House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ports.

Topics

Federal-Provincial Relations
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has abandoned Canada's largest province.

The finance minister has told the mayors to “stop whining”. While they try in vain to get a fair deal from the federal government, the government House leader calls the Premier of Ontario the small man of Confederation, even as Manitoba and Quebec echo Ontario's call for fairness.

Why is it that when it comes to Ontario and Canadian municipalities, the government offers nothing but insults?

Federal-Provincial Relations
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, members will recall that when we took power in 2006, we came forward with a budget, and my colleague, the Minister of Finance, proposed an unprecedented amount of dollars for infrastructure. We consulted the province and we consulted the Canadian Federation of Municipalities.

The Canadian Federation of Municipalities asked us to design a new program, not the old program that did not work but a new program, and we delivered a new program for Canadian municipalities.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, our government is showing strong international leadership when it comes to development in Afghanistan and around the world. Through our work, we are making a difference in the lives of women and children in Afghanistan, but aid and development are only part of the equation. Mines and unexploded ordnances kill or injure on average 62 Afghans each month and almost 50% of the victims are children.

Could the Minister of International Cooperation tell this House what our government is doing to help combat this situation?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canada supports demining efforts in 20 countries around the world and we are making progress in Afghanistan. In fact, the lands contaminated by land mines have been reduced by 20% and the number of communities affected reduced by one-third.

Today I was pleased to announce $80 million over four years to the UN Mine Action Service. We will work with Afghanistan to ensure that it becomes a mine free country by the year 2030.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last spring, the city of Toronto mounted its one cent campaign to get the equivalent of one penny of the GST committed to cities and infrastructure. Last month, the city of Mississauga had to introduce a special levy to cover its overwhelming infrastructure costs.

Today, the city of Ottawa and other municipalities marched here to the doors of Parliament to demand that the government stand up for cities.

This just cannot be ignored any longer. When will the minister start paying attention and begin to help municipalities and stop telling us any more about his half measures?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am happy my hon. colleague raised the question of the city of Ottawa because we have committed $200 million to the city's light rail train. My colleague, the Minister of the Environment, announced a project of over $50 million to a convention centre. We have also committed $40 million to refurbishing route 174.

I think that over the course of the last couple of months we have done darn good for the cities and the communities across this country, particularly Ottawa.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would bring to the attention of the minister that those councillors did not march here for the exercise.

After a decade of Liberal neglect, property taxes are going up, the cost to repair or replace aging infrastructure is going up and the federal government's share is going down. The Conservative commitment is less than 10% of the $120 billion infrastructure deficit, while 60% of our infrastructure is more than 40 years old and desperately needs replacing.

How much of a property increase is the minister willing to see in his riding?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, having worked for many years as a town councillor, I am quite aware of the plight of municipalities. One of the reasons I joined this party is that this party takes municipalities seriously. This party gets the job done.

Those folks on the other side of the House, for a number of years, were bickering. I can remember David Collenette saying that he did not want any gas tax increase.

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

December 3rd, 2007 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the premier of Ontario opposed the government's plan for democratic reform, he was called the "small man of Confederation". The premier of Quebec now also opposes the government's democratic reform bill.

Does the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons believe that Jean Charest is also a “small man of Confederation” and how does the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons decide which premier deserves to be insulted?

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:55 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, Quebeckers know that our government keeps its promises, unlike other parties such as the Liberal Party or the Bloc Québécois. We promised to resolve the fiscal imbalance and we did it. Now we are resolving the imbalance in representation.

I might add that I do not know where the Liberal Party is coming from. I understand that it likes the position of Dalton McGuinty. The position of Dalton McGuinty is to render the current representation to guarantees to Quebec meaningless. Is that its position? It should come clean and tell Canadians if that is its position.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government listens to Canadians.

That is why the Prime Minister and the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages have launched consultations today in order to get Canadians' points of view on the challenges of linguistic duality and support for English language and French language minority communities.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages provide more details to the House regarding these consultations?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his question and for his hard work on official languages.

In our last excellent Speech from the Throne, we announced that we were committed to implementing the next phase of the action plan on official languages. These consultations are an excellent step forward. Mr. Lord is eminently qualified to lead these consultations.

Our government made a promise and we are keeping it.

Canadian Heritage
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Independent

Louise Thibault Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, Exhibit Transportation Services will be discontinued as of April 1, 2008. They allowed museums to share works of art affordably and in accordance with high standards. Heritage Canada has decided to hand this service over to the private sector, which will be free to offer the service as it likes. Those who will be disadvantaged the most will be museums that are far from the major centres, such as the Musée régional de Rimouski.

Art has to be protected and transported safely. Museum art collections have to be accessible to us because they are part of our heritage.

Canadian Heritage
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia
B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Parliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, our government has a strong commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability within federal institutions. There was a difficulty in that the use of contractors at the exhibit, transportation services, contravened Revenue Canada rules regarding employer-employee relationships. We have put in place a relationship with private corporations that can do exactly the same thing and perform exactly the same service.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the Minister of Veterans Affairs said that we did not support the veterans' ombudsman or the bill of rights. That is simply not true.

He also said that we should call Joyce Carter and ask her what she thought about the VIP. There is no need to. She wrote a letter today in The Hill Times that condemns the minister and the Prime Minister for their failure to honour the VIP.

My question is quite simple. We know the Conservatives like practising the politics of perjury, so let us ask them one more time. When will they honour the VIP and when will they honour the agent orange compensations that they promised?