House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend goes too far, even by the standards of this place.

Clearly, we have to be the most environmentally responsible producer of all forms of energy in this country and that includes the oil sands. To that end, we are taking very specific steps in response to the scientific criticism that has been made about the existing water monitoring.

I have met with Dr. Schindler who authored those reports. I have met with the premier and the minister of the environment of the province. We have initiated a federal panel of federally appointed scientists, the leading scientists in this country on water monitoring. They will ensure that we have a state-of-the-art world-class monitoring regime in place, and if we do not, we will ensure we have one.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, again yesterday the Leader of the Bloc Québécois went too far. In the newspaper Le Devoir, when talking about the vote on the long gun registry, he quoted the prime minister as saying, “We do not like this decision that was made democratically and therefore we will not implement it.” The leader of the Bloc continued, “That is not the action of a democratic government. That is the action of a dictator.”

I would like the Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec to tell us what he thinks of this statement by the Bloc, which is again looking down upon people who live in rural areas.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, once again, the strong-willed Bloc leader has outdone himself in the art of rhetoric, as did his colleague who just spoke. If we used his logic, he and his colleagues would have had to abandon their sovereignist option because, on two occasions, Quebeckers have democratically refused to break up Canada.

Is it dictatorial to continue to push that option? Come on. The reality is that opposition to the ineffective gun registry has never been so strong and its dismantling has never been so close. The February 2007 headline in Le Devoir sums it up: “The Bloc Québécois is turning up its nose at the regions.”

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' treatment of our veterans is unacceptable.

It is increasingly obvious that this government uses our veterans for its public relations but ignores them when the time comes to defend their interests.

Why is the minister refusing to answer a simple question about retroactivity?

Why is he willing to treat injured soldiers returning from the battlefields of Afghanistan like second-class veterans?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

Noon

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Greg Kerr Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I guess it is the same question, so I will try the same answer, maybe a little louder.

The fact of the matter is that there was a lot of ground to be made up from the previous government when it made all those cuts to the veterans program. A lot of initiatives have been taken in recent years. One of the biggest took place in recent days, which in fact addresses a lot of issues that were front of mind to the veterans.

The fact is that $2 billion is committed to our veterans in the coming years. I would think the members opposite would cheer that and say, “Good for us. Let's get on and support these most important people in our society and let's stay tuned to what is going to happen in the coming—”

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

Noon

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Rivière-du-Nord.

Cultural Products
Oral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the cultural exemption, which excludes cultural products from trade, was hard won at the NAFTA negotiations. Yet in the current negotiations for a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, the EU is finding the cultural exemption clause too broad and is attempting to dilute it.

Does the government realize that any weakening of its position would send a very bad signal to the United States, which could be tempted to challenge this provision of NAFTA?

Cultural Products
Oral Questions

Noon

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, in this time of economic uncertainty, our government is working to open new doors for Canadian business and to help create jobs. An agreement with the European Union has the potential to give a $12 billion boost to the Canadian economy and increase bilateral trade by over 20%.

We will continue to work closely with all the provinces and territories. We are pleased to have found a way to directly involve them in the n