided to launch an investigation, she would then have the power to enter the workplace to compel the production of documents and to force testimony from staff.

Let me be clear on this point. This legislation, as it is worded now, would grant a Liberal minister the legal right to enter an opposition MP's office to compel the office to turn over any record she deemed necessary for the investigation. This could include emails, private or personal calendar pages, social media accounts, text messages, etcetera.

The minister and her staff could be entitled to snoop through the member's data and records, which would then give them access to a ton of politically sensitive information, information that may or may not find its way into the hands of, let us say, a journalist. I am sure all members are able to see how this could be used for partisan gain. Of course, we hope not, but nevertheless, I must highlight the potential.

Even if the minister delegated the initial decision to investigate and also delegated the actual investigation, the minister would still need to sign off at the end. There would be no way for the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour to completely excuse herself from the process. The question then becomes this: Could Canadians rightfully expect that the Liberal minister would treat a Conservative MP and a Liberal MP the exact same way?

Furthermore, the minister would also determine whether an order had been complied with. If, in the minister's opinion, an order was not observed, a subjective determination, I might add, she would have the power to table the order in Parliament publicly, thus shaming the member.

Finally, the minister would have the authority at any point after a complaint was made to issue an emergency compliance directive if she believed that the health of an employee was at risk. Emergency orders would be immediately tabled in the House of Commons, and made publicly known, announcing that an investigation was under way, before any facts of the situation had actually been determined.

It is hard to imagine that the minister would not be tempted to perhaps use this provision by announcing an investigation into an opposition MP, perhaps as soon as possible or when it seemed necessary or to the advantage of the party in power.

If we are serious about providing equal protection for employees of members of the government and members of the opposition and about ensuring the non-partisan application of this law, then we need to ensure that there is an arm's-length, neutral, third-party regulator put in place who will make decisions about whether a complaint is valid and about how to conduct the investigation.

One may think that no one would seriously consider using something such as sexual harassment as a tool for political advantage. I would certainly hope not, but I believe we must do everything in our power to ensure the safety of employees without risking the potential of partisan gamesmanship.

We owe it to every current and future employee of this House to get this right, including the staff of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, who, let us be really honest, is quite unlikely to investigate and prosecute herself should a complaint be made. This begs the question: Where do her employees go?

I urge my hon. colleagues to send this bill to committee, where its members can work with expert advisers to figure out how to ensure that the integrity and impartiality of this process is upheld. We owe it to the staff of the House of Commons. We owe it to the members in this place. We must address this issue with regard to sexual harassment and create a safe and secure work environment for all.

Canada Labour CodeGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

There will be five minutes for questions and comments when the House next addresses this topic.

Sexual HarassmentStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Marilène Gill Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, this being the first member's statement of 2018, I would like to take the opportunity to commend all survivors of sexual harassment and assault, including those who have spoken out about it, for their courage.

Such behaviour, such crimes, have no place in Parliament or anywhere else. We support the victims who have the strength to continue to hold their heads high in the face of denigration, humiliation, and violence, but what is the next step?

Each and every one of us has a duty to ensure that our work environments are healthy and safe. We have a collective responsibility to watch over our family, friends, and colleagues to ensure that no one else has to suffer. There is a world of difference between a compliment and harassment, between seduction and abuse. Most of us understand and sense that. To those who choose not to understand, your time is up.

Award-Winning VolunteerismStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, Italian Canadians have always contributed to the building and betterment of Canada. On behalf of all Canadians I want to thank the community for all it has done and continues to do. Specifically, I want to pay tribute to Lucia Paterra Catania, who for decades has led by example and worked hard to put others first. A talented artist and an active member of various Italian and arts communities in Toronto, Lucia is the president of the Golden Age Academy, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals to use their skills, knowledge, and experience as a contribution to their community.

Lucia's work does not stop there. Lucia also runs an arts and crafts drop-in program for seniors at the Carmine Stefano Community Centre in my riding of Humber River—Black Creek. Lucia is always available for people in the community who need assistance, driving seniors to doctor's appointments or grocery shopping. She always goes above and beyond the call of duty for others in need.

A Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient, a Humber River—Black Creek volunteer award winner, and an Emery Village BIA award winner are some of the many examples of Lucia's past accomplishments.

I congratulate Lucia.

Town of PenholdStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer—Mountain View, AB

Mr. Speaker, last Friday my family and I attended the inauguration of the chain of command for the Town of Penhold, where a magnificent ceremonial chain and pendants were presented to Mayor Michael Yargeau and his council by Her Honour Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell and benefactor Stewart Ford. Her Honour and Mr. Ford then participated in the presentation of the Ford Family Scholarship endowment to Penhold Crossing Secondary School.

These generous gifts add to a long list of benevolent acts that Stewart and Eileen Ford have bestowed upon their beloved Penhold. In his humble address, Stewart said, “Eileen and I believe there is no finer investment for any community than putting knowledge into the minds of scholars. For Penhold Crossing Secondary School students, we have enlarged the means for them to do so.” He closed his address by quoting Sir Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

I thank Stewart and Eileen for all that they give.

Châteauguay—LacolleStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Shanahan Liberal Châteauguay—Lacolle, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I am thrilled to speak about an initiative that celebrates the heritage of Châteauguay—Lacolle in a beautiful way.

Last fall, the students of St. Willibrord Elementary School of Châteauguay created and performed the brilliant musical video Dreamchild, a song that has already gone viral with 221,000 views on Facebook and 20,000 on YouTube. Sung in English, French, and Mohawk, this beautiful song is representative of all its students from across Châteauguay and Kahnawake, and speaks admirably to the sharing of dreams while celebrating differences.

Is it not fantastic that Châteauguay—Lacolle has what it takes to inspire the world? I am proud to represent a community where everyone has a chance to reach their full potential. That is why, on January 18, I was proud to present the 10 singers with a certificate signed by the Prime Minister himself.

Tommy BanksStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wish, on behalf of my constituents, all Edmontonians, and the Canadian music community, to share the sad news of the passing last week of Senator Tommy Banks. Tommy was so beloved that a street in Edmonton Strathcona was named Tommy Banks Way, recognizing his efforts to found Edmonton's long-standing jazz club, the Yardbird Suite.

He hosted The Tommy Banks Show, performed throughout North America, and guest conducted numerous symphony orchestras. However, Tommy was not only renowned in Edmonton. He performed worldwide and received a Juno and a Gemini. He was a founding chair of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and chair of the Edmonton Concert Hall Foundation and the music program at Grant MacEwan. He was made an officer of the Order of Canada, recognizing his long-standing accomplishments as a musician and his dedicated service to the development of Canadian arts. He served as music director for the 1978 Commonwealth Games, Expo 86, the World University Games, and the 1988 Olympics, and as a member of the Canada Council. Tommy Banks served in the Senate from 2000 to 2011.

As Edmonton's Winspear Centre has shared, Banks “changed the landscape of the Edmonton music scene and will be forever remembered for his incredible talent & passion”. He will be missed, but his musical legacy will live on.

Royal GalipeauStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Leslie Liberal Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I rise today to mark the passing of my predecessor, Royal Galipeau, the former member of Parliament for Orléans. Although Royal and I were rivals in the last election, I cannot say enough about his professionalism, his dedication to this country, and his honourable reputation as a parliamentarian.

Proudly calling himself “the servant for Orléans in the House of Commons”, Royal was an advocate for francophone Ontarians and cleaning up the Ottawa River, and was passionately involved in preserving and honouring our local and national heritage.

I offer my sincerest condolences to his wife, Anne, and his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.

Royal, thank you for your service to your country and to the riding of Orléans.

Human Rights in PakistanStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring to the attention of the House the recent rise in human rights abuses perpetrated against minority groups in Pakistan.

The Baloch Human Rights Organization reports that this past August alone, 91 people were extrajudicially executed and 138 individuals have disappeared. Women and children are the primary victims of these violations. Just days before Christmas, on December 17, at least nine members of the Christian community lost their lives in a terrorist attack at a Methodist church in Balochistan's capital.

The Muhajir people have also been regular victims of these increasing violent attacks. On January 14, Hassan Zafar Arif, a professor of philosophy, was abducted by law enforcement agents, brutally tortured, and killed on the basis of his criticism of the political and economic system in Pakistan, as well as his well-known allegiance to the Muttahida Quami Movement, or the MQM.

Today, I ask that all members join me in condemning these violations of human rights in Pakistan and recognize Canada's duty to work toward the elimination of sectarian and ethnic violence.

Long Range MountainsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gudie Hutchings Liberal Long Range Mountains, NL

Mr. Speaker, in the middle of our usual winter wonderland in the Long Range Mountains, Mother Nature had a change of plans and overnight, on January 12, we saw temperatures rise and wind and heavy rain hit with a vengeance. Saturday, state of emergencies were declared in the city of Corner Brook and numerous communities along the south side of the Bay of Islands and the south side of Bonne Bay, all the way to Trout River. Roads were washed out, even a section of the highway, isolating many communities. Severe infrastructure damage was everywhere, homes and businesses flooded, and many folks evacuated.

I would like to thank all the dedicated workers who strived so hard around the clock to get communities connected and folks out of harm's way. The first responders were on the spot in record time. Neighbours and volunteers were helping everywhere. Thanks to the Canadian Coast Guard for having the MV Larsen on standby to deliver needed supplies and get residents out to medical appointments. The following Saturday, the west coast welcomed Ron MacLean, Don Cherry, and other hockey celebrities for Scotiabank's Hockey Day in Canada. I thank all of the volunteers who put this incredible event together.

Folks in the Long Range Mountains know how to rebound for sure, on and off the ice.

Grammy Award-WinnerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Sahota Liberal Brampton North, ON

Mr. Speaker, my hometown of Brampton is increasingly being recognized for the magnitude of talent it has produced over the years.

From actor Michael Cera to comedian Russell Peters, restaurateur Rick Matharu, writer Rupi Kaur, basketball greats Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson and the Tatham sisters, Olympian Kadeisha Buchanan, and TFC's Jay Chapman, the list goes on and on. Brampton is home to big dreamers.

Today I want to talk about a young lady who no longer needs to pretend she is winning a Grammy in her shower. Last night, Brampton-raised Alessia Cara became the first Canadian-born winner of the Best New Artist Grammy. Alessia took the industry by storm with her debut single Here and followed it up with some of my personal favourites, Wild Things and Stay.

I congratulate Alessia and have no doubt we will be hearing many more great things from her.

Saskatchewan Party LeadershipStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the next premier of Saskatchewan and new Saskatchewan Party leader, Scott Moe.

I grew up with Scott back in Saskatchewan. He is a hard-working, honest, common-sense person, and while he has big shoes to fill, Saskatchewanians are united behind Scott and his leadership.

Premier designate Moe will pick up right where Premier Wall left off, defending Saskatchewan against a federal government that does not understand our way of life and how policies made in Ottawa affect rural communities. He understands that terrible policies like the Prime Minister's carbon tax are just not in the best interest of Saskatchewan's families and economy.

On behalf of my colleagues in our Saskatchewan caucus and our Conservative Party, I congratulate premier designate Moe and look forward to working with him as we continue to represent the hard-working people of Saskatchewan here in Ottawa.

Tamil Heritage MonthStatements By Members

January 29th, 2018 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to believe that in 1983, the Tamil community in the GTA was less than 150 people. Today, not only in the GTA but across Canada, it is not only one of the most populous communities but one of the most vibrant, and one that gives back so much to the Canadian community.

As we celebrate Tamil Heritage Month, I say to every Tamil Canadian that we thank them for their remarkable contribution. I want to thank the member for Scarborough—Rouge Park for his initiative to ensure that every year Tamil Heritage Month is recognized across Canada. I was particularly proud to celebrate Tamil Heritage Month with him and with the Prime Minister. Their rich culture and heritage makes our country great and I will continue to fight every day to make sure that we also see truth and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

Centre culturel islamique de QuébecStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Arif Virani Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks one year to the day when six men were killed at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec. The men were in a mosque praying. They were killed for that reason alone.

This act of terror was not simply an lslamophobic attack on Muslim worshippers. It was an attack on all places of worship and on the values we hold dear as Canadians: tolerance, equality, freedom of worship, and respect for diversity.

We need to come together once again. Sadly, one year later, we are witnessing a surge in support for the actions and rhetoric of those who seek to divide, rather than unite. This should serve as a reminder that we must continue to vigilantly defend Canada's multicultural, multi-faith and diverse society.

Today, I call on each and every one of my fellow parliamentarians to make their voices heard and proclaim, loud and clear, that hatred and intolerance have no place in our country.

Victims of Anti-Religious ViolenceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Mr. Speaker, continuing in the same spirit as the last statement, one year ago today, six Muslims were murdered and 19 more were wounded while at prayer in Quebec City. I believe the best way to honour the martyrs of January 29 is to mark the anniversary of this tragedy by commemorating the victims of all such acts of bigotry and violence, regardless of the faiths of the individuals so victimized.

Last year's shooting was not the bloodiest attack in Canadian history targeting victims based on their religion. That sad honour falls to the 1985 Air India bombing, but it is so terrible an act and is so raw a wound that I can think of no better date than January 29 on which to annually reaffirm Canada's solidarity with the victims of anti-religious bigotry and violence.

That is why I introduced Motion No. 153 last year, to declare January 29 Canada's national day of solidarity with all such victims. Later this afternoon, I will be asking the House for unanimous consent to this motion.

International Holocaust Remembrance DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Levitt Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a sombre anniversary when we remember the murder of over six million Jewish men, women, and children during the Second World War.

It is also a day when we recognize and remember the invincible spirit of those who survived this evil, among them the thousands of Holocaust survivors who built new lives for themselves and their families in my riding of York Centre and across Canada. Their enduring legacy of courage and triumph of spirit must continue to inspire us to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of systemic racism in our communities and around the world.

We must guard against a resurgence of anti-Semitism and xenophobia and ensure that we never forget our obligation to stand up and speak out against hatred and prejudice wherever they may rear their ugly heads.

We remember.

Rory McIvorStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, my home town of Penticton, B.C. lost one of its biggest supporters last November 18.

Rory McIvor was director of the Penticton library for 27 years, totally modernizing the library in that time. However, that was just one of his contributions.

He was president of the B.C. library directors, a governor of Okanagan College, a justice of the peace, president of the Rotary Club, chair of the Okanagan Summer School of the Arts, director of the Chamber of Commerce, and chair of the Okanagan Community Futures Association.

Rory was a school trustee for 11 years and chair of the school board for six of those years. He served two terms on Penticton city council and was instrumental in the formation of the local community foundation.

Rory loved Penticton and always went to work with a smile on his face. Penticton loved him back. He was named man of the year in both 1990 and 1999.

To Rory's wife Anna and his family and friends, I can truly say,” he will be missed.”

Royal GalipeauStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, today I rise on behalf of our caucus and our entire Conservative family to mourn the loss of our friend, Royal Galipeau, who passed away this weekend at the age of 71.

Royal was an incredible parliamentarian. Rarely missing a vote, even in the midst of his battle with cancer, he saw himself as a servant of the people, one with a duty to leave our institutions better than he found them.

His contributions included serving as city councillor and a leader with the Ottawa Library Board.

I was proud to have personally witnessed his wonderful parliamentary mind at work when we served together as deputy speakers.

He rarely let party politics stand in the way of what he cared about most. We will all remember Royal as a staunch defender of official languages in Canada, his lifelong passion, regardless of his political affiliation. The thoughts and prayers of everyone in our caucus are with Royal's wife, Anne, and their children as they mourn the loss of a beloved member of their family.

We thank his family for sharing Royal with us and with the people of Ottawa-Orléans.

Quebec City Islamic Cultural CentreStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rémi Massé Liberal Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, January 29, 2017, was a black day in Quebec City. One man perpetrated senseless, unspeakable violence against worshippers at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec. Why? Because members of that faith community were peacefully practising their religion inside their mosque.

Canada and Quebec welcome newcomers. They are open to the world. They value tolerance and freedom. Such deeds do not define us; they represent what we, as a society, reject. Every one of us has a duty to remember these hateful, violent deeds and work together to fight intolerance and racism.

To Abdelkrim Hassane, Azzedine Soufiane, Aboubaker Thabti, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Ibrahima Barry, and Khaled Belkacemi, we remember. To all of those wounded in the shooting, we remember. To the family and friends of the victims, we remember.

New MemberRoutine Proceedings

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Acting Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election and return of Mrs. Rosemarie Falk, member for the electoral district of Battlefords—Lloydminster.