April 24, 2015

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Elizabeth May

Green

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in this House today, within the same week in which we celebrated Earth Day, to mark the accomplishments of some global leaders, real eco-heroes around the world, who is in this week received the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize.

These prizes are given out annually. They are significant awards. They recognize heroism, grassroots work, often people who are fighting for change in their communities in very difficult situations, in which they face threats to life and limb.

We celebrated one of those heroes many years ago when Colleen McCrory, from the Kootenays, won the prize for her work in British Columbia in protecting the wilderness.

Another British Columbia has been nominated and has received the award this year. My congratulations go out to the former chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, Marilyn Baptiste, who has received global recognition for her work in fighting the proposed gold and copper mines that would have destroyed Fish Lakes. Congratulations.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Goldman Environmental Prize
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CPC

Brad Butt

Conservative

Mr. Brad Butt (Mississauga—Streetsville, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, economic action plan 2015 is great news for the people of Mississauga—Streetsville.

First, our government has tabled a balanced budget. We are increasing the annual contribution limit to a tax-free savings account to $10,000. We are supporting seniors by reducing the minimum withdrawal requirements for registered retirement income funds. We are introducing the home accessibility tax credit to help with renovation costs so seniors and disabled persons can live independently and remain in their homes.

We are increasing and expanding the universal child care benefit and introducing income splitting that benefits every single family in Mississauga—Streetsville with children. Members of the Streetsville Business Improvement Association will benefit from a reduction of the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019. We are creating the public transit fund and providing over $5 billion per year for infrastructure through the new building Canada fund.

People in Mississauga—Streetsville are better off because of this Conservative government.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Budget
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NDP

Tyrone Benskin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Tyrone Benskin (Jeanne-Le Ber, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Ypres.

This Sunday I will again be participating in the commemoration of this important event. As always, this remembrance ceremony will be hosted by Canadian Legion branch 4, in Verdun.

Legion 4 is the only Legion branch in Canada that steadfastly continues to remember the contribution and sacrifices of Canadian service members in this important battle.

Let us take a moment to remember those who risked their lives and fought to protect our rights and freedoms. We must take care of our veterans by bringing in better measures to protect their health.

Veterans in this country fought for the freedoms we now hold dear. Let us in this House honour their spirit and sacrifice by protecting those freedoms, for if we sacrifice those freedoms out of fear, then what did they fight to protect? Lest we forget.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian Legion Branch 4
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CPC

Maurice Vellacott

Conservative

Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, on Apri1 23, 1920, the national assembly of the Turkish republic was established.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish republic, dedicated April 23 to the children of the country because they would be the future of the new nation. Turkey's children's day showed the world the importance he placed on the health and education of young people.

Years later, UNICEF decided to recognize April 23 as International Children's Day. Since 1979, National Sovereignty and Children's Day in Turkey has been celebrated with guest children from around the world. They are housed in Turkish homes and interact with kids from other nations, and learn about each other's cultures. When these children participate in a special session of the parliament, a truly international assembly is formed, where children pledge their commitment to international peace and friendship.

Turkish Canadians are rightly proud that their country of origin was the initiator of the world's first national children's holiday. Children's day in Canada is celebrated with numerous multicultural children's activities and events that focus on our children, our future.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Children's Day Celebrations
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LIB

Irwin Cotler

Liberal

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of the unanimous adoption by this House of a resolution establishing a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Mass Atrocities, of which the worst is the crime which name we should even shudder to mention: genocide.

Today, we mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, as last week we observed Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Yesterday also marked the 67th anniversary of the State of Israel, born out of the ashes of the Holocaust.

It is sometimes said that if there had not been a Holocaust, there would not have been a State of Israel, but it is the other way around. If there had been an Israel, there might not have been a Holocaust or the horrors of Jewish history.

Yesterday was also the birthday of former prime minister and Nobel Peace Laureate, Lester Pearson, who was an early advocate for the establishment of a Jewish state and in whose memory the resolution was established. May I close, in his memory, with the biblical prayer:

Oseh shalom bimromov Hu ya'aseh shalom aleinu v'al kol Yisrael v'imru amen.

May God, who establishes peace on high, grant peace for all of us in the State of Israel. Amen.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Day of Remembrance and Action on Mass Atrocities
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CPC

Lois Brown

Conservative

Ms. Lois Brown (Newmarket—Aurora, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, meningitis is a serious infection caused by inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. It can strike any time and within hours, and it can result in lifelong disability or death.

Meningitis Relief Canada was established in 2012 with a vision to improve the lives of individuals and families afflicted by the complication of meningitis by providing means to heal and rebuild.

Last December, Meningitis Relief Canada shared beautiful images by world-renowned photograph Anne Geddes of children around the world affected by meningitis. It opened my eyes, and those of my colleagues, to how serious this disease is and that we can do more to raise awareness and prevent it.

Today is World Meningitis Day. I ask everyone here to recognize World Meningitis Day and let us all work toward sparing the heartache of losing one more loved one to this devastating disease.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   World Meningitis Day
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NDP

Laurin Liu

New Democratic Party

Ms. Laurin Liu (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the federal budget was an opportunity for the Conservatives to repair the damage they have done to science since forming a majority government. However, we see that the Conservatives have not changed their formula.

They keep promoting industrial research to the detriment of basic research. However, between 2006 and 2014, Canada went from ranking 16th to 22nd among the 34 OECD countries in terms of business investment in research and development, which means that the Conservative strategy is not even working.

The Conservatives closed a number of research institutes, which are a treasure trove of knowledge in Quebec, including the francophone scientific library at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute. They also jeopardized funding for other institutes such as the Mont-Mégantic observatory.

I am working hard in Ottawa to counter the Conservative government's short-sighted vision. The NDP understands the importance of preserving our scientific heritage.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Scientific Community
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CPC

Joe Daniel

Conservative

Mr. Joe Daniel (Don Valley East, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, perpetrated by the Ottoman empire between 1915 and 1923. After 100 years, it is now widely accepted as the first genocide of the modern era.

In Canada, our Parliament, in 2004, acknowledged the Armenian genocide of 1915 and condemned this act as a crime against humanity. In 2006, the government affirmed this resolution that the 1.5 million Armenians who died during those years were in fact subjects of the genocide.

All across Canada today, and in my riding of Don Valley East, Canadian Armenians are holding commemoration ceremonies to mark this tragic event in history.

On this solemn anniversary, I recognize the great work of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Canada, an organization that unites Canadians and Armenians right across our great country.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Armenian Genocide
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CPC

Wladyslaw Lizon

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the second battle of Ypres, which started 100 years ago on April 22, marks a pivotal moment in Canadian military history.

Ypres was a battle of firsts for Canadians. It marked the Canadian Expeditionary Force's first significant engagement of the First World War and, despite the horror of the first chlorine gas attacks, adversity was turned into triumph at Kitcheners' Wood, which marked Canada's first victory on European soil.

Treating the wounded and dying at Ypres inspired Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae to pen the poem In Flanders Fields, which, to this day, urges us to remember this sacrifice and to hold the torch of remembrance high.

Today, and every day, we honour those brave Canadians who fought and died during the second battle of Ypres. We hold high that torch of remembrance for all who have sacrificed in the struggle for enduring peace and freedom throughout the world.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Second Battle of Ypres
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NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan

New Democratic Party

Ms. Rathika Sitsabaiesan (Scarborough—Rouge River, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. A century ago, the world stood silent, while more than 1.5 million Armenians were killed.

In recognizing this terrible event 11 years ago, the House passed a motion to acknowledge the Armenian genocide of 1915 and to condemn this act as a crime against humanity On this 100th anniversary, we again remember the suffering of those men, women and children, and mourn their loss.

This dark period of our history cannot be forgotten. Nor can we look aside from the ongoing suffering of countless other atrocities and crimes against humanity around the world.

Today, we join with thousands of Canadians of Armenian origin to remember the victims of this tragedy and to recommit to protecting fundamental human rights and dignity for all. Together, we stand united.

[Member spoke in Armenian]

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Armenian Genocide
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CPC

Parm Gill

Conservative

Mr. Parm Gill (Brampton—Springdale, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, my constituents in Brampton—Springdale are concerned about the Liberals' new mandatory pension payroll tax that could force a family of two workers in the home to pay as much as $3,200 per year. This is what Liberals consistently do: force Canadians to pay higher taxes.

We know the Liberal leader approves of the plan to raise payroll taxes. Our government does not believe in forcing Canadians into a single compulsory one-size-fits-all approach or reaching into the pockets of hard-working, middle-class Canadians and reducing their take-home pay.

Under our government, there will be no mandatory job-killing, economy-destabilizing or pension tax hike, not for employees, not for employers. We will continue to support the vital small business sector, the creation of jobs and growth with our low-tax, balanced budget.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Taxation
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NDP

Nathan Cullen

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, the friendship of the communities of Stewart, British Columbia and Hyder, Alaska represent the best of our friendship with our American cousins. The towns are interwoven and deeply connected.

However, on April 1, the Conservative government decided to close the vital border crossing between Stewart and Hyder for eight hours a day, cutting off these two intertwined communities, one from the other. The Conservatives did not consult with the local community or businesses and the government admitted it would not even save any money by this action.

The local businesses in the region have been clear that it will cost jobs in tourism, mining and other pillars of that small community. If the situation does not sound ridiculous enough already, last week the state of Alaska voted to offer to pay Canada to keep the border open 24 hours a day.

When it comes to respecting our friendship with the United States and protecting the jobs and safety of northern communities, the Conservatives are an embarrassment. The people of Stewart and Hyder deserve better. Conservatives must change this idiotic decision, but rest assured, a New Democratic government will come through for the people of Stewart and Hyder when we form government a little later this year.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canada-U.S. Border Security
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CPC

Gerald Keddy

Conservative

Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I urge the NDP to actually read the budget, because this week the Minister of Finance tabled a great budget for middle-class Canadians. It is a balanced budget, just as we promised, and it cuts taxes for Canadians, just as we promised. For example, the new family tax cut and enhanced universal child care benefit will benefit 100% of families with kids, including in NDP ridings, the vast majority of these benefits going to low and middle-income families.

The Liberals and the NDP will take this away and raise taxes on small businesses and workers. Under our government, there will be no mandatory job-killing, economy-destabilizing, pension tax hike, not for employees and not for employers.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

Hon. Geoff Regan (Halifax West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, with heavy hearts, we note the passing of a great Nova Scotian. The Honourable Alasdair Graham was an inspiration to so many people in Nova Scotia, across Canada and around the world.

Born and raised in the coal mining town of Dominion on Cape Breton Island, he never forgot where he came from. A champion of Liberal International and president of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party and in the Liberal Party of Canada, he served in the Chrétien government as leader of the government in the Senate and regional minister for Nova Scotia.

Throughout his career in radio, at Devco and in parliament, he was a voice for the downtrodden and disenfranchised, a voice for social progress. He had a deep love of his family and took great pride in their achievements. He delighted to be with them, and our hearts go out to them.

Al Graham was full of stories and jokes and fun and laughter. He was full of life.

Goodbye my friend. He will be missed.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Alasdair Graham
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CPC

Paul Calandra

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in 1972, the then Trudeau Liberal government seized thousands of acres of class 1 farmland in my community, separating farmers from the lands they had farmed for generations. Yesterday was truly an historic day as the Governor General provided royal assent to the Rouge National Urban Park. It is a great day.

In 2008, I promised to find a way to reverse what the Liberals had done to farmers and yesterday we did that, thanks to the hard work of the Minister of the Environment and other members of Parliament on this side of the House. This park will guarantee our farmers the right to farm with long-term leases. It also creates a national urban park for the first time under a model which can be used not only in Canada but globally.

In creating this park, we consulted with over 150 municipal, provincial and aboriginal partners, and we took over 15,000 comments. The park will have the highest level of protection it has ever had, which far exceeds the protections the current provincial Liberal government gives.

I am so proud of the work we have done to get this done and I am proud of the community that made this park a reality.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Rouge National Urban Park
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NDP

Pierre Dionne Labelle

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pierre Dionne Labelle (Rivière-du-Nord, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Mike Duffy's journal reads like a bad crime novel: it contains corruption, scandal and a failed attempt to hide Duffy's dubious lobbying of Enbridge managers.

However, the Conservatives have always had a tendency to give a free ride to leaders of major corporations. As was the case with the last budget, they are again attacking the most vulnerable by taking $2 billion from the unemployed instead of making CEOs contribute by limiting their ability to pay themselves with stock options. In any event, it is of no consequence to the Conservatives: they will pass the burden on to our children and grandchildren.

Our children deserve better. They deserve a Canada where no one is left behind. That is what Canada will get in October 2015. Their parents and grandparents will vote for the only party that stands up for families: the NDP.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Ethics
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CPC

Kelly Block

Conservative

Mrs. Kelly Block (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, my constituents of Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar were very pleased to see our Conservative government continue to lower taxes for Canadians with our balanced budget. Families all across Saskatchewan are looking forward to receiving the benefits from the family tax cut and enhanced universal child care benefit. These benefits will leave 100% of families with kids with more money in their pockets.

The Liberals and the NDP would take this away and raise taxes on small businesses and workers.

Under our government, there will be no mandatory job-killing, economy-destabilizing pension tax hike, not for employees and not for employers.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Taxation
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NDP

David Christopherson

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it seems the finance minister let the cat out of the bag the other day that this budget will take billions from working families and give it to the wealthy few, leaving a massive burden for future generations, but the Prime Minister said that consequences be damned; who cares if our grandkids have no money for health care, roads or pensions.

The Conservatives are determined to funnel money to the wealthy no matter what the cost. Why do they think hard-working Canadians should pay more so that their insider friends can pay less?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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CPC

Andrew Saxton

Conservative

Mr. Andrew Saxton (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our family benefits will help 100% of families across Canada with kids, with the vast majority of the benefits going to low- and middle-income Canadians. There are 11 million Canadians who have a tax-free savings account, with the vast majority of accounts belonging again to low- and middle-income earners.

The Liberals and the NDP want high taxes on middle-class families, high taxes on middle-class seniors, and high taxes on middle-class consumers.

Our Conservative government is lowering taxes on the middle class and lowering taxes for all Canadians.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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NDP

David Christopherson

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the Conservatives have a no-tax plan for the wealthy and everybody else has to pay for it. They have a TFSA time bomb that funnels billions to the richest. They have kept loopholes to let CEOs skip out on millions in taxes. They have an income-splitting scheme that rewards the wealthy, but does nothing for 85% of Canadians, yet the Conservatives have failed to invest even a cent in affordable child care.

Why are the Conservatives proposing a budget that passes along the costs of their election promises to our children and grandchildren?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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April 24, 2015