House of Commons Hansard #173 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post-secondary.

Topics

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Brown and his team of forensic auditors and others looked at some 400,000 electronic documents, some 35,000 hard copies of documents, and over 3,200 emails, and they interviewed all the witnesses they wanted to interview. Nobody refused. Credit goes to Commissioner Busson for making sure that happened.

I can understand the Liberals being concerned and wanting this to go to a public inquest, because that would carry on for years and would possibly get them past the next election. It would cover the fact that when they had this file, they did nothing. We are taking action.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is time for the government to be truthful about what is going on at Devils Lake. The fact that the U.S. turned on the tap without notifying the government is of great concern to Canadians, particularly Manitobans.

Instead of ignoring the problem, the government has to take real action to ensure that our waters are not being contaminated. Photos show adult minnows in the channel downstream from the outlet. The longer the outlet is open, the greater the consequences. How can Canadians be sure that no alien species have invaded our waters?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member would know that there was a very rigorous debate on this subject in the House of Commons last week. Our government is of course very concerned about the biodiversity and the health of our lakes and waters.

This decision by the government of North Dakota is extremely troubling. We have signalled that to the United States on numerous occasions. I know that my counterpart, the Minister of the Environment, has met with his colleague from Manitoba. This has been conveyed at the highest levels to members of the United States government.

We continue to call upon North Dakota to close this gap until such time as the proper technical equipment is in place to prevent any species from entering our waters.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we need more than signals and calls.

Under the Canada-U.S. agreement on Devils Lake, a monitoring program was set up. The first year testing results have been completed. These results were presented at the last International Joint Commission meeting on boundary waters, held in Washington in March, and they have not yet been made public.

It is time for the government to tell Canadians the truth. They want to hear it. Why have these results not been made public?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, we have stressed repeatedly to members of the United States government, both at the state and the federal level, our seriousness about our desire to have this water pass through a filter. There have been undertakings made.

We continue to call upon North Dakota to allow for this outlet to close until the engineering work on a permanent filter is put in place, as well as the study, which will allow us to put in place a type of ultraviolet filter that will prevent any invasive species from entering Canadian waters.

Government Policies
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a pattern to the government's difficulty with the truth. The Prime Minister shifts direction not because he realizes he got things wrong, but because he realizes he got the politics of them wrong.

Then, not a real believer himself, he is so shocked at people who really do believe in the environment, who really do believe in gun control, and who really do believe that a real future for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador needs the Atlantic accord, the trouble begins.

So he delivers a little, spins big and tries desperately to orchestrate an election before people notice the difference. When will the Prime Minister realize that it is time for the truth?

Government Policies
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we did not see a lot of truth in the Liberal leadership, particularly in the televised debates. We did not hear truth from the member for York Centre. We did not hear truth from the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore.

We have heard a lot of truth from people like Sheila Copps and people like Christine Stewart and other former Liberal environment ministers. Eddie Goldenberg said the truth, but no more have we heard the truth than what we heard yesterday from the Ottawa Sun, where one of the members opposite said, “We deserved to lose in the last election because of our arrogance”.

Do members know who said that? The member for Bourassa.

Government Policies
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is the problem with a government just campaigning, not governing. Then it is all about politics, about creating divisions, wedges: with me or against me, citizen against citizen, group against group, and province against province. This is a far more divided country now than we were 16 months ago.

When will the Prime Minister realize what the public already knows to be true? This government is not new, was never new and was cynical and politically obsessed from the beginning. This government was born old.

Government Policies
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, something that is divided is the Liberal Party. We can see it in the recent book by Toronto Star journalist Linda Diebel, who talks about the ongoing divisions in the Liberal Party.

Let me tell members what we are going to do. We actually are going to do something remarkable in this country. We have a plan for an absolute 20% reduction in harmful greenhouse gas emissions. We have a plan to help clean up our Great Lakes. We are taking initiatives to clean up Lake Simcoe and Lake Winnipeg.

This government is getting things done when it comes to the environment, something the Liberals opposite failed to do for 13 long years.

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, Commonwealth Plywood, a company in the forestry sector, has announced that it will close 18 plants indefinitely, putting 2,400 workers out of work. After working their entire lives for that company, many of those workers were only a few years from retirement, and retraining will be nearly impossible for them.

What is the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development waiting for to present a real income support program for older workers who have been the victims of mass layoffs, to make it possible for them to live a decent life until retirement?

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the first thing we do when there is a layoff like this is that Service Canada contacts management and employees and informs them of their entitlements.

But we have gone beyond that. Because of the leadership of the government, we now have in place a targeted initiative for older workers, which will help 3,500 workers over the next two years in Quebec alone.

On top of that, new labour market agreements offer resources to the provinces to provide people with the training they need to upgrade their skills so they can be successful and not just be relegated to the dustbin because their industry closes down.

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about workers who cannot be retrained. A real income support program, as the Commonwealth Plywood union representative reminded us, would allow older workers to transition towards retirement, while preventing young people from leaving the regions because of a lack of work.

Does the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development realize that such a program would cost the federal government only $75 million, for all of Canada?

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I think the member is entirely too pessimistic. We think older workers have tremendous skills and experience that they can share with the rest of the country and we want to make sure they get the chance to do exactly that.

That is why we have in place the targeted initiative for older workers and, soon, new labour market agreements that will provide the help and support to people so they can go on and share this with the rest of the country and help us build a better and stronger Canada. That is what should happen.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, Mr. Din Ahmed was deported from the United States to Bangladesh, where he faces execution. This follows a trial in absentia that was severely flawed and without due process.

Despite the efforts of a number of NGOs and members of Parliament, we were unable to have Mr. Ahmed come to Canada, where he has family and a welcoming community.

I ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs if he would make representation to his counterpart in Bangladesh, a recipient of Canadian foreign aid, to ensure that human rights, due process and the rule of law are followed and that Canada does everything possible to ensure that Mr. Ahmed does not face execution.

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question and for the notice that he gave me before question period, and yes, I can assure him that Canada has been following this case very closely.

We will undertake to make representations to the Bangladesh government with respect to Mr. Ahmed. Given some of the public statements about what may face him upon his return, I know that he finds himself in very dire circumstances.

He did go through a very rigorous process in the United States,of which the hon. member is aware. Within those parameters, given the fact that he is not a Canadian citizen, we in fact will undertake to make those representations the member has referred to because of our strong stance on human rights and the protection of individuals facing the death penalty.