House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

Marriage
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, when did taking away the rights of Canadians become one of this government's five priorities? The Prime Minister is insisting on having another vote on same sex marriage when Parliament voted on this a year ago. The only way we are going to have a different result this time is if the NDP continues to compromise its principles on equality to support the government.

When will the Prime Minister stand up for all Canadians and start to defend the rights of same sex couples?

Marriage
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, prior to the last election the Prime Minister promised there would be a free vote on this particular issue. That was a promise we made during the campaign and this government will keep its word. The Prime Minister is a man of his word.

Marriage
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, a recent poll shows that 62% of Canadians believe that this issue has been settled. Even the Minister of Fisheries does not want this issue revisited. Does the Prime Minister want to keep on having votes on this issue until he gets his way, like separatists on a referendum?

Marriage
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of principle the Prime Minister indicated that there would be a free vote on this particular matter, and there will be a free vote on this particular matter. We are not governed by polls.

Education
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government provided $1.5 billion for access for students who need it most so that if they have the grades, they get in. They get to go.

Instead, the government wants to build a few wheelchair ramps, but if the students cannot afford tuition, they still cannot get in. We know the NDP betrayed students for 10 more seats, but why is the minister not focused on the needs of all students who need help, not just one group?

Education
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Blackstrap
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes the importance of improving results and of fostering a well educated and highly skilled workforce. We believe in the 2006 federal budget, in which we announced significant support for education. We offered it for training. We invested in post-secondary education and infrastructure. We improved tax assistance for education. We introduced both a new tax credit and a new grant for apprentices.

Education
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week this House adopted the Liberal economic plan that put great emphasis on post-secondary education, the same plan the Conservative-NDP alliance abandoned last fall, a plan that offers substantial support for every student who needs it, not $78 for a textbook.

Will the government respect the will of this House, invest in real measures to reduce financial barriers for students and not tinker with the tax system?

Education
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I cannot help but notice a pattern today. The Liberals seem to think that the NDP is the government.

I do not know if we can allow the member for Toronto--Danforth to answer any of these questions, but what I can say is this. The Liberals seem worried that Canadians who want a left-wing party with principles are obviously not opting for the Liberal Party.

Federal Accountability Act
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, after 13 years of Liberal waste and corruption, Canadians want their federal government to do things differently. Canadians voted for change and this Conservative government is delivering with the federal accountability act.

The Liberal member for York South--Weston praised the federal accountability act, saying that it was an “important piece of legislation”. Could the President of the Treasury Board possibly explain why some of the Liberals are working against openness, transparency and accountability?

Federal Accountability Act
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the good news for Canadians, who are demanding accountability in law, is the moment of truth will soon be upon us. On April 11, the new government tabled the toughest anti-corruption law in Canadian history. Every member in the House will soon have an opportunity to stand up and be counted on accountability.

Let us replace darkness with light. Let us replace accountability with corruption.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of the Environment once again refused to meet with the environment committee. Time and again she has claimed that the opposition is obstructing the review of Canada's most important environmental law when it is actually her who is obstructing its review process.

The minister bails on Canadian mayors, picks fights with environmentalists, refuses to work with her colleagues and continues to duck the national press. The summer is almost upon us and with it what promises to be the worst smog season in our history.

When does the minister intend to roll up her sleeves and get down to some work around here?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, for 13 years the Liberals focused on programs of waste with no results. Their solution to the corner they backed themselves into on Kyoto was spending billions of dollars on international credits overseas in places like China and Russia.

We are going to invest money right here at home. We are introducing new pollution laws. We are banning toxins that cause cancer in Canadians. That means cleaner air, cleaner water and clean health for Canadians.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, never mind convincing Canadians that the Liberals were a disaster when it came to the environment. We all know that already. Never mind even convincing fellow parliamentarians, the minister cannot even convince her own staff that she actually cares about climate change, which is probably why her chief of staff quit yesterday. He was tired of pretending there was a climate change plan when he knew full well there was not.

At the parliamentary, provincial and international levels, the federal environment minister has failed. Does the minister even realize the harm she is doing? When will she realize she needs to do the right thing and resign?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, speaking of harm, what I am most concerned about on the environment file are the health issues in relation to pollution.

What the government has done in the first four months is introduce a new pollution law for base smelters. We have introduced a new pollution law to reduce sulphur and diesel. We have banned 10 tonnes of mercury out of our environment.

This week the Minister of Health and I have taken a huge step to protect the health of Canadians by being the first country in the world to prohibit any new products which contain a node toxin, which causes cancer in Canadians.

Canadians want us to protect their health. That is what we are doing.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, data from Statistics Canada indicates that 85% of spousal homicides occur in private residences and a shocking 71% of the firearms used in spousal homicides are, in fact, long guns.

Why is the Minister of Public Safety removing long guns from the firearm registry? Will the government listen to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and back down from a program that has the support of law enforcement, stakeholders and the Canadian public?