House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this reporting is not new, nor has it surprised anyone in the House that almost three years ago we acted on the advice of senior officials to put in place a new transfer arrangement that improved upon the arrangement that was lacking, and left in place by the previous government. As a result, we have invested more in Afghan prisons, in officials, in training, and mentoring and monitoring. We are trying to improve a situation that I think everyone acknowledges is very difficult, something that we have been aware of for some time.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, while other NATO partners were searching for solutions in order to respect the Geneva convention, Canada had its back turned.

The government's rush to transfer prisoners to Afghan authorities, even though it knew they risked being tortured, can only be explained one way: it wanted to be rid of difficult prisoners.

Is that not what this is all about?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the truth of the matter is that any time we have been aware of credible evidence, we have acted. We have acted responsibly, and I think we can all say with great pride that what the members of the Canadian Forces, our diplomats, and aid workers in Afghanistan did then and continue to do now is their level best to improve the situation. We can all be proud of that. But here is what Eugene Lang, the former chief of staff to two Liberal defence ministers, had to say: “The...government improved the agreement. The concerns that Ms. Olexiuk raised and the provisions that she apparently at that time had argued for were indeed put in the agreement by the” current government.

We improved the situation.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

March 12th, 2010 / 11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, since the earthquake in January, members of Canada's Haitian community have been worried about the fate of their loved ones in Haiti.

The Government of Quebec has used its powers under the 1991 Canada-Quebec agreement on the selection and settlement of immigrants to be more flexible about sponsoring families. In fact, the Government of Quebec has decided to temporarily broaden the concept of family reunification.

The Government of Canada, however, is refusing to be more flexible.

Why?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

St. Catharines
Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, in fact this government has acted. Immediately after the earthquake hit Haiti, this government insisted that all of the sponsorship cases in the queue at the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration be removed from that queue and be turned into a priority, and which this government and ministry have been working on since the time of the earthquake.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member did not understand my question, but we understand that the government has no interest in being flexible.

However, does the member realize the position he is putting some people in with his lack of openness?

Many members of Ottawa's Haitian community are faced with the possibility of having to sell their homes and move to Gatineau if they want to sponsor a family member who is over 18, for example.

Does the government realize how unfair this is and the impossible situation it is putting people in?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

St. Catharines
Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the government is completely and fully aware of exactly what its responsibilities are, and also what its needs are in terms of delivering the service. This government has in fact gone out of its way to ensure that we were the first country to be there in Haiti, the first country to provide assistance, the first country to make sure we were there when needed. In fact there is no way we can treat one country in one circumstance differently from another country in a different circumstance. We have dealt with this issue and we continue to deal with this issue.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the parliamentary secretary just said is scandalous. I am going to take him to see the Haitian community in my riding, and we will see whether things can be done differently.

Yesterday, the cat got out of the bag. The government had promised to create a special fund to help the victims in Haiti, in addition to the money already committed. It was going to match the donations people made and spend the money quickly in the field to meet the urgent needs of Haitians. We are talking about $128 million.

But nothing has happened. Not only has the money in this fund not been spent, but it may wind up in the World Bank.

Why did the government deceive Canadians and Quebeckers, who made a huge effort and worked day and night to raise money, thinking that the government was going to do its part?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Kootenay—Columbia
B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the member continues to disappoint us with that kind of question.

The fact is that the Government of Canada committed $85 million immediately for urgent relief. In addition to the $85 million, the matching funds are currently being assessed as to the most effective way that they can be distributed.

I regret that the member has decided to play politics on the back of the Haitian disaster.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, he does not know zip about Haiti and if he is disappointed it does not look like it.

The new definition of emergency is “in the near future”.

Credible, experienced NGOs in the field have been ready for weeks and have well-defined projects. They have provided everything needed to get the money out.

While the minister is telling CBC that she has not received enough project proposals, CIDA is asking NGOs to lower their expectations because there are too many. Who is telling the truth?

The minister was happy to be on the news when the earthquake happened. What is she waiting for to get the emergency relief funds out? Could it be that this money does not actually exist?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Kootenay—Columbia
B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I will say it again. The Government of Canada immediately released $85 million for the urgent need at that point. President Préval of Haiti has said:

We must draw the lessons from what occurred in Haiti--the massive, spontaneous, generous help was a good response to the disaster. However, its effectiveness must be improved, because effectiveness depends on the quality of coordination.

That is exactly what we are doing.

Shame on that member for playing politics on this issue.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic action plan is at work in all communities. It is fueling new economic growth and creating new high-paying jobs for Canadians.

Canada's economic action plan has created and maintained jobs with job creating stimulus and has saved even more through expanded work-sharing agreements. Our Conservative government is also lowering taxes to fuel job growth for tomorrow.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance update the House on the latest news on the job front?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for raising that question because the opposition chose not to, probably because it is such good news.

Canada created 21,000 new jobs in February, which brings us to a total of 160,000 net new jobs since last July. That is good news for Canadians. It is proof that our economic action plan is working and it is proof that the Liberals' plan to raise taxes would not work. They want to raise the GST, which. according to Informetrica, would take--

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Skeena--Bulkley Valley.

Oil and Gas Industry
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, in last week's budget, the Conservatives once again chose the old energy economy over the new. Rather than new investments in green technology, they instead gave the highly profitable oil and gas companies a massive tax giveaway. This means that by 2012 the annual giveaway to just the top three oil companies will be more than all of the money the government has committed to green and renewable energy in this budget .

The government claims to believe in green but these numbers put truth to the lie.

When will the government stop the taxpayer handouts to oil companies and fund a real green future for Canada?