House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was french.

Topics

Official Languages
Oral Questions

November 25th, 2011 / 11:30 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government announced very quietly the establishment of an advisory committee to determine whether it is possible to work in French in federally regulated businesses in Quebec. We do not know who will sit on this committee, which businesses will be targeted, what timeframe will be set and, more importantly, whether the committee's report will be released. The New Democratic Party did its homework and has already drafted a bill on this issue.

Why waste time, instead of simply supporting our initiative?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to French, we will not take lessons from the NDP. It is important to promote French and also English. We are a bilingual country and I am proud to be a Canadian.

As regards the legislation, our government always passes laws that are based on facts. We will see what is going on in Quebec before supporting any bill.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is nice rhetoric. The government is really dragging its feet, improvising and trying to create a distraction. If setting up a committee were such a good idea, the government would have done it during the previous session, when the hon. member for Outremont introduced a similar bill.

This government is constantly showing a lack of respect for francophones in Quebec and across Canada. We know that some federally regulated private companies in Quebec, such as National Bank and Air Canada to name only two, do not care about French in the workplace.

The NDP is proposing concrete measures. Will the government stop trying to save face and work with us to settle this issue?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, the committee will look at the facts and then report to Canadians. The most important thing for us is that we live in a bilingual country and we must promote the two official languages of that country. This is what we are going to do.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, this nice rhetoric is fine, but there is no need to redo the job 10 times. The issue of French in federally regulated private businesses was reviewed in depth a long time ago. This is evidenced by the fact that, today, the NDP is introducing a bill on this issue and it will be debated this afternoon.

Will the government support us in our efforts to quickly pass this legislation? Does it prefer to waste time and taxpayers' money by setting up another committee?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed to hear the opposition member talk about wasting time. Taking a close look at an issue before making a decision is not wasting parliamentarians' time.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, without a plan and without rules, documents reveal that the government has been spending millions on border infrastructure projects in Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic inappropriately.

In Atlantic Canada, the government has been promising such a strategy, the Atlantic gateway strategy, since 2007. It was not until March 2011 that the government finalized and posted these rules and only after a quarter of a billion dollars had already been spent.

Transport Canada's departmental performance report reveals what the minister will not, that the gate to the Atlantic gateway is now closed. The funds are all gone.

How does the minister explain this mismanagement--

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. We continue to work on the Atlantic gateway strategy.

For the edification of the member opposite, he should recognize that St. John's, Newfoundland, is in a perfect position to become the gateway to the northern part of Canada. There is great potential not just for an Atlantic Canadian gateway but for a northern gateway for Newfoundland, which we will continue to work on with our colleagues from Atlantic Canada.

Health
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, during question period yesterday, when the government was asked what it planned on doing to resolve the problem with prescription drug shortages, it responded that it was prepared to look at regulations if no other methods were effective.

My question is simple: can the minister tell the House what regulations the government is considering imposing to resolve this worrisome problem?

Health
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, again, I disagree with the premise of the question.

Our government is taking a leadership role in the world. The minister has spoken to the drug companies, and I am pleased to report to the House that the companies have responded positively to her request. Information about the drug shortages will soon be available on public websites, giving patients and medical doctors the information they need to make the proper decisions.

Final details are still being worked out, but I am very encouraged to see how the industry has responded to these concerns.

Health
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the question was about regulations and how those were going to change.

In 2004 the health accord created innovative solutions to the real problems facing the health care system, including a national pharmaceutical strategy to make sure that prescription drugs were safe and available for everyone who needed them.

However, the Conservatives killed this plan which, as the Auditor General pointed out this week, has prevented many life-saving drugs from reaching the market while keeping many unsafe drugs on pharmacy shelves.

As negotiations on the next health accord begin, will the government admit its error and bring forward a plan to ensure that Canadians have a safe, affordable supply—

Health
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health.

Health
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, first of all, Canadians can be assured that we have one of the safest drug supply systems in the world.

The member brought up the Auditor General. We actually agree with the Auditor General's findings. Work is already under way to address the concerns of the Auditor General. For example, we have already taken steps to ensure that drug reviews are done in a thorough and timely manner.

The health and safety of Canadians is a priority for our government. It is obvious that a better process needs to be put in place to ensure that the products on the market are safe, efficient and reliable for all Canadians. We are committed to that.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, last year when Canadians heard that CIDA would be streamlining the application process for developing programs, they expected improvement.

It turns out that for Conservatives, streamlining just means delaying. Fifty groups have waited for over three months to hear whether they are getting the funding. Critical programs in developing countries are being cut.

Why is the minister putting these important development projects at risk?