House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economic.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we had a dire warning from scientists that the government is risking an ecological crisis in the north. The Minister of Natural Resources does not see global warming as a danger to the north. She sees it as an exciting opportunity. We cannot allow the current crisis to be an excuse for accelerating an ecological disaster. Northerners need a voice. We are not asking for massive deregulation.

I want to know if the minister will be using the Sarah Palin school of politics: drill, baby, drill.

The Environment
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I said in the House yesterday, the policy of the government is to strike an appropriate balance between the environment on the one hand and the economy on the other. We will endeavour to do that at every step. We will do that with respect to our climate change policy. We will do that with respect to the importance of opening up natural gas basins in the north, which has been spoken to in the throne speech. I hope that the hon. member opposite will cooperate with us in that respect.

Justice
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Quebec provincial police arrested 46 people on a variety of drug and organized crime charges. The day before Winnipeg police arrested a dozen individuals and seized a significant amount of weapons and drugs.

While the global economic crisis is threatening many small and medium size businesses, organized crime enterprises are thriving in this country and around the world, primarily through the lucrative drug trade which threatens the safety of our communities and destroys the lives of those most vulnerable to drug addiction, primarily our youth.

What is the government doing to fight crime?

Justice
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are doing a lot to fight crime in this country. In the last Parliament, we passed the Tackling Violent Crime Act that mandates mandatory prison terms for people who commit serious gun crimes.

We also introduced a drug bill that would send out a clear message to importers, drug dealers, and those involved with the grow-op business. Unfortunately, that bill did not get passed.

However, let me be clear. We will not be deterred. When it comes to cracking down on crime, when it comes to standing up for victims and law-abiding Canadians, Canadians know they can count on the Conservative government.

National Parks
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, for more than 30 years the Mealy Mountains region in Labrador has been considered as a future national park. Park status would not only protect this beautiful wilderness region but would generate employment opportunities and stimulate the local and regional tourism industry. Stakeholders, such as municipal and aboriginal leaders, have reached consensus on park boundaries and other matters.

A recommendation was sent to the environment minister last summer, yet there is no movement on the Mealy Mountains park file. What is the holdup?

National Parks
Oral Questions

Noon

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the member for Labrador back to the House. It speaks to his unique abilities in the House that I actually heard him long before I saw him here.

I think that the hon. member is supportive. He is well aware of the physical beauty of Mealy Mountains and the importance of that to the national park system. I take from his question a willingness to cooperate with the government on any future action that relates to the Mealy Mountains park.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Luc Malo Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the minister and member for Mégantic—L'Érable promised, according to UPA's president quoted in La Terre de chez nous, to quickly implement a recovery program for potato farmers affected by the golden nematode outbreak.

When will the minister keep his promises? Does he agree with me that it is unacceptable to keep farmers in the dark and waiting more than two years?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

Noon

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, a number of measures were implemented in 2006, with $6.4 million given to those who suffered losses for that reason. Furthermore, in 2007, an additional $1.4 million was provided through the AgriStability program. And discussions about how to continue supporting affected farmers are ongoing.

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

Noon

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, in the last couple of years we have seen a lot of mining companies in Canada use freshwater habitat for tailing ponds; in other words, turning them into cheap waste disposal sites.

The reality is that no government and no society should ever use freshwater healthy aquatic systems as toxic tailing ponds; whereas the alternative would be to have independent tailing ponds for the mining operation.

Would the government commit to an action plan, as New Brunswick did earlier this year, to prevent freshwater habitat from being used as toxic tailing ponds for these mining companies?

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

Noon

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before in the House, we need to balance our responsibility as stewards of the environment with that of the economy. There is certainly no one in the environment department who would countenance toxic tailing ponds, to use the member's expression. Everything that is done with respect to the mining industry is done in a responsible manner. However, I can assure the member that I am closely looking at the question of tailing ponds, freshwater tailing ponds, and how and when they are used in the mining situation.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. During question period the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance tried to make the point that in previous Liberal budgets there was not in fact a contingency reserve. As it happens, I have in front of me budgetary documents relating to 2005 and 2004, and in both cases the contingency reserve is provided for with complete transparency. Both of those budgets were adopted by the House of Commons. So, indeed, the contingency reserve was there, and was voted on and approved by the House of Commons in each and every case.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

Noon

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I am sure that all hon. members are delighted to hear from the member for Wascana on this point, but it does sound like a matter for debate rather than a point of order to me. Facts often arise in debates.

Canadian Forces Superannuation Act
Routine Proceedings

Noon

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-201, An Act to amend the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act (deletion of deduction from annuity).

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank my hon. friends and people of the riding of Sackville—Eastern Shore for re-electing me for the fifth time to represent them in the House of Commons.

On behalf of Roger Boutin, Mel Pittman and John Labelle, it is a great honour to introduce this legislation which would end the clawback from the pensions of our military personnel and RCMP personnel at age 65. We all in this House support the troops but the reality is that we need to learn to support them long after the uniform comes off and clawing back their pensions at age 65 is simply wrong. It is time to reverse that decision. This bill will do it.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Parliament of Canada Act
Routine Proceedings

November 21st, 2008 / 12:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-202, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (members who cross the floor).

Mr. Speaker, as everyone who has been here in the House for a short while knows, I personally despise people who cross the floor to another party while they are sitting as elected representatives. My firm belief is that if members wish to cross the floor, members should resign their seat, seek the nomination of the new party, and allow their constituents to determine what party banner they should fly under in the House of Commons.

I encourage quick adoption of this bill to prevent floor crossing because the carpet between the two rows is very expensive. We cannot keep replacing it every time people cross it, so we need to put an end to that practice immediately.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Excise Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-203, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (no GST on the sale of home heating fuels).

Mr. Speaker, when the GST was introduced by the previous Conservative Party, our party clearly said that if it was put on essentials like home heating oil or electricity to heat people's homes it was going to have a detrimental effect. That is exactly what has happened. In Atlantic Canada we have the HST, where the provincial and federal taxes are combined on home heating oil and electricity to heat homes. A surprise to the government I know, but people in Canada actually have to heat their homes and putting a tax on that essential is simply wrong. We would like that eliminated to put more money into people's pockets. They should never be taxed on an essential such as heating their homes and we would like it removed immediately.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)