House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Passports
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, I remind the hon. member, going back some time in opposition, that it was this Conservative Party that had to call an emergency debate in the House in order to wake the previous government up to this issue with respect to the United States.

This past fall and winter we have hired approximately 500 new staff to help process over 21,000 applications that we receive every day.

Passports
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, at no surprise to those MPs who listen to their constituents, the Auditor General said that the government had no plan to deal with the increase in applications for passports.

As constituency offices have learned, Passport Canada has been increasing its wait times. Advice last week of a 40 day wait is now a 60 day wait. The backlog is so great that we have received word today that Passport Canada is only now opening applications received December 29.

Why did the government have no plan in place to deal with this problem on its watch?

Passports
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has declared herself satisfied with the progress of the new government and the progress that we have made in the number of recommendations made by her in 2005.

I remind the hon. member that we have hired 500 new employees to help process approximately 21,000 passport applications that we receive every day. I also want to remind the hon. member that she participated in that emergency debate to call on the previous Liberal government to get its act together with respect to the western hemisphere travel initiative.

Passports
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. law says that passengers travelling by air must now have a passport, and soon car travellers will as well.

In 2005 same-day car travel from Canada to the U.S. exceeded 22 million. According to the government's own website, passport requirements for car travellers can occur at any time between now and 2009.

The government knows this is coming. It had no plan to deal with the current crisis. What is its plan to deal with the next one?

Passports
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, I remind the hon. member that we have 500 new employees hired at Passport Canada to help process 21,000 new passport applications.

I note the hon. member did not respond to my request for her response as to why she participated in a debate, urging the previous Liberal government to get its act together, and now she has completely changed her mind or perhaps forgot she had done that.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General condemned the serious gaps that exist in the conservation and maintenance of our built heritage. This is particularly true of the Cap-aux-Diamants Redoubt located within the Citadel in Quebec City. The redoubt remains inaccessible to visitors due to the poor management of the building, which no longer meets safety standards. The most recent work was done in 1997.

Can the Minister of Public Works and Government Services tell us what restoration measures he plans to take to allow visitors to access this historic vestige of Quebec City's defensive system?

Public Works and Government Services
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 Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her question. I can assure her that our government is aware of the situation and that we are taking the appropriate action.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

February 14th, 2007 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, after years of fighting, 300,000 Quebec women in the public sector have achieved pay equity. In the meantime, women working in the federal public service and the private sector are still waiting.

If the Minister of Status of Women is so concerned about equality, what is she waiting for to adopt pay equity legislation to provide justice for all women under her jurisdiction?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that the government is absolutely committed to equity of pay for people who are in the same occupation. This is a Conservative commitment and the member should not doubt our commitment to that.

We also believe very strongly that people should be hired on the basis of competence. We are very proud of our record in that regard.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, last week a senior DND official gave testimony at the defence committee that nothing had been done to implement the Conservative promises to 5 Wing Goose Bay. That is right, nothing, zilch, nada or, as we say in our part of the country, not a darned thing. He also said that Indian Affairs, not National Defence, is the lead department on northern and Arctic sovereignty.

Since the Minister of National Defence has washed his hands of the file, I ask the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development this. What are his plans for his base at 5 Wing Goose Bay?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I find this the height of hypocrisy. It was this member, a member of the Liberal Party, whose intention was to close the base in Goose Bay, who is asking these questions. It is our government that is maintaining Goose Bay. We will maintain it into the future and we will give it an operational requirement, not those people.

Quebec Bridge
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, the people of Lévis, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches have been waiting for years for CN to go ahead with the restoration of the Quebec bridge, a Canadian heritage jewel, as CN is expected to do.

After the lack of Liberal action and the inability of the Bloc to take action, will the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities inform the House about the progress of its negotiations with CN?

Quebec Bridge
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Canada' s new government is taking all possible steps to have CN fulfill its obligations and responsibilities. That is why, today, we filed a motion seeking a permanent injunction for damages against CN.

I hope that these legal proceedings will enable us to ensure that work on restoring the bridge is completed. As we have stated so many times, the federal Liberals did nothing; the Bloc cannot take action; we are taking action.

Automobile Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, today thousands and thousands of workers in Windsor and Brampton will go home to their families uncertain about their future and uneasy about what to tell their families because in the next few weeks 2,000 of those workers will no longer have jobs and no plan by the government on how to deal with it.

For the first time in 18 years, Canada has an auto trade deficit. Again, no plan from the government on how to deal with it because Canada has no automotive sector strategy at all.

When will the government begin to take auto jobs and the loss of auto jobs seriously?

Automobile Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, the automobile sector is important to Canadian industry and to Ontario auto workers.

That being said, I can assure you that the restructuring currently taking place in the automotive sector seeks to improve the productivity of this industry's workers. I can also assure you that if workers are affected by this restructuring, they will receive appropriate federal assistance.