House of Commons Hansard #66 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was funding.

Topics

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our position has not changed.

When it comes to bidding for Olympic games, the federal government has always invested in Canadian cities that qualify.

I would like to remind the member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord that in October 1993, his Bloc colleague, the member for Québec, said in Le Soleil that public moneys should not be used to fund such projects.

Pensions
Oral Questions

September 20th, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, nine million Canadians do not have a retirement pension plan. In the private sector, the problem is particularly serious, where 73% of employees do not have any retirement savings.

The Conservative government seems to have plenty of money for planes and prisons, and three-day G20 photo ops, but why has it still done nothing to help with the pension crisis that is threatening so many Canadian families?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are all committed to ensuring Canadians have the best possible retirement income system. We have been listening to Canadians in public consultations. Several of the provinces have gone out to listen to Canadians to ensure that we arrive at the correct solutions. Our officials have continued to work on this since we had the federal-provincial-territorial finance ministers meeting on Prince Edward Island in June.

It is a complex issue. It has to be worked out between the federal government and the provinces, and we are working in that co-operative way.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer, but we have been hearing those answers for at least 600 days or more.

Canadians continue to look for concrete action. We are more than willing on this side of the House to work with the government today, as we were yesterday, to improve pensions in a variety of ways. One is to implement a supplementary Canada pension plan. The second is a stranded agency to help companies going bankrupt. The third is to make changes to the bankruptcy law. We are willing to do that today.

Is the government willing to commit today to work with us to bring in real pension reform?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what the official opposition actually had suggested in the House was some sort of voluntary new CPP method. This was rejected unanimously by our partners in the federation when we met and discussed the issue because it would not work and because the CPP would be unable to administer it.

If the opposition is prepared to work with us on the constructive solutions that most of the provinces agree with, we are more than happy to work with it on those.

Health
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, last year Canadians spent more than $25 billion on prescription drugs. This cost could be cut in half with a national pharmacare program, but the federal government is showing no leadership on this issue. The minister did not attend the conference of the ministers of health or the Canadian Medical Association conference.

When will the government listen and take measures to reduce the cost of drugs?

Health
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes the importance of affordable access to drugs as part of the quality health care program. That is why we will continue to honour the 2004 health accord, which provides $41.3 billion in additional funding to provinces and territories.

As part of the accord, our government agreed to a shared agenda with provinces and territories to improve our collective management of pharmaceutical products, recognizing our complementary roles in the sector. In addition, we have made investments in Health Infoway and a number of other projects that are important to provinces and territories, and we will continue to do that.

Health
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, prescription drugs are the fastest growing part of health care costs and they are threatening the sustainability of our universal system, but there are solutions. France, Sweden, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand all have universal drug insurance programs. Their citizens spend up to 50% less for drugs than Canadians do for the same medications.

Why is the government sitting on its hands when Canadians are desperate for a workable solution to their unaffordable drug bills?

Health
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, again, our government continues to be a large player in pharmaceutical benefits, spending approximately $600 million last year to cover pharmaceutical products, medical supplies and equipment for diverse populations and individuals, including first nations and Inuit. The responsibility is with the provincial and territorial governments to decide whether or not to provide their residents with publicly financed drug therapy.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government strongly supports our troops. Since we formed government in 2006, we have drastically increased support for our brave young men and women in uniform while they are abroad. We also provide more assistance to help them reintegrate in civilian society when they return home to Canada.

Could the Minister of Veterans Affairs please tell the House what our Conservative government has done to stand up for our young veterans?

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 question as well as for his concern for veterans. I would also like to thank him for his work as chair of the standing committee.

Yesterday we announced $2 billion to help our veterans, including those returning from Afghanistan, who have been seriously injured, as well as those who are at the lower end of the income scale. We are introducing three measures to help our veterans. We want to show them the respect and dignity they deserve.

Government Communications
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Conservative government wants to take us back to the dark days of the 1950s. Not only are the Conservatives muzzling anyone who disagrees with them, but even worse, they are keeping the public completely in the dark. We have learned that all media inquiries to scientists working for Natural Resources Canada must now be approved by the minister's office, without exception.

What is the minister so afraid of that he will not let his experts speak freely? What is he trying to hide?

Government Communications
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we are not muzzling anyone. The previous Liberal government adopted a policy on government communications in 2002, and we improved that policy in 2006. We expanded the transparency criteria, in particular regarding marketing and public opinion research. These are false accusations, as my colleague knows very well.

We have been perfectly clear about the fact that we want to communicate, and it is only logical that the minister should be the main spokesperson for the department.

Shale Gas
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources and Prime Minister's political lieutenant has in his possession notes concerning the exploitation of shale gas. The minister is not being asked to get involved in this issue, which falls under Quebec's jurisdiction.

However, does the minister plan on making public and transmitting to the BAPE the information he has on the potential effects of shale gas exploitation?

Shale Gas
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I have been looking forward to answering. It is odd to hear about unpublicized documents, when they are documents that were obtained through the Access to Information Act. Everything is there; the documents are already public.

I also asked experts from the Geological Survey of Canada whether they could provide additional information on what is going on in Quebec. I have spoken with my counterpart in Quebec. It is clear that we need information in order to raise the level of public debate, and the Geological Survey of Canada will certainly do its part.