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41st PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 015

CONTENTS

Wednesday, November 6, 2013




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 147 
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NUMBER 015 
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2nd SESSION 
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41st PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Speaker: The Honourable Andrew Scheer

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayers


[Statements by Members]

  (1405)  

[English]

    It being Wednesday, we will have the singing of our national anthem led by the hon. member for Lethbridge.
    [Members sang the national anthem]

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement

    Mr. Speaker, he has done it again. Yesterday, the hon. Minister of International Trade signed yet another free trade deal, this time with the Republic of Honduras.
     With the new Canada-Honduras FTA, Canadian exporters, service providers and investors will benefit from enhanced market access. For example, this deal is worth up to $7 million per annum for beef and pork producers. This, along with Canada's EU trade agreement, is the most ambitious trade expansion plan in Canadian history. It will create new sources of prosperity for Canadian businesses of all sizes and for their employees.
    Despite the New Democrats' rhetoric on liberalized trade, its anti-trade partners tell the real story. As the Council of Canadians leader, Maude Barlow, recently stated in regard to the Canadian-EU trade agreement, the NDP is only worried about “optics”. The NDP leader needs to be honest with Canadians. His party would isolate Canada from the rest of the global community. Thank God Canada has a Conservative government that understands the importance of trade to our economy.

Ocean Science

    Mr. Speaker, today a crucial report was released focusing on the vital importance of ocean science in Canada. The report, sponsored by the Canadian Consortium of Ocean Research Universities, rightly asserts that the health of our oceans is fundamental to our precious environment and to Canada's economy.
    The CCORU universities do world-class research, including at the University of Victoria, but there is a pressing need for better integration of science in ocean management and use. Industry, government and universities must work together to ensure a healthy ocean ecosystem for generations to come.
    While we face real challenges, I believe we can build a modern, balanced Canada and create good jobs without sacrificing our environment. The path to achieve that goal should be guided by the best science and research possible. I commend CCORU for prompting this report, and urge members of the House and all Canadians to take its findings very seriously.

Sir Frederick Banting

    Mr. Speaker, Sir Frederick Banting has been recognized as a great humanitarian, a Nobel Prize winner, a gifted artist, the discoverer of the formula for insulin, and if I may say with huge pride, a great Londoner.
    It was on October 31, 1920, that Frederick Banting woke up in his home in London, Ontario, and wrote out the formula for insulin, which has given hope and quality of life to millions of people around the world. On November 9, we celebrate world Banting Day to mark the discovery by this amazing man.
    It is also appropriate during Veterans' Week that we honour Sir Frederick Banting the soldier. I was personally privileged, along with my dear friend Darrel Skidmore and Banting House museum curator Grant Maltman, to raise $80,000 in a matter of days to patriate Banting's Memorial Cross from public auction. This is a medal his family received when he died in the service of our country. I am proud that it is now properly displayed in Banting House in London, Ontario.
     I would ask that colleagues join me in honouring a great Canadian and humanitarian who gave so much in the service of mankind, Sir Frederick Banting. Lest we forget.

Veterans Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, I have stood in the House before to recognize the contributions Cape Breton men and women in uniform have made, going above and beyond the call of duty to defend our country and help liberate others around the world.
    With Remembrance Day on the horizon, our veterans are taking a stand against the government's decision to close nine offices across this country. This Saturday, I will be attending a rally with many of my colleagues to protest the closure of our Sydney Veterans Affairs office. This will leave more than 2,900 veterans with no in-person service.
    Veterans such as Ron Clark in my riding, who suffers from PTSD, worry about their fellow veterans across the country who are going to lose the help of compassionate, caring workers such as Brenda LeBlanc in our local Veterans Affairs office. Brenda knows Ron's story. Ron has tried the 1-800 numbers and the apps. They just do not work.
    When our men and women risk their lives for our peace and prosperity, the least we can do is to take care of them when they come home.

Colon Cancer

    Mr. Speaker, last month my father lost his fight with cancer. He had colon cancer, which had then spread to his liver and lungs. He fought the disease bravely but had discovered it when it was too advanced. Like too many other Canadians, my father had not been screened for colon cancer.
    Over 9,000 Canadians die every year from colon cancer. It accounts for one in eight of all cancer deaths. However, many of these deaths need not have happened. Colon cancer is slow-growing and highly detectable, and 90% preventable if detected early. However, like my father, nearly half of those diagnosed find out too late.
    Everyone aged 50 and up should be screened. I urge all Canadians to be vigilant and get tested regularly, if not for themselves then for their families, and not make the same mistake my father made.

[Translation]

Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors

    Mr. Speaker, today I wish to commend the important work done by the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors. One of CAHPI's objectives is to establish a national standard to ensure the competency and quality of the work of all home and property inspectors across Canada.
    The association also facilitates the transfer of certifications across the country. These measures, in addition to public awareness campaigns, provide enhanced consumer protection. They also protect Canada's housing inventories. By working to preserve safe, secure and appropriate housing, CAHPI is addressing some of the NDP's concerns, which are the impetus behind our calls for a national housing strategy.
    The NDP has long called for such a strategy, but our bill to guarantee the right to suitable, accessible, affordable housing was rejected by the Conservatives. Members of CAHPI are on the Hill today and I wish them a very warm welcome.

  (1410)  

[English]

Prostitution

    Mr. Speaker, last weekend Conservative delegates overwhelmingly supported a resolution that rejects the normalization of prostitution and declares that human beings are not objects to be enslaved, bought, and sold.
    Prostitution is a form of violence and sexual subordination. It is demeaning and dehumanizing. No amount of money can justify reducing a woman to a mere object of sexual pleasure. Any society that accepts this exploitation of women as legitimate can never hope to eradicate gender inequality and violence against women.
    Our sons need to know that it is not manly to objectify women in any way, and our daughters need to know that they are treasured far above rubies and can never be for sale. Buying sex is not okay. It should be criminal, and we should go after the johns and pimps who drive this human market.

World War II Veteran

    Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to Roman Sarauer.
    Roman was born August 9, 1921, and grew up near Annaheim, Saskatchewan, with his parents and nine siblings. In 1942, he bought his own farmland near St. James, Saskatchewan, but his farming career was interrupted by World War II and service for the Royal Regina regiment. After training, he served in Suffield, Alberta, where they were experimenting with blister gas. Early in 1945 he left for overseas, spending a year in England, Holland, Belgium, and Ireland before returning home.
    In July of 1946, he married the lovely Dolores Mamer and together they farmed and raised nine children. Eventually, his son Leslie began to farm with him and in 1980 Roman and Dolores moved to Annaheim. Roman continued to help out on the farm until his 90th birthday. He enjoyed curling and still enjoys playing cards and visiting. His only sadness is the loss of his beloved Dolores in 2009.
    Roman Sarauer, the people of Canada thank you for your service, for being willing to go and willing to give.

Women Veterans

    Mr. Speaker, today, on behalf of the NDP, I wish to salute all the men and women in uniform who have served our country in the Canadian Forces.

[Translation]

    As the only female MP who has served in the Canadian Forces currently sitting in the House, I would like to take a moment to commend all the women who have chosen to serve our country with as much courage as any male soldier.
    I would also like to applaud the fact that Canada was one of the first countries to give women full access to all trades within the armed forces.

[English]

    Let me finish by remembering our fallen women of the 21st century: Master Corporal Kristal Giesebrecht, 34 years old; Major Michelle Mendes, 30 years old; Corporal Karine Blais, 21 years old; Gunner Arielle Keyes-Oliver, 19 years old; Captain Nichola Kathleen Sarah Goddard, 26 years old; Captain Juli-Ann Mackenzie, 30 years old.

[Translation]

    Lest we forget.

[English]

    Lest we forget.

4-H Canada

    Mr. Speaker, November 6 has traditionally been declared as 4-H day. 4-H is one of Canada's longest-running youth organizations.
    First created in 1913, 4-H began as the Boys and Girls Club. Today, 4-H is an international youth organization involving more than seven million members in 80 countries. Our government has supported 4-H Canada. We understand the important role young farmers play in Canada's agriculture industry and we continue to support the work of 4-H to help it cultivate another century of success.
    Under Growing Forward 2, we are making a $3 billion investment in innovation, competitiveness, and market development in the Canadian agriculture sector. This includes a continued investment in supporting new and beginning farmers, as well as our 4-H partners.
     4-H has continuously helped youth make a better world, and I encourage all of my colleagues to proclaim November 6 as Show Your 4-H Colours day.

  (1415)  

Shine the Light on Woman Abuse Campaign

    Mr. Speaker, the 2013 Shine the Light on Woman Abuse campaign kicked off in London on November 1.
    The goal of this month-long campaign is to raise awareness of the abuse of women in our communities by turning towns and cities and even regions purple.
    In the city of London, the purple wave is bathing 30 buildings in purple light this month. Purple is the colour of courage, survival, and honour.
    Women in abusive relationships often feel trapped. Their homes are no longer safe places. Women need to know that any shame or blame they may feel does not belong to them but to their abusers.
    I invite all Canadians to show their support in the fight to end violence against women by wearing purple on November 15 and throughout the month of November.

Ottawa Sun Anniversary

    Mr. Speaker, today marks the 25th anniversary of the Ottawa Sun newspaper.
    As an eastern Ontario MP, I can say that this newspaper has been vital to the people of this great city and this region over the many years.
    I look forward to my daily read of this newspaper. In its coverage of federal politics, it is unmatched in its writing, its research, and its focus on the concerns of ordinary Canadians like the many readers of this newspaper in my riding of Leeds—Grenville.
    On this special day, we would like to wish a happy 25th anniversary to the Ottawa Sun. Cheers to many more years of great reporting ahead.

Health Care

    Mr. Speaker, this is family doctor week in Canada.
    Family doctors are the first point of patient contact with the health care system. Every day they diagnose, treat illness, promote disease prevention and good health, coordinate care, and advocate for their patients.
    Surveys show that family doctors enjoy the highest level of trust because of the quality and continuum of care they provide from cradle to grave. Family doctors know their patients well and are involved in every aspect of their lives.
    Today, as part of their advocacy role for better patient care, the College of Family Physicians issued a report card on the federal government's performance in health care. It found that the government failed or fared badly in 22 of 23 areas, concluding that the federal government must provide leadership and establish national standards and programs, but is failing to do so.
    Family doctors are urging the government to work with provinces and territories to improve health care, and it is time the government listened.

Veterans

    Mr. Speaker, last spring it was discovered that the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie had said that First World War veterans fought “a capitalist war on the backs of the workers and peasants”.
    There was no demand for a retraction from the Leader of the Opposition, even after veterans themselves called the comments outrageous.
    Then yesterday that same member supported the white poppy campaign and did not see why defacing the Canadian poppy was a bad idea. Again there was no demand for a retraction from Leader of the Opposition.
    I guess we know why that member and the NDP vote against so many veterans' programs and benefits.
    I call on the NDP to get its priorities straight and to stand up for Canadian veterans.
    When will the Leader of the Opposition discipline this member for his shameful behaviour and apologize to our veterans?

Crisis Management

    Mr. Speaker, Conservatives at all levels are finding new ways to mess up damage control.
    They took the Senate expense controversy, and in trying to quiet it down before their convention, instead blew it up all over the front pages.
    Throughout the scandal, the Prime Minister will not answer for what is going on in his office, will not answer for his changing stories, will not answer for the actions of his appointees, and of course now the RCMP is knocking at the door of the PMO looking for evidence.
    Then there is Conservative Rob Ford. Mayor Ford is doing his best to make the Prime Minister's crisis management look good.
    First his brother is sent out to blame the police chief; then the mayor admits to smoking illegal drugs; later, instead of doing the right thing, the troubled mayor launched his re-election campaign.
    It is all in a day's work for the Conservative damage control machine. Canadians deserve better, and Torontonians deserve better.

  (1420)  

Royal Canadian Air Force Veteran

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to share with the House a letter that our government received just a few weeks ago from the family of a veteran:
    It is my sad task to report the passing of my father at age 91. My dad was a Royal Canadian Air Force sergeant who served from 1939 to 1945.
    Over the years Dad received the financial support for hearing aids and eyeglasses he so badly required and for the help to keep him in his home as long as possible.
    We ask that you pass on our fond regards.
    It is Canada that thanks his father for his service to our country. While he has now slipped the surly bonds of earth, there is solace in the fact that we will remember and honour his service.
    As one part of the RCAF caucus with my seatmate from Edmonton Centre, we salute his father and say, “Per ardua ad astra”.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister likes to pretend that Nigel Wright acted alone, but the $90,000 cheque to Mike Duffy was just the tip of the iceberg. Others knew about the plan to have the party pay, and even more knew about the offers to whitewash the Senate report and keep Mike Duffy in the Senate.
    There is a culture of cover-up and corruption in the Prime Minster's Office. When is the Prime Minister finally going to come clean?
    Mr. Speaker, Mr. Wright has been very clear: he undertook these particular actions using his own resources, his own authority, and his own initiative. He has taken responsibility for that and is being held accountable.
    I also note, of course, that last night the Senate held accountable the three senators who have systematically disregarded or violated spending rules, and we congratulate it for taking that action.
    Mr. Speaker, did the Prime Minister know about the plan to use Conservative Party funds to reimburse the illegal expenses of Mike Duffy? No weasel words—yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, my clear view on this was that Mr. Duffy's expenses could not be justified. He had claimed expenses he had not incurred, and I had told him, including telling him directly, that he should repay those funds. I was later told that he had, which, of course, was not true. That is one of the reasons the Senate has acted as it has, and we congratulate it for that action.
    Mr. Speaker, I do not know what it is that makes the Prime Minister so afraid to answer such a straightforward, clear question.

[Translation]

    Jenni Byrne was working at Conservative Party headquarters, but the Prime Minister brought her back to his office to manage the Senate expense scandal.
    Was Jenni Byrne aware of the plan to use Conservative Party funds to pay back Mike Duffy's expenses?
    Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP is again making allegations against others without any evidence. The facts are clear: Mr. Wright acted on his own initiative and he has taken responsibility for what he did. He is being held accountable for his actions.
    Mr. Speaker, the question was simple and perfectly clear. It required a simple yes or no answer. The Prime Minister continues with his stonewalling.
    Was Irving Gerstein, the Conservative Party leader's top fundraiser, aware of the scheme to use Conservative Party funds to reimburse Mike Duffy's expenses? Yes or no?

  (1425)  

[English]

    I see the right hon. Prime Minister rising to answer the question, but I just want to remind members that there have been many Speaker's rulings about the clear delineation between party activity and government activity. As I heard it, it seemed mostly to deal with party business, but I will let the right hon. Prime Minister answer.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP is once again trying to pin the blame on one person for someone else's actions.

[English]

    The facts here are absolutely clear. Mr. Wright has been very clear on all of these matters. He has taken full responsibility for his actions and he is being held accountable, as we expect in this party. We hold people personally accountable for their actions.
    Mr. Speaker, just to be perfectly clear, this is about a cover-up in the Prime Minister's Office. This is government business. This is the public's business.
    Did Senator Gerstein approve the plan to use party money to repay Duffy's illegal expenses when he thought that the cost was just $32,000? Is it a question of principle or a question of price?
    Mr. Speaker, I will remind the member, once again, that as soon as I became aware of these facts we made those facts available to the public.
    We all know the party did not pay Mr. Duffy's inappropriate expenses. He was supposed to pay those himself. Indeed, he claimed he had paid those himself. He had not. Obviously, for that reason he is no longer a member of our caucus and has been further sanctioned by the Senate, as is appropriate.
    Mr. Speaker, tonight this House will vote on a motion that will compel everyone involved in the PMO ethics scandal, including the Prime Minister, to testify under oath. I am sure every single Conservative MP would agree with their former colleague from Edmonton—St. Albert that their constituents want answers.
    Will the Prime Minister allow a free vote so that Conservative MPs can express the will of their constituents tonight?
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party had its chance in the Senate last night to demonstrate some kind of accountability. Of course what the Liberal senators did was exactly what we would expect, as they have all through this defended the rights of senators to do whatever they want to do, whether they are within the rules or not.
    Once again, the Liberal Party on that side has exhibited the culture we have come to know from that party, which is the culture of one being entitled to his or her entitlements. On this side, we expect people to follow the rules.
    Mr. Speaker, I have heard time and time again across this country that Canadians are disappointed, that the strong voices elected from their communities have turned into the Prime Minister's voice in their communities.
    In the vote tonight, will the Prime Minister allow his MPs to speak up for their constituents or will they participate in this cover-up?
    Mr. Speaker, if the leader of the Liberal Party were indeed listening to Canadians, he would know that Canadians did expect those senators who broke or systematically disregarded expense rules to be removed from the public payroll. In fact, the Liberal Party did not do that, with one exception. The Liberal senators would have allowed the senators to continue without any sanction whatsoever.
    Fortunately, the vast majority of Conservative senators felt otherwise and have imposed that sanction.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Senator Gerstein was aware of the Duffy affair and he still has his job. The people in the Prime Minister's Office involved in this scheme were simply shuffled off.
    Canadians across the country want their MPs to express the will of their constituents, who want to know more.
    For the third time, will the Prime Minister allow his MPs to have a free vote on this motion this evening in order to get to the bottom of this and reassure their constituents that they are listening to them?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, the will of Canadians is crystal clear. They want the senators who claimed inappropriate expenses to no longer be on the public payroll.
    The Liberal Party voted to keep those senators in office. Fortunately, the vast majority of Conservative senators voted to impose serious sanctions on those senators.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, Nigel Wright has told the police that Irving Gerstein approved the original plan to pay back Mike Duffy's illegal expenses using party money. Gerstein told the Conservative convention this weekend that he dismissed the idea out of hand. Both cannot be true.
    Did Senator Gerstein lie to Conservative Party members?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, the decision to repay Mr. Duffy's inappropriate expenses was Mr. Wright's decision. That is a decision he took himself and that he has taken responsibility for. Obviously, his actions and those of Mr. Duffy were not accurately communicated to me or to the Canadian people. That is where the responsibility lies. That is where it does lie, and they are being held accountable.
    Actually, Mr. Speaker, the word “lie” does apply, but one of those two versions has to be a lie. Mr. Gerstein cannot be telling the truth, and Nigel Wright. The question was, did Gerstein approve the plan, yes or no, and as usual the Prime Minister refuses to answer.
    Let us talk about legal expenses. Of the legal expenses the party did cover for Mike Duffy, the Prime Minister 's office said, “The party was assured the invoice was for valid legal fees related to the audit process”.
    What legal work was done relating to the audit process?
    Of course, Mr. Speaker, that is a matter of party business, not government business.
    The facts have been made very clear on that. Political parties do provide legal support to their members of Parliament, of both Houses, from time to time.
    The leader of the NDP should be no stranger to this. He not only has claimed legal expenses from his party, he even succeeded in getting his party to pay court damages against him for a court case, when he lost. I know of no parallel to that in our party.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, did the Conservative Party cover the legal fees of the other senators who are subject to the very same audit?
    Again, the question is on the activities of a party. The question includes the phrase “did the Conservative Party”. It is not part of the Prime Minister's responsibilities as Prime Minister.
    I see the right hon. Prime Minister rising to answer the question. Nonetheless, I hope all members will keep in mind that questions have to relate to the government's responsibilities.
    Mr. Speaker, as you well know, the decision to provide legal assistance to MPs and senators is made by the political parties. As far as spending taxpayers' money is concerned, that is up to the boards of internal economy of both houses. It is not up to the government.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the question was, why one and not the other? Let us look at another example.
    The Prime Minister said it is clearly inappropriate to try to collect travel expenses when one is living at a resident he or she has not had for many, many years. Carolyn Stewart Olsen admits she charged her expenses to taxpayers for a home she lived in for decades before becoming a senator.
    Why was it appropriate in her case?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Senate has been very clear; it is looking at the expenditures of all senators. The Leader of the Opposition once again makes broad-brush allegations against all kinds of employees and senators.
    I have no information that would corroborate what he said, but obviously we will see what the final findings of the audit of the Senate will be.
    Mr. Speaker, has anyone from the Prime Minister's Office discussed the investigation of Rod Zimmer's expenses with Conservatives in the Senate?
    Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of what that discussion would be. I understand this particular member is no longer a member of the Senate.
    Although this is Senate business, it is my understanding that the Senate is examining, during this Parliament, the expenditures of all senators, past and present.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, who in the Prime Minister's Office prepares senators for media interviews?
    Mr. Speaker, from time to time the Prime Minister's Office provides advice to members and senators about talking to the media. However, members and senators are constitutionally responsible for their actions and their words.
    Mr. Speaker, who practises answering questions with the senators from time to time?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am starting to really have trouble figuring out what any of this has to do with government business.
    As I just said, if anybody breaks rules, they are held accountable. We do not accept that in this party. We hold people accountable when they take actions that they should not have taken.
    Mr. Speaker, taxpayers pay for it; it is in the Prime Minister's Office, but what does that have to do with the government?

[Translation]

    If it is true that the Prime Minister lost confidence in Nigel Wright on May 15, why did his office give Nigel Wright a vote of confidence on behalf of the Prime Minister two days later, on May 17? This just does not add up.
    Mr. Speaker, Mr. Wright accepted responsibility for the actions he took with his own resources, under his own authority and on his own initiative.
    Mr. Wright's actions were clearly not acceptable and he admitted it. He took responsibility and he is being held accountable for his actions by the authorities.

[English]

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, today the Province of Saskatchewan is taking the first step toward Senate abolition. Why is the Prime Minister, just like the Liberal leader, defending the status quo for the Senate?
    Mr. Speaker, of course, this government has proposed, since the beginning, reforms to the Senate. In fact, it is the NDP that has opposed any reforms to the Senate. In fact, the NDP governments are actually right now before the court arguing that we should make Senate abolition virtually impossible to achieve.
    When it comes to the status quo in the Senate, the NDP is not the solution; it is part of the problem.

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, it is time to come clean on the Wright-Duffy affair. The Prime Minister's mouthpiece claims he was not aware of the RCMP investigating “anyone currently in PMO”, but, of course, the PMO staff involved in this scandal have been promoted. The Minister of Natural Resources's new chief of staff, Chris Woodcock, allegedly wrote the cover-up script for Mike Duffy.
    Can the government confirm whether Mr. Woodcock has been contacted by the RCMP?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, as we have said from the beginning, we will continue to co-operate with authorities on this matter. Mr. Wright has been very clear who he brought into his confidence on this matter.
    At the same time, we are very proud of those Conservative senators who supported this motion yesterday. Of course, Liberal senators did exactly what we expected them to do: fought for the status quo in the Senate. As the Prime Minister just said, the Liberals will always fight for their entitlements, but they will never fight for taxpayers.
    Mr. Speaker, I regret that I did not get an answer to my question, so let us try again. We are talking here about the guy who allegedly instructed Duffy to lie, something this Parliamentary Secretary appears to condone.
    Has Mr. Woodcock had contact with the RCMP in any way?
    Mr. Speaker, I will speak much slower so that he can understand me. We will continue to work with the authorities on this matter. Mr. Wright was very clear about who he brought into his confidence on this.
    If only the Liberals had actually supported taxpayers and Conservative senators, and actually voted to suspend these three senators. I am very proud of the fact that Conservatives on this side of the House and in the Senate will always stand up for taxpayers.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, instructing someone to lie to cover up the Wright-Duffy agreement could constitute a criminal offence.
    Chris Woodcock was the Prime Minister's adviser, his “Mr. Clean”. He was promoted and is now chief of staff to a minister.
    Has Mr. Woodcock been contacted by the RCMP or did he provide the RCMP with documents and emails on his own initiative?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we will continue to work with the authorities in this matter.
    As I have said on a number of occasions, Canadians have said loud and clear that they want accountability in the Senate. Yesterday, unfortunately, Liberal senators once again let them down. The Liberal senators are fighting very hard for the status quo. Conservative senators in the Senate did Canadians proud yesterday by suspending these three senators without pay, standing up for taxpayers.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are failing on one of the most important issues for Canadians: health care. The College of Family Physicians of Canada released its report card evaluating five key areas. The Conservative government failed. It failed on access to primary care, failed on home care, failed on children's health care, failed on funding, and failed on overall leadership. That is the verdict of family doctors across Canada.
    When will the minister stop failing and end the growing health care crisis?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to a strong publicly funded health care system. In fact, our government has provided stable, predictable funding to the provinces that will reach a record $40 billion by the end of the decade. We are focused on working with the provinces and territories on innovative solutions to ensure that the health care system is sustainable and is delivering the care Canadians need.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, what the parliamentary secretary forgot to mention is that the government made $31 billion in cuts on the backs of the provinces.
    The College of Family Physicians of Canada's assessment of the federal government's role in health services is scathing. The Conservatives failed to make services available across the country; failed to offer services to the most vulnerable members of our society; failed to ensure equal access to services across the country, particularly in the regions; failed to implement a pan-Canadian health strategy; and failed to provide adequate funding for research.
    The Health Council and the Wait Time Alliance have also spoken out about this problem. Can the Minister of Health explain all these failures to Canadians?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, in fact, our government is the single largest investor when it comes to research. We have funded over $1 billion. Our government is committed to supporting innovation and research that improves the efficiency of the health care system and helps Canadians maintain good health.
    We are also investing in key areas mentioned in the report, including health human resources, health information technology, and other pan-Canadian priority areas, such as cancer and mental health.

  (1445)  

[Translation]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, let us continue with the topic of Conservative mismanagement.
    Too many soldiers who have been wounded in combat are being released from the Canadian Forces before achieving the 10 years of service required to receive a pension. We have raised this serious issue in the House on a number of occasions, but the minister continues to deny that this problem exists. He says that it does not.
    Can the minister stop hiding his head in the sand and commit to ensuring that soldiers will not be released before they have earned the right to a pension?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the department makes every accommodation to ensure that soldiers are kept in the forces and are provided with the best possible care before being considered for release.
    I cannot comment on the specifics of any particular case, but I will say, with respect to pension eligibility, that it is based on long-standing terms and is determined by how much accrued time each individual has accumulated. That has not changed.
    Mr. Speaker, in a question last week, the minister clearly said, in terms of Corporal David Hawkins, that everybody is released from the military when their time is ready, when they seem fit to leave. The reality is, in Corporal Hawkins' case, that this is not the truth. He had a grievance filed against the defence department, and in the middle of that grievance, he was let go, before his 10 years. It is clear that the government is trying to balance its deficit in the defence department on the backs of our injured heroes.
    It is too late for David Hawkins right now, but for the other 200 every year who are medically released before their 10 years, would the minister now put a stop to this process and ensure that the heroes of our country get the benefits they so richly deserve?
    Mr. Speaker, the department will continue to work with all those individuals to prepare them for transition.
     I wish the hon. member would address the question of why, over all these years, he and his party continue to not support, and fight us on, all the millions of dollars we are putting toward ill and injured Canadian soldiers. Why does he not answer that question for a change?

Veterans Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, today I rise in this place with a question for the Minister of Veterans Affairs.
     At a time when some are trying to tear away at the honour we should be demonstrating to Canadian veterans, our government and the Minister of Veterans Affairs remain focused on remembering those who have given their lives in the service of our country. Would the Minister of Veterans Affairs please update this House on how he plans to remember Canadian veterans?
    Mr. Speaker, for far too long, the Korean War has been the forgotten war. Successive governments have brushed aside complaints by Korean War veterans that Canadians simply did not know their sacrifice or their remarkable accomplishments. Not this year. This can be said no longer. Our government has spent 2013 working with members of Parliament, members from the other place, veterans associations, and indeed, foreign governments to right this wrong.
    As Remembrance Day approaches, I call upon all parliamentarians and Canadians to learn about and to remember those who fought so bravely in the Korean War.

Aboriginal Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the courts have struck down parts of budget 2012. The Conservatives' unilateral changes to social assistance in Mi'kmaq communities targeted Canada's poorest citizens, and the Conservatives could not even say who their changes would affect.
    Would the minister admit his mistake and abandon his plan to gut social assistance?
    Mr. Speaker, indeed, a court rendered its decision yesterday. We are in the process of reviewing the decision. Once it is reviewed, we shall take a position on it.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have it in for some of the most vulnerable members of aboriginal communities, which are already struggling with an unacceptably high poverty rate.
    Rather than consulting with aboriginal communities or conducting impact studies, the minister waited until the Federal Court blocked the changes that he wanted to make to the welfare program.
    Does the minister now realize that he made a mistake, and will he respect the Federal Court's decision?

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, as I just told the hon. member's colleague, the Federal Court rendered its decision yesterday. We are in the process of reviewing the decision, and once it is reviewed, we will take a position on it.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, this has to be a world record in bad policy, and it is attracting more and more attention, both at home and around the world.
    Yesterday the United Nations published a report on global greenhouse gas emission trends. The Conservatives earned a special mention. They are lagging behind the most when it comes to combatting rising greenhouse gas emissions. The polluter pay system is long overdue.
    When will the minister table her emissions reduction targets for the oil and gas sectors?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, our government has taken action to address climate change. We introduced new emissions regulations for vehicles. We are the first major coal user to ban construction of traditional coal-fired power plants.
    Thanks to our actions, carbon emissions will go down close to 130 megatonnes from what they would have been under the Liberals. We are accomplishing this without the NDP carbon tax, which would have raised the cost of everything.
    Mr. Speaker, the only thing under the current Conservative government that we are leading at is failing on acting on climate change.
    In this report, one of the authors said:
    Canada doesn't seem to fully grasp the risk that climate change poses to it...in its approach to climate change.
    That last answer is a perfect example of not grasping the situation. When will the minister start paying attention to science and actually take action on climate change?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is taking action on climate change. We contributed $1.2 billion to developing countries so that they can reduce their carbon emissions and adapt to changes. We are also a founding member of a major financial contributor to an international coalition taking action to reduce pollutants like black carbon. We have also made addressing these pollutants a priority under the Arctic Council chairmanship.

Veterans Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday I spoke with Corporal Glen Kirkland, who was in Afghanistan and was seriously injured in a rocket attack that also killed or wounded fellow soldiers. His fight for the honourable treatment of our veterans is the latest chapter in his story of bravery.
    Will the Prime Minister make two commitments for our honoured veterans? Will he ensure that no soldier injured in combat is involuntarily discharged from the forces before qualifying for their pension? Will he reverse the closure of nine veterans service centres in communities like Sydney, Kelowna, and Brandon?
    Mr. Speaker, again, the department works with those individuals to make sure that they are ready for the transition to civilian life. Nobody has made this more of a priority than this government.
    I have to ask the hon. member this: After a decade of darkness, when the Liberals did nothing on this file, why is it only about a week before Remembrance Day that they discover this file? We make this a priority 52 weeks of the year. That is the difference.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday I spoke with Corporal Glen Kirkland, who was seriously injured in Afghanistan. His fight to ensure that veterans are treated with dignity is just the latest chapter in his tale of courage.
    Will the Prime Minister make the following commitments to our veterans? Will he ensure that no soldiers injured in combat will be dismissed from the forces before they are eligible for their pension, and will he reverse the decision to close nine veterans service centres in cities like Windsor, Thunder Bay, and Brandon?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we give our thanks to Corporal Kirkland, indeed to all those men and women who have served in the Canadian Armed Forces.
    The message I have for them is that after a decade of darkness here, now they will experience a decade of delivery under this Conservative government.

[Translation]

Champlain Bridge

    Mr. Speaker, the people of Montreal and the south shore are increasingly concerned about the impact of a toll on the new Champlain Bridge. They still have questions. For example, how much will the toll cost? Once the toll is in place, how congested will the other bridges be?
    Other than saying, “no toll, no bridge” could the minister once and for all answer our questions?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to say it again: no toll, no bridge. We will continue to work to ensure that a bridge is built to meet the needs of the greater Montreal area, with the ability to pay Canadian taxpayers. We have done a great job. The business plan will be ready by the end of the year. Among other things, it will analyze 13 different architecture and engineering scenarios for the bridge construction. We are working hard and we will honour our commitments.
    Mr. Speaker, even more disturbing than the minister's failure to provide answers is the fact that his government has circumvented its own rules for awarding contracts. A sum of $15 million was awarded to Arup Canada without a tendering process. Untendered contracts often mean cronyism and corruption. Not only did they not hold an international architecture competition, but furthermore, they loaded the dice. Why did the minister decide to ignore the competitive process?
    Mr. Speaker, the firm in question has been working on the bridge file for quite a while now, along with the company that was awarded the contract for the business plan. These people are hard at work.
    Recently, a report from the highly reputable firm Buckland & Taylor raised additional and significant concerns about the bridge. We took this very seriously. Officials from Public Works and Government Services Canada have managed this file with Transport Canada.
     While my colleague is concerned about the work involved in these things, we are concerned about his vote when the time comes to invest in this bridge.

[English]

Seniors

    Mr. Speaker, elder abuse is a serious crime that should not be tolerated. Starting today, Canadians across the country will recognize National Senior Safety Week. This year, the focus will be on raising awareness and preventing financial fraud amongst older Canadians. Financial abuse, one of the many forms of senior abuse, deprives seniors of their dignity and peace at a time of life when they should feel safe and secure.
    Can the Minister of State for Seniors please tell the House what our government is doing to help tackle financial abuse?
    Mr. Speaker, any form of elder abuse will not be tolerated by our government. That is why we have passed legislation to ensure tough sentences for those who have taken advantage of seniors.
    We have increased funding for New Horizons, which deals directly with financial abuse. We have also increased the availability of information and resources to help abused seniors and their families. We are working together with the provinces and territories, with organizations and individuals in order to continue our work in tackling elder abuse.

Search and Rescue

    Mr. Speaker, on Monday, a fishing vessel en route from St. Anthony to Triton, Newfoundland, became engulfed in flames. Three fishermen had to evacuate the ship after making a mayday call. That call was received by St. Anthony Coast Guard radio and St. John's Coast Guard radio, both of which government had slated to close. It was the element of local knowledge and coordination that allowed for a successful rescue operation.
     I ask the government today to admit that slashing search and rescue services is putting lives of people at risk. Will more people have to die before the government reverses those decisions?
    Mr. Speaker, first, I want to thank private citizen Terry Ryan and the other private citizens who responded to the call. I also want to thank the Canadian Coast Guard and Canadian Forces personnel for being involved in this rescue which saved three people, thankfully.
    The fact that a private vessel responded after mayday calls were issued by both the burning vessel and the Canadian Coast Guard and they were first on site is an example of how the mayday system works well. The closest vessel headed out to the disaster. The mayday was issued at 6:20 a.m. and in nine minutes a Hercules from Greenwood, a Coast Guard ship out of Lewisporte, and a helicopter out of Gander were tasked with responding.

  (1500)  

Western Economic Diversification

    Mr. Speaker, the RCMP is now investigating Regina's International Performance Assessment Centre for alleged fraud and breach of trust. The federal government gave $4 million to IPAC toward research on carbon capture and storage.
    Conservatives have been aware of these problems for some time. Have they been contacted by the RCMP? What actions are they taking to recover any misspent taxpayer monies?
    Mr. Speaker, it is my first time answering my colleague in her role as critic to the western economy, one of several in her caucus. However, this matter is before the RCMP, and we will not comment further.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, the oil sands create hundreds of thousands of jobs in communities right across Canada. We notice the Conservatives clap for that because our government knows that Canadians benefit from resource development. We have been clear that the Keystone XL project will create fantastic jobs for Canadians and tremendous growth in our economy.
    Could the parliamentary secretary please update the House on the work the minister is doing to support Canadian jobs and add to the quality of life for Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources is in Washington today, advocating for Canadian jobs in our resource sector.
    The difference between our approach and that of the NDP could not be more stark. While our government is focused on creating jobs and economic growth for Canada, the NDP attacks Canadian jobs. While we support Canadian workers, the NDP continues its anti-trade, anti-development, and anti-resource agenda.

[Translation]

Science and Technology

    Mr. Speaker, the indirect costs of research are severely penalizing Canada's universities.
    By reimbursing only 21.5% of those costs, the Conservatives are putting our universities at risk of not balancing their books. Quebec universities alone are underfunded by $113 million annually.
    Will the Minister of Industry improve the program and cover 40% of the indirect costs of research, as was planned in 2003?
    Mr. Speaker, our government remains committed to supporting science, technology, and innovation.
    That is why we are working with post-secondary institutions to re-evaluate the indirect costs program. We want to ensure that taxpayers' money is managed wisely.

Champlain Bridge

    Mr. Speaker, along with the Government of Quebec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal and the south shore business community, 61% of the people in the Montreal area also oppose the toll the federal government plans to levy on the future Champlain Bridge. The Prime Minister's political lieutenant for Quebec now stands alone.
    Instead of imposing its views and bending the rules in the awarding of contracts—the same rules meant to prevent what we are seeing every day with the Charbonneau commission—when will the government really sit down with the stakeholders and stop operating in a vacuum?
    Mr. Speaker, since October 5, 2011, the day we launched the process for the construction of the new bridge over the St. Lawrence, over two years ago, there have been more than 55 meetings involving officials from Transport Canada, Transports Québec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal and the Agence métropolitaine de transport.
    The day we announced the construction of the new bridge, we said that there would be a toll on it as part of a public-private partnership and that there would be public transit on the bridge. There are no surprises here.

[English]

Presence in Gallery

    On the occasion of Veterans' Week, I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of some of our war veterans: Mr. Bill Black, a Korean War veteran; Mr. Wayne MacCulloch, a peacekeeping veteran; Mr. Jody Mitic, an Afghanistan war veteran; and Mr. John "Jack" Caldwell McLean, a Bomber Command veteran.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

  (1505)  

    I would also like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of Senator Sean D. Barrett, a distinguished senator from the Republic of Ireland.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Veterans' Week

    There have been consultations among the parties. Therefore, before the hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs rises to make a statement, I would invite all hon. members to rise for two minutes of silence to commemorate our veterans.
    [A moment of silence observed]
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by first recognizing the important anniversary we are observing this year.
    On July 27, 1953, a ceasefire was finally brokered on the Korean Peninsula. With the beginnings of the Korean War armistice, two bitter foes agreed to put down their weapons. Sixty years later, we still remember the more than 26,000 Canadians who served courageously on land, at sea, and in the skies during some of the most brutal and bloodiest fighting of the Korean War. Approximately 7,000 Canadians continued to serve there after the fragile ceasefire was reached and, as we sadly remember, 516 brave Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice so the world might one day know peace.
    Despite all of this, the Korean War has long been viewed by many as the forgotten war, and that is why our government sought to correct this wrong by making this year, 2013, the Year of the Korean War Veteran. We all respect the official record of this place. Every word we speak in the House is captured indefinitely by Hansard, and this is why at the end of my speech I will table, in both official languages, a list of every Canadian who perished in the Korean War. I do so with the hope that all Canadians will know the names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, that their names will be enshrined in Hansard for future generations to come.
    It is truly an honour to rise this afternoon to deliver my first Veterans' Week statement as Canada's new Minister of Veterans Affairs. At the outset, I want to thank the Prime Minister for the privilege of serving Canada's veterans and their families, serving those who have served our country so bravely and so well. Our men and women in uniform have an incredible sense of duty and commitment to service above self. We recognize the toll their service takes on their families, the extra responsibilities and duties their loved ones assume on the home front each day, the constant fear that comes with not knowing how loved ones are doing or even where they are. This reality is unique to our military families and as I salute them for their contributions, I ask all Canadians to do likewise.
    It is these realities that have motivated me to stand in the chamber today to thank all of our military families for sharing their loved ones with us. We truly are a grateful nation and we remember fondly the devotion and sacrifice of the men and women who have chosen to demonstrate their love of country by wearing the maple leaf.
    I have been privileged to travel far and wide to meet with some of our veterans and see the respect and gratitude they have earned around the world. Even more profoundly brought home to me time and again is the sense of altruistic patriotism shown by the veterans themselves, proud, honourable and distinguished Canadians, past, present and, no doubt, future, truly the best Canada has to offer.
    I cannot say how proud I felt to be a Canadian when I accompanied our Korean War veterans on their return visit to the Korean Peninsula in July. Let me also assure everyone that South Korea is a nation that continues to honour and remember the great sacrifices of the Canadian men and women who protected their freedom some 60 years ago. I felt equally privileged to be with Canadian veterans and Canadian Armed Forces personnel in Sicily to mark the 70th anniversary of Operation Husky and the Italian campaign that liberated my native Italy from the tyranny and oppression of the day.
    Just as important, I have been meeting veterans and their families here at home, in their communities, from coast to coast, in places like Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, London and Sarnia, in Fredericton, Halifax, Charlottetown and Vancouver. These men and women, as well as their strong and supportive families, represent the very best of what it means to be Canadian.

  (1510)  

    It is tempting to say that we are fortunate people, or to believe that fate has looked kindly upon us, but Canada did not become a great nation by accident. This prosperous and democratic country that we love, this way of life we hold so dear, is owed in large measure to the generations of men and women who have courageously stood up and put themselves at risk to defend our shared ideals and values. They have stood up for Canada, for our core beliefs of democracy, human rights and respect for the rule of law. They have stood up for a caring and conscientious peace-loving people, and that is why we are here today.
    We appreciate that Canada is a precious gift, made by many who have served and continue to serve at home and abroad: on land, at sea and in the air. We are their heirs to peace, security and quality of life that we can never take for granted. We never will.
    This Veterans' Week, we come together as a proud nation to honour the more than two million Canadians who have worn our nation's uniform during times of peace and war, and to remember the 118,000 brave men and women who have paid for our freedom with their lives.
    Whether these are profound memories and personal reflections of sacrifices, or in any way those we can tribute today, be they in Europe or elsewhere where our soldiers are buried, at the cenotaphs or services of remembrance, Canadians will never forget.
    One such profound recent reminder was at the Royal Canadian Legion General Wingate Branch, No. 256, in Toronto. While honouring the sacrifice of Canadian Jewish World War I heroes, Mr. Murray Jacobs, past president, captured the significance of the day when he said something that was reflective of the weather, the temperature, and the inclement conditions we were under there. He said, “We are reminded that the rain is really teardrops as we remember our fallen brethren”.
    That is our history, our proud military heritage, which predates our nation itself. This is who we are. It is a history that our government is proud to honour, revere and commemorate.
    Next year, we will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War, as part of our plans leading to the celebration of Canada's 150th birthday in 2017. We are determined to ensure future generations of Canadians never forget the people and events that shaped our nation, that they never forget the terrible loss of life or the scale of the devastation, destruction, sacrifice and trauma that the tragedy of war brings.
    It is indeed regrettable that after all these years we still cannot claim world peace in our time. A new generation of Canadian men and women have instead known the horrors of modern-day war, and fighting during the Afghanistan and Libya campaigns. Canadians are still serving in the cause of peace and freedom, from Cyprus to the Golan Heights, to the Sudan and the Congo. They are continuing to serve in the proud traditions of those who came before them, defending Canada with honour, courage and distinction.
    As we return to our communities, and as we await with great anticipation for the return of the final group of personnel from Afghanistan, and as we prepare to gather at local cenotaphs and memorials, I ask all Canadians to make this Veterans' Week a time of reflection and gratitude. Let us make it a time to remember those to whom we owe so much, those who sacrificed, those who have given us what we can never fully repay, those upon whose shoulders this and future generations of Canadians stand.
    Lest we forget.

  (1515)  

    Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs and the government for their kind remarks on Veterans' Week.
    I would like to highlight the names of some veterans and their families throughout this country who have given so much. They are not only Canada's heroes, but some are my personal friends. There is Major Dan Gagnon, who served so bravely in Rwanda, and Major Tom Wilson, who retired after 36 years of valiant service. Between the two of them, they have 72 years of proud military tradition in the Canadian military.
     Lily Snow, Helen Rapp, Louise Richard and Nichola Goddard, Nichola having paid the ultimate sacrifice, are brave women who served side by side with the men who served so bravely in all the wars and conflicts that Canada has entered into.
    There is Murray Brown of the RCMP. We must not forget about our RCMP and their families, who serve so bravely, not only internationally but at home as well. There are great people, such as, Medric Cousineau and his campaign for service dogs, Michael Blais with the Canadian Veterans Advocacy, and veterans advocate Sean Bruyea.
    Also worth noting are the Royal Canadian Legion and many organizations that advocate, not only for remembrance of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, but for those who are still with us.
    I would also mention Mr. Peter Lahey of the International Transport Workers' Federation, who is going to Liverpool on November 10 to lay a wreath on behalf of all seafarers and merchant mariners throughout the world.
    I congratulate Mr. Nathan Greenfield, an author who wrote a fantastic book called The Forgotten. He has written about prisoners of war and those who escaped various conflicts when they were in prison in World War I and World War II.
    However, there is one person who stands out. That is Mr. Ed Carter-Edwards, of Smithville, Ontario. He is now 95 years old. I swear, if Canada were at war tomorrow, he would be the first one to sign up. He was in the bomber command that was shot down over Europe. He and his colleagues were in the Buchenwald concentration camp, which went against the Geneva Convention. Somehow he ended up surviving to tell us the story of what happened. Recently, in a book signing at the Armoury in Ottawa, he told a bunch of new officers of the Canadian military about the tremendous experiences of what he went through. When doing so, one could have heard a pin drop. This is one of Canada's true national heroes. He is about five feet tall, but as tough as they get. I personally want to salute Mr. Ed Carter-Edwards, on behalf of all of us in the House of Commons, and all Canadians, for his tremendous fighting spirit and efforts in reminding us of the price of war.
    I also want to congratulate the Government of Canada for making this the year of the Korean veteran. We would like to say to all of those who served in Korea, and their families, that the Korean War is forgotten no more. I am very proud that the minister presented the 516 names into Hansard today, so that all Canadians will be able to look upon them as true Canadian heroes, as well as those who have served and sacrificed, were injured, and eventually came home.
    We truly will not be able to have peace in Korea until North Korea and South Korea become a unified country. I hope that all of us will be alive when that gracious day comes.
    On behalf of the leader of the New Democratic Party and all of my colleagues from coast to coast to coast, we say to each and every veteran who has served, their families, and those who will serve and become veterans in the future, that there is a gravesite in Brussels from World War I. When the individual passed away, the family put something on the gravesite. It states, “This Canadian left his home so that you can live in yours”. I am a Dutch-born Canadian. I know that the minister is from Italy. We know all too well about the liberation that was made possible by what Canadians did so that our families and our countries could be free.
    On behalf of all of us, we say God bless to our veterans and their families. May God have mercy on the souls of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

  (1520)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am truly humbled to speak on behalf of my leader and the Liberal Party of Canada as we honour the men and women who have answered the call to serve their country. A lot of them are here today and we need to recognize them, and a lot of them are now missed as members of Parliament.
    Throughout our history, young Canadians have enlisted to fight for freedom in faraway lands. They have answered the call to serve in two world wars, and the Korean War, as peacekeepers and as peacemakers. They have left home, their mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, their sweethearts and their wives and children. They have gone to fight for freedom and justice. They have gone to fight for those who are oppressed and persecuted. They have gone to keep warring sides apart and to maintain shaky peace treaties. They have gone to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.
    I cannot imagine facing what each of them has faced. I cannot imagine the rush of adrenalin as they face the enemy or come under fire. I cannot imagine seeing their comrades being killed or wounded, and I cannot imagine the horrors they have witnessed.
    In 1914, young Canadians from across the country enlisted to fight in Europe. By the end of the First World War, 619,636 had gone to war. George Herald Baker, a member of this House of Commons, was one of the 66,000 who did not come home. Through the blood of our soldiers, Canada won its place at the treaty table.
    Unfortunately, the war to end all wars did not end all wars. Once again, between 1939 and 1945, 1.1 million young Canadians went off to war, and 45,400 did not make it home. There were 54,000 Canadians who came home with physical wounds, and countless others came home with psychological wounds.
    Between 1950 and 1953, 26,791 Canadians served in the Canadian Army Special Force, in Korea. There were 1,516 young Canadians who did not come home and 1,042 were wounded.
    Since the Korean War, more than 1,800 Canadians have fallen in the line of duty. They were serving on peacekeeping missions and other foreign military operations, on domestic operations and training. The 158 Canadians who have fallen in Afghanistan are included in this number. Others have returned home with physical and mental wounds.
    These men and women exemplify the best of what it means to be a Canadian: strong, caring and compassionate, with a sense of justice and a willingness to defend and protect the weak and the helpless.
    In 2005, I had the privilege of visiting two DART camps, one in Sri Lanka, after the tsunami, and one in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. In Pakistan, I watched as a young Canadian doctor spoke to an injured child in his own language. I heard about doctors and medics who put on their boots, strapped their medical supplies to their backs, climbed the mountains, and delivered medical care to those who were too injured to make it to the DART hospital.
    In 2006, I had the opportunity to go to Vimy Ridge and saw the soaring monument to the 3,598 Canadians who lost their lives during that four-day bloody battle. I saw the landscapes that still bear the scars of the exploding shells. I saw the trenches where our soldiers lived and died.
    At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month each year, we remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
    However, every day of the rest of the year, every time we see a veteran or a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, we should stop and take a moment to shake their hands and say, “Thank you for your service. We are in your debt”.
    Lest we forget.

  (1525)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Remembrance Day is an opportunity for each of us to realize that we owe a debt to veterans and their families.
    We have a duty to teach future generations about those who put what was best for their country ahead of what was best for them. We all have to appreciate that, without the sacrifice of our veterans in the two great wars, our democratic way of life would not be what it is today.
    In the same breath, we must recognize the extraordinary courage of today's troops, some of whom have sacrificed their physical or mental health to defend our values. On this Remembrance Day, we have a collective duty to honour the soldiers and their families. We must ensure that their legacy lives on.
    We have been commemorating this day to preserve the memory of our veterans and demonstrate solidarity with them and their families for nearly 100 years. Canada's commemorative symbol is the red poppy and France's is the blue cornflower or bleuet de France. Red and blue were the colours of the trenches in those days.
    Remembrance Day has a special meaning to the people in my region. Together we remember the heartbreak of watching soldiers departing and the emotional homecomings. Every day, I run into men and women who have a direct or indirect connection with the military base in my region, CFB Bagotville, who have ties with the soldiers who go overseas but remain close to their hearts.
    Every day I see the joy on the faces of children and their family members. Sometimes I reflect on the sacrifice of soldiers and their families, their courage and bravery. I thank our Canadian soldiers.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to join the other parties in paying tribute to the Canadian citizens who make sacrifices overseas.

[English]

    I want to start by reminding us that when we wear these poppies, we are financially supporting the work of the Royal Canadian Legion. I want to publicly thank the Royal Canadian Legion for the amazing work they are doing.
     They are providing much-needed assistance to our veterans in post-traumatic stress disorder assistance, they are providing housing, and they are stretching themselves to meet needs. I am deeply indebted to them for their work. I encourage people to remember to wear the poppy, and when one falls off to be sure to put more money in the box before they pick up their next one.
    This is important work they are doing.

  (1530)  

[Translation]

    The Green Party and I are very aware of the huge sacrifice that soldiers must make to defend our Canadian values.

[English]

    We have seen many generations go to war. We can think of their sacrifices, and on days like this—indeed, in weeks like this—we pay homage. However, we have, as non-combatants, the very real risk of trespassing the line between remembering and honouring the sacrifice of the fallen and glorifying war. We know that those who have served and those who have been in battle will be the last ones who would ever want us to do that.
    One of my closest friends is someone who fought and served in the Second World War. Despite an age difference, I can say that I feel I am one of his contemporaries, although he is 92. Farley Mowat served in the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, known as the Hasty Ps. In his book And No Birds Sang, he recounts in grim, evocative detail what it was like in the Sicily campaign. He speaks of that period and says:
    I came back from the war rejecting my species. I hated what had been done to me and what I had done and what man did to man.
    It is in that spirit that we should all recommit ourselves to find the way forward to peace, and in doing so, do it in the name of every son, brother, father, mother, sister, and child who has gone to war without coming back. We do it to say that we are committed to a path to peace, knowing that it is not an easy path and knowing that we do it to honour those who have sacrificed so much so that we have the liberty to try.

[Translation]

    Peace remains a realistic dream, but we will have to work hard to achieve it.

[English]

    Today, with all of us gathered on one of those days when we are truly joined in spirit and in purpose, we say, “Never again. Lest we forget.”

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian section of ParlAmericas respecting its participation at the 32nd ParlAmericas meeting of the board of directors and the 10th plenary assembly in San José, Costa Rica, on August 20-24, 2013.

National Day of the Midwife Act

     She said: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a private member's bill entitled “an act respecting a national day of the midwife”.
    I am very pleased to be able to present this important legislation. I would like to thank my NDP colleague, the member for Hochelaga, for seconding the bill and for supporting efforts to promote midwifery and maternal health in Canada.
    Access to quality maternity care close to home not only contributes to maternal and newborn health but also strengthens our communities and our families.
    Just yesterday, I and my NDP colleague from Vancouver East, the official opposition health critic, hosted a panel on maternal and child health in Canada. We heard repeatedly about the vital role midwives and midwifery services play in the maternity care system in all provinces and territories of Canada. Midwives provide safe, accessible, cost-effective services and quality health care. They are key to decreasing infant mortality and morbidity across Canada, including in rural, remote, and aboriginal communities.
    The International Day of the Midwife is observed in over 50 countries around the world. Declaring May 5 as national day of the midwife in Canada would increase public awareness of the contribution midwives make to our communities.
    This week the Canadian Association of Midwives is holding its annual national conference here in Ottawa. It is the perfect opportunity for us to recognize the essential role midwives play in ensuring a continuum of care throughout pregnancy, birth, and beyond for the health and welfare of mothers and their babies.
    Therefore, I encourage my colleagues on all sides of the House to support this bill.

     (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

  (1535)  

Financial Administration Act

     He said: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to table my private member's bill today to amend the Financial Administration Act for unlegislated tax measures. The bill would amend the Financial Administration Act to provide that the Minister of finance table each year a list of tax measures that the government publicly announced its intention to legislate but that have not been legislated.
    The objectives of the bill are to ensure our tax laws are clearer, improve the efficiency of implementing those tax laws, and assist the taxpayer in the understanding of those tax laws. In short, it would help to address the many problems created for individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, tax professionals, and the Canadian Revenue Agency that result from a huge backlog of unlegislated tax measures.
    I want to thank the member for West Nova, a former provincial finance minister, very much for seconding the bill. I ask for the support of all members of the House to make sure this happens for tax fairness across Canada.

     (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Petitions

International Trade 

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table two petitions on behalf of constituents in Guelph who are concerned about the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Petitioners are concerned about domestic changes to Canadian sub-federal procurement rights, copyright, telecommunication and cultural rules, the delivery of postal services, banking and financial regulations, and investment protections.
    My constituents are asking that the Government of Canada exclude sub-federal governments and their public agencies, including municipalities, from any Canada-EU procurement agreement or procurement chapter within the agreement. They are also calling on the federal government to hold nationwide consultations on the agreement.

Mining Industry  

    Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a petition from constituents of my riding. It is to regulate Canadian mining companies operating abroad.

Shark Finning  

    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise in this place to present a petition from thousands of Canadians who say that measures must be taken to stop the global practice of shark finning and ensure the responsible conservation and management of sharks.
    They call upon the Government of Canada to immediately legislate a ban on the importation of shark fins to Canada.

Climate Change  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this petition on climate change, our most pressing environmental issue and perhaps the defining issue of our generation. It will profoundly affect our economy, health, lifestyles, and social well-being. It requires moral responsibility and intergenerational responsibility. How we respond will define the world our children and their descendants grow up in.
    The petitioners call for the government to table a comprehensive climate change plan, commit to attaining the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals that are supported internationally, and contribute its fair share to fill the megatonne gap, the shortfall between existing mitigation commitments and the emission reductions necessary to prevent dangerous climate change.

  (1540)  

[Translation]

Health  

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present three petitions in the House. Two of them have to do with health, and the petitioners urge the government to maintain our public health care system and guarantee access to the same quality of care across the country by providing a federal transfer to the provinces and territories.

Canada Revenue Agency  

    Mr. Speaker, the third petition has to do with enabling certain Canadians to obtain paper copies of the documents needed to fill out tax returns. These individuals tend to be older, do not always have access to the Internet, or are not very familiar with the Internet.

Mining Industry  

    Mr. Speaker, today I am presenting a petition for Development and Peace regarding mining companies abroad. As we know, there is a lack of transparency and accessibility, which has some very serious consequences. We are hearing more and more complaints that Canadian mining companies around the world show a lack of respect. Development and Peace would like the government to bring in an ombudsman who would have significant investigative powers.

[English]

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from people in British Columbia who are concerned about Kinder Morgan and Enbridge's pipelines, which would result in a greatly increased number of tankers on the west coast, including supertankers that have not been there before.
    The petitioners are concerned about the movement of oil. They are concerned that spills are inevitable, that tar sand materials are toxic and virtually impossible to clean up, and that spills would be devastating to local industries, including tourism and marine ecosystems.
    They would like to see a permanent ban on crude oil tankers on the west coast to protect fisheries, tourism, coastal communities, and natural ecosystems.

[Translation]

Gender Parity  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition concerning the House of Commons. This petition seeks changes to the Financial Administration Act in order to have equal representation of men and women in federal crown corporations. That is the intent of my Bill C-473, which many Canadians support.

[English]

Housing  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today with a petition from residents of Saanich—Gulf Islands, from Saltspring Island, from Mayne Island, from North Saanich, and from Sidney.
    The petitioners are calling upon the government to heed the advice of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and put in place a national affordable housing strategy. In particular, I would love draw the attention of the Minister of Finance to the request to reform the tax treatment of the building of rental housing units. In the past, we had incentives for developers. We need to bring those back and create the full spectrum of affordable housing.

Research  

    Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Kingston and the Islands there are chunks of the city where Statistics Canada has suppressed data on things such as jobs, employment, and housing conditions because the data quality is not good enough.
    I have the honour to present a petition from my constituents that calls upon the Government of Canada to respect the right of Canadians to have access to good statistical information, citizens as well as legislators, and asks the government to adequately fund basic research and free scientists to speak openly on all taxpayer-funded research, apart from subjects with legitimate national security restrictions.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.
    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton): Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Motions for Papers

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers be allowed to stand.
    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton): Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Translation]

    I wish to inform the House that because of the ministerial statements, government orders will be extended by 25 minutes.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

  (1545)  

[English]

Canadian Museum of History Act

Bill C-7—Time Allocation Motion  

    That, in relation to Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Museums Act in order to establish the Canadian Museum of History and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at the third reading stage of the Bill; and

that, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at the third reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period.

[English]

    I invite all hon. members who wish to participate in the 30-minute question period to rise, and from that point we will decide how much time we will allot to the period.
    That being the case, we will look to those putting questions to perhaps guard their interventions to around one minute and we will have sufficient time to get each of the people participating.
    Questions.
    The hon. House leader for the opposition.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, this is the 57th time since the election that the Conservatives have done this. Incredibly, that is roughly the number of senators appointed by the Prime Minister. I think he broke his promise with 59 senators.

[English]

    There are so many quotations from current Conservative ministers and from the Prime Minister, when the Conservatives were in opposition, railing against this very tactic, that my challenge is to choose which one is most appropriate. Let us take one from the Prime Minister. He said:
    We have closure today precisely because there is no deadline and there are no plans. Instead of having deadlines, plans and goals, we must insist on moving forward because the government is simply increasingly embarrassed by the state of the debate and it needs to move on.
    Does that sound at all familiar, given the situation that we have here today? The Prime Minister was then complaining about the governing Liberals.
    We have the Conservatives moving time allocation as if they hope to normalize the situation of shutting down debate in Canada's Parliament, that it would somehow be a good and normal practice, which it is not. The Conservatives shut down debate on the bill previously before they prorogued. Now they have to do it again because they prorogued and killed the legislation in the last Parliament.
    Enough is enough. When are the Conservatives going to realize that a little democracy is a good thing? It would look good on them if they actually allowed the House of Commons, Canada's Parliament, to do its job and hold the government to account.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, this is the first time that I have risen as a new minister, and I would like to thank all my colleagues who will be working with me to ensure that we honour our museums, arts and culture and everyone in Canada who works so hard to make Canada the best country in the world.

  (1550)  

[English]

    Now, to respond to some of the questions put to me by my colleague from the NDP.
    Time allotment has been something that the member continues to harp about. However, we must remember that this is a bill that was introduced in the spring. It is a bill that is widely supported by many people in this industry. It is also supported by many Canadians. I want to put on the record, for those who happen to be watching, that the bill has received significant consultation and attention, including approximately 15 hours of debate, and there have been approximately 52 speakers. That is not all. There have been consultations done by the museum officials, which were very important. I am hoping that I might actually get another question from my colleague in the NDP because I know he wants to know what Canadians had to say to the museum officials when responding to this consultation. Therefore, I will sit down and hope that he asks that all-important question.
    Mr. Speaker, my question is for the government House leader. It is important that we recognize that never in the history of our country have we seen a majority government of any sort here in Ottawa bring in time allocation as often and frequently as the current government. We need to recognize that when they bring in time allocation or this form of closure, they are preventing debate inside the House of Commons, limiting individuals' ability to share their ideas and thoughts, whether criticisms or whatever they might be.
    The issue is that the government members continue, well over 50 times since they formed this reform/Conservative majority government, to feel that the only way they can pass legislation is through time allocation.
    When is the government House leader going to start negotiating in good faith with all opposition House leaders and the House leadership team so we can bring some normalcy back to the House of Commons? This is not the way to be dealing with legislation. Canadians would not approve.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, also from Winnipeg where I am from, for that question. However, he has probably asked that question three or four dozen times. I am not entirely sure why he does not want to talk about Canadian history, about the fact that we would create a museum that would talk about our identity.
    Winnipeggers strongly support the bill. They strongly support this government. That is why we have a majority of Manitoba members coming from the Conservative side of the House. In fact, he is the only Liberal member in Manitoba. I appreciate working with the member, but I would appreciate hearing what his constituents want to hear, which is how this museum would help them.
    The way it would help the people of Manitoba is that we would have the ability to share exhibits. Thanks to this new bill, we would be able to see the Manitoba Museum bring exhibits from the museum of history to Manitoba so that all of his constituents and all of my constituents might be able to enjoy them. We would also be able to allow the Manitoba Museum and others to exchange exhibits and bring them to the national capital.
    In respect of those Manitobans who are watching, I am very excited to have the bill before the House today. I hope my hon. colleague will support it so that Manitobans in his riding, my riding and all ridings of Manitoba would be able to enjoy these artifacts that make us who we are, the proudest of all Canadians.

[Translation]

    I would like to remind the hon. members that during this period, most of the questions on the motion will be asked by the opposition, but from time to time a question from the government side will also be accepted.
    The hon. member for Gatineau now has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to question my colleague, who is accusing us of not wanting to take a closer look at Bill C-7.
    It is important to understand that we are working under a time allocation motion. In the little time we will be allotted a few minutes from now, we will have the opportunity to deal “at length” with the bill. Being from the Outaouais, I can say that the unanimity the minister seems to be talking about is non-existent.
    That said, this 57th time allocation motion bothers me since there is virtually nothing on the House's legislative agenda. It is not as if we have 26 bills to examine. To paraphrase the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, this is nothing but a time- and schedule-management tool. There is next to nothing before the House.
    I find it unfortunate and I do not understand why the government introduced a bill about a museum and then limited the discussion with a new minister who would do well to listen to what people have to say on the subject.
    I would like the Minister to answer this question, in particular: why call for a time allocation motion for such a topic as the museum's new mandate?

  (1555)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
    The answer is very simple: we are listening to Canadians. Canadians want to use this museum, which will be dedicated to our Canadian history and identity. This is important to them.
    I would urge my colleague, whom I consider a friend, to listen to Canadians, too. Canadians paid attention to what we did last summer. Furthermore, we have already had several hours of debate on this bill.
    The museums held consultations. A large number of Canadians responded and were excited by the prospect of having a museum that would celebrate our country's history.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, there are two points to this question.
    The first is that it is fascinating that we have spent over 20 hours debating the bill over the last number of months, with countless hours in committee and the research that was done. Over 20,000 Canadians filed online responses to the question of what they thought the museum should be about and whether they were supportive of it. I am shocked that instead of coming into the House of Commons to talk about Bill C-7, whether it is second or third reading, the opposition does not even ask about the museum. Thousands and thousands of Canadians have already stated what they believe the museum should be and what it should do.
    The second point is that when opposition members finally spend a bit of time speaking about the bill, all they do is misinterpret what the bill says, try to take folks down a completely wrong road that does not exist and actually misrepresent what the bill says and what is going to happen at the museum. I say today that we should give the minister the opportunity to tell Canadians exactly what the truth is about the museum of history.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians know very well that this government supports the history of this country with tremendous passion and dedication. This museum is going to allow Canadians from coast to coast to coast to celebrate with us all of the historic moments that we are missing. Right now, the museum is in need of renovations and updating. The bill would allow this museum to actually live again, be in the present, and celebrate the past with Canadians from coast to coast.
    There was one thing that happened yesterday that we have not been able to mention. If the House would indulge me, I want to take a moment to do that. I am very pleased to congratulate Lynn Coady, this year's winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her short story collection Hellgoing, who one day may be part of our Canadian history museum.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
    Since this is about shutting down debate on a motion, I do not think it is right that we have people filling up time with all other manner of things, avoiding the fundamental debate at hand, which is the shutdown of our ability to speak in the House. This is what we need to be speaking about. I ask you to keep that in mind, because this is about our democratic rights as members.
    I thank the hon. member for his intervention.
     We have been down this path before in these types of debates where these time allocation motions have been debated. I remind hon. members that the actual subject, the bill the time allocation motion is the subject of, invariably does become part of the debate, because members use the elements in the bill to argue their points either in favour of or opposed to the very motion before the House.
    It is very difficult to separate the two, but I am cognizant of the member for Timmins—James Bay's intervention in this regard and will listen carefully to make sure that we keep the questions in front of the House pertinent to the question at hand.

  (1600)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, once again, the government is using an exceptional measure, namely time allocation. This use of time allocation is designed to give us fewer opportunities to talk about an important bill. Usually, this measure would be used by a government in exceptional circumstances. By using this measure for the 57th time, the government is once again flouting democracy and is seeking to ensure that parliamentarians are not able to debate a topic that is fundamental to and important for democracy.
    Earlier, a member asked why the government is once again using time allocation. The answer is simple. It wants to make history and put this type of rhetoric and abusive process on display in its own propaganda museum. The minister was very open about the fact that they are going to create a new museum. It makes me wonder though, since the museum already exists. Why create a new museum when there is one that already fulfills the role it was created for? Renovations are all well and good, but we are worried that the minister and the government are once again trying to influence history by creating a propaganda museum.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his remarks.
    I disagree entirely with what he said about democracy. The government continues to bring forward and propose legislation that is in the best interest of Canadians and Quebeckers. With this bill, we are going ahead with a change to the museum's name and mandate, thereby creating a new museum.
    Our museum of history will explore Canadian identity, Canadian history and the events that make us proud to be Canadian. I would like to invite my hon. colleague to celebrate with us and to stop saying that 20 hours of debate in committee and in the House is not enough. No one can say that there was not enough consultation when 20,000 people took part in the consultations held on museums. The time has come to move this bill forward and create a good museum of history.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the minister began by saying that this was her first time rising in the House to speak as the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and I wish I could congratulate her on that. What an inauspicious start to begin this discussion and have to rise to defend the 57th motion to restrict debate in the House. That means that 40% of the government's legislation has been shut down with time allocation motions.
    As my colleague from Skeena—Bulkley Valley mentioned earlier, there was a time when the government seemed to respect the principles of debate and democracy in this place and held those values and that practice high. They left quite a trail of words in the official records of this place.
    I would like to quote from the minister's predecessor as Minister of Canadian Heritage, when he was in opposition.
    He said, “Mr. Speaker, here we go again”. I would editorialize to say that he said “here we go again” long before it was 57 times. He carries on: “This is a very important public policy question that is very complex and we have the arrogance of the government”, that being the Liberal Party at the time, “in invoking closure again. When we look at the Liberal Party on arrogance it is like looking at the Grand Canyon. It is this big fact of nature that we cannot help but stare at”.
    The NDP is not prepared to just stand and stare at these things. We will pursue a compelling reason for the minister to shut debate down on this issue once again.
     Is there some compelling reason to have to shut debate down and violate the principles of democracy in this place once again?

  (1605)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have to say that democracy exists thanks to the government that is standing before him here today. There is democracy and also protection of our citizens.
    This is the government that continues to listen to the concerns of Canadians. When I talk about protection, I am glad that this government has moved forward to ensure that our streets and our communities are safer, thanks to some of the bills we saw in the last Parliament. They were moved forward to ensure that our children are protected, that our women are protected, and that our aboriginal people are protected. Were it not for this government reacting to our democratic rights in a way that would protect our communities, those groups would today still be at risk.
    The NDP wants to stand in the way of protecting those people. I will not. I will continue to push forward, as Canadians have asked, to make sure that this museum of Canadian history is put in place so that they can celebrate who we are, what we are, and what we will always be: proud Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by congratulating my colleague on her new appointment as Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.
    I am quite sure that she probably did not intend to suggest that it is due to the current administration that we have democracy in Canada. We have democracy in Canada thanks to centuries of Westminster parliamentary tradition, to the basic principle that government exists and is legitimate only by the consent of the governed, that Parliament is supreme, and that in Westminster parliamentary democracy, all members of Parliament are equal.
    That is why motions like this are so egregious. I do not blame her, in particular, for this. It has become, as we have heard from other colleagues, a constant pattern to shut down debate. I think it is wrong. I think we do need to re-examine it. I wish that those members on the opposite side of this House would say to the political master sitting inside the PMO, “Enough. We want full debates. We want to respect members of Parliament on all sides of the House”.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for those kind words of encouragement.
    I want to agree with her as well. We have a long history here in Canada of parliamentary procedures that have evolved from exactly what she said. That includes democratic principles such as time allotment. That includes what we are doing here today, listening to Canadians and pushing forward what Canadians want to see us push forward. They do not want to see delay for the sake of delay, which, unfortunately, is the opposition's plan and strategy every time we try to bring forward something Canadians have asked for. I will not allow delay for the sake of delay to interfere with what Canadians want. I will continue to push forward and hope that they will join us in celebrating Canada's history with this new museum name.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I will begin with a quote from November 27, 2001.
For the government to bring in closure and time allocation is wrong. It sends out the wrong message to the people of Canada. It tells the people of Canada that the government is afraid of debate, afraid of discussion and afraid of publicly justifying the steps it has taken.
    That statement was made, at that time, by one of the minister's former colleagues, Vic Toews.
    There is something I do not understand about what the minister is saying. Is she saying that what the museum is doing now is no good, that it is not doing the right thing? She seems to be blaming the current authorities and the work they are doing and saying that they really have not been going in the right direction.
    My question is this: is the minister blaming the work that the museum curators are currently doing?
    Mr. Speaker, not at all. In fact, we have a great deal of respect for what the museum curators are doing.
    I would also like to respond with a quote from the president and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. He said:
We are also pleased that this government recognizes that preserving our nation’s history is vitally important to national life and to our national sense of self.

    That means that the president, Mark O'Neill, agrees with our proposal to breathe new life into this museum. He works very hard and I want to thank him for that. His team also works very hard. I want to thank them on behalf of the Government of Canada. I am eager to work with him on the proposal that is before us today: the creation of the museum of history.

  (1610)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the issue before us today is the fact that we have a government that shows absolute contempt for the role of the Westminster tradition. We heard it from the minister herself, because she was not going to allow what she called debate for debate's sake.
    I know that my Conservative colleagues do not understand or perhaps are not interested in the Westminster tradition, but we are called here to debate. We have a mandate from people who vote for us.
    The Conservatives have contempt for the people who vote for us, because they say that they know what is good for Canadians, and so they do not waste time debating. If they do not want to waste time debating, they should leave the Westminster tradition.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Charlie Angus: Mr. Speaker, I hear the anger and the shouting and the contempt they show, because they do not want to respect a tradition that has hundreds of years behind it. The Conservatives can be bullies. They can shout and insult us, but our role is to debate.
    Once again, the Conservatives are telling Canadians that the role of this Parliament is interfering with the work of the current Prime Minister and his little cabal who are trying to run this country.
    Mr. Speaker, we all know that this member likes to get the headlines in the paper, but I am not here for that. I am here for Canadians. I am here to follow the rules that are in place. For the member to pick and choose which rules he thinks are democratic, and to disregard those that are in the Westminster system, such as time allotment, for his own purposes, I think is wrong.
    Frankly, for the member to insult Canadians' intelligence by changing my words, as I had said “delay for the sake of delay”, I think is unfair. That is the reputation that member continues to put forward.
    I will not do that. I will tell the truth. I will not spin. I am going to do what Canadians want, and that is to rename this museum the Canadian museum of history.
    Mr. Speaker, I too want to congratulate my colleague on her appointment as Canada's new Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. I wish her every success in her role. I am sure that she will excel, as she has in all she has done since she was first elected to represent the great people of Saint Boniface.
    I have listened to the concerns colleagues opposite have repeated on several occasions regarding this particular time allocation. However, what I did not hear from them was why 57 hours of debate is not enough time.
    They are speaking as if this thing came up a few minutes ago, and now, all of a sudden, we are asking for a vote on the legislation.
     After having heard an exhaustive 57 hours of regurgitated speeches from members opposite saying the same thing over and over, why is it important for the government to take some action, bring it to closure, and have a vote?
    Mr. Speaker, put very simply, it is so that we can get on with the business at hand, which is to rename this museum so that Canadians from coast to coast to coast can allow us to celebrate our Canadian history with them.
    It would allow us to focus on what has happened in the past to make us the greatest country in the world. It would allow us to focus on why we do the things we do as Canadians. Events in our history have led us down this path to being the Canadians we are. They have led us down this path to respecting one another, to having the rule of law that we follow and respect, and to being the Canadians of this Parliament, who Canadians are watching today, who will lead them into the future, concentrating on their asks.
    One of their asks is that this change of name occur so that we can get on with the business of the day and allow Canadians to celebrate and share these exhibits from coast to coast to coast.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, earlier, my colleague spoke about democracy. I remind her that since the Conservatives were elected, they have shut down debate 57 times—three times since the new session started alone. They have shut down debate on 40% of their legislative agenda.
    I would like to quote the Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, who said the following on March 15, 2002:
    For the government to, for the 75th time, prohibit members from speaking on behalf of their constituents and to the national interest on matters of grave concern, such as the budget implementation bill, is yet more unfortunate evidence of the government's growing arrogance and contempt for our conventions of parliamentary democracy.
    I would like the member opposite to explain what parliamentary democracy means when they are imposing a gag order for the 57th time.

  (1615)  

    Mr. Speaker, parliamentary democracy means following the rules.
    This is clearly in accordance with the rules, and we want to address the needs of Canadians by listening to them. We consulted 20,000 Canadians who gave their opinion on the museum. We also held debates here, in this House. There were discussions in committee, hours of debate, discussions and consultations. Now is the time to move forward with this bill and to give Canadians and Quebeckers what they want: to move forward with the history museum, so that we can celebrate our past and move towards a future with a museum that will instill more pride and will acknowledge our country's achievements and accomplishments.
    We have time for a quick question from the honourable member for Sherbrooke.
    Mr. Speaker, thank you for this opportunity. I would like to ask my colleague a question, and I congratulate her on her appointment to cabinet.
    I am not sure that, when she was dreaming of becoming a minister, she thought that the first thing she would do as a minister in the House of Commons would be to impose a time allocation motion to limit debate. The logic is rather fascinating because she is telling us that we do not want to debate the bill, when all we really want is to have more time to debate it. They are the ones telling us that they want less time to debate this bill.
    We, on this side of the House, are the ones who are truly interested in studying and debating this bill. They, on the other hand, want to spend less time on it and deal with it as quickly as possible. They are quite wrong in saying that we do not want to debate the bill. It is quite the opposite. We want more time to debate this bill, whereas she wants less time for the debate. I am asking her why.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. NDP colleague for his kind words.
    Debates and consultations have taken place. Most of the people who talked about this change to the museum clearly said that they wanted to see this happen quickly, and quite frankly, we have let them down. This has clearly already been proposed in a previous Parliament by another minister. We have spent hours debating it and we always get the same response from the opposition: they want us to do nothing with this. Canadians, however, want us to do something about this. They want to celebrate Canada's history. We, the Conservatives, will follow all the rules. We will move this bill forward and give Canadians what they want—to rename this museum—and we will do so as quickly as possible.

[English]

    It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the question to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment is as follows: the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, The Environment.

[Translation]

    It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question to dispose of the motion now before the House.

[English]

     The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton): All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton): All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton): In my opinion the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:
    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton): Call in the members.

  (1700)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 8)

YEAS

Members

Ablonczy
Adams
Adler
Aglukkaq
Albas
Albrecht
Alexander
Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac)
Allison
Ambler
Ambrose
Anders
Anderson
Armstrong
Aspin
Baird
Bateman
Benoit
Bergen
Bernier
Bezan
Blaney
Block
Boughen
Braid
Breitkreuz
Brown (Leeds—Grenville)
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Brown (Barrie)
Bruinooge
Butt
Calandra
Calkins
Cannan
Carmichael
Carrie
Chisu
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Crockatt
Daniel
Davidson
Dechert
Del Mastro
Devolin
Dreeshen
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Dykstra
Fantino
Fast
Findlay (Delta—Richmond East)
Fletcher
Galipeau
Gallant
Gill
Glover
Goguen
Goldring
Goodyear
Gosal
Gourde
Grewal
Harper
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Hawn
Hayes
Hiebert
Hillyer
Hoback
Holder
Jean
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kent
Kerr
Komarnicki
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Lauzon
Lebel
Leef
Leitch
Lemieux
Leung
Lizon
Lobb
Lukiwski
Lunney
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
Mayes
McColeman
McLeod
Menegakis
Merrifield
Miller
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Nicholson
Norlock
Obhrai
O'Connor
O'Neill Gordon
Opitz
O'Toole
Payne
Poilievre
Preston
Raitt
Rajotte
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Rickford
Saxton
Schellenberger
Seeback
Shea
Shipley
Shory
Smith
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Storseth
Strahl
Sweet
Tilson
Toet
Trost
Trottier
Truppe
Valcourt
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vellacott
Wallace
Warawa
Warkentin
Watson
Weston (Saint John)
Wilks
Williamson
Wong
Woodworth
Yelich
Young (Oakville)
Young (Vancouver South)
Zimmer

Total: -- 149

NAYS

Members

Allen (Welland)
Andrews
Angus
Atamanenko
Aubin
Bélanger
Bellavance
Benskin
Bevington
Blanchette
Blanchette-Lamothe
Boivin
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brahmi
Brison
Brosseau
Byrne
Caron
Casey
Charlton
Chicoine
Chisholm
Choquette
Christopherson
Cleary
Comartin
Côté
Crowder
Cullen
Cuzner
Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
Day
Dewar
Dion
Dionne Labelle
Donnelly
Doré Lefebvre
Dubé
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Dusseault
Eyking
Foote
Fortin
Freeman
Fry
Garneau
Garrison
Genest-Jourdain
Giguère
Godin
Goodale
Gravelle
Groguhé
Harris (Scarborough Southwest)
Harris (St. John's East)
Hsu
Hughes
Jacob
Jones
Julian
Karygiannis
Kellway
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Larose
Laverdière
LeBlanc (Beauséjour)
LeBlanc (LaSalle—Émard)
Leslie
MacAulay
Mai
Martin
Masse
Mathyssen
May
McCallum
McGuinty
McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood)
Michaud
Moore (Abitibi—Témiscamingue)
Morin (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord)
Morin (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine)
Morin (Laurentides—Labelle)
Mulcair
Murray
Nantel
Nash
Nicholls
Nunez-Melo
Papillon
Patry
Péclet
Plamondon
Quach
Rafferty
Rankin
Rathgeber
Ravignat
Raynault
Regan
Rousseau
Saganash
Sandhu
Scarpaleggia
Scott
Sellah
Sgro
Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor)
Sims (Newton—North Delta)
Sitsabaiesan
St-Denis
Stewart
Stoffer
Sullivan
Thibeault
Toone
Tremblay
Trudeau
Turmel
Valeriote

Total: -- 123

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.
    I wish to inform the House that because of the proceedings on the time allocation motion, government orders will be extended by 30 minutes.

[Translation]

Third reading  

    The House resumed from October 30 consideration of the motion that Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Museums Act in order to establish the Canadian Museum of History and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the third time and passed.
    Mr. Speaker, it is official. We now know that the government does not want any more debate about its history museum. Discussion is being cut short; the executive branch has spoken.
    This is incredible. The government wants to create a national museum, no matter what the cost, and it is even willing to muzzle the opposition if need be. Never has there been such haste to shut down debate in order to unveil a cultural asset. Never have such tactics—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

[English]

    Order, please. We have moved on to resuming debate, and the hon. member for Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher has the floor. If members wish to carry on conversations, I would suggest they do so outside of the chamber and not across the aisle from each other.
    The hon. member for Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, never have such strong-arm tactics been used to amend national museum legislation. I want to congratulate the members opposite.
    The way this government expects Parliament to do its bidding would make anyone's blood boil. Not only are the Conservatives asking us to stand quietly by while they shove a museum down our throats, but they are also asking us to trust them. That takes the cake.
    They are getting ready to shut down the existing Canadian Museum of Civilization and, at the same time, they are asking us to believe that the museum will be just as popular, just as accessible and just as non-partisan as it has been for the past 20 years. More than anythin, though, the Conservatives are asking us to trust their word when they swear that the government will not interfere with the new museum. We know that the government is passionate about certain historic topics, at least when presented in nice little 30-second television clips.
    They are asking Canadians to close their eyes, fall backwards, and hope that someone will be there to catch them. There are far more reasons not to believe them than there are to trust them.
    We know what the Conservatives' commitments to the independence of crown corporations really mean. We are well aware of examples of their interference elsewhere in government. I am especially thinking of Bill C-60, which is the most obvious example of their taste for excessively proactive management of arm's-length agencies. We know that the government is always elbow-deep into the operations of any organization that needs to operate autonomously and at arm's length.
    The Conservatives also ask us to trust them when they tell us they have consulted experts. However, the national associations of archaeologists, anthropologists and historians have publicly expressed their outrage at not being consulted. The Conservatives are asking us to trust them, just as we would like to trust the government to protect our national institutions, such as Library and Archives Canada and Parks Canada, institutions that the Conservatives have deliberately gutted in recent years. They were stripped of their experts and their researchers, individuals who work hard to protect our history. I do not need to remind you that Parks Canada and its historic sites recently lost 80% of their archaeologists thanks to the Conservatives. This kind of behaviour is astounding. Then, they ask us to trust them
    Tonight, they will ask us to trust them to create an independent museum, free to choose its content and direction, yet we are being told exactly what that content will be, and how it will be new and improved—not to mention that there are still significant concerns about ongoing interference at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. After all this time, what we hear everywhere is that no one trusts them. That is the issue.
    It is clear that the museum or its experts did not come up with this idea and proceed to present it to academics, stakeholders, and then the public. In committee, the minister at the time clearly told us that this all started in his own office. It was his idea. This is what he said in committee. He started thinking about this in May 2011. Then, the minister made an announcement on the spot, at the museum, while the museum employees and experts themselves were kept away by security guards.
    It was only after this announcement that they thought of introducing the bill. Now, that is strange. Then they decided to inform the opposition parties, and it was only after all this that they thought of consulting the public. Finally, someone decided to talk to historians, archaeologists, museum curators and experts. Everything was done backwards.
    The members opposite said that we had a lot of nerve to oppose the bill before it was introduced in the House. They told us that we were not respecting parliamentary matters. That is pretty pathetic, coming from them. The reality is that when they introduced this bill, their minds were made up. The Canadian Postal Museum was already closed and dismantled, without warning and in secrecy. They had already made plans to dismantle the Grand Hall that depicts Canada's history.
    The parliamentary stage of their plan to gut the Canadian Museum of Civilization was simply a nuisance for them, a speed bump on the fast track to a museum created by the Conservatives for their own enjoyment. By rejecting all of our amendments in committee, they have confirmed that impression.
    Now let us talk about the consultations. We are not the only ones saying that the government does not want to hear anyone's opinion on this project. In committee, the president of the Canadian Anthropology Society, Lorne Holyoak, said that he felt the museum and the government did not make an effort to adequately consult the professional community of historians, anthropologists and archaeologists.

  (1705)  

[English]

    The head of the Canadian Anthropology Society said this about the museum consultation:
    The meetings on the new museum that have been convened to date do not meet the definition of true consultation, a formal discussion between groups of people before a decision is made. The public meetings held last fall were brainstorming or awareness sessions, but not actual consultations.

[Translation]

    National associations of historians and archaeologists have said the same thing. They were not consulted either.
    The museum's CEO was asked to talk about that in committee, and my colleague from Hochelaga, who is an archaeologist herself, asked whether Canadians and museum experts were consulted about the changes to the mandate. The CEO responded that they did not ask Canadians if they thought the mandate should be changed.

  (1710)  

[English]

    This is from the Canadian heritage committee hearings:
    Mr. Chair, we did not ask Canadians if they thought that the mandate should be changed.
     That is the president of the museum speaking.
    Once again, there is a profound credibility gap between what the government has been promising us and what has actually happened at the museum. It is very difficult for us to put our support, and as we all know, it is impossible for Canadians to put their trust in a process that has not been straightforward. This process has not been an open one, as it could have been. This is a question of credibility for the government and it is a question of trust for us.

[Translation]

    It was clear to everyone that the government's mind was made up before the consultations were held. Even the mayor of Gatineau was not consulted. He was invited to the minister's announcement, where he learned about this plan at the same time as everyone else. He seemed rather surprised, I must say. Then, he was asked his opinion on a bill that had already been introduced.

[English]

    The effect of this complete lack of consultation has been particularly clear for first nations and for the Japanese-Canadian community.
    Last June, a group of first nations people decided to visit the Museum of Civilization to see an important artifact that is on display in the existing Canadian history hall on the fifth floor. I actually encourage my colleagues to see this massive, very impressive exhibit. The people came to see the Nishga Girl, a fishing vessel built by Japanese-Canadian boatbuilders unjustly confiscated by the Canadian government during the Second World War and then donated to the Museum of Civilization by one of the hereditary chiefs of the Nisga'a First Nation.
    First nations visitors arrived at the museum in June to see the boat that they had donated, and they discovered it was gone. It had been sent off to storage, and the museum was about to get rid of it. That mistake caused a huge amount of anger for first nations and for the Japanese-Canadian community. We brought this up in the House, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister was very delicate, as always, and he called it “storage”.
    The Museum of Civilization officials have since apologized personally in Winnipeg to leaders of both communities and have promised to return the boat to the museum's exhibition.
    This is what happens when consultation does not take place; this is what happens when politicians try to draw their own museum exhibits; this is what happens when the people at the top think that consultation is not important.

[Translation]

    The Conservatives do not appear to be trying to change the Canadian Museum of Civilization because the current museum is lacking in history, or because the first nations are not adequately represented, or because of any of the other oversights that the Conservatives have already brought up in the House and continue to talk about in the media. Instead, it appears to be because the Conservatives are not satisfied with the version of history that is presented: an archeological, cultural, and community-based history; a history of survival, commerce and trade; a history of the builders of this continent; a history that they do not think fits in with their identity or policies.
    This all boils down to an issue of credibility and trust. We cannot trust this government, which has wasted every opportunity, which has exaggerated history and has distorted it for its own political purposes. It bypassed the experts who could have taught this government a lot about Canadian history and about how to appreciate and promote it.
    We cannot trust a government that spent $70 million on television ads about the war of 1812 during the Super Bowl and that continues to cut staff and archeologists from archeological and historical sites.
    The member for St. Catharines dared to say last week that we oppose history. In response, I say, on the contrary, we are defending history, while the Conservatives are harming it by suffocating researchers. For all of these reasons, we cannot support Bill C-7.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite makes it sound as if this bill has been rushed through Parliament. This bill has been debated for 35 hours: 20 hours in committee and, so far, 15 hours in this House.
    We are talking about a museum, a glorious museum of history. It has widespread support. It would be wildly popular. It would be a one-time cost of $25 million in the nation's capital.
    How long does the member opposite think Parliament should debate a museum?

  (1715)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to tell my colleague opposite, whom I respect a great deal and who works very hard on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, that he is not on topic. We are no longer talking about the amount of time we should have to discuss the bill. We are not talking about that. We are talking about the fact that a museum's mandate is changing, that it was unnecessary, and that there are other ways it could have been improved and updated. This big project involving the exchange of artifacts for 2017 still could have been done with the existing museum. Some improvements could have been made. There was no need to open the door to the Conservatives' usual interference.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to refer to something that is going to be opening up in Winnipeg that many Winnipeggers and people from across Canada are looking forward to: the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
    There is no doubt a lot to be said about names, and if we take a look at that particular national institution, we would find that support for its name is virtually universal. I believe all political entities in the House of Commons are quite supportive of the name of that museum. We all look forward to its eventual opening sometime next year.
    That said, would the member not agree that with regard to the current museum and Bill C-7, it would have been more effective to have gotten unanimous support in the naming of such of critical museum, and does he question why that is not the case?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for the question.
    Indeed, it would have been quite simple to propose changes that everyone could agree on, such as a name change or improvements to existing exhibitions, instead of simply coming to this place, back at square one, as usual, without any consultation, with the Conservatives claiming to know what is best for Canadians, wanting to start fresh and carve out a whole new exhibition, and of course, wanting to take advantage.
    It is unfortunate, but basically, we do not trust them. Canadians do not trust those folks across the aisle on this matter.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his very convincing speech.
    I would like to know why the Conservatives want to change a winning formula. If I have understood correctly, it is one of the most popular museums in Canada. No one asked for a change in its mandate. According to the old adage, if it ain't broke, why fix it?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for bringing us back to basics, to the common sense that any person who manages a family budget would use. As the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. That is exactly the case for the museum.
    Unfortunately, the reality is altogether different. For this government, it is simply an opportunity to meddle in a museum and to replace the symbols dear to most Canadians with its own symbols and values, which it believes better reflect its own vision. It is precisely to change Canadians' points of reference that they are doing this type of thing, this type of exercise that we have seen at the Department of Canadian Heritage.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, listening to the member opposite, I think he has some vision that the government members are going to be on the telephone every day or every week telling the directors of the museum what to display and what stories to tell and what parts of Canadian history to tell, which is absolutely absurd. It is really a form of paranoia. It is fearmongering and it is totally inappropriate.
    It defies logic that anyone in the House, any whole party, could be against Canadian history. We just do not get it and Canadians do not get it either. It is a perfect time to plan a new museum in Ottawa and in Canada because we are on the road to our 150th anniversary. It is an unparalleled occasion to celebrate our history and the accomplishments that distinguish us as Canadians.
    In 2012, we celebrated, among other things, the War of 1812, the 19th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. We also announced the creation of the Canadian museum of history in October 2012. During the announcement of the new museum, the member for Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam and former minister of Canadian Heritage, said, “Canadians deserve a national museum of history that tells our stories and presents our country’s treasures to the world.” I could not agree more.
    Our government believes that it is essential to take full advantage of every opportunity to celebrate our history. The legislation, once passed, will enable the evolution of the Canadian Museum of Civilization into the Canadian museum of history.
    Some have questioned why this change is necessary. The statistics paint a pretty clear picture about that. More than 75% of Canadians feel that learning about Canadian history strengthens their attachment to their country, yet less than 50% are able to pass a citizenship exam that tests their general knowledge of Canada. Only 26% of young people aged 18 to 24 know the year of Confederation. Only 37% know the Battle of Vimy Ridge was fought in the First World War, and 76% of Canadians are embarrassed by the lack of knowledge that we in Canada have of our history. Something must change.
    Our children deserve to know more about our long and complex history. This government is preparing to meet this most fundamental need for all Canadians. After all, our history is a key aspect of our identity. The creation of the Canadian museum of history would provide Canadians with a fantastic opportunity to discover and appreciate the richness of Canadian history. It would provide a chance to learn about the history of Canada and its people. We are here today to discuss the legislation that will make this museum a reality.
    Through online consultations, kiosk activities and round table discussions, Canadians have made their opinions known. Input was sought on various topics such as how best to reach Canadians across the country, whether with travelling exhibitions at local museums, creating apps about the museum for mobile phones and tablets, or showing museum stories in movie theatres. More than 20,000 Canadians took the time to tell the museum what they wanted to see in the new Canadian museum of history. The results of the consultation can be seen on the Canadian Museum of Civilization's website under “Canadian Museum of History News”.
    Mr. Speaker, I forgot to mention earlier that I would like to split my time with the hon. member for Barrie if that is agreeable.
    Before criticizing the consultation process that was carried out by experts at the museum, please have a look at the report.
     Canadians in all regions should have opportunities to learn more about Canadian history. To increase those opportunities, the new museum will sign agreements with a number of museums across the country to tour its exhibitions, to share expertise, and to lend artifacts and other materials from vast collections to enhance local programs. This is a great plan and opportunity for hundreds of small museums across Canada.
    The Canadian museum of history would have more than 43,000 square feet of permanent exhibition space in 2016. This space will allow the museum to present a more complete history of Canada to all visitors. This additional exhibition space and rejuvenation of existing areas is made possible by a one-time federal investment of $25 million.
    However, none of this means an end to international activities by the new museum. The new mandate is explicit. One of the purposes of the new museum is to increase Canadians' awareness of world history and cultures. I quote:
    The purpose of the Canadian Museum of History is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of events, experiences, people and objects that reflect and have shaped Canada’s history and identity, and also to enhance their awareness of world history and cultures.

  (1720)  

    Along with the new mandate, the museum's name must logically change to the Canadian museum of history so that it better reflects the focus of this new museum. While the new museum's focus will be on Canada, it will continue to host major travelling international exhibitions, which we recognize are important to a national museum's vitality and reputation.
    It is important to emphasize that the revised mandate will be fully consistent with the strategic directions approved by the museum's own board of trustees, not government members, in particular its decision to better reflect our national achievements through the social, cultural, human, military and political dimensions of Canadian life. Under this new mandate, the Canadian museum of history will pay greater attention to the events and accomplishments that have shaped and transformed Canada into what it is today.
    The last spike, Maurice “The Rocket” Richard's famous number nine sweater and objects belonging to Terry Fox are but a few of the artifacts that illustrate Canadian history and touch our hearts.
    There will be new opportunities for interpretation both in the museum's exhibition galleries and history museums throughout the country as they enjoy loans from the museum of Canadian history. More than ever before, the new national museum will provide the public with an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate our identity as Canadians.
    The Canadian Museum of Civilization plans to present a series of temporary exhibitions that will highlight its new mandate and generate enthusiasm about the changes in its programming. Just last week the Canadian Museum of Civilization announced that in June 2015 the museum will present “The Greeks—From Agamemnon to Alexander the Great”, an exhibition celebrating 5,000 years of Greek culture.
    Those who decry the role of the future Canadian museum of history on the world stage need to understand that the international role of this museum will remain firmly intact, as will its research and collections roles.
    On International Museum Day, celebrated on May 18 every year, my colleague the Minister of Industry, in his capacity as former minister of Canadian Heritage, said that Canadian museums receive about 30 million visits annually. That is why our government is proud to invest in programs and policies that support the more than 2,500 institutions that make up Canada's museum sector. We recognize the important contribution that museums make to Canadian society and culture as well as to our economy.
    Given the role of museums as centres of dialogue and learning, it is vital that we work together to facilitate the creation of the new Canadian museum of history. Along with a new mandate, the museum's name must logically change to the Canadian museum of history. That will better reflect the focus of this new museum, and this museum's focus will be on Canada. It will continue to host major travelling international exhibitions, which we recognize are important to a national museum's vitality and reputation. There will be new opportunities for interpretation, both in the museum's exhibition galleries and history museums throughout the country as they enjoy loans from the Canadian museum of history.
    I am eager to see the new Canadian museum of history. I urge all my colleagues to support the bill to help realize its vision for the benefit of all Canadians.

  (1725)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I have a lot of respect for my colleague who sits on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. This may seem somewhat funny, but I really feel as though I have a teenager in front of me who is swearing to his father that if he gives him a car, he will go back to university.
    There was no need to completely change the museum to share all these beautiful exhibits with Canadians. Does the member really think that the museum had to be changed for the 2017 celebrations for all Canadians from coast to coast to coast?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am still trying to understand. I listened to the speech by the member opposite. I thank him for the compliment that I look as young as a teenager. I appreciate that. However, I still do not understand how anyone, let alone any party in the House, could be against Canadian history. It is profoundly confusing.
    Then I remember how the New Democrats change their position on many things. I am thinking of free trade. The Liberals and the NDP now say they support free trade. They support the comprehensive free trade agreement with Europe. During question period in the House, the voters who are watching will have noticed that government members laugh when the they claim that because that is what they say. What is important is what they actually believe.
    Since I arrived in the House in November 2008, I can say that I have spent many hours listening to NDP members go on by the hour about the nine free trade agreements that we have already introduced and why they were no good. They have slowed down these agreements as much as they could, by months in some cases, hoping they would just go away. We know why they did that. It is because their financiers, the real power behind the NDP, told them to.
    I am not anti-union. I am happy to work with the unions that do what is in the best interests of their members. For example, Canada's largest private sector union—
    Order, please.
    On a point a order, the hon. member for Pontiac.

  (1730)  

    Mr. Speaker, I fail to see the relevance to this particular debate of the member's comments. I would encourage him to be a bit more focused.
    The issue of relevance, of course, is debated in the House on a regular basis. It has had a very wide interpretation. I think the member is still within the range, although I would caution the member that he is close to exceeding his time, in terms of responding, so could he wrap up the answer quickly, please.
    Mr. Speaker, I come from Oakville. Recently, the Government of Canada made an investment in the plant in Oakville, in a partnership with Ford of Canada and with Unifor, which is a very progressive private sector union. It is a terrific agreement that will reassure 3,000 jobs in Oakville for 10 years. That is a union that represents its members
    Mr. Speaker, as I was growing up here in Canada, my parents tried to teach me a bit of history from my Chinese heritage. One of the things I learned is that in certain centuries in the past, China spent too much time looking inwards and not looking outwards, and really missed an opportunity to understand where its place was in the world and where its place should be in the world. That was not good, and we have centuries of Chinese history to prove that.
    My question for the member is actually an economic question. We are talking about spending $25 million here. There is some question as to whether this changing of the focus of the museum and the opportunity costs represented by spending that $25 million is really worth it. Is it really worth it to spend $25 million on something that, in my experience, in Chinese history, did not work out so well; that is, focusing inwards and not looking outwards to the rest of the world?
    Mr. Speaker, I do not know if the member was in the House when I was speaking. It is very clear that the mandate of the museum is to have a focus on Canadian history and a Canadian view of history, but the international exhibitions will still go on. No one is going to ignore those. Those will still happen. I just made mention earlier of looking at the Greeks and Greek history in 2015.
    Is it worth $25 million for Canadians to learn a Canadian perspective of history in their national capital, at a one-time charge? Yes, it most certainly is.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend from Oakville for his great presentation today.
    Just last month, I met with the Association of Manitoba Museums. It told me that it is excited about having the Canadian museum of history and the sharing artifacts that is now going to be available to museums across Canada, especially in rural Manitoba and rural areas. It is very important to have the museum.
    I would like to ask the member if he would mind talking about how this is also important to his area of Ontario.
    Mr. Speaker, it will be important for Oakville. We have several small museums in Oakville. What happens is that the membership starts to go down when people who live in the community and visitors have seen their displays and what they are showing.
    However, part of the bill would be to provide insurance indemnity so that the valuable treasures that exist in the Canadian museum of history would be able to travel and be insured against a loss, and be spread right across Canada to 2,500 different institutions. We could literally stay in our communities and see a different display perhaps every two or three months or at different times of the year and not have to travel to Ottawa. All Canadians could access these treasures.
    Mr. Speaker, I too would applaud the member for Oakville for his excellent speech supporting this bill. However, what I think might be indicative of the NDP's confusion on issues is the mistake of the member for Oakville being a teenager. I would politely disagree with that, despite being a big fan of his.
    I am pleased to speak in support of Bill C-7, which would create the Canadian museum of history. Bill C-7 is very short. It is very clear and specific. It makes a set of targeted amendments to the Museums Act to allow the Canadian Museum of Civilization to transform into the Canadian museum of history.
    The creation of the Canadian museum of history would not be an isolated act. It would be one step in the larger government strategy in support of our history and the need to increase our knowledge and appreciation of it. That strategy did not start with this bill and the decision to create a new museum. Our Conservative government has been making efforts to close gaps in how Canada's national museums share Canada's incredible story.
    In 2008, we created the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, in Winnipeg, and in 2010 the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, in Halifax. The government recognized the need for these stories to be presented across the country. These were the first national museums to be established outside of the national capital region.
    The 2011 speech from the throne observed that Canadians are united by core values, a shared history and a sense of common purpose. In that speech, our Conservative government pledged to join Canadians in celebrating our heritage. The 2013 speech from the throne reinforced this theme. The government's strategy is underlined by the priority it is giving to nation-building milestones on the road to our 150th birthday in 2017.
    Our Conservative government's efforts began, as we know, with the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, as a way of increasing the awareness of the influence that this conflict had on our nation. Other important anniversaries and milestones in the years approaching Canada's 150th anniversary have been identified and will also be commemorated. On the War of 1812, I remember that having that moment to recognize our history was tremendously appreciated across Canada. I remember the celebration we had in Barrie for the War of 1812 and how the community came out to recognize that important milestone. A lot of young people in our community learnt a huge amount about it through that commemoration.
    Other events we will be commemorating in 2013 and 2014 include the 100th anniversary of Canada's first Arctic expedition, the 150th anniversaries of the Charlottetown and Quebec conferences, the 100th anniversary of the First World War, the 75th anniversary of the Second World War, and the 200th birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald. I know the member for York—Simcoe is not in the House right now, but I know he would be a big fan of that particular celebration.
    On June 11, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages announced a range of further measures in support of the government's history strategy. I would like to take a moment to describe a few of these. First, the Canada history fund will connect Canadian young people to their history in a number of ways, including through the Government of Canada's history awards, which honour outstanding students and teachers who show an interest in celebrating Canadian history.
    We have some amazing teachers across this country who have done a lot to inspire young Canadians about our history. I think of Clint Lovell from Eastview, in Barrie, in the east end of my riding, who was recognized with an award two years ago in Ottawa. That inspired the community. It highlights people who throw their heart into Canadian history. I was pleased to see that recognition, and we certainly need to continue that type of recognition of some of our incredible educators.
    Through the Canada history fund, the government has also partnered with the Historica-Dominion Institute, both to create new heritage minutes and to allow more veterans and serving soldiers to connect with students in their classrooms.
    The second measure is a range of existing programs that have been strengthened to improve access to funding for museums and youth groups that wish to promote Canadian history in their local communities. For example, there is the exchanges Canada program that provides young Canadians with more opportunities to take part in history themed events. The Canada book fund encourages collective projects, with a focus on promoting Canadian history titles. The Canada periodical fund, through the business innovation and collection initiatives components, supports the promotion of history magazines and history content. The Virtual Museum of Canada funds 2017 online exhibits and podcasts, and provides new historical content for teachers and students.

  (1735)  

    Finally, beginning this year, we will mark the first Canada History Week, from July 1 to 7, which is an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about their history through local and national activities and events.
    The creation of the Canadian museum of history is a significant part of this multi-faceted strategy to explore and preserve our history and increase Canadians' knowledge, understanding and appreciation of it. Indeed, Bill C-7 is but one aspect of this exciting initiative.
    We know that in addition to the creation of the museum, a network of history museums in Canada is being formed. Led by the Canadian museum of history, museums would work together to share Canada's stories, share artifacts that are the touchstones of those stories, bring history exhibitions from museums across Canada to the national museum, and create opportunities specifically for small museums to borrow artifacts from that national collection.
    We all have museums in our regions that would love this opportunity. I can think of the Simcoe County Museum, just north of Barrie, in the riding of Simcoe—Grey, and that would be tremendously appreciated by the broader Simcoe County community.
    To help make this happen, the museum assistance program would support museums, including small museums that wish to borrow objects from exhibitions in the national collection of the Canadian museum of history. We understand that the cost of shipping and insuring artifacts is often too much for small museums. We want to help these museums showcase the national collection across the country, which is why we changed the museums assistance program.
    The museum assistance program would make it easier for institutions to create and share history exhibits, by eliminating the requirement for exhibits to travel outside their province or territory of origin. We recognize that local and provincial history is an important part of our broader national story. It is vital to give a voice to these stories. We believe that by moving the interprovincial requirement for exhibition circulation, more exhibitions would be shared, and the Canadian story would be better understood.
    These are exciting initiatives, and we hope their impact will be felt by Canadians for generations to come. The creation of the Canadian museum of history, through Bill C-7, is an important part of this broader history strategy.
    I urge all members in the House to support Bill C-7 and efforts being made within and outside government to preserve and promote Canada's history. It really is an incredible story.

  (1740)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his presentation.
    The people who speak on behalf of the government keep talking about the opportunity for exchanging artifacts, touring exhibits and all that. However, this is the same government that turfed the archeologists who were responsible for the artifacts being discovered. In Quebec City alone, 43 people were let go. What is more, the artifacts are not being stored properly. They will be centralized and no one will be able to catalogue them because the people who used to do that were shown the door.
    My question is, how will Canadians be able to see the artifacts that would have been discovered and that would have added to our knowledge of Canada's history?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, obviously the member opposite is confused on the aspects of the bill. Bill C-7 would invest $25 million to preserve Canadian artifacts and to having this museum.
    I find it surprising that the previous NDP questioner complained about spending too much money, and now this member is saying we are not spending enough money. The NDP needs to decide on the reason they do not support this bill because they cannot change their attacks within two minutes. It seems a little inconsistent and, unfortunately, very typical of the NDP.
    Mr. Speaker, it has been a very long road to get to this point, but we are finally voting on the final passage of this legislation. With the bit of time I have, I want to thank a few people who have allowed this moment to come.
    First, I thank all the provinces in this country. The provinces and territories across all political boundaries, Liberal, NDP, Conservative, have all stepped forward and said they support this legislation and want to see it passed.
    I also thank the mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau who have also come forward to support this legislation. Douglas Cardinal, who was the original architect of the Museum of Civilization, is supporting this. I thank him for his support as well.
    I thank all of Canada's history organizations and societies across the country who have endorsed this legislation and want this museum to be created. I thank the Canadian Museums Association, which has helped build a network to make this possible, for the great work it has put in to building the family of museums across the country that are supporting this legislation.
    I also thank historians Jack Granatstein, Richard Gwyn, Charlotte Gray, and others, who are supporting this legislation, putting partisanship aside, and who recognize that getting a $25 million investment for Canada's largest museum will be great for Canada's history and the celebration of our 150th birthday.
    In a non-partisan way, I thank all those who took the time to support this legislation and to make it happen. It will be a very great day when this museum is reborn as the Canadian museum of history.

  (1745)  

    I am not sure if that was either a question or a comment, but does the member for Barrie want to respond?
    Mr. Speaker, it has been great to have the leadership of the Minister of Industry, specifically in his previous capacity as Minister of Canadian Heritage.
    His passion for Canada's history has been incredible. Canada has benefited from his passion, and it is great to see the results with this wonderful bill.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my hon. colleague if his government is seriously and truly interested in history.
    Do the Conservatives understand the importance of research, archives and local initiatives, or are they only interested in celebrations, jubilees, photo ops and ribbon cutting?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I will share a quote from one of Canada's most renowned historians, Michael Bliss, who said, “It is very exciting that Canada's major museum will now explicitly focus on Canada's history”.
    This government has shown again and again that we are proud of our history in Canada. I am completely perplexed as to why the NDP cannot support a bill that is celebrating Canada.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Gatineau.
    I have the honour and the duty to rise in the House to oppose Bill C-7, which appears directly connected to the Conservatives' plan not only to eliminate history, but also to control it. A Conservative member even said in this House that they were trying to control history.
    Bill C-7, formerly Bill C-49, is the Conservatives' latest attempt to rewrite our history by recalibrating the Canadian Museum of Civilization and giving it a new image as the Canadian museum of history.
    I am proud of our history, but in this bill, the Conservatives are presenting an incomplete history that is a bit too political to be called history. The bill will narrow the museum's mandate, and I am very concerned that they are doing this to disregard parts of our diverse history, such the experiences of francophones, first nations and women.
    The Canadian Museum of Civilization is an important institution in the Outaouais region, a region that I represent as a member from the RCM of Papineau. The museum received 1.2 million visitors last year and brought in $15 million in revenue. If the change to the museum's mandate is not done right, it could have disastrous effects on the Outaouais region's tourism industry, and therefore on my region as well. The region's economy and many jobs could be in jeopardy.
    The Canadian Museum of Civilization is the most popular museum in Canada. It is a tourist draw that helps drive the economy. I cannot stress enough that this institution attracts people to the Outaouais, helps the tourism industry in the RCM of Papineau in particular, and helps stimulate the economy. Imagine losing these gateways to the Outaouais region, these huge museums like the Canadian Museum of Civilization—a museum that brings people from all over the world to the Outaouais. This will make a huge difference to our region if it is not done right.
    Despite this obvious fact, the decision to transform the museum was not actually made by the minister's office. It is clear that this is a political decision, since the stakeholders in the Outaouais region were not consulted in this process. When people in my riding in the Outaouais say that this change will affect them, that they were not consulted and that they would have liked to be, I think this cannot be called consultation.
    At the same time, the Conservatives will continue to spend millions until 2014 to commemorate the War of 1812, wasting taxpayers' money on pretty showcases, commemorations and ribbon cuttings.
    In my riding, Grenville Canal was built as a result of certain events in 1812. However, the canal has been downright abandoned. It is falling apart and is being completely neglected and ignored by the government. However, it does exist and it has a place in our Canadian history--but no, it does not matter. On the other hand, there is always money for Freedom of the Town events held in towns that would have never had them.
     In short, lately our history has been rewritten. It is clear that this initiative is part of a wider effort to promote symbols with a more conservative character. In my view, this is an actual scheme to rewrite our Canadian identity, carried out for the express purpose of highlighting militarism and the monarchy. Far be it from me—I really want to emphasize this—to speak against showcasing our military history. I have nothing against our military heroes.

  (1750)  

    The first time I came to Ottawa was to watch the Governor General present my uncle with the Order of Military Merit. I was a little girl at the time and my uncle took me to the Canadian Museum of Civilization for the first time. I am getting choked up thinking about it.
    When most Canadians come to Ottawa for the first time, when they are young, on a school trip for example, they go to the Canadian Museum of Civilization. They discover a great many things there. Let us not take that away from future generations of Canadians.
    That being said, a history that only celebrates the military, which is what the Conservative government is doing, puts women second. No one ever talks about women in wartime, especially when we are talking about the past. Women are currently serving in Afghanistan, among other places, but when we are talking about history, no one talks about what women went through and how women helped to build the country.
    I made this point during the study on the celebrations of the War of 1812 at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Frankly, it was clear that I was not alone in saying so.
    All these changes also give me the impression that the Conservatives are off-loading some important tasks to our smaller museums, which are accomplishing a lot with the little resources they have. They are fantastic. To illustrate what I mean, I will talk about two museums in my riding.
    The Plaisance Heritage Centre is an important and exceptional museum in my riding. It is devoted to the local history of Petite-Nation in the Outaouais. This proud and compelling region needed a museum that showcased its local history. The interpretation centre was founded in 1994 and, like the Canadian Museum of Civilization, it includes a permanent exhibit and temporary exhibits. One of the temporary exhibits on right now is about the importance of rivers in Petite-Nation's history. The exhibit focuses on Champlain and celebrates the 400th anniversary of his voyage on the Ottawa River.
    The centre brings a lot of people to the region. Those who were interested in following Champlain's route and who took part in the 400th anniversary activities in the Ottawa-Gatineau region and on the river, came through Plaisance. This is part of how the tourism industry in the Outaouais region works.
    The Musée régional d'Argenteuil also sits on the banks of the Ottawa River. It was founded in 1938. It is the second-oldest private museum in Canada and is housed in the Carillon Barracks in Saint-André-d'Argenteuil. It was purchased by the Historical Society of Argenteuil County. Many of the founding members were very well known, in particular Maude Abbott. The region has gained recognition because of them and their dedication.
    Unfortunately, small museums are fending for themselves and they do not receive enough help. That is why I find it so unfortunate that this resourcefulness and passion for history is being pitted against a Conservative government that is abandoning history, culture, our economy, our environment and the way of doing things that we pride ourselves on.
    I would ask the members of the House one last time to not support this bill, to vote against it. It will have truly damaging effects, not only on my region, but also on the way we self-identify as Canadians. I find that very unfortunate.

  (1755)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague opposite mentioned the two museums in her riding. She should know that those museums, and small museums across the country like those, will benefit from this legislation. What we have done, in concert with the administration and the president of the new Canadian museum of history, is make it so that the over one million items at the current Canadian Museum of Civilization, soon to be history museum, over 90% of which are in storage, will be able to move all across the country.
    We have doubled the indemnification program that the Government of Canada has so the two local museums that she described in her riding, which she wants to do well for, will have access to these collections now for the first time because of initiatives that our government has taken, including the creation of this museum itself through this legislation.
    Those two local museums, by the way, support the bill and support the creation of the museum. The Canadian Museums Association supports the bill and supports the creation of the museum.
    The member falsely said that our government was focused on militarism. What nonsense. When we announced the creation of this museum, we did it with Terry Fox's family there. We did it talking about Frederick Banting and Charles Best. We did it talking about aboriginal history in our country and how important it was to the foundation of our country. We did talking about Samuel de Champlain. There was nothing about militarism. It was all about the greatness that is Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, one of the things that was really terrible about the way the former minister of heritage went about that answer was he said that all these artifacts would be available to my local museums.
    What he does not realize is there is actually 10,000 artifacts at Musée régional d'Argenteuil.

[Translation]

    There are so many artifacts that they do not have enough room to display them all. That is incredible for a small museum in Carillon, in the Argenteuil region. Not many people live there, but the museum brings people to the area. Those 10,000 artifacts are all properly protected in the museum's attic.
    It really is too bad that these museums are being ignored by the Department of Canadian Heritage. It makes local heritage seem unimportant. Although I may want the Canadian Museum of Civilization to remain a major attraction forever, it will no longer bring people to this region, to the local museums. They all work in tandem.
    The government wants to reorganize how the region's tourism works, but it is not going about it in the most inclusive manner, unfortunately.

  (1800)  

    Mr. Speaker, the minister does not want to admit it, but it is rather clear to the majority of Canadians that the Conservatives have realized that a museum can be used as a propaganda tool for the state.
    Basically, the Conservatives want to impose their vision of Canada and its history on Canadians. I am from the Pontiac, an area not far from the Canadian Museum of Civilization. In my region, everyone knows there is no problem. The reality is that Canada's history is diverse and marked by several civilizations.
    Thanks to the professionalism of its archaeologists and historians, this museum does excellent work. It is not the government's role to interfere with the work of professionals to rewrite the history of this great country in which we live.
    I would like to ask my hon. colleague, who gave a wonderful and very interesting speech, what she thinks of this government's interference, which basically amounts to Conservative propaganda.
    Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with my hon. colleague and neighbour from Pontiac.
    This is interference, pure and simple. I mentioned this interference in my speech, as well as how clueless the Conservatives seem to be in terms of the importance of this issue for our region.
    That is what is so unfortunate. They are laying off archeologists, archivists and librarians, then they claim to know what they are doing. It is clear that their actions are purely political and that they have no real interest in history.
    Mr. Speaker, it saddens me to be the last member to speak to Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Museums Act in order to establish the Canadian Museum of History and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. Once again we are subject to time allocation.
    I am certain that many others, not just official opposition members but also Conservative members, would have much to say about this subject.
    We are talking about the Canadian Museum of Civilization. I am probably the only person in the House who watched it being built. I was a young law student working for the firm Beaudry Bertrand located at 25 Laurier Street. The Canadian Museum of Civilization was being built right in front of our office as a result of promises made by various governments in the early 1980s. The promises had to do with my lovely Outaouais region, which is just on the other side of the river. There was a huge imbalance between the number of Canadian public servants located on the Ontario side and the number located on the Quebec side.
    One of the many promises made by the Conservatives and the Liberals over the years was that they would build a museum on the Quebec side. That is how the great Canadian Museum of Civilization came to be built. At the time, it was called the Museum of Man. The name was changed because it was discriminatory in the face of gender equality. It therefore became the great Canadian Museum of Civilization.
    Why do we object so strongly? I was stunned when I saw this bill introduced. The former Canadian heritage minister is upset because we have the audacity to question his brilliant idea to change the nature of the museum, but it functions quite well. Museums inspire people to become more cultured and are an extremely powerful tool for developing tourism and the economy. The Canadian Museum of Civilization works very well in the Outaouais region, so well in fact that it is probably the top-performing museum, according to statistics. However, the government wants to change the nature of the museum.
    The Conservative government—through its mouthpiece, the minister at the time—told us there had been consultations, but they were meaningless consultations. Real consultations would include asking the opinion of the public and partners, like Outaouais Tourism, for example. Does a certain museum need renovations, a different mandate or a new name? Those are the questions that consultations should endeavour to answer.
    That is not at all the kind of consultation that took place. An announcement was made. At one point, the government said that it would provide $25 million to change a given room, and then it dangled that money in front of the City of Gatineau, asking if it agreed with the changes. Who would spit on $25 million? I do not know many people who would—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1805)  

    Order, please. The hon. member for Gatineau has the floor for another four minutes.
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
    It is funny to hear the Conservatives yelling because we are talking about the economy and tourism development, which is so important. They are putting a dark cloud over a region by changing something that was working very well. This is so unbelievable, it just boggles my mind.
    I find it especially appalling that they continue to claim that meaningful consultation took place. Every time I heard any of the debates in the House on the previous Bill C-49, which has become Bill C-7, I heard the minister say he had the support of the City of Gatineau and its mayor. The Conservatives are playing with words and doing some fancy footwork with those kinds of comments. They are putting words in people's mouths, words those people never said. In that sense, I feel as though many Canadians are being misled. The Conservatives want to give the impression that they are changing something for the better.
    I do not know how the government is going to react. The region is already struggling in terms of the public service breakdown, unless the government would have us believe that the job cuts made in Ottawa will achieve the famous 75:25 ratio that has always been promised to the Outaouais. Cutting jobs in Ottawa does not mean greater balance. That is not job creation.
    This is exactly what is happening with this museum. It is a major concern for the economic players in my region and also for Outaouais Tourism. Obviously, when a minister shows up with a cheque for $25 million, people may be a bit embarrassed to speak up about certain topics. What I can say is that this has caused a wave of concern throughout the region.
    I encourage people on the other side to do something other than just attend self-congratulatory events. They should go to the museum on a day when tourists are visiting so they can see what brings people to the Canadian Museum of Civilization. I am not saying that a museum of Canadian history is not important or necessary, or that Canadians would not all be better off learning more about our history, but why change the mandate of a great museum? As my colleague from Pontiac was saying, is this being done simply to turn it into a state propaganda tool? This creates rather serious problems to be sure.
    Obviously, the Conservatives were ordered to vote a certain way. This is unfortunate. I have seen this museum grow and flourish. The Conservatives may laugh, but I can tell them that our region is close enough to Parliament to hear them laugh. People will remember. The members on the other side found it very funny to see that they could change a winning formula. We will see whether the new approach works. Meanwhile, as they say, if this causes some tourism and economic problems in a certain region, who cares? What was it that the Prime Minister said? He said, “I couldn't care less.” This is the message the Conservatives are sending out. In 2015, the people of the Outaouais will vote to tell the government: “We couldn't care less.”

  (1810)  

    It being 6:10 p.m., pursuant to order made earlier today, it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the third reading stage of the bill now before the House.
    The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Deputy Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Deputy Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Deputy Speaker: In my opinion, the yeas have it.
    (And five or more members having risen:)
    The Deputy Speaker: Call in the members.

  (1850)  

[English]

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 9)

YEAS

Members

Ablonczy
Adams
Adler
Aglukkaq
Albas
Albrecht
Alexander
Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac)
Allison
Ambler
Ambrose
Anders
Anderson
Armstrong
Aspin
Baird
Bateman
Benoit
Bergen
Bernier
Bezan
Blaney
Block
Boughen
Braid
Breitkreuz
Brown (Leeds—Grenville)
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Brown (Barrie)
Bruinooge
Butt
Calandra
Calkins
Cannan
Carmichael
Carrie
Chisu
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Crockatt
Daniel
Davidson
Dechert
Del Mastro
Devolin
Dreeshen
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Dykstra
Fantino
Fast
Findlay (Delta—Richmond East)
Fletcher
Galipeau
Gallant
Gill
Glover
Goguen
Goldring
Goodyear
Gosal
Gourde
Grewal
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Hawn
Hayes
Hiebert
Hillyer
Hoback
Holder
Jean
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kent
Kerr
Komarnicki
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Lauzon
Lebel
Leef
Leitch
Lemieux
Leung
Lizon
Lobb
Lukiwski
Lunney
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
May
Mayes
McColeman
McLeod
Menegakis
Merrifield
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Nicholson
Norlock
Obhrai
O'Connor
O'Neill Gordon
Opitz
O'Toole
Payne
Poilievre
Preston
Raitt
Rajotte
Rathgeber
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Rickford
Saxton
Schellenberger
Seeback
Shea
Shipley
Shory
Smith
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Storseth
Strahl
Sweet
Tilson
Toet
Trost
Trottier
Truppe
Valcourt
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vellacott
Wallace
Warawa
Warkentin
Watson
Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country)
Weston (Saint John)
Wilks
Williamson
Wong
Woodworth
Yelich
Young (Oakville)
Young (Vancouver South)
Zimmer

Total: -- 150

NAYS

Members

Allen (Welland)
Andrews
Angus
Atamanenko
Aubin
Bélanger
Bellavance
Benskin
Bevington
Blanchette
Blanchette-Lamothe
Boivin
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brahmi
Brison
Brosseau
Byrne
Caron
Casey
Charlton
Chicoine
Chisholm
Choquette
Christopherson
Cleary
Comartin
Côté
Crowder
Cullen
Cuzner
Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
Day
Dewar
Dion
Dionne Labelle
Donnelly
Doré Lefebvre
Dubé
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Dusseault
Easter
Eyking
Foote
Fortin
Freeman
Fry
Garneau
Garrison
Genest-Jourdain
Giguère
Godin
Goodale
Gravelle
Groguhé
Harris (St. John's East)
Hsu
Hughes
Hyer
Jacob
Jones
Julian
Karygiannis
Kellway
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Larose
Laverdière
LeBlanc (Beauséjour)
Leslie
MacAulay
Mai
Martin
Masse
Mathyssen
McCallum
McGuinty
McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood)
Michaud
Moore (Abitibi—Témiscamingue)
Morin (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord)
Morin (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine)
Morin (Laurentides—Labelle)
Mourani
Mulcair
Murray
Nantel
Nash
Nicholls
Nunez-Melo
Papillon
Patry
Péclet
Plamondon
Quach
Rafferty
Rankin
Ravignat
Raynault
Regan
Rousseau
Saganash
Sandhu
Scarpaleggia
Scott
Sellah
Sgro
Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor)
Sims (Newton—North Delta)
Sitsabaiesan
St-Denis
Stoffer
Sullivan
Thibeault
Toone
Tremblay
Trudeau
Turmel
Valeriote

Total: -- 121

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)

  (1855)  

[Translation]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion — Instruction to Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics  

[Business of Supply]
    The House resumed from November 5 consideration of the motion.
     The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of the member for Wascana relating to the business of supply.

  (1900)  

[English]

    (The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 10)

YEAS

Members

Allen (Welland)
Andrews
Angus
Atamanenko
Aubin
Bélanger
Bellavance
Benskin
Bevington
Blanchette
Blanchette-Lamothe
Boivin
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brahmi
Brison
Brosseau
Byrne
Caron
Casey
Charlton
Chicoine
Chisholm
Choquette
Christopherson
Cleary
Comartin
Côté
Crowder
Cullen
Cuzner
Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
Davies (Vancouver East)
Day
Dewar
Dion
Dionne Labelle
Donnelly
Doré Lefebvre
Dubé
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona)
Dusseault
Easter
Eyking
Foote
Fortin
Freeman
Fry
Garneau
Garrison
Genest-Jourdain
Giguère
Godin
Goodale
Gravelle
Groguhé
Harris (St. John's East)
Hsu
Hughes
Jacob
Jones
Julian
Karygiannis
Kellway
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Larose
Laverdière
LeBlanc (Beauséjour)
Leslie
MacAulay
Mai
Martin
Masse
Mathyssen
May
McCallum
McGuinty
McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood)
Michaud
Moore (Abitibi—Témiscamingue)
Morin (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord)
Morin (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine)
Morin (Laurentides—Labelle)
Mourani
Mulcair
Murray
Nantel
Nash
Nicholls
Nunez-Melo
Papillon
Patry
Péclet
Plamondon
Quach
Rafferty
Rankin
Rathgeber
Ravignat
Raynault
Regan
Rousseau
Saganash
Sandhu
Scarpaleggia
Scott
Sellah
Sgro
Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor)
Sims (Newton—North Delta)
Sitsabaiesan
St-Denis
Stoffer
Sullivan
Thibeault
Toone
Tremblay
Trudeau
Turmel
Valeriote

Total: -- 122

NAYS

Members

Ablonczy
Adams
Adler
Aglukkaq
Albas
Albrecht
Alexander
Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac)
Allison
Ambler
Ambrose
Anders
Anderson
Armstrong
Aspin
Baird
Bateman
Benoit
Bergen
Bernier
Bezan
Blaney
Block
Boughen
Braid
Breitkreuz
Brown (Leeds—Grenville)
Brown (Newmarket—Aurora)
Brown (Barrie)
Bruinooge
Butt
Calandra
Calkins
Cannan
Carmichael
Carrie
Chisu
Chong
Clarke
Clement
Crockatt
Daniel
Davidson
Dechert
Del Mastro
Devolin
Dreeshen
Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
Dykstra
Fantino
Fast
Findlay (Delta—Richmond East)
Fletcher
Galipeau
Gallant
Gill
Glover
Goguen
Goldring
Goodyear
Gosal
Gourde
Grewal
Harris (Cariboo—Prince George)
Hawn
Hayes
Hiebert
Hillyer
Hoback
Holder
Jean
Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission)
Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's)
Kent
Kerr
Komarnicki
Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings)
Lauzon
Lebel
Leef
Leitch
Lemieux
Leung
Lizon
Lobb
Lukiwski
Lunney
MacKay (Central Nova)
MacKenzie
Mayes
McColeman
McLeod
Menegakis
Merrifield
Moore (Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam)
Moore (Fundy Royal)
Nicholson
Norlock
Obhrai
O'Connor
O'Neill Gordon
Opitz
O'Toole
Payne
Poilievre
Preston
Raitt
Rajotte
Reid
Rempel
Richards
Rickford
Saxton
Schellenberger
Seeback
Shea
Shipley
Shory
Smith
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Storseth
Strahl
Sweet
Tilson
Toet
Trost
Trottier
Truppe
Valcourt
Van Kesteren
Van Loan
Vellacott
Wallace
Warawa
Warkentin
Watson
Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country)
Weston (Saint John)
Wilks
Williamson
Wong
Woodworth
Yelich
Young (Oakville)
Young (Vancouver South)
Zimmer

Total: -- 148

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion defeated.
    I wish to inform the House that because of the delay, there will be no private members' business today.

Adjournment Proceedings

[Adjournment Proceedings]
    A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

[English]

The Environment 

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin this evening's adjournment proceedings a little unusually. As I look across the way, I see that when I finish my four minutes on the subject of my question about Monday, relating to the upcoming climate negotiations in Warsaw, we will be hearing from my friend, the member of Parliament for Oshawa. I wish to congratulate him on recently becoming the parliamentary secretary on the environment. I enjoyed working with him enormously when he was the parliamentary secretary for health.
    The issue before us is critical. There is no point in minimizing it. Tonight we are talking about the single greatest threat to our children having a livable world and to us having a future.
    The talks that will begin on Monday, November 11, in Warsaw, Poland, is the 19th time that parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will have met to try to advance the agenda. No one can claim, at this point, that we have even come close to addressing the severity of the crisis. It grows year to year.
    Canada was once a country that contributed to the forward progress of the community of nations when assembled in these negotiations. We contributed enormously back in the late eighties and early nineties. In 1992, Canada was the first industrialized country, in fact the first country in the world, to both sign and ratify the convention that still gathers nations of the world together, as we will see next week in Warsaw, Poland.
    The advice from the scientific community has largely been ignored throughout the world. Those countries that have taken on targets have largely met them. I point to the European Union, which has largely met its Kyoto targets.
    We know from the advice of scientists that we are running perilously close to something that can only be called a point of no return. It is a place where greenhouse gases build to such a level in the atmosphere that we will be unable as a human society, as a civilization, to arrest the threat of what scientists refer to now as runaway global warming, with the heating of the planet releasing, on its own, new sources of heating of the planet, and so on, in what are called positive feedback loops.
    On Monday I put it to the Minister of the Environment that I will be attending the COP 19 negotiations in Poland. As far as I know, I am the only member of Parliament attending, other than the Minister of the Environment. There certainly is no longer the traditional practice of Canada engaging and involving opposition members of Parliament in government delegations. However, that is a minor point compared to the threat.
    The Prime Minister of this country attended the Conference of the Parties that took place in Copenhagen in 2009 at COP 15 and took on extremely weak targets. I think it must be said that collectively the targets taken on in the Copenhagen accord are not sufficient to avoid part of that accord, which is to avoid a two-degree global average temperature increase against the levels that existed before the industrialized revolution.
    For Canada, that means we must reduce our emissions to 607 megatonnes by 2020. The most recent report from Environment Canada states that we are farther from the target in 2013 than we were in 2012, and instead of 607 megatonnes we will be at 734 megatonnes. That is a clear failure of leadership and of programs. It is a complete condemnation of the so-called sector by sector approach advanced by this administration.
    At the same time in Copenhagen, the Prime Minister committed to advancing funds to a $100-billion-a-year fund for global climate assistance to developing countries to both reduce their emissions and to adapt.
    As my time and the planet's time run out, will this administration and the Prime Minister keep their word and deliver greenhouse gas reductions and assistance to the developing world?

  (1905)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the leader of the Green Party for her kind words. I am looking forward to working with her.
    I want her to know that our government is committed to achieving Canada's targets, and our record speaks for itself. We will continue to take action with our sector-by-sector approach that has been achieving real results while fostering economic growth.
    We are proceeding to systematically address all major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. So far our government has contributed to reducing Canada's emissions through stringent regulations for the transportation and the electricity sectors, two of the largest sources of emissions in Canada.
    I would like to now take a moment to highlight some of the great achievements we have made so far.
    First, Canada has strengthened its position as a world leader in clean energy production by becoming the first major coal user to ban future construction of traditional coal-fired electricity-generating units.
    Second, and coming from Oshawa, I am proud to say that the 2025 passenger vehicles and light trucks will emit about half as many greenhouse gases as the 2008 models.
    Third, greenhouse gas emissions from 2018 model year heavy-duty vehicles will be reduced by up to 23%.
    Let me reiterate: our government's collective actions are achieving real results, and thanks to our actions, carbon emissions will go down close to 130 megatonnes from what they would have been under the Liberals.
    This is a reduction equivalent to the elimination of 37 coal-fired electricity plants. We are accomplishing this without the NDP's carbon tax which, as members know, would raise the price of everything.
    Between 2005 and 2011, greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 4.8%. This is really important: emissions have decreased by 4.8%, while the economy has grown 8.4% and per capita emissions are at a historic low.
    In addition to doing our part through the United Nations, we are also actively involved in forums such as the Arctic Council, the Montreal protocol, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to develop practical and collaborative initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and short-lived climate pollutants.
    To address the second part of the member's question, I will point out that Canada has strong international commitments to support developing country mitigation and adaptation efforts. Our Conservative government, in partnership with other developed countries, has fully delivered on its first fast-start financing commitment, which provided $30 billion over the three-year period of 2010 to 2012. In fact, we exceeded the commitment by providing $33 billion.
    As we can clearly see, the figures speak for themselves. Our government has committed to the largest-ever contribution to support international efforts to address climate change, a contribution that has supported mitigation and adaptation efforts in over 60 developing countries.
    We remain committed to working with other countries to address climate change.

  (1910)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am afraid the record does indeed speak for itself, and it speaks for itself very loudly that this country is failing the world and failing our children.
    To correct a few of the things on the record, I think those in the House may have gotten the false impression that Canada had contributed $30 billion to the fast-start climate program. That is of course the contributions of all countries around the world.
    Canada did put forward $1.2 billion, which is important, but it was only supposed to be a first step, not the whole commitment, and 74% of that was in loans, the largest level of loans of any country in the world. Others put forward real dollars, new and additional.
    The only reason emissions have gone down in Canada at all is a combination of the recession of 2008 and Ontario's committing to close down its coal plants. This administration's car regulations are great, but we only did them to stay in concert with U.S. action, and the coal regulations will not take effect until I am 99 years old. Frankly, 40 years from now is not good enough to have regulations take effect.
    We need real action, and we need it now.
    Mr. Speaker, of course I will disagree with some of those comments.
    I want the member to know that our government remains committed to transparency. Last month, we released the third Canada's Emissions Trends report. The report clearly shows that our sector-by-sector approach is getting real results.
    Canadians should be proud of this incredible accomplishment. Our government will continue to make progress towards our targets.
    Upcoming federal policies will contribute to additional emissions reductions, including in particular—and this is very important—oil and gas sector regulations, as was indicated in last month's Speech from the Throne.
    Likewise, our government supports the efforts of the provinces and territories as well as consumers and businesses to lower their respective emissions.
    I would like to address the matter of the Canadian delegation this year. As has been the case for the past several years, it will consist of government officials who take part in the government-to-government negotiations that are at the heart of the Conference of the Parties. Our Minister of the Environment looks forward to meeting with her international counterparts in Warsaw to continue addressing climate change.
    If the member opposite would like to help Canada, then she should start by voting in favour of all the stuff we are doing, all our great initiatives.

[Translation]

    The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).
    (The House adjourned at 7:14 p.m.)
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