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

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government has made a large number of documents available, most recently this past Thursday. The documents were disclosed for different purposes over an extended period of time. Despite the best efforts of those involved, there will occasionally be inconsistencies. However, we addressed those, and are taking it one step further with the appointment of Mr. Justice Iacobucci.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, who likes to control everything, lacks credibility. If he is capable of making sure that information as harmless as the cost of government advertising during the Olympic Games is not made public, imagine what he can do when his government is accused of violating the Geneva convention.

Does the government acknowledge that it has no credibility when it comes to transparency?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government has made documents available. It is cooperating in every way, consistent, though, with public safety and national security.

We have made that v very clear and the hon. member should support the process in place.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, last week the minister ignored the concerns of major farm organizations that called his agristability program a failure. Now, Canada's major farm paper, The Western Producer, in its editorial states:

Budget misses the mark in helping ag. sector.

It adds:

For the first time in 31 budgets, the March 4 version contained no additional money for agriculture.

With the livestock sector in crisis, why does the minister continue to ignore advice by and for farmers?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, working with the provinces and territories, we always put farmers first when we are building toward our new programs. We constantly look at the existing programs to ensure they are hitting the target and serving the best interests of farmers out there. We want to ensure they are bankable and predictable, and we are getting that job done.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth than the minister's words. Now, with the livestock sector is in turmoil, the minister even failed to gain a new nickel in the budget. Worse, the minister's own plans and priority document shows major cuts. Business risk management, forecast spending through 2013 is slashed by $1.4 billion.

How can any farmer in this country believe anything the minister has to say when his own department undercut his rhetoric that he just blew forth here a minute ago?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, discounting that rant, let me read a couple of quotations. Brad Wildeman, president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, said:

These measures address a real threat to the long term profitability of the Canadian cattle industry.

Jacques Laforge, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada, said:

The Government of Canada has really stepped up to the plate. This announcement confirms they heard dairy and beef producers' requests for assistance--

The Canadian Meat Council said:

Canada’s meat processing industry praised the announcement in the 2010 Federal Budget of initiatives that will ensure a more competitive cattle sector.

They all get it. Why did that member not read that page?

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, in opposition, the Conservatives promised to end the cover-ups and scandals that we saw from the Liberals. Now that they are in government, it is clear that they did not really mean it. Today, we hear that yet another Conservative political staff person blocked information from being released.

From the Afghanistan cover-up to expensive self-promoting ads, the government thwarts accountability, claiming all decisions about releasing documents are made by non-political public servants. If it is really hands-off, why are its fingerprints all over this censorship?

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the reporter was given the information that he asked for once the advertising campaign was complete and the costs were known at that point.

We do make sure we make every effort to ensure that Canadians receive the information they ask for. We want that information to be complete, accurate and provided in a timely manner. We will be using this example to modify our procedures as we go forward.

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, access to information is about transparency and accountability, not sanitizing or covering up embarrassing facts. Conservative political staff have admitted that the PMO chastises ministers' offices when unfavourable information is released.

In light of that, will the Minister of Human Resources verify reports that her staff simply did “what ministers' offices are expected to do by the PMO”, or will she follow the cabinet's past practice, deny responsibility and let the interference continue?

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, in response to a media call, not an ATI request, the reporter was provided with the information he asked for once the ad campaign was complete and all the costs were known. That was exactly what he asked for. We complied with that. We will be looking at this example to see if there are lessons to be learned going forward.

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable to Canadians that unelected senators can hold terms of up to 45 years. Our Conservative government has always been committed to reforming the Senate. To that hopeful end, could the Minister of State for Democratic Reform update the House on the government's commitment to Senate reform?

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia
Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, we agree with Canadians that it is time that the Senate reflect the values of the 21st century. That is why, in our 2010 throne speech, we have outlined our plans to reform the Senate. They include non-renewable term limits and a direct input for Canadians into who will become their senators in the future. It is time that the opposition parties get on board with our reforms.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

March 29th, 2010 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on April 9, we will mark the end of an era, remembering the passing of John Babcock and paying tribute to his comrades who gave their lives in World War I. Veterans who came home in 1918 were welcomed back as heroes. They built the Canada we know today.

Modern veterans face huge and new challenges. They want a part in building tomorrow's Canada, but the Conservatives are failing them.

When will the government commit to the care and benefits these soldiers deserve and are calling for themselves?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his sensitivity to this issue.

I would remind the House that a number of events will take place over the next two weeks to honour the contributions of those involved in the first world war. As we know, 650,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders were involved in the war, and 68,000 of them paid the ultimate price by giving their lives.

A special event is scheduled for April 9. A commemorative ceremony will take place at the National War Memorial here in Ottawa. All Canadians are invited to share their thoughts by signing the Book of Reflection over the next few days.