House of Commons Hansard #40 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Asbestos
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, Canada has promoted the safe use of chrysotile at home and abroad for more than 30 years. This is a policy that has been supported by the chrysotile asbestos industry workers, as a matter of fact. I do not know what planet the hon. member has been living on to have such concerns, but I can say that they are unfounded because it is the workers who came up with this safe use policy. Let us be clear: chrysotile fibre can be safely used in a controlled environment, under the regulations in effect.

Our government respects the jurisdiction of the provinces over natural resources development.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, this weekend members of the Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Association of Edmonton learned that their imam, Mr. Al-Atar, was detained without charges in Saudi Arabia.

The member for Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont went with his son to meet with this community and its leader to hear their concerns and relayed these to the minister's office directly.

Today we are happy to learn that Mr. Al-Atar has been released by Saudi authorities.

At the risk of repeating good news, could the Minister of State please tell the House how the government quickly reacted to learning of Mr. Al-Atar's detention and ultimately assisted in obtaining his release?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, after being informed of Mr. Al-Atar's arrest, the government made representations to local authorities and senior Saudi officials. We were also in contact with his wife in Canada yesterday and today.

I thank the member for Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont for his excellent work over the weekend liaising with my office. The government is pleased that our concerns about Mr. Al-Atar's situation were addressed in a timely manner and that he has been released.

Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, we are concerned about the flawed accounting practices that seem to be the norm at the Treasury Board. In 2007-08, Parliament approved $50 million over five years for the Perimeter Institute, which is an excellent institute, by the way, but according to information from the Receiver General of Canada, the institute received $127 million, which is 1,200 times the annual maximum approved by Parliament.

Could the President of the Treasury Board rise and explain what happened? Where is the money?

Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is flat wrong again. It is quite unfortunate that whoever is helping the member did not do his or her math before the NDP members decided to go on with these tactics.

The fact is that in 2007, 2008 and 2009 funds were drawn from government resources, just as we said in the budget, and then subsequent public accounts.

I would recommend that the member consult the public accounts. He can do that. For all the other members who are leading to this misinformation for Canadians, the member continues to be--

Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.

Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I encourage my colleague to visit his optometrist.

After overspending the 2009 budget, did they learn their lesson? Obviously not. Once again this year, although the institute should have received $10 million, it was granted $44 million, but the institute never received this money. Strangely enough, this reminds me of another story involving the President of the Treasury Board that has to do with a fund and millions of dollars that were diverted, or something like that. One of our primary responsibilities as parliamentarians is to monitor and approve government spending.

How can we do our job if they are always playing with the numbers?

Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I would highly recommend the member give up his day job.

The Public Accounts of Canada are certified by the Comptroller General and the Auditor General. The facts are very clear: the funds for the Perimeter Institute are consistent with the government's commitments.

The question here remains: why has the NDP chosen to attack this world-class institution to score cheap political points, and then be flat wrong? That member should apologize to the Comptroller General of Canada for an insulting attack.

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, new documents show that the Muskoka minister used the G8 as a cover to promote a white elephant vanity project called the Summit Centre. It was sold as a dorm for the media that never came.

One email is particularly disturbing. In it the minister says:

I'm going through Treasury Board to flow funds.... I should have the money to you within three weeks. I know your credit card is maxxed!

Where is the paper trail for this vanity project? If the minister does not have the paper trail, then he is going to need to explain why he used Treasury Board as a partisan cash machine.

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it will not come as any surprise to the member opposite that I do not agree with the premise of his question.

The government funded 32 public infrastructure projects. All 32 projects had contribution agreements. All 32 projects came in on or under budget. All the documentation was presented to the Auditor General. She has given some good advice on what we can do to be even more transparent and more accountable to Parliament. We completely agree with her wise counsel.

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know it is Halloween, but the member does not look dressed up at all, like the beleaguered President of the Treasury Board.

I will go back to the President of the Treasury Board who, on day 144, showed up to work today dressed as the invisible man.

This project did not come in under budget. The government dinged the town for an extra $9 million.

My colleague from foreign affairs keeps saying this was an arm's-length project. There was nothing arm's-length about it: the minister was up to his neck in pork-barrel partisan politics.

Will the minister explain why he was using Treasury Board to get money for a bogus project like this, which had no justification or paper trail? Where is the paper trail?

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this project, like the other 31 projects, had a full contribution agreement that was drafted by officials at Treasury Board. This project is a public infrastructure project that will benefit the people of that municipality for many years to come.

We look forward to having the opportunity to answer even more of the member opposite's questions at committee in short order.

Tourism Industry
Oral Questions

October 31st, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's tourism market share continues to plunge. We have dropped from seventh to fifteenth in international tourism visits.

The government's failed tourism policies are costing Canada's economy and small businesses thousands of jobs and billions of dollars each year. The government's solution is to treat air travel as a cash cow, slap visitor visas on our most dynamic markets and increase EI payroll taxes. The government's so-called “strategy” is a disaster.

When will the government heed the industry's alarm bells and take action?

Tourism Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the good news announced by my colleague must be seen as a positive. Businesses in the tourism industry make huge contributions to the Canadian economy and to creating jobs. We implemented Canada's federal tourism strategy to better coordinate the government's efforts, to support the tourism industry and to help Canadian tourism businesses become more competitive, seize opportunities and create jobs for Canadians, so yes, we are accomplishing things and are delivering the goods.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives sent an SOS warning to Canadian fishers when they went after the three vital S's of the fishery: safety, science and service.

They are slashing safety at sea by closing the maritime rescue sub-centres in St. John's and Quebec. They are slashing science by getting rid of the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council. Now they are slashing service by putting fishing licences out of reach for those without access to the Internet.

Will the minister commit to reversing his plan, which will hurt rural fishers who do not have access to broadband Internet, and keep the current licence application system?