House of Commons Hansard #96 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was flag.

Topics

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, current fisheries policies go well beyond what is required to protect fish and fish habitat. I can give some examples of that.

Last year in Saskatchewan, a long-running country jamboree was nearly cancelled after newly flooded fields were deemed fish habitat by fisheries officials. In Richelieu, the application of rules blocked a farmer from draining his flooded field.

We are looking at the policies, but there has been no decision made.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, those are empty words. Canadians know full well that they cannot count on the Conservatives to protect the environment.

We know that the industry started lobbying the Conservatives in 2006. The government is supposed to protect our fishery, not roll out the red carpet for disastrous mega-projects.

Are the Conservatives going to do their job or are they going to keep giving their lobbyist friends special treatment? When are they finally going to meet the needs of the fishers?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is more like empty questions. The member opposite obviously has a crystal ball that I do not have.

What we are looking at is policies. I can tell the member that we have not made any policy changes. We are currently looking at the policies that are in place and how we can improve them to make it better for fish habitat and the fisheries.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us give the minister another chance.

First, the Conservative government smeared B.C.'s first nations, whom it has a duty to properly consult, by calling them radicals and adversaries.

Now we have learned that the government plans to relinquish its role in protecting vital salmon and other fish habitat. This is a cynical attempt to shortcut the northern gateway pipeline approval process at the expense of local communities and the environment.

Will the government commit here and now to drop its plan to gut fish habitat protection?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, these are policies that we are looking at.

There is ample evidence that the policies we have in place are inhibiting the everyday activities of Canadian landowners. We have a responsibility to Canada and the Canadian public to ensure that we protect our habitat. At the same time the policies have to be reasonable and do not infringe on the everyday way of life of Canadians.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, last year purse seiners were unable to catch all of the remaining herring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Now we are hearing that the minister has cut a deal to allow massive corporate mid-water trawlers to fish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Will the government, knowing that these massive corporate trawlers will destroy the species, inform the House and Canadians that it will not allow this type of trawler in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which will destroy the herring species?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that is an interesting question from the member opposite. Days ago he was criticizing me for listening to fishermen and seeking ideas and input from fishermen.

Obviously, those members probably would not be way down there in the House if they had listened to Canadians and Canadian fishermen.

The Environment
Oral Questions

March 14th, 2012 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have transformed a crucial report from the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development into Conservative talking points. The report contains no proof and does not take the points of view of key stakeholders into account. Since no one can support their plan to phase out environmental assessments, they wrote a phony report that supports their case.

When will they stop producing reports based on their fantasy world?

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is not true at all.

The standing committee has completed its review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and has made some constructive suggestions for improvements to the act that will allow for continued rigorous protection of the environment while at the same time protecting Canadian jobs and the economy.

Our consideration of legislative change will certainly benefit from the recommendations of the standing committee.

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, here is the Conservative plan to study environmental assessments: One, ignore important evidence; two, fail to consult key stakeholders; and three, write a phony report full of holes that serves no one but the Conservatives.

That is not good enough. We are talking about important safeguards here to protect our health, communities and environment. Conservatives are turning environmental assessments into a farce.

Will the Conservatives put off any changes to the Environmental Assessment Act until a credible review can be done?

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, if the NDP spent a little less time lobbying against Canadian jobs and a responsibly regulated industry, the member would have a better chance of helping to protect the environment.

The Environmental Assessment Act and the good work of the agency are very much front of mind. We are well aware of where improvements to the act can be made. That said, we do appreciate the recommendations made by the standing committee.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, with the third largest oil reserves in the world, Canada has a historic opportunity to develop these resources to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and economic growth right across our country.

We are an energy superpower with the resources the world needs to fulfill growing global energy demands. Furthermore, we are seen as a reliable as well as an environmentally and socially responsible supplier.

Could the parliamentary secretary please update this House on how we are fighting for our resource sector?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his excellent work on natural resources.

When we go abroad, we defend Canadian interests, not betray them. Today the Minister of Natural Resources is in Kuwait doing excellent work as usual in telling the world that Canada stands ready to supply its oil and energy.

We are a strong stable democracy, we are a reliable trading partner and we are creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across this country. Unlike the opposition, when we travel abroad we support Canadian interests and Canadian workers.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I recently returned from South Africa where the leaders of the African National Congress, the legendary anti-Apartheid movement that is now celebrating its centenary, reported to me how they were denied visas to Canada on security grounds and felt it painful if not insulting to have to apply for an exceptional waiver.

My question for the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism is this: What steps will the Government of Canada take to ensure that these anti-Apartheid heroes are not treated as presumed inadmissibles or terrorists with respect to their visa applications to Canada?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I have worked with the member on this matter.

When the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was adopted in 2002, it had very strict provisions for inadmissibility that have long been established in Canadian immigration law and are basically endlessly retrospective. Therefore, anyone who belongs to an organization that may have been inadmissible in the past is still technically inadmissible.

Having said that, we have issued an operational bulletin to our visa officers and CBSA agents indicating that the African National Congress is an organization that has undergone substantial change and, therefore, membership in it should no longer be considered grounds for inadmissibility.

I think we have found a technical solution, but we are also looking at amendments to IRPA to correct this problem of the retrospective inadmissibility provisions of that statute.