House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. Mr. Kilrea refused the offer. The charges indicate that an offer was discussed and not that an offer was accepted. The Minister of the Environment told this House that he never met with Mr. O'Brien, but the Ontario provincial police seem to think otherwise. The minister is the political minister for the Ottawa area. He is the one who could help Mr. O'Brien make this offer possible.

Will the Prime Minister ask captain accountability to step down until his name is cleared in court?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the members of the Liberal Party should be offering an apology to the repeated, baseless, without any evidence smears they have conducted against the Minister of the Environment, who has been quite open and frank throughout.

There were never any discussions of any appointment. That is what he has always said. He did not say anything close to what the member just suggested. Frankly, those members really do owe him an apology, especially today.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment knew that an offer had been discussed and yet he did nothing to stop it. He met with Mr. Kilrea. The provincial police suspect that he also met with Mr. O'Brien and that after that meeting, Mr. O'Brien stood by his offer to Mr. Kilrea.

How can the Minister of the Environment claim that his hands are clean when he did not inform the authorities as soon as he came into possession of this information?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I continue to be saddened. The Minister of the Environment has been quite frank and open throughout. He never offered any employment. The issue has nothing to do with this government. Nothing ever came from this government. The continued efforts at sleaze over there should be tried outside the House, and then see how those members feel.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government understands that as a northern country, Canada is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Canadians across this country have seen the impacts of a warming climate. For example, we have seen the mountain pine beetle infestation that has ravaged the boreal forest and the melting of the permafrost in the north that has destabilized foundations of homes and schools.

Could the Minister of Natural Resources please tell this House what action the government is taking to help Canadians adapt to the changing climate?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, our government is very proud of the Turning the Corner action plan to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution.

We also acknowledge that we have to invest in adaptation. We are very proud of the Minister of the Environment on his announcement today in Indonesia of $85 million that our government is investing in measures with respect to adaptation.

May I also add that every single Canadian who is watching is very proud of our Minister of the Environment who is representing Canada so proudly at these talks.

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

December 10th, 2007 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2005 the Liberal government was alerted by then Ottawa Centre MP Ed Broadbent to the very serious concerns about missing safety procedures and quality assurance in the Chalk River nuclear program. Now nearly 24 months later, the world is facing a critical isotope shortage due to the serious errors made at Chalk River.

Was the minister aware that experts were telling the opposition the project was five years behind schedule and almost 300% over budget? If not, will he find out why these very serious concerns were totally ignored by the previous Liberal government?

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the situation with medical isotopes, I can assure the House that our government is very concerned. Our first and foremost immediate priority is resuming production as soon as possible.

Immediately upon learning of the situation, I was in immediate contact with both the CNSC and AECL with respect to this issue. I want to stress to the House that both of these agencies are absolutely independent of this government. However, both the Minister of Health and I have written to both of these agencies today to put our concerns in writing. We are looking for an immediate response from both of these agencies to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is about time.

The facts are clear. An NDP MP forwarded the serious concerns of an engineer who warned the government about the technical capacity of the Chalk River nuclear facility. This person warned of serious risks to the safety of the site, its employees, the surrounding communities and the whole Ottawa Valley. The government and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission clearly failed to respond and now the site has been shut down, causing diagnostic equipment to go dark around the world.

When will the minister launch a probe into why these warnings were ignored?

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we are very concerned. Our first priority right now is to ensure the production of these isotopes as soon as possible. We are working with both of these agencies.

I want to stress that both the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the regulator, and AECL are completely independent agencies of government.

We have also made available all government assets, if we can expedite this at all, to ensure that these radioisotopes come back online as soon as possible.

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health knew for some time that the Chalk River nuclear reactor was going to shut down, but had no emergency plan for providing the radioisotopes that are critical for potential cancer patients. The result is disastrous. Thousands of patients have been waiting for more than 22 days for essential diagnostic tests. This is unacceptable and irresponsible.

Since the minister is very familiar with the problems in Chalk River, why has he not established an emergency plan, in case of a disaster?

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, we understand the stress these patients and their loved ones must be under, given the situation.

The moment we were alerted to this extended shutdown, Health Canada swung into action. We have been scouring the globe for other replacement radioisotopes. We have been dealing, of course, as my colleague has, with an arm's length regulator and with AECL on how to start up as soon as possible. We are working with experts from coast to coast to see whether any replacement isotopes can be developed domestically.

We are acting in the best interests--

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Pierrefonds--Dollard.

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, real leadership includes a strong dose of responsibility. This minister has done nothing but shift responsibility onto others and say the situation is out of his hands. I am sorry, but that is not leadership. It is blatant incompetence. Sick Canadians will have to wait until after the holidays to undergo essential diagnostic testing, because of his negligence. No happy holidays ahead for those patients.

When will the minister admit that he has once again let down Canadians? Will he establish an emergency plan to ensure that such a disaster never happens again?

Health
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, we are working closely with our national and international partners.

As the hon. member knows, this is a complicated situation. However, from the day we learned that this was an issue, we have been working with our international and national partners. We have been responsible. We have been pro-active.

We have done everything under our power, given the fact that these are arm's length agencies, to protect the health and safety of Canadians. We hope and expect that the arm's length safety commission and AECL will do the same.