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

Census
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, we still have the mandatory census. That has not changed with respect to the short form. With respect to the long form, as we said from the beginning, we want a reasonable approach in which we balance the need for data--and we can get usable and useful data through a long-form questionnaire--with the protection of privacy rights of Canadians.

I want the hon. member to stand in his place and justify why he wishes to threaten his fellow Canadians with jail time and fines rather than doing the reasonable thing.

Hurricane Igor
Oral Questions

September 24th, 2010 / 11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, the devastating impacts of hurricane Igor are still being felt by thousands in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Roads are impassable, bridges have collapsed, communities are cut off and running out of food and medical supplies. The Prime Minister is making a quick sweep of the affected areas today, but what is required is a quicker response.

People are saying they will not put up with mere promises like the Prime Minister made during tropical storm Chantal in 2007. What urgent actions can the government report are being taken today and in the days ahead?

Hurricane Igor
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member should know that he had it right. The Prime Minister has responded quickly. In fact, he is there in Newfoundland and Labrador today with the hon. member's premier and Senator Manning. They are touring some of the communities on Burin Peninsula and some of the areas most affected by hurricane Igor.

We are standing in solidarity with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. We will be there to assist in whatever way necessary, whatever way possible. We realize the urgency of the matter. That is why the Prime Minister is there. That is why we are ready to act and to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador in their time of need.

Hurricane Igor
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, maybe the Conservative government did not hear. A 90-year-old stranded without electricity and food said, “If the Prime Minister comes down here, he better take me out of it”.

People are running out of food and medical supplies, and communications are down. This was the worst storm ever to hit the province and an extraordinary response is required. Neighbour is helping neighbour, but where is the federal government?

Communities need food drops and fuel drops. They do not need Prime Minister photo ops.

What is the government doing to help these people in their hour of need?

Hurricane Igor
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would encourage the hon. member to look at this objectively.

We are working with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. We recognize the suffering. We recognize the disaster that has hit the island and that has affected the people of Newfoundland and Labrador in many small communities.

I spoke with the mayor of Bonavista yesterday. I have been in direct contact with the premier. The Prime Minister is there. We have the Canadian Forces ready to deploy. We have taken steps to ensure that the op centre in Newfoundland and Labrador is in direct contact with Joint Task Force Atlantic.

We are there with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, the coalition voted to keep the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. In fact, 20 coalition MPs who had originally voted to scrap the long gun registry bowed under the pressure from their Ottawa bosses and voted to keep it.

My Conservative colleagues and I will continue to work hard to scrap this wasteful and ineffective registry. Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety update this House on our efforts to scrap the long gun registry?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Oxford
Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his hard work on this file. I am glad that the member had the courage to stand in this place and represent his constituents.

The voters will remember those 20 coalition MPs who flip-flopped on the issue. This is the furthest we have come to dismantling the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry, and we will continue to work to scrap it.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, an internal Canadian Food Inspection Audit found that Canada does not have the resources to adequately inspect imported foods entering the country.

Canadians are more and more concerned about what is on their plates, and food imports are growing, so when will the minister give the agency more resources to keep people safe from contaminated foods?

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, our government takes food safety very seriously, and that is why we are continually improving our food inspection practices.

The audit in question was done between 2005 and 2008. Since the audit was completed, CFIA has taken action to improve enforcement, prosecute more offenders, and increase the training of inspectors.

Since taking office, our government has added more than 500 food inspectors. This year alone CFIA's budget has increased by 13%.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the government has no strategy to ensure that health hazards are not entering Canada.

An audit into the safety of imported foods says that while imports are skyrocketing our food inspection agency is failing to keep Canadian families safe. The government inspects billboards, but there is no action for food safety.

When is the government going to put aside partisan games and shameless vanity, and actually take the health and safety of Canadians seriously?

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, I would like to share a quote that absolutely contradicts what the member is saying, from the OECD report.

That report said, “Canada is one of the best performing countries in 2010 food safety performance world ranking study. Its overall grade was superior”.

As I said, our government takes food safety very seriously. Here are two other initiatives that we have taken. We have established import surveillance teams, which performed 480 border blitzes last year, and we delivered $233 million through the food safety action plan to improve controls on imported food.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to an internal audit, there are “deficiencies” in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's oversight system when it comes to imported foods. The report mentions “multiple areas of risk” that need to be dealt with using drastic measures.

Can the minister explain why the situation is getting worse despite additional funding for the agency?

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, I just explained the scenario regarding food safety and how seriously our government takes this matter. I also explained some of the initiatives that we have undertaken to improve food safety and I provided a quote from an OECD report.

The last comment I would like to make on this is that despite all of these measures every time we do something positive in the area of food safety that member, his party, and the opposition vote against it.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government lets foreign food products into the country without making sure they are safe, yet our own agricultural producers and processors face extremely restrictive standards. And we expect them to compete with those products price-wise.

When will the government decide to impose a reciprocal policy? What comes into the country should be of the same quality as what we produce here.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, for the member's benefit, I will read the quote one more time. It says, “Canada is one of the best performing countries in 2010 food safety performance world ranking study. Its overall grade was superior”.

I have explained, three times now, all the initiatives we have taken. What I expect from the member and his party is support for our initiatives to better serve Canadians and to improve our food safety system.

We have had enough rhetoric.