House of Commons Hansard #84 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Human Rights
Oral Questions

October 21st, 2010 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's international reputation is taking another beating, all because the Conservatives have still not signed on to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Yesterday, in Japan, Canadian delegates to the Convention on Biological Diversity blocked the treaty to curb the rapid loss of plant and animal species throughout the world. Why? Because it had language recognized in the UN declaration.

Canada already agreed to this language in May after the Prime Minister had announced we would officially endorse the declaration. Why does Canada keep backtracking on the rights of indigenous peoples?

Human Rights
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, Canada will take steps to endorse the UN declaration, which is an aspirational document, and we will do so in a manner fully consistent with Canada's Constitution and laws and in balance with the rights of all Canadians.

Our commitment to helping improve the lives of aboriginal peoples builds on the Prime Minister's historic apology to former students of Indian residential schools and the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, CBC's The National highlighted Canada's new brain gain: the fact that many scientists from Great Britain and other countries are coming to Canada to conduct their research because of the strong support of our government.

British neuroscientist Adrian Owen said:

Canada has decided to invest in science...and I am going to a place that is going to support the work that I do.

Would the minister update the House on our government's success in supporting research across the country?

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his strong support for research in the first place. Of course he is correct. Canada is becoming an international destination of choice for the world's top researchers. Last week, it was reported that our government will spend a historic $11.7 billion on science and technology this year alone. We are doing this because science drives commerce. It creates jobs. It improves the quality of life for Canadians.

It is disappointing that the official opposition is doing all it can to drive jobs away with its F-35 stance and its raising of taxes stance. That is not good for the country. What we are doing is good for the country.

Transportation
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Independent

Helena Guergis Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, a cost-competitive transportation sector is a key component of the travel and tourism industry, generating billions in tax revenues.

Canada's existing airline policies have resulted in a drop from 8th to 15th place among the world's most visited destinations. Our tourist deficit has risen dramatically from $1 billion to $14.5 billion, and 2.5 million Canadians are now going to U.S. airports in order to travel on less expensive airline tickets.

When will the government live up to its commitment to eliminate or cut airport rents and excise fuel taxes so Canada can become globally competitive and a more affordable destination?

Transportation
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, of course, things such as airport rents are important. After we took office, we reduced the rents for airports by half. They have been cut in half from what they were up to 2005. So there are some savings there.

Last night, I was speaking to the Senate committee. It is starting a study on the whole airline industry, as well. I have encouraged its members to look at not only things such as airport rents but also the governance structure of the airport authorities themselves and other issues. It is a pretty wide-open study, but I think right now we are in that mode where it is time to re-examine the policies for Canada. We want it to be very competitive.

Child and Spousal Support
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the government admitting that when people become delinquent in paying court-ordered spousal payments they become deadbeats.

Health Canada and Veterans Affairs have admitted that almost 40% of their payments are delayed. This outlines a serious problem. National Defence has 3,600 cases delayed. This shows it is not an isolated problem.

The reality is that single moms, single fathers, and their children are suffering, their mortgage rates are going up, and their credit card bills are stacking up.

How can Canadians trust the government if, at the end of the day, it has not delivered and has become delinquent? It is betraying single parents.

Child and Spousal Support
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

North Vancouver
B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned before, we are concerned about reports that payments may have been delayed. The President of the Treasury Board has asked officials to look into this matter and we expect it to be resolved as quickly as possible.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Blaz Kavcic, President of the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is Thursday and time for the question for the government House leader. Could he give Canadians a better understanding of what is forthcoming in terms of the House schedule this week and going into next week?

Could I also ask the House leader of the government to take a moment to explain to parliamentarians when we should anticipate dealing with the government's second budget implementation bill, which of course is followed through the ways and means motion? We have seen the bill and we are waiting for further notice in terms of when we can begin that very important debate.

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I did want to stand in my place and correct the record.

Earlier today, in answering a question, I neglected to mention the good work of the Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification as a woman serving in this cabinet. As well, the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the hon. Marjory LeBreton, makes a very powerful and substantial contribution to this government.

I am also pleased to report that the four House leaders are working well together. We have got off to a very good start.

Today is an opposition day for the Bloc Québécois and we will continue to debate on that for the rest of the day.

Tomorrow, we will resume debate on second reading of Bill C-46, the Canada-Panama free trade agreement; followed by Bill S-9, the tackling auto theft and property crime legislation.

On Monday and Tuesday we will begin with Bill S-9, on tackling auto theft and property crime; followed by Bill C-46, the Canada-Panama free trade agreement; report stage of Bill C-3, gender equity in Indian registration; Bill C-42, strengthening aviation security; Bill C-29, safeguarding Canadians' personal information; Bill C-30, on the Supreme Court of Canada decision in R v. Shoker; Bill C-41, strengthening military justice in the defence of Canada; and Bill S-2, protecting victims from sex offenders.

On Wednesday we will begin debate on Bill C-49, the preventing human smugglers from abusing Canada's immigration system act. If debate on Bill C-49 concludes, we will continue with the business that I outlined on Monday and Tuesday.

The House leader for the official opposition also requested to know about the second budget bill, for the fall. We have begun debate on that. We have already adopted the ways and means motion, but we certainly will be calling it again before the November Remembrance Day break week for constituents. That is obviously an important piece of legislation that we look forward to having the opportunity to debate in this place.

I also neglected to mention the hard work of another member of the priorities and planning committee, the hon. Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—Federal spending power
Business of Supply
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

When this matter was last before the House the hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour had the floor and there were six minutes remaining in the time allotted for questions and comments consequent upon his speech. I therefore call for questions and comments.

The hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso.

Opposition Motion—Federal spending power
Business of Supply
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the presentation we had the opportunity to listen to from my colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour touched on a number of very important points.

To be fair to the question, a number of programs have had varying degrees of success, but some have been very successful.

Back in 2002 there was a program established by the former Liberal government that enabled provinces to embark on partnerships to acquire health care equipment. Before the program was developed, there were about 15 MRI units in the whole of Canada. Through the development of this particular program, that number rose to around 150 MRI units. We all understand the importance of MRI units and the great benefit they bring to the citizens of this country.

There have been great programs like that, but I know there have been other instances that have not panned out as well. We had discussed earlier the millennium scholarship fund where allocations of money had gone to the province of Nova Scotia and were not really used in the manner that they thought.

With the proper checks and balances, I think it is much to the benefit of all Canadians to continue to maintain well thought-out and well-regulated programs. I think that would benefit all provinces and all citizens of this country.

I would like my colleague's comments on that particular issue.