December 13, 2017

LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

The Speaker

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of O Canada led by the hon. member for Edmonton Centre.

[Members sang the national anthem]

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BQ

Xavier Barsalou-Duval

Bloc Québécois

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

Mr. Speaker, all the snow we just got is a sure sign that the holidays are just around the corner. On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to express our best wishes to you, the clerks, the pages, the security guards, who do not yet have a contract, and to everyone else who works for the House of Commons. Best wishes also to my colleagues from all the other parties.

I hope that next year will see us working together to make things better for Quebec. I also want to acknowledge our political staff who work tirelessly in the background on behalf of our constituents.

Lastly, I would like to extend my very best wishes to the people of Quebec. You are the reason we are here tenaciously defending your interests and our distinct society. We wish you happy times with your loved ones complete with celebration, good food, and rest. Let us come back reinvigorated because 2018 will be a memorable year. Merry Christmas and happy new year.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Holiday Greetings
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LIB

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith

Liberal

Mr. Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Beaches—East York, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the holidays are a time to spend with family and with our community.

We have been lucky to celebrate the holidays in Beaches—East York with many local bazaars, our Santa Claus parade along Kingston Road, DECA's festival of lights in East Lynn Park, and the Beaches Lions Tree Lighting in Kew Gardens.

However, the holidays are not only for celebrating. They are also a time to give back to our community and to Canadians in need. That is why my constituency office team and our youth council will be joining hundreds of our neighbours to volunteer packing and delivering hampers of toys, food, and necessities to families in need across our riding. I encourage everyone across our community to chip in if they can.

On December 20, people can join us at Secord Elementary to support a holiday hamper program run by the Neighbourhood Centre/Access Alliance. Between December 18 and 22, we can be joined at Community Centre 55's share a Christmas program. Together, we will pack and deliver packages of food and gifts to over 1,000 local families in need. That is the holiday spirit.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Beaches—East York
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CPC

Kerry Diotte

Conservative

Mr. Kerry Diotte (Edmonton Griesbach, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have a little Christmas song to sing, even though I am losing my voice:

Pipelines to the east, Not happening today $10 million dollar cheques, Our veterans have to pay. Small businesses are hit, More tax Grits spend away Oh what pain it is, To sing this Liberal song today. Hey.... Jingle bells, Something smells Deficits run away How sad it is to ruin The middle class today. Hey! Jingle bells, Cash for Access sells, Your wallet paves the way You can have a minister If only you can pay. Hey Aussies sell us jets, They can't give away And let's not forget Phoenix doesn't pay. Hey. Jingle bells, jingle bells, Tories will save the day, Oh what fun... It sure will be... Seeing Liberals go away.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Christmas
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LIB

Yasmin Ratansi

Liberal

Ms. Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, December 13 marks the 81st birthday of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan.

Since 1957, the Aga Khan has been deeply engaged in enhancing the quality of life of the most vulnerable populations, while emphasizing the need to promote the rights of women and girls, respect the environment, and encourage peace, prosperity, and tolerance.

The Aga Khan has invested over $500 million in Canada, including in the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa, the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, lsmaili Centres in Vancouver and Toronto, the Aga Khan Park in Toronto, and the Aga Khan Garden in Edmonton.

Canada is grateful for these contributions that enhance its ethos of pluralism. As we travel to different countries, we hear the resounding thanks to His Highness for making the lives of people better, safer, more just, and sustainable

Happy Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and a happy new year to all.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Aga Khan
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NDP

Thomas Mulcair

New Democratic Party

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to join with my wife, Catherine and our family in wishing “Chag Hanukkah sameach” to all those lighting menorahs this week in honour of the eight-day Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

As a festival of light, Hanukkah reminds us of our ability as humans to cast light into the darkness, and be a spark for change for a more compassionate world where we have a right to practise our religion.

In the immortal words of beloved Canadian poet Leonard Cohen:

Forget your perfect offering; There is a crack in everything; That’s how the light gets in.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Hanukkah
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LIB

Arif Virani

Liberal

Mr. Arif Virani (Parkdale—High Park, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, today is the 81st birthday of the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims worldwide.

In 1972, the Aga Khan was pivotal in securing the safe arrival in Canada of thousands of Ugandan Asian refugees fleeing the dictatorship of Idi Amin, including my family.

Over the decades, His Highness has greatly contributed to Canada's cultural fabric, opening Ottawa's Global Centre for Pluralism and the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, the only Islamic art museum in North America.

Internationally, his philanthropy through the Aga Khan Development Network has lifted thousands out of poverty and promoted critical issues like environmental protection and educating girls.

In recognition of his lifetime achievements, in 2010 the Aga Khan received our country's highest recognition, honorary citizenship.

It is with great pride that I stand as only the third Ismaili Canadian ever elected to this chamber. I wish all Ismailis celebrating today Khushali Mubarak, and convey best wishes to His Highness on his 81st birthday. I wish a happy birthday to the Hazar Imam.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Aga Khan
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CPC

Mike Lake

Conservative

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, each day, eastern Canada imports over 750,000 barrels of oil. After the U.S., the top source countries are Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Nigeria. The oil arrives via large tankers and rail, and represents tens of millions of dollars taken out of the Canadian economy every single day.

The math is very simple. Oil is already being used by Canadians, just not Canadian oil. Billions of dollars are simply forfeited each year, dollars that could fund health care and education, fuel employment, and help foster real environmental innovation in every region of our country.

Canada's energy sector is undeniably one of the world's most accountable and transparent, yet the Liberal government has incomprehensibly stacked the deck against it, as in the case of energy east, by requiring our own industry to play by vague and ever-changing rules that do not apply to foreign competitors.

This purely political strategy is both infuriating and incredibly divisive, and it is time the Prime Minister put an end to it for the good of all Canadians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Energy Sector
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LIB

Frank Baylis

Liberal

Mr. Frank Baylis (Pierrefonds—Dollard, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I call on the House to applaud Mr. George Elliott Clarke, our current Parliamentary Poet Laureate. While his tenure is coming to an end this year, his work as a poet, a playwright, and an activist will continue to live on. Indeed, he has written over 50 poems during his time, including one about my dear mother.

Mr. Clarke, who comes from the black community of Nova Scotia, has dedicated his life to combatting racism, to raising awareness of the plight of African Canadians. He has done so through his literary works. He has decried injustice and has championed equality.

I thank Mr. Clarke for promoting the importance of literature and for combatting racism in Canada. To quote one of his poems, being “Canadian means bundling up With loved ones, and not letting go.” I say to him, “Never let go George, keep up the good fight.”

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Parliamentary Poet Laureate
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LIB

Yves Robillard

Liberal

Mr. Yves Robillard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, here we are in December, the last month of this magnificent year during which we celebrated Canada's 150th anniversary.

The end of the year is a good time to look back and take stock, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Marc-Aurèle-Fortin for their interest and support throughout the year. I wish everyone the very best for the holiday season.

Personally, I will be taking part in various seasonal activities in Laval, including an event at Manoir Thérèse-Casgrain on December 17. This has been a pivotal year for the people of Laval, thanks to federal investments to support our families as well as other investments in jobs and public transit.

In closing, I wish everyone peace, good health, and prosperity for the coming year, and I look forward to seeing you all again in 2018.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Marc-Aurèle-Fortin
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CPC

Michael Cooper

Conservative

Mr. Michael Cooper (St. Albert—Edmonton, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday in Vancouver, pro-Palestinian demonstrators, in a disgusting display of hate, burned Israeli flags, made anti-Semitic slurs, and called for violence. Sadly, what happened in Vancouver is not an isolated incident. Indeed, recently there has been an uptick in anti-Israel demonstrations as well as acts of hate directed toward Jewish Canadians. This hate is being fuelled on campus, online, and by the racist and anti-Semitic BDS movement.

In light of what happened in Vancouver, the Prime Minister has a responsibility to speak out and send a clear message that acts of anti-Israel sentiment and acts of hate directed toward Jewish Canadians are completely unacceptable and have no place in an inclusive Canada.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Anti-Semitism
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LIB

Sonia Sidhu

Liberal

Ms. Sonia Sidhu (Brampton South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we have some of the best and brightest health researchers and health care professionals in Canada. One such visionary is Dr. Arjun Sahgal, a radiation oncologist and researcher at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. I was proud to meet this wonderful doctor, and discover these technologies during many visits to the facility over the past year.

Dr. Sahgal and his team have championed new radiation technologies that include the first gamma knife icon in Canada, and the novel linac MRI, which is the seventh in the world and the only device installed in Canada. These new technologies will change the way spinal and brain tumours are treated, in addition to multiple other cancer types.

With emerging technologies and important research changing the way medicine is done, I could not be more proud of our health care system, and all who make it work. I thank Dr. Arjun Sahgal and his hard-working team.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Health
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LIB

Jean Rioux

Liberal

Mr. Jean Rioux (Saint-Jean, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Christmas season is a special time for many people, but a difficult one for some.

As citizens, we should join the ranks of volunteers who provide many families with well-deserved comfort. This time of year awakens in us a sense of selflessness and compassion towards our fellow citizens. Canadians know what it means to give of themselves.

What would celebrations be without Operation Red Nose, an organization that ensures that people return home safely? Its mission is to promote responsible behaviour through non-judgmental service provided by the community for the community. I encourage my colleagues to join all the volunteers who exemplify generosity, compassion, and goodness. These are fundamental values that unite us as Canadians.

Merry Christmas to everyone and especially to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces, who serve our country with great dedication.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Christmas Season
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CPC

Erin O'Toole

Conservative

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, 40 years ago, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau launched a modernization project for the Canadian Armed Forces to acquire a new fighter jet, the F-18. Forty years later, the son of that prime minister, this week, says he is modernizing the Canadian Armed Forces with what? The F-18.

Not only are these F-18s used, they have been used in more operational theatres and flying over low-level oceans more than Canada. Therefore, Australia has used its jets harder than we have.

This is a Liberal pattern. We saw this with used submarines where billions were spent, and there is virtually no operational capability of the Victoria-class submarine. We saw this on my aircraft, the Sea King helicopter, which we are only replacing now because of politics.

I am hoping for Christmas that the veterans in the Liberal caucus will start standing up to the Prime Minister because at Christmas nothing says merry Christmas to the troops more than used kit.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Defence
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LIB

Mary Ng

Liberal

Ms. Mary Ng (Markham—Thornhill, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to wish everyone in Markham—Thornhill a happy holidays. This is a special time of year. Tonight is the second night of Hanukkah, and in less than two weeks it will be Christmas.

Whether we light a menorah or a Christmas tree, what unites us at this time of the year is family. Many of us spend far too much time apart from our families, and I hope that members and staff take time over the holidays to be with their loved ones.

As we all come together with those who are dear to us, our friends, and those in our communities, we should recognize and appreciate the critical role that families play in allowing us to do our work.

In the spirit of family, I would like to take a moment to recognize Mr. Jeff Connor, whose son Alec is on my team. They are sharing a special father-son moment here on Parliament Hill. To both of them and to all the families in Markham—Thornhill and across Canada, happy Hanukkah, merry Christmas, and a happy new year.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Season's Greetings
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NDP

Jenny Kwan

New Democratic Party

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the call to mark December 17 as the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers began in 2003 as a memorial for the victims of the Green River killer in Seattle.

This annual day of remembrance serves to raise awareness about the high level of violence sex workers face on a regular basis. The fact is sex workers face assault, battery, rape, and murder on a regular basis, and yet, there is this general attitude that violence against sex workers is somehow expected and therefore accepted.

Surely, we must agree that violence against anyone is not acceptable. Our current laws put sex workers at great risk of violence, and deny them equal access to justice and police protection when they are the victims of crime.

As we honour and remember the victims, we must also renew our commitment to end the violence by taking action to end the perpetuation of the stigmas associated with sex workers.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Violence Against Sex Workers
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CPC

Mark Strahl

Conservative

Mr. Mark Strahl (Chilliwack—Hope, CPC)

Mr. Speaker,

'Twas 12 days before Christmas, almost time to head home But first we'll endure that Cape Bretoner's poem But before he gets up and makes fun of us Tories We get to stand up and tell our Christmas story. The Liberals have had quite a fall, it's been swell To see all their plans go to Morneau Shep-Hell. They went after our farmers and small business owners While protecting their ass-ets, and their wealthy friend donors And they sometimes forget, 'cause it's easy to do When you're counting your villas - was it 1, 3, or 2? There've been some big changes for us around here. We have a new leader, and for us it is clear That he's younger, and taller, more virile and sharper Than the current PM, and he smiles more than Harper. He works hard for our party, starts each day before dawn And the best part of all is he keeps his shirt on He has no Mercedes, no fortune, no nannies But he's such a nice man, he connects with the grannies. Yes, in 2019 it will be quite a fight. But till then, merry Christmas, and to all, a safe flight.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Christmas
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LIB

Rodger Cuzner

Liberal

Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Cape Breton—Canso, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker,

'Twas the week before Christmas and not much was new; But I'll just take a moment to offer my view. The new Tory leader picked a political spat; But it's hard to take him serious with dimples like that; But even those dimples cannot hide the shock; Of what happened Monday evening in South Surrey—White Rock. The Dippers believe their Saviour's been sent; He's bumped up their polling to 16%. To the new leader, here's a challenge to meet; It would be sweet to compete with Jagmeet for a seat. The Bloc were once strong, but find themselves in a quandary; Break up the country? They couldn't separate their own laundry. While opposition parties were sitting back and relaxing; We did the hard work, which some say was quite taxing. Housing and poverty, so much progress has been made; Take, for example, international trade. Cuz as much as we love trade with North Carolina; Opportunities abound in places like China. And if the current view of NAFTA is forced to be dealt; I'll hang mistletoe off the back of my belt. There's the far left, the alt right, and the smart in between; I'd still bet on our boy in 2019!

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Christmas
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LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

The Speaker

While the House is in such a good mood, let me add my own best wishes for a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, and a safe, healthy, and happy new year.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Christmas
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CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, for months, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance have tried to minimize the devastating impact that their tax changes will have on our local businesses. Once again today, the government has made an announcement that does not address the serious concerns of the business owners who create jobs in our communities.

How can the Prime Minister allow this incompetence and this farce to carry on, when January 1st is fast approaching?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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December 13, 2017