House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

March 29th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, on World Water Day, the National Post ran an editorial advising Canada to leave the door open to bulk water exports. The editorial echoed the view of the Montreal Economic Institute, the right-wing think tank founded by the member for Beauce.

The previous Liberal government took major steps to protect Canada's freshwater from export, including amending the International Boundary Waters Treaty Act. Why has the Conservative government not acted in any way to protect against the possibility of future exports of this vital Canadian resource?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I welcome my hon. colleague back from the thinking, taxing and spending conference he took part in on the weekend. I am given to believe, from what I read in the newspaper, that when that many Liberals get together it is, undoubtedly, a taxing experience, and so it seems.

The hon. member knows that we are opposed to any bulk water exports, and our position on that is quite clear. There is an extensive layer of provincial regulations in place right now that deal with this issue. I would encourage my friend to be supportive of the government's efforts.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was at another conference this weekend, a conference calling on the federal government to bring in a national water strategy.

The Minister of the Environment is blowing with the wind. In its 2008 throne speech, the Conservative government promised to introduce a bill to prohibit major water diversions. The current provincial policies were already in place at the time, so the minister cannot use those policies as an excuse for his government's flip-flop.

Why is the Conservative government refusing to protect the national interest?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I hope my hon. friend is not now proposing a tax on water. I know the Liberals would tax everything else that is possible.

Why did my hon. colleague not appear to be supportive this past weekend of the regulations that this government has brought in to deal with the discharge of municipal sewage into our natural water system? We have been pursuing these regulations for a generation in this country. They would apply to some 4,000 municipal waste water facilities across the country. I ask my hon. colleague to support these efforts.

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we can now add former Bank of Canada governor, David Dodge, to the growing list of those calling for the creation of a supplemental Canada pension plan. Mr. Dodge and other experts know that if we fail to take action to fix the shortcomings of our pension system, seniors and governments will all pay a hefty price.

Despite the Prime Minister's long held view that the CPP should be abolished, will the Conservatives listen to the experts and immediately create a supplemental Canada pension plan to help Canadians prepare for retirement?

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there are differences of opinion with respect to how one can improve the Canada pension plan and how one can involve the private sector.

The member opposite and her party seem to think they have a monopoly on the only thing that will work. The Canadian Labour Congress does not agree with the Liberals. The Ontario Federation of Labour does not agree with them. I spoke with them in Toronto on Saturday and they have a rather different idea.

I suggest that the official opposition stops acting as if it has a monopoly on the truth.

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are looking for action not more talk.

Sick and disabled Canadians urgently need changes to the bankruptcy act to salvage their benefits. That was proven in spades by a court decision this past weekend that left 12,000 Canadian pensioners, 400 long-term disability recipients and 7,000 other former Nortel employees completely vulnerable.

Will the government agree today to move by unanimous consent to amend the bankruptcy act to help these desperate sick Canadians?

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member should be aware, this government is already reviewing the provisions of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. We are asking Canadians for their input as well through the process that the Minister of Finance has set up.

What we will not do is adopt the policies of the Liberals across the aisle based on their taxapalooza conference of the past weekend where they want to tax everything and anything. That is not good for pensioners, not good for seniors and not good for the people of Canada.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, at the Liberal spenders conference this past weekend, all the Liberals did was talk about higher taxes. They talked about a GST hike. They discussed reviving the carbon tax. They now have an official plan to raise job-killing business taxes.

Would the Minister of Finance tell the House how raising taxes harms Canada's economy.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we have a jobs and growth budget. Members on the other side of the House are proposing job-killing tax increases for Canadians.

I know the Liberals do not like listening to Canadians but perhaps they will listen to the Liberal finance critic who said that deeper business cuts are the “primary means of achieving the investment, the rising living standards and the jobs, jobs, jobs that we all want for ourselves and our children”.

The budget is pro-jobs. Raising taxes is against jobs. Canada needs jobs, especially our small and medium-sized businesses.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, veteran diplomat, Robert Fowler, described the Conservative government's foreign policy as “small-minded and mean-spirited”. He criticized Canada's declining participation in UN peacekeeping missions and our inaction in Africa.

Our absence from the Democratic Republic of Congo underscores Mr. Fowler's honest assessment. More than five million lives have been lost to violence in the Congo and mass rape is commonplace.

Will the government confirm reports that we will assist in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Congo?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, where the government does happen to agree with Robert Fowler when he says that “the Liberals don't stand for much in the way of principle and will endorse anything and everything which might return them to power”.

With regard to my colleague's question, the government is proud to stand with strong democracies and against those groups and states that embrace tyranny, hate and terror.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2003, Canada was asked to lead the peacekeeping mission in the Congo but we chose Kandahar instead. The conflict in the Congo has worsened since. Just this week, evidence of another massacre was discovered.

Canadian involvement in the Congo will require a multifaceted approach to support peacekeeping, to end the violence against women and involve them in peace-building and to stem the trade of conflict minerals that sustain these atrocities.

Will we learn from the mistakes of Rwanda and commit to supporting peace-building and peacekeeping in the Congo, yes or no?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, all members can be extremely proud of the work being done by the men and women in uniform in Afghanistan, as they can be with the work they did in Haiti and the work in Africa in the past.

Currently I can tell my hon. friend that future deployments of the Canadian Forces will be decided upon by the government in consultation with our capabilities, of course, and with senior leadership in the Canadian Forces.

Until the year 2011, we know that the primary commitment to the world is to continue our work in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the documents pertaining to the torture of Afghan detainees were censored inconsistently. For example, details of a prisoner revolt were removed from one document but not from another. Apparently, the concept of security is malleable enough to enable the government to hide politically sensitive information.

To restore public confidence, will the government turn over all of the documents in their original form to the parliamentary committee so that it can start by reviewing them in camera?