House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice knows very well that a Charter case costs millions of dollars, which most Canadians do not have. Unless there is proper access to legal aid and to the court challenges program, only the rich will have equal rights, which is unacceptable.

If the Minister of Justice refuses to budge and does not save the court challenges program, will he at least improve access to legal aid to provide Canadians with the justice they are guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we do not need any lessons from the Liberal Party with respect to defending people's rights. This party has acted on the Chinese head tax. We have extended the rights of all Canadians to vote. We were able to get the full franchise under Conservative administrations. We have stable funding now for legal aid. We have a victims ombudsman which is long overdue in this country. Members should be applauding these actions.

Wildlife Trafficking
Oral Questions

April 16th, 2007 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Fitzpatrick Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, international wildlife trafficking is a serious problem around the world. The threats to wildlife from poaching and the illegal trade in animal parts from endangered species is a very important fight which Canada must be a part of.

Could the Minister of the Environment tell the House what action our government is taking to fight wildlife trafficking?

Wildlife Trafficking
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Prince Albert who obviously shares a strong interest in this issue as the Prince Albert National Park is so close to his constituency.

We are very pleased to join the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking. This international trade around the globe is some $10 billion and we want to take real, substantive action.

While the Leader of the Opposition and Elizabeth May were cooking up backroom deals, we were getting the job done for the environment.

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, ordinary Canadians are tired of waiting for the finance minister to make up his mind about ATM fees. One day he pretends he is ready to ban them, and the next day he says the banks need to compete and it is really up to them.

Well now we know that public pressure is working. Some banks are announcing limited fee free accounts for some consumers, but most ordinary Canadians continue to pay these outrageous fees.

The question for the minister is simple. Will he take a stand? Does he support ATM fees and the banks, or will he support ordinary Canadians who are getting nickeled-and-dimed?

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when the member raised this question in the House some time ago now, I indicated that I would speak to the banks about it.

I am very pleased that having spoken with them and having met with them, at least three of the banks now have extended their services with respect to various issues that are quite important, including services for students on our campuses across Canada, both colleges and universities, and including seniors across Canada and persons with disabilities. These are important steps in the right direction by these banks.

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, just as we expected, a lot of nonsense from the minister and more stalling. It almost sounds like he is getting as good as the member for LaSalle—Émard.

Goodness gracious, when are we going to get a position from this minister? It is simple. Canadians want an end to ATM fees and he is in a position to make a decision.

So will he stop this gouging? Will he ensure that when regular folks take their own money out of the bank, they are not charged for it? The solution is simple. What side is he on? Is he on the side of ordinary Canadians or is he on the side of big banks and ATM fees? Will he take a position?

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am on the side, as our government is, of competition and choice in financial services in Canada. We have competition between the credit unions, for example, and the banks, and between the banks themselves.

When I spoke to the banks and said we have three specific challenges with respect to the rights of persons with disabilities, with respect to access for students on campuses, and with respect to seniors, at least three of them have reacted positively. These are steps in the right direction.

Court Challenges Program
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The charter protects minorities and women's rights. Indeed, it protects all Canadians.

Will the Minister of Justice celebrate the 25th anniversary by relenting and giving reprieve to the court challenges program, restore its funding and protect the rights of all Canadians. After all, the charter is very important to every single Canadian. Will he show courage and is he prepared to allow Canadians to criticize government programs?

Court Challenges Program
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, indeed, I will be commemorating the anniversary of the charter tomorrow with 600 students in Ottawa. I look forward to that.

This party has had a longstanding commitment to human rights, and has this government and previous Conservative administrations. An hon. member says an impressive record and I agree with him on that. It goes back many years in this country. We did the things that the Liberal Party was never able to get done.

Health
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, in early February the Minister of Health launched a revised food guide to help Canadians make healthier food choices. Last week another important step was made by the health minister when he and the Minister of Indian Affairs launched the first ever published food guide for first nations, Inuit and Métis in order to assist aboriginal communities in making informed decisions while respecting their traditions.

Can the Minister of Health please inform the members of the House on the status of this new initiative?

Health
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, indeed, after extensive consultation with over 400 aboriginal leaders, as well as dieticians and others, last Wednesday in Yellowknife I was proud to launch the first ever, in Canada, aboriginal food guide with specific recommendations for first nations, Inuit and Métis people.

This is culturally sensitive. It will also help individuals in those groups make the right choices when it comes to their food preferences. Just two days before the red-green coalition was announced, we got the job done when it came to the food guide.

Paillé Review
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has just appointed Daniel Paillé to review contracts for polls and their alleged use for partisan purposes.

How can the Conservative government, which claims to be transparent, explain that the review stops at 2003? Why has the government excluded itself from this review? Does it have something to hide?

Paillé Review
Oral Questions

3 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, we have nothing to hide. During the election campaign, we made a promise to Canadians that we are keeping. Furthermore, Mr. Paillé is qualified to review this matter.

Health
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the False Creek Urgent Care Centre in B.C. is back in business, charging patients hundreds of dollars for basic medical services that should be free. This American style clinic is the exact opposite of what Canadians expect from our health care system. It should be illegal, but the clinic has found a loophole that allows it to stay in business.

Every Canadian has the right to free, universal health care when they need it most, regardless of whether or not they are carrying their chequebooks. Will the Conservatives take action today and put an end to clinics that charge patients for medically necessary urgent care services?