House of Commons Hansard #32 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is an example of the Pinocchio principle. He is sitting on $60 million that is owed to the CBC and he is refusing to bring it forth.

Communities across Canada depend on the CBC.

But the minister refuses to work with the CBC to come up with a long-term plan to support the public broadcaster.

This will lead to job losses and the loss of local, regional and francophone services across Canada.

Why is this minister using the economic crisis as an excuse to attack the CBC?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we are not attacking the CBC. We are making record investments in the CBC.

Broadcasters in this country, in the private sector and the CBC, of course, are facing challenges with the drop in ad revenue that is being seen across the board, but the government has done its job.

We made a very specific promise in the campaign to maintain or increase support for the CBC. We have kept our promise even if the NDP continues to vote against the CBC.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation might be forced to sell assets and lay off between 600 and 1,200 employees—it is going to make the announcement tomorrow—in order to meet its financial obligations, and all this is happening under the disinterested watch of the Conservatives. The government is planning to help the private sector, but for ideological reasons it closes the door on the CBC. We have known for a long time that the Conservatives want to shut down the CBC and they are using the economic crisis as a pretext for doing so.

Will the minister stop hiding behind the economic crisis and stop refusing to help the CBC?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is totally false. I will give the Bloc the same answer I gave the NDP. In 2005-06, we increased the CBC’s budget and the Bloc voted against it. In 2006-07, we increased the CBC’s budget and the Bloc voted against it. In 2007-08, we increased the CBC’s budget and the Bloc voted against it. In 2008-09, we increased the CBC’s budget and the Bloc voted against it. In this budget, we again provided an increase for the CBC and the Bloc is still voting against it.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious the minister does not even have his classics straight. Here too he is misleading the House.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages is trying to say that the CBC can deal with its problems within its current budget.

Will the minister acquiesce to the request from the CBC, which wants to have greater flexibility, such as a simple advance of funds from its 2009 budget envelope? It is hardly asking too much.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we made a clear promise in the election campaign to maintain or increase the CBC’s budget. This year it will get more than $1 billion. That is unprecedented in Canadian history. The Conservative government is delivering the goods and the Bloc Québécois just votes against.

Health
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, fetal alcohol syndrome is a totally preventable birth defect. It affects over 300,000 Canadians and their families. Sadly, according to an internal review at the Public Health Agency of Canada, the fetal alcohol syndrome initiative is now receiving only a portion of the federal dollars that had been allocated toward it.

I believe the minister cares about this issue. Could she explain why her government is refusing to fund even the $3.3 million it promised for these essential programs?

Health
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes FAS disorders as a serious issue. Our government is committed to making a strategic investment when it comes to FASD prevention, counselling and improved screening. We are taking action and will continue to work with all our partners on this very serious issue.

Health
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister is taking action. She is cutting funding to FAS.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is incurable and totally preventable, and affects about 300,000 Canadians. For each afflicted child, it costs about $24,000 annually in social services costs and additional health care costs.

Since 80% of these victims will never be able to live independently or to hold down a job, I ask the minister, why has the government turned its back on these Canadians in need by cutting FAS program spending by one-third since it took office?

Health
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member's information is inaccurate. In fact, the government is committed to FASD prevention. We continue to invest in FASD research and will continue to do that.

Campaign Advertising
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of State for Sport.

Four shadowy third party groups bought ads endorsing the minister during the campaign. They had the same financial officer, linking them to each other. They had the same address at the office of a senior Conservative political activist, who is on the minister's riding executive, linking them to the minister. One group disclosed that it had obtained lawn signs from the minister's campaign manager, linking them to the minister's campaign. These links are too obvious to ignore.

Can the minister explain?

Campaign Advertising
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. Questions about elections generally are not the administrative responsibility of the government and question period is intended for that purpose.

I do not think the question that the hon. member posed is in order from what I could hear of it. The hon. member for Burnaby—Douglas has a supplementary though if he wishes.

Campaign Advertising
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will try again because it goes to upholding the law that all members of Parliament are required to do.

These are the facts: four unheard of third party groups linked to each other and linked to the minister, one with an explicit link to his campaign manager; advertising spending by the four groups of over $12,000 to endorse the minister's candidacy; spending that if charged to his campaign would put him over the limit.

Does the minister deny these facts? Was this an attempt to circumvent spending--

Campaign Advertising
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. I do not think that is in order for the minister to answer, nor is the question in order because the question does not concern the administrative responsibilities of the government. That is the administrative responsibility of Elections Canada and the member may want to pose his question to the Chief Electoral Officer in due course.

The hon. member for Crowfoot.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, recent reports have stated that Canada has changed its position regarding the disputed Kashmir region. Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please clarify Canada's position on this very important and sensitive issue?