May 12, 2014

CPC

Wladyslaw Lizon

Conservative

Mr. Wladyslaw Lizon (Mississauga East—Cooksville, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to speak to Bill C-23. There has been a lot of misinformation on the subject, and I am happy to have the opportunity to clarify at least some of it, and clarify why our Conservative government is putting forward the fair elections act.

A system can never be perfect, but we can always work toward improving it one step at a time. This is the very reason why the government put forward the fair elections act. This bill is designed to protect the fairness of federal elections and to ensure that all citizens are in charge of our democracy. Democracy becomes susceptible to threat when the rules are not given the proper respect. Therefore, it is our duty as citizens, and as members of the House, to protect its integrity as that in itself protects our freedom to live in a democracy.

The fair elections act would strengthen democracy by making it harder for people to break the law. The act would implement 38 of the Chief Electoral Officer's past recommendations. The first of many changes would be the process in which the commissioner of Canada Elections is appointed. It would establish that the commissioner is to be appointed by the director of public prosecutions for a seven-year term and could not be dismissed without cause. The commissioner would have full independence, with control of his or her staff and investigations. The act would permit the commissioner to publicly disclose information about the investigations when it is in the public interest, which would improve transparency.

The act would add a section that deals with voter contact calling services. Among other things, this section would require that calling service providers and other interested parties file registration notices with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, provide identifying information to the commission, and keep copies of scripts and recordings used to make calls. It would become a requirement for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to establish and maintain a registry, to be known as the voter contact registry, in which the documents it receives in relation to voter contact calling services are to be filed.

The fair elections act would give law enforcement more tools to protect the integrity of our elections by allowing the commissioner to seek tougher penalties for existing offences. It is our full intention to not allow a fast and loose approach with the rules of democracy. For more serious offences, the bill would raise the maximum fine from $2,000 to $20,000 on summary convictions, and from $5,000 to $50,000 on indictment. For registered parties, it would raise the maximum fine from $25,000 to $50,000 on summary convictions for strict liability political financing offences, and from $25,000 to $100,000 on summary convictions for political financing offences that are committed intentionally. For third parties that are groups or corporations that failed to register as third parties, the bill would raise the maximum fine to $50,000 for strict liability offences, and to $100,000 for offences that are committed intentionally.

By establishing tougher penalties, our Conservative government would deter the occurrences of offences, intentional or unintentional.

To encourage voter turnout, the bill would make it easier for voters to participate in the democratic process. The fair elections act would provide an extra day of advance polling. The additional day of voting would take place on the eighth day before polling day, creating a block of four consecutive advance polling days. This amendment would surely make it easier for Canadians across the country to vote.

It would also improve transparency by allowing the establishment of an advisory committee of political parties to provide advice to the chief electoral officers on matters relating to elections and political financing. It would amend the act to provide for the appointment of field liaison officers based on merit, to provide support for the returning officers, and to provide a link between returning officers and the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer.

The fair elections act aims to respect democratic election results. There are occasions, and my colleague spoke to this before, when the Chief Electoral Officer disagreed with the elected MPs' election expense returns. When this occurs, the MP can no longer sit or vote in the House of Commons until the expense return is changed to the CEO's satisfaction. This prevents the democratically elected member of Parliament from representing his or her constituency. The fair election act would allow the MP to present the disputed case to the courts and to have a judge quickly rule on it before the CEO makes the suspension.

In Canada, we are seeing a trend where money from special interest can drown out the voices of everyday citizens. The fair elections act would let small donors contribute more to democracy and prevent illegal, big money from sneaking in the back door.

Although the fair elections act would allow small increases in spending limits, it would be done to ensure that parties have enough resources to increase their outreach efforts and help encourage voter turnout. At the same time, this bill would impose tougher audits and penalties to enforce those limits.

This bill would help ensure that voter fraud does not occur by strengthening the rules around voter identification. With respect to voter ID, the act would be amended to require the same voter identification for voting at the Office of the Return Officer in an elector's own riding as it requires for voting at ordinary polls. It would also prohibit the use of voter information cards as a proof of identity.

It would eliminate the ability of an elector to prove their identity through vouching, and require an elector whose name was crossed off electors' lists in error to take a written oath before receiving a ballot. I want to explain why this is important. With a democracy comes responsibility. As a voter, I am responsible for providing proper identification so that I can participate in the democratic process.

Voting is one of the most important privileges and duties that we get to enjoy, so it is extremely important that we do not treat it lightly, that we take it seriously and meet all of the requirements.

Members of all parties have noted that the rules can be unclear. It is our intention that the fair elections act would fix that identified problem by making rules for elections clear, predictable, and easy to follow. These are a few changes that are proposed in our bill. I believe that the fair elections act would protect the integrity of fair elections by improving transparency and enacting tougher penalities for rule breakers.

What our government understands is that Canadians overwhelmingly support this bill. As was mentioned before, 87% of people polled believe it is reasonable to require someone to prove their identity and address before they vote.

In conclusion, I would like to ask all members of this House to support the bill in order to bring democracy in this country to a higher level.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Fair Elections Act
Permalink
NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse

New Democratic Party

Ms. Alexandrine Latendresse (Louis-Saint-Laurent, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I listened closely to the remarks made by my colleague from Mississauga East—Cooksville. I am a member of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, which studied this bill. I would like him to comment on the fact that most of the hundreds of amendments the opposition presented could not even be debated in committee, and that even the amendments we were able to debate were systematically rejected, without exception.

However, some of the amendments were absolutely reasonable and would really have improved the bill.

I asked several direct questions because I wanted answers about how some parts of the bill would affect our democracy. The Conservatives provided no justification whatsoever for some of their changes.

I would like him to justify that kind of attitude with respect to such a significant act, the Canada Elections Act, and with respect to changes that will affect our democracy in general.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Fair Elections Act
Permalink
CPC

Wladyslaw Lizon

Conservative

Mr. Wladyslaw Lizon

Mr. Speaker, this is a process that every bill goes through. We have debate in the House at second reading, then third reading, final reading. The bill goes to the committee and is discussed. There are some amendments that will be voted on, I believe, today. Some amendments are accepted in the process and some are not. This is a democratic process.

We, as members of Parliament, represent our constituents, and I suppose every member has had some kind of contact with constituents on this bill. I did. I received responses. There are some people who are against it. However, in my riding of Mississauga East—Cooksville, most of the responders strongly support the bill.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Fair Elections Act
Permalink
LIB

Kevin Lamoureux

Liberal

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is important that we are very clear that this is not a normal piece of legislation. This is a law that would change the rules of the game in terms of democracy.

In the member's concluding remarks, he appeals to members to vote in favour of the bill. He is asking individual members to vote for the bill. I respect that. In fact, the leader of the Liberal Party has challenged the Prime Minister to a free vote on this very important piece of legislation.

The member made reference to bringing democracy to a higher level. Let us talk about the bill and how important it is because it would change our election laws. Let us talk about how it is that the Prime Minister should allow for a free vote on this issue.

Does the member recognize, given the very nature of the legislation from the moment it was introduced to the House to where we are today, that it is important that the Prime Minister allow for members of this House to have a free vote? It would change our election laws, something which would have a very significant impact going forward.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Fair Elections Act
Permalink
CPC

Wladyslaw Lizon

Conservative

Mr. Wladyslaw Lizon

Mr. Speaker, I do truly believe that the bill would bring democracy in our country to a higher level.

As I mentioned in my speech, the fair elections act would reflect on the recommendations that were given by the chief electoral officers. It reflects on the fact that there were irregularities in the past elections: reference the Supreme Court case.

This was all taken into consideration and addressed to improve the democratic process at our federal elections.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Fair Elections Act
Permalink
NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse

New Democratic Party

Ms. Alexandrine Latendresse (Louis-Saint-Laurent, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to have this opportunity to speak to you today about Bill C-23 at report stage. We are studying the report that the committee produced about this bill to change our elections legislation.

To begin, I would like to talk about the process because there are some major problems with the process that Bill C-23 has gone through so far. I have been a member of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for three years now, so I have heard from the Chief Electoral Officer, the Commissioner of Canada Elections and various Elections Canada employees on the subject of our elections legislation many times.

Three years ago, we studied the report of the Chief Electoral Officer, who recommended changes to our elections legislation. He said that parts of the bill should be amended to improve democracy in Canada. We worked on that for months, and the committee produced a report that included an analysis of each of the Chief Electoral Officer's recommendations.

After the robocall scandal broke, the NDP moved a motion in the House calling on the Conservatives to amend the Canada Elections Act, in particular to give Elections Canada the investigative powers it needed to request all necessary documents from political parties to ensure their compliance with the Elections Act.

Under the existing legislation, all candidates from each riding and political party must produce the documents requested by Elections Canada, such as invoices or other documentation, to verify their election spending. However, although $33 million was given to political parties during the last election, these parties did not have to submit any documentation. Elections Canada must simply assume that everything is fine and that the parties are complying with the Canada Elections Act.

I think this is one of the major flaws of Bill C-23. The Chief Electoral Officer has been calling for this very important power for a very long time. This power would help him investigate cases of fraud. However, when Bill C-23 was introduced, the bill did not provide for this power.

The motion I mentioned was unanimously passed by the House nearly two years ago and it contained that provision. However, when the bill was introduced, that provision was not there. I do not know when the government decided to change its mind. Perhaps it was when the court found that it was the Conservatives' database that was used in the robocall scandal. I do not know. The Conservatives tend to be rather unhappy when Elections Canada investigates cases of fraud, since they are generally the guilty ones.

Several months after we moved our motion, the minister of state for democratic reform at the time announced that he would introduce an election reform bill the following Thursday. However, on the Wednesday afternoon, right after the parties' caucus meetings, the bill mysteriously disappeared. Poof, no more bill. It was as though it never existed and it was never mentioned again.

Everyone wondered what had happened and where the electoral reform bill went. We will never know. We do not know what exactly was in the bill. We did not hear of it again until this past winter, when the new Minister of State for Democratic Reform introduced Bill C-23.

Not only does this bill not contain the powers requested by the Commissioner of Canada Elections and the Chief Electoral Officer or any of the requested measures that should be part of electoral reform, but it also includes changes that are both unjustified and downright harmful to our democracy. The government is trying to pull the wool over Canadians' eyes so that they do not realize that it is failing to do what needs to be done to improve democracy in Canada.

For example, how does it make sense to move the Commissioner of Canada Elections into the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions? We have no idea. The Conservatives say that it will make him more independent.

However, both the current and the former commissioners came to tell us that this move would not make the commissioner more independent and that it would instead interfere with his work. The Conservatives are telling us that it will help the commissioner, but the Commissioner himself is saying that he does not need to be more independent and that he does not understand the need for the changes.

This is all a show to hide the fact that the Commissioner made specific requests. He said that he is the one who investigates electoral fraud, and he told us specifically what would be really helpful to him during investigations. Nothing came of that. Instead, they are playing chess. The pieces are being moved around but nothing at all has changed in terms of the Commissioner's ability to properly investigate fraud.

There have been major problems throughout the process. When the Conservatives introduced the bill, we suggested that it be sent to committee before second reading. Basically, that would have given witnesses the opportunity to talk about what is in the bill. We would have had far greater flexibility to change various elements and produce the best electoral reform possible. That is the goal, really. I am certain that everyone wants that. The witnesses who would have appeared could have told us what needed to be changed.

Then we would have had a meaningful debate at second reading. The Conservative majority would not have imposed its will. The Conservatives decided to change everything just because they felt like it and because it would be to their advantage. This bill amends one of the most fundamental statutes in Canada. It affects 34 million Canadians. It affects every Canadian's right to vote. There was no pre-consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer, the commissioner or the political parties: no one. The Conservatives show up with this bill and force it down our throats, telling us it is good enough.

Now, because we fought quite hard and told the Conservatives that they could not just change the Canada Elections Act like this, they ended up backing down on some of the points that I thought were the most damaging. The only amendments proposed and adopted in committee—obviously those proposed by the government—mitigated some of the most troubling aspects of the bill. However, this does not change the fact that the bill fundamentally poses a lot of problems. Given the choice between the Canada Elections Act in its current form and Bill C-23, even amended, I would choose the Canada Elections Act because this bill includes too many changes and has too many flaws and problems to be acceptable.

In short, when the Conservatives introduced Bill C-23, it was a very bad bill. Currently, with the amendments, it is a very bad bill. The amendments do not go far enough for me to support this bill.

Now, how did things go in committee? Dozens of witnesses came to tell us that there were major problems with the bill that absolutely needed to be addressed and that the bill did not make sense. Finally, they managed to push hard enough that the government backed down a little on some things. However, overall, did the government representatives in committee listen to the witnesses? Did they really listen to the proceedings and take witnesses' opinions into consideration? I do not think so. The witnesses, who are experts on the subject, raised many points that did not find their way into Bill C-23 or the amendments. I guess we will have to wait for a new government in 2015 before the changes that really need to be made to the Canada Elections Act are finally made.

In the end, in a 21st century democracy and in a country like Canada, which is internationally respected for its democracy, it is a real problem for such a fundamental bill to be changed, introduced and imposed by a majority government that does not hold consultations and does not listen. It does not want to listen to anyone and does not want to hear about any problems with the bill. The government thinks its bill is terrific, and that is that.

The Conservatives really need to do better. They need to hold real consultations. A real reform of the Canada Elections Act is needed.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Fair Elections Act
Permalink
CPC

Barry Devolin

Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Barry Devolin)

The time provided for government orders has now expired. The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent will have time for questions and comments after question period.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Fair Elections Act
Permalink
CPC

Cathy McLeod

Conservative

Mrs. Cathy McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today I stand in the House to pay tribute to a very generous and philanthropic Canadian, Mr. Ken Lepin of Kamloops. Earlier this year, Mr. Lepin announced that he would be donating $2.25 million to Thompson Rivers University, on top of the $250,000 he had contributed in the past.

This enormous donation will go toward helping a new generation of students passing through TRU in a variety of fields. Bursary prizes are being created or increased for students in trades, science, nursing, business, law, arts, culinary, tourism, education and veterinary health. That is just to name a few of the areas that will be supported.

Mr. Lepin is a self-made man who has given back to Kamloops in an extraordinary fashion. In addition to this substantial donation to TRU, he has put thousands of dollars into the Royal Inland Hospital, the B.C. Wildlife Park and the Salvation Army.

Through his generosity and his life's work, Ken Lepin has left his mark on Kamloops, and it is a better place for it. Thanks to the most recent donation, his mark will be left on generations to come.

We thank Mr. Lepin.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Philanthropy
Permalink
NDP

José Nunez-Melo

New Democratic Party

Mr. José Nunez-Melo (Laval, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we celebrated Mother's Day. I marked the occasion with a number of mothers who live in one of the many seniors' homes in my riding.

Although we were all celebrating the day, a number of the mothers were worried about their future. They told me they were worried about what the government has in store for them. With regard to pensions, more than 30% of these retired mothers are in debt and 40% of them will soon go into debt. Their access to health care and medications is increasingly in jeopardy.

On top of that, as I just mentioned, there is the bill introduced by the Minister of State for Democratic Reform.

The mothers were happy, and I hope that they will be for a long time. Happy Mother's Day.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Seniors
Permalink
CPC

Costas Menegakis

Conservative

Mr. Costas Menegakis (Richmond Hill, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as the Queen Frederica docked on the shores of Halifax in late spring 1956, anxiety engulfed a young woman named Panagiota Bissas as she prepared to disembark the ship.

A poor girl, she left her poor village in southern Greece to embark on a journey that brought her to Canada. This, she was told, was a welcoming country, with warm people, full of promise, a place where dreams could become a reality.

She was the first in her family to travel abroad. She came with no money, having responded to a Canadian immigration initiative to immigrate as a domestic maid. She did not speak English or French and had no knowledge of Canadian culture. Like most immigrants, she worked hard and was always appreciative of the opportunities our great nation offered, as she fulfilled her dreams centred around our family.

Sadly, I lost my mother exactly six months before I was elected to Parliament, but I feel her presence here today like all other days.

Today, I pay tribute to all of the moms in this chamber, in my riding of Richmond Hill and across our great country.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Panagiota Bissas
Permalink
LIB

Ted Hsu

Liberal

Mr. Ted Hsu (Kingston and the Islands, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Arnold Chan has been nominated as the Liberal candidate in Scarborough—Agincourt for the by-election to be held on June 30.

Arnold has deep roots in the riding, having grown up and gone to school in one of the most diverse communities, which is also home to one of the largest Chinese Canadian populations in the country. Arnold has had a distinguished career as a lawyer and a community volunteer. He will be a strong voice on issues such as jobs, the economy, immigration and trade, and will ensure that the people of Scarborough—Agincourt are well represented in Ottawa.

Arnold will be supported by his family and three children, and he understands the need to help the middle class through hope and hard work.

We look forward, with the support of the people of Scarborough—Agincourt, to welcoming Arnold Chan to the Liberal caucus.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Liberal Party of Canada
Permalink
CPC

Rob Merrifield

Conservative

Hon. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will officially open a brand new Glacier Skywalk in our beautiful riding of Yellowhead. I had the opportunity to walk on the wild side to preview this skywalk, and it is truly a breathtaking experience.

This cliff-edge walkway soars almost 1,000 feet above the ground and will give visitors to Jasper National Park an opportunity to explore our spectacular landscape in a completely new way. Located off the Icefields Parkway, the Glacier Skywalk is an interpretive experience that will enable our visitors to learn more about the glaciology, geology and ecosystem of the world-famous Columbia Icefield.

Jasper Park is a national treasure, and I am very impressed with the efforts that have been taken to provide this new experience to visitors who respect both the environment and the integrity of our landscape.

I invite all hon. colleagues in the House, and people all across Canada, to visit Jasper this coming summer for their very own walk on the wild side.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Glacier Skywalk
Permalink
NDP

Mathieu Ravignat

New Democratic Party

Mr. Mathieu Ravignat (Pontiac, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have been in power for almost a decade, and one thing has become clear: they are waging a malicious war against federal public servants to score political points and hide the failures of their poor economic management.

They unilaterally announced their intention to go after federal public servants' sick days, and are forcing new staff to increase their pension contributions, thereby creating a two-tier system. Conservatives have also gone after retired public servants by limiting future retirees' access to health care. As usual, they consulted no one and silenced debate in Parliament.

A number of my constituents are public servants. They come to see me because they are overwhelmed as a result of being asked to do more with less. The stress level in the public service attests to that. Enough is enough. Federal public servants must not bear the brunt of this government's deficit reduction plan. These constant attacks on those who provide our public services must stop immediately.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   The Public Service
Permalink
CPC

Larry Miller

Conservative

Mr. Larry Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, in light of the recent National Day of Honour to commemorate those who served in Afghanistan, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to Corporal Robert Thomas James Mitchell of Owen Sound and to recognize his parents, Bob and Carol.

While serving our country in Afghanistan, Corporal Mitchell was unfortunately killed by an insurgent attack on October 3, 2006, at the age of 32. Corporal Mitchell was a beloved husband and father of three children.

I had the honour of meeting with Bob and Carol as they came to attend the National Day of Honour in Ottawa. The support that Bob and Carol give to other military families is immense. Carol still attends the graduation ceremonies at Land Force Central Area Training Centre Meaford to speak to graduating soldiers, while also providing support to other families that have lost loved ones in Afghanistan.

I give my condolences to the friends and family of Corporal Mitchell and commend Bob and Carol on their great contribution to our country. Bob, Carol and the rest of the Mitchell family truly remind us that “Those who wait also serve”.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Thomas James Mitchell
Permalink
CPC

Steven Fletcher

Conservative

Hon. Steven Fletcher (Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Dr. Frank Plummer recently completed a 14-year tenure as the scientific director of the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

Dr. Plummer's authoritative, calm and intelligent voice is one of the most highly respected of our generation. Under his leadership, the Winnipeg lab blossomed into a global scientific force. During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, it was Dr. Plummer who Mexico called first seeking help.

Dr. Plummer is a giant among his scientific peers, discovering women in Kenya with natural immunity to the HIV infection. He has made many life-saving contributions to the fight against infectious diseases, for which he has received numerous prestigious national and international awards, far too many to mention.

Interestingly, my kindergarten teacher was Dr. Plummer's mother, my favourite teacher, and I feel honoured to ask that the House thank Dr. Plummer for his service and wish him well in the future.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Scientific Director, National Microbiology Laboratory
Permalink
NDP

Djaouida Sellah

New Democratic Party

Mrs. Djaouida Sellah (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, today is Canada Health Day. What an excellent opportunity to say that the health of Canadians is not a free commodity and that public interest takes precedence over free enterprise in the drug industry.

The NDP wants to ensure that health care professionals have access to the information they need to care for their patients properly and do their work more effectively. To that end, we need to require that pharmaceutical companies report drug shortages. We cannot rely on their goodwill. I honestly wonder how many more drug shortages Canadians will have to endure before this government finally listens to reason.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Pharmaceutical Industry
Permalink
CPC

Joan Crockatt

Conservative

Ms. Joan Crockatt (Calgary Centre, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, women entrepreneurs make up one of the fastest-growing segments of the Canadian economy but are still a huge untapped engine of economic growth. That is why our government spearheaded an initiative in budget 2014 to encourage leadership and entrepreneurship in young women.

Last week we heard what works with fantastic clarity from two great women leaders: Christine Day, CEO of Luvo, formerly of lululemon; and Heather Kennedy, vice-president of Suncor. It is thanks to champions who got them off the sidelines and encouraged them to run with the ball and take on big challenges like starting their own business.

Our Minister of Status of Women is a huge champion of women. Her champion was Jim Flaherty. My champions were my mom; one of my first editors, Bill Peterson; and Ken King, now of the Calgary Flames.

I challenge everyone listening to champion a young woman so that she can go and be the best that she can be and reach her dreams. It will also be one of the best things we can do for our country.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Women Entrepreneurs
Permalink
NDP

Christine Moore

New Democratic Party

Ms. Christine Moore (Abitibi—Témiscamingue, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to celebrate International Nurses Day. I have the honour of practising this profession along with more than 300,000 other Canadians.

Some of my parliamentary colleagues would do well to take inspiration from these exceptional and dedicated women and men who dedicate their lives to serving society.

If each member here looked after the well-being of his or her community in the same way that nurses look after their patients, we would, by far, already be the best country in the world in every way.

Furthermore, a nurse's ability to set aside their personal convictions, listen to others and understand that it is up to the person in front of them to choose and act is something that some parliamentarians should be taught.

Nurses are more than professionals. They are guardian angels who support their patients during the most difficult times of their lives. At one time or another in their lives, every Canadian has needed a nurse, and I think they all experienced the professionalism and generosity of these unique people with huge hearts.

I want to wish a happy International Nurses Day to all the women and men who keep our health care system running.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   International Nurses Day
Permalink
CPC

Brad Butt

Conservative

Mr. Brad Butt (Mississauga—Streetsville, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, May is National Food Allergy Awareness Month and is an important reminder that millions of Canadians have food allergies and anaphylaxis and that much more can be done to raise awareness and to support those with this condition.

Last May, the House of Commons unanimously passed Motion No. 230, which states:

That, in the opinion of the House, anaphylaxis is a serious concern for an increasing number of Canadians and the government should take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.

I want to thank the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative and Mississauga resident Debbie Bruce for championing this issue. There is no reason someone should become critically ill or die as a result of anaphylaxis. We can do more to make places like airplanes more food allergy safe and to ensure that EpiPens are available.

These groups call on Health Canada and Transport Canada to work with them to improve the lives of those living with food allergies.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Anaphylaxis
Permalink
CPC

Guy Lauzon

Conservative

Mr. Guy Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I was honoured to join branch president Ken Heagle, members of the Cornwall Legion branch 297, and members of the public to honour the brave men and women who served in Afghanistan during Canada's 13-year mission.

Sergeant Marc Léger, one of the first casualties of the war, was a proud resident of Stormont—Dundas and South Glengarry until his unfortunate death in 2002. His loss and his contribution to our country will be forever remembered.

It was also a very moving experience to witness Libby Pelkey, a mother of two Afghanistan veterans, lay a wreath at the Cornwall cenotaph to honour her son Cody's four tours of duty and her other son Kyle's two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

May 9, 2014, certainly was a day of honour in Stormont—Dundas and South Glengarry. We will remember them.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Afghanistan Veterans
Permalink

May 12, 2014