House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Official Languages
Oral Questions

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

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs thinks he can do whatever he wants. Today we learn that he broke the rules against having gold-plated business cards. Unfortunately, that is not the worst of it. There is not a word of French on these business cards.

When the minister travels, does he represent all Canadians or just those who speak English?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to send over a business card that is in both official languages.

It says, “Minister of Foreign Affairs, 125 Sussex Drive”. All the information is available in both French and English.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I sent him my card just as an example and actually it is in three languages because some of us also include a language for the visually challenged.

I wonder if the member might help with that because when the jet-setting Conservatives have their ministers--

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Nunavut, NU

Oh, come on.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

It's a question for the leader. That's a leadership question.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The least members could do is wait until the question has been asked before they try to answer it.

The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the members can make fun of people who have disabilities. Frankly, it is about example, and what this minister is saying is that it is better to have gold on a member's card than French.

Will he commit today to getting rid of his unilingual gold-plated card and actually represent this country the way it should be represented?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I have business cards in both official languages. I will give one to my colleague.

While I am up, let me congratulate the member opposite. Sunday will be a very big day in Ottawa Centre. The member for Ottawa Centre will be announcing his campaign for the leadership of the NDP. On behalf of all my constituents in Ottawa West—Nepean, I want to wish him the very best of luck .

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Treasury Board policy dictates that the minister must provide a detailed cost analysis for any policy, regulatory or legislative change that is introduced. Could the President of the Treasury Board table today the cost analysis done for the dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board? If he cannot or will not provide that analysis, perhaps he would explain how he can dismantle a $6 billion-a-year corporation and throw the entire prairie agriculture economy into chaos without doing a cost-benefit analysis.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, at the root of all of this is marketing freedom for western Canadian farmers. We intend to deliver on that. Farmers have done the cost-benefit analysis farm gate by farm gate. They have voted with their air seeders and their trucks and have moved on to new commodities.

They have taken away market share from the wheats, durums and barleys in Canada. We know there is a global market demanding more of those products. If we look at the Australian model, it is producing up to 30% more of those commodities for a hungry world.

That is all the cost-benefit analysis that Canadian farmers need. They know they can step up and produce. I wish the member would get on board with them.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food wants to dismantle the largest and most successful grain marketing company in the world based on a whim. It is becoming a hallmark of the government to hide the true costs of its policies, whether it is the crime and punishment cost of prisons, or the true cost of the F-35 or, now, the real cost of dismantling the Wheat Board.

KPMG says that it will cost $500 million in closing costs alone, never mind the impact to the prairie rural agriculture economy.

How can the government justify indulging the notion and the whim of the minister, at such an extraordinary cost, to abolish the Wheat Board without even knowing the cost-benefit analysis?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I will give the member some homework this weekend. When he goes home to his riding in downtown Winnipeg, he should check with--oh, yes, there are no farmers there. Or, maybe when he goes on to his principal residence on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, he could check with--oh, they are not under the Wheat Board.

He does not have a clue what he is talking about.

Health
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled in favour of InSite and against years of Conservative interference. The Supreme Court found that the government arbitrarily infringed on the rights of individuals to receive the treatment and help they so desperately need.

The government has an opportunity here to take off its ideological blinders and support a vital public service that has saved lives and given people hope. Will the government do that?

Health
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, although we are disappointed with the Supreme Court of Canada's decision today, we will comply.

We believe that the system should be focused on preventing people from becoming drug addicts. A key pillar of the national anti-drug strategy is prevention and treatment for those with drug dependency. As part of our strategy, we have made significant investments to strengthen existing treatment efforts through the treatment action plan. We will be reviewing the court decision.

Health
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is precisely what InSite does.

Since it opened in 2003 in my riding, fatal overdoses have dropped by over one-third. More people get treatment, as InSite is there to connect people with the services they need. Today, the people who use this service have had their voices heard. The Supreme Court agrees, health professionals agree and international health experts agree.

Will the Conservatives admit their failed approach and acknowledge that InSite protects public health and saves lives? Will they stop being the barrier to this very important service?