April 5, 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 Edmonton Centre.

[Members sang the national anthem]

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Xavier Barsalou-Duval

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, first the Acadians were deported, and now they are being written out of history with the Prime Minister's blessing. That is one of the first things one notices upon watching the CBC's revisionist new series, Canada: The Story of Us.

Even the Minister of Canadian Heritage, who tried to persuade us that John A. Macdonald was a feminist, a progressive, a Montreal Canadiens fan, and pals with Louis Riel, refrained from commenting on this dreck.

In this new version of history, the French are a ragtag bunch of misfits, while the English are sharply dressed, cunning, and smart.

This is not the story of us. Our history is still being written. This is the story of them, and neither Quebeckers nor Acadians have a place in the so-called multicultural Canada that the CBC wants to ram down our throats.

The worst part is that the CBC paid for this so-called Canadian propaganda with our tax dollars.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canada: The Story of Us
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LIB

Doug Eyolfson

Liberal

Mr. Doug Eyolfson (Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate a constituent from my riding whose hard work has made a difference in the lives of many in our community.

Valerie Christie is a resident of Charleswood, and has always been willing to lend a helping hand, whether volunteering at her children's elementary and junior high schools, or at her church. She has distinguished herself through her work at the Westgrove Family Resource Centre, helping students improve their literacy and numeracy skills, and through her leadership with the Westdale community food bank.

Valerie was justly awarded the Governor General Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers this past January. Valerie's passion to help others reflects the spirit of community in Charleswood. On behalf of the House of Commons, I would like to congratulate and thank Valerie for her years of service. Our community would not be the same without her.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Volunteerism
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CPC

Todd Doherty

Conservative

Mr. Todd Doherty (Cariboo—Prince George, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, each year, malaria kills an estimated 438,000 people. It remains the leading cause of death of children under five in Africa. Since 2007, Spread the Net has helped protect the lives of almost 32 million people by contributing to the delivery of over 15 million malaria preventing nets to families in Africa.

I am proud to once again have the privilege to rise in the House, and speak about a great group in my riding of Cariboo—Prince George.

Last month, Beaverly Elementary School in Prince George took up the Spread the Net challenge. Not only did it take up the challenge, it smashed it. At the end of the challenge, the school had raised over $27,000. Beaverly Elementary was the number one school in the country for fundraising. Rick Mercer, who cofounded the Spread the Net program, personally paid the school a visit to thank the students for their efforts.

I am so proud of what our students have accomplished. I congratulate all of the students, parents, and staff at Beaverly Elementary School for their efforts. I am incredibly proud to serve all of them.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Malaria
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LIB

Denis Paradis

Liberal

Hon. Denis Paradis (Brome—Missisquoi, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the opportunity to meet with my American neighbours from Vermont, including Senator Bernie Sanders' and Senator Patrick Leahy's teams.

I think it is crucial that we strengthen our ties with our neighbours, since we share so many concerns, including the environment. In fact, we plan to have another meeting in my riding in early June to continue our discussions.

In my region, the water quality of Lake Champlain is a perfect example of the need for co-operation. It is a serious issue that calls for all stakeholders to work together. That is why we will continue to fully support Canadian values when it comes to the environment.

It is imperative that most of the funding allocated to Lake Champlain in budget 2016, that is, $7.5 million, be spent primarily on the water quality of our lake.

I encourage all my colleagues to reach out to American senators to build meaningful relationships with our neighbours to the south.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canada–U.S. Relations
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Carol Hughes

NDP

Mrs. Carol Hughes (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to acknowledge Samantha Giguere who was recently selected as one of Canada's 33 Loran Scholars. This prestigious program provides tuition waivers and is valued at $100,000 over four years of undergraduate study.

A resident of Thessalon First Nation and a student at Central Algoma Secondary School, Samantha is the only Loran Scholar from Northern Ontario this year, and was chosen based on evidence of character, commitment to service in her community, and long-term leadership potential.

Samantha sings, plays the fiddle, has coordinated a musical performance for a literary event, and for the last four years has organized a dinner and talent show fundraiser. Her efforts supported the Rebekahs, have helped send high school students to the United Nations, and assisted a nearby double lung transplant recipient.

Samantha hopes to study archeology and indigenous studies at the University of Toronto, and looks forward to the support she will receive as a Loran Scholar.

I ask all members to join me in congratulating Samantha and all Loran Scholars

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Scholarships
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LIB

Bill Casey

Liberal

Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland—Colchester, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the abandoned coal mines of Springhill, Nova Scotia have been sealed-off for more than 60 years. However, for the past three decades, businesses and civic buildings in the town have been heated by the warm water that flooded those miles of deserted mines, a very low cost and sustainable source of heating energy. However, geothermal heat remains largely unexploited, even as we are working to prepare Canadians in every province for a low emissions future.

Even though the potential for geothermal heating in Canada is great, there are few tax measures and programs to encourage this development. Now is the time for the federal and provincial governments to put forward measures that encourage the exploration and development of geothermal energy sources.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Natural Resources
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CPC

Ted Falk

Conservative

Mr. Ted Falk (Provencher, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, freedom of religion is the cornerstone of democratic societies. One of the things that makes Canada great is the freedom we enjoy to follow our consciences, and to live out our faiths in a diverse society.

This year, as Canadians celebrate 150 years since Confederation, it is important to reflect on the Judeo-Christian principles that played such a key role in Canada's formation. These are principles that set the foundation for freedom and diversity of culture and faiths that we enjoy today.

Next week, Canada, and the Christian faith in particular, will celebrate Easter. Easter is a time, as singer-songwriter Chris Tomlin so wonderfully expresses, God's love ran red and He sent his only Son to be crucified to pay the price for our sins.

The really good news is the cross could not hold Him. The tomb is empty. We serve a living saviour, and He is coming back again.

Mr. Speaker, to you, to the House, and to all Canadians, happy and blessed Easter.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Easter
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LIB

Iqra Khalid

Liberal

Ms. Iqra Khalid (Mississauga—Erin Mills, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, all members in this place can attest that whatever we do, whatever impact we make in our capacity as members, constituents we help, events we attend, communities we engage, and discussions we facilitate, we would not be able to do much without the support of our volunteers. These are people who give us their most precious asset, their time.

I rise today to pay tribute to the youth of team Mississauga—Erin Mills for the time, support, and counsel they provide me. They engage in politics and governance, community, and positive impact. They understand that through volunteerism, they empower themselves to take ownership of our country.

Here is to our youth councils, to the youth volunteers at my offices, including: Amna, Ayesha, Fares, Amira, Andrew, Ahmed, Holden, and to the great friends that go above and beyond: Angad, Kazim, Tamer, Abed, Zubair, Ian, and Andy.

Let us keep empowering our youth. Our leaders of tomorrow will thank us for it.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Volunteerism
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LIB

Borys Wrzesnewskyj

Liberal

Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Sunday was Pope John Paul II Day in Ontario. As a young man, Karol Wojtyla entered an underground seminary during the Nazi occupation of Poland, and at lethal personal risk, saved Polish Jews. Following the Soviet takeover of deeply Catholic Poland, Stalin scoffed, “How many divisions does the Pope of Rome have?”

It was at this time that Father Wojtyla was ordained, focusing on youth, organizing secret prayers, and theological discussions.

Elected pontiff in 1978, Pope John Paul II's experiences as a bishop and cardinal in communist atheist Poland provided him with the inner strength, and experience to catalyze Poles in opposition to the regime. The peaceful Solidarity revolution led to the downfall of Poland's communist rulers, peaceful revolutions in the Warsaw Pact countries, and the collapse of the Soviet evil empire. Saint John Paul II visited Canada three times, touching the lives of hundreds of thousands of Canadians.

Bóg Zaplac.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Pope John Paul II Day
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CPC

Ed Fast

Conservative

Hon. Ed Fast (Abbotsford, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, On March 7, Abbotsford lost a servant leader. Legendary former mayor George Ferguson died at the full age of 91.

George grew up in Abbotsford, and began his political career in 1969 as alderman. He was soon elected mayor of the district of Abbotsford, where he served for over 33 years. Over that time, George presided over the merger of the districts of Abbotsford and Matsqui, and served as president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Union of BC Municipalities.

For many of us, George was a mentor, and an inspiration to make public life our calling. He never failed to remind us that we are each called to be a servant of the people. Predeceased by his first wife Betty, George leaves behind 11 children, a host of grand and great-grandchildren, his beloved wife, Ria, and many friends.

He leaves a big hole in our community, but his legacy of servant leadership will never be forgotten. George, well done, thou good and faithful servant.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   George Ferguson
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LIB

Pam Damoff

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians, including those living with a disability, deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Building inclusive communities is the cornerstone of our government's commitment to fostering fair and equal opportunities for every Canadian. Accessibility may get someone through the door, but inclusivity creates an atmosphere where everyone is welcome and treated equally. One of my goals is to make Halton the most accessible and inclusive region in Canada.

My recent round table discussion with businesses, agencies, and advocates focused on the benefits of inclusive employment and removing barriers that prevent individuals living with disabilities from participating in the workforce. I was thrilled to see budget 2017's commitment to promoting equal opportunities and increased inclusion for Canadians living with disabilities. I encourage my colleagues in this House to encourage businesses to create inclusive employment strategies in their own communities.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Disabilities
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LIB

Stephen Fuhr

Liberal

Mr. Stephen Fuhr (Kelowna—Lake Country, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I wish to welcome to Ottawa the Canadian Airports Council. This council is a voice for Canadian airports across this country. Serving as gateways to the world, airports are economic engines in our communities, generating more than 140,000 direct jobs and some $35 billion in economic activity.

In my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country, under the direction of airport manager Sam Samaddar and his team, Kelowna International Airport is one of the busiest airports in Canada, serving 1.7 million passengers last year and creating more than 4,500 jobs and almost $800 million in economic output for the province of British Columbia.

I invite all members of this House to join me today from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Sir John A. Macdonald building for a reception recognizing our airports' contributions to the Canadian economy. If members have an airport in their riding, come over to Sir John A.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian Airports
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CPC

Peter Kent

Conservative

Hon. Peter Kent (Thornhill, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the world was reminded yesterday of the devastating, barbaric effects of chemical weapons. In northern Syria, scores of innocent children, women, and men were killed in what many witnesses and officials believe was a sarin gas attack.

While chemical weapons in Syria are unfortunately nothing new, this one was different. People who were outdoors immediately collapsed, suffocating, foaming at the mouth, their pupils reduced to the size of pinpoints. These details are horrific, but they need to be read into the record.

Many believe that Bashar al-Assad has now resorted to using toxic nerve agents against Syria's civilian population. The world must respond. There is no question that yesterday's events constitute a war crime. Assad, and his allies in Tehran and Moscow, must be held to account.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Lloyd Longfield

Liberal

Mr. Lloyd Longfield (Guelph, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to share with this House that Guelph, the royal city, will be celebrating its 190th anniversary on St. George's Day, April 23.

The history of Guelph embodies a proud spirit of innovation. In 1827, our city's founding father, John Galt, designed Guelph as a planned town, a Canadian first, to resemble European city centres, complete with squares, broad main streets, and city blocks. This was a radical concept at the time and set the foundation for city planning in Canada. It was also a home for the Canada Company to encourage people to set up business in Canada, even before farms were established.

Guelph has left an indelible mark on Canada's national fabric. It is at the forefront of business, environmental, and social innovation and development. I am truly honoured to represent this vibrant city.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   190th Anniversary of Guelph
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Rachel Blaney

NDP

Ms. Rachel Blaney (North Island—Powell River, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, across Canada, indigenous women and girls have gone missing or have been murdered. For too long, this silent legacy has impacted communities and families. The national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls is set to begin hearing testimony from families this May.

It is time to take out of the shadows the reality that indigenous women and girls have faced alone for too long. It is time for those voices to be heard. For them and their families, this needs to be done right. They must be heard when they say that the approach feels disorganized and that transmitting families' contact information is confusing.

Our confidence cannot be shaken, because the stories need to be told. Canada must listen, and the government must act. We are faced with an opportunity to shape the lives of indigenous girls. In my riding of North Island—Powell River, I have heard the grieving calls of family members too often.

All voices need to be heard. I ask people to call or write the inquiry and end the silence.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Indigenous Affairs
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CPC

Mike Lake

Conservative

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, April 2 was World Autism Awareness Day and 19 years since my son Jaden was diagnosed, at two. Jaden is not special because he has autism, nor is he special despite having autism. He is just really and truly special.

When people are with Jaden, he does not require them to be anyone they are not. He simply loves the fact that they are with him. He does not care at all what party people are with, whether someone is the Prime Minister, a backbencher, a staff member, or even a member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery.

He likes people and trusts them. If they do him wrong, he will probably like and trust them all over again before they have completed their next breath.

Too often our society views such naïveté as weakness. Having had the privilege of learning from Jaden for 21 years, I would argue that the opposite is true. If we can adapt our thinking to include and embrace more of the raw honesty and vulnerability we see in people like Jaden, we will all be better off for it.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   World Autism Day
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LIB

Mark Gerretsen

Liberal

Mr. Mark Gerretsen (Kingston and the Islands, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it was the mid-1980s in Kingston, Ontario, when five boys, linked together by their love for music, decided to form a band. It was nearly three decades later that I had the privilege, as mayor of Kingston, of renaming a street after them. Last Sunday night, for the third time, The Tragically Hip won group of the year at the Junos.

From winning most promising group of the year in 1990, the Hip went on to win countless awards and to be inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, but perhaps what is most remarkable about The Tragically Hip is their love for their community. Throughout the years, they have given back immensely to Kingston, most often to very little fanfare. From getting involved in local charity events to raising money for cancer research, they took their fame and used it to make their community an even better place for everyone.

We thank Gord, Gord, Paul, Rob, and Johnny for sharing their work and talent with us. I speak on behalf of all Kingstonians, and indeed all Canadians, when I say we are proud to call them Canada's band.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Tragically Hip
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Rona Ambrose

Mr. Speaker, the world is watching with horror as the unimaginable unfolds in Syria.

Last night the Prime Minister said:

Canada strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons. The perpetrators of the horrific attack in Syria must be held accountable.

We agree. Can the Prime Minister share with Canadians and with the House what specific actions Canada is planning to take to hold the perpetrators to account?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Justin Trudeau

Liberal

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we are shocked and appalled by the reports of chemical weapons attacks against civilians in Syria. Many of the victims were children.

It is critical that we hold those responsible to account for these war crimes. We are supporting evidence gathering to achieve that end. In addition, we will provide $840-million worth of lifesaving humanitarian and development assistance for the region to alleviate the suffering in this conflict.

As we speak, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is at the Brussels conference on the future of Syria. These meetings will work toward finding a lasting political resolution to the Syrian war and to addressing the critical needs of the most vulnerable.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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April 5, 2017