House of Commons Hansard #157 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was investment.

Topics

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it would appear that Canadian consumers are the first priority of the government, but they are also the last to know. That is the problem.

In that context, I would like to ask the Prime Minister, quite specifically, when was he and his office informed with respect to the problem of the E. coli outbreak and the situation at XL? When did he first know?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, responsibility for food inspection in Canada is vested with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. That agency received information on September 4 and began its containment of contaminated product, and has been acting on information ever since.

I hear some complaints across the way about the fact that the plant has shut down. The plant will remain shut down until the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is convinced that it is safe to operate.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

October 2nd, 2012 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that last week the Minister of Agriculture stood in this place and said, “We have actually done a tremendous job”.

Last week, when he thought everything was hunky-dory, he took all the credit for what had taken place.

What a contrast with yesterday, when the Minister of National Defence said, “The Minister of Agriculture will continue to hold those responsible for food safety accountable”.

What a contrast. We have gone from “we” to “they”. “We” have disappeared. “We” have gone out the window. Now it is “they”.

When is the Prime Minister

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency responds to the information it receives. As it received more information, it has widened its containment and its recall.

If the hon. member believes the authorities that the agency currently possesses are in some way deficient, the government has addressed that not just through the Weatherill report, but now through the legislation that is before Parliament to increase the authorities of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Obviously we would appreciate his support in passing those measures.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, would the Prime Minister be willing to accept the amendment proposed by Senator Peterson in the other place, whereby the Auditor General would review the situation and determine whether the right conditions are in place?

Would the Prime Minister agree to such an amendment?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have not seen the amendment, but I can say that the government is acting on the recommendations of the Weatherill report, which the government commissioned several years ago. There is legislation before this Parliament to address these recommendations.

I encourage the hon. member to do his part to ensure a more effective Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the tainted beef crisis is the second major crisis to shake the Canadian meat industry in less than five years.

This meat recall fiasco is strangely reminiscent of the mess surrounding the listeriosis crisis. Every time, Canadian producers and the entire agri-food industry are the ones who pay the price. It also costs the Canadian economy billions of dollars. That is the price of Conservative cuts.

Canadians have a right to know.

Why does the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food refuse to accept his own responsibility in the current crisis?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, I would like to clearly state that Canadian food is safe. When it comes to food safety in Canada, two things are certain. The first is that the government continues to provide CFIA with the inspectors and operating budget it needs to ensure that the Canadian food safety system remains the best in the world.

The second thing that is certain is that the opposition always votes against any initiatives that would improve food safety in Canada.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, Alberta beef producers, workers and consumers are all stressed. The list of beef products recalled is growing for XL Foods. The price of Alberta beef is dropping. Workers fear for their jobs. Families worry what to feed their kids. A well-regulated slaughter industry is critical to the credibility of our beef industry. Local consumption and export markets rely on that. Without clear rules and strong enforcement, our food is put at risk.

Will the minister give CFIA the strengthened enforcement mandate for which it has asked?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member raised this point because that is my point. When is the opposition going to stand and vote for more resources for CFIA, vote for more money for CFIA? I asked her colleague this question and I ask her it now.

We have introduced important legislation called the safe food for Canadians act. It is in the other place, but that member and her colleagues, before it has even reached the House, have said that they are going to vote against the legislation that would make CFIA even stronger in protecting food for Canadians.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, they woke up three days after the United States, yet they refuse to accept responsibility for what has happened. Except they must because they are the ones who made cuts to food safety.

They have also reduced support for members of our armed forces. They cut emergency funds for our municipalities. They reduced employment insurance for low-income workers.

Why are they coming down on the people who protect us and those who are in need?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, day in and day out the NDP members stand in this place and want the government to spend more money. They want to tax more. That is very clear.

Those of us on this side of the House are ensuring that we do not dig too deeply into the pockets of hard-working Canadian families. Those of us on this side of the House are working to ensure that our men and women in uniform have the equipment they need to get the job done that Canadians demand and expect of them.

Our government is working hard under the finance minister, leading the best economic results in the G7. This government has a lot to be proud of when it comes to jobs and the economy.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats were proud to vote against the government's reckless cuts. We voted against cuts to counselling for members of the Canadian Forces, against cuts to employment insurance. We voted against its plans to cut food inspection, while Conservatives spent yesterday celebrating deregulation.

Why are the Conservatives giving billions in tax handouts to profitable oil companies, while telling Canadian families the cupboard is bare when it comes to public safety?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:30 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, here is actually the record. On airline safety and security, we have increased the number of aviation inspector positions by 40%. Upgrading Coast Guard facilities like lifeboat stations and reinstating offices across the country, an extra $1.4 billion for the Coast Guard. Increase in border security officers by 26%. A $68 million increase in Environment Canada's budgets and 50% more inspections of federally-regulated pipelines. I could go on and on.

Every time we put safety first for Canadians the opposition votes against it.