House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was important.

Topics

Arts and Culture
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister likes to sing a pretty tune; too bad he does not like to pay the Canadian artists who write the songs.

The Conservatives' notion of promoting Canadian culture is to rob it from Canadians. They have mugged musicians to the tune of $20 million. They have knee-capped the CBC and Telefilm. They are closing CineRobotheque in Montreal and the NFB studios in Toronto.

How can the minister claim to support Canadian culture when he constantly takes a sledgehammer to its very foundations?

Arts and Culture
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, Heather Ostertag, the former CEO of FACTOR, said that what is offered to Canadian artists is the “envy of the world”.

We have increased our funding to the Canada Council for the Arts by 20%, and protected that. CBC has enough money to deliver on its mandate in the Broadcasting Act and to deliver on its 2015 plan.

The hon. member opposite said that we are taking money away from artists. What utter nonsense. What he is talking about is the NDP proposal to amend our Copyright Act to impose a new tax on iPods, cellphones and BlackBerrys, punishing consumers, treating them like criminals and forcing them to pay higher taxes. It is utterly out of line and not in the interests of consumers or artists.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

April 25th, 2012 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, not only are these senseless cuts putting our culture at risk, they also are putting the health of Canadians at risk.

While the minister is trying to cover the real impact of his cuts to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency by saying front-line services will not be affected, the reality is the opposite. As we speak, CFIA inspectors are briefing staff about cuts to important inspection programs. In fact, they are cutting the oversight of meat products imported from the U.S.

Will the minister come clean and tell us which front-line CFIA programs are being cut?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned yesterday, our food safety system in Canada is superior. This was contained in a report on OECD countries.

Our cost-saving measures will not affect food safety. I want to remind the House, as I did yesterday, that in the last budget we tabled, we included an additional $50 million to improve food safety in Canada. The member voted against that. His colleagues voted against that. He will have a chance to redeem himself when we vote on the budget implementation bills.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's explanation does not add up. He cannot say that no services will be affected when he is cutting 10% of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's budget. The agency's management has informed its inspectors of the cuts to some of the inspection programs.

It seems as though the government learned nothing from the listeriosis crisis or Walkerton. Why put Canadians' lives at risk?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, what I said was that no cost-cutting measure will compromise food safety. In fact, we have hired more than 700 additional food inspection staff since 2006. I also said that it was the opposition who voted against allocating an additional $51 million for food safety in our most recent budget.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Roxanne James Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, as a woman, a mother and a member of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, I was absolutely horrified and saddened by the recent Ontario Court of Appeal ruling on prostitution.

Constituents in my riding of Scarborough Centre, and for that matter, Canadians right across our great country are very concerned about this ruling and the impact it will have on women, families and our communities.

Could the Minister of Justice please give the House an update with regard to the government's position on the Bedford prostitution challenge?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, after consideration of the ruling from the Ontario Court of Appeal with regard to the Bedford prostitution challenge, I am pleased to inform the House that the Government of Canada will seek leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

We believe that a binding national decision is required. Prostitution is harmful for society as it exploits Canada's most vulnerable people, especially women.

Canadians can continue to count on this government to protect those who are vulnerable to this kind of exploitation.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's claim that his sweeping changes to the Fisheries Act are all about farmers' ditches smelled rotten from the start. Internal documents show his department was working to “expedite the approval of large natural resource development proposals”. Yesterday he admitted the changes will benefit major industrial projects like the northern gateway pipeline.

When will the minister drop the fish tale and admit that he is selling out our fisheries to his big business buddies?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:45 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 has his facts all wrong. In fact, we are focusing fish and fish habitat protection rules on Canadian fisheries, not on farmers and their fields.

This is not about paving the way for pipelines. It is about allowing cottage owners to build a dock, farmers to clean an irrigation ditch, and municipalities to repair their supports and conduct routine maintenance on ditches.

As a matter of fact, I have a quote from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, which said, “These reforms will make it easier for governments to set clear, sensible priorities for protecting fish habitats. Currently the Fisheries Act applies the same protections to rivers and streams--”

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. I will have to stop the minister there.

The hon. member for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are not buying the minister's fish tale. The minister removed the word “habitat” from the legislation, despite his promises. Beyond his words, the thing that concerns us the most is his plan, which will destroy the fish habitats in our rivers, lakes and streams. This has nothing to do with flooded fields and everything to do with their obsession to build pipelines as quick as possible.

Why are ministers promoting the interests of corporations over the sustainable development of our resources?

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, that is two questions in a row where members had their facts entirely wrong.

As I said, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities said:

These reforms will make it easier for governments to set clear, sensible priorities for protecting fish habitats. Currently the Fisheries Act applies the same protections to rivers and streams as municipal drains and farmers' irrigation canals. That doesn't make sense.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister promised Canadians that he would not reopen the debate on abortion. Nevertheless, that is exactly what one of his Conservative members is going to do tomorrow in the House. Canadian women have been fighting for decades for this right.

Why is the Prime Minister not speaking out loudly and clearly against what his own party is trying to do here in the House?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows the rules with respect to private members' bills. That bill will be debated as all other private members' bills are debated in the House, in accordance with the rules of the House. I do not see why that should be a problem for the hon. member.