House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 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, unlike the NDP, our government is focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

Unfortunately, major economic projects in Canada are currently subject to long delays in the regulatory process. We made it clear that we want to reform that. We want to improve it.

We are not going to weaken any of the environmental protections, but it is reasonable to expect that these projects can be approved in a timely fashion.

The Environment
Oral Questions

April 2nd, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, responsible resource development is based on environmental assessments that respect constitutional rights. Only a full consultation will allow everyone to benefit from major projects. The Conservatives want to set Canada back decades. I know that this is the perfect recipe for years of legal disputes and battles. This approach is irresponsible.

Why is the government giving up on its legal obligations and ramming through these ill-conceived changes?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 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, our process will focus on four major areas to streamline the review process itself. We will make the review process more predictable and timely. We will reduce duplication and regulatory burden. We will strengthen environmental protection and we will enhance consultations with the aboriginal peoples.

Why are the member and his party opposite so opposed to timely reviews, protecting the environment and consulting with aboriginal Canadians?

Public Appointments Commission
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, hidden in the budget, the Conservatives dismantled a key part of their own Federal Accountability Act. After spending $1 million a year on the Public Appointments Commission, they have ditched any hope of merit-based appointments. Six years later, are they still mad that Gwyn Morgan did not get the nod from committee?

The Conservatives said that they had come here to change Ottawa but it is Ottawa that has changed them. Why did they break their promise, waste millions and embrace Liberal style patronage appointments? Why did they do that?

Public Appointments Commission
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

North Vancouver
B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, economic action plan 2012 is our plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. We are eliminating the Public Appointments Commission. Our government has significantly strengthened the public appointments system, including advertising appointments and conducting open selection processes for leadership and full-time positions. Appointments will continue to be made based on merit.

Public Appointments Commission
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is no wonder people are becoming increasingly cynical when they hear such answers.

Millions of dollars were wasted and, today, the government is abolishing a phoney commission that has not been used for many years. Today, we are saying goodbye to a transparent appointment process and welcoming new partisan appointments. The Conservatives have broken yet another promise. Merit is no longer important. Now, we have to rely on their good judgment. After all, the Conservatives already know who contributed to their election war chest.

Is that why they now want to abolish the Public Appointments Commission?

Public Appointments Commission
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

North Vancouver
B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, we tried to appoint a public appointments commissioner but it was the opposition that chose to play partisan games and prevented that appointment from happening. Despite this, we have made the public appointments process more open, transparent and equitable. Job positions are now posted online for everyone to see and appointments will continue to be made based on merit.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has eliminated the Canadian Environmental Network and the national round table, muzzled scientists, gutted Environment Canada and eliminated the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences. Now it aims to quash dissent from environmental charities and seize control of the research agenda at universities.

Does the Prime Minister think that it is appropriate in a democracy to eliminate the accountability that independent science brings and to silence dissent?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this budget demonstrates the Government of Canada's full commitment to a strong environmental agenda even as we take significant action to address fiscal issues and the deficit. We have renewed funding for a number of key environmental programs, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Species at Risk Act. We have renewed funding to clean up Lake Simcoe and Lake Winnipeg.

Under this budget, EC continues to have all of the resources it needs to protect the Canadian environment.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of the Environment said, of the Round Table on the Environment and the Economy:

It was created before the Internet, when there were few such sources of domestic, independent research and analysis on sustainable development. That is simply no longer the case. There are now any number of organizations and university based services that provide those services.

Very well. Could the minister name these organizations and services?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is quite correct in at least part of her quotation. I have expressed our government's appreciation and thanks to the round table for its service over the decades, but it was created a quarter century ago at a time, as my colleague reminded us, when there were very few and limited resources of policy advice on the environment and, in particular, those with regard to the environment and the economy.

Bell Canada
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, for decades, Canadians paid the same rate across Canada to use a pay phone but then, just a few years ago, the charges doubled.

Seniors, low income and rural Canadians who do not have access to wireless services rely on pay phones to communicate.

Now, Bell is asking the government to allow it to increase the fees once again and again it wants to double them.

If this increase is accepted, the Conservatives' meagre GIS increase to seniors will be eaten by just one call a day.

Will the government finally stand up for consumers and reject this proposal?

Bell Canada
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, this government has taken unprecedented measures to ensure that all Canadians have access to quality services. Moreover, just two or three weeks ago, with the spectrum auction, we ensured that all Canadians will have access to quality wireless services, at a reasonable cost, wherever they may be in Canada.

I encourage the NDP to support the government's future initiatives to ensure that quality service is available in every region of the country.

Bell Canada
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Dionne Labelle Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the giant telephone companies want to double the cost of using public telephones.

Pay phones are used mainly by low-income people and seniors, and those are the people who will feel the full weight of this increase.

Will the minister work with us to prevent this unjustified increase, or will he stand once again with his friends, the telecom giants?

Why do the Conservatives never stand up for low-income Canadians, the people who cannot afford cell phones, decent housing or food on their tables? On this issue, it seems no one is going to answer the call for the Conservatives.

Bell Canada
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, once again, the CRTC is responsible for the regulations. We all know it is independent of the government. Measures have been put in place by the government, however, including the community broadband programs and the spectrum auction announced a few weeks ago, with the goal of ensuring that all Canadians have access to high-quality, well-priced services, wherever they live.

Therefore, I encourage the hon. member to support the government in taking the necessary measures to ensure that these goals are reached.