June 23, 2011

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin

New Democratic Party

Ms. Marie-Claude Morin (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this first opportunity in the House to thank my constituents for the confidence they placed in me on May 2. I want to wish them and all Quebeckers a happy Quebec national holiday and tell them I will be with them in spirit, as I will not be joining the festivities. Let us face it, the Prime Minister refuses to respect the holiday of a nation he claims to recognize.

I look forward to returning to my riding and taking part in many summer activities with the extraordinary people who live there.

I also want to add that I am proud that the NDP, unlike the current government, supports workers. I chose this party for its values, which I share, as do a vast majority of Quebeckers. I will continue to represent these values when it comes to social and affordable housing, for which I am the critic, because every citizen, without exception, has the right to have a decent roof overhead.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Quebec National Holiday
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CPC

LaVar Payne

Conservative

Mr. LaVar Payne (Medicine Hat, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a momentous day in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

The Canadian flag was lowered for good at Camp Nathan Smith, where Canadian civilians have been serving for the last six years.

This solemn moment marks both the achievements and sacrifices of all Canadians who have served in Afghanistan. It is a step forward in the transition of that country's future to the Afghan people. It is also a chance to pay tribute to all those who have sacrificed, some with the ultimate price, in the fight against the Taliban and terror generally.

Afghanistan today is a better, freer place than Canadians found it when they first arrived at Camp Nathan Smith. The people who have used the camp as a base for their work have helped tangibly to improve the lives of people in the region and the country as a whole. Canada's commitment to Afghanistan's future continues.

I would ask all hon. members to join me in saluting the men and women who have served with honour and distinction at Camp Nathan Smith. Theirs is an impressive legacy, indeed.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Camp Nathan Smith
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NDP

Robert Aubin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, one minute to talk about the important events in my riding is not very much. But I would like to mention a few situations that reflect the best things, and in some instances the worst, that are on the minds of the people of Trois-Rivières.

First, I would like to wish all Quebeckers a happy national holiday. I apologize for not being able to participate in the festivities for reasons known to everyone and approved by very few.

After the bundle of English-only documents that were presented yesterday, the battles to be fought in Ottawa are more urgent than ever.

I also wish to reassure Claude Mercier and Louis Poisson of CUPW in Trois-Rivières that I will work relentlessly to defend their rights to fair and equitable bargaining.

In another vein, I would like to congratulate Marie-Ève Nault and the entire Canadian women's soccer team, who are bringing us honour in the final round of the tournament in Germany.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Riding of Trois-Rivières
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CPC

Nina Grewal

Conservative

Mrs. Nina Grewal (Fleetwood—Port Kells, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were horrified to learn of the savage beating inflicted on Rumana Manzur, a barbaric act of violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Manzur and her daughter, but prayers are not enough.

Violence against women destroys families and weakens the fabric of society. Canadians know we are addressing violence against women and girls.

Since taking office, our government has invested more than $30 million in projects to end violence against women and girls in communities across the country. We have increased funding to end this violence to its highest level ever.

We are addressing these barbaric crimes by supporting programs like the Indo-Canadian Women's Associations' elimination of harmful cultural practises project. This initiative will empower immigrant girls and young women.

Violence should not be and will not be tolerated.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Violence Against Women
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LIB

Bob Rae

Liberal

Hon. Bob Rae (Toronto Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, early this morning, on the coast of Ireland, a few families will be lighting candles and sending them into the water.

In Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver today, people will come together and reflect on the terrible events of June 23, 1985 when hundreds of people were killed by bombs that were built and set in Canada.

The Air India bombing stands as a terrible act of violence and terror, an event that took Canadians far too long to recognize in its full significance.

We recognize the courage and dignity of those who died and those who lived. We dedicate ourselves to the struggle against extremism and against violence, and we remember the words that are found on each monument memorializing these lives:

Time flies, suns rise and shadows fall, Let it pass by, love reigns forever over all.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Air India
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CPC

Jacques Gourde

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in June we laid out the next phase of Canada's economic action plan, a positive plan that will keep taxes low and stimulate jobs and growth.

Canadians supported this budget and the important economic measures it contains. We are asking the NDP and the opposition to work with us to support Canada's forestry, mining, manufacturing, agriculture and aerospace sectors; to increase the guaranteed income supplement for Canada's poorest seniors; to bring health care and social transfers to record levels; to provide tax breaks to family caregivers, families with children involved in arts activities, and volunteer firefighters; and to attract doctors and nurses to rural areas.

But the NDP voted against all of these measures. Let us work together for a strong Quebec within a united Canada.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Budget
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to wish my dear friends in Quebec a happy national holiday. It is a time to celebrate our language, our culture, our heritage, our history and our nation.

Quebec has a great deal to offer and many reasons to celebrate. On behalf of the entire NDP team and caucus, and especially the 59 members from Quebec, I wish all Quebeckers an excellent national holiday.

I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that francophones across Canada will be celebrating Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day tomorrow. May the French culture, history and language be at the heart of our celebrations from coast to coast to coast.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day
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CPC

Brian Jean

Conservative

Mr. Brian Jean (Fort McMurray—Athabasca, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, in June, we presented the next phase of Canada's economic action plan, a positive plan to keep taxes low and support jobs and growth. Canadians supported the budget and its important economic measures.

We asked the NDP and the opposition to put aside politics and to work with us to support Canada's forestry, mining, agricultural, manufacturing and aerospace sectors; to increase income support for Canada's most in need seniors with a GIS increase; to bring health care and social transfers to record highs; to provide tax relief for family caregivers; to provide for families with a children's art tax credit; to provide for volunteer firefighters; to help attract doctors and nurses to rural areas; and much more.

The budget won praise among many Canadians but the NDP voted against it all.

Why did the NDP and the opposition members vote against seniors, vote against forestry, vote against record money for health care and much more? It is because they are in it for themselves and not for Canadians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Budget
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Leader of the Opposition, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, negotiations between Canada Post and its workers have broken off. After locking the doors of post offices and sorting stations, Canada Post has no reason to negotiate in good faith because the Prime Minister is doing the dirty work on its behalf. He is preventing a healthy bargaining process, and imposing a labour contract with lower wages.

Where is the Prime Minister's good faith?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the role of the federal government is to act in the best interests of the Canadian people and the Canadian economy, and not in the interests of those at the table. The reason for the legislation is to put an end to this situation that threatens our economy. The wage rates being imposed are identical to those offered in negotiations with our federal public servants.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Leader of the Opposition, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Prime Minister likes padlocks. He locked the doors of Parliament when things were not going his way. He has locked the post office doors. He is punishing the workers who were trying to get better conditions while continuing to deliver the mail.

Why is the Prime Minister punishing the workers for the decisions made by his government and his obedient servants at Canada Post?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it was the opposition that decided to padlock Parliament for months for an election. For that reason, the Canadian electorate decided to give this government a majority so that it can govern this country and act in the interests of the electorate.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Leader of the Opposition, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the government shut down the post office and is now trying to impose wages that are lower than the management was offering the workers.

The Prime Minister has rendered collective bargaining pointless in this country. He is signalling that if employers cannot get what they want at the bargaining table, never mind, Ottawa will legislate it for them. Why bother to bargain? It is a terrible precedent.

Will the Prime Minister at least remove the wage section from this bill and let an arbitrator decide on this particular important matter? It is only fair.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the wage rates, as set in the bill, are only fair. They reflect what we have negotiated with federal public servants.

However, we need to be absolutely clear on the difference here. The government, unlike the NDP, is not beholden to one of the parties at the table. The government represents the wider interest of the Canadian economy. This strike is bad for the economy and we will act.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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NDP

Hélène Laverdière

New Democratic Party

Ms. Hélène Laverdière (Laurier-Sainte-Marie, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, on the surface, the documents revealed by the Afghan detainee committee yesterday contain little new information.

After all this time and money, we are right back where we started. Torture and extrajudicial executions are not unusual in Afghan prisons, and Canada has handed prisoners over to these torturers.

Why does the government not do what is right and demand a public inquiry?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our government is and has always been committed to handling Afghan Taliban prisoners in accordance with our international obligations. We have just been through a 12-month $12 million process where an unprecedented amount of information has been put before a number of parliamentarians of this place. It has been ruled upon by former members of the Supreme Court who have done an outstanding job for this country.

I think Canadians have a clear picture that our men and women in uniform fully accepted all our international obligations and have done a heck of a good job representing this country.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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NDP

Jack Harris

New Democratic Party

Mr. Jack Harris (St. John's East, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the minister is clearly grasping at straws here.

What the government spent $12 million on was trying to suppress the truth. Less than one-tenth of the documents were reviewed by the panel of ex-judges and less than half were even looked at by the back-room committee of MPs. For what? It was so the government could put this off for a year and now falsely pretend that judgment has been rendered.

Why did the Conservatives choose a process that hid the facts from Canadians and why not hold a public inquiry now?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I was, as I am sure many members in this place were, tremendously disappointed when the New Democratic Party refused to participate in this committee of parliamentarians.

Yesterday some 4,200 pieces of documentation on this important issue were released. We offered a briefing to all three of the opposition parties and let me say that I was even more disappointed that not one person from the New Democratic Party bothered to show up for that briefing to have this information explained.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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LIB

Bob Rae

Liberal

Hon. Bob Rae (Toronto Centre, Lib.)

We would have come if we had been invited, Mr. Speaker.

With respect to the current postal dispute, I wonder if the Prime Minister would—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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June 23, 2011