House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was climate.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I get the impression that the Minister of Foreign Affairs was not sure how he was going to conjure up an answer to that question. That being said, in one case, they turn a blind eye because there are only allegations and no action is taken, but in the other case, they take action.

Does that mean the case of the former minister for the status of women was more serious than simple allegations and that is why action was taken? Is that what this means?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have given the leader of the Bloc Québécois clear answers every time. We have said that when there are allegations we take action. It would be like me asking the leader of the Bloc Québécois whether, during his cross Canada tour, he took the time to stop in Fort McMurray, Alberta, to check on the status of his personal shares and investments.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation put up $5.2 million for tobacco control at the International Development Research Centre. However, when the foundation discovered that a board member of the IDRC was also on the board of Imperial Tobacco, it sent a letter expressing this blatant conflict of interest. After no response from the government, it pulled the funding.

Why did the government show such little respect to the largest philanthropic organization in the world? Was it incompetence or indifference?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me remind my colleague that if she is alluding to the chairman of the board's position, I understand the chairman of the board has, within the last month, month and a half, resigned her position from that company.

Research and Development
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, this was not the first time the Conservatives showed a lack of respect to the Gates Foundation. An agreement was reached to help fund an HIV vaccine facility in Canada, but the government cancelled it for no apparent scientific or economic reason. This bungling and possible political interference cost our researchers funding and may cost lives in the long run.

Why does the government continue to damage Canada's standing in the world?

Research and Development
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to correct the perception that is here. In fact, the IDRC continues to partner with the Gates Foundation in a number of worthy areas, and I will be able to send my hon. colleague that information if she requests it.

Rights & Democracy
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we heard shocking testimony regarding Rights & Democracy, where government appointees handed out unauthorized contracts to friends, broke accountability rules and spent like drunken sailors. Half a million dollars of public funds have been squandered in less than two months. In fact, when I asked the interim president how much the recent contracts he signed were worth, he could not even give me a ballpark figure.

The buck stops with the minister. What will he do about this? He should fire these rogue board members.

Rights & Democracy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, when I had the opportunity to go to the committee and to speak about our main estimates, we did have a period of time where we did discuss this specific issue. I invited colleagues around the table to ask the board of directors of Rights & Democracy to come in and to explain their position.

Rights & Democracy, I recall, is an arm's-length organization, and I am waiting for the parliamentary committee to come forward with its recommendations.

Rights & Democracy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we just heard it. They are out of control. They are spending half a million dollars in a couple of months. The buck stops with the minister. If he is not going to do it, granted, we will do his job. We will look and make sure that every dollar is spent well.

The question is: What is going on over there? We had a parliamentary appointments commission that is supposed to be going. They get a million dollars a year. Those guys are still appointing their friends. No accountability. This is from a government that was going to be different, the new era of accountability. Where is the new era? When will they get with the program, and when will we see accountability with those guys over here?

Rights & Democracy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I will remind my hon. colleague that as of October 29, 2009, the organization got a clean bill of health. The committee, indeed, had the opportunity of hearing the members of the board of directors, and they all said that the job that was being completed by Rights & Democracy was a fine job.

Tomorrow, I understand that the committee will have the opportunity to question the person who is in charge, Mr. Latulippe. Those questions can be asked of Mr. Latulippe and I am sure that they will find the proper response.

Railways
Oral Questions

April 14th, 2010 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, railways are an integral part of the Canadian economy. Every year, there are more and more trains on the tracks carrying Canadian goods. At the same time, every day Canadians drive across rail tracks on their way to work, to visit families, to drop kids off at school. Our government wants to ensure that they can cross the line safely.

Would the Minister of State for Transport please inform the House of the announcement he made this morning to support these objectives?

Railways
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Yellowhead
Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Minister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, we are a government that takes safety very seriously. That is why, this morning, I was able to announce $11 million toward 155 projects for rail safety crossings right across this country. We take safety very seriously and we hope that these dollars will do the same as the last investments, which was to reduce, last year, rail crossing incidents by 36%.

The government is getting the job done for Canadians.

British Columbia Economy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government is so busy thinking up new excuses to avoid accountability that it has completely ignored British Columbians.

In my province, most so-called new jobs are part-time and short-term; EI recipients' benefits are long gone; lumber mills are closing; there are no salmon left; and welfare rates have gone up 17%.

Does the government have a plan to deal with these urgent problems, or will it treat it like everything else it wants to avoid and refer it to the RCMP?

British Columbia Economy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this government has made unprecedented investments in British Columbia. The first province that we could make substantial infrastructure announcements was where?

British Columbia Economy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

An hon. member

British Columbia.