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Mar 11th

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:10 am | Ontario, Kitchener Centre

    Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the good-hearted people of Kitchener Centre. I offer every encouragement I can to their good work.

    Kitchener is the birthplace of restorative justice, with great organizations like Community Justice Initiatives, the Mennonite Central Committee, the Crime Prevention Council, and Youth in Conflict, bringing hope to many people.

    Kitchener epitomizes the barn-raising mentality with agencies like Communitech, Conestoga College, the Creative Enterprise Initiative, the University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University all leading collaborations for prosperity.

    Organizations like Women's Crisis Services, The Working Centre, Ray of Hope, and House of Friendship, among others, are the heart of Kitchener, bringing compassion to those in need. They deserve the support of every Kitchener resident and the support of every level of government.

    No community could make an MP more proud than my riding of Kitchener Centre.

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    MPndp
    Mar 11, 2015 11:15 am | Ontario, Davenport

    Mr. Speaker, in my role as NDP critic for persons with disabilities, I get to speak with disability groups across Canada, and repeatedly I get the same messages: This government should be working with its provincial partners to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it should be addressing income security issues facing the disabled, and it should be doing more to accommodate those disabled people who wish to work.

    The NDP has already committed to implement the UN convention, but today I want to address the issue of income security for the disabled. The fact is that a person with a disability is twice as likely to experience poverty as other Canadians.

    Today I have tabled a motion to establish a special committee of the House to review income security for persons with disabilities, to consult broadly with those persons and with disability organizations, and to report back to the House with concrete recommendations to improve their income security.

    Canada's commitment under the UN convention is to ensure that persons with disabilities can participate fully in our society. One important step would be to lift them out of poverty. I hope all members will support this.

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    MPndp
    Mar 11, 2015 11:15 am | Ontario, Parkdale—High Park

    Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Girls Government, students from Holy Family and Queen Victoria schools in Parkdale. The girls are working toward mandatory labelling for genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

    What an impressive group of girls. They are writing letters to the Minister of Health, to editors of local newspapers, as well as holding a press conference on the issue.

    My provincial colleague, Cheri DiNovo, and I want to encourage girls to be active in their communities and their governments. We hope to see more women involved in politics, both running for office and working behind the scenes.

    Equal representation can be achieved. As parliamentarians, it is our job to work toward this goal by encouraging youth activism. We can see the results here in our caucus.

    Girls Government shows us that when we empower women and girls anything is possible.

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:20 am | Alberta, La Peltrie

    Mr. Speaker, first, I want to thank the House for its support of the original mission that we put forward. I would also note the strong support of Canadians in the mission. We believe combatting ISIL is essential for the security of our own country.

    In terms of extension, expansion, renewal, the government has not yet taken a decision, but of course it will inform the House as soon as it has done so.

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    MPlib
    Mar 11, 2015 11:20 am | Quebec, Papineau

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, my son Xavier was very proud to tell me that his school, which is part of the francophone public school board of eastern Ontario, was celebrating Francophonie month. This is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the millions of francophones living across Canada.

    Today, francophones around the world are coming to Canada to benefit from and contribute to our rich cultural and linguistic diversity. Canadian francophones have been a part of our vibrant country for centuries and continue to be vital to our successes.

    This year, we can also celebrate the fact that the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean was elected Secretary-General of la Francophonie.

    Francophonie month is an opportunity to promote the French language here in Canada and around the world. Let us celebrate loudly and proudly.

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    MPndp
    Mar 11, 2015 11:20 am | Quebec, Outremont

    Mr. Speaker, is the Prime Minister planning an extension or expansion of Canada's role in the war in Iraq?

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:25 am | Alberta, La Peltrie

    Mr. Speaker, the minister has made it clear that it was she who made the decision based on her belief that the project that would assist those with disabilities in the Markham area was in the public interest. The minister was acting within her discretionary authority as a minister. I think it is also clear she was acting in good faith.

    Obviously we will examine the report to determine how things can be done in the future.

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    MPlib
    Mar 11, 2015 11:25 am | Quebec, Papineau

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister made more alarming statements yesterday on the rights and freedoms of Canadians. Could he please explain to Canada's half a million Muslim women why he said their chosen faith was anti-women?

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    MPndp
    Mar 11, 2015 11:25 am | Quebec, Outremont

    Meanwhile, Mr. Speaker, three Conservative ministers, senior political staffers and the Prime Minister's favourite chief of staff pushed through a grant for a “dear friend” of the Conservatives. It was a $1 million political gift. The Minister of Public Works only dared to go ahead after discussing this with the Prime Minister's own chief of staff.

    What was Nigel Wright doing in the approval process in the first place?

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:30 am | Alberta, Jeanne-Mance-Viger

    Mr. Speaker, it is odd that the hon. leader of the Liberal Party does not understand that one of the reasons we are in Iraq is to help the government and civilians, as well as to protect women and girls who are raped and who are forced into sexual slavery by Daesh. Even the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights believes that rape and other forms of sexist and sexual violence are being perpetrated against women and children.

    We stand with the women of Iraq against the violence perpetrated by Daesh.

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:30 am | Alberta, La Peltrie

    Mr. Speaker, let me quote what the organization Muslims Facing Tomorrow says:

    The requirement of Citizenship and Immigration Canada to remove full face coverings during citizenship ceremonies is not onerous and is consistent with the customs and conventions of an open liberal democratic society such as ours.

    Let me quote what the Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations says, “Most Canadians believe that it is offensive that someone would hide their identity at the very moment where they are committing to join the Canadian family”.

    These are not the views only of the overwhelming majority of Canadians, they are the views of the overwhelming majority of moderate Muslims. It is up to the leader of the Liberal Party to explain why he is so far outside that mainstream.

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    MPlib
    Mar 11, 2015 11:30 am | Quebec, Papineau

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister also said yesterday that religious freedoms should be overruled because almost all Canadians do not support the wearing of a niqab.

    We have seen this before. He was the Reform Party's policy chief when it voted to prevent Sikh RCMP officers from wearing turbans, saying it was a needless concession to a Canadian minority.

    Twenty-five years later, why does the Prime Minister still insist that the majority should dictate the religious rights of minorities?

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:30 am | Ontario, Haldimand—Norfolk

    Mr. Speaker, that is utterly ridiculous.

    I have always believed that this project to improve access to the Markham centre for people with disabilities was valid and in the public interest.

    I accept the commissioner's advice to ensure that these funding programs are administered in a fair, accessible and efficient way for everyone concerned.

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    MPndp
    Mar 11, 2015 11:35 am | Ontario, Timmins—James Bay

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Works tells us she does not remember talking to Nigel Wright about this deal that has gotten her into so much trouble. That is really odd because Wright, the Prime Minister's right hand, not only remembers the conversation, he remembers the content.

    He said that that minister talked to him about this project that she knew was a dud, but she wanted to find out how important it was to the Conservative Party. The Prime Minister said “sort it out” and presto, a $1 million flowed to a Conservative ally.

    Will the minister put aside this convenient amnesia and just explain to us why she put the interests of this party ahead of the interests of the Canadian people?

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:35 am | Ontario, Nepean—Carleton

    Mr. Speaker, an external and internal assessment showed that the Centre Jean Bosco did not merit a grant of this nature. The NDP, of course, would fund anything even if there are objective assessments that demonstrate that the recipient was not meriting the dollars in question.

    It is no wonder that the NDP and the Liberals would have to raise taxes. They would fund absolutely every request, even those that do not qualify.

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:35 am | Ontario, Haldimand—Norfolk

    Mr. Speaker, as I said, I always believed that this was a valid project for improving access for people with disabilities.

    I co-operated fully with the commissioner's investigation, which lasted three years and I testified to the best of my abilities.

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:40 am | Ontario, Oak Ridges—Markham

    Mr. Speaker, talk about not going very well. This particular member owes the taxpayers of Canada over $122,000 for inappropriate mailings and office expenses.

    I know that in every chequebook there are about 30 cheques. He has written 29 of those cheques out to the separatist party in Quebec. If he would just make the last cheque payable to the people of Canada for $122,122, he could clear up that debt. Again, that is $122,122.

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    MPndp
    Mar 11, 2015 11:40 am | Ontario, London—Fanshawe

    Mr. Speaker, Senator Wallin claimed to be living in Saskatchewan, but even her own staff say she lived in Toronto. It was so obvious that charging the Senate for her trips home was fraudulent that Conservative senators took her aside to warn her about it. About 93% of the senator's trips included time in Toronto.

    Given how obvious this fraud was, why did the Prime Minister stand up in this place and claim her expenses were no different than those of other western senators?

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    MPlib
    Mar 11, 2015 11:40 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, when arranging to cover up for Mike Duffy, Nigel Wright said, “We are good to go from the PM”. Soon after, $90,000 was paid from Wright to Duffy.

    When the then human resources minister spoke to that same Nigel Wright about a project that had failed badly against all others, but was good for the Conservative Party, Nigel Wright said the PM told him to “sort it out”.

    Soon after, this project was approved for more than $1 million. Just like Duffy, this leads right to the Prime Minister. How can he defend this corruption?

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:40 am | Ontario, Nepean—Carleton

    Mr. Speaker, internal and external assessments determined that the organization in question was not eligible for the requested subsidy, regardless of the lobbying done by Patrick Brazeau.

    We respect the taxpayers' money. We control spending so we can keep taxes low, reduce them and balance the budget.

    This is another example of why the NDP and the Liberals will have to raise taxes because they spend money irresponsibly. We will prevent them from doing so.

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:45 am | Quebec, Lévis—Bellechasse

    Mr. Speaker, we do agree that more power requires more oversight, and that is why in Bill C-51 there is embedded not only more judicial oversight, but also more review bodies. I really wonder why New Democrats, if they are so keen on keeping an eye on our intelligence community, are not supporting Bill C-51.

    However, I would argue that Canadians are keen on keeping an eye on those who are threatening us, and that I why I urge New Democrats to support Bill C-51.

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    MPlib
    Mar 11, 2015 11:45 am | Ontario, Markham—Unionville

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister remains silent and refuses to take a stand against the racist comments made by the member for New Brunswick Southwest about a week ago. This is a matter of leadership. The Prime Minister needs to clearly state that those comments were unacceptable and apologize on behalf of his caucus. When will he do that?

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:45 am | Ontario, Nepean—Carleton

    Mr. Speaker, as I said a few days ago, the member immediately realized that his comments were unacceptable and apologized for them.

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:45 am | Ontario, Haldimand—Norfolk

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should get her facts straight.

    I have always believed that this was a worthwhile project in the public interest, and in fact neither I nor any of my family or friends had any personal interest in this matter.

    Far from being friends with Rabbi Mendelsohn, we have never even met. The Commissioner recognized that.

    When the hon. member talks about corruption, she should remember that her government disappeared with $40 million of taxpayers' money that has never been recovered.

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:50 am | Alberta, Jeanne-Mance-Viger

    Mr. Speaker, ISIL of course constitutes a threat to global security, including that of Canada. This is a genocidal terrorist organization that has explicitly targeted Canada on several occasions and that must be opposed. That is why I am pleased to report that this past Monday our CF-18 Hornets successfully struck a series of ISIL staging areas and fighting positions west of Kirkuk using precision-guided munitions. On Sunday, the RCAF successfully struck two ISIL ammunition caches southeast of Haditha.

    Our air strikes are targeting heavy weapons, vehicles, fighting positions, tactical units and buildings used by ISIL throughout Iraq. We are tremendously proud of the men and women of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

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    MPndp
    Mar 11, 2015 11:50 am | Manitoba, Nelligan

    Mr. Speaker, we all know that the regional economic development agencies play a critical role across the country. They help small business and support our communities in diversifying. However, under the Conservatives, money approved by Parliament for regional economic development in the west has been left unspent. The Conservatives allowed nearly $70 million to be unspent over four years. This is money that our communities badly need.

    When will the Conservatives commit to diversified economic development and stop taking the west for granted?

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:50 am | Quebec, Lévis—Bellechasse

    Mr. Speaker, it is extremely important for those involved in law enforcement—whether police, prosecutors or judges—to have access to accurate and up-to-date criminal records information.

    Why did the NDP oppose our $180 million investment in the information system to move the records from the paper era into the electronic era? We are working with police forces and the provinces. Canada is a partner, we are at the table and we will continue to ensure that this model is efficient and modern.

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    MPcon
    Mar 11, 2015 11:55 am | Ontario, Halton

    Mr. Speaker, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to talk about the safe and accountable rail act, which our government introduced last week. I certainly do hope that the opposition members will support it full-throated because of the great things it would do. For example, it would make sure that polluters do pay in the case of an untimely accident with respect to rail.

    Specifically, it is important to note that it is a very comprehensive regime, with $1 billion in liability insurance backed up by a $250-million compensation fund paid by shippers and all backstopped by being able to go out and charge railroads, should it be in excess of that.

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    MPndp
    Mar 11, 2015 11:55 am | Alberta, Edmonton—Strathcona

    Mr. Speaker, the public accounts are clear. The Conservatives are failing to spend millions budgeted for economic diversification. It is bad enough that the government has, since 2010, reduced by half the dollars committed to diversifying western Canada's economy. Over the past four years it also underspent its diversification budget by almost $70 million, this in the face of rejections of applications by our promising renewable energy sector.

    Why is the minister passing up the opportunity to create real economic diversification and jobs for western Canadians?

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    MPlib
    Mar 11, 2015 11:55 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana

    Mr. Speaker, the previous government always ran a trade surplus while the current government has 49 months of a trade deficit. It is also weak on jobs, both in quantity and quality.

    When CIBC reported that reality, the finance minister simply trashed it. CIBC is a sham, he said. However, it is not just CIBC. The same jobs analysis came from TD Bank, the Bank of Canada, the OECD, Morgan Stanley, York University, the PBO and many others.

    Are they all lying? Are all of them a sham?

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    MPndp
    Mar 11, 2015 11:55 am | Ontario, Nickel Belt

    Mr. Speaker, there is still an oversight issue. Northern Ontario has now been affected by three train wrecks in less than a month. Communities are concerned for their safety, and the Conservatives' proposed disaster compensation fund falls far short of what is needed.

    A U.S. government study predicts that the financial toll of a major accident could be as much as $6 billion. Transport Canada has its own analysis, but the government is keeping it secret.

    Will the minister make this risk analysis public so that we can ensure that our communities are protected?


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