House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Health
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate this member on his interest, particularly in children's health. He is absolutely right. Once again Canada is taking real leadership with the strong efforts of the Minister of Health and the many scientists at Environment Canada and Health Canada. Canada is providing real leadership.

We were excited to see, south of the border, Senator Hillary Clinton announce that she would co-sponsor a bill to follow up the action of the Conservative government here in Canada. We are excited about this initiative and are looking forward to continuing to get the job done.

The Environment
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, last week, it was reinforced just what an environmental disaster the tar sands are. At least 500 ducks were killed when they landed in the toxic sludge of a Syncrude tailing pond.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister said that he would look into the killing of these ducks. More study was the answer people along the Athabasca-Mackenzie watershed heard from the Liberals. Action to deal with all the environmental damage caused by the tar sands is needed now.

When will the Conservative government take action to prevent more damage from the out of control development of the tar sands?

The Environment
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we are tremendously concerned about the effect on wildlife and the incident that took place outside of Fort McMurray.

Environment Canada officials and enforcement officers, together with the representatives from the Canadian Wildlife Service, are on the scene and are conducting an investigation. If charges are to be laid they will lay them.

We will bring those responsible for environmental crimes to justice. That is why we got such a big increase in the budget for environmental enforcement, an increase, I would remind the member, that he voted against.

The Environment
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, we are not just talking about the death of 100 ducks, but the damage being done to the water, air and earth of northern Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories from this out of control development.

Thousands of people, many aboriginal, who call this part of Canada home are suffering because of the environmental damage of the tar sands. The welfare of aboriginal people and transboundary pollution are federal responsibilities.

The government's plan has been to let the companies police themselves, a plan for disaster if I have ever heard of one.

When will the Conservatives shoulder their responsibility—

The Environment
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of the Environment.

The Environment
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I do know that the member supports the Mackenzie Valley pipeline, which is very interesting given his comments, to help flow petroleum products to market.

We reject the Liberal approach, which is nothing on air quality in the oil sands and nothing on global warming. The only thing the previous government did for the oil sands is give them a big fat tax break.

When this government wanted to rescind it, that member of the NDP voted against it. I say shame on him and shame on the Liberal Party.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

May 2nd, 2008 / 11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are reports that Canadian military personnel are engaged in talks with the Taliban. The government, however, denies this. Yet, Afghan government officials, including the head of the Kandahar provincial council, contradict Canadian ministers. They praise this initiative, even characterizing it as a Canadian decision.

Will the government, in the interests of transparency and principle, account for its denial in the face of Afghan confirmation, not just media reports, of the Canadian military having discussion with the Taliban?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the decision to engage the Taliban was made by the government of Afghanistan. Canada does not interfere with what the government of Afghanistan does.

We will support the government of Afghanistan in any kind of reconciliation effort that can bring peace to the region and that will renounce the violence. Therefore, we will continue to support the government of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not an answer. The head of the Kandahar provincial council, Ahmed Wali Karzai, yesterday confirmed the Canadian government's decision to talk with the Taliban. He said, “I support the Canadian decision. I believe it is a good approach.”

The ministers of Canada's government are saying that there are no talks, but the Afghans confirm that there are. What is the truth?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, for any decision made in engaging with anybody, it is the Government of Canada that will make the decision. However, as I have said, and I will repeat it again, it is the responsibility and the prerogative of the Afghan government to negotiate with its citizens, including the members of the Taliban. For any reconciliation process that will bring peace to the region, they can count on Canada's support.

Canada Border Services Agency
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, small cities across the country are experiencing serious customs staffing shortages at local airports. Penticton, Fredericton, Prince George, Moncton, Regina, Terrace and Mont-Tremblant are losing out because the public safety minister cannot be trusted to make sound airport staffing policy. He seems to be in a daze.

The minister's reaction is symptomatic of Conservative blindness to the economic needs of smaller cities. Can the minister explain why his customs policy does not give our smaller cities even a chance?

Canada Border Services Agency
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Oxford
Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, CBSA officials have been tasked with advancing the file on addressing the issue. They have conducted a core services review to establish a service delivery approach that is fair, transparent and flexible. Options are currently being discussed.

Canada Border Services Agency
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

What is transparent, Mr. Speaker, is that there is no plan to distribute budgeted money fairly to airports across the country. But fairness is not the government's strong suit. It has cherry-picked some small airports to be open 24 hours. Meanwhile, others are losing out on contracts with air carriers that need to operate beyond the nine to five hours set out by the empire of CBSA.

Why is the minister determined to separate the A cities from the B cities?

Canada Border Services Agency
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Oxford
Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I previously noted, we recognize the importance of this issue in terms of national security as well as economic prosperity.

CBSA has conducted its review of core services at the request of the minister and options are being developed. Decisions to provide CBSA services take into account security, service to the public and the government's fiscal responsibilities.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's inaction when it comes to setting reciprocal standards for specified risk materials, SRMs, with the United States, has forced another slaughterhouse to close its doors, this time in Ontario.

Is the minister's goal to force the closure of every slaughterhouse in eastern Canada, or will he resolve this situation before he single-handedly provokes another crisis for beef producers?