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 rail.

Topics

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

March 13th, 2012 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing how quickly the dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board has attracted foreign multinational agribusinesses. The foreign takeover of Viterra would put 50% of Canadian grain handled under foreign control.

This industry was built by Canadian farmers and it is now threatened by foreign multinational corporations. How is that a net benefit for Canada's farmers? How does this help Canadian communities? Does the minister really think that multinational corporations are better handlers than Canadian grain farmers and handlers?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the potential takeover of anything is speculation at best at this point.

The only point the member makes that I agree with is that western Canadian farmers are better off. They are now out from under the single desk. They are able to market their own wheat, durum and barley at the time, place and price of their choosing. They look forward to doing that.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is precisely why we have the Investment Canada Act. According to Greg Pearlman of BMO Capital Markets, Viterra is a very unique asset with lots of elements that are not replicable. I think this is what is commonly known as a strategic asset.

Will the government commit to respecting clear criteria when determining what is a net benefit and what is a strategic asset and to conducting a quantitative analysis based on those criteria?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:40 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 said, any discussion at this point is pure speculation. Having said that, the Investment Canada Act is very clear. There is a process that will be followed should anything happen.

The main thing is that western Canadian farmers now finally enjoy the legal right to market their own commodities at the time, place and price of their choosing. They look forward to exercising that right starting August 1, 2012.

Copyright Legislation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, first, the government is taking artists to the cleaners on the copyright bill. Now the Conservatives want to make average Canadians criminals. With the new copyright legislation, anyone that breaks digital locks for any lawful purpose will be faced with the full force of the law.

We know the Conservatives love building jails and it seems they will have to fill them somehow. Is that why they are using the copyright bill to make everyday Canadian consumers criminals?

Copyright Legislation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is quite ridiculous. Our copyright legislation, Bill C-11, was adopted by this Parliament at the committee stage today, which I am very pleased about. It will put this country where it should be, which is at the leading edge of intellectual property law around the world. Our legislation has been supported by groups, individual citizens, consumer organizations, and creators across the country.

In fact, the Canadian Recording Industry Association backs our bill. The Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network applauds our bill. The Canadian Film and Television Production Association said that it applauds this government's copyright reform as it goes in exactly the right direction.

Copyright Legislation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, being content with large corporations is fine, but we are talking about actors, authors and creators here. With their copyright reform, the Conservatives have demonstrated that they do not care one bit about creators and artists, either in Quebec or elsewhere in Canada. They are going to pass legislation that will deprive creators of $21 million, which is a lot of money.

With Bill C-11, the Conservatives are attacking the livelihood of Canadian creators. This is an attack on our cultural identity and an insult to our artists and the entire cultural industry. The Conservatives seem to believe that Canadian artists are spoiled kids. This contempt for artists—

Copyright Legislation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

Copyright Legislation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is completely ridiculous. The Motion Picture Theatre Associations of Canada said that theatre associations applaud the government for its copyright reform, that this bill is of vital interest to theatres and their employees, and that they applaud the government for this initiative.

The NDP is completely against this bill, which proves that our government listens to artists and creators. We introduced a bill that protects their interests.

The NDP is against this bill because the NDP's proposal for an iPod tax has been shot down by the Canadian public and by this government. The NDP wants to raise taxes. We say no. They are mad. We are glad.

Syria
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, reports indicate that today Syrian forces recaptured the northern town of Idlib from military defectors. Assad's thugs in the meantime are mining border areas, targeting civilians trying to flee the country. Problems in Syria are mounting. Violence is spiralling and the killing continues.

Could the foreign affairs minister give the House an update on this dire situation?

Syria
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we remain incredibly troubled by what we see going on in Syria today. I know my hon. colleague shares my concern about the growing humanitarian crisis taking place in Syria and neighbouring states. Refugees are beginning to flood into neighbouring states.

Yesterday I spoke with United Nations Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos to get briefed on her recent visits. UN observers will be documenting the human rights abuses to hold people accountable for them. We also welcomed today's decision by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to send help into Syria. We have been very clear that Assad must go. Canada is certainly prepared to help address this growing humanitarian crisis.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, today in committee, we learned that a Department of National Defence team is looking at alternatives to the F-35. The opposition has been asking about the Conservatives' apparent lack of a plan B for months. It seems that the Conservatives' plan for these planes is not going as well as the minister hoped it would.

Why did the government skip the tendering process for the country's largest military purchase ever, and why did it not have a plan B? Is the government just trying to distract the committee, or does it really have a team taking a serious look at alternatives to the F-35 fiasco?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our position has not changed. We remain committed to the joint strike fighter program. A budget has been allocated. A contract has not yet been signed. We will ensure that our air force has the aircraft necessary to do the job we ask it to do.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, enough; that story has run its course. Today, the associate minister has an opportunity to start again with the truth.

This morning in committee he acknowledged that there is a project planning team looking for alternatives to the F-35. Will the minister come clean with this House today and acknowledge that he is indeed backing out of the F-35 program, or is he stuck with his speaking notes?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we have been clear. When the current aircraft come to the end of their useful life cycle, we will ensure that our men and women in uniform have the best equipment necessary to do the important job we ask of them. However, as I stated, a contract has not been signed for replacement aircraft at this time.