House of Commons Hansard #296 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was policy.

Topics

Saskatchewan Transportation CompanyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Independent

Erin Weir Independent Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, 86 years ago this month, the the parliamentary caucus of a new political party was formed. The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation went on to adopt its policy manifesto in Regina. The CCF was a farmer-labour coalition.

A current issue that engages farm and labour interests is the elimination of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company. It provided good unionized jobs for bus operators as well as a needed service for rural communities.

In a member's statement a year ago, I warned that the rushed elimination of the STC violated the Canada Labour Code's notice provisions. Yesterday news broke that a federal arbitrator confirmed this violation and ordered the province to compensate its former employees. That is a good start, but I will continue to fight for Saskatchewan's fair share of federal transit funding to restore bus service between our communities.

Franco-Manitoban Weekly NewspaperStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Dan Vandal Liberal Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, MB

Mr. Speaker, our Franco-Manitoban weekly paper, La Liberté, will be celebrating its 105th anniversary on May 20.

La Liberté is a national leader and has received many national prizes, including awards of excellence from the Association de la presse francophone and the Canadian Community Newspaper Awards, but where it really shines is in its community involvement.

Thanks to its partnership with the Franco-Manitoban school division and Collège Louis-Riel and its “Dans nos écoles” columns, we learn about a growing and inspiring future generation. Through its advertorials, we discover the vitality and diversity of our francophone organizations.

La Liberté tells our story, and its perspective is unique to our community. Our newspaper is not a French version of the daily news. It is a true reflection of the diversity and many perspectives present in our French-speaking community.

Happy birthday to La Liberté.

Coal IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, coal-fired electricity and coal mining have been a mainstay of many regional economies in Alberta over the last 60 years. Forestburg and Hanna, two important communities in my riding, are perfect examples. Sixty percent of Forestburg's economy is based on the coal industry, with many employed at either the Battle River mine or the power plant. Hanna's economy is tied to Sheerness, where 200-plus people work at the generating station or the mine.

The phasing out of these industries will have significant ramifications. It is imperative that the transition plan involve local workers and communities. Unfortunately, the Liberal government thinks otherwise, and that is why the newly announced just transition task force has only one in 11 members from affected Alberta communities, while there are five from Ontario.

We need local people to help solve local challenges. I implore the government to change the composition of this task force to include representatives from Hanna, Forestburg, and other affected areas in decisions that will impact their livelihood and the survival of their communities.

National Nursing WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise and highlight National Nursing Week.

In my community of London, Ontario, we are privileged to have a significant number of dedicated and talented health care professionals. Whether it is the London Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph's Health Care, the Middlesex-London Health Unit, Victorian Order of Nurses, long-term care facilities, or any of the other locations where nurses work hard every day, we can rest assured that they will be there to provide care in our most vulnerable of moments.

To all nurses from coast to coast to coast, their work is truly appreciated. We are grateful that they are always present to provide world-class care as well as to advocate for the needs of their patients.

The profession has significantly evolved since the days of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale. Therefore, I challenge all Canadians to learn more about the important work nurses undertake and the challenges of their ever-changing roles.

The nurses of London and Canada have my sincere appreciation and utmost respect. Our communities are better off because of their tireless work and dedication.

Claudie BriandStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are people who inspire us and make a real difference through their courage, their determination, and their tenacity.

After waging a battle like that of David against Goliath, Claudie Briand from Trois-Rivières has succeeded in having the eligibility criteria expanded for the compensation program for victims of thalidomide. The judge even wrote, “...the application is allowed, the decision by Crawford is set aside, and a declaration is granted that the policies...are unreasonable to the point of being egregious.”

Thank you, Ms. Briand, for seeing this fight through to this positive outcome so that others may benefit from the changes that will soon be made. I supported you in my own small way, and now you have given me essential tools I can use to support other victims in Trois-Rivières and across Canada.

Ms. Briand, the people of Trois-Rivières and I look up to you in admiration. Please consider this public declaration a testament to the remarkable woman you are.

Mother's DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Miller Liberal Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, families across Canada will come together to celebrate Mother's Day. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, aunts, all those who play a mentorship role in the life of a child, and especially the mother of my children, Elin, as well as my own mother, Pam.

Everyone in the House makes a lot of money, some more than others, so there is no excuse to miss Mother's Day or to get some flowers or chocolates. If people need recommendations in the Ottawa area or the Montreal area, they can give me a call.

More importantly, and I hope this statement gathers wide support from the House on this Mother's Day, let us not only celebrate mothers but continue our work to give mothers the respect they deserve, to fight for the equality of women, and to provide all parents with the tools they need to support them in doing the most important job, raising the next generation of leaders.

Retirement CongratulationsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, a little less than 10 years ago, a whirlwind blew into the other place. My good friend, and a great Canadian, Nancy Greene Raine, was honoured to accept the offer of a Senate appointment and to start a new chapter in her life.

Nancy brought commitment, energy, dedication, and passion to this new role. These are the same distinct qualities that brought her success as an Olympian and as an entrepreneur. Nancy has clearly made her mark on Parliament Hill. Whether it was fighting to preserve iconic lighthouses on the west coast, spearheading a comprehensive health and fitness regime on the Hill, or looking for solutions to the obesity crisis among our youth, ministers, both Conservative and Liberal, learned that she was dogged in her determination to make a difference.

It is hard to believe that she is moving on to her next adventure, and I would ask the House to join me in thanking her for all she continues to give to Canada. We will miss her.

Manitoba DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Duguid Liberal Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, this Saturday marks the 148th birthday of Canada's keystone province, Manitoba. Manitoba's geography is one of the most unique and diverse in Canada, from the Arctic tundra near Churchill, to the Spirit Sands of the Carberry Desert, to vast prairies and beautiful boreal forests.

Our provincial treasure, Lake Winnipeg, is the world's tenth largest freshwater lake. Home of the Winnipeg Jets, and the curling capital of the world, Manitoba is also proud to host the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the National Microbiology Laboratory.

Our prairie province, the birthplace of Louis Riel, is the homeland of the Métis nation and encompasses the traditional territories of over 60 first nations. Manitobans have a rich history of welcoming people from around the world, creating a vibrant multicultural mosaic that reflects the best of who we are as Canadians.

On May 12, let us wish all Manitobans a very happy Manitoba Day.

Nobelton Senior Public SchoolStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Deb Schulte Liberal King—Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is a wonderful time of the year, and not only because it is spring and warmth has finally returned to one of the coldest capitals in the world. It is also the time that grade 8 students from across the country travel to Ottawa to experience Parliament in action and to explore the nation's capital.

I have talked to many of my colleagues on both sides of the House, and they have shared with me that welcoming students to the Hill, sharing their stories, and hopefully inspiring the next generation of leaders to one day seek a seat in the House, is the highlight of their day.

I would like to specifically welcome the grade 8 students from Nobleton Senior Public School, who are visiting Ottawa today. This week, Nobleton Senior is recognizing Mental Health Week, an initiative reminding students of the importance of a school-life balance. To the Grade 8 class of Nobleton Senior, and to the classes visiting Parliament this year, welcome.

Spring FloodsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Leamington, ON

Mr. Speaker, my riding of Chatham-Kent—Leamington has over 150 kilometres of shoreline. This April, that shoreline was struck by a severe spring storm. The heavy rain and high winds caused widespread flooding and accelerated the pre-existing erosion, putting many of my constituents at severe risk.

Over the past weeks, I have visited Pelee Island, Erie Shore Drive, Cotterie Park, and Pulley Road to better appreciate the scope and devastation first-hand. I was shocked to see how destructive a single storm could be. Three-tonne boulders were literally tossed about like stones. On Pelee Island, the dike road was exposed after the armour stone was pulled into the lake by the storm, exposing the roadbed completely to the elements. A breach would cause the centre of the island, which sits nine feet below current lake levels in some locations, to flood.

I have reached out to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities but as of yet have not been advised of any funding. My constituents have a hard time understanding how the government can spend $6 million to build a temporary ice rink but has no money for their safety and the protection of their property.

Mother's DayStatements By Members

May 10th, 2018 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, on a recent trip to Halifax, I had the honour of visiting Pier 21, the same place where 60 years earlier my mother and her family first touched ground in Canada. At just 19 years old, Vincenza Amante arrived at Pier 21 after travelling some 6,000 kilometres by land and sea. My mother left behind the warm familiarities of southern Italy to start a new life in northern British Columbia.

Like many immigrants, my mother arrived here without any money, with little education, and she spoke neither English nor French.

Canada's social fabric has been woven by immigrants who, like my mother, came to Canada with a set of values to work hard and remember their heritage. I would like to thank my mother for her courage and sacrifices. With Mother's Day only a few days away, I wish her, my wife Rose, and all mothers a wonderful and well-deserved Mother's Day.

[Member spoke in Italian ]

RamadanStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Hardie Liberal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, on May 16, at the first sign of the crescent moon, our Muslim community will begin the month-long observance of Ramadan, marking the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad.

During Ramadan, adults in good health fast from sunrise to sunset to redirect their thoughts away from the world and to the spirit. To maintain the spiritual reward for this, Muslims also turn away from false speech, refraining from insults and making malicious comments about people. Could it be that we could all benefit by observing Ramadan here in this place?

However, if that and fasting are a little too much to ask, there is something else. Ramadan is a time of generosity, and on that score, I would like to propose that all of us here be Muslim for a month by setting aside a dollar a day, or more, from May 16 to June 14, and to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, donate it all to the nearest food bank. Then we can truly say to each other, “Ramadan Mubarak”.

IsraelStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, on May 14, 1948, Israel became an independent nation-state. Born of war, its short history as a state is one of more challenges to its sovereignty than maybe any other in the same time frame. Facing opposition to their very existence, Israelis built a shining light of pluralism, democracy, and freedom in a hostile and conflict-torn region. There are not words strong enough to describe Israel's resilience. Canada's Conservatives stand with Israel under attack by Iran.

Israel's people are innovative and entrepreneurial, pioneers of technological advances that help millions every day. With countless achievements, from mathematics to medicine to cybersecurity, and small but crucial inventions taken for granted, such as the USB flash drive, the world is better because of Israel. Allies must not waver.

At once a young nation-state and a people since the beginning of time, from Eilat to the Golan Heights, and Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, that high tech and holy land always overcomes unimaginable adversity. Israel deserves independence, peace, prosperity, and freedom of belief forever.

Congratulations to Israel on 70 years of independence.

Marguerite MendellStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David Lametti Liberal LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC

Mr. Speaker, on June 30, 2017, the Governor General of Canada announced new Order of Canada appointments. Among those was my friend Marguerite Mendell. Her appointment ceremony was this morning and I wanted to mark the occasion by paying tribute to her.

A renowned economist and teacher at Concordia University, Professor Mendell shares her career and work between university research in the field of social economics and its practice by engaging with numerous community organizations.

While conventional wisdom considers the market economy the only model for profitability, Professor Mendell proposes a different model, the social economy, which strives to reconcile economic activity and social justice.

For her contributions to social and economic innovation and her research to develop innovative tools and policy levers to reduce poverty, Marguerite Mendell is a truly worthy recipient of the Order of Canada.

I congratulate Margie. Brava.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on May 17, and the urgent need to combat hatred and discrimination against the LGBTQ community here at home and around the world.

While Canadian law now guarantees equal rights for all LGBTQ2 Canadians, on the ground things are still quite different. Trans rights guaranteed in Bill C-16 still have not been fully implemented. The gay blood ban remains in place. Discrimination and violence remain all too common.

In 113 countries, members of my community have no legal protections from discrimination. In over 77 countries, we face lengthy prison sentences, violence, and even death because of who we are or who we love. Indonesia is now considering criminalizing the LGBTQ community, the largest rollback of gay rights in history.

Today I call on the government to speak up more forcefully on the world stage for the universal values of equality, inclusion, and respect. I call on all members of Parliament to work together toward the elimination of all forms of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians elect MPs to represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons. Among other things, Canadians elect us to prioritize their safety and security, to defend the vulnerable, and to create laws that put the rights of victims before those of criminals, which is why it is extremely alarming to those of us on this side of the House to see the Prime Minister pandering to criminals rather than protecting victims.

Bill C-75 reduces penalties for a long list of very serious crimes, including participating in a terrorist group, trafficking women and girls, committing violence against a clergy member, murdering a child within one year of birth, abducting a child, forced marriage, advocating for genocide, and participating in organized crime.

The Conservatives believe the safety of Canadians should be the number one priority of every government. We will continue to speak up and speak out for those who are affected. We believe that the values portrayed within Bill C-75 are both deceptive and damaging, and we will continue to advocate on behalf of Canadians.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Jennifer O'Connell Liberal Pickering—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Liberal government will always stand up for women's rights, regardless of what the Conservatives think or say.

Yesterday, in the House of Commons, the Conservative member for Provencher shouted that a woman's right to choose is not a right. Women and women alone have the right to choose what they do with their bodies. This is the foundation of gender equality.

It has been 30 years since the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed a woman's right to choose. It is time for the Conservative Party to recognize that right. Our government unequivocally supports women's rights to decide what to do with their bodies, and we are always going to stand up for that right.

Why will the Conservatives not stand up for the right to choose?

MarijuanaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was reported yesterday that the government is prepared to legalize marijuana even though Bill C-46, the drug-impaired driving bill, has not been approved yet.

By going against the advice of experts, doctors, the provinces, and law enforcement, the Prime Minister is putting Canadians' safety at risk.

I have a simple question for the Prime Minister. Can he assure Canadians that he is not going to give the go-ahead to legalize marijuana until all police officers in Canada are trained and equipped to combat the scourge of drug-impaired driving?

MarijuanaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative member for Provencher said yesterday that a woman's right to choose is not a right.

The Supreme Court upheld this right more than 30 years ago today.

These comments serve to take women's rights backward. Will the Leader of the Opposition please denounce the comments from his caucus and clearly voice his support right now for a woman's right to choose?

Will the Leader of the Opposition denounce the comments from his caucus and support a woman's right to choose?

MarijuanaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the comments from my side were made outside the House. I am going to stick to question period, because that is the opposition's role.

The facts are clear. After legalization, fatal accidents caused by drivers who had used marijuana doubled in Washington State and tripled in Colorado. This is an extremely important issue that we need to discuss here in the House. We are talking about human lives here.

Can the Prime Minister promise that legalization will not proceed until all police officers in Canada are equipped and trained to combat this scourge?

MarijuanaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, it is clearly disappointing that the party opposite still believes that women's rights are not human rights. Yesterday, disbelief was on full display when the member for Provencher claimed that a woman's right to choose is not a right.

Will the member opposite please stand up for women everywhere and make it clear that a woman's right to choose is clearly a right?

MarijuanaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to read a quote from a Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police report. “A primary concern of policing in Canada is impaired driving. This is an issue today. It will become an even greater issue with [the potential upcoming] legalization.”

I repeat my question for the third time, and I hope that the Prime Minister will be brave enough to rise and answer. Can he assure that police officers across Canada will be trained and equipped to combat the scourge—

MarijuanaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order. The hon. Minister of Health.

MarijuanaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the previous government's approach to cannabis under Stephen Harper did not work. It allowed criminals to profit and did not manage to keep cannabis out of the hands of our youth. We have a great deal of respect for the work the Senate did, and we look forward to carefully examining the committee's report.

Our government will continue to work with its partners to make a responsible transition towards a legal market.

MarijuanaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberals said that they would legalize marijuana without having drug-impaired driving laws in effect. With the inability for a roadside test for cannabis use, can the minister please inform this House just how the Liberal government intends to keep Canadians safe on our roads?