House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, later on today we will be voting on a resolution put forward by the NDP calling for greater investment in municipal infrastructure. Thirty-two projects received funding. That was to repave the runway of an airport in North Bay, far from the member opposite's constituency, repaving provincial highways and supporting a municipal public works project. Each of these created jobs and each of these came in on time and on budget, or even under budget, and is going to support local infrastructure in that region.

I would think the member opposite would want to be supportive of these types of important investments.

St. Laurence Seaway
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, constituents of Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry and all Canadians are concerned about the possibility of a work stoppage on the St. Lawrence Seaway. The effects of a shutdown could be devastating to our economic recovery.

Because the seaway plays such a vital role in the economic stability of Canada, could the Minister of Labour give the House an update on the status of the current labour negotiations at the St. Lawrence Seaway?

St. Laurence Seaway
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, our government remains focused on the economic recovery and, of course, financial security for all Canadians.

The best deal that the parties can come to on their own is the best one that they will get. That is why I am very pleased to tell Canadians in the House today that the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and the National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers Union of Canada have signed a tentative agreement.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

October 3rd, 2011 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, a Conservative member of Parliament said that his government was in the process of successfully modifying its approach to the abortion issue. On Friday, another Conservative MP said exactly the same thing.

Is this government changing women's rights against their will or is the Prime Minister unable to control his caucus?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we will admit that this issue stirs up passions. Nevertheless, the government is not reopening the debate.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not exactly reassured by the minister's response. Three Conservative MPs are trying in a roundabout way to reopen the debate on abortion. In Canada, abortion has been legal for decades. Clearly, some Conservative MPs do not accept that, even though a majority of Canadians do.

Can the Prime Minister assure us that he will not allow a private member's bill on abortion to be introduced?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the position of this government is clear. While there are understandable passions and feelings on all sides of the House on all sides of the issue, our government's position is clear: we will not be reopening this issue.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, once again the government just cannot get its story straight. Last week the justice minister stood in the House and pretended to know nothing about a Conservative bill repealing the speech provisions in the Canadian Human Rights Act, but on Friday the Conservative member for Westlock—St. Paul introduced such a bill.

Either the government is opposed to laws banning hate speech or the Prime Minister has lost control of his caucus. Which is it?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, all members are entitled to enter private members' bills, and they will be debated and looked at by all members of the House. If the NDP has a different rule, let us hear what it is.

We have been very clear. I was asked about the government's priorities and I indicated very clearly that we were going to go after drug dealers, the people who bring drugs into this country, and we are going after those individuals who sexually molest children. I would hope that for once this would get the support of the NDP.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, while families struggle and Canada slides back into recession, the government is becoming distracted by its own caucus members.

First it was abortion and now it is hate speech. What other out-of-touch issues does the government have up its sleeve?

Why is the government pushing divisive and extreme private members' bills? Is it that the Prime Minister cannot control the extremist members of his caucus, or is it that he is encouraging them?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our government's priorities have been quite clear. Our focus is on the economy. In fact, later today the members opposite will have an opportunity to support our low-tax plan for jobs and growth by voting in favour of a ways and means motion that is going to help advance that economic agenda.

It is not surprising that Conservative members on their own would bring forward private members' bills that would combat crime, take on criminals, seek to help the economy and remove barriers to trade. Those are all sensible things for Conservatives to do.

We hope that the opposition will see the wisdom in fighting crime and helping our economy as well.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, Canada's search and rescue response time is one of the worst in the world.

The government's lack of funding is to blame. Response time between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. is 30 minutes, but if a vessel is in trouble outside of banker's hours, it must wait up to two hours before search and rescue is off the ground. Seconds equal lives.

Clearly the government has again confused the sprawling oceans with the Ottawa River.

Why does the Minister of National Defence refuse to address this issue and describe the substandard service as “optimal and effective”?

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, let me describe Canada's search and rescue territory. It actually covers 18 million square kilometres of land and sea, an area greater than the size of continental Europe.

Here are a few facts for the member. Each year the Canadian Forces and the Coast Guard respond to over 8,000 incidents, tasking military aircraft or ships for 1,100 cases, saving on average 1,200 lives annually and assisting some 20,000 people.

Search and rescue is a no-fail mission. I am very proud of our SAR techs, members of the Canadian Forces who each and every day perform heroics on behalf of Canadians.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of National Defence treats our search and rescue as his personal limousine service, inadequate funding to search and rescue has resulted in one of the slowest response times in the world.

The government closed Maritime rescue centres in St. John's and Quebec, and it claims that its increase to military funding will make up for it. Last time I checked, an overpriced stealth fighter jet was not useful for rescues at sea.

Why does the government believe that only three Cormorant search and rescue helicopters are sufficient to patrol an area the size of Europe?

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's inflamed and insulting rhetoric does nothing to elevate the debate on this subject. Everyone feels the loss when individuals find themselves in peril.

A lot of factors come into play. In 2010, 103 Squadron, based in Gander, had an average response time of under 20 minutes during the 30-minute posture and under 51 minutes when it came to the evening posture. They work hard each and every day to save lives.

We support them in their work. We support them with their equipment. The member opposite should—