House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was criminal.

Topics

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, were the members opposite laughing when their own government contracted Ekos to the tune of $10 million in research?

In just the seven ridings it has examined, Ekos said that up to 50,000 non-Conservative voters were targeted by this widespread fraud. When will that disgraced government stop its ethically corrupt denials and excuses and call a royal commission?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the polling firm mentioned by the member has a startling record in the last number of months. We do not comment on polls, but I think its research speaks for itself. Specifically, one need look no further than the election.

However, I would point to the comments of the Chief Electoral Officer who said, “I find it troubling, all of the sweeping allegations of wrongdoing without evidence to support it”. We know the Liberals did make some illegal robocalls in the last election. They were caught doing that: illegal calls, phony numbers, phony messages. That is what the Liberals did.

We also know they have made these phony allegations, sweeping allegations with no evidence to support it. That is what the member has done. She is troubling the Chief Electoral Officer by doing it.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Commissioner of Official Languages confirmed our fears about the closure of the Quebec City rescue centre. Personnel in Halifax and Trenton will not provide 24/7 bilingual service. The staff will not be able to cover the large number of French-language distress calls. Bilingual capacity is scandalously inadequate. The language of work will continue to be English. Bilingual staff will have to translate everything into English.

Will the minister change his mind about this poorly conceived, dangerous plan?

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, again, the member opposite is wrong. As I stated many times before, the change does not affect the availability of search and rescue resources. Nor does it affect the availability of officially bilingual personnel in those locations.

We in fact have delayed the transfer of the Quebec office to Trenton to such time as we have the bilingual capacity to ensure the safety of mariners.

Railway Transportation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, since the 1990s, Canada has lost 10,000 kilometres of railway tracks, and the Liberals and the Conservatives are both responsible.

After cutting a third of VIA Rail's funding earlier this year, the latest Conservative budget chopped another $20 million a year from VIA Rail.

While the rest of the world is encouraging trains and the use of them, the Conservative government is starving the Canadian rail service to death. Why?

Railway Transportation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in the preface to her question, the member made statements that are all wrong.

The last phase of Canada's economic action plan changed funding levels for previously planned infrastructure programs of known duration. We have invested $72 million in additional funding over five years, with another $15 million per year to ensure rail transportation safety in Canada. We will keep going. We have invested $923 million in the Windsor-Quebec City corridor to enhance VIA Rail services. That party voted against it. They do not have a leg to stand on.

Railway Transportation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the eighties, Conservatives deregulated the rail industry and rural communities suffered.

In the nineties, Liberals sold CN and the service suffered again. With CN controlling the tracks, VIA Rail's service to Canadians also suffered.

With those out-of-touch Conservatives, who claim trains are only for the elite, rail services are again under attack.

Will the minister promise not to sell off any part of VIA Rail, now or later, yes or no?

Railway Transportation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we do not cut. That is aim of the economic action plan. We changed the numbers and we did not cut that.

My colleague is referring to the cut. We invested $923 million in VIA Rail in 2009 through the economic action plan. Surprisingly the NDP did not support this investment.

We will continue to support Canadian railways.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has it priorities backward. By recklessly cutting $143 million to the CBSA budget, the government will cost business and weaken border safety.

Instead of encouraging trade and tackling organized crime, the government has decided to give a break to smugglers. How much is the government going to save by allowing more illegal guns and drugs into Canada?

Why is the government turning its back on the public safety of Canadians for ideological cuts? Where is the logic in this?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I find it surprising that the member would be criticizing the decisions of the government when his party voted against increases to the CBSA. Our government increased front-line officers by 26% since we have come into office.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we voted against it because it was a bad budget that did not serve Canadians. That is what we voted against.

Canadians do not want cuts to front-line services that are designed to ensure public safety, but the Conservatives are not listening. Not only have they cut border guards, they are also cutting one-quarter of Canada's sniffer dogs. Taking away this effective detection will make smuggling easier. All of this as the minister authorized himself a lavish executive retreat in Montreal last week, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars.

How does the minister justify this spending when the government is cutting so much that even the dogs are getting pink slips?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, our government has increased front-line border officer positions by 26% since coming into office.

It strikes me as somewhat unusual that the member is concerned about drugs coming into our country when he consistently votes in favour of laws that would not increase the drug penalties against those individuals. There is an individual who does not walk the walk when he is asked to.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

April 24th, 2012 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has long called for democratic reform in Burma. We have over the years imposed some of the world's toughest sanctions against Burma and its military leaders.

Our government has followed events closely, and in March the Minister of Foreign Affairs was the first Canadian foreign minister to ever visit Burma and see first-hand progress.

Would the minister please update the House on the steps Canada is taking to support democratic reform efforts in Burma?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are very pleased with the reforms taking place in Burma. The slow transition to democracy has been awaited for a long time. We are pleased with the by-election that took place on April 1.

Today I am pleased to announce the suspension of our sanctions against Burma to signal our support for the reforms. We will watch the situation very closely and if any reform is abandoned, we will certainly change course.

We want to work with the Burmese government, with the Burmese parliament and with Aung San Suu Kyi on democratic development to ensure the people of Burma can enjoy the same freedoms that we are blessed to enjoy in Canada.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday when asked why the government sent meddling overseers to the International Polar Year Conference, the minister said that muzzling scientists was “established practice”, but scientists disagree. A senior Environment Canada expert called the new media guidelines unethical and enormously embarrassing to our country on the world stage.

Will the minister explain how interfering in media access to our scientists fits in with the government's so-called open government approach?