House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

February 16th, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada deserves a Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development who will deliver results for aboriginal people. Instead, we have a minister who delivers aspirations.

Shamefully, the minister has called the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples an “aspirational” document. Last week, when the national panel on first nations education released its report, the minister called the recommendations “aspirational”.

It is time the minister replaced his aspirations with results. Will he admit today that the funding for aboriginal children on reserve is woefully inadequate and--

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The parliamentary secretary to the minister of aboriginal affairs.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Kenora
Ontario

Conservative

Greg Rickford Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, our government will keep building on its progress in improving first nations education. We are engaged with first nations. Our government has signed five education partnership agreements with provinces and first nations. The minister was proud to sign the first nations education agreement with B.C. first nations and the province three weeks ago.

We will review the national panel's recommendations and continue to work for quality outcomes for first nation children and education.

Government Communications
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot admit the truth that Conservatives are against free speech for scientists.

Yesterday Francesca Grifo, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' scientific integrity program, spoke about the muzzling of Canadian scientists calling it a scary thing, something that is happening quite frequently.

This completely contradicts what the minister told us on Monday. Maybe he cannot speak freely as well without permission from his political masters.

Government Communications
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I can say that we are very proud to promote the important work of our scientists and researchers, more work, by the way, since this government has funded science and technology to historic levels, which the opposition voted against.

I would point out that at that very conference the member mentioned, our scientists are presenting their work. They publish their work and lecture about their work at universities around the world, and we are thrilled to tell Canadians about the great work being done by our scientists.

Housing
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, cities like Toronto are facing a housing crisis. The FCM says that housing is the number one problem facing cities. Even the CIBC is saying that most Canadian families are having a hard time finding affordable housing. In fact, one and a half million Canadian households are said to be in core housing need, and this government does not have a plan. Luckily, we do.

Will the government commit today to finally take action and support the New Democrat national housing strategy?

Housing
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, let us face it, for anyone who has been following, the NDP have been talking about this for years, but while they have been talking, we have been doing it.

We have signed a five-year agreement with the provinces and territories regarding affordable housing so they will have stable, predictable funding to deliver the housing that is within their mandate.

During the economic action plan, we also added quite a large amount of money for more affordable housing for seniors, the disabled and aboriginals. Over 14,000 projects for affordable housing were undertaken through that program. It is a real shame that the NDP did not support it.

Housing
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listen to the minister just about every day and it is clear that she does not understand that her plan is not working.

I will map it out just for Toronto. There are 70,000 households, some 200,000 people, on waiting lists for affordable housing. The backlog for repairs at Toronto Community Housing will be $1 billion by 2015. The government is doing nothing. It says a lot but does nothing.

Will the Conservatives commit today to supporting the New Democrats' national housing strategy?

Housing
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I would point out that there are several projects and initiatives we have undertaken to provide more affordable housing to those Canadians who need it, apart from the economic action plan and the 14,000 projects undertaken and completed across the country, which of course the NDP opposed. Since June 30 of last year, over 50,000 affordable housing units in Canada have been funded through this government.

While the NDP talk and oppose everything, we do it anyway.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave our Conservative government a strong mandate to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry once and for all. This is exactly what we are doing.

I am proud to report that last night this House passed, by a vote of 159 to 130, the ending the long-gun registry act.

Would the Minister of Public Safety please update the House as to the status of this legislation and how close we are to finally scraping this ineffective registry?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member in particular for all of his hard work on this file. Last night's vote marks a leap forward towards fulfilling our promise to scrap the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

I would also like to thank the members for Thunder Bay—Rainy River and Thunder Bay—Superior North who stood up to the NDP union bosses and voted with Conservatives to scrap the registry. It is too bad that the member for Western Arctic did not show the same courage and turned his back on the good people of the Northwest Territories.

While the NDP continue to target law-abiding citizens, our government will continue to put criminals behind bars.

International Trade
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has returned from China but not a word as to whether the Canadian sealing industry has obtained access to the Chinese market.

On February 2, the Prime Minister indicated that he would make this a priority on his trip to China.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Was this a priority when he was in China? Did we gain access to the Chinese markets, and is the Canadian sealing industry a priority to the government?

International Trade
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member may not have been listening to all of the press releases coming out of China, but the Prime Minister did sign a foreign investment and promotion protection agreement with the Chinese government, which will be a great benefit to Canadian businesses.

On the issue of seals, it is this government that has promoted the sealing industry since we formed government in 2006. We will continue to do that, whether that happens to be with the European Union, the Americans, the Chinese--

International Trade
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup.

Asbestos
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the operators of an asbestos-reinforced cement plant in Italy were sentenced to 16 years in prison. In Quebec, the Confédération des syndicats nationaux-Construction wants to ban asbestos. It is no longer socially acceptable and has no future.

Meanwhile, the member for Mégantic—L'Érable, who is also the industry minister and Quebec lieutenant, sounds like a broken record. He is a disgrace to his position and is proving that Peter White was correct when he said that the minister has no influence and no visibility in his caucus.

Out of respect for his region, the minister must demand a plan to deal with the crisis in the next budget. Will he do so, yes or no?