February 15, 2017

LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

The Speaker

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Windsor West.

[Members sang the national anthem]

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LIB

Pam Damoff

Liberal

Ms. Pam Damoff (Oakville North—Burlington, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on February 15, 1965, our national flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill. In 1996, February 15, was officially designated National Flag of Canada Day, thanks in large part to the advocacy of former MP for Parkdale—High Park and current Oakville North—Burlington resident Jesse Flis.

At the official ceremony inaugurating the new Canadian flag in 1965, the Honourable Maurice Bourget, Speaker of the Senate, said, “The flag is the symbol of the nation's unity, for it, beyond any doubt, represents all the citizens of Canada without distinction of race, language, belief or opinion.”

Residents are invited to drop into my community office and pick up a flag poster to display throughout our 150th anniversary to honour and show pride in our flag, a beacon of strength, fairness, diversity, and freedom at home and around the world.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Flag of Canada Day
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LIB

Nicola Di Iorio

Liberal

Mr. Nicola Di Iorio (Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I want to mark the passing of a great man who had one vision, two homelands, and three passions. More than anything, Roy Lacaud Heenan wanted to realize his vision of a law firm in which everyone strove daily to combine a desire for excellence, entrepreneurial spirit, and the joy of working together. A man of remarkable intelligence, boundless energy, and uncommon drive, Roy Heenan set the stage for the Heenan Blaikie law firm's outstanding ascent.

Born in Mexico but an ardent champion of his adoptive homeland, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his exceptional contribution to his three passions: labour law, the visual arts, and academic life.

I invite my colleagues to salute the passing of Roy Heenan, a man bigger than life, a great Canadian, and indeed a man for all seasons.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Roy Lacaud Heenan
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CPC

Lisa Raitt

Conservative

Hon. Lisa Raitt (Milton, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have heard from residents in my riding of Milton, and other Canadians, who feel that their health care needs are being neglected, and who feel forgotten by the current Liberal government. I implore the government to make the investments needed to right these wrongs in its upcoming budget. Now is the time to implement a national dementia strategy based on the recommendations of the Senate report and support it with steady, reliable funding. Now is the time for the Canadian autism partnership program, which would address key issues, such as information sharing and research, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment, while supporting families of Canadians living with autism. Now is the time to tackle the challenge of rare diseases by investing in early diagnosis, access to treatment, and research for those suffering from rare diseases.

Canadians are waiting. Let us get to work.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Health Care
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BQ

Xavier Barsalou-Duval

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Xavier Barsalou-Duval (Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, on February 15, 1965, Canada got a new flag. Of all 365 days of the year, Canada had to choose that day, the same day as the anniversary of the hanging of five Patriotes. With this abhorrent attempt to steal the day from Quebeckers, Canada has desecrated the memory of our heroes. Chevalier De Lorimier, Charles Hindelang, Amable Daunais, François Nicolas, and Pierre-Rémi Narbonne were hanged because they loved their nation, because they fought for it, and because they believed in freedom and were enemies of oppression.

On this 150th anniversary of Confederation, I would remind the House that Canada was built on the gallows that killed our heroes. Canada may have gotten a new flag on February 15, but we the indépendantistes, the separatists, we got our rallying cry: Vive la liberté, vive l'indépendance. Long live freedom, long live independence.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   February 15
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NDP

Jenny Kwan

New Democratic Party

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the first missing and murdered women and girls memorial march was organized in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Now, 27 years later, the march has spread across the nation into dozens of communities from coast to coast.

It is not a mistake that the date for the march is February 14. Valentine's Day is a day when we celebrate love. For the families of missing and murdered women, on this day and every day, their hearts ache for the loss of their loved ones.

Since the 1970s, over 3,000 women have gone missing or were murdered. To this day, hundreds of cases involving indigenous women and girls remain unresolved. To honour their memory, we need to stop all forms of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual violence against women. We need a national inquiry that is led by family and community members, an inquiry that validates their experiences and knowledge, supports their journey to healing, and honours their loss by providing answers and a commitment to real and meaningful action.

Real justice means no more stolen sisters.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Women’s Memorial March
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LIB

Raj Saini

Liberal

Mr. Raj Saini (Kitchener Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the work of the Bring on the Sunshine festival, a grassroots event that fosters a positive and creative space within our community for people of African descent to explore identity and heritage through the arts, while celebrating African culture and identity within a Canadian context.

Bring on the Sunshine showcases artisans and musicians, and acts as an opportunity for our community to come together in celebration during Black History Month. There is something for everyone to enjoy, from live music and drumming workshops to freshly prepared food.

We thank the organizers, community donors, officials, and volunteers who have once again come together to put on this amazing event. The festival is on Family Day, February 20, and I would like to invite all my colleagues and indeed all Canadians to come to Kitchener this Monday to celebrate.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Bring on the Sunshine Festival
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CPC

Pierre Poilievre

Conservative

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, in 1991, brilliant and athletic Michelle Stilwell became paralysed by a terrible accident and was condemned to a wheelchair.

She decided not to let it keep her down. In fact, she went on to compete in multiple Paralympic Games in which she was successful at securing six gold medals and one silver, in addition to multiple world records.

On top of that, she is a minister in the British Columbian government, a member of the legislature in that province, and a mother. She is one of over a million disabled Canadians who work. She is an inspiration. Unfortunately, she is retiring from her athletic career, but fortunately, she will continue to serve the people of British Columbia as a minister and a member of the Legislative Assembly.

We wish her well in her athletic retirement and we look forward to working with her for continued service for people all across this country by an inspiring Canadian. Congratulations to Michelle.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Member of the B.C. Legislature
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LIB

Jennifer O'Connell

Liberal

Ms. Jennifer O'Connell (Pickering—Uxbridge, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Earlier this month, I attended the Claremont beef dinner at Legion Branch 483, where I had the honour of announcing over $36,000 in support of an important local project. This funding, made possible through the enabling accessibility fund, will support the Legion as it constructs an exterior ramp, installs a lift, and builds an accessible washroom and a barrier-free corridor.

Accessibility issues have always been of the utmost importance to me, and I am proud that since the creation of the enabling accessibility fund, the government has helped thousands of Canadians gain access to community programs, services, and workplaces.

I would like to especially thank Karyn Miller and Sandy Hill from the Claremont Legion for all of their fantastic work on this project. This support, coupled with generous contributions from community organizations and residents, will ensure that veterans, children, and adults with disabilities will be able to access such an important facility in my riding.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Claremont Legion
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LIB

Wayne Easter

Liberal

Hon. Wayne Easter (Malpeque, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker I rise to congratulate Islander David Thompson, granted the distinguished alumni award at the Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture. This most prestigious award recognizes outstanding service and commitment to the Faculty of Agriculture, industry, and the alumni association.

Mr. Thompson's career in agriculture began after graduation from NSAC in 1970. He entered the crop protection industry, providing, technical support in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Maine. Well known and respected among potato and cereal grain growers across the country, he was a champion for environmental issues.

Currently president of the World Potato Congress, Dave also served locally as president of PEI Grain Elevators Corporation, promoting the grain and soybean industry of Prince Edward Island.

Allegedly retired, Mr. Thompson works and volunteers with numerous organizations and is as busy as ever. We thank David Thompson for his exceptional service and commitment to PEI, the agriculture industry, and the environment.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Distinguished Alumni Award
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CPC

Alain Rayes

Conservative

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, for 10 years now, Quebec has been organizing Hooked on School Days to encourage young people to stay in school. Hooked on School Days are celebrated annually during the third week of February.

The purpose of the week is to rally the public around our young people to talk to them about hard work, perseverance, and the advantages of having a good diploma. It is also serves as a reminder that dropout prevention matters to us all and that every student needs encouragement.

As a former teacher and school principal, I can say with confidence that we are working with incredible young people who will accomplish great things for society. I invite hon. members, business people, teachers, educators, principals, stakeholders, community groups, coaches, parents, and anyone who works with young people to make education our priority, because our young people are our future and our pride.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Hooked on School Days
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LIB

Kevin Lamoureux

Liberal

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is with heavy heart that I rise today in recognition of Irvine Fraser, better known as “Jubal”.

Irvine was a Winnipeg Transit bus driver who passed away because of an incident on his bus.

It is important for us to recognize that transit bus workers across our great nation extend their sympathy to the family and friends of Irvine. The fact is that every day in Canada we have buses going through our municipalities, opening their doors, and ensuring we have the best quality public transportation system in the world.

It is with a heavy heart that I extend my personal condolences, as well as condolences on behalf of my colleagues, to the family and friends of Irvine, and to the many others who have been so affected by this most recent tragedy.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Irvine Fraser
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LIB

Leona Alleslev

Liberal

Ms. Leona Alleslev (Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, today I rise as a former air cadet to recognize the hard work of the Queen's York Rangers 2799 Army Cadet Corps of Aurora, Ontario.

I was honoured to be a reviewing officer at the corp's annual parade last year. This corps, for the third time in four years, was awarded the Clarry Trophy for Top Large Army Cadet Corps in Ontario. This is an outstanding achievement.

The cadet program focuses on developing citizenship and leadership, promoting physical fitness, and encouraging interest in the air, sea, and land elements of the Canadian Forces for youth 12 to 19 years of age.

This corp's motto of “results not excuses” has paid off as the members have raised enough money to travel to France for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

I congratulate the members of the Queen's York Rangers 2799 Army Cadet Corps. We thank them for being exemplary citizens and leaders in our community.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Queen's York Rangers 2799 Army Cadet Corps
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CPC

Peter Van Loan

Conservative

Hon. Peter Van Loan (York—Simcoe, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today Canadians will mark the 52nd anniversary of the Canadian flag.

Canada has known several flags throughout our history. At Confederation 150 years ago, the Union Jack was flown as our flag. At Vimy Ridge, and in World War II, our troops fought under different versions of the Red Ensign. The maple leaf was already a symbol of Canada dating back to the 1700's, from its use as the emblem of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society, to its place in Alexander Muir's patriotic song, the Maple Leaf Forever.

That maple leaf became the focus of the country's new flag in 1965. While the product of a divisive debate, for 52 years now, the maple leaf flag has been a unifying symbol, representing Canada and recognized the world over.

Canadians are modest about their patriotism, but hundreds of thousands of homes, including mine, proudly fly the Canadian flag today on National Flag of Canada Day, and every other day of the year.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Flag of Canada Day
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LIB

Kamal Khera

Liberal

Ms. Kamal Khera (Brampton West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the life of a very dear friend and constituent of Brampton West, Molly Chatterjee.

Molly was born with Down's syndrome, but this did not stop her from making an impact on many lives. Molly was very involved in our community, feeding the homeless, helping at a senior citizens home, and providing warm meals at a women's shelter.

I had the pleasure of meeting Molly during our election campaign. All our volunteers will never forget Molly's ever-smiling face and her compassionate and warm hugs.

I was overcome with great sadness when I learned that Molly had passed away on Christmas Day in her home. I offer my sincere condolences to Molly's parents, Prabhat and Madhuri; her brother, Prasenjit; her sister-in-law, Taniya; and her very dear niece, Preyasi, whom she adored.

Molly will be forever missed by her friends and family, and the lives she has touched forever by her warm and kind heart.

May my friend rest in peace.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Molly Chatterjee
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NDP

Thomas Mulcair

New Democratic Party

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to applaud the fact that Montreal has just been named the best city in the world for university students.

Montreal is the first city to take over the top spot from Paris since the annual international ranking has been prepared and published. Montreal is unique in terms of quality of life, cultural diversity, and its world-class universities with instruction in both official languages.

In fact, Canada's big university cities performed very well overall in this international ranking. Vancouver and Toronto took the 10th and 11th spots respectively.

Our cities are global in every sense and welcoming because, fundamentally, we are a country of diversity, peace, and inclusion. Let us stay that way.

Congratulations, Montreal.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Montreal and its Universities
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CPC

Gerry Ritz

Conservative

Hon. Gerry Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians welcomed the news today of the European parliament approving the comprehensive trade agreement between Canada and the EU. The House overwhelmingly approved CETA just yesterday.

I would like to thank the Liberal government for recognizing how important this deal is for Canadian jobs. A special mention goes to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of International Trade who will continue this valuable work.

This would not have been possible without the vision and ambition of our former prime minister, the Right Hon. Stephen Harper. CETA was conceived, negotiated, and concluded under his leadership and that of the members, and friends of mine, from Abbotsford and York—Simcoe.

The heavy lifting was done by our world-class trade negotiators. Led by Steve Verheul, his team worked tirelessly on this historic agreement. For people like Steve, it becomes a part of their DNA and in turn a part of our history and success as a free trading nation.

I am proud to have been involved in such a historic agreement. Let us not stop with CETA. Let us also move forward with our allies in the Asia-Pacific and make Canada the gateway to North America for both Europe and Asia.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
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LIB

Marwan Tabbara

Liberal

Mr. Marwan Tabbara (Kitchener South—Hespeler, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the contributions of two exceptional Waterloo Region volunteers, Diane Bonfonte and Gloria Rudney, founders of Flag Wavers of Waterloo Region.

In addition to their tireless work for multiple community organizations, they have a long history of involvement in organizing Flag Day and Canada Day events in our region.

Today is the 52nd anniversary of the first time our flag was raised on Parliament Hill. During this 150th anniversary of Confederation let us celebrate our flag.

I invite all Canadians to search online for Flag Wavers of Waterloo Region and listen to its video of students at Kitchener's Smithson Public School singing about our flag. Then post a picture or video of themselves with the flag and inspire others to do the same: #canadianflag.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Volunteerism
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CPC

Rona Ambrose

Conservative

Hon. Rona Ambrose (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Canada has a lot at stake with our relationship with the United States, and Canadians are worried. While the U.S. is lowering taxes, the Prime Minister is raising them in Canada. That is what happens when there is a spending problem. There is nothing left when an emergency happens.

Will the Prime Minister stop raising taxes on our businesses so they can complete with the Americans?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

Bill Morneau

Liberal

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, our record on taxes is quite clear. We have lowered taxes on middle-class Canadians. It was the very first thing we did. We know that helping middle-class Canadians is critically important to the future of this country. That is why we moved forward with that tax reduction. That is why we moved forward with the Canada child benefit, which helps nine out of 10 families. We also know that keeping a competitive tax rate for business is important, and that is the continuing focus of our government.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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February 15, 2017