House of Commons Hansard #130 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I was not aware until yesterday that the president of Liberia was here. I am certainly prepared to check with my office, and if there is a request for a meeting, I would be delighted to have a meeting.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

March 28th, 2007 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, since 2004, the residents of Kashechewan in northern Ontario have been forced to leave their homes due to flooding. The community has reviewed the options outlined in the Pope report and has come back with its preferred choice.

Can the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development tell the House what he plans to do about Kashechewan?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 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, approximately 10 days ago Chief Solomon of the Kashechewan community advised me that his community's preference was to relocate to a site that has been described as site five. I promised the chief at that time that I would consider his request and would report back to him by the end of this week. I intend to do that once the department has completed its preliminary assessment.

I can advise the House, however, that in the meantime we continue to make sure that the people of Kashechewan have a safe water system. There has been $2.8 million expended on that and we continue to spend $13.2 million to ensure that there are housing and mobile home improvements for the people who are currently in Kashechewan.

Canadian Heritage
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the 50th anniversary of the Canada Council, but sadly there was little to celebrate in the government's budget when it comes to the arts.

In Toronto, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Conservatory, the National Ballet School, the Canadian Opera Company and the Gardiner Museum are all looking for funding from the federal government.

Will the heritage minister finally tell Toronto's cultural sector when it can expect the help it has been asking for?

Canadian Heritage
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as the arts community knows, this government has made a significant commitment to the arts. We contributed $50 million to the budget of the Canada Council. We have introduced tax incentives.

In fact, a tax incentive last year contributed $20 million in donations to the arts. We extended that tax measure to private foundations and we know that it also is going to contribute to the arts.

In addition to that, we have contributed $60 million for local arts and heritage activities.

Canadian Heritage
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister should read her own budget.

Our culture is what makes us Canadian, but our culture is at the bottom of the priority list for the government.

Artists were looking for recognition in this budget, but what did they see? Nothing. Stable funding for the Canadian Television Fund? Nothing. Reversal of the cuts to museums? Nothing.

Investment in the arts has huge economic benefits for Canada's cities, like Toronto. When will the minister finally do her job and invest in the cultural sector?

Canadian Heritage
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, in asking her question the member did not check her facts. In fact, we did commit $100 million for two years, which is $200 million, to the Canadian Television Fund.

I ask the member to ensure that she is accurate because the people who are involved in the arts know that this government supports them and recognizes their contributions to Canada.

Transportation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to parliamentary inquiries and numerous media reports, safety at our ports and airports is still a major concern. For the second week in a row, a Senate committee has found that Transport Canada is unable to do the bare minimum with respect to this matter, and is thereby endangering public safety.

How, then, can the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities keep saying that everything is fine? Why is he still endangering public safety?

Transportation
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague should not be getting his information from the Senate committee. Instead, he should be getting information from the source, such as the testimony given by people in my department and by the people who represent air safety administration authorities. These people are in a position to say what a big difference this government has made compared to the last one.

That is why I am not at all ashamed to say that we are doing what needs to be done for our public transportation network.

Transportation
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, perhaps he might want to take a look at what the facts are. He has been absolutely disinterested in security and safety.

CATSA, for example, has collected $250 million more than it spends on security and the minister is silent.

On rail safety, he leaves the private sector to resolve the problems.

For two straight weeks the Senate committee has highlighted breaches in safety and security in our ports and still the minister says nothing.

In fact, nothing is what is available in the budget for transportation.

Does the minister have a plan or is he waiting for the Prime Minister to appoint somebody with influence around the cabinet table in his place?

Transportation
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

I can see, Mr. Speaker, that my hon. colleague is going on here and making things up, because as a matter of fact had he looked at what has occurred over the last couple of months, he would see that we have appointed a board. We have appointed a board to make sure that we can look at rail safety in this country. We have done that. We have done that when for five years the Liberals did nothing, zilch, nada. We are getting the job done.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the result of the government's tainted plebiscite on barley is in and, due to the Minister of Agriculture's meddling, the victim in fact is democracy. Never before has Canada seen such a farce, fraud and betrayal of core democratic values, with traceable ballots, no available voters lists and no transparent scrutineers to monitor.

The government is mocking democracy and does not seem to be concerned. When will the government give farmers an honest vote on an honest question?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Finally, Mr. Speaker, an agriculture critic I respect. What we also respect are the results from the plebiscite.

What a great day for western Canadian farmers. Sixty-two per cent of barley producers said they want freedom of choice to market their own barley. Sixty-two per cent said that. We campaigned on it, we promised, we consulted, and they delivered the votes: 29,000 farmers voted and 62% said choice.

We are going to give them the choice that farmers demanded.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, that is some spin. The minister knows, if he is being honest, that the proposal he put forward today, based on his false choice and fraudulent vote, is the open market for barley, nothing more, nothing less: the open market.

In fact, let us examine the numbers: 86.2% want the Wheat Board and only 13.8% want the open market. That open market is what the minister is trying to drive down their throats. Why will the minister not accept defeat and listen when farmers have clearly told him they do not want the open market?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I think we are making progress. I think I heard the member accepting that the plebiscite was good. That is a move forward.

When we look at the numbers, we see that 62% of people who voted, the barley producers themselves, say they want marketing choice. We are going to move forward with regulatory change. We are going to move forward on marketing choice. As for the member for Malpeque, it is time to act like a man: listen to the farmers.