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March

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    MPcon
    Mar 10, 2015 11:05 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, I look forward to our study of the new anti-terrorism bill.

    We must prevent threats to the safety of Canadians, while respecting the privacy of ordinary citizens. Naturally, we will hear a range of opinions about the proper balance. The goal is critical: to protect our country's freedoms and values. That is why the courts and the Security Intelligence Review Committee will carefully monitor the new tools under Bill C-51.

    We will cautiously weigh the measures needed for Canada to remain a safe country, while also ensuring that innocent citizens are able to go about their lives without unwarranted intrusion.

    Canada, like other democracies, is the target of jihadi terrorists. That is why our government will continue to take prudent measures to safeguard the nation's peace and security.

February

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    MPcon
    Feb 17, 2015 10:00 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, the government is deeply concerned about the treatment that women and girls in Canada have suffered because of some cultural practices that Canadian society and the Supreme Court of Canada reject. These include genital mutilation, and being forced into polygamous marriages and marriage at a very young age.

    I would think that any reasonable, concerned, and decent Canadian would also want to protect women and girls in this country from those terrible fates. Yet, unbelievably, we see the opposition members, including young women over there, doing everything they can to attack this legislation, to disagree with it, to find reasons not to support it. I cannot believe this.

    Could the parliamentary secretary explain why the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party in the House would not want to protect Canadian women in this way?

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    MPcon
    Feb 02, 2015 1:45 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, this is a sad debate. I think there is an absence of logic here.

    First of all, compensation, by definition, means there has to be a loss. However, the agreement has not even been signed yet. There cannot be any loss. Why would there be a demand that money be paid for compensation for loss under an agreement that has not even been signed?

    The whole thing is illogical. It boggles the mind that the opposition would waste an entire day of this country's time on this kind of a debate.

    As the member pointed out, why would the federal government give a huge benefit, almost half a billion dollars, to one province, when three others are involved in the very same industry and there is nothing for them? No government in its right mind would ever be so unfair and inequitable in an agreement.

    I do not know why the opposition is even bringing these nonsensical arguments forward. I invite my friend to tell me what he thinks is behind this kind of a debate when it defies every rule of logic that any of us have ever learned.

November

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    MPcon
    Nov 20, 2014 10:10 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, sadly, I get the impression that the Liberals are grasping at straws to try to rationalize not supporting this legislation. I hope I am wrong about that.

    The member opposite, in a previous question, suggested that there was no point in incarcerating these criminals who engage in this activity because it does not stop them from repeating the offences anyway. I would like my friend to comment on that.

October

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    MPcon
    Oct 07, 2014 1:30 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, as we all know, there are many uncertainties when we are dealing with these kinds of situations so it is difficult to state with a lot of clarity what might happen down the road, especially when we are looking at some months down the road.

    I wonder if the minister could assist the House and Canadians by outlining the reasons and interests of Canada that will be served by Canada joining our international partners in pushing back against ISIS and ISIL.

September

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    MPcon
    Sep 24, 2014 11:10 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, when ISIL began murdering thousands of innocent men, women, children, and religious minorities, it completely violated every value Canadians hold dear. When ISIL threatened Canadians because we do not share its twisted view of the world, our government remained resolute in its strong stand against such atrocities. We condemn these terrorists and their violation of human rights and human dignity.

    Though other parties may feel the need to try to rationalize away the threats Canadians face in a dangerous world, our government has been firm and swift in its response, helping to deliver military supplies to Iraqi forces combatting ISIL and sending military advisers to support them.

    Our government will not sit idle. We will stand with our allies in condemning the threat and will work with them to extinguish it.

April

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    MPcon
    Apr 01, 2014 11:00 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, all of us here who represent the great province of Alberta are proud of our government's solid partnership with Albertans. We have more than doubled the social transfer to collaborate on important programs, including those for children and post-secondary education. It is now at almost $1.5 billion.

    The former Liberal government shortchanged Alberta in health care support. That has now been rectified to provide $3.7 billion this year under the health transfer.

    Annual infrastructure funding to Alberta has increased by an average of 700%. In my city, it invested in projects such as the ring road and Calgary Transit. Albertans will also be relieved to know that the federal government is covering 90% of last June's devastating flood damage. Almost $2 billion has been set aside.

    These are a few examples of the strong partnership with our federal government that benefits Albertans every single day.

March

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    MPcon
    Mar 31, 2014 1:40 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her kind words.

    To give some specifics, Canada's support has led to a reduction in newborn mortality in Honduras by 11% in the regions we have concentrated on. We have provided health and counselling services to over 85,000 young people. We have contributed to reducing primary school dropout rates, so that now the dropout rate is only 1%, and to reducing the average of grade repetition rates to under 5%. This progress is important. These are real people. These are people who are striving and struggling. Corruption and insecurity is not something confined to Honduras. It is part and parcel of the entire region. It is preyed on by criminal elements and those in the drug trade. It has a very young population and very low incomes.

    I am proud of the work that we have done to be a friend and neighbour to Honduras. Honduras is important to me. Honduras is important to Canada. It may not be important to the NDP, but even the poorest and smallest among us deserve support, respect, and friendship.

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    MPcon
    Mar 31, 2014 1:35 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Of course we do, Mr. Speaker. I just talked about all of the partnerships, the sharing of best practices, and all the work that has been done by Canada in that country. We are good friends with Honduras. There are many NGOs working with Honduras, like Peacemakers International. The Honduran people have strong friendships with them.

    Yes, the free trade agreement is only a part of what we want to do, but it is an important part. It is a part that Hondurans have longed for, worked for, dreamed of, and it is finally in the House, its dream coming to fruition. I cannot imagine why the NDP would want to stick a knife in something so important to this little country.

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    MPcon
    Mar 31, 2014 1:25 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today on this topic. I have been to Honduras more than once. It is a wonderful country with very warm, friendly, and welcoming people. They are a very proud and hard-working people. I am so pleased to see this agreement now come before the House.

    Canada's development solidarity with Honduras is truly helping to build prosperity in that country. I also want to say a little bit about how we in Canada are helping to address inequality, social exclusion, and insecurity in that country. This work provides a positive platform, of course, for the Canada–Honduras free trade agreement.

    Our Conservative government believes strongly that engagement, not isolationism, is the best way to be a good neighbour and friend to Honduras. We want to be truly helpful in addressing its development, security, and human rights challenges. We profoundly disagree with the NDP approach, which can be summed up as: “The beatings will continue until morale improves”. Shame on them.

    We are pleased to say that Canada is working on several fronts with the Honduran government in this regard. We are also proud that Canada is making a difference. Canada has a long-standing and substantial development relationship with Honduras.

    Honduras is one of 20 countries of focus for Canada's development work. We have provided close to $40 million in the last fiscal year. Canada also delivered close to $70 million in security programming in all of Central America to support regional efforts, which include Honduras, to address insecurity in this region.

    The people of Honduras appreciate their development and security partnership with Canada that has been provided over the years, and we have a strong relationship with that country, based on an open and frank dialogue. I have been there and have had these discussions. There are some wonderful leaders looking for friends and collaborators to help pull their country out of some of the deep difficulties they have faced for many years. These are issues important to both Canadians and the citizens of Honduras.

    I would like to take a few minutes to talk about Honduras' challenging social economic situation and present some compelling statistics on poverty and insecurity in Honduras. These are issues which Honduras leaders are determined to address, and things like this new trade agreement will provide a real boost.

    At this time, unfortunately, Honduras is one of the poorest and most unequal countries in the Americas. Sixty percent of the population of Honduras is considered poor. Nearly one-fifth live in extreme poverty. In fact, they live on less than $1.25 a day.

    The poverty in Honduras is concentrated in rural areas. It affects mostly women, young people, and indigenous communities. They need the kinds of opportunities that this trade agreement would provide. It goes without saying that this situation is not meeting the aspirations of the country's proud and hard-working citizens.

    When I say “hard-working”, I would point out that Honduras' unemployment rate remains relatively low, but underemployment is huge. In fact, just over half of the total workforce is underemployed. It holds part-time jobs despite seeking full-time work, or the workforce is overqualified based on education, experience, and skills. They need opportunities.

    In addition, Honduras' informal sector accounts for nearly three-quarters of non-agricultural employment and nearly 60% of total employment. Members can appreciate that many of these workers in the informal sector are therefore working under poor conditions in terms of safety, income, and social benefits.

    A free trade agreement opens up the door. It provides certainty and a framework for Canadian investors and Canadian businesses to partner with Hondurans to provide the kind of strong, stable employment opportunities that Hondurans need and want.

    Here is another huge challenge. Over half of Hondurans are under the age of 19. It is a very young population, so it does not take a genius to figure out that the lack of economic opportunities for these young people is a major driving force behind the country's persistent social and security problems. There are criminal elements who are very happy to draw young Hondurans into their net, and it is very sad to see that. Legitimate business opportunities are so needed to counteract that.

    The Honduran government has made an effort to address poverty and security issues, but resources are scarce and progress has been slow.

    The crime rate and insecurity have increased to the point where, today, this beautiful little country, this gem of a country, is one of the most violent in the world. I am sorry to say that Honduras has the highest intentional homicide rate in the world, averaging 20 murders per day, in addition to other violent crime. That is, to a large extent, criminal elements are having their way, using this country as a drug route and drawing young people into this terrible, violent activity.

    That is why Canada's bilateral development partnership promotes sustainable economic growth through investment in rural development and works to reduce social exclusion and inequality through ongoing investments in health, education, human rights, and democratic development.

    Canada is helping to achieve strong results toward increasing food security and securing the future of poor Honduran children and youth, particularly in rural areas.

    We are making a real difference in the lives of small farmers and their families by sharing best practices that are improving their sustainable farming practices. To date, over 27,000 farmers have received critical collaboration to improve the quantity and quality of crops, access new markets, and diversify income. Many of these are now ready to integrate into more structured supply chains and access local, regional, and global markets, like Canada.

    We are also collaborating to help strengthen health in this country, to improve the quality of education. I want to pay tribute to Dave Hubert and Canadian Peacemakers International, who are putting computers into rural villages and putting the country's education system on the computers. People in the villages and small towns come to these computer stations and work through the programs to increase their education through self-help programs. It is an amazing program by Canadian Peacemakers International.

    We are working through the Organization of American States, the International Program for Professional Labour Administration–Americas to promote respect for international labour standards and to work with the leaders of Honduras on many fronts to lift this country up.

    Prosperity, security, and democratic governance, including the full respect of human rights, go together. They are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. That is why this trade agreement is such good news, a bright light on the horizon for Honduras.

    In short, this agreement would benefit Hondurans. It would also help create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity for Canadians. That is called a win-win, and I hope that all members will leave aside the nonsensical rhetoric of the NDP and support this important new partnership with our friends in Honduras.

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    MPcon
    Mar 07, 2014 9:50 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, that is a very important question.

    As others have mentioned, the review process will last until the summer of 2015, about a year and a half from now. Once the review process is completed, the schedule that sets out the membership of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation will be finalized. Then the leadership of the first nation can form the elections and get people into place to move forward to work together.

    I guess the short answer is about a year and a half.

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    MPcon
    Mar 07, 2014 9:45 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague and his party for standing with the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation and supporting this important legislation for them.

    The member will know the process that has been put in place to assess these applications is a very careful and thorough one. In addition to that, any applicant who is rejected has a right to pursue the matter through the courts as far as that applicant wishes to go.

    The Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation is bending over backwards to be inclusive for all those who truly qualify, but at the same time it wants to make sure there are no Qalipu Mi'kmaq of convenience, so to speak. This is a very complete and careful process that fully respects the rule of law and the rights of appeal, even through the levels of our courts.

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    MPcon
    Mar 07, 2014 9:35 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to add my voice to the debate today, and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

    First, the purpose of the legislation is important. I want to make it clear and state for the record that Bill C-25, the Qalipu Mi'kmaq first nation act, carefully and fully respects and upholds the original intent of the 2008 agreement between Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians that created the Qalipu Mi'kmaq first nation. In particular, it fully respects and upholds the eligibility criteria set out in the 2008 agreement.

    Some parts of this debate may have created concern or confusion in the minds of some Canadians about these points. There should not be any concern or confusion. The original agreement is fully and completely respected and upheld.

    The bill before us, the Qalipu Mi'kmaq first nation act, is primarily created to enable the Governor in Council to amend the schedule of names and birthdates of founding members of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq first nation. The Indian Act is unclear as to whether this is possible, so the Parliament of Canada wants to make it clear that the Governor in Council can make the amendment to the schedule of founding members of this new first nation.

    As others have said, the reason that amending this schedule of membership was needed was because the Qalipu Mi'kmaq leadership foresaw that those wanting to join the new first nation would be those people living in or around the 67 Newfoundland Mi'kmaq communities identified in the 2008 agreement. The parties expected that people would want to be members of this new first nation and that the number of eligible members would be around 9,000 to 12,000. There were about 10,000 members of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians at that time.

    What happened, as other members have said, was that although individuals living outside of those communities could also be members, the intent was that even non-residents could have some strong cultural connections with the Newfoundland Mi'kmaq community. However, to everyone's surprise and shock, there was a flood of applications. In fact, there were about ten times the number of applications received than had been foreseen. There were over 100,000 applications during the four-year enrolment process, and most of these, over 70,000, were received in the final year before the enrolment deadline. Therefore, all of a sudden the Qalipu Mi'kmaq first nation was faced with this incredible flood of applications.

    It became very clear that there needed to be some precision put forward to operationalize the agreement that created the first nation and the founding members enrolment. The flood of late applications was not only concentrated toward the end of the enrolment period, in fact almost 50,000 were submitted in the last three months before the application process ended. However, about two-thirds of the applicants did not live in Newfoundland or anywhere close to Mi'kmaq communities; they lived elsewhere in Canada.

    Therefore, the Federation of Newfoundland Indians recognized that these numbers were not credible and threatened to undermine the integrity of the enrolment process, and that there would be no time to review these applications before the end of the enrolment process. The Government of Canada and the federation entered into discussions, and after very careful discussion in July 2013, a supplemental agreement was reached in which all applications that had been submitted, except those that had been rejected, would be reviewed for a second time.

    It is clear that there has to be some integrity in the process. The Qalipu Mi'kmaq first nation wants to make sure that people joining its community have a real and substantial connection and really care about the community and have a commitment to the community. The first nation wants to make sure that people are not just throwing in an application for personal benefit.

    The new agreement clarifies the kind of documentation that would be required. It extends the original time limits and treats everyone fairly by applying the same criteria to everybody.

    The applicants have already been given notice that their applications are to be assessed or reassessed. The applicants have an opportunity to provide any additional documentation that would be required, given the clarification of the requirements for membership. The deadline was even extended to February 10, 2014.

    The only clarifications that were made were designed to eliminate confusion and misunderstanding about the requirements of the enrolment process, such as documentary requirements. The agreement also extended the timeline in order to make sure that everybody had a chance to make a clear and complete application.

    The supplemental agreement that the Federation of Newfoundland Indians reached with the Government of Canada carefully and fully respects and upholds the criteria for enrolment that were originally set out. It does not change them in any way. Nothing changes.

    However, there seemed to be some confusion about what would be required. That has been clarified, and applicants have a chance, in light of those clarifications, to submit further documentation and to have another review of their application. The legislation would not alter the enrolment criteria in any way, but it makes clear what is required.

    What would the bill do? The bill would provide the Governor in Council with the authority to remove names from the schedule of founding members. It would also prevent individuals from collecting any compensation or damages from the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation or the Government of Canada if it is found that their claim to be not legitimate. This is not a new clause. It is legislation under the Indian Act. It protects the taxpayers of Canada and the first nation from a flood of claims that otherwise could paralyze the work of this group.

    This is legislation that the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation needs. The first nation has agreed that it needs to go forward, and I hope that members will support it.

February

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    MPcon
    Feb 28, 2014 7:55 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I was a little puzzled by this member's assertion that somehow this legislation was not properly tied to the negotiated agreements of 2008 and 2013 with the Qalipu Mi'kmaq.

    It seems to me that this legislation, which calls for a fair and equitable enrolment process, is important protection on the part of the Parliament of Canada by passing this legislation for the members of this first nation. I am just puzzled about why the member would not want this protection for members of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq.

January

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    MPcon
    Jan 29, 2014 3:15 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I did not have my earpiece in. My colleagues are not sure that my name was called when I stood to vote, so I wonder if I could just confirm that I was indeed noted as having voted against the motion.

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    MPcon
    Jan 27, 2014 11:05 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, Bloomberg has just released its ranking of the best countries in the world for doing business, and it is big news for Canadians. Our country jumped from sixth place to second. Canada is now challenging Hong Kong for the top spot.

    Canada's total business tax costs are the lowest in the G7. In fact, they are more than 40% lower than in the U.S. Why is this big news for Canadians? It is because businesses are a country's job and wealth creators. The more we leave in the hands of entrepreneurs, investors, business people and workers, the more they can create economic growth and jobs that benefit all citizens.

    The economic action plan introduced by our first-class Minister of Finance is opening the way to tremendous opportunity for Canadians. It is a blueprint for our long-term prosperity and for maintaining our enviable quality of life.

    The world recognizes our success.

October

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    MPcon
    Oct 21, 2013 11:10 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, our government and our Prime Minister are pleased today to be able to deliver for Canadians the Canada–Europe free trade agreement. This historic trade agreement will provide our producers with access to a market of 500 million people. It will be a tremendous boost to our country.

    For our farmers, CETA is a huge win. It will remove tariffs on key agricultural exports, including our world-class beef and pork, wheat, soybeans, canola, grains, fresh and frozen vegetables, and countless other products. Even Canadian maple syrup will finally become duty free.

    As we move to ratify this historic breakthrough for Canada, it is very disappointing to see the New Democrats once again cave in to special interests and refuse to support this progressive agreement.

    On our side of the House, we strongly endorse CETA. It will create thousands of jobs and provide economic opportunity for all Canadians.

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    MPcon
    Oct 17, 2013 11:05 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday's Speech from the Throne marked the beginning of a new session of Parliament. This new beginning also provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on the values and the character qualities that define what it is to be a Canadian.

    These qualities were exhibited magnificently this summer in my home town, Calgary, such as staying strong when the going gets tough, pitching in without waiting for someone else to take the lead, lending a hand to total strangers when they need it, listening to and encouraging those in distress, standing shoulder to shoulder through disaster and heartbreak,and building and rebuilding with courage and determination.

    These are qualities we as leaders can all represent in the House of Commons.

    Where I come from, we call it “The Spirit of the West”. It is also the spirit that built Canada and that continues to make our country great today. May these foundational values guide our deliberations and our work in the days ahead.

June

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    MPcon
    Jun 12, 2013 12:05 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member raising this important matter.

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs has spoken personally with the Turkish ambassador to express his concern about the arrest of these two journalists and also about the ongoing situation in Turkey. Canadian officials are in touch with the CBC and have met with the two detained journalists. The Turkish ambassador has assured us that the two journalists are safe and well treated. We will continue to liaise at the highest levels until this matter is resolved.

May

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    MPcon
    May 28, 2013 11:50 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Brampton West for his concern. Earlier today, I spoke with Australia's High Commissioner to Canada. I thanked her for their authority's dedicated efforts and relayed Canada's request that the search for Mr. Srawn not be reduced at this time.

    Canada has been actively working with Australian authorities to discuss the search mission and to convey the family's concerns. Our engagement at all levels will continue. We join Canadians in praying for his safe return.

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    MPcon
    May 28, 2013 7:35 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition signed by more than 500 Canadian residents who are calling upon the House of Commons and Parliament to enact legislation that restricts abortion to the greatest extent possible.

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    MPcon
    May 06, 2013 12:15 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, residential rents are already exempt under the GST, meaning that the GST is not charged on residential rents paid by tenants. The Tax Expenditures and Evaluations 2012 report indicates that the exemption for residential rent reduced government revenues by about $1.3 billion in 2012.

    Qualifying non-profit organizations, or NPOs—i.e., non-profit organizations that receive at least 40% of their total revenue through government funding or charities—are entitled to recover 50% of the GST they pay in respect of certain types of housing. This situation occurs when more than 10% of the residential units in the housing complex are intended for certain groups, such as seniors, youths, students, individuals with a disability, individuals in distress or in need of assistance, or individuals whose eligibility for occupancy or rent amount is dependent on a means or income test.

    When charities or qualifying NPOs submit rebate claims for GST paid to the Canada Revenue Agency, they are not required to provide any information on the purchases that gave rise to the rebate entitlement. They just claim a rebate for 50% of the GST they paid on eligible purchases. Therefore, data are not sufficiently detailed to provide for the determination of the portion of the existing rebate that relates to this type of housing. While the value of the total rebate for charities and qualifying NPOs is known and was $355 million in 2012, there is no way to know what portion is attributable to housing for the underprivileged.

    Depending on how affordable rental or non-profit housing is defined, providing full GST relief could result in substantial additional fiscal cost to the Government of Canada.

November

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    MPcon
    Nov 20, 2012 11:55 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the engagement of my colleague from Niagara West—Glanbrook on this important issue.

    Our thoughts are with those who have had a child abducted by the other parent. It is truly a heartbreaking experience. To help, today we launched a new publication entitled, “International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents”. I encourage all members of the House to visit travel.gc.ca to read this manual and to order copies for their riding offices.

    Children are our most important resource and this government is doing its utmost to protect and defend them.

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    MPcon
    Nov 19, 2012 12:00 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, thanks to the leadership of the member for Selkirk—Interlake and our Prime Minister, in 2008 Canada recognized the Holodomor and designated the fourth Saturday of every November as a memorial day for the millions of victims.

    This week we stand with the people of Ukrainian descent across Canada and around the world to mark this sad chapter of history. The horror and tragedy of the Holodomor must never be forgotten.

    Rest assured, our government will continue to speak up for democracy, human rights and freedom.

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    MPcon
    Nov 19, 2012 11:45 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, our government does take the safety and security of our diplomats extremely seriously. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has made it clear that we will take all necessary actions to ensure they remain safe. We will not engage in public or partisan discussions that could place the arrangements that we make for our men and women in the public service at risk. We will continue to do what is right and needful in this situation.

October

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    MPcon
    Oct 15, 2012 11:40 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, today the Prime Minister announced that he will meet with Portia Simpson-Miller, prime minister of Jamaica, on October 22 during her first official visit to Canada.

    Canada and Jamaica share a long history as friends and partners with strong people-to-people ties and shared values.

    Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller's visit will also mark the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations between our two nations. The leaders will discuss matters of mutual interest, including regional security, trade and investment and multilateral co-operation.

    We very much look forward to welcoming the Jamaican prime minister on her visit next week.

May

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    MPcon
    May 30, 2012 12:30 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations and I believe you would find unanimous support for the following motion.

    I move, seconded by the members for Beaches—East York and Mount Royal:

    That this House urgently appeals to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to grant clemency to Hamid Ghassemi-Shall on compassionate and humanitarian grounds, calls for his release and return to his family and spouse in Canada, and urges Iran to reverse its current course and to adhere to its international human rights obligations.

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    MPcon
    May 28, 2012 11:55 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the excellent support she has provided to these constituents. The Maryk children did indeed return to Winnipeg yesterday with their mother.

    It was a coordinated effort. I sincerely thank consular officials, our partners in Mexico, the Province of Manitoba, the RCMP and the CBSA for their hard work in locating and returning these children.

    I hope the mother and her children can now rebuild their family life and that those responsible for this abduction will be held responsible.

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    MPcon
    May 18, 2012 9:00 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, we are pleased with independent reports indicating that the elections appear to have been free and fair, and with no reports of violence. I especially note that 30% of the newly elected Algerian parliament are women.

    Canada is also very encouraged by the recent political reforms that have taken place in Algeria. We support the new government as it continues on this positive path. Canada's foreign policy is based on supporting and promoting across the globe the principles of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

April

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    MPcon
    Apr 03, 2012 11:55 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, we are paying very close attention to Mr. Halliday's case. We know how difficult this situation is for him and his family. I have contacted the Spanish minister of foreign affairs to advocate on Mr. Halliday's behalf. Our ambassador in Spain is engaged with local authorities as well. Our government is also in contact with prison officials to ensure that Mr. Halliday's medical needs are being met.

    The Government of Canada cannot exempt Canadians from legal processes nor interfere in the judicial proceedings in other countries. However, we will continue to press for a timely and transparent trial for Mr. Halliday.

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    MPcon
    Apr 03, 2012 11:50 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, we are very sorry that the Tepper family has the perception that the Government of Canada did not help to secure Mr. Tepper's release. That is most certainly not the case. The Government of Canada made dozens of representations to Lebanese officials in support of Mr. Tepper's application to be released and we are very glad to see that he is back home safely in Canada.

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    MPcon
    Apr 02, 2012 11:55 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, in turn, I applaud my colleague for his unwavering and sincere care for Mr. Tepper and his family through this past difficult year. He truly is a credit to his riding.

    I, too, am pleased that Mr. Henk Tepper has been released from detention and is safely home in Canada. Canadian officials worked very hard to help secure Mr. Tepper's release through diplomatic channels with dozens of representations to Lebanese officials. The Government of Canada also thanks our partners in Lebanon for their co-operation and responsiveness.

February

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    MPcon
    Feb 07, 2012 12:00 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his concern. The Ahmeds are indeed free and still living in Saudi Arabia. Canadian officials worked very hard to assist the Ahmeds. All documentation required for the family's travel to Canada was made available some months ago. We have been regularly in touch with Mr. Ahmed and are waiting for him to inform us of his travel plans.

    We appreciate Saudi Arabia's co-operation in this case and the efforts of consular officials. We look forward to the Ahmed family's safe return to Canada.

December

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    MPcon
    Dec 15, 2011 11:55 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, we have consular officials working in over 150 countries to assist Canadians when they are in distress abroad. For the member at this time of year to so wrongfully and unfairly smear them is just beyond belief. I ask the member to withdraw that kind of language.

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    MPcon
    Dec 14, 2011 12:05 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleague to listen to question period; he would already know the answer to his question. However, to repeat, the Government of Lebanon has specifically dismissed the allegation that a simple letter would bring Mr. Tepper home. It points out that it must act in accordance with Lebanon's international legal obligations when faced with a request for extradition.

    We are doing everything possible to assist Mr. Tepper and will continue to do so.

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    MPcon
    Dec 14, 2011 12:00 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada takes such allegations of mistreatment and torture very seriously, and we are seeking the Government of Bahrain's response concerning the events that transpired during Mr. Al-Raas' detention. Canada is also urging the Government of Bahrain to review the case in light of the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, as well as urging that Mr. Al-Raas' conviction be reviewed and his sentence commuted.

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    MPcon
    Dec 14, 2011 11:50 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his ongoing and caring engagement on this matter. Our government is very concerned about Mr. Tepper's case, and we know what a stressful time this has been for him and his family.

    The Lebanese government specifically dismisses the allegation that a simple letter would release Mr. Tepper and affirms that it must act in accordance with Lebanon's international obligations when faced with a request for extradition.

    Government officials and ministers have been in active contact with senior Lebanese officials and—

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    MPcon
    Dec 13, 2011 11:55 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, our government takes cases involving children especially seriously. I thank my colleague for her interest in this case.

    Since learning of the situation, our consular officials have been actively supporting Mr. Watkins both in Canada and in Poland. In addition, consular officials have been working with local authorities, the province and the police on this situation. I can assure my colleague that we will continue to be very active to resolve this case.

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    MPcon
    Dec 06, 2011 11:55 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member for her great work in protecting the safety of citizens, particularly women and girls.

    Our government stands with the Syrian people in their quest for greater freedom and democracy, but the situation there remains very dangerous. The travel advisory was recently updated to urge Canadians in Syria that they should leave now while there are still commercial means available. Canadians who remain in the country need to know that our embassy's ability to provide consular assistance will be extremely limited. Those looking for more information should consult travel.gc.ca.

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    MPcon
    Dec 02, 2011 7:05 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    moved that Bill C-10, An Act to enact the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act and to amend the State Immunity Act, the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and other Acts, be read the third time and passed.

November

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    MPcon
    Nov 30, 2011 11:40 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, the House knows that the government is very concerned about Mr. Tepper's case and knows how difficult this is for him and his family. I have said this before, consular officials in Lebanon have been actively providing consular assistance and support to Mr. Tepper and his family since his arrival.

    As I have also mentioned, we are engaging on Mr. Tepper's behalf through quiet and diplomatic channels because we strongly believe that this is the best possible approach, and we will continue to work in Mr. Tepper's best interests.

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    MPcon
    Nov 28, 2011 12:00 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, the government remains concerned about and I assure the House is very active in Mr. Tepper's case. We know that this is a very difficult time for Mr. Tepper and his family. However, based on information we have received, public profile would not be in Mr. Tepper's best interests at this point.

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    MPcon
    Nov 04, 2011 10:05 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    moved that Bill C-15, An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

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    MPcon
    Nov 01, 2011 12:00 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to once again be able to advise that other Canadians have now been released from detention abroad--

October

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    MPcon
    Oct 31, 2011 11:45 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, after being informed of Mr. Al-Atar's arrest, the government made representations to local authorities and senior Saudi officials. We were also in contact with his wife in Canada yesterday and today.

    I thank the member for Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont for his excellent work over the weekend liaising with my office. The government is pleased that our concerns about Mr. Al-Atar's situation were addressed in a timely manner and that he has been released.

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    MPcon
    Oct 31, 2011 11:35 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, Mr. Al-Atar was released from detention today, thanks to the good work of our consular officials and the co-operation of our partners in Saudi Arabia. I can assure the member that we are committed to providing the same level of assistance for all Canadians. However, each case is unique and these cases are very often complex.

    We will continue to work with our partners to ensure due process and the well-being of Canadians in distress in Saudi Arabia as we do for Canadians all over the world.

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    MPcon
    Oct 28, 2011 8:40 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, we are concerned about this situation. We take it very seriously. I can advise the House that we are in consultation, not just with authorities in the country but with like-minded partners, to address this situation. It is a very high priority for our government.

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    MPcon
    Oct 18, 2011 12:00 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, in spite of his bombast, I can assure the member that Canadian consular officials are in fact providing the detained Canadian, his family and their relatives with consular assistance as requested both here and in Saudi Arabia.

    We have been granted access to see the family. We will continue to engage with Saudi officials about this family's case and provide it with the support it has requested.

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    MPcon
    Oct 06, 2011 12:05 pm | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Halifax West for his courtesy. I have been back and forth with the House technicians about the sound for the last two weeks, so this is a good demonstration of why we need it to be fixed.

    I appreciate my colleague from Halifax West raising this matter. Our colleague from West Nova is also in regular contact with me about the situation with Mr. Halliday. We are extremely concerned about this. We continue to be very active on this file and are continually monitoring the situation with regular consular visits to Mr. Halliday.

    I can assure my colleagues from Halifax West and West Nova that this is very much a top of mind issue for our office and we will continue to work vigorously on it.

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    MPcon
    Oct 06, 2011 11:55 am | Alberta, Calgary—Nose Hill

    Mr. Speaker, the member is well aware that the American government has agreed that Omar Khadr will return to Canada. We will respect the agreement between Omar Khadr and the U.S. government.


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MP
Diane Ablonczy

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