September 30, 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 Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor.

[Members sang the national anthem]

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CPC

Paul Calandra

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to recognize a few of the outstanding seniors in my community who were recently recognized by the town of Markham.

The recipient of the Hall of Fame Award this year was Dennis Patchell. Dennis is bound to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy, but that did not stop him from starting the Tabs for Chairs program, a worldwide program that has collected more than 3.5 billion aluminum can pull-tabs, giving almost 200 people wheelchairs.

Doreen Lawson, who has been involved with Older Adults in Action at the Markham Senior Centre for more than 10 years and has volunteered at the Markham-Stouffville Hospital, received the meritorious service award.

Certificates of Appreciation were presented to Philip Garnet, the Chair of the Board of Directors of Participation House in Markham, and Marjorie Nielsen who has been involved with Girl Guides of Canada for many years, has been a member of the Markham multicultural association and currently volunteers at the Markham Seniors Centre.

These amazing individuals continue to give back to our community and are yet another example of why I am so proud to represent such a great community.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Seniors of Oak Ridges--Markham
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LIB

Gurbax Malhi

Liberal

Hon. Gurbax Malhi (Bramalea—Gore—Malton, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, every week I meet with constituents to discuss solutions for various problems. The single most common issue that I am asked to address is the high rates of refusal for temporary residence visas.

Relatives and friends are denied entry to Canada for important events like birthday celebrations, weddings and funerals. Many applicants who have been granted visas in the past are now finding their applications being rejected without ever being told why.

The refusal by the government to address the needs of Canadians by amending the current practices for issuing visas and creating a bond system is only causing anguish for Canadians and their families.

I call on the government to immediately institute a system of visitor visa bonds and end the unfair treatment of these Canadians and their loved ones abroad.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Visitor Visas
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BQ

Paule Brunelle

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Paule Brunelle (Trois-Rivières, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, last weekend, Cirque du Soleil wrapped up the celebrations for the 375th anniversary of the founding of Trois-Rivières with some magical moments for spectators.

Despite a last-minute, modest contribution from the federal government, the city of Trois-Rivières, with the help of its volunteers, the Government of Quebec and private sponsors, was able to host a series of activities throughout the year. Since January, the organizing committee has found some truly marvellous ways of drawing attention to the founding of the second francophone city in North America.

The anniversary celebrations are a testament to the pride that the people of Trois-Rivières have in their city and its founding, so pivotal in Quebec's history.

Congratulations to the organizers and volunteers on these wonderfully successful events. They showcased the vitality of our community and the talent of our many artists and would not have happened without the participation and overwhelming enthusiasm of all the people of Trois-Rivières.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   375th Anniversary of Trois-Rivières
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NDP

Paul Dewar

New Democratic Party

Mr. Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it has been over two years since the death of a young woman from Ottawa, Kelly Morrisseau. Ms. Morrisseau, a mother of three, was found murdered in Gatineau Park and her case remains unsolved.

According to the Native Women's Association of Canada, over 500 aboriginal women are missing or have been murdered across the country. Ms. Morrisseau's tragic death is an example of the violence faced by aboriginal women in Canada.

In honour of her memory and in support of her children, I will be hosting, along with the Native Women's Association of Canada, a screening of the film Finding Dawn on October 7 at 7 p.m. at Carleton University. We will be accepting donations to the Kelly Morrisseau Education Fund which raises money for her children.

I invite the community to join us at this event. I call upon the House and the government to take action so all aboriginal women and their families can find justice and safety in our communities.

Together, let us start investing in a better future for all aboriginal children.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Kelly Morrisseau
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CPC

Ted Menzies

Conservative

Mr. Ted Menzies (Macleod, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise to share a story of dedication and volunteerism.

A former resident of my riding of Macleod has recently been presented with the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal by the Governor General.

For the past 27 years, Leonard Weiss has dedicated himself to preserving Canada's public safety, both as a volunteer and as an employee. He spent 12 years as a volunteer with the Claresholm Fire Department before moving to the north. He is currently the airport fire chief in Iqaluit, a position he has held for the past five years.

During the summer and into the fall in my riding and, indeed, across the entire country, volunteer firefighters have been busy with grass fires, forest fires, building fires, as well as fires caused by harvesting equipment.

I would like to extend a special note of gratitude to firefighters across the country for the work that they do. They run toward danger when many of us run away from it. We respect the important work they do, a necessary part of our communities.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal
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LIB

Dan McTeague

Liberal

Hon. Dan McTeague (Pickering—Scarborough East, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, something amazing is happening in the United States. Almost a decade after the Enron loophole was opened during a flawed attempt at deregulating the energy market, the Obama administration is looking to close it. However, here in Canada nothing is happening.

Two summers ago, as we all recall, gasoline prices soared to a national average of $1.45 per litre. Diesel, jet fuel and other heating distillates soon followed. High and volatile fuel prices drive up inflation and hurt Canadians, business and the energy industry itself.

Canadians deserve a government that will take these issues seriously. We now know that increased and unregulated speculation in the energy commodities market, including over the counter trades right here in Canada, and not market fundamentals, are the cause of these volatile energy prices. Governments around the world are taking this issue seriously and are looking for solutions.

To avoid a repeat of last summer, I am calling upon the Prime Minister to do more than say there is nothing that he can do. If our government is not part of the solution, then it is part of the problem. Canadians deserve a government that can indeed do better.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Fuel Prices
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CPC

Andrew Saxton

Conservative

Mr. Andrew Saxton (North Vancouver, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, four days ago, tropical storm Ketsana hit the Philippines, causing the nation's worst flooding in more than 40 years.

I want Canadians and the Filipino community in the Lower Mainland and across Canada to know that this government did not wait before responding to this tragedy. We immediately provided $50,000 to the Philippine National Red Cross and yesterday, the Minister of International Cooperation announced that Canada would make up to $5 million available for emergency and humanitarian assistance.

This storm has dramatically affected the lives of nearly two million people, but our international assistance will go a long way in helping to alleviate the suffering of victims as we provide food, water and basic shelter.

As the minister said, I can assure Canadians, and particularly the Filipinos and the Canadian community, that Canada and this government will do its part with compassion and do it responsibly.

Canada is continuing to lead on the international stage and Canadians can truly be proud of our accomplishments.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Emergency Aid Assistance
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BQ

Monique Guay

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Monique Guay (Rivière-du-Nord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, singer-songwriter Ariane Moffatt is raking in the awards, and she deserves it. This young, talented Quebec artist received two prestigious awards this spring: the Juno for francophone album of the year and the Rapsat-Lelièvre prize, both for Tous les sens. Most recently, she was awarded the Diane and Lucien Barrière Foundation prize in Paris.

This prize is awarded every year to a performer selected by a jury of ten top names in the field. In 1999, the Groupe Lucien Barrière Hôtels et Casinos created a foundation to support contemporary creativity in the arts from literature to film and theatre, the only one of its kind in France.

The award includes a cash prize that Ariane will certainly find useful once she begins her 12-city tour of France.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I would once again like to applaud her exceptional talent, and we are sure that she will be very successful in France.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Ariane Moffatt
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CPC

Bruce Stanton

Conservative

Mr. Bruce Stanton (Simcoe North, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our government's number one priority is the economy and we continue to execute Canada's economic action plan. Because of our swift actions, 90% of the plan is already being implemented.

Funds have been committed to 7,500 projects and 4,000 have begun in the first six months of our 24-month plan.

Projects across the country are up and running, jobs are being created and communities across the land are seeing the benefit.

We have reduced taxes for families and businesses and implemented measures, such as the home renovation tax credit and the first time homebuyers' tax credit. We are helping the unemployed by extending EI benefits, making it easier to qualify, and expanding EI training programs.

Yet, the recovery is fragile. We are not out of the woods yet and that is why it is crucial that we continue to implement our plan.

This government is committed to staying on course. Doing anything else would be reckless and irresponsible.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Economic Action Plan
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LIB

Sukh Dhaliwal

Liberal

Mr. Sukh Dhaliwal (Newton—North Delta, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month, I met with Mary Jane Stenberg from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, one of the premier post-secondary institutions in British Columbia.

Kwantlen is rapidly become a first-rate centre for research and innovation in Canada. While it hopes to attract the best and the brightest from within our borders, it also hopes to bring in those from India, China and the Americas who can truly raise our game for the 21st century economy.

I urge the government to finally take proactive steps so we can be competitors, not gatekeepers, in the international student marketplace.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Kwantlen Polytechnic University
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CPC

Lois Brown

Conservative

Ms. Lois Brown (Newmarket—Aurora, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, apparently the only person in Canada who wants an election is the Leader of the Opposition. This is only the latest example of just how out of touch he is with Canadians.

Another example is that, given the chance, he would reach further into Canadians' pockets and take more of their hard-earned money by imposing a slew of new taxes. After all, he calls himself a “tax and spend Liberal”. He brags that he was the first to push a carbon tax. He muses about raising the GST, and he openly admits that he will raise taxes.

The Liberal leader continuously demonstrates that he does not understand economics, as it does not take a rocket scientist to know that taking more money from Canadians will hurt the economy, not to mention the harm an election would do to our recovery.

It is becoming clearer by the day. The Liberal leader is out of touch and is not in it for Canadians. He is just in it for himself.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
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NDP

Claude Gravelle

New Democratic Party

Mr. Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to salute a young woman in my riding of Nickel Belt, Natasha Roberge, who is in first year at Laurentian University and has her sights set on a teaching career.

Last week, Natasha was awarded a $16,000 scholarship by the Canada Company, a charity that pays tribute to soldiers who have died on duty and their families. Natasha's father, Warrant Officer Gaétan Roberge, died in Afghanistan a few days after Christmas last year.

The whole community is very proud of Natasha, and we wish her the best of luck in her studies.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Natasha Roberge
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CPC

Jacques Gourde

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Bloc members voted against a proposal to help the Canadian workers who have been hardest hit by the global economic crisis.

They chose to follow the Liberals' example and betray the men and women who need help. I am talking about Canadians who have worked hard and paid into the employment insurance plan for years. Today, they are unemployed through no fault of their own. For those of us on this side of the House, it makes no sense for the Bloc to be allied with the Liberals against Canadians and Quebeckers.

Is that what they call standing up for Quebec? Is that what the Liberals call national unity?

All Canadians know what an election involves. Yesterday, we had yet more proof that neither the Bloc nor the Liberals really want to help these unemployed workers. They would rather force an election no one wants.

Canadians and Quebeckers can rest assured that the Conservative government is working to bring about an economic recovery.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Bloc Québécois
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BQ

Robert Bouchard

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Robert Bouchard (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I was deeply saddened to learn earlier this week of the passing of Ghislain Bouchard, a great pioneer of the arts community of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. A writer and friend of mine, Mr. Bouchard made his mark on the history of my region in spectacular fashion.

Everyone remembers Ghislain Bouchard as the creator of La Fabuleuse Histoire d'un Royaume, an amazing historical performance to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the region. With his unbridled creativity, Ghislain Bouchard put together, without realizing it, an enduring theatrical production that contributed greatly to the economy of the region. Over nearly 20 years, this first extravaganza of its kind in Quebec was acclaimed by some one million spectators.

Recipient of the Ordre national du Québec, Ghislain will be remembered for his many wonderful theatrical productions and artistic projects. He had the great admiration and profound respect of his fellow citizens.

Adieu, Ghislain, and thank you for everything.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Ghislain Bouchard
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LIB

Scott Simms

Liberal

Mr. Scott Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Gordon Landon is a Canadian hero, and you can bet your bottom infrastructure dollar he is. Setting aside his own political ambitions, he decided to blow the whistle on the multi-billion dollar boondoggle now known as shovelgate.

As a town councillor, Gordon always put principle above politics and people before partisanship. Obviously, that kind of commitment to stand up and speak the truth put him in direct contradiction to the Conservative game plan. The truth is Gordon carried out an enormous public service for all Canadian citizens.

Last week, Gordon pulled back the curtain on one of the most nefarious and despicable of schemes. What Gordon revealed was a mammoth misallocation of public funds in pursuit of a vote-buying scheme funnelling tens of millions of dollars into Conservative ridings throughout the country. Gordon's whistleblowing may have cost him his candidacy, but his noble actions will not be forgotten by the House.

Let us raise our glasses to a true Canadian hero, Mr. Gordon Landon.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

Mr. Andrew Scheer (Regina—Qu'Appelle, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to a former parliamentarian who tragically lost his battle with depression and anxiety this summer.

Dave Batters first came to this House in 2004. He was motivated to enter public life for all the right reasons, out of a deep love of his country and a deep commitment to his community.

In Parliament he championed criminal justice issues and introduced a private member's bill to protect victims of domestic violence.

I got to know Dave on a personal level, as well, and was impressed by his enthusiasm for everything he did and by his positive attitude. Dave was the consummate team player, always encouraging his colleagues and cheering them on.

At his funeral, Dave's friends praised him for his integrity, his honesty and his loyalty to those around him. Unfortunately, most recently Dave had begun to suffer from severe anxiety and depression. Parliamentary work often comes with a great deal of stress, and Dave found it difficult in the last few months of his career.

This summer we were all shocked and deeply saddened by his death. I know that it affected anyone who knew him or worked with Dave because it was so out of character with the Dave we remember. I know that we will remember the Dave who loved his family, loved his colleagues and felt passionate about the work that he did.

We would like Dave's wife, Denise who is here today in Ottawa, his parents and the rest of his family to know that our thoughts and prayers are with them.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Dave Batters
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LIB

Michael Ignatieff

Liberal

Mr. Michael Ignatieff (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada reported that the economy stalled in July.

While the government spent millions of dollars telling Canadians that everything was fine, experts do not agree. The deputy chief economist at the Bank of Montreal stated that the economy's flat performance is “a shocker”. It is not just “a shot across the bow”, said the bank. It is “more like a torpedo through the hull”.

Could the Prime Minister advise when he and his ministers plan to start bailing?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Economy
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, while Canada's economic performance was flat in July, of course we did see growth in June, and this is a much better performance than we are seeing south of the border.

As I have said repeatedly, while we are seeing the beginnings of a global recovery, it is fragile. That is why the House of Commons needs to be at work on the economy, passing measures for the unemployed and not out forcing an unnecessary and wasteful election.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Economy
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LIB

Michael Ignatieff

Liberal

Mr. Michael Ignatieff (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister tried to sell his softwood lumber deal to Canadians, he said it would buy peace in our time, but it cost Canadian industry $1 billion.

In the years since, Americans have filed two more grievances, and now the government will have to impose a new tax on our forestry companies. All of this is on top of layoffs at Tembec, Abitibi and Canfor, from Quebec to British Columbia.

What will the Prime Minister tell forestry workers today, that they are out of luck?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Economy
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September 30, 2009