House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's underwhelming announcement on toxic chemicals is yet another clean air flaw and it is inexcusable because the government had all the information it needed in a comprehensive Liberal government report on toxic substances. We studied 23,000 substances and called for urgent action on 4,000.

Why is the government taking three years to act on only 200 substances when action is needed on 4,000?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, after 13 years and no action on toxins that are cancer causing chemicals in our own households and our environment, this government announced on Friday a groundbreaking world leading toxin management plan. Let me tell members what the Canadian Cancer Society said. It said that Friday was a good day for public health. It also said:

No Canadian should be exposed to cancer-causing substances. It's a comprehensive plan, more money is being put into it, and the chemicals will be evaluated a lot quicker.

It was a good day on Friday and she should be celebrating on behalf of all Canadians.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that when the government has a good news announcement, it waits until Friday afternoon to make it. Bisphenol A is a chemical that just last week was again linked to breast cancer. It is often used in a variety of plastic consumer products including: some plastic water bottles, dental sealants for children's teeth, resins that line tin cans and children's toys.

Can the minister explain why it is not one of the 200 priority substances she plans to list over the next three years?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the toxic management plan that this government announced on Friday goes beyond what the United States and the European Union have in place. It is the most aggressive plan in the world. The health of Canadians and the health of our children are at the forefront of what the government is doing.

Let me tell members what Dr. Rick Smith from Environmental Defence said. He said that the government deserved credit for taking decisive action. I know that is something new to that party, decisive action to protect the health of Canadians.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, maybe the Minister of the Environment will listen to this. In an open letter, 700 Canadian scientists urged the government to include mandatory targets in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Since neither the government nor the minister wants to do anything, will they at least let the committee rewrite the act to include what the 700 Canadian scientists are asking for?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, in fact, the measures that we took on Friday addressed some of the concerns of the scientific community. We welcome their efforts.

It was the Prime Minister who made sure in our Speech from the Throne that we asked for a CEPA review process because it is the most important piece of environmental legislation. Who is holding up that process so that we can make important amendments to this legislation? The opposition, not the government.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government ordered the evaluation of 23,000 toxic substances and created a legislative framework to eliminate toxic substances once the report was completed. We did all the work. All that remained was to act, but once again, this Conservative minority government found a way to put it all off till kingdom come.

The Conservatives prefer to preach at everyone rather than do what the scientists have asked them to do. Why?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is embarrassing that the Liberal Party, after 13 years, did nothing to ban toxic chemicals that cause cancer in our children. Let me read what Aaron Freeman from Environmental Defence said, “By announcing a plan to deal with many of the most harmful toxic chemicals, the Conservatives have ventured where the Liberals refused to tread”.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the members opposite would say, last Friday the Prime Minister made a historic announcement regarding the protection of the health of Canadians and the environment. Could the Minister of the Environment inform the House if Canada's new government is moving forward to protect Canadians from toxic chemicals?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as members know, on Friday Canada's new government committed $300 million over four years to implement the chemical management plan. This action makes Canada a global leader in protecting Canadians from exposure to harmful and cancer-causing toxins.

Ken Kyle of the Canadian Cancer Society called it a good day for public health. He went on to say, “No Canadian should be exposed to cancer-causing substances”.

It is a comprehensive plan, more money is being put into it, and the chemicals will be evaluated a lot quicker. After 13 long years of Liberal inaction on air pollution, this government is a breath of fresh air.

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

December 11th, 2006 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, at this time of year, Canadians are fuelling our economy with billions in purchases. This adds to our prosperity and is good for small business. However, every cent counts, especially at this time of year, and that is why Canadians want fairness from their banks.

Canadians using a competitor's bank machine to withdraw $20 get less money and more fees: a fee from the competitor and, sometimes, from their own bank. Yet, in other parts of the world, like the U.K., there are no fees for using a competitor's bank machine.

Will the government bring in bank fee fairness and legislate the end of competitor ATM fees?

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we count on our banking system to be competitive. I encourage consumers to shop and to have a look around at banks, credit unions and every option they have for banking machines in this country. They should shop competitively and make the right choice for themselves. We believe in competition in financial institutions in Canada.

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, then perhaps the minister should consider the fact that the big banks just announced a record combined profit of $19 billion. All service fees combined accounted for less than 5% of their revenues. Bank fee fairness is not going to break the banks, but it will mean more money in the pockets of ordinary Canadians this holiday season.

When will the government start siding with today's families and bring in a package of fee reforms that would end competitor ATM fees and control credit card interest rates?

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I say, we believe in competition. There are differences between banks, certain trust companies and certain credit unions on fees. However, in the spirit of Christmas, I say to the member that I will bring this up with the banks and hope that the Christmas spirit prevails.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, yesterday farmers in western Canada sent the Conservative government a clear message: the government does not speak for the majority of western grain farmers when it comes to the Wheat Board, and it never did. Over 60% of the ballots cast in the director elections were for pro-board candidates and 80% of those elected support the Wheat Board.

Will the minister, instead of being directed by the PMO, finally listen to farmers? Will he cease and desist in firing the CEO, withdraw his gag orders, and allow the farmer controlled board to do its work without interference from him?