House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Auditor General's Report
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, as the government has indicated in its response, the Auditor General has brought forward some helpful recommendations and we have accepted them. In fact, we are already working on implementing a number of these.

However, the facts are the same. We have been helping to ensure that our economy is moving away from the recession and toward complete recovery. We have nearly 600,00 net new jobs in this economy as a result of our activities and our actions.

On the other side of the chamber, they continue to demand higher taxes that are job killers. We want them to come on our side and say that they agree with jobs—

Auditor General's Report
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

November 22nd, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, is the President of the Treasury Board not supposed to stay quiet when the Auditor General's report comes out?

Even though the Conservatives deny it, too many Canadians are out of work. Today we learned that during the last round of infrastructure funding, the Conservatives were not even tracking how many jobs were being created.

What criteria did the government use to determine which projects to fund? How can we trust it to tackle the infrastructure deficit and put Canadians back to work?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, at the request of the opposition we have delivered a series of reports following up on the economic action plan. To keep Canadians informed, there will be one more final public report on the delivery and economic impact of the economic action plan which will build on the five previous reports.

One fact is clear: there are 600,000 net new jobs in Canada since the end of the recession. The economic action plan was the stimulus for that.

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the Auditor General revealed that Health Canada can take more than two years to evaluate safety issues associated with the use of prescription drugs. The report also highlights that Health Canada is falling short on conflict of interest rules. This is completely unacceptable when so many new drugs are available and Canadians need adequate, timely and transparent information.

Drug safety is important to all Canadians. Exactly how does the government and the minister plan to reduce the delays that are happening? We have not heard anything specific from the minister today. I ask her to tell the House how she plans to reduce these delays.

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, as I stated earlier, my department is implementing the advice of the Auditor General. The Auditor General was very clear in his statements today that there were no cases of conflict of interest; however, we do agree that additional conflict of interest rules should apply to those who review drugs.

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, we still have not been given an answer. Once again, the government has missed the boat.

The Auditor General said that Health Canada does not have a uniform mechanism for monitoring clinical trials of prescription drugs for the most vulnerable, such as children. Other countries receive industry data on adverse drug reactions in children. However, the Conservatives have not bothered with this requirement, which would protect Canadians' health. That is irresponsible.

When will the Minister of Health require pharmaceutical companies to disclose this vital information to protect children who depend on these drugs?

Health
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, again, I agree with the Auditor General's recommendations on the department in strengthening its approach to clinical trials. New procedures are being put in place to improve transparency, and to better monitor clinical trials and adverse reaction reports.

To strengthen the pharmaceutical drug program, a new IT system has also been put in place to help better identify potential safety concerns. The audit is from 2009-10, so we have acted on a number of the recommendations already.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Auditor General repeated what the NDP has been condemning at National Defence, namely that the department is broken. Decisions are made without having the necessary information on long-term costs, there is no proper follow-up on overall maintenance and repairs, and major contracts are awarded to a limited number of suppliers.

Is the government going to continue to have its head in the clouds, ignore the facts and keep telling us that everything is fine?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we appreciate and thank the Auditor General for his work. The department has accepted his recommendations and is already addressing each concern. A comprehensive plan is in place with activities under way, and our government has committed to providing our brave men and women in uniform the equipment and support necessary to do their jobs safely and effectively.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, three elections promising fiscal responsibility followed by six years of fiscal mismanagement and the government continues to miss opportunities to save money and improve accountability. The Auditor General said there is a gap between the money needed for military maintenance and what is available.

Does the Auditor General's discovery of mismanagement come as a complete surprise to the minister, or can he explain to Canadians why his department is failing to give our soldiers properly maintained military equipment?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, we appreciate and thank the Auditor General for his work. Many of the recommendations have already been implemented. We are working actively on all of these issues and have been for quite some time. We intend to continue to ensure that our men and women receive the best equipment necessary to do their jobs and do so keeping in mind taxpayers' concerns about all spending.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2005 when talking about the CAIS program, the Prime Minister said, “It is complicated. It requires an army of accountants--”. He promised to fix it, but AgriStability changed nothing. It is just as complicated and even more expensive for farmers.

The Auditor General reported today that some farmers are waiting up to two years for payment. When will the government fix this broken program and make it work for all Canadian farmers?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

What the member opposite should recognize, Mr. Speaker, is that the vast majority of the AgriStability program is delivered at the provincial level. What we do is transfer moneys when there are bills presented from the provinces. If he has a problem, he should probably take it up with his counterparts in Ontario.

Tobacco Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

That is the off-load of the day, I think, Mr. Speaker.

The AG reported that the tobacco transition program failed because it was rushed out the door and had loopholes as big as a combine. By 2010 the number of tobacco farmers had doubled. There were $300 million spent to reduce tobacco production and yet it did the exact opposite.

When will the government stop mismanaging important agricultural files and what has it done to get to the bottom of this fiasco?