September 16, 2009

LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for London West.

[Members sang the national anthem]

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CPC

Ted Menzies

Conservative

Mr. Ted Menzies (Macleod, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I wish to recognize the contribution of a great man with whom I worked during my time at the Canadian International Development Agency.

Dr. Norman Borlaug spent his lifetime working to improve the conditions of those less fortunate. His Nobel Prize winning high-yielding wheat research led to the green revolution, which has saved over one billion lives. He continued his research into a rust-resistant wheat variety for Africa well into his nineties.

Canadians can be proud of our record of taking a principled stand when it comes to international development and feeding the world's hungry.

Today Canada is the fourth largest contributor to the World Food Programme. Last year alone we helped feed an estimated 102 million people in over 75 countries.

This week the world lost a tremendous humanitarian in Dr. Norman Borlaug. Our thoughts are with his family.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Norman Borlaug
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LIB

Bryon Wilfert

Liberal

Hon. Bryon Wilfert (Richmond Hill, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the residents of Richmond Hill, I rise today to give tribute to my friend and respected community leader, Bill Harris, who passed away on July 8.

I have known Bill for 25 years and will always remember his kindness and gentle nature. His smile could light up a room and he always looked on the positive side of all situations.

Bill was known as a community man, a family man and a dedicated ambassador for Richmond Hill.

As a long-time member of the Richmond Hill Rotary Club he worked with dozens of exchange students, was a leading force for the annual Terry Fox run and was recognized as Rotarian of the year twice. He truly exemplified the Rotary motto “Service Above Self”.

As a member of the horticultural society he was the founder and catalyst for the millennium garden.

Bill believed strongly that a community is only as good as those who volunteer their time and talents to ensure that the less fortunate are provided with a helping hand.

God made special people like him to always be there for us, to see us through. In the words of Peter Newman, he will be known as our “prince”.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Bill Harris
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BQ

Carole Lavallée

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Carole Lavallée (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Edem Awumey, whose second novel, Les Pieds sales, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Goncourt literary award. This native of Gatineau, of Togolese origin, joins other Quebeckers in the literary awards race.

I would also like to honour Dany Laferrière, whose narrative L'Énigme du retour is on the short list for the Medicis, Wepler and Femina awards in the French novel category. Quebecker Neil Bissoondath was nominated for the Femina award in the category of foreign novels for Cartes postales de l'enfer. Le Ciel de City Bay by Catherine Mavrikakis was also nominated for Wepler and Femina awards.

I must also mention the awards handed out yesterday to several author-composers by the Fondation de la Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec. Congratulations go out to Clémence DesRochers, who received the Sylvain Lelivère award in honour of her exceptional career, and to the other winners: Fred Pellerin, Jim Corcoran, Daniel Lavoie and Renée Claude.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I congratulate all of these Quebec artists who are making us proud here and around the world.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Quebec Artists
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NDP

Irene Mathyssen

New Democratic Party

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has made significant changes to the language used by DFAIT, changes that echo adjustments the Conservatives made to the Status of Women when they had the audacity to remove equality from that mandate.

Changes include the removal of “humanitarian” from each reference to “international humanitarian law”. The minister also replaced the term “gender equality” with “equality of men and women”, and switched focus from justice for victims of sexual violence to prevention of sexual violence.

According to Embassy magazine, these “language changes...water down many of the very international human rights obligations Canada once fought to have adopted in conventions at the United Nations”.

The minister has made it clear that this reflects policy changes in some cases and claims it is “just semantics” in others.

The language changes at DFAIT, like the ones made at Status of Women Canada, are an attempt to control the message for partisan reasons.

These changes impact human rights and are an embarrassment to Canada on the international stage.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs and International Trade
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CPC

Alice Wong

Conservative

Mrs. Alice Wong (Richmond, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, on August 17, I was privileged to participate in the opening of the Canada Line, a new rapid transit line that links Richmond to the Vancouver International Airport and the City of Vancouver. It connects commuters from Richmond to downtown Vancouver in just 25 minutes.

The Canadian government's $450 million investment in this $2 billion project will return large dividends.

The people employed to construct the Canada Line worked hard and the project was finished ahead of schedule and on budget. The Canada Line is expected to serve 100,000 riders per day and this number will certainly grow in the years to come. It is a critical piece of the rapid transit infrastructure in the metro Vancouver region.

Our government was pleased to partner with the Government of B.C., the Vancouver Airport Authority and TransLink to finish this great engineering project.

I invite all members, Canadians and visitors from all around the world to come to Richmond in February 2010 to ride the Canada Line, watch the Olympics and enjoy Richmond.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canada Line
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LIB

Judy Foote

Liberal

Ms. Judy Foote (Random—Burin—St. George's, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a long-serving and dedicated individual in the riding of Random--Burin--St. George's. After working for 36 years as town superintendent in Harbour Breton, Harold Brace has retired.

He was only the second person to serve in that capacity in the town's history. From the beginning he took his job very seriously. To quote Mayor Don Stewart, “Mr. Brace is a gentleman who knew his job and was a great resource to the town”.

Responsible for day-to-day operations, Mr. Brace was required from time to time to make and carry out decisions that placed him in conflict with residents, but he always exercised sound judgment in carrying out his responsibilities. Whether it was enforcing the town's bylaws or representing the town at various meetings, Mr. Brace was indeed a gentleman and was well respected.

While Mr. Brace's career with the town has ended, he said he will never leave Harbour Breton and has offered to help the new superintendent, Palmer Strowbridge, adjust to his job.

I invite all members of the House of Commons to join me in recognizing Harold Brace of Harbour Breton on the south coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Retirement Congratulations
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CPC

Rick Dykstra

Conservative

Mr. Rick Dykstra (St. Catharines, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is good to see you back.

Every September, those of us in the Niagara region celebrate the grape harvest with the Niagara Wine Festival in St. Catharines. This Friday evening, in my hometown and in my riding, the 58th year of the festival will commence and it will attract hundreds of thousands of visitors who will participate in over 100 events.

The festival is a chance for Niagara to put its best foot forward and show the world what the spirit and ingenuity of our community can achieve. The grape growers and vintners of Niagara have put the region on the map as a premier international tourist destination, producing some of the finest wines in Canada and in the world.

This is an industry that all of Niagara and the rest of the country can be proud of. I call upon my colleagues in this House to join me in wishing them the best of luck as this year's celebration begins this weekend.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Niagara Wine Festival
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BQ

Serge Cardin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Serge Cardin (Sherbrooke, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, Quebec consumers could find an uninvited guest on their plates next summer, with the introduction of a new, highly genetically modified corn called SmartStax. Health Canada has authorized this GMO without conducting any analyses.

Yet eight new genes were grafted onto this GMO, including two that produce herbicides and six that produce insecticides. The government has shown complacency on this issue by putting financial considerations before the health of the public.

For years, the Bloc Québécois has been calling for mandatory labelling of GMOs and for more in-depth studies on these products. Here is one more file where the Liberals and Conservatives are in lockstep with the multinationals.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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CPC

Jacques Gourde

Conservative

Mr. Jacques Gourde (Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, for weeks now, people in my riding have been asking me some very good questions: why does the opposition leader want an election at all costs? Does he realize that we are going through an economic crisis?

I think that his time abroad once again put him out of touch with our reality. He does not even realize that his actions threaten Canada's economic recovery. Like the grasshopper, he sang and played all summer. The south of France and the beaches of Bermuda are a long way away from the reality of the ongoing crisis in Canada. His member for Papineau was absolutely right when he said that his leader-to-be did not have “the wisdom required". He also said that “Canadians do not want elections”.

I have no idea what kind of wine they served him in France or what kind of cocktails he drank in Bermuda, but maybe he should switch drinks and switch out his political lieutenant for Quebec.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Leader of the Liberal Party
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LIB

Anita Neville

Liberal

Hon. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, with the recent announcement that Greyhound Canada would be cutting its services to rural areas, many towns and cities have been let down.

When these changes come into effect, residents in rural communities will be left with limited or non-existent options for travel. For thousands of communities between Sault Ste. Marie and Winnipeg, Greyhound is indeed their lifeline to the world.

By not working with Greyhound, by not working with the provinces and local communities to find solutions, this Reform-Conservative government has let rural Canadians down. Where is the Prime Minister? Why is he not sitting down with Greyhound, the municipalities and the provinces to deal with this very troubling issue?

This is not an issue that requires years of study or philosophical thought. We are talking about people not being able to travel down the highway in order to get medical checkups or prescriptions.

Immediate action is required. It is clear that the Prime Minister is not willing to stand up for rural Canadians. Canadians deserve better. Canada can do better.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Greyhound Canada
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CPC

Rob Clarke

Conservative

Mr. Robert Clarke (Desnethé--Missinippi--Churchill River, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it has come to my attention that the Leader of the Opposition used taxpayers' dollars to send an offensive flyer to my constituents in Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River.

These municipalities and first nations have worked hard with federal and provincial officials to be some of the most prepared in our country. With one flyer, the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore seemed intent to undermine all of their hard work.

This flyer represents the worst kind of politics. He used the image of a first nations child to create fear and anxiety among my constituents over the H1N1 virus.

First, it was denigrating the Canadian flag, now fearmongering in the first nations communities. How low will the Leader of the Opposition go to achieve power?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   H1N1 Virus
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NDP

John Rafferty

New Democratic Party

Mr. John Rafferty (Thunder Bay—Rainy River, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I join my colleagues back in this place after a long summer of catching up with constituents in my riding of Thunder Bay—Rainy River, and I am certain they heard the same message from their constituents that I heard from mine. The message was: “Go back to Ottawa, help fix the economy and make Parliament work”.

In the riding I represent the forestry sector directly and indirectly employs thousands upon thousands of people, but our communities continue to suffer severe job losses. Hundreds of families are slipping into poverty and many more are facing an uncertain future.

To honour the wishes of my constituents, I am inviting each member with forestry dependent communities in his or her riding to join me in establishing an all-party forestry caucus.

Together we can work to raise awareness about the problems of that sector, develop new working relationships with each other, with industry and workers, and prove once and for all that members of this Parliament can work together in the interests of all Canadians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Forestry Industry
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CPC

Dona Cadman

Conservative

Ms. Dona Cadman (Surrey North, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our government is doing what the Liberals failed to do. We are reaching out to victims and giving criminals what victims have been demanding for years: serious time that fits the crime.

In fact, during the Liberal reign, a review of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act recommended the creation of a victims ombudsman. Yet, the Liberals did nothing.

When we formed government, we made it a priority to establish the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, and we continue to support this important organization. In addition, we established a four year $52 million boost to programs, services and funding for victims.

This government is committed to ensuring that victims have a greater voice in the criminal justice system. Victims and their families expect and deserve no less.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Victims of Crime
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BQ

Michel Guimond

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, on June 29, 2009, our colleague Pauline Picard passed away after battling cancer, a terrible disease that has taken far too many. Having retired in October 2008, she found her dream of freedom and a new life suddenly cut short.

She was the first woman from Drummondville to be elected to Parliament. She truly loved the work of Parliament. She loved people. She loved serving people and defending their interests. Pauline was always passionate. She loved seeing a job well done, a job done right. She was also passionate about Quebec. A committed sovereignist, she wanted to bequeath a country to her daughters and her granddaughter.

She often talked to us about her life and happy times, particularly her Sunday suppers with her daughters, Katia and Marie-Ève, and her granddaughter, Maèva, whom she adored. Now we grieve their loss, and we offer them our deepest sympathies.

Pauline Picard will be remembered as a genuine, strong, accessible and engaged woman who was fully committed to serving her fellow Quebeckers.

Adieu, Pauline, and thank you for everything.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Pauline Picard
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LIB

Navdeep Bains

Liberal

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Mississauga—Brampton South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, he called Canada a second tier socialist state. Now he wants to rule this country with absolute power. After the most disastrous fiscal management in Canadian history, the Prime Minister is doing whatever it takes to hold on, even entering into a coalition with groups he brands as “separatists” and “socialists”.

The Prime Minister still claims he is against raising taxes, but now his coalition is introducing one of the largest tax increases ever: $13 billion, paid for by middle class families and small business owners.

The Prime Minister was against raising taxes, but then he was for it. He was against deficits, but now he has the largest one ever. He was against Senate appointments, but now he has appointed more senators this year than anyone since Confederation.

Canadians are confused. Can we believe anything he tells us? I am here to tell the Prime Minister, the summer is over; it is time to put away the flip-flops.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Prime Minister
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CPC

Paul Calandra

Conservative

Mr. Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges—Markham, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition continues to prove why Canadians should not trust him.

He says one thing in public and another in private. He says one thing in the west and the exact opposite in the east.

His most recent act of doublespeak was with regard to the Ontario government's decision to harmonize its sales tax with the GST. In early September the Leader of the Opposition said, “--the thing that concerns us is that the [Prime Minister]...basically pushed sales tax harmonization across the country”. Yet yesterday, we learned that his office has quietly told Ontario's premier that he is okay with the plan.

Sadly, this has become a pattern. In B.C. he said that there should be no money for the auto sector, but in Ontario he said the exact opposite.

What are the Leader of the Opposition's views on anything? That depends on the time zone and whether he is behind closed doors or not. It is becoming clearer by the day that the Leader of the Opposition is not in it for Canadians. He is in it for himself.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Leader of the Liberal Party
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LIB

Dominic LeBlanc

Liberal

Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has concluded his 42-minute photo op with President Obama. Canadian workers and businesses were disappointed when the Prime Minister refused to make any progress on the serious challenge of buy America.

Sitting with the president, he dismissed buy America as a “small irritant”. Tell that to workers who are losing their jobs to protectionism. He boasted he had seven meetings with the president and yet he has accomplished absolutely nothing.

Why should Canadians trust a Prime Minister who is worried more about saving his own job than their jobs?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada-U.S. Relations
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CPC

Stockwell Day

Conservative

Hon. Stockwell Day (Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to read this:

[The] Prime Minister...has brought this up with me every single time we've met. So he's been on the job--

But in addition, we're pursuing, on a bilateral track, efforts to make sure that these sources of tension diminish.

Who is crediting the Prime Minister for being on the job every single time on this issue? Those comments were made today by the President of the United States.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada-U.S. Relations
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Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada-U.S. Relations
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September 16, 2009