House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

March 27th, 2007 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada has the third largest supply of freshwater in the world. In my home province of Manitoba, we have Lake Winnipeg, the 10th largest lake in the world.

Lake Winnipeg is important to thousands of cottagers, hundreds of commercial fishers, attracts thousands of tourists and is the main source of water for many of my constituents.

Budget 2007 announced the establishment of the national water strategy and allocates money to protect our lakes and to improve water and waste water infrastructure.

Could the Minister of Environment tell the House how this will help the province of Manitoba and my constituents in Selkirk—Interlake?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, at the outset I want to congratulate the member for Selkirk—Interlake. I know this is an issue that he has fought long and hard for.

Thanks to the actions of a strong Conservative government caucus from Manitoba, we are pleased to announce that as part of the national water strategy, budget 2007 has allocated $7 million to help clean up the Lake Winnipeg basin.

This really is a remarkable team. Last year this team cleaned up government and cleaned up Liberal corruption. This year we are cleaning up Lake Winnipeg.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, first nations are being left behind by the government: no action to close the poverty gap for first nations, the clawback of money to promote and protect indigenous languages and no movement on self-government negotiations. Now the Conservatives are refusing to recognize the wrong-headed damaging policies of past governments.

Why does the minister and the government refuse to apologize to first nations for the cultural destruction brought about by residential schools?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated previously, a very comprehensive agreement was arrived at between the Government of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations. It is several hundred pages in length. It deals with the truth and reconciliation commission, with advance payments and with all the matters that have been negotiated. An apology did not form part of the contractual provisions at that time.

We will carry on and we will implement the agreement as it has been negotiated.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, even the Conservatives' independent blue ribbon panel disputes the $10 billion figure the minister likes to toss out. Enough is enough. The truth must be told. The $10 billion includes millions in lawyers' fees to fight legitimate land claims and every dollar that it takes to run the minister's department.

When will the minister stop misleading Canadians on how much money will actually end up in the hands of first nations people? Why does the Conservative government continue the pattern of discrimination against first nations?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in the House previously, the $10.2 billion represents all the expenditures within the Government of Canada, across departments, on aboriginal programs, services, negotiations and the like.

My friend should be fair in pointing out that a fairly modest amount of that money is spent on the government itself, on bureaucracy and on the civil service. The lion's share of the money makes its way through to aboriginal people. The vast lion's share of it makes its way through to on reserve people.

There are $10.2 billion. This is $1 billion more than any previous budget of any previous Government of Canada.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, in January, a Canadian citizen, while in Kenyan custody, was abruptly removed to Somalia and then, as many had feared here, was sent to Ethiopia where he has since disappeared without a trace.

Has the Minister of Foreign Affairs asked the Kenyan government why Mr. Bashir Makhtal was rendered to another country without consultation with Canada? Could he further explain to the House whether he has taken actions that will determine the fate of Mr. Makhtal with that government?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Yes, Mr. Speaker, we have made inquiries about the fate of that individual. We continue to work with consular officials to try to locate him and to render assistance if possible.

I appreciate the hon. member bringing the matter to the House of Commons. I will continue to work with him and others to do as we always do in cases where Canadians find themselves in jeopardy abroad, and that is to assist them in every way possible.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, budget 2007 invests billions in critical infrastructure: roads, highways, public transit and green energy. It also renews this government's commitment to a new Windsor-Detroit border crossing, with a detailed plan and a big down payment.

Sadly, local NDP MPs, their party and the Liberals oppose this project going forward and are voting against this budget, preferring instead higher unemployment and missed investment.

Would the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities tell us how this government and its budget are committed to supporting our cities, our communities and our economy?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this budget commits an unprecedented $33 billion to helping our cities and our communities across the country. Indeed, we are putting a lot of importance on our gateway projects, whether they be out in B.C., in the prairie provinces or in central Canada.

We are helping the Windsor-Detroit crossing to ensure that our goods and services flow so we can keep the economy flowing, and that is doing the job.

Canadian Forces
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the reason the NDP will not support the government is because the government will not support injured soldiers.

Two DND ombudsmen asked that the SISIP for injured soldiers be fixed. The House passed a motion recommending that the SISIP for injured soldiers be fixed. For less than 2% of the federal surplus, this problem could have been fixed and these soldiers would not need to go to court to get the money they are rightfully owed.

Why did the government so carelessly and callously ignore the needs of these injured soldiers?

Canadian Forces
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this issue has been in existence since 2003. The previous government did not resolve the issue. We now have the recommendations and we will resolve the issue.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Mexican authorities and the media continue to identify Cheryl Everall and Kimberley Kim as suspects in the murder of two Canadian citizens in Mexico.

In a letter to me, the Minister of Public Safety stated, “Foreign Affairs Canada is responsible for representing Canadian interests abroad”.

Why has the Minister of Foreign Affairs failed to request information from Mexican authorities regarding the status of this investigation and to find out if these women have been added to any watch lists? Why will he not help clear the names of these innocent women?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. As usual, he has his facts completely wrong on a consular case.

As he knows, I met with the individuals, to whom he is referring, in my office. I raised this issue when the minister of foreign affairs, Patricia Espinosa, was here in Canada just a few weeks ago. This has gone to the highest levels of the Mexican government.

As for allegations that appear in the press and reports that somehow there is a connection to these individuals, I do not know if the hon. member realizes it but it is a little difficult in this country sometimes to control what the press might write.

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 Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia.