House of Commons Hansard #350 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.


Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

1:30 p.m.


Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have come together this afternoon to discuss Bill C-86, budget implementation act, 2018, no. 2. Simply put, for anyone listening, this debate is about the bill that implements the principal measures of the budget.

This debate is vital to Canadian democracy and crucial to ensuring that Canadian taxpayers know how their money is being spent. Unfortunately, closure has been invoked on this debate. Three years ago, the government told Canadians that it was committed to doing things differently, that it would never use closure, and that it would not introduce huge bills like this one. It is doing the exact opposite. Closure has been imposed over 50 times. This bill is not just 10 paragraphs long; it has 858 pages. It is what is known as an omnibus bill. Bill C-86 contains provisions dealing with labour code standards, for instance, and other things that have nothing to do with the budget. The Liberal way is to say one thing during the election campaign and do the opposite once they are in power.

Furthermore, when you look at Canada's budgetary situation, you see that it is exactly the opposite of what the Liberal Party had promised, with hand over heart, to win Canadians' trust. The Liberals did have their trust, but unfortunately they have squandered it.

Keep in mind that the Liberal Party promised to run small deficits for three years before returning to a balanced budget in 2019, which miraculously happens to be an election year. The Prime Minister came up with an interesting economic theory. During an interview with CBC, he said that budgets balance themselves, implying that deficits do not exist. I checked with every economic school of thought in the world and aside from the current Prime Minister of Canada, there is not a single serious economist who thinks that budgets balance themselves. The Prime Minister may see rainbows and unicorns when he looks at the budget, but people who know how to count certainly do not.

If budgets balanced themselves then we could expect the budget to be balanced in 2019, but the opposite is true. For three years the Liberals have been running deficits that are two to three times higher than expected. Today, 2019 is just around the corner and the government has absolutely no idea when it plans to return to balanced budgets.

It is certainly not for lack of trying on our part. Just today the official opposition finance critic, the hon. member for Carleton, questioned the Minister of Finance five times. He was in the House, where he could have clearly stated when the government plans to return to a balanced budget.

Our question was crystal clear: When will Canada get back to a zero deficit? We asked him that, not once, not twice, not three times, but five times in a row and, unfortunately, the Minister of Finance dodged the issue. Maybe the Minister of Finance will dodge the issue, but he cannot dodge reality, and certainly not his responsibility to Canadian taxpayers.

Why are deficits bad? They are bad because, ultimately, our children and grandchildren will have to pick up the tab. Running deficits is irresponsible because that is not our money.

I know that the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development is a credible person. He is an honourable man whom I respect and hold in high esteem. The problem is the government saying that it is thinking of children in this budget. Sure it is thinking of children—it is forcing them to foot the bill once they hit the job market. That is the Liberal Party way, but that is not how a responsible government that got itself elected by promising small deficits should behave.

We all remember how the Liberals went on and on about making the rich pay more taxes.

The famous 1% of Canadian taxpayers will get hurt by the Liberal government. Oh yes, looking at the results and the figures, since those guys were elected three years ago, the famous 1% have not paid more taxes, but more than $4 billion less. That is the Liberals' economy. That is the Prime Minister's economy. That is the way those guys were elected, by saying, “No deficit in 2019 and the 1% will pay more”. They said that, but that is not the reality today.

Members will also recall that the Liberals promised to run very small deficits to stimulate the economy while investing billions of dollars in infrastructure. Once again, the results are not there. In one of his most recent reports a few months ago, the Parliamentary Budget Officer indicated that there was no infrastructure plan. It is not the official opposition, members of the NDP or the Conservative Party of Canada who said that. Everything that has been done has boosted the economy by only 0.1%, so that is just one more promise this government has broken.

The Liberal government has completely lost control of the public purse. People need to understand something. It is only natural that government spending will go up every year for two reasons: population growth and inflation. If the population increases, the government has to provide more services, which costs more money. If inflation rises, the government has to spend more to prevent a freeze down the road. That is fine. However, the government did not take into account the combination of these two basic factors in its calculations. It has spent three times more than it should have based on the combination of inflation and population growth. Simply put, the Liberals do not know how to count and they are spending recklessly.

That brings us to the troubling signs we are seeing today. First of all, investments in Canada are in free fall, dropping by 5%. If we break down this sad and alarming reality further, we discover that unfortunately, thanks to the current government's ineptitude, combined with the new U.S. administration's solicitous approach to managing and stimulating investment, Canadian investment in the United States is up 65% and U.S. investment in Canada is down 52%.

The two indices that we use to determine whether the Canadian economy is getting sufficient stimulation from an investment standpoint suggest that Americans are investing less in Canada and Canadians are investing more in the United States. That is bad news on two counts.

Another concern is related to the announcement made by the Governor of the Bank of Canada. I am not referring to the Governor General, although former governors general have been in the news lately, some for debatable reasons and others for very bad reasons. The current Governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, made it clear that playtime was over last week when he announced that after modest interest rate hikes, we should get used to the idea of a minimum interest rate of 3%, or potentially higher.

This warning sign should to be taken into account when major budget checks or manoeuvres are being done, but unfortunately, this government is not doing anything about it. It does not care. Given that we will be paying $24 billion in interest on our debt this year alone, and that figure could soon rise to $35 billion and beyond, it seems obvious that we need to curb our spending. We need to stop spending three times more money than the inflation rate combined with population growth allows. We need to ensure sound management of public funds.

Canadians will have to contend with the Liberal carbon tax next year. The Liberals boast about their lofty principles. They are always ready to work with the provinces as long as the provinces work with them and say exactly what they are saying. When the provinces want nothing to do with the Liberal carbon tax, it is imposed on them by the government.

That is not how federal-provincial relations should be conducted. We must work together. If by chance the provincial governments want to have a carbon tax or participate in the carbon exchange, it would be their choice. However, if they are not interested and decide to opt out, the federal government will twist their arm. That is not the right approach.

The government is obviously talking out of both sides of its mouth. It says that there must be a price on pollution, which is their new slogan, but it is not for everyone. Under the Liberals, the big emitters will get a discount, not of 5%, or 10% or even 50%, but of 90%.

These are the same people who said that the rich would pay more, when in fact they are paying less. These are the same people who said that they want to tax carbon and polluters, except for the biggest polluters.

In light of this, we will be voting against the bill and exposing the Liberal government's contradictions.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

1:45 p.m.


Greg Fergus Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent is known for his bombast, but the problem is that his comments on pollution pricing mean nothing. He knows full well that our proposal is, I dare say, a Conservative principle. We want to put a price on pollution. The very concept of an economy involves putting a price on the production inputs required for our economic activities. Pollution is one such input.

Why is he against putting a price on pollution? I do not understand. I know the member to be an honourable man whose beliefs are generally consistent.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

1:45 p.m.


Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to say hello to my member of Parliament. When I am in the House, the member for Hull—Aylmer is my MP. I get his email updates regularly.

I have two things to say in response to his comments.

If he truly wanted to be consistent with the price on pollution, as he calls it, or rather the Liberal carbon tax, he would make it applicable across the board, to all those who emit greenhouse gases. Instead, Canada's biggest polluters will get a 90% exemption. This is the way the Liberals operate, and, I should mention, this applies everywhere in Canada.

Our approach was always to help businesses pollute less. This is a positive and constructive approach. The Liberals punish, but we help reduce pollution. The former government's results speak for themselves and cannot be ignored: greenhouse gas emissions fell by 2.2% under the Conservative government, while Canada's GDP increased by 16.9%. This was the Conservatives' record, and Canadians are proud of it.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba


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

Mr. Speaker, I start off by congratulating my friend across the way for winning his award last night.

Having said that, I wonder if my friend could explain to me how it is that when we look at what I would classify as the bottom line of a good government, the number of jobs that have been created working with Canadians and small businesses from across virtually all regions of the country, we have been able to see well in excess of 500,000 new jobs to Canada's economy. That far exceeds anything even remotely close to what Stephen Harper ever did.

Can my friend explain why it is that Stephen Harper's government was never able to achieve the type of job growth that this government has been able to achieve in two to three years? I suggest that is one of the reasons that our plan is working. Canada's middle class is growing. It is healthier today than it ever was under Stephen Harper.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

1:45 p.m.


Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, first let me pay my respects to my colleague from Winnipeg North for having been nominated twice yesterday for a Maclean's award. I also congratulate him for the award he got a year ago.

Let us talk about the facts.

The reality is that the current government arrived in midstream when the global economy is ticking along, our main economic partner, the U.S., is going through a remarkable economic boom, and the price of a key component of our exports, in other words oil, increased rather nicely over the past few years. These are all factors that are making the Canadian economy grow and that the current government has absolutely no control over.

I would remind hon. members that when our government was in power, we had to deal with the worst economic crisis of all time, even worse than the crisis in the 1920s. Despite that, our government managed to ensure that out of the G7 countries, Canada came through the crisis the fastest, the most effectively, with the most results, and the highest job creation levels. We can be proud of our record.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

1:45 p.m.


Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we are debating the sixth omnibus budget bill since the last election. It is 850 pages long and includes 70 pages of additions to the Income Tax Act, yet there is not one word about tax havens. Three years, six bills and 4,500 pages of budget bills, and still not a word about tax havens.

The Liberal government's record on taxation is a monumental failure. It is worse than failure, actually, because to fail implies that one has tried. This government is not even trying. It chose to leave the door wide open to tax havens and the people who cash in because of them. It is doing so knowingly and deliberately. Despite all the nice things it says about the middle class, it has picked sides and it is siding with Bay Street bankers. I cannot overemphasize that tax havens are probably the worst financial and economic scandal of our time. When it comes to attacking this cancer, Canada's performance is among the world's worst.

Canada represents just 2% of the world's GDP. Canada's three largest banks, the Royal Bank of Canada, Scotia Bank, and the CIBC, represent 80% of the banking assets in Barbados, Grenada, and the Bahamas. Canada has just 2% of the world's GDP, but 80% of its banking assets are in these three tax havens in the Caribbean.

That is not all. In the eight other tax havens that make up the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, Canadian banks own 60% of banking assets. Canada is not an economic superpower, but it is a superpower in tax havens.

As social democrats, we cannot accept that. There is no social justice without tax justice. There is no justice at all when the financial sector hides its money in the Caribbean and ordinary people are left paying the bill. Ottawa is allowing that to happen and at the same time is cutting transfers. Left with a shortfall, Quebec is making cuts here and there, while Quebeckers made it clear in poll after poll during the recent electoral campaign in Quebec that their priorities were health and education.

In the meantime, bankers continue to grow their billions of tax-free dollars in the sunny Caribbean. This is not illegal because the government has introduced no provisions in six budget implementation bills to prevent it. For this reason alone, everyone in the House should vote against this bill. That is what the Bloc Québécois is going to do.

However, this bill also contains some good measures. It will establish pay equity at the federal level, both for the government and businesses operating under its jurisdiction. It is about time that Ottawa moved into the 21st century, especially since John Turner's government announced this measure in 1984, or 34 years ago.

I will now speak to the issue of consumer protection in banking, which is addressed in Bill C-86. We have to acknowledge that the regime proposed by Bill C-86 is a big improvement over the mess proposed two years ago in Bill C-29. I have to say that I am proud of the work that we did to make the government reconsider and go back to the drawing board.

The Liberal government trampled over Quebec consumers to accommodate Bay Street. I remind members that Quebec is the most advanced society in North America when it comes to consumer protections. The Quebec government sets the strictest guidelines to ensure that consumers are not swindled. This was one legacy left to us by Lise Payette, who passed away last month.

Bill C-29 sought to eliminate all of the safeguards that protect ordinary people but upset rich Bay Street bankers, including measures that ban misleading advertising and hidden fees, those that prevent unilateral changes to contracts, and those that prohibit banks from increasing the maximum liability for unauthorized credit card charges to more than $50.

The Quebec act provides for a simple, free and legally binding recourse mechanism, which is the Office de la protection du consommateur. This organization defends ordinary people rather than profiteers and has the ability to initiate class action suits so that David does not have to go up against Goliath alone. Ottawa wanted to eliminate all this, usurp all the power and use it to give the banks a nice big gift of vague requirements and non-existing recourse—essentially a paradise for bankers.

I will say that Bill C-86 is not as blatant an attack as Bill C-29 was. The obligations that the government is imposing on banks are real obligations. They are not written in the conditional tense as mere suggestions, as we saw two years ago.

The government is much less explicit about its desire to stifle Quebec and set aside its provincial Consumer Protection Act. It has eliminated the infamous clause about federal paramountcy. It seems the two regimes will be able to coexist. I say “it seems” because whether that will really happen is unclear. That is why this needs to be studied in greater detail.

With regard to consumer protection, the federal act has one massive shortcoming: recourse. In Quebec, the process is simple. If someone feels their bank has misled them, they can complain to the Office de la protection du consommateur, a consumer protection bureau that will investigate and, if necessary, take the case to court. There is no cost to the complainant, and the government helps the consumer assert their rights. That is not what Bill C-86 does. The consumer will have to contact the banking ombudsman, a kind of mediator who makes recommendations but has no actual power and, moreover, is paid by the banks. Would consumers trust a judge they knew was in the bank's employ? Of course not. What we needed was a government institution, not an employee of the bankers' association.

If the bank does not listen to the recommendations of its ombudsman, what other recourse do clients have? They can take the case to federal court alone and at their own expense. Does the government really think that a client who is charged $50 in hidden fees is going to take the case to federal court alone and deal with his or her bank's army of lawyers? Consumer protection is new in federal law. It would be in the banks' interest to limit the scope of their obligations as much as possible. We can be sure that they will do everything in their power to ensure that the case law does not come down too hard on them. They will fight. Taking a case to the Supreme Court can cost up to $1 million. No one is going to subject themselves to that to recover $50 in fees. The remedies contained in Bill C-86 are ill suited for an area like consumer protection, where it is often a matter of many small amounts of money.

Also, although the bill imposes obligations on banks, it does not provide any real recourse for clients, which means that the obligations may be more theoretical than real. Here is what I expect will happen. Since clients who have been shortchanged will not have any real recourse at the federal level, they will continue to turn to the Office de la protection du consommateur du Québec. That organization will take on the case and the banks, as they have always done, will defend themselves by claiming that they are above Quebec laws. In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in a case such as this. It found that the Quebec laws applied to banks and that they could not claim to fall exclusively under federal jurisdiction. However, the Marcotte ruling is a subtle one. One must read between the lines. Basically, what the court said was that banks are subject to Quebec law because the federal Bank Act does not include a comprehensive and exclusive consumer protection regime.

Would the court have reached the same decision if Bill C-86 had been passed? Would it have found that what we are debating here today is a comprehensive and exclusive regime? Incidentally, “exclusive” means that it excludes the application of Quebec's laws. I do not know. No one knows. That is why this legislation needs a detailed study, and not a quick glance as part of an omnibus bill. There is a real risk that Bill C-86 will eliminate the simple, free and binding recourse mechanisms we have in Quebec, and replace them with virtually pointless mechanisms. This will give the Toronto-based banks what they have always wanted: the privilege of being above the law.

To support Bill C-86 without understanding its impacts is tantamount to gambling with consumer rights in Quebec. It would be irresponsible. That is why I would like to move the following amendment to the amendment: That the amendment of the hon. member for Carleton be amended by deleting all the words after the words “other measures” and substituting the following: but that it be split and that clause 10 introducing the financial consumer protection framework be now referred to the Standing Committee on Finance before second reading.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

2 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The hon. member for Joliette moved an amendment to the amendment, but in this case, it is out of order. Page 542 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, states:

Each subamendment must be strictly relevant to, and not at variance with the sense of, the corresponding amendment and must seek to modify the amendment and not the original question. A subamendment cannot enlarge upon the amendment, introduce new matters foreign to it or differ in substance from it.

The time provided for questions and comments on the speech by the hon. member for Joliette will resume after question period, when we resume consideration of Government Orders.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Marilène Gill Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, employment insurance is a sexist program designed for men. It is out of touch with today's society, and it is way out of touch with women.

Women are less likely to be eligible for employment insurance than men. They collect fewer benefits and they might not be entitled to any benefits at all if they lose their job while on maternity leave.

Why? Because claimants have to have accumulated qualifying hours over the previous 52 weeks. Women on parental leave do not pay into the system. If they do not contribute, then too bad for them.

There is a simple solution. Periods of maternity leave and preventive withdrawal should not be counted in the qualifying period. Women should not have to suffer because of hidden flaws in a program that is out of touch with their reality. Those days are done.

Canada Post CorporationStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Kate Young Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to creating a more inclusive, accessible and barrier-free Canada. That is why enhancing Canada Post's accessible delivery program is a key part of our government's renewed vision for the postal service.

I am pleased to rise to inform the House that this week marks the first meetings of the Canada Post accessibility advisory panel. This national advisory panel of experts and advocates for persons with disabilities and seniors will advise Canada Post on an enhanced accessible delivery program to make it easier for Canadians to access their mail and parcels.

The accessibility advisory panel will serve as a valuable forum for input and dialogue on the issue of accessibility. I thank the distinguished Canadians who have agreed to serve on the panel and help Canada Post continue to improve delivery for all Canadians.

ScienceStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, top scientists from Canadian academia have come to our nation's capital to participate in the first ever science meets parliament program. This initiative connects scientists and parliamentarians. Organized in partnership with the office of the chief science adviser, science meets parliament aims to connect policy-makers and the scientific community.

During this two-day event, 29 scientists, all of them Canada research chairs, will shadow 43 parliamentarians from both sides of the aisle. Scientists will get to learn how policy is made here in Ottawa, while transferring their passion for science to parliamentarians.

Let us build on Canada's long accomplishment in science, from Banting and Giauque to McDonald and Strickland, to strengthen Canada's scientific community for the betterment of our collective humanity.

Amherst Internment CampStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Bill Casey Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago, the largest prisoner of war camp in Canada was located in Amherst, Nova Scotia. The Amherst internment camp held over 850 POWs, mostly German sailors from ships that had been captured or sunk. A hundred years ago from today, that camp was full.

The Cumberland County Museum has a room dedicated to these POWs, their letters and photographs, and especially their precision handmade models of ships, wagons, animals and artillery. Eleven German POWs died while captive at the Amherst internment camp, and in the Amherst Cemetery, a single gravestone with 11 names on it stands as a reminder.

Although most of the captives were German sailors, there was one exception. In 1917, Mr. Leon Trotsky was an inmate at the Amherst camp, and some say he helped plan the Russian Revolution while in Amherst. Although this happened 100 years ago, the story of these German POWs in Amherst is still alive in the incredible handicrafts that were made by these prisoners and are still very much appreciated by local residents.

Lou BattochioStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, either heaven is in for a real treat or it is about to get really shaken up, because Lou Battochio, the ambassador of Schumacher, is finally going home. Lou's story is the story of the porcupine. His immigrant Italian parents came to the multi-ethnic mining town of Schumacher, and Lou spent his childhood as a rink rat at the Mclntyre Arena, that mini Maple Leaf Gardens that produced so many hockey greats. Over the years, Lou was a coach, a referee, a hockey scout, a community organizer, a teacher, a politician and an inductee into the Timmins Sports Heritage Hall of Fame.

However, it was Lou's love of community and social justice that made him special. He used to hold court every day at the Mclntyre Coffee Shop, where he would argue politics on anything from municipality issues to taking on Donald Trump. I loved talking with Lou and his wonderful wife Cecile, because he was a man of integrity. He lived nine decades on this earth, committed to the belief that we are here to build a better world.

Lou is going to the angels, and they are about to get an earful.

ElectionsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Gordie Hogg Liberal South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, newly elected municipal councils were sworn in across British Columbia, and today, the United States is holding its mid-term elections.

Elections are on our minds. They allow us to get reference points. They allow us to express our values as facts, policies and practices, and the facts are debated. That highly respected philosopher Homer Simpson once said, “Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true.” Fourteen per cent of all people know that.

We extend our congratulations to the newly elected mayor of White Rock, Darryl Walker, and to the newly elected mayor of Surrey, Doug McCallum.

As a former mayor, I am conversant with the challenges and opportunities, and it is truly an honour to be in an elected position. Of course, all of us in this House know that these are the facts.

DiabetesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, November is Diabetes Awareness Month, with November 14 being World Diabetes Day. Eleven million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes. Many take between three and 12 prescription medications and find the cost of equipment and supplies to be in excess of $15,000 each year.

That is why it was such a failure of the Liberal government to reject 80% of people living with type 2 diabetes from collecting the disability tax credit to help pay for these costs. After our questioning, 58% were subsequently reapproved, but 42% were denied again without notice. It is important to support people living with diabetes by making life with this disease more affordable, and that is what the Conservatives would do.

This week, people can increase their awareness by visiting the mobile screening unit, which is parked on the Hill today, or by dropping by the research fair from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. tomorrow in Centre Block, to meet with Canadian researchers working on improvements. Together, we can raise awareness and help eradicate this disease.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, members of the fresh fruit and vegetable industry are with us today to celebrate Fall Harvest days on the Hill. The economic impact alone of the fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain is $14 billion in GDP. This industry is a huge employer for local economies, employing Canadians in both rural and urban Canada.

These farmers sustain our people and others around the world. Their work can be gruelling, often fighting against the uncertainty of the elements to get the crop from the field to the fork, but we know that for many it is a labour of love and we here should appreciate all that goes into their efforts.

I thank the people in the industry for what they do, providing fresh fruit and vegetables for the nutrition of all and keeping us all in good health.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

November 6th, 2018 / 2:05 p.m.


John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, gender-based violence is a serious issue in Canada. We need all Canadians to work together to end it. Violence against women will not stop if boys and men are not included in the conversation and do not become part of the solution.

Men and boys in my riding of Oakville slipped on a pair of hot pink heels and walked through Oakville's downtown for Hope in High Heels. This raises funds for Halton Women's Place and the work its members do, providing a safe haven for women and children in crisis and providing education to build a future without abuse. I am so thankful for their important service to our community.

Gender-based violence can be ended in our lifetime. Karina, Pam and I are challenging all our male colleagues here in the House to join us after question period, to walk the talk at Hope in High Heels on the Hill. We have a pair of pink heels for everyone who wants to support ending violence against women. I will see them on the steps, or the rotunda if it is raining.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I will remind members that we do not refer to each other by first names. Of course the intent of that is to avoid conflicts, and I do not see any particular conflict arising from that, but one should generally avoid that, of course.

The hon. member for Calgary Shepard.

Del ReinhartStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to remember a dear friend and supporter, Del Reinhart, who passed away September 2 at the age of 79. I could talk about his successful business ventures or his work as an accountant, but I will not, because his most important work was his family and his beloved wife.

Like many Albertans, Del was actually born in Saskatchewan, at Kerrobert specifically. He married his wife Jeanette in 1964. They had four children: Greer, Michelle, Brett and Kim. They had 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Although he wintered in Arizona, he politicked in Alberta. Del loved talking politics. He would engage young Conservatives, brimming with ideas, and teach and mould them. He door knocked, persuaded and talked politics always. My favourite memory of Del is getting a returned phone call from a pay phone somewhere in Yuma to talk politics. In Jeanette's words, he relished political discussion.

Del now rests at St. Mary's Cemetery.

Eternal rest, grant unto your servant Del O Lord
and let eternal light shine upon him.

Credit UnionsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, whether it is providing a loan for a first home or the funds to start a new business, credit unions are there for the millions of Canadians they serve. They are the backbone of many Canadian urban and rural communities, helping local economies grow and thrive. In my community, we are fortunate to have IC Savings serving the needs of thousands of hard-working, middle-class Canadians, playing a vital role in helping us ensure we all achieve financial well-being.

Canada's credit unions serve over 10 million Canadians and employ over 75,000 people. Countless credit union members contribute time and valuable resources to many charitable causes.

Credit union means community, being rated first in customer service for 14 years in a row.

I invite my colleagues to applaud the Canadian credit union representatives visiting Parliament Hill today.

ScienceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Anju Dhillon Liberal Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Hill is hosting its first-ever Science Meets Parliament initiative. Twenty-five Canadian scientists and engineers, all experts in their fields, are here with us today. This is an excellent opportunity to strengthen ties between the political community and the scientific community. Today I had a chance to observe three researchers up close and learn some very unique things about their work and the exciting advances being made in their respective fields. Dr. Moehring is exploring the foundations of neurology and behavioural genetics. Dr. Bourgeois is examining program evaluation methods. Dr. Rini's research focuses on moral psychology and neuroscience. I have a great deal of respect for these women and men of science who help improve our lives, keep us safer, and blaze new trails. I want to thank them for being here today.

Remembrance DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I stand to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, who offered their lives so that we might know peace, we might know hope, so that we might be free. I say “might” because at some points in World War I and World War II, there were no guarantees of victory for our Canadian and Allied forces.

Stagnant lines in World War I, defeat at Dieppe in World War II, were overcome with valour, courage, persistence and above all else, self-sacrifice. This character forged a nation at Vimy Ridge and it was solidified at Juno Beach.

lt was through this sacrifice by generations of young Canadians that we stand here, in this place today, speaking freely, practising democracy, pursuing equality and preserving the destiny that our forefathers laid before us, to be the true north, the strong and the free.

We will remember.

DiabetesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Sonia Sidhu Liberal Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Diabetes Day starts on the Hill. Across Canada, millions of people live with diabetes, and it is critical for all Canadians to get screened to see their risk of this disease.

Today, parliamentarians are learning about their own health risks thanks to the mobile cardiovascular screening unit on the Hill. I want to thank Diabetes Canada for all of the important work they do and welcome them to the Hill.

lt is clear that Canada needs a national strategy to address the growing challenge of diabetes, a strategy like Diabetes 360°. I invite all members to join us tomorrow night for a reception to hear from leading researchers on groundbreaking new treatments, like beta cell replacement and islet transplants, to help Canadians living with diabetes.

Canada gave insulin to the world, and if we work together, we can defeat diabetes.

Parliamentarians of the Year AwardsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, last night, MPs and staff gathered together at the Maclean's, L'Actualité, Parliamentarians of the Year awards.

In a rare and refreshing spirit of bipartisanship, we celebrated MPs from northern Saskatchewan to Quebec City, from Chicoutimi to Toronto, from Nepean to Burnaby, who do us all proud. However, I rise today to pay special tribute to our friend Paul Dewar who deservedly won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

After learning of the devastating news of Paul's cancer diagnosis, letters poured in from across the country. One person wrote “This is a story of a life well lived because it was done in community”. His longtime friend, Kiavash Najafi, recently said that Paul is a man who cannot be stopped in pursuit of a better world, and we see this on brilliant display with Paul's Youth Action Now initiative.

In his gracious and moving acceptance speech last night, Paul urged all of us to talk to one another with curiosity and compassion, and to find that space in between.

To Julia, Nathaniel and Jordan, enjoy these precious moments. To Paul, we are thankful for your sharing with us and all Canadians a life that continues to be very well lived.

DiwaliStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to wish all Canadians a happy Diwali.

Diwali, also known as Deepawali, is a Hindu festival of lights, which is celebrated every autumn across the world. One of the largest holidays of the year in India, Diwali has a religious meaning for members of the Hindu faith and other religions about truth over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. It is also a symbol of the best traditions of Indian culture and history. Diwali is a time to celebrate life and to look forward to the year ahead.

In mandirs and gurdwaras across Canada, as people pray and celebrate Diwali with family and friends, I wish them happiness, prosperity and joy.

I wish everyone a happy Diwali.

ScienceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Dan Ruimy Liberal Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I had the honour of spending some time with two leading ocean scientists, as well as the health research chair from my riding of Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge. We shared their research that looks into marine microbes, glacier dynamics, ocean productivity and even the impacts of medical tourism. When would I ever have such a great opportunity?

As a government, we pride ourselves on creating evidence-based policy and this requires building a meaningful connection between the scientific and political communities. Today is our first annual “Science Meets Parliament”, a new initiative that brings scientists here to the Hill, with the goal of creating dialogue and promoting mutual understanding. Up to 28 scientists have spent the day meeting with members of Parliament and senators.

We have a great opportunity to learn from world-class scientists, who, in turn, can better understand how the political process works. We have a chance to build lasting connections, become better informed and learn about how research benefits our economy. Tonight at SJAM, I invite everyone to come mingle with 28 of the best and brightest minds and see what they missed.