Debates of June 6th, 2011
House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.
- Question Period
- Streetsville Bread and Honey Festival
- Lou Gehrig's Disease
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- 1989 Tiananmen Square Protest
- Former Leader of Liberal Party
- Conservative Government
- International Co-operation
- Aboriginal Affairs
- Flooding in Montérégie
- Canada Post Corporation
- Status of Women
- National Defence
- Shipbuilding Industry
- Public Service of Canada
- The Environment
- Social Housing
- International Trade
- Veterans Affairs
- Small Business
- Aerospace Industry
- Flooding in Montérégie
- Presence in Gallery
- Special Economic Measures Act
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- Committees of the Whole
- Business of the House
- The Budget
Ed Fast Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague on being re-elected for a third time by the good residents of Kelowna—Lake Country. He knows, as does our government, how important international trade is to growing our economy, creating jobs and ensuring our long-term prosperity.
Closing the doors to the world is not an option for us. Canadians know this is a kitchen table issue and how important free trade is to our country.
June 6th, 2011 / 3 p.m.
Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE
Mr. Speaker, Fabien Melanson, a 15-year Canadian veteran who served twice overseas, has started a hunger strike in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs in my riding of Charlottetown. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Mr. Melanson has tried to have government take ownership of the trouble created when a clerical error caused a lapse in his benefits.
My question is for the Minister of Veterans Affairs. What will the government do to ensure that this veteran gets the compassionate treatment he so rightly deserves?
Steven Blaney Minister of Veterans Affairs
Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member on his recent appointment.
As the member is aware, under the Privacy Act, I cannot discuss the specific details of this individual case. However, I was given a mandate by the people of Lévis—Bellechasse and today, as the Minister of Veterans Affairs, I commit myself to bettering the lives of our veterans, and I count on the support of all members in the House, starting today.
What took place many years ago was unfortunate and was an unacceptable mistake. Corrective measures were taken. I have instructed my officials to follow up on this veteran's case—
Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON
Mr. Speaker, last Thursday, the justice department sent a threatening letter to USW Local 1005, ordering the steelworkers to cease their information pickets on the Burlington lift bridge. However, these workers are simply doing what the federal government is refusing to do. They are trying to stop U.S. Steel from taking profits from its Hamilton operations until the federal government's court case against the company is resolved.
Instead of getting tough on Canadian workers, when will the government get tough on foreign companies that break Canadian laws, undermine Canadian jobs and attack Canadian pensions?
Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour
Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member opposite on her recent election in the same area that I come from, and I thank the residents of Halton for returning me to the House.
As the member opposite knows, this matter is one of provincial regulation. However, we are monitoring the situation, as we would, and I speak to the Minister of Labour in Ontario on the matter almost on a monthly basis to ensure that we can keep track of what is going on there.
Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON
Mr. Speaker, last week, the Governor General highlighted our government was here for all Canadians.
My question is for the new Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism. What steps does this government plan to take to reduce red tape so Canadian small business can focus their attention on growing their businesses and creating jobs.
Maxime Bernier Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)
Mr. Speaker, economic growth and jobs will remain priorities for this government because they are the priorities of Canadians. We have designated 2011 as the Year of the Entrepreneur in order to help Canadians understand the role of entrepreneurs, who create our country's wealth. We need to reduce the red tape imposed on them, and we need to do so as quickly as possible. And that is what we will be doing with the Red Tape Reduction Commission.
Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON
Mr. Speaker, Diamond Aircraft had a solid order for 240 jets worth $400 million, private sector funding and a loan guarantee from the Ontario government. All that was needed to secure hundreds of jobs and a place for Canada in the modern aerospace industry was a commitment from the federal government. That commitment was denied. It was a major blow to job creation and to the London families that depended on those jobs.
Could the minister explain to the people of London why Diamond Aircraft was refused funding?
Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)
Mr. Speaker, I, too, would like to congratulate the member for her re-election and thank the people of Cambridge and North Dumfries for re-electing me to this great House.
The Government of Canada has already invested some $20 million into this company, through the strategic aerospace and defence initiative. However, as stewards of taxpayer dollars, it would not be judicious to increase that amount by another $35 million.
After a thorough review of Diamond's request, the company was advised by this government that we could not support the request. The company has other alternatives that it is exploring. We wish it well.
Flooding in Montérégie
Jean-François Fortin Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister finally visited the Montérégie region today, more than one month after the flooding started. The Prime Minister reluctantly made a flyover visit, and, what is more, he is not responding to the immediate demands of officials and the people affected. As the mayor of Saint-Paul-de-l'Île-aux Noix said, “I do not think that [the Prime Minister] understands what we have been going through all along.”
The 3,000 victims of the flooding in the Montérégie region are no less deserving than the victims in Manitoba and Alberta. Yet the Prime Minister still refuses to change the army's mandate. The flood victims simply want the army to help with the cleanup. Will the Prime Minister listen to reason?
Flooding in Montérégie
Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence
Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Forces will remain in these regions during the emergency period to provide assistance to the civilian authorities, until their specific skills are no longer needed.
The member would know that the regional minister for Quebec attended the flood-ravaged area, as did the Minister of Veterans Affairs and myself.
Our thoughts are certainly with the people of the region. We will continue to work with them as members of the Canadian Forces continue to go about their important work there.
Presence in Gallery
The Speaker Andrew Scheer
Canadian Forces Day is an opportunity for Canadians across the country to recognize the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform make on our behalf.
It is my great pleasure to draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of 11 members of the Canadian Forces, who participated in today's celebrations marking Canadian Forces Day.
Presence in Gallery
Some hon. members
Special Economic Measures Act
John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to section 7 of the Special Economic Measures Act, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, copies of the special economic measures, Syria regulations and the special economic Syria permit authorization order formally announced on May 24, 2011 by the Prime Minister.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) I have the honour to present to this House, in both official languages, a document from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that indicates at the end of fiscal year 2010-11, CFIA inspection staff had increased by a net total of 733 members since this government was formed in 2006. That is an 18% increase, something to be celebrated.