House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Official Languages
Oral Questions

October 18th, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's reaction to the most recent report of the Commissioner of Official Languages will decide the fate of the official languages in this country. The report clearly states that the Minister of Official Languages and the President of the Treasury Board are not complying with the law. All federal institutions must obey the law and respect official language communities when making decisions.

Will the Prime Minister react promptly to the report of the Commissioner of Official Languages?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we will certainly react, as we have done in the past. I would like to quote the report of the Commissioner of Official Languages, which I have here. It says that our government “made it possible to initiate or continue numerous projects aimed at promoting linguistic duality to all Canadians, fostering the economic development of the communities, and improving their situations, especially in the areas of health care, education, immigration and culture.” This report highlights the fact that our government is making unprecedented investments in protecting and celebrating Canada's two official languages.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, vague answers like that do nothing to protect our country's two official languages. The proposals set out in the commissioner's report represent the bare minimum the government should be doing. If the Prime Minister refuses to follow up on the report's proposals, that will prove that he opposes the Official Languages Act.

Is the Prime Minister ready to pass a bill, as called for by the Commissioner of Official Languages? That is in his report.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I will answer in the other official language to avoid any vagueness.

Quoting directly from the report, which states:

The Department [of Canadian Heritage] [has] demonstrate[d] its commitment to the Official Languages Act by providing its services in both official languages at all times, and especially by making full compliance with Part VII of the Act a...priority. Canadian Heritage systematically consults official language communities through working groups and federal councils, and when developing cooperation agreements with provinces and territories. Not only does the Department have a thorough understanding of the needs of official language communities, it also takes these needs into account when designing and implementing programs.

Not vague, it is direct. We are getting the job done.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's crime bill adds longer sentences for drug offences, increases mandatory minimums and cuts conditional sentences.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I would ask hon. members to applaud when he is finished asking the question not during the preamble, so the House can actually hear the substance of the question.

The hon. member for Charlottetown.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, however, even the toughest anti-crime advocates in America say that this strategy is just plain wrong. Even the staunchest Conservative Republicans in Texas are repealing mandatory minimums and increasing drug treatment programs because they slash crimes at a tenth of the cost.

Why is the government ignoring the evidence and wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on a crime strategy that just will not work?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately there was a misleading report on CBC last night. In fact, the bill that we have before Parliament specifically excludes drug treatment courts that are already in existence in Canada.

If Texas and other places are emulating or copying the Canadian experience, that is a beautiful thing and anything we can do to help them, we would be glad to do.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, under the Texas government's new approach of less jail time and more treatment, the rate of prisoners reoffending has dropped by 75%. In contrast, Conservative crime laws are already putting thousands more people into overcrowded jails and 85% cannot get the treatment programs they need, plus funding for treatment has been slashed while security costs soar.

Why is the government fast-tracking a bad bill that even Texans know will deliver more crime, more victims, less justice and spiralling costs?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the member is relying on a misleading CBC report.

The incarceration rate in Texas is proportionately five times higher than in Canada. In fact, the safe streets and communities act includes specific exemptions for drug treatment courts that are already operating across Canada. As the Minister of Justice indicated, if Texas wants to follow our example in respect of the drug treatment courts, I welcome that initiative.

Those members should vote in respect of the bill that we have before the House.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, infectious salmon anemia has been diagnosed in sockeye smolts in the Pacific. This is the same virus that infected and wiped out almost 70% of farmed salmon in Chile.

We do not know the long-term effects on wild salmon or how long this virus has been present in the Pacific waters. What is the government doing to investigate this serious threat to our salmon fishery?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, our government understands the importance of salmon for British Columbia economically, historically and culturally. That is why the Prime Minister established the Cohen Commission of Inquiry in 2009. I encourage the member to support the work of Justice Cohen and the Cohen Commission.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government's silence on fisheries is deafening. Instead of providing answers, there is no communication from the department and scientists remain muzzled. Conservatives are gutting the DFO and cutting funding to fisheries conservation councils. Their policy seems to be “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” and they hope these problems go away. They will not.

When will the minister agree to a full and transparent investigation of this serious issue and threat to our fisheries?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, a strategic review was an opportunity for the department to assess performance of its programs. It also allowed us to ensure that we were responding to the priorities of Canadians. We have the responsibility to spend taxpayer money prudently and where it will do the most good. We must ensure that government programs are efficient, effective and achieving the expected results of Canadians.

DFO is making steady progress in modernizing and improving our program and policy approach to meet the needs of Canadians today and in the future.