House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regions.

Topics

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we believe it is important to give police all the tools they need to achieve justice and tackle crime. We intend to provide them with that.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, today marks the second anniversary of the signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, yet the government refuses to ratify this convention despite the support of Canadians and a unanimous motion passed by the House.

What is the Conservative government doing instead? It is spending a quarter of a million dollars on an online poll asking whether or not this convention should be ratified.

Since when do we use polls to determine whether human rights should be upheld? Will the government support people with disabilities and ratify the convention now?

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government stands for human rights. This is one of its key foreign affairs policies. Therefore, she can rest assured that this government will fight for the rights of the disabled or anyone.

However, I would like to remind her that when we sign international treaties, we also require the assistance of the provinces. We are working with the provinces to address the issue she is talking about.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, that does not explain why the government is prepared to spend a quarter of a million dollars determining whether the rights of persons with disabilities ought to be defended. How in the world can it justify that?

Then it turns around and underfunds by $1.8 million per year a program to help people with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It is a program that is already shortchanged at only $3.3 million a year.

The Minister of Health should be ashamed of trying to cover up for that kind of cutback. She knows better.

I want to ask the Minister of Finance if he is prepared to stand up today to show that the money is put back and that people with disabilities are supported.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said in my answer, this government supports human rights, whether it be the rights of the disabled, of visible minorities, or of anyone. We will continue doing that, but it is critically important to know that we work with provinces and everyone else so that we can fight for those rights.

I would like to remind her that a cabinet minister of this government is a person of disability at the forefront of support for the rights of the disabled.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources was in Toronto this morning announcing an extension to the already successful ecoEnergy home retrofit program. I know many of my constituents are interested in this program that helps Canadians make smart improvements to their homes while saving money.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board please inform the House and my constituents of Northumberland—Quinte West of the new opportunities in today's announcement?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Northumberland—Quinte West for his question and for his hard work on this file. Today, as part of Canada's economic action plan, the Minister of Natural Resources announced an additional $300 million for homeowner grants through the popular ecoEnergy home retrofit program.

This is a great chance for Canadians to save money on home renovations. It is a great chance for Canadians to cut their energy bill for years to come. It is a great chance to make an impact in terms of the environment.

We have also introduced the home renovation tax credit. This government is getting things done for Canadian homeowners.

Food Safety
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister had the weekend to reconsider the obstructionist tactics of his parliamentary secretary blocking the Subcommittee on Food Safety from doing its work. One of hundreds of emails directed to the Prime Minister states: “I hope you agree that playing politics with food safety - as your MPs have done - is despicable. I urge you to order the Conservative MPs to allow the committee to do its work, and quickly.”

Has the Prime Minister reconsidered and will he now allow the committee to do its work as was intended, looking into food safety and listeriosis?

Food Safety
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we are of course prepared to do just that. We have rolled up our sleeves and we are ready to go to work. I cannot for the life of me understand why the opposition parties want to delay the report until next December. We have a number of other reports coming in, late this spring and early this summer. We would hope that this one will be done in that same timeframe.

If they want to extend meetings, if they want to extend the hours and stay and do the work, we are happy to do that, but let us roll up our sleeves and get this done long before December.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government claims it is providing its troops in Afghanistan with top-notch equipment. Yet General Leslie says that 80 Leopard tanks have been sitting unused in warehouses in the Netherlands and Montreal for nearly two years because the government is delaying in upgrading them. Companies in Quebec such as Rheinmetall have the ability to do this work.

What is the government waiting for to refurbish these tanks, which are considered a priority for protecting the troops? What it is waiting for to award the contracts? What is it waiting for to recognize that Quebec has the skills? It must act now.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of our decision to purchase new tanks. They are needed for the troops on the ground in Afghanistan. It is a good decision.

I would point out for the member opposite that it was this government's decision to buy these tanks, against the wishes of many at the time. These are now saving lives in Afghanistan. We are moving forward with a contract to up-armour those tanks and have them available to those troops for both their work in Afghanistan and the training required.

The reality is that we would not have those tanks today were it not for this government.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, on March 11, this House unanimously mandated the government to make poverty reduction a top priority at upcoming G8 and G20 meetings. In direct violation of this motion, the Conservatives have relegated this issue to a secondary concern at the G8 social summit.

Other world leaders recognize that this economic recession will quickly turn into a bottomless social recession if the middle class and most vulnerable are ignored.

Why does the government not understand that fighting poverty and the recession are one and the same, and why is it ignoring the will of the House?

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will be attending the G20 conference in London next week and he will be working with the world leaders to fight on many issues that the Prime Minister has said are important for everyone.

It is important to recognize that this is a collective effort with all G20 countries and those that are coming to London to fight against poverty and stimulate the economy. We are looking forward to some positive results out of that conference.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

March 30th, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Elgin--Middlesex--London, tobacco farmers were not only ignored by the former Liberal government but their businesses were actually undermined. We saw those years of neglect.

Farmers asked for assistance and this Conservative government delivered. Our Conservative government put forth a plan and funding to help transition these tobacco farmers into new opportunities.

Could the Minister of Agriculture tell the House how this program has helped tobacco farmers while ensuring taxpayer dollars are well taken care of?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the great work that he and his colleagues in southwestern Ontario have done on behalf of tobacco farmers.

We have allocated some $286 million to start to move them out of the tobacco industry and transition into other great crops.

We are concerned that we are hearing reports of some farmers trying to bend the rules a little. To that end, we have allocated auditors to go down and have a look at this transition process. We will be working with the tobacco board down there to ensure the program is delivered in the spirit and the letter of the law by which it was created. We will continue to work with them.