House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was air.

Topics

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, yes he is stuck.

It appears the Conservatives are planning to bury sweeping changes to the Fisheries Act in the upcoming budget. The minister uses the word “modernize” but removing habitat protection from the Fisheries Act would set Canada back decades.

The minister must come clean. Is the minister planning to change section 35 of the Fisheries Act in the next budget? Is the plan to eliminate the protection of fish habitat in Canada and effectively gut the law, yes or no?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, there has been no decision made with regard to this issue. I will note that Canada is blessed with an abundant array of natural resources of which we should be proud and which we take seriously and responsibly to conserve and protect.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Philip Toone Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the lack of consultation is not going unnoticed.

On Friday, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans heard what provincial ministers think about his plan to change the fleet separation policy. It is pretty straightforward. Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island all oppose the proposed changes. Atlantic fishers and communities also oppose them. The fleet separation policy is essential to the survival of east coast fishers. Will the Conservatives commit to maintaining the fleet separation policy and protecting the coastal fishery?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the assumptions in the question are ridiculous. We are seeking the advice and views of fishermen. That is what we should be doing as a responsible government and it is what I will do as Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Our government is not advancing any particular position other than to reaffirm our commitment to the economic health of fishermen and our communities.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, last year we warned the government that foreign takeovers in the grain business would inevitably follow the destruction of the Canadian Wheat Board. Exactly that is now happening. Fifteen months after their frantic flip-flop on potash, the Conservatives have still not turned a wheel on their promise to clarify the rules.

How exactly do the Conservatives define net benefit? What constitutes a strategic asset? How will farmers be better off with control vested in Minneapolis, Decatur or Switzerland rather than Regina, Calgary or Winnipeg?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have been saying all along, this particular issue is speculation at best. Sadly, the member for Wascana is exhibiting a severe case of premature interjection. I wish that he would keep his powder dry and work with us toward ensuring that farmers enjoy the right to sell their own products out from under the single desk of the Canadian Wheat Board.

National Defence
Oral Questions

March 13th, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Associate Minister of National Defence admitted that he had a road to Damascus experience upon his return from Washington. Apparently, we will no longer be getting 65 F-35s for $75 million each.

Now that plan A has been reduced to “if and when”, will the minister see the light, open the competition and convert to a fair and transparent process?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we remain committed to the joint strike fighter program. A budget has been identified and allocated. We are working the issues through. We will ensure that the men and women in uniform have the best resources available to them to do their jobs.

We will, in essence, make sure that we do what is best for our men and women in uniform as well as Canadian taxpayers.

Written Questions
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, how far will this government go to undermine our democracy?

On January 30, I submitted a written question to the Minister of Foreign Affairs about the office of religious freedom. I asked specific questions: who participated in the consultations on this subject in October 2011? Who in the department is responsible for this file?

The response I received was worthy of Kafka: nothing but hot air.

What else does the government have to hide?

Written Questions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have not established the office of religious freedom yet, so it is very difficult to say who is working there.

What we have done is consulted broadly with Canadians from coast to coast to coast, and we have spoken to international religious leaders, defenders of religious liberty around the world, and got their opinion. We hope to come forward with an announcement in short order.

But let me tell members the basic concept. What we want to do is promote religious freedom, something that Canadians enjoy and hold dear, and make that a reality for everyone right around this world.

Written Questions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what I wanted to know was who was consulted.

The minister said that they held consultations. Why can they not provide basic information about those consultations? What are they hiding?

The Auditor General looked into a similar situation in 2004 and found that written questions were a fundamental part of our parliamentary system.

We are facing a similar situation today.

Why do we now have a Conservative minister attacking a fundamental part of our parliamentary system?

Written Questions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to inform the member we have consulted Christians, Muslims, Hindus, people of the Jewish faith, Buddhists. We discussed with people around the world to get their counsel and advice, from the Aga Khan to the Vatican. We talked to a good number of Canadians to get their advice and input.

We will hopefully be coming forward in short order with an announcement on this important initiative. We believe, though, religious freedom is something that defines Canadians. It is a value, a right that everyone around the world should share. We look forward to promoting that, to continuing to promote that in the years to come.

Sport
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government is proud to support Canadian athletes. We have supported the hosting of national and international sporting events, including the Canada Games and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and we look forward to hosting the Pan American and Parapan American Games in 2015. Soon our athletes will travel to London to take on the world at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Can the Minister of State for Sport please tell this House how our government is assisting our athletes as they train for this very prestigious event?

Sport
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bramalea—Gore—Malton
Ontario

Conservative

Bal Gosal Minister of State (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, Canada's Olympic and Paralympic athletes are a source of inspiration and great pride.

Since 2006, our government has increased funding to the national sports organizations by 20%. Today I am pleased to announce additional funding to assist athletes in 11 different sports that are identified as having medal potential in the Olympics.

This builds on our government's overall commitment to high performance athletes. Along with all Canadians, I look forward to cheering on our athletes competing in the summer Olympics.

Canadian Heritage
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, sweeping changes have been made at Library and Archives Canada in an effort to make its preservation criteria more rigid.

As we know, its mandate is to facilitate co-operation among the communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge.

In light of the priority given to certain documents lately, can the minister assure us that documents and works that have marked our history will not suffer the same fate as the Alfred Pellan paintings?