House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is incapable of transferring the money promised for infrastructure to communities that need it. Only 6% of infrastructure funds have been reached the communities.

Why is the government delaying the transfer payments for community infrastructure?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat surprised that this honourable member is asking such a question because in downtown Ottawa, in his own riding, the work underway on the Ottawa Congress Centre is being funded by the Government of Canada.

The coalition criticizes our policies and our deficit but, at the same time, it is telling us to spend more and faster. The coalition should decide if the deficit is too large or too small. We are managing our economy properly.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the whole country is shovel in hand, waiting for the government to get its act together.

Look at Perth, Ontario, not Ottawa Centre. It has received zero dollars. It does not even know the status of its application. The money is delayed so communities cannot finish the infrastructure projects within the 24 month deadline. The mayor of Perth worries that Perth will have to return any money it might eventually get back to the federal government.

Will the government at least remove this unrealistic deadline and will it be reasonable with communities both large and small?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have doubled the gas tax and have moved it forward so municipalities can get it quicker. We are announcing support for projects right across the country.

However, the leader of the opposition coalition, of which the member was a supporter, said, “It does not make sense to say we passed a budget in April and it's the first of May. We have to deal with it for a little bit of time to see if the measures we supported have in fact worked”.

It is going to take time. However, the Liberal-NDP coalition cannot simultaneously say that the deficit is too big and then say that we need to spend more and faster.

Mirabel Airport
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the control tower at Mirabel Airport was closed on the pretext that there was not enough air traffic. Representatives of Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney, Bell Helicopter, L3 Communications, Helibellule and Federal Express wrote to the Minister of Transport on April 23, urging him to correct this situation. The minister did not deign to reply and give special status to the airport, which has become part of the aerospace industry infrastructure over the years.

Will the minister see to it that Mirabel Airport gets its control tower back, so that the aerospace industry can keep growing?

Mirabel Airport
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

The safety of Canada's air transportation system is important to this government. The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities is aware of the situation at Mirabel and has asked officials to look at it.

Officials will meet with key stakeholders this morning. In 2007, NAV CANADA began analyzing services at Mirabel. This analysis is still under way, and I invite the member to work with us to resolve this issue.

Mirabel Airport
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the control tower was closed, two incidents have occurred at Mirabel, fortunately without serious consequences. NAV CANADA's decision is hurting development and investment in Montreal's aerospace industry.

Will the minister listen to reason and give Mirabel International Airport back its control tower?

Mirabel Airport
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I believe that my hon. colleague will acknowledge that in 2007, NAV CANADA began analyzing services provided at Mirabel and that Transport Canada determined that the changes subsequently proposed would not have a negative impact on safety.

That said, if a group of users is worried about the changes to services, we will be pleased to meet with them to discuss this further.

Canadian International Development Agency
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week we witnessed something unprecedented in this building. Nineteen African ambassadors assembled in front of the foreign affairs committee, at their request, to act as a voice of solidarity with those eight African nations that have had large portions of their development funds cut by CIDA. They pleaded with committee members to consider the implications to our own reputation as a caring nation if we pursued these cuts.

Would the Minister of International Cooperation reconsider these cuts in light of this development?

Canadian International Development Agency
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Kootenay—Columbia
B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the member is correct. There were 18 representatives of African nations who attended that meeting. Regrettably, their report to the committee was erroneous because it was based on erroneous information that had been propagated by the Liberals, the Bloc and the NDP.

In fact, we have doubled our aid to Africa in the last three years. The figure is now $2.1 billion. We are very proud of the reputation that our government has in supporting African issues.

Canadian International Development Agency
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are not talking about emergency relief funds. We are talking about long-term development resources, the kinds that lift people and nations out of poverty.

These countries and their ambassadors were not consulted prior to this announcement. They confirmed this forcefully in front of the committee.

Would the government consider consulting with them now as a group and provide them with at least the chance to fight for the future of their own people?

Canadian International Development Agency
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Kootenay—Columbia
B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I have had the opportunity personally to meet with representatives of about 10 of these nations. I know that the minister has had the same opportunity.

Canada, and Canada's government, will make its decisions about what it is going to be doing with respect to Africa. We are absolutely prepared to sit and meet with these people.

However, the continuation of the myth that we have cut aid when in fact we have doubled aid to Africa is deeply regrettable. I would ask all members of the opposition to rethink this policy. It is doing a damage to our reputation. We have doubled the amount.

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the WHMIS regulatory authority coordinates intergovernmental efforts and will be asked to play a major role in the implementation of new UN standards.

Workers rely on the system to protect them from hazardous materials at work, but the Conservatives want to cut the national authority's budget by $2.6 million.

Why is the government trying to hurt workers yet again by reducing funding to the organization that is responsible for their safety?

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to meet our commitments under the WHMIS program. I recognize that the hon. member may wish additional information. I am prepared to share that information with her.

Health Canada will continue to meet its obligations. As I said, the savings come from leveraging efficiencies in similar programs, such as chemical and product safety, and to ensure that worker safety is not compromised and in fact will be improved through these efficiencies. We will continue to meet our obligations.

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government is actually doing the opposite.

The minister's officials right now are working to have the global system of classification and labelling exclude dangerous workplace chemicals. This, plus the knee-capping of the national office of WHMIS, are an absolute disgrace and an affront to all workers in this country. Why would the government want to compromise workplace safety?

Will the government follow the European Union, adopt the entire list of hazardous materials and rescind its cuts?