May 26, 2014

?

An hon. member

It will only take an hour.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Extension of Sitting Hours
Permalink
LIB

Scott Simms

Liberal

Mr. Scott Simms

Will the real House leader please stand up.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Extension of Sitting Hours
Permalink
NDP

Nathan Cullen

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nathan Cullen

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing how easily shocked the Liberals are to see New Democrats stand up and oppose anti-democratic measures.

They talk about a breath of fresh air. What that means is that when we are pushed by a bully, the real reaction and the proper democratic reaction is to stand up and resist that bully, rather than roll over and pretend that it is not important. I say to my Liberal friends that if we want to correct the abusive behaviour by Conservatives in the House, we must stand up to that abusive behaviour from time to time. That means being here. That means asking questions. That means debating legislation.

At least we can agree with my Liberal friends on this next point, and I will end on this point and then turn my attention to the motion.

The Conservatives put forward absolutely atrocious pieces of legislation, often under time allocation. That technique limits the amount of debate that is allowed to take place on any bill, and those bills were so fundamentally flawed that when they attempted to enact those bills into law in Canada, they not only caused Canadians millions of dollars in real terms but also hundreds of hours of grief.

The laws are designed very badly, yet they are rushed through this process. The Liberals can belittle all they want, but the fact of the matter remains that the Conservative government has used time allocation and closure, which are techniques to limit and shut down debate in Canada's House of Commons, more often than any government in Canadian history.

Let us rest on that moment for a second. Let us rest on that fact just in passing. No government under any other circumstances—times of war, times of peace, depressions, recessions, all of those things—has shut down debate in Parliament more often and with such latitude as the present Conservative government has.

What strikes me as passing strange is that when in opposition, the Conservatives, many of whom are now sitting in cabinet, used to hate when the Liberals did this very same thing. We have all the quotes from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, from the Prime Minister, from the government House leader showing that when the Liberals had a majority government and used these same techniques, it was the Conservatives who were holding up democratic rights and showing some flame for the hopes and aspirations of all Canadians when they look at our Parliament. It was Conservatives, along with New Democrats, who said it was wrong.

However, what they actually took from those days in opposition were the wrong lessons.

They said they were going to use the techniques that the Liberals were using when they were in a majority government and that they were going to expand on them. They were going to put them on steroids and shut down debate more often. As a result, on average, we see two members out of the whole Conservative caucus stand up and speak to any government bill.

One could say that they do not have a lot to say about these pieces of legislation. That is worrisome, because some of them are incredibly complicated and affect the lives of millions of Canadians in some cases. We find Conservatives simply uninterested in speaking and representing.

Liberals may say that nothing that happens here matters, and the Conservatives may join them. One would then question why they ran for office in the first place, if they did not want to speak in the House of Commons or did not think that what happens in this place matters. I join my New Democratic colleagues and say that what takes place here does matter, that our words do matter, and that our words should effect change for the positive.

Hopefully, when we all signed our nomination forms way back when and decided to run for the various political parties here, there was some hope in that exercise. Hopefully there was some belief that we were going to stand in this place and speak on behalf of others, because when we take this place to its fundamental principles, that is all it is. The design of Canada's Parliament is simply to hold the government to account on spending and legislation. That is not solely the responsibility of those of us in opposition, as we are as New Democrats right now; it is also the responsibility of all of those not in cabinet. That includes the majority of my Conservative colleagues across the way.

How are we doing on that account? Conservatives and, I suppose, Liberals support the actions by the government House leader in Motion No. 10. The motion will unilaterally offer all of the tools of Canada's House of Commons, but exclusively to those in cabinet. It will then again extend sitting hours, which is fine. If we look at the attendance records and those who speak to motions at 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock, or 12 o'clock at night, we will see that New Democrats are taking the majority of those opportunities to address the legislation before us. That is because we believe in the process.

I am sorry to offend any of the real-world sensibilities of my friends across the way, and now of my Liberal friends as well, by pointing out that New Democrats are so naive that they believe that contributing to the debate in the House of Commons means something. We are naive enough to believe that our best ideas, our best hopes, and our best research should mean something to legislation before Parliament.

Heaven forbid that the job of MPs should not just be to say whatever the Prime Minister's Office tells them to say but to speak on behalf of our constituents with our best guided intelligence and the best information that we have. Heaven forbid that the House of Commons should be that place once more in Canada's life.

We all know that there is a lot of reason for cynicism and despair on behalf of the Canadian people. They look at the unfair elections act, to take one example of one bad piece of legislation. The government seems to be unable to find one expert witness anywhere to defend its act. At any point in this conversation about our democracy and the way in which Canadians will vote, the government was unable to find anyone who would support it outside of the Conservative Party of Canada. Despite that, it rammed this bill through as well. It rammed this act through that will make it easier to cheat and harder to vote.

Conservatives stand up day after day and suggest that they are the holders of all wisdom when it comes to voting. They suggest that all the experts, such as the head of Elections Canada, the former head of Elections Canada, and the former head of Elections B.C., whom the Conservatives hired to give them advice on how to run elections, are all wrong. Sheila Fraser is wrong. She must be partisan, biased, or ill-informed. Conservatives understand how elections should work.

Maybe they do for Conservatives, but not for Canadians. Unfortunately for us, the Conservatives too often offer those Canadians who are losing faith and hope in our democracy even more reason to become cynical and even more reasons to turn away from the ballot box. What does that say to young Canadians in particular? All parties have talked about encouraging young people, or at least New Democrats have. I cannot speak for the others in terms of their efforts to get young Canadians out to vote. Young Canadians in particular are watching the actions of a government that has completely lost its moral compass.

I believe that Reformers and Conservatives used to believe in things aside from just power, but now power is their exclusive view on the way things should work, and we see it again here in Motion No. 10.

It says that the government is not content to just use time allocation, closure, and all of the different tools to shut down debate, and I love what the government House leader said earlier today. For those colleagues of mine who missed it, he said that it was the economy that made them do it. In terms of becoming fundamentally undemocratic, it was the crisis in Europe that forced the Conservatives to shut down debate in Canada's House of Commons.

This is the same Conservative Party that, as the world was entering into the great recession, introduced an austerity budget. The Conservatives said that the solution to caving financial markets was to bring in a budget that would severely cut government spending. As Europe, the United States, and the entire G20 all moved in the opposite direction, the sages in the Conservative Party said that they knew better. On these global recessionary talks that are going on, I remember one Conservative pundit in this place saying that these rumours of a financial crisis are overblown and what we need to do is bring in austerity.

If we set the record straight and clear, it was only when the Prime Minister's own job was threatened—not the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Canadians that were on the line—and his own government was on the line and he feared for the loss of that government, did the Conservatives flip and suddenly introduce a new budget and go all “Keynesian”. As the finance minister said at the time, “We're all Keynesians now”. That was when they actually believed in the role of government in having some sort of influence over what happens within a country's economy.

The Conservatives introduced a stimulus budget, and they were dragged kicking and screaming into the conversation. It was only that near-death experience for the Conservative Party that opened them up to the idea that there could be an actual reason and role for government.

This is a government that, in its legislation, has decided that omnibus bills are the new answer to governing in Canada; that is, hundreds and hundreds of pages of legislation rammed into one bill. The debate around that legislation is completely shut down. When the opposition introduces amendments based on what we hear from experts who actually know what they are talking about—not from my friends across the way—the government refuses and rejects all of them. I do not mean most of them, I mean all of them. They are rejected from those government omnibus bills.

Then, the mistakes show up. The Supreme Court and other such important bodies show the legislation to be unconstitutional. What does the government do? It introduces another omnibus bill to fix the mistakes from the last omnibus bill, and the Conservatives say that this is good governance. Well, it is atrocious, and we see it here again.

The government wants to introduce a motion to extend hours to which government members will not show up, will not speak to the bills that they say are so important, that Canadians need to have and have yesterday. Then they introduce a set of rules that would allow them, and exclusively them, to alter what happens in the place just for cabinet members, as if they were better.

This is going to be opposed by New Democrats. It should be opposed by all right-thinking members in this place. We will stand proudly for Canadians.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Extension of Sitting Hours
Permalink
CPC

Barry Devolin

Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Barry Devolin)

Order. The time for government orders has expired. The hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley will have seven minutes remaining when this matter returns before the House.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Extension of Sitting Hours
Permalink
CPC

Joy Smith

Conservative

Mrs. Joy Smith (Kildonan—St. Paul, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, with forthcoming legislation on prostitution, Canada must tackle this issue with the clear understanding that prostituted individuals are not criminals. More of them are young women and children. Canada's goal should be to end the violent institution of prostitution in Canada, and not to legalize it.

Front-line Canadian organizations that have worked with trafficked victims have requested a made-in-Canada response that targets pimps and johns with stiff criminal sanctions, and provides rehabilitation and assistance instead of arrest for prostituted women.

Last week, former U.S. president Carter, having recently written a book about the global epidemic of violence against women and girls, wrote to Canadian parliamentarians, urging Canada to recognize the violence that prostitution causes to women, and to take this opportunity to ensure that Canada's future laws focus on preserving human rights.

I am confident that our government will do exactly that.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Justice
Permalink
NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe

New Democratic Party

Ms. Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds—Dollard, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the International Cup Kids Playing for Kids is an event that was born in 2006 of an idea of the passion and hard work of a few volunteers. Since then, they have demonstrated leadership, making this tournament larger year by year.

This year, we will be able to rely on close to 120 volunteers and 1,800 soccer players to gather funds for a good cause. All profits are given to the Sainte-Justine Hospital and the Montreal Children's Hospital foundations.

This tournament is an opportunity for kids to play their sport outside the regular season. It also gets kids and coaches involved in a major fundraising campaign for sick kids. This year alone, the organizers expect to raise over $50,000. Good luck.

As this year's honorary chair, I thank everyone who is participating and I congratulate the organizing committee for undertaking this major project.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   International Cup Kids Playing for Kids
Permalink
CPC

Robert Sopuck

Conservative

Mr. Robert Sopuck (Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our government's new national conservation plan has been welcomed by farmers, landowners, hunters, anglers, and conservation groups.

The Canadian Wildlife Federation said, “The Federal Government's [...] investment in conservation is a positive step forward [...]”.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is pleased to see $50 million allocated to stewardship activity and wetland restoration.

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters said that the NCP is a “robust commitment to enhancing conservation efforts across Canada”.

The national conservation plan is a $252-million program that will deliver real on-the-ground results for conservation. The NCP will mobilize action across all regions and sectors for stewardship and conservation in our urban and natural areas as well as working landscapes. The NCP targets the protection of ecologically sensitive lands, restoring wetlands, voluntary stewardship of species and habits, and strengthening marine and coastal conservation.

The NCP builds on the actions and efforts of Canadians who have a record of conservation results in Canada, including hunters, anglers, farmers, stream keepers, and Canada's youth.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Conservation Plan
Permalink
LIB

Kirsty Duncan

Liberal

Ms. Kirsty Duncan (Etobicoke North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, 6.6 million young children die of preventable causes, and nearly 300,000 women die from preventable complications related to pregnancy and childbirth each year. These unacceptable deaths must be avoided, by ensuring all women and children get the prevention, treatment, and care they need. They must have access to family planning, vaccines, proper nutrition, and prevention of and treatment for diarrhea, HIV-AIDS, malaria, pneumonia, and tuberculosis.

Together let us all ask what action the government is taking to support improving health and nutrition outcomes for women, newborns, and children in the post-2015 agenda. Is the government undertaking Muskoka two, and will it increase funding beyond 2015 to specifically target the hardest to reach? Will it make a signature Canadian contribution to the post-2015 development agenda?

Every woman and child lost is a tragedy to the family, community, and country, and a reminder that we still have work to do.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health
Permalink
CPC

Laurie Hawn

Conservative

Hon. Laurie Hawn (Edmonton Centre, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call attention to an event that has been thrilling crowds in B.C.'s beautiful Lower Mainland since 1962. The Abbotsford International Airshow is acknowledged as one of the top 10 air shows in the entire world, and it will take place this year on August 8, 9, and 10.

Hundreds of flight crews and hundreds of thousands of spectators converge on Abbotsford every year to witness fantastic acts of aerial daring, and to attend the Aerospace, Defence and Security Expo, which serves as a platform to highlight the fifth-largest aerospace industry in the world. Over 700 companies from every province employ 170,000 Canadians while annually generating $42 billion in revenues and contributing $27 billion to Canada's GDP.

The aerospace industry is a priority sector under our government's global markets action plan, which is supporting Canadian businesses as they compete and succeed in the global marketplace.

I have had the pleasure of joining in the fun many times over the years, as both a performer and spectator, and I urge all of my colleagues to visit Abbotsford in August for the international air show and the adjoining Aerospace, Defence and Security Expo.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Abbotsford International Airshow
Permalink
NDP

Chris Charlton

New Democratic Party

Ms. Chris Charlton (Hamilton Mountain, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, before the expiry of the Canada health accord this spring, I organized a public meeting on Hamilton Mountain about the future of our health care system. The room was packed. We were joined by my colleague, the NDP health critic, as well as Drs. Gordon Guyatt and Tim O'Shea, and nursing professor Leanne Siracusa. Together, the four panellists inspired us to fight for reforms that ensure all Canadians have access to sustainable, affordable, and high-quality public health care.

Unfortunately, that goal is not shared by the Conservative government here in Ottawa. On the contrary, the Prime Minister has always wanted to replace public health care with an American-style, for-profit system. However, here is the thing. He knows that 94% of Canadians support national public health care. That is why he is trying to sabotage the system quietly by cutting $36 billion over 10 years and breaking the health accord.

New Democrats are not going to stand idly by as the Conservatives deliver nothing but longer wait times, reduced front-line services, and lack of access to home and long-term care. Canadians have been telling us that public health care is a top priority for them. It is time that we had a government in Ottawa that made health care its priority too.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Health
Permalink
CPC

Colin Mayes

Conservative

Mr. Colin Mayes (Okanagan—Shuswap, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Bill of Rights was enacted by Parliament on August 10, 1960. At the time, prime minister John Diefenbaker, upon signing the bill, stated:

I am a Canadian, a free Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship God in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.

The Canadian Bill of Rights states “freedom of religion”, not “freedom from religion”. I am concerned that there is evidence that this freedom for Canadian citizens of Christian faith is being compromised by institutions that should be protecting their religious freedom. The Ontario government's attack on the independence of the Catholic educational institutions in its Education Act, The Law Society of Upper Canada and the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society's recent attack on Trinity Western University's student faith covenant, and the consistent marginalizing of Christian views by human rights commissions are evidence that my concerns are justified.

As former prime minister John Diefenbaker confirmed, I also pledge to uphold Canada's—

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Freedom of Religion
Permalink
CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton—Leduc.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Freedom of Religion
Permalink
CPC

James Rajotte

Conservative

Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton—Leduc, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Edmonton Oil Kings on their victory as the 2014 Memorial Cup champions, the third national championship in franchise history. This team defined courage, strength, and resilience, as it overcame adversity all season, and especially through the playoffs.

In the Memorial Cup tournament, it played two monumental games against Val-d'Or, losing the first in double overtime and then winning the second in triple overtime to advance to the final. This set up a matchup against the powerful Guelph Storm, a team that had a record-setting year in the Ontario Hockey League. The Oil Kings were down a goal at the end of the first period, but their resilience showed once again, as they skated, checked, and scored to a decisive 6-3 win over their OHL counterparts.

At the end of the game, the players hoisted the cup, but also the sweater of their friend and teammate Kristians Pelss, who passed away following last season. The emotions were evident as each player celebrated his victory but mourned the loss of the teammate to whom the team dedicated this year and this title.

Congratulations to all of the players, their coaches, and the entire Edmonton Oil Kings organization on an inspirational season and an amazing Memorial Cup victory.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Edmonton Oil Kings
Permalink
NDP

Nathan Cullen

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House to pay tribute to the life of Russell John Collier, artist and poet, awarding-winning academic, farmer, environmentalist, and a loyal and loving friend, father, and husband.

Russell was one of British Columbia's foremost aboriginal land use planners, a cultural translator between his ancient Gitxsan heritage and his knowledge of modern science. His writings on language and the land are internationally recognized.

Russell was a kind and loving man, whose respect for life and nature permeated his every action with the people and the world around him. He dedicated himself to building a more sustainable, loving, and respecting world. His wife Lori, and children Khyrin Alexander and Nicholas Aubrey, will continue to make these dreams a reality.

Russell passed away suddenly as he was dancing, and his last words were “Give my love to my family and friends. I had a great time tonight”. Russell made bright the lives of those he touched. It is now our turn to carry on his work and his hope, to leave the world a better place than we found it.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Russell John Collier
Permalink
CPC

Costas Menegakis

Conservative

Mr. Costas Menegakis (Richmond Hill, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to let the House know that we are hosting leaders from the Hellenic-Canadian community from Quebec for a “Greek Day on the Hill”.

Greek Day on the Hill is a chance to listen to the concerns and aspirations of these dynamic Canadians and to thank them for their community's contribution to the political, economic, and social development of our country. We will also be enjoying the musical rendition of Time for Flowers, Time for Snow, to be performed by 80 children from four Montreal schools, under the supervision of two beloved artists, Dimitris Ilias and Maria Diamantis. These important Greek Canadian leaders have not only contributed to Canada's continued economic growth, but have also had a tremendous impact on Canada's cultural growth.

Today I am thankful to pay tribute to the Hellenic-Canadian community, who, like many other immigrant communities, has worked hard to help shape this great country that we call Canada. As a member of the community myself, it is truly an honour to recognize my community for all that it has accomplished.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Greek Day on the Hill
Permalink
NDP

Élaine Michaud

New Democratic Party

Ms. Élaine Michaud (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in the House today to pay tribute to Domaine des 3 Moulins, a winery in Neuville, in my riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, for its success at the recent All Canadian Wine Championships.

At the 34th anniversary of the event, which concluded on May 16, Domaine de 3 Moulins was competing against nearly 200 wine producers from seven Canadian provinces. The winery brought home gold in the Single White Hybrids category with its 2012 Le Moulin à grain, and it won silver in the Grape Fortifieds & Other Dessert category with Aube du Moulin, one of my personal favourites.

I extend my warmest congratulations to the winery's owners, Monick Valois and Pio Bégin, and their entire team, for their well-deserved success after more than a decade of work. I would also like to thank them for their hard work, tenacity and perseverance in this major undertaking.

Congratulations. The fruits of your investment and your passion have put the region of Portneuf on the map right across the country.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Winery in Neuville
Permalink
CPC

Keith Ashfield

Conservative

Hon. Keith Ashfield (Fredericton, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, recently the Prime Minister launched the national conservation plan while he was in my riding of Fredericton. This plan will help to secure ecologically sensitive lands, support voluntary conservation and restoration actions and strengthen marine and coastal conservation. The plan will also expand opportunities for partners to improve the land and water around them. We also have programs already in place that help support these initiatives.

For example, in Fredericton last week we announced we were making further investments through a program that would help post-secondary students gain work experience, while conserving the environment.

Our government will continue to build on these conservation programs and announce new initiatives as we focus and coordinate our efforts far into the future.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Conservation
Permalink
LIB

Marc Garneau

Liberal

Mr. Marc Garneau (Westmount—Ville-Marie, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate one of the most talented people in my riding on her exceptional achievement.

Eugenie Bouchard, from Westmount, defeated Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic to win the Nuremberg Cup. Eugenie is the first Canadian to win a World Tennis Association tournament since Aleksandra Wozniak, another Quebecker, in Stanford in 2008.

This triumph comes on the heels of a thrilling run to the semi-finals of the Australian Open when Eugénie earned many thousands of new “Genie's Army” fans through the quality of her play, her steely determination and her warm and approachable demeanour off the court.

Now ranked 19th in the world, Eugénie's next challenge is the French Open. We wish her the very best. She is an example for Canadians, especially for young girls dreaming of their own careers in tennis.

Eugenie, we are proud of you. You have a promising future that all Canadians will be following with great interest.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Eugenie Bouchard
Permalink
CPC

Lois Brown

Conservative

Ms. Lois Brown (Newmarket—Aurora, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, two days from now, Canada will be hosting a summit on maternal, newborn and child health in Toronto. This summit will provide civil society, the private sector and global and Canadian leaders in health the opportunity to galvanize consensus where to focus efforts to maximize results for those in need.

I look forward to attending this summit, along with the Right Hon. Prime Minister, the Hon. Minister of International Development and high profile guests, guests like his Highness the Aga Khan, Melinda Gates, Ban Ki Moon, the President of Tanzania and many others who will discuss how to save the lives of more mothers, children and newborns.

This summit will see Canada continuing in our leadership role, addressing the health challenges faced by women, children and newborns in developing countries.

Canadians can be very proud of our government's strong track record in saving the lives of women, children and newborns all over the world.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Permalink
NDP

Don Davies

New Democratic Party

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, last week, from Comox to Port Alberni, Nanaimo to Parksville and throughout the Lower Mainland, British Columbians came out to hear the Leader of the Opposition.

In our communities, Canadians do not care about Liberal and Conservative mudslinging from inside the Ottawa bubble. They want to hear about what matters to them.

Last week, that is what our leader was doing. He was talking about jobs, about making life more affordable, supporting veterans, protecting our environment and fixing Ottawa.

From farmers' markets to town halls to meeting folks in coffee shops, everywhere it was clear: British Columbians want change.

From the island to the north, support for the Leader of the Opposition continues to grow, and in 2015, British Columbians will vote for the NDP in record numbers, because they know it is New Democrats who take on and defeat Conservatives.

Canadians know that with the NDP, they can vote for the change they want and actually get it.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada
Permalink

May 26, 2014