March 25, 2015

CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem, today, led by the hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso.

[Members sang the national anthem]

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CPC

Lawrence Toet

Conservative

Mr. Lawrence Toet (Elmwood—Transcona, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, countless community groups are making a difference in Elmwood—Transcona each and every day. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize some of their efforts and achievements. For 50 years, the Transcona Pipe Band has showcased our Scottish Canadian community's heritage with innovative bagpiping and drumming presentations that have captured the imagination of audiences at home and around the world. I would like to acknowledge Dave Stewart and the numerous parent volunteers who devote their precious time and energy to this respected Transcona institution.

The Together in Elmwood Parent Child Coalition and the Elmwood East Kildonan Active Living Centre are two other organizations that provide valuable programming to the community. These groups play an integral role in improving the quality of life of local residents, especially youth and seniors. I am glad to recognize Leilani Esteban and Con Gislason for their hard work and commitment to supporting our community members, young and old, to live up to their fullest potential.

I wish to thank these groups and the many others for all that they do to build a better community for everyone.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Elmwood—Transcona
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NDP

Mike Sullivan

New Democratic Party

Mr. Mike Sullivan (York South—Weston, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, winter is finally behind us. In York South—Weston, this cold, harsh season was made warmer and brighter by a dedicated group of volunteers who for the third year ran the Mount Dennis outdoor community skating rink in Pearen Park.

I was delighted to host a Family Day skating party there. Over 400 individuals learned to skate at the rink this past season. Nearly 900 used the free skate loan program. The rink continued its fine tradition of making a positive difference in the community, one smile and one skating lesson at a time.

With a tip of my toque, I would like to congratulate rink coordinator Simon Chamberlain who received a volunteer Toronto award for his outstanding efforts and ice master Guy Ruggieri and his over 40 volunteers who gave generously of their time to make this grassroots initiative a smashing success.

Margaret Mead said, “... a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” That is a fitting tribute to the Mount Dennis volunteers.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Mount Dennis Outdoor Community Skating Rink
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CPC

Bradley Trost

Conservative

Mr. Brad Trost (Saskatoon—Humboldt, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, two years ago, a fire broke out at the Irene and Leslie Dubé Centre for Mental Health, creating thick smoke. After having to retreat from the area several times due to the smoke, two of Saskatoon Health Region's security team members, Chris Clark and Tyler Campbell, bravely rescued a trapped female patient from a burning room in the centre. “It was a scary situation, but we knew someone was in there and we needed to get them out, so we were going to do whatever we could to make that happen”, Clark said.

Fortunately, the fire was isolated to a single room and no one was seriously injured, thanks in part to the actions of these two men. This March 6, both Corporal Clark and Mr. Campbell received Medals of Bravery from Governor General David Johnston for their part in this rescue.

On behalf of the House of Commons and the citizens of Saskatoon—Humboldt, I would like to extend our thanks to Corporal Clark and Mr. Campbell. Their bravery and concern for the needs of others are an example for us all. They represent the best of Canada.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Medals of Bravery
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LIB

Mark Eyking

Liberal

Hon. Mark Eyking (Sydney—Victoria, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize a renowned Cape Bretoner, William “Bull” Marsh, who passed away over the weekend. Bull was born in New Waterford on January 21, 1922. After serving four years in the navy during World War II, Bull went to work in New Waterford's No. 12 Colliery, then transferred to No. 16, where he began his work with the United Mine Workers of America.

In 1958, he was elected president of District 26 and held that position for 22 consecutive years. He was the longest serving president in District 26 history. In 1965, there were 6,500 miners working in Cape Breton and Bull played a major role in securing their livelihoods.

He had an amazing talent as a speaker. In his leisure time he could be seen fishing, hunting or training his Labrador retrievers. Giving the miners a fair deal is what Bull stood for. His impact on the community was remarkable and he will be fondly remembered for many more years to come.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   William “Bull” Marsh
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CPC

Mark Warawa

Conservative

Mr. Mark Warawa (Langley, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this morning at a press conference on Parliament Hill, Canadians from all walks of life called on the government to protect religious freedoms in Canada. Canada is recognized as a country that advocates for human rights and religious freedom internationally. Canada's excellent international reputation is due to our government's strong stand on human rights and the outstanding work of Canada's ambassador for religious freedom.

We also need to focus on religious freedom in Canada to protect the chartered rights of all Canadians. Religious freedom is integral to the fabric of the Canadian identity. It is at the core of who we are as a tolerant and pluralistic society. It is central to our culture, our history and has shaped us as a nation.

Recent intolerant attacks on religious freedom in Canada are being condemned. I call on all members in the House to commit themselves to protect our religious freedom.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Religious Freedom
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NDP

François Pilon

New Democratic Party

Mr. François Pilon (Laval—Les Îles, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am so pleased to rise in the House today, March 25, to celebrate Greek Independence Day. As founders of democracy, philosophy and theatre, the Greek people have, on many occasions throughout history, demonstrated resiliency, courage and the will to exist and to be.

I am lucky to represent a riding, Laval—Les Îles, that is home to one of the largest Greek communities in Quebec. I am therefore pleased to invite not just the people of Laval, but all of my colleagues in the House, to participate in the celebrations that will be put on by the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal this weekend. I am proud to say that I will be there.

I would especially like to invite everyone to the parade that will take place this Sunday on Jean-Talon in Montreal. Every year, the parade showcases Greek culture, which is so vibrant in my community.

Long live the Greeks in Laval, Quebec and Canada, and long live Greece.

[Member spoke in Greek as follows:]

Zito Y Ellada!

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Greek Independence Day
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CPC

Costas Menegakis

Conservative

Mr. Costas Menegakis (Richmond Hill, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 194th anniversary of the great rebellion of the Greek people against the Ottoman Empire, liberating a nation after almost 400 years of illegal occupation.

On this March 25 and throughout this week, Canadians of Hellenic descent will be celebrating this national day of independence with parades and community events across Canada, including in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver and many other places.

In my riding of Richmond Hill, the Hellenic Canadian community of York Region will be hosting a Greek school celebration at the Hellenic Academy of York located at Pleasantville Public School, with student performances including poems, songs and traditional Greek dances.

We salute all Canadians of Greek heritage during this time of celebration, and recognize their important and positive contributions to Canada. I would like to wish everyone in York Region, throughout Canada and indeed throughout the world a very happy Greek Independence Day.

Zito i 25h Martiou!

Hronia Polla!

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Greek Independence Day
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CPC

David Tilson

Conservative

Mr. David Tilson (Dufferin—Caledon, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to sincerely congratulate the Orangeville Colonel Fitzgerald Branch 233 Royal Canadian Legion on its 80th anniversary. Since 1935, this exemplary legion branch has been an integral member of our community through its extraordinary efforts to ensure that the imperative act of remembrance has been passed from generation to generation.

Furthermore, this tremendous organization has continued to dedicate itself to enriching our community by sponsoring youth groups such as Girl Guides, escorting veterans to and from medical appointments and hosting the annual seniors Christmas lunch as well as public events such as Canada Day, Founder's Day and of course Remembrance Day.

This Saturday, the Orangeville legion will be hosting its anniversary celebration. This is an excellent time for all of us to recognize and thank this outstanding legion for its exceptional service to our community and country.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Colonel Fitzgerald Branch 233 Royal Canadian Legion
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NDP

Jinny Sims

New Democratic Party

Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims (Newton—North Delta, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, in keeping with the Conservative government's constant mismanagement of the temporary foreign worker program, next Wednesday a large number of temporary foreign workers must leave Canada. The government will not actually tell us how many.

Among them are workers who have already filed applications for permanent residency and are at present waiting for an answer. These workers followed the rules. They came to Canada, worked hard and contributed to our economy. The current government changed the rules midstream. Based on an arbitrary deadline, the government is going to send these workers away. It is unfair and heartless.

We are calling on the Conservative government to allow temporary foreign workers who have submitted an application for permanent residency to be able to stay in Canada as their applications are reviewed and answered. We are also calling on the government to take immediate steps to restore pathways to citizenship for all temporary foreign workers as part of a full review of the badly mismanaged temporary foreign worker—

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Employment
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CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

Order, please.

The hon. member for Brampton—Springdale.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Employment
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CPC

Parm Gill

Conservative

Mr. Parm Gill (Brampton—Springdale, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, mothers and fathers should be able to make the important decisions that affect their own children. That is why our new family tax cut and enhanced universal child care benefit will give 100% of families with kids an average of nearly $2,000 per child. That is nearly $12,000 per child over six years.

From that side of the House, we hear of new taxes, high debt and the removal of all of these benefits we have brought forward to help Canadian families. Canadians do not want their money funnelled into bureaucratic black holes. They do not want higher taxes.

Canadians need tax relief and support that they can use as they see fit, and that is exactly what we are delivering on this side of the House.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Taxation
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NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre

New Democratic Party

Ms. Rosane Doré Lefebvre (Alfred-Pellan, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, despite all its hard work to achieve gender equality at all levels, the Table de concertation de Laval en condition féminine has noted that women are still under-represented in decision-making roles. This bitter reality is even more disconcerting considering the Conservatives' inaction on this issue.

In 2012, this government committed to creating an advisory council with a mandate to increase opportunities for women's leadership on corporate boards of public and private companies. Unfortunately, the long-awaited report has yet to be delivered.

We could have taken positive action by supporting the bill introduced by my colleague, the member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, which was intended to increase women's representation on boards of crown corporations. The Conservatives chose the status quo.

Now is the time to move forward and take action to ensure that the women of tomorrow can contribute to our society in a way that reflects their full potential.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Gender Equality
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CPC

Corneliu Chisu

Conservative

Mr. Corneliu Chisu (Pickering—Scarborough East, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our government is keeping our pledge to strengthen support for Canada's veterans and their families.

Recently, the Minister of Veterans Affairs announced changes that will ensure the earning loss benefit is calculated in the same way for reserve force veterans as it is for regular force veterans.

This is about respect for reservists. This is also about families, as the families of our reserves will have the confidence of knowing they too will benefit in the event of their reserve veteran being seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.

Canada's reserves form a crucial component of our armed forces and served our country proudly in Afghanistan. Our Conservative government knows this change is just the right thing to do.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Veterans
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LIB

Irwin Cotler

Liberal

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I recently returned from a moving trip to South Africa on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, the iconic moral compass of the anti-apartheid movement that inspired the creation of a free, democratic, egalitarian, and non-racial South Africa with Nelson Mandela, our honorary Canadian citizen, as its first president.

I had occasion to meet with Susan Shabangu, South Africa's minister responsible for women, on the eve of International Women's Day, whose message was that empowering women was empowering Africa, and indeed, it is equally true that empowering women is empowering Canada.

I met with Minister of Justice Tshililo Michael Masutha, discussing the contribution of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canadian jurisprudence to South African constitutionalism. I also met with Minister of the Presidency Jeff Radebe on the importance of a human rights foreign policy.

There is great potential for a Canada-South Africa partnership in the area of women's rights, constitutionalism, and international justice, where both our countries and peoples will be the beneficiaries.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   South Africa
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CPC

Brad Butt

Conservative

Mr. Brad Butt (Mississauga—Streetsville, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, manufacturing in southern Ontario remains critical to our nation's economy and long-term prosperity. Since we came to office, we have taken action to support manufacturing and all the jobs it supports in southern Ontario and across Canada.

While our government continues to create and stand up for jobs in the manufacturing sector, the leader of the Liberal party has been very clear in saying, “A large part of it is transitioning away from manufacturing-based employment as a driver in the economy”.

These comments are further proof that the Liberal leader is an economic novice, who is not capable of managing the Canadian economy in a still fragile global economy. Canadians deserve better.

That is why our government will continue to focus on jobs, fostering economic growth, and ensuring long-term prosperity for all Canadians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Manufacturing Industry
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NDP

Hélène Laverdière

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister delivered a fine speech to try to sell us on the idea of a lengthy, ill-defined and costly war.

The Prime Minister prefers military intervention over humanitarian aid. In fact, the numbers speak for themselves. Since the beginning of 2014, the government has committed $100 million to Iraqis affected by the conflict. The war on the ground alone has already cost $122 million and that is just a small portion of the total bill.

Let us not forget that the Canadian mission in Libya ended up costing six times more than initially estimated, and extending operations will cost hundreds of millions more. In the meantime, the government is not making any announcement about increasing aid in Iraq and the entire region.

The motion that the Conservatives moved yesterday does not include any plans for humanitarian assistance. The NDP puts people above weapons.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Mission Against the Islamic State
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CPC

Jacques Gourde

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the terrorist death cult that is the group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is specifically targeting Canada. Voters in my riding, Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, believe that it is vital to weaken ISIL to the point where it no longer represents a threat to Canada.

Thanks to the Royal Canadian Air Force and our coalition partners, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is already in defensive mode in 20% of the zones it controlled. Our government believes that it is in Canada's national interest to take part in the global fight against jihadist terrorism.

The Leader of the Liberal Party and the Leader of the NDPare not taking the jihadist threat seriously. They are out of touch with the international community. They would withdraw Canada from the global fight against jihadist terrorism.

I am proud that Canada is helping combat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Mission Against the Islamic State
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NDP

Thomas Mulcair

New Democratic Party

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the foreign affairs minister claimed that Canada's legal basis for bombing in Syria was “the same basis as the Americans”. The United States justification for war in Syria is that it is defending the Iraqi government.

Does the Prime Minister stand by that?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have already made it very clear that Canada will pursue its air campaign in Syria on the same legal basis that our allies have been pursuing that campaign without challenge for the past several months.

Our position is that ISIL should be given no safe refuge in Syria. The fact that Canada and its allies strongly oppose the Assad regime is, of course, absolutely no reason to allow ISIL safe haven in Syria, from which it could launch attacks against others.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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March 25, 2015