House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nations.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition admitted he was no expert in agriculture and he did not get it done on the environment either.

This government understands farmers and the environment. We are taking action on renewable fuels. As my colleague from Brandon—Souris just noted, we have started many projects already, three in his riding alone.

I was pleased to have amendments to the CEPA tabled yesterday. These amendments would allow us to mandate 5% renewable content in gasoline by 2010 and 2% renewable content in diesel by 2012. This will create jobs in rural areas and open new markets for our farmers.

The government always put farmers first as we get the job done.

Public Opinion Polls
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year the government spent $31 million of taxpayer money on focus groups and polling, significantly more than any other government on record, which is ironic since the Conservatives used to attack the Liberal gang for how it used polling.

One of the favourite Liberal tactics, of course, was to get the public to pay for the polls. Then the party would use the polls and stick them in a filing cabinet until well past the stale date before releasing them to anyone else.

The public has paid for this information and it has a right to see it. In the interests of accountability, will the government table all the polling data that it has commissioned?

Public Opinion Polls
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, my colleague can ask the question because our government has been upfront and accountable. We tabled the report last Friday, from which he is getting his information to ask this very question.

As I said on three occasions today alone, and I will answer the NDP as well, we were surprised by the amount of polling and focus groups that were commissioned by the departments, away from the political arms of the government. We are taking all the necessary steps to correct this in the future to safeguard taxpayer money. We are taking action.

Public Opinion Polls
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, of course he is surprised because he is under a minister who is unelected, unaccountable and hiding out in Outremont. However, he should not be surprised by the fact that the spending on polling under the Privy Council, which is the Prime Minister's office, has quadrupled. Is he surprised by that too?

Who is going to insist that the government stop using taxpayer money for its own nefarious purposes? Will it bring forward the polling data that has come out of the Privy Council for the public to see?

Public Opinion Polls
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

As I said, Mr. Speaker, the information is already public. We tabled the report on Friday. The information is out there. That is how the member for Timmins—James Bay was allowed to ask this very question himself.

We were surprised by the amount of money that was spent on polling and focus groups, and our government is correcting the situation to look out for the best interests of taxpayers. This is something that I know is foreign to the New Democrats, but it is the raison d'être of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Paper Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the workers of the AbitibiBowater plant in Dalhousie and the entire population of Restigouche are facing a crisis because of the plant shutdown. The Prime Minister of Canada had a golden opportunity to visit that community yesterday on his way to New Brunswick. Unfortunately, he did not do so and he remains insensitive to their situation.

Will the government agree to my demands and those of this community by creating a support program for workers and their families, and by supplying the funds needed to ensure the future of their economy, not tomorrow or in six months' time, but today?

Paper Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, whenever there is a lay off, it is a tragedy for the workers involved, and we are very sensitive to that.

A number of different supports are in place to help workers. EI is the first support and there are training initiatives, EI part II money and the targeted initiative for older workers.

The good news is today we are in an economy where many jobs are being created. We are helping support workers by providing more in training so they can make the transition from those jobs back into work.

Wireless Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, my constituents in Chatham-Kent—Essex have been complaining that they are being squeezed by cell phone companies, paying too much for services and not having enough choice.

Last Wednesday the Minister of Industry announced the rules for the advanced wireless spectrum auction, which has been heralded as a grand slam for consumers.

Could the Minister of Industry explain to the House, and the member for Kings—Hants, why his decision caused another analyst to say, “We can certainly celebrate. The government deserves a lot kudos”.

Wireless Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, last week I announced that the Government of Canada would be holding a spectrum auction on May 27, by allowing new entrants the same access that incumbents have to infrastructure. We should see benefits, greater competition and more innovation. A modern and innovative telecommunications system is a key to our being globally competitive.

At the end of the day, our goal is lower prices, better service, more choice for consumers and business. From the clamour on the opposite side, I sense the members are beginning to accept that lower prices would be good for consumers.

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

December 4th, 2007 / 3 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the round table advisory group concerning the responsibilities of the mining industry abroad presented a report on March 29, 2007. The report denounces the attitude and behaviour of Canadian mining companies in Latin America and Africa. Some companies are not respecting human rights or the environment. The government has had this report for over 250 days and still has not done anything.

What is the government waiting for to follow through and implement the recommendations endorsed, in particular, by the Mining Association of Canada?

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I already said here in this House last week, as soon as the report is ready, we will table it here in the House. I would like to point out an important fact: the mining industry has a certain social responsibility and is aware of that responsibility.

We can assure this House—and I assure the hon. member—that as soon as the report is ready, I will be happy to table it here in the House.

Passport Canada
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, a massive security breach in Passport Canada's website has allowed anyone access to personal information, including social insurance numbers, dates of birth and driver's licences of Canadians who have applied for a passport.

Privacy expert Michael Geist said, “One mistake can result in significant security breaches that can put huge amounts of personal information at risk”.

Could the Minister of Public Safety inform the House how many Canadians have had their privacy violated? Will he apologize to them and ensure that accountability measures take place with those who designed the software to ensure the breach is stopped?

Passport Canada
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we communicated this morning with Passport Canada officials, and more specifically with CEO Gérard Cossette.

Yes, a serious situation arose last week. We were assured today that the situation and the problem have been resolved. The Passport Canada website is now among the most secure.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Danzan Lundeejantsan, M.P., Chairman of the State Great Hural of Mongolia.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!