April 9th, 2017

NDP Statement on the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

Today marks the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge, the First World War battle whose outcome helped shape the identity of our nation. Vimy echoes in the collective memory of all Canadians as we reflect today on all those who gave of their lives and livelihood to defend our country.

March 7th, 2017

In Debate: Bill C-211 on PTSD

Federal Framework on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-211, An Act respecting a federal framework on post-traumatic stress disorder, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

January 24th, 2017

Statement on the Canada 150 Medal

I am disappointed that the Liberal government has chosen not to proceed with a Canada 150 Medal. Honoring the service and dedication of Canadians is an important part of celebrating who we are as a nation and the celebration of Canadians should be an integral part of our 150th birthday commemorations.

December 12th, 2016

In Debate: CETA & Drug Costs

Mme Karine Trudel (Jonquière, NPD): Monsieur le Président, je remercie beaucoup ma collègue de son discours. Elle est une femme très dévouée envers sa communauté. D'ailleurs, elle m'en apprend tous les jours, et je l'en remercie. Elle est aussi la porte-parole du NPD en matière d'anciens combattants.

December 12th, 2016

In Debate: C-30 CETA Implementation

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by saying unequivocally that New Democrats believe that it is possible to create a Canada whose economy is sustainable, just and fair while remaining competitive on the world stage. We believe that we all thrive in an equitable society where everyone has equal access to nutritious food, a safe home, an education, decent work at fair wages, clean air, fresh water, health care, pharmacare, secure retirement, as well as child care.

December 1st, 2016

In Debate: C-26 Canada Pension Plan Changes

November 1st, 2016


Irene Mathyssen, MP for London – Fanshawe and NDP Veterans Affairs Critic made the following statement on the Battle of Passchendaele:

July 1st, 2016


NDP Critic for Culture and Heritage, Pierre Nantel (Longueuil- Saint-Hubert) made the following statement:

June 16th, 2016

Veterans like Peter Blendheim need long-term care beds

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, just like the Conservatives before them, the Liberals are shamefully denying benefits to veterans. Care is downloaded to the provinces while federal facilities close beds or shut their doors.

June 2nd, 2016

Question Period: Why are Liberals not making veterans raises fair?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe): Mr. Speaker, when the Liberals promised an increase in benefits for permanently injured veterans, they failed to mention that their plan would benefit higher ranking officials the most, while rank-and-file veterans would see minimal increases. New Democrats believe that veterans, all veterans regardless of rank, deserve to be treated with dignity. The government is humiliating veterans. Why are the Liberals leaving behind those with the least? Why are they treating our nation's most vulnerable veterans so disgracefully?

May 19th, 2016


OTTAWA – New Democrats are outraged by reports today that veterans are yet again being fought in court by their own government that will deny our heroes their benefits. This comes after the Liberal Party campaigned on bringing back a lifetime pension for veterans.

May 13th, 2016

No Half Measures in an Omnibus Bill, Veterans Issues Need to be Addressed

May 13th, 2016

In Debate: Speaking Against the TPP

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Madam Speaker, we know, especially in my community of London, Ontario, that we have experienced devastating losses as a result of globalization, corporate greed, and simple lack of will on the part of Liberal and Conservative governments to protect our manufacturing sector.

May 5th, 2016

Question Period: why hide veterans measures in Omnibus bill?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

April 15th, 2016

Question Period: On long-term sustainable jobs at General Dynamics and throughout London?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker... Trying to pit workers' jobs against human rights is a cynical distraction, but it does not hide government's failure to open up new responsible markets and support long-term sustainable manufacturing jobs in our region. Instead, Liberals have gambled workers' jobs on a deal with an oppressive state, giving our city an unfair black eye.

March 24th, 2016

Where is the Accountability on KPMG Tax Cheats?

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are shocked by the KPMG tax cheats scandal, and they are outraged by the government's lack of action.

March 10th, 2016

2016 International Women's Day Question in Parliament

February 25th, 2016

In Debate: EI Reform is Needed Now!

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for North Island—Powell River.

February 18th, 2016

Questioning the Prime Minister on the TPP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, officials confirmed to the trade committee that they have not completed a study of the TPP's impact upon Canadians.

February 3rd, 2016

In Debate on Pay Equity Motion


June 15th, 2015

Statement from the NDP on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

NDP Seniors critic Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) made the following statement on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day:

May 5th, 2015


OTTAWA – Today in the House of Commons, NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) demanded the Conservatives make a swift decision on the proposal to move the Duchess of Kent Legion into Wolseley Barracks.

April 28th, 2015

Asking the Minister to review Legion Proposal for Wolseley Barracks Mess Hall

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe)

April 24th, 2015

Avian Flu Outbreak and CIFA Cuts a Concern

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe)

April 23rd, 2015

In Debate: Modernize and Rebuild VIA Rail C-640

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe)

April 23rd, 2015

Statement on Budget 2015

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe)

March 25th, 2015

Fanshawe College Canadian Centre for Product Validation

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

March 23rd, 2015

In Debate: Seniors need Pharmacare, Affordable Housing and Income Security

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP) :

Mr. Speaker, we desperately need a plan to deal with Canada's aging population. There needs to be practical and effective planning for the nearly 10 million people who will be seniors in the next 25 years.

March 12th, 2015

Stop Asking Veterans if Limbs are Still Missing

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe)

2015-03-12 14:44 [p.12054]

March 9th, 2015

Kellogg's Last Box A Testament to Conservative Jobs Failure

OTTAWA – Since Stephen Harper’s Conservatives came to power in 2006, over 10,000 good paying manufacturing jobs have been lost in the London area; 2,200 last year alone. Today, in the wake of the Kellogg’s plant closure, Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) demanded Conservatives work to prevent further jobs losses and build a jobs plan for London’s future.

February 17th, 2015

In Debate: Creating Jobs & Childcare Spaces

Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to employment insurance, it looks like the arrival of a new minister does not herald a new approach. First the Conservatives imposed harsh restrictions on employment insurance, and now they are telling departmental officials to make it harder for unemployed workers to get the benefits they are entitled to. Officials who are a little too helpful are getting slapped on the wrist. That makes no sense.

February 6th, 2015

In Debate: Veterans Shouldn't Have to Prove Missing Limbs Year After Year

Ms. Hélène LeBlanc (LaSalle—Émard, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Master Corporal Paul Franklin lost both of his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan.

February 3rd, 2015

Groundhog Day Statement

Mr. Speaker, if Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there will be two winters in the year. Yes, today is Groundhog Day and despite the flawed prognostications of lesser rodents like Punxsutawney Phil and Shubenacadie Sam, Ontario's Wiarton Willie did not see his shadow at sunrise this morning. Yes, we are going to have an early spring. All the more reason for all of us on both sides of the House to roll up our sleeves, work together for Canadians, ensure they are able to stay warm during the cold winters and have something stored away for hibernation.

January 29th, 2015

Good Job Losses in Southwestern Ontario Ignored by Conservatives

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP) :

Mr. Speaker, those so-called good policies have led to major plant closures at Electro-Motive Diesel, Kellogg's, and Heinz. A proposal to create 1,500 jobs at the former St. Thomas Ford plant is on the rocks. In the past eight years, under the current Prime Minister, the London region has lost a third of its manufacturing jobs. That is thousands of families placed in jeopardy because they are out of work.

December 5th, 2014

Mathyssen: Time to Show Minister Fantino the Door

OTTAWA – Despite the Department of Veterans Affairs facing a growing demand for services from an entire generation of Afghanistan veterans approaching retirement, Conservatives are cutting department staff by 25%.

December 2nd, 2014

In Debate: C-43 Omnibus Budget Implementation

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, here we are again standing in the House and talking about another omnibus budget bill designed to ram through hundreds of changes with little study or oversight, and without consultation and, I would say, without the consent of Canadians. Canadians do not trust the Conservative government any more, thanks to draconian bills, secret cabinet meetings, the muzzling of scientists, and the continual stifling of our democracy.

November 28th, 2014

Question Period: Our Veterans Need Mental Health Supports

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, let me ask again. In 2009, the Conservatives committed to developing performance measures to assess if the government's mental health strategy was meeting the mental health needs of veterans. The Auditor General showed that the Conservatives never followed up on that commitment. No data was ever collected.

November 7th, 2014

Veterans STILL Waiting for Minister to Take Action

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca.

November 7th, 2014

Minister of Veterans Affairs lets $136 Million in Veterans Funding Lapse

Mr. Sylvain Chicoine (Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, what a lack of class and transparency.

November 6th, 2014

Statement on 2014 Shine the Light on Woman Abuse Campaign

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the 2014 Shine the Light on Woman Abuse campaign kicked off in London, Ontario, on November 1 .

November 4th, 2014

London's Secrets of Radar Museum

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the Secrets of Radar Museum is a not-for-profit museum that preserves the stories and personal experiences of the men and women who served in the Canadian Forces radar division during World War II and the Cold War.

November 3rd, 2014

Questioning Conservative Interference in CBC

Mr. Pierre Nantel (Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday on Tout le monde en parle, we learned from Alain Saulnier just how cozy CBC senior management and the Conservative government really are. Not only is the board of directors already stacked with Conservative donors, but the former heritage minister also went so far as to interfere in the crown corporation's programming by communicating directly with the president, Hubert Lacroix.

October 28th, 2014

In Debate: C-35 & Animal Cruelty

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I also want to thank the member opposite for bringing forward a bill that takes into account a need to respond to the killing or injuring of a service animal.

October 6th, 2014

260,000 Seniors in Canada Living in Poverty

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, more than 260,000 seniors across the country are living below the poverty line. As more Canadians retire, that number will rise, but the government seems to content to sit back and watch

June 23rd, 2014

Vulnerable Canadians Hurt by Conservative Changes to the Social Security Tribunal

Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims (Newton—North Delta, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, a new system and no transition plan leaves thousands of Canadians waiting years for a hearing. That is nothing to be proud of.

June 10th, 2014

Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking my colleague, the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard, who did incredible work on this file. She made sure that we on this side of the House understood just what a tangle we were getting into with this change to the Citizenship Act, and provided the background so we knew, absolutely, what we had to push back against, which is a bill that would not serve the people of Canada.

April 8th, 2014

Conservatives Playing Games with Veterans Last Post Fund

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, last night I went to the veterans affairs committee and we heard from the last post fund, the people who support and try to maintain funding for veterans in difficult financial circumstances. They were very clear that the current government may indeed have put more money into the fund, but nobody can access it. The Conservatives have ensured that the lower limit for accessibility at $12,500 makes it virtually impossible for families of veterans to have access to that money.

April 7th, 2014

Omnibus 2014, Speaking Out Against Budget Implementation Act

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, you may have noticed that during every question period for the last eight years Conservative members have risen in the House to rail against the NDP for not supporting their budgets. Well, I would like to let the members opposite know that there will be no change in their speaking notes today. In fact, in question period today it was the same old tired lines from the government.

April 4th, 2014

Honouring a London Veteran

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to honour a fellow Londoner whom I have known since I was four years old. Hank Wong is a veteran who served during World War II. He, along with 12 other Chinese Canadian men, was trained as part of British special operations. Their mission was to go behind enemy lines.

April 4th, 2014

Veterans Deserve Better Than Lip Service

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, instead of passing the buck, let us see if we can get a real answer to this question.

April 4th, 2014

Standing Up for Veterans

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, instead of passing the buck, let us see if we can get a real answer to this question.

March 31st, 2014

Celebrating 2014 Juno Award Winners

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher was in Winnipeg this weekend to celebrate the best of Canadian music at the Junos.

March 25th, 2014

IC-22 and Nuclear Liability

Ms. Françoise Boivin (Gatineau):

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech with great interest.

February 5th, 2014

Standing Up for Veterans

Our veterans fulfilled their commitment to Canada, they should not have to fight the Government of Canada for the services and benefits that Canada committed to provide to them.

February 4th, 2014

Calling for Veterans Minister Fantino's Resignation

January 30th, 2014

Speaking Out Against Canada Post Service Cut

MP Irene Mathyssen, NDP Seniors Critic, questions why the Conservatives support eliminating postal services without consulting Canadians who use and depend on those services:

January 27th, 2014

Statement on Food Sector Jobs

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I and my constituents were deeply concerned to learn of the closure of the Kellogg's cereal plant in London. This is yet another devastating blow to the community and will result in another 550 jobs lost from the area.

December 9th, 2013

Questioning the Minister on Quotas Targeting EI Applicants

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, one has to only look at London, Ontario to see how Conservatives are failing Canadian workers.

December 5th, 2013

Questioning the Minister on Canadian Forces Mental Health Support

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, in the last 10 days, Canada has lost four soldiers to suicide. The reality is, soldiers worry that if they come forward with their mental health issues, it will end their careers.

December 4th, 2013

Questioning the Minister on Canadian Forces Suicides

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Canadians who serve our country expect their government to be there for them in their time of need. Instead, the Conservatives are closing Veterans Affairs offices and failing our service men and women. Almost two dozen of our brave heroes took their own lives in 2011, and there were four more apparent suicides this past week.

November 28th, 2013

In Debate: Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act

Ms. Charmaine Borg (Terrebonne—Blainville, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and take part in this debate today.

November 18th, 2013

Statement on Walji Family Tragedy

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, October 31, Mohamed, Shyroz and Qyzra Walji were found dead in their London, Ontario apartment, the victims of a murder-suicide. Qyzra had cerebral palsy. Their tragic deaths have left the community heartbroken and asking difficult questions.

November 7th, 2013

Statement on Shine the Light on Woman Abuse

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the 2013 Shine the Light on Woman Abuse campaign kicked off in London on November 1.

October 23rd, 2013

In Debate: Budget Implementation Act Omnibus Bill

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for a very good overview of this budget bill. All I can see here is a tax on Canadians: municipalities, veterans, civil servants, credit unions, scientists, and environmentalists. I can only assume that this is the government's new enemies list.

October 23rd, 2013

Statement: Welcome Home Tarek & John

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to welcome home Dr. Tarek Loubani and Mr. John Greyson. Their detention caused great concern for all Canadians during the 50 days they spent behind bars at Cairo's Tora prison.

October 23rd, 2013

Irene's response to the Speech from the Throne



Ottawa- Today’s speech from the Throne sets the government’s tone and the agenda for the upcoming session of Parliament. The speech indicates what government bills it intends to introduce and triggers a confidence vote in the House.

October 21st, 2013

In Debate: Speaking Against Cutting Off Debate

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I want to talk to the House very briefly about the role of democracy.

October 17th, 2013

Royal baby speech Oct 17th

June 4th, 2013

When will the Finance Minister meet with the provinces to talk CPP/QPP increase?

June 4th, 2013

In Debate: Bill C-60 Further Undermines Seniors, Small Business and Working Families

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to this so-called budget bill. This Conservative omnibus bill goes far beyond any legitimate budget implementation. It contains an entirely new department of foreign affairs act and would amend nearly 50 pieces of legislation. This is the Conservatives third attempt to avoid public scrutiny and proper parliamentary consideration of their proposals.

May 31st, 2013

In Debate: On Government Data Breaches and Canadians Privacy

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be here, even at this late hour, to follow up with the government on the HRSDC data breaches. It is a very important issue and Canadians deserve to hear the answers, no matter what the hour.

May 14th, 2013

Veterans Need Long Term Care Bed Access

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker, I want to take the time this evening to discuss the plight of veterans who are trying to get care for their very specific needs. Finding access to long-term care beds is difficult for all Canadians, but finding those beds in facilities that have the expertise to deal with the specific needs of veterans is even more difficult.

May 10th, 2013

Does the Government Agree the Senate Cannot be Trusted to Investigate Itself?

May 7th, 2013

Why are Conservatives Blocking CPP & QPP Expansion?

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker back in 2010, the Minister of Finance said he believed we should consider a modest, phased-in and fully funded enhancement to defined benefits under the Canada pension plan. However, then Conservatives flip-flopped, backtracked and set arbitrary criteria for provincial consensus. The required level of provincial support already exists. Why are Conservatives adding new and blatantly unnecessary roadblocks to essential CPP and QPP expansion?

May 6th, 2013

Thanking Manufacturers for Supporting Students


Irene Mathyssen, London Fanshawe: Mr. Speaker, manufacturing is a vital part of my community. It is not just about jobs; it is also about the quality of life in London. Despite the steady decline of manufacturing jobs in the area, the manufacturers in my region continue to not only provide employment but contribute back to our community.

March 25th, 2013

Question Period: Employment Insurance Fairness

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are taking a mother with cancer to court, yet another example of the government targeting out-of-work Canadians and restricting the EI benefits that they have paid into for years. For Jane Kittmer, it gets worse. Not only is she battling cancer, now she has to battle the Conservatives, too.

March 20th, 2013

Question Period: Calling on the Minister to Reverse OAS Cuts

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, in an ideal world, the budget would help people, but in Conservative Ottawa budgets are used to weaken retirement security and cut old age security. In Conservative Ottawa, Canadians are forced to work two years longer before they can retire. Expert after expert after expert has contradicted the government and said OAS is sustainable.

March 7th, 2013

Statement on Equality Action Plan Motion

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, at the Status of Women committee, I introduced a motion to study the 1993 equality action plan from the Canadian panel on violence against women. My motion calls on the committee to examine the document and develop an action plan to address its recommendations.

March 1st, 2013

In Debate: Telling the Truth About Veterans Issues

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, in October of last year I asked the Minister of Veterans Affairs who cared for our soldiers after they came home from deployment. The government likes to tout that it supports our troops. However, the minute those troops become veterans, they are all but forgotten.

February 6th, 2013

QUESTION PERIOD: Standing Up for Veterans Care & Benefits


Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, there is a troubling pattern of the Conservatives ignoring due process when it comes to the care of our veterans. Today the ombudsman's report provides the latest example of unfair treatment of veterans seeking disability benefits.

February 4th, 2013

In Debate: Bill C-52 Rail Shipping

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, rail freight customers, from farmers to mining companies, are suffering because railway companies have a virtual monopoly when it comes to the vital rail lines that Canadians need to get goods to market.

January 29th, 2013

In Debate on C-48, Amending Income Tax Act

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time this afternoon.

December 10th, 2012

Members Statement: A Senate Christmas Carol

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, last night I had a nightmare of Dickensian proportions. I dreamt that the spirits of senators past, present and future rose up from the other place and were feeding upon the hard-earned dollars of Canadian taxpayers, millions upon millions, from poor, hungry and frozen waifs.

December 7th, 2012

In Debate: Bill C-15 Strengthening Military Justice

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I truly appreciate this opportunity to speak to Bill C-15. In October 2011, the Minister of National Defence introduced the bill, which amends the National Defence Act in order to strengthen military justice. This, of course, follows the 2003 report from former chief justice the Right Hon. Antonio Lamer and the report of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. As members will know, Bill C-15 had earlier incarnations. We have spoken briefly of Bill C-7, which died on the order paper due to prorogation. Members will remember the prorogation, when the government saw fit to escape the House because there were certain allegations in regard to the appropriate behaviour of the government. Again, we saw Bill C-45, another earlier incarnation, disappear during the election of 2008. In 2010, Bill C-41 was introduced, again in response to Justice Lamer's report. It outlined provisions related to military justice, such as sentencing reform, military judges and committees, summary trials, court martial panels, the provost marshal, and limited provisions related to the grievance and military police complaints process, which of course brings us to Bill C-15. I believe it is important for me to speak to the bill, because justice is more than just a system of laws and regulations. It is also a fundamental value for me, for my NDP colleagues and certainly for the military and Canadians across this land. The bill is a step in the right direction. We have heard that a number of times, but it does not address the key issues related to reforming the summary trial system, the grievance system and for strengthening the Military Police Complaints Commission. These are key objectives that cannot be ignored. While the bill's primary objective is laudable, it does not satisfy our objectives. Much needs to be done to bring the military justice system more in line with the civilian justice system. We on this side of the House want a comprehensive bill that adequately addresses the problem. No justice system is perfect. We have seen that over the years. However, that should not stop us from trying to improve our system as much as possible. Key elements have been left out of Bill C-15: reforming the summary trial system, reforming the grievance system and strengthening the Military Police Complaints Commission. In fact, the NDP included these three elements in amendments to the previous version of Bill C-15, which of course was Bill C-41. Oddly, and I do say oddly, these amendments are now absent. It is a strange coincidence. As I said, the NDP is not opposed to the spirit of the bill. What we want is to work with the government to get it right, in order to ensure that the bill is relevant and that its scope is broad enough. I am at a loss to understand why the government did not include the three elements I referred to in Bill C-15. They are important for consistent military justice reform. Let us look specifically at the grievance system. We will start with that one. We must understand it in order to appreciate the importance of the improvements proposed by the NDP. I would like to quote the directive on military grievances, which can be found on the Department of National Defence's website. It indicates that: The DND and the [Canadian Forces] shall manage all grievances through the Canadian Forces Grievance System...and ensure that: all grievances are processed as efficiently and expeditiously as possible; a CF member is not penalized for submitting a grievance; and assistance is made available to a CF member in the preparation of a grievance. The last point is very important. The Canadian Forces has the responsibility to help its members because they do not have a union-type association to defend them. This lack of counterbalance is another reason why it is important to ensure that we have an effective and impartial system. The NDP proposed two improvements. First, we proposed that at least 60% of grievance board members be civilians who have never been officers or members of the Canadian Forces; and second, that the Chief of Defence Staff be given more authority to resolve the financial aspect of grievances. The first improvement, namely that the grievance board strike a balance between military and civilian membership, is important to ensure that this process be perceived as external and independent. When it comes to the military, it is critical that everyone in the country is able to see that the system as independent and fair. Members of the military have a great deal of experience in managing such situations, so it is rather important that they be truly involved in the process. However, the presence of civilians is also essential to dispel any idea that members of the military are subject to a different kind of justice than ordinary Canadians. It is also essential that Canadian Forces Grievance Board be effective and absolutely beyond reproach. The NDP believes that a significant civilian presence on the board would help maintain this perception. When we look at how to strengthen the Military Police Complaints Commission, the merit of this idea and our position is quite obvious. Police officers, as an example, are agents of social control and play a key role in our society based on the rule of law. They are effective not only because they have the equipment, the manpower and the authority, but also because they are perceived as legitimate by the public. The military police is no exception. For a police force to operate properly, whether it be military or civilian, it must have the approval of those under its authority. A police force gains legitimacy through its perceived integrity. This perception is built on the actions of the police force and the perception of fairness and justice in its operations. There is no better way to prove the integrity of a police force than by having a strong monitoring body. A Military Police Complaints Commission that is legitimate and reports to Parliament is the best way to ensure fairness in the actions of military police and, just as importantly, the perception of fairness and justice by Canadians. We on this side of the House also recommended that the Chief of Defence Staff have more authority to resolve financial aspects related to grievances. This is a simple requirement to ensure that the grievance system is consistent. If the Chief of Defence Staff does not have the ability to resolve financial aspects, it calls into question the relevance of the grievance process. I would point out that Canada is not the only country reviewing its military justice system. Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Ireland have recently done the same. We are in an excellent position to pass comprehensive and effective legislation while taking into account what has been done in other countries. Unfortunately, that is not the case with the bill as it stands. As I have already said, the NDP proposed amendments to the bill in its previous form, but those amendments are no longer part of the current bill. We would like to see these important and constructive changes incorporated. We think that our Canadian Forces personnel deserve that. They put themselves on the line each and every day. They have been a source of great pride to this country in their behaviour and conduct in arenas around the world. We owe them a sense of security regarding the justice that is meted out within the military. I would sincerely ask the government to reconsider the recommendations the NDP has made because we want to strengthen the bill. We want it to be fair and balanced. We want it to work. Mr. Chris Alexander (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I rise again to set the record straight in the House regarding our current military justice system and what it can and should be after the amendments proposed in the bill. There were several references made in the previous speech to what other countries have done with military justice. Let us be clear that Canada has been a model through many decades of its history with its military justice system. The amendment we are proposing and the ones we discussed in previous parliaments would keep us at the forefront of developments, for which other countries have looked to Canada for leadership. Is the hon. member aware that there are significant differences? For example, the United Kingdom and Ireland are bound by the European Convention on Human Rights. Australia is bound by its constitution. Would my colleague not agree that the reviews conducted by esteemed jurists, like former Chief Justices Dickson and Lamer and, more recently, Chief Justice LeSage of Ontario, all concluded that Canada's military justice system was fair and strikes the necessary balance? Would she not agree that theirs are more compelling arguments than any we have heard so far from her side by members who would rather see us pick and choose pieces from military justice systems in other parts of the world? There is a holistic approach to Canada's military justice system, which we are continuing with the bill and other countries should follow—

November 21st, 2012

In debate: on Pensions and Seniors Poverty

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my colleague across the aisle to clarify her statements last June. She claims to be taking action to create sustainable programs. I want to know what programs she is talking about. Canadian seniors are not seeing the benefits.

November 9th, 2012

In Debate: Speaking in favour of C-36 on Elder Abuse

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel.

Bill C-36 deals with the complex and challenging subject of elder abuse. It is difficult to paint elder abuse with one brush because it comes in many forms: physical, sexual, financial and psychological. The scale of the abuse can vary dramatically. It can be something that has been happening over a lifetime or occur when a senior becomes frail and vulnerable. The source of the abuse can be caregivers, spouses, children or even strangers looking to take advantage of a vulnerable, lonely person. Often the abuse is hidden, not spoken of, and this is a great tragedy.

November 8th, 2012

NDP Grills Minister on Veterans Benefits

Mr. Sylvain Chicoine (Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, not only are they trying to hide their irresponsible budget from Canadians, but they also want to hide how they treat our veterans. The Auditor General has been clear: veterans are having to deal with unacceptable wait times, complicated, poorly defined processes and inadequate benefits. What is even more shocking, however, is that in a rich country like Canada, this government does not even provide veterans in need with a decent funeral service.

November 6th, 2012

Question Period: Every Veteran Deserves a Dignified Funeral

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, this week, before Remembrance Day, is not a time for partisan rhetoric. We should be focused on improving care for veterans and their families. We should all agree that impoverished veterans deserve a proper burial service equal to the sacrifice that they made for this country.

November 6th, 2012

Recognizing London's Leadership; Shine the Light on Woman Abuse

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the abuse of women is an unacceptable tragedy that affects women from all walks of life. It is often left unspoken, swept under the rug. But the Shine the Light on Woman Abuse Campaign started by the London Abused Women's centre in 2010, aims to change that reality and get women the help they need and deserve.

October 31st, 2012

Question Period: Fair Compensation for Injured Veterans

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the government's lump sum payment plan for injured veterans has proved to be a failure. In some cases, injured vets get only 10% of what they have received through the courts or workers compensation. That is the reason Canadian Forces members who are injured in the line of duty may have to launch a class action lawsuit against the government. Imagine, after risking everything for one's country, having to fight the government in court to get a fair pension.

October 30th, 2012

In Debate: on Pension Provisions in C45 OMNIBUS-II

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker, the question I have for my colleague has to do with the pension provisions that we saw in the budget and now we see in this omnibus bill.

October 25th, 2012

IN DEBATE: C-45 OMNIBUS, on Pensions and Navigable Waters

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Châteauguay—Saint-Constant.

October 18th, 2012

Omnibus Budget Bill II

October 18, 2012



Another 400 plus page Omnibus bill undermines parliamentary democracy

October 18th, 2012

In Debate: Real Changes Needed to Employment Insurance

Irene Mathyssen, London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker, back in May, I asked the minister about the changes in the budget implementation act that impacted employment insurance. As we now know, these changes have not worked. The minister has already been forced to retract some of those changes.

October 16th, 2012

Members Statement: Conservatives Playing Partisan Games While Ignoring the Unemployed

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker, after spending weeks ignoring the evidence and claiming their changes to employment insurance would help everyone, finally the Conservatives have backtracked. They had to admit that their plans would hurt the very poorest Canadians looking for work.

October 1st, 2012

Question Period: Are the Conservatives Raising the Retirement Age?

September 20th, 2012

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON:

Mr. Speaker, it looks like the Conservatives are making a habit of attacking retirement security. Now it is the public sector pension plan that is in their sights, and just months after the Conservatives' reckless attacks on OAS. They are moving step by step to cut pensions and raise the retirement age for Canadians. People are justifiably worried and wonder whose pension the Conservatives are coming after next.

September 24th, 2012

In Debate: Opposing M-312, Defending Womens Rights

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the motion being debated in the House today is nothing less than an attempt to reopen the abortion debate in Canada. This is quite literally a slap in the face to women who have fought long and hard for the right to control their own bodies and their ability to determine for themselves when they wish to have children. Motion No. 312 states:

September 20th, 2012

In Debate: Risk and Uncertainty for Canadian Jobs and Economy

Opposition Day motion tabled by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair:

“That this House acknowledge that the Canadian economy is facing unprecedented risk and uncertainty; recognize that many regions and industries across Canada have already suffered significant job losses in recent years; urge all levels of government to work together to build a balanced, 21st century Canadian economy; and insist that Canada's Prime Minister meet with his counterparts in Halifax this November at the National Economic Summit being held by the Council of the Federation.”

September 17th, 2012

Cuts to frontline public servants impacting Londoners:

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, welcome back to the chair. Unfortunately, while this is a new session, we have the same old problems created by the government.

June 26th, 2012

In Debate on Trojan Horse Budget Implementation C-38

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, first, I want to once again thank the staff and pages for all their hard work last week and indeed throughout the year. Without them this place would not function and we owe them a debt of gratitude. I thank them all.

June 18th, 2012

In Debate: On the F-35 fighter jet purchase

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the member's speech and was quite fascinated by her reference to balanced and constructive spending and management of our fiscal realities by the Conservative government.

June 11th, 2012

Registered Pooled Pension Plans are Retirement Roulette

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the fact is that they are making cities pay the price for Conservative mismanagement. Shame on that minister.

May 31st, 2012

Questioning Back-to-Work Legislation Attack on CP Rail Workers Pensions:

May 28th, 2012

In Debate: Pooled Registered Pension Plans are Not the Answer

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP) moved:

Motion No. 1:

That Bill C-25 be amended by deleting Clause 1.

Madam Speaker, it is important that we look very carefully at the pooled registered pension plan because it simply does not serve Canadians. In addition to not serving Canadians, it does nothing to solve Canada's pension crisis.

May 14th, 2012

In Debate: Why the Trojan Horse Budget Bill Bad is for All Canadians

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Madam Speaker, I am happy to have this chance to speak in the House today about this Trojan Horse budget. I was concerned that all discussion would be shut down by the government because, unfortunately, this is a budget that includes many separate bills that have very little to do with fiscal management.

May 14th, 2012

Question Period: Why is the Minister Taking New Powers, Reducing Tribunal Access for Employment Insurance?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, hiding changes in the budget to avoid accountability is simply wrong. Another hidden change: cutting employment insurance and gutting the appeals tribunal. Instead of separate tribunals with dedicated staff, we now have one big tribunal with a fraction of the staff. Asking 70 staff to review over 30,000 appeals is not going to make the system efficient. It will grind it to a halt and the government knows it.

May 3rd, 2012

Question Period: Why Won't Minister Reveal Supposed Cost Saving on OAS?

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe: Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, after scandals and ethical problems, this government refuses to be transparent about old age security. Even though thousands of Canadians are worried about their golden years, the minister continues to turn a deaf ear. She refuses to say how much this government will save on the backs of the most vulnerable seniors by pushing the age of eligibility from 65 to 67.

April 30th, 2012

In Debate: Challenging the Conservative Changes to OAS

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I asked for this late show to follow up with the minister regarding the question I asked in the House about old age security. The minister quoted from a speech I made in which I said that we need a plan in place and we need the structures in place to deal with this dramatic shift in our country's demographics. The minister said that she agreed with me. If she does indeed agree, I would encourage her to continue to convince the government to reverse its decision to change the age of retirement from 65 to 67.

March 14th, 2012

Question Period: Did Conservatives Target Seniors with Dirty Election Campaign Tricks?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know there were dirty tricks on the last campaign and they want an inquiry. What are the Conservatives hiding?

March 12th, 2012

Question Period: Why are the Conservatives Taking Away Seniors' Right to Vote?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Canadians know there were dirty tricks on the last campaign and they want an inquiry. What are the Conservatives hiding?

March 8th, 2012

Question Period: When Will Government Commit to Ending Senior Women's Poverty?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, a shocking 46.5% of elderly Canadian women live alone in poverty. This is double the poverty rate for elderly men in Canada. Seniors' poverty particularly touches aboriginal and immigrant women.

March 7th, 2012

Irene Calls on Government to Automatically Enroll Seniors in GIS

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Madam Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to ask the member opposite to answer the question that I asked in the House on December 1, 2011. Unfortunately the question was not answered by the parliamentary secretary at that time. My question was:

March 7th, 2012

Question Period: Irene Questions Government's Lack of Support for Former EMD Workers

Ms. Irene Mathyssen: Last month, EDM closed up shop and drove hundreds of good Canadian jobs to Indiana. Those workers still have not received their records of employment and they cannot apply for EI. They were promised three weeks ago and still absolutely nothing. Of course, because of cuts to Service Canada, it could be months before they and their families ever see a penny from EI.

March 6th, 2012

Irene Calls on Government to Protec Manufacturing Jobs

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, what we most desperately need are good paying jobs in Canada so our families, our communities and our country can thrive. What we need to do is to protect those jobs now. We can no longer allow the Conservative government to simply watch, while good jobs disappear across the border.

March 5th, 2012

Irene Condemns Government MPs Disrespect to Veterans

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the privilege of travelling to St. John's and Halifax with the veterans affairs committee to study the delivery of front line health and well-being services to our Canadian vets. We heard from Jim Lowther and David MacLeod about the unacceptable and preventable tragedy of homeless veterans.

March 1st, 2012

Question Period: Government Admits Numbers Wrong on OAS Last Year

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the government just does not care who it hurts with its reckless cuts.

February 16th, 2012

Question Period: Why Won't Conservatives be Honest About OAS?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the government still cannot give seniors and families a straight answer when it comes to old age security. First, it was not raising the retirement age; now it is. Then it was happening in 2020; now it is not.

February 9th, 2012

In Debate: Amending Investment Canada Act to Protect Jobs, Part 1

Opposition Motion—Investment Canada Act

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP) moved:

Madam Speaker, it is truly my privilege to rise today in the House and introduce this motion on behalf of Electro-Motive Diesel workers of London, Ontario. This motion seeks to highlight the recent plant closings in my community of London and in a second community, that of my colleague, the MP for Beauport—Limoilou, with whom I am sharing this speaking spot.

February 9th, 2012

Question Period: Will Conservatives Stop Scare Tactics & Listen to Budget Officer's Findings on OAS?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has crunched the numbers and says that OAS is to sustainable. The National Pensioners and Senior Citizens Federation went to the HRSDC minister to make a case for better treatment of poor seniors. Instead it got “lecture that there is a sustainability crises in Old Age Security”.

February 8th, 2012

Questioning the Minister: Old Age Security

The Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for London—Fanshawe.

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the government has no plan for senior affordable housing, no plan for home care, no plan for long-term care and no responsible pension reform. The Conservatives march in here and say that they are going to cut the OAS. That is despicable.

February 7th, 2012

Stop Subsidizing Companies that Ship Jobs Overseas and Start Protecting Communities


Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, yesterday I met with workers from Electro-Motive Diesel, families who were left to pick up the pieces of the government's failed jobs plan, fathers like Ryan whose five month old son now faces an uncertain future. The Prime Minister had no problem using these workers for an election photo op, but in their time of need he is nowhere to be found. Will the government at least ensure EMD workers are not robbed of their pensions and severance, too, or will it continue to leave them out in the cold?

February 2nd, 2012

Opposition Day Motion Standing Up for Canadian Seniors

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine.

February 1st, 2012

In Debate: Second Reading, Bill C-25 (Pooled Pension Plans)

The House resumed from January 30 consideration of the motion that Bill C-25, An Act relating to pooled registered pension plans and making related amendments to other Acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

February 1st, 2012

Statement: Recognizing the ROMEOs and Scotian Isle

Irene Mathyssen, NDP, London-Fanshawe: Mr. Speaker, I want to share with you a wonderful example of community in my riding. There is a group of retired veterans who call themselves the ROMEOs, retired old men eating out. They meet every Wednesday morning at the Scotian Isle and are graciously hosted by Pat, John and Joseph McDonald.

February 1st, 2012

Calling on the Government to Support Electro-Motive Workers

Irene Mathyssen-NDP, London—Fanshawe: Mr. Speaker, Electro-Motive Diesel got $5 million in tax breaks from the government through its generous corporate tax plan giveaway. After the photo op, EMD decided to cut workers' salaries in half, slash their benefits, and threatened to ship Canadian jobs overseas.

December 13th, 2011

In Debate: We Need Better Service from Service Canada

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, there are many problems with how Service Canada is operating. People are not receiving the services that they need. I have heard from the London location of Service Canada that the front end staff have been reduced and it is causing a considerable backlog.

December 6th, 2011

Remembering the Victims of Violence

Today as we mourn victims of violence at Ecole Polytechnique we also mourn the violence that permeates in our society.

December 2nd, 2011

Question Period: C-10 Omnibus "Crime" Legislation

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I noted that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice said that this was a very important bill. I wonder, if it is so important, why we are allowing only three hours of debate at third reading? It would seem to me that it deserves far more.

December 2nd, 2011

In Debate: On Senate Reform

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Madam Speaker, I am very happy to be speaking to the Senate reform bill.

December 1st, 2011

Facing the Reality of London's Employment Challenges

Mr. Speaker, London is my community. Despite suggestions from a member opposite to the contrary, I am proud of my city and I am especially proud of the people of London for their show of resiliency, determination and optimism when faced with some very difficult challenges. However, pride in one's city does not mean that we can ignore reality.

November 22nd, 2011

Questioning the Minister: Why are Canadians Getting No Answer at "Service Canada"?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, seniors who built this country are being left out in the cold by the government. Half of all CPP-related calls to Service Canada are completely ignored. There is no one to help, not even an automated message. Seniors are looking to their government for the help they deserve, but all they find is a dead phone line.

November 22nd, 2011

In Debate: Action Needed to Lift Seniors Out of Poverty

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Madam Speaker, as members know, an NDP motion supported by all parties in the House passed unanimously in June of this year. While I am pleased that our initiative to end seniors' poverty did have support, I have profound concerns because the government has failed to take the NDP motion into account. It seems that the government is only willing to pay lip service to democracy and the seniors struggling to make ends meet.

November 22nd, 2011

Speaking up for Seniors in Parliament

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the guaranteed income supplement was put in place 40 years ago to address seniors' poverty in Canada, but because of the government's failure to keep up with the times, seniors are falling behind. Costs are rising on everything from food to home heating. Once again, seniors are being left out in the cold. We learned today that the number of seniors using food banks has escalated over the past decade. What is the government's plan to help impoverished Canadian seniors?

October 18th, 2011

In Debate: Budget Implementation-failing on job creation and poverty reduction

Mr. Speaker, this budget implementation bill we are debating is disappointing.

We need a budget that is creative, has foresight, and addresses not only the needs of today but the needs of the future. It is crucial that we build a sound budget that will help promote and create jobs today, and a budget that addresses the needs of our aging population and the fiscal challenges that poses.

October 3rd, 2011

Question Period - October 3rd, 2011

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, on Seniors Day, the government boasted about tax measures that would help seniors. The reality is that over 0.25 million--

September 22nd, 2011

Question in the House: Government Spending Wasted on Private Consultants To Cut Services

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are spending $90,000 a day for a high-priced outside consultant to plan service cuts. These cuts will have a direct and negative impact on Canadians, especially in rural regions. Seniors without Internet access and with limited access to public transit are being left behind by the government. When will the government realize that paying private contractors top dollar to do its dirty work while short-changing seniors is certainly not the change Canadians were looking for? Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the deficit reduction action plan is necessary as we move on the fiscal track to balanced budgets. The member opposite should know that there is some waste in government, that it is possible to review programs, that not every program should go on forever, that sometimes there are new programs, sometimes there are programs that have completed their usefulness. Certainly, it is the obligation of government to get the best advice we can, including the advice we will get from outside consultants. As I said, for every $1 spent on experts, we expect $200 of savings.

September 22nd, 2011

Statment in the House on World Alzheimer's Day

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today is World Alzheimer's Day, a day to acknowledge a disease that affects more than 24 million people worldwide. It is a debilitating disorder that has a significant impact, not only on those who suffer from Alzheimer's but also their families. Today is a day of hope and awareness. Hope in knowing that people are working hard to bring a better quality of life to persons with Alzheimer's and to one day find a cure. Also, awareness that those suffering and their families need our compassion and our help. What is needed is a comprehensive plan that will address the reality of our growing seniors population and we need to develop the capacity to handle the increased numbers of seniors suffering from this disease. I thank all those Canadians who support and care for people who suffer from Alzheimer's. Their sacrifices and dedication are truly heroic and they deserve to be recognized.