House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was energy.

Topics

Canadian Forces
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I could not disagree with the hon. member more. There are no better soldiers in the world than the Canadian Forces.

If he is talking in some vague fashion about using private security contractors in the mission, which all countries are doing, which NATO countries are doing, hiring Afghans, we are working with Afghans to build their security capacity. We are working with operational mentoring liaison teams in both police and army to build their ability to secure their own country. That is exactly what we will continue to do.

Canadian Forces
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, that is not good enough for the safety of our troops.

The Bush administration's use of private security contractors in Iraq led to abuses that were severely criticized. The people we have hired here are outside the military chain of command and not subject to our military laws, discipline or justice.

Why is the government using these private companies as cheap labour in the first place? Will the government commit to stop using private security contracts to protect our bases or to carry out military or paramilitary operations in Afghanistan?

Canadian Forces
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, I know the member is new to the file but he really should delve into the details of this issue a little further.

Using private security contractors is what all countries have been doing. This is what allows us to help train Afghans to do the type of work that we are doing now. In fact, Canada has been a leader, with other countries, working on the International Committee of the Red Cross to finalize the Montreux document on private and military security companies.

This demonstrates our country's commitment to identify and promote good practices regarding operations of private military security companies. This is exactly what we are there to do, which is to help them do the jobs we do.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism is hiding behind the IRB to justify the partisan appointment of Pharès Pierre. Yet before the committee, the Auditor General said, “The decision whether or not to appoint a candidate is always the prerogative of the minister and the governor in council.”

The minister therefore could have rejected, and still could reject, this shameful appointment. Pharès Pierre's swearing in is set for June 2. Will the minister take action, assume his responsibilities and remove Pharès Pierre?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, as I have said in the past, the chair of the IRB recommended the man in question to the government for an IRB appointment following a screening process. When I learned that that individual had prior questionable ties with Haitian authorities, I expressed my concerns. The appointment was made based on the recommendation of the IRB, which is an independent tribunal. I spoke to the IRB chair about this matter and it is up to him to oversee the board members.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister still refuses to act and continues to defend this partisan appointment, claiming that he cannot do anything about it. Yet sections 153(1) (a) and 186 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act clearly indicate that the governor in council can remove a member of the board.

Will the minister admit that he is refusing to assume his responsibilities simply because he wants to continue to protect a Conservative crony?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I reject the question, the suggestion and this interpretation. I do not know that individual. To the best of my knowledge, he was not involved in the Conservative Party. He was proposed as a candidate recommended by the IRB after a screening process. Following the appointment of members to the IRB, it is up to the chair of the IRB to oversee the members and their behaviour. That is the chair's responsibility. He is a very professional man and I have complete confidence in the chair of the IRB in this file.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

May 6th, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the minister may be able to serve barbecued pork, but his responsibility as minister is to ensure that Canadian pork producers themselves are not barbecued.

First there was the United States' country of origin labelling and now there are illegal pork bans driving Canadian farmers into financial ruin. Yet the only thing this minister has delivered to date is additional debt. I ask the minister to send a message to the world, and not just threaten trade action but stand up for producers and deliver for once.

Will the minister commit today to cash payments to Canadian hog producers so that they can have some financial security?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
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, pork producers as well as the rest of the farmers across this great country know that we will develop programs and be there for them in their need. We continue to open trade routes for them. We continue to maintain the great trade they have with certain countries. I understand the Philippines are reassessing their position. We are hoping for some very positive news there.

What would really barbecue farmers quickly is increasing their taxes, and a punitive carbon tax would have an exponentially harmful effect on agriculture. We will never do that.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I plead with the minister to reconsider and deliver cash.

However, let me turn to another area of increasingly proven ministerial incompetence. The documents that the minister provided to the Subcommittee on Food Safety confirm that the minister never received a full briefing on the listeriosis crisis until August 24, weeks after the crisis began and with deaths mounting.

Was it the minister's concern over the political fallout that caused the delay, or interference by the PMO, or both? Delays could have increased the health risk. Why the delay?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
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, everyone knows the timeline involved. The member opposite has been working with that at committee. Several different studies are being done. We look forward to those reports, including the independent investigation by Ms. Sheila Weatherill. I think it is going to be very enlightening when that comes out in July. We look forward that.

Of course, the timeline could be looked at 100 different ways. I can assure the member that I was involved. CFIA made the recall in the early morning hours on the 17th, and I was notified at the beginning of business on the 18th. We began to take action. We will continue to do that to build a better food safety system in this great country.

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, last February, workers at Xstrata got a double shock, and today they are on the Hill. The first shock was when 700 workers were laid off in violation of the agreement between Xstrata and the government; and the second was when the government did nothing to enforce that agreement. It took the hard work of the CAW local to negotiate a delay of these layoffs, but now that time is almost up.

Workers and families feel abandoned by the Conservative government. Will the government realize that its inaction is causing the demise of mining communities like Sudbury, right across northern Ontario?

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is quite the opposite. At the time of the original decision by Xstrata, we announced that Xstrata would in fact commit to contractual terms on investment of up to $390 million in Sudbury for their mining operations. It was not just something that was in a brochure or in an annual report. We committed them to contractual terms.

That is the kind of work we do. We work with a company, if it is so willing, and find the best deal possible to protect the workers and the communities. That is what we do on this side of the House. They do not do it on that side of the House.

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, today 50 CAW mine mill workers from Xstrata have travelled from Sudbury to talk to the Minister of Industry. These miners feel abandoned by the Conservatives. It was the union, not the government, that got Xstrata to delay the layoffs.

The government chose instead to side with corporate interests and just sat on its hands. Now the workers' deal is set to expire and they are worried about their future. Will this minister commit today to working with these miners and finally commit to rebuilding the mining sector in northern Ontario?

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member may be aware, we have a number of programs that are going to be helpful to Sudbury. They are delivered through FedNor. They are delivered through our community adjustment fund.

We are there for the people of Sudbury. I have had numerous meetings with the Mayor of Sudbury to make sure their plans for their community are brought through our system in an appropriate manner. That is what we are doing on this side of the House.

I wonder if the union members are aware that many members of his caucus in fact voted for the continuation of the long gun registry, voted for the immediate removal of the plans to have that done.

That is on their side of the House. They have to answer to their constituents on that.