House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

May 10th, 2012 / 2:40 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, the Canadian Coast Guard and DND have provided radio medical services to mariners in the Atlantic region for many years through the Halifax companies, and they continue to do so.

In the event that there are emergencies of sufficient consequences that would require that we have to go to a backup, we do in fact use an internationally recognized company to perform that task.

Radio-Canada International
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the closure of Rights and Democracy and the ending of grants to the International Council for Canadian Studies, now it is Radio-Canada International’s turn to be squeezed dry.

Clearly, this government's aim is to control everything that goes out and everything that comes into Canada and everything about Canada.

When did the Conservatives receive a mandate to destroy our international reputation? When did they receive a mandate to destroy all the respected institutions that make it possible to understand the diversity of the information culture here and elsewhere? When?

Radio-Canada International
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, in my view, it is clear that we have made this type of commitment. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has the funds it needs to carry out its mandate and continue with the action plan until 2015.

We have made this kind of commitment in each of these fields: culture, language and cultural infrastructure. The CBC is part of that. It has the investments it needs to build these foundations throughout the country and to fulfill these commitments to our culture.

It is clear: we have the commitments, the investments and the policies, and they are ongoing.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives may not like the CBC, but just about everyone, from Christopher Plummer to Russell Peters, has cut their teeth on Canadian radio drama. Artists are Canada's most well known exports. This is a big part of our economy. I know the heritage minister is going to get up and try to hide behind past Liberal cuts, but that is not going to cut it here today. It is his government that is responsible for the demise of CBC radio drama.

Why does the minister continue to attack Canadian culture and the Canadian economy?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
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 such utter nonsense if we look at our budget and all the investments that we have made with regard to culture.

It is a simple fact that this government is the only government in the G20 that made a precise decision not to cut, not to maintain, but to increase funding for arts and culture during the recession. We increased our support for the Canada Council for the Arts by 20%. We have created two new national museums. We have created the Canada media fund, which is a $100 million investment every year into Canadian television, the audio-video sector and films all across this country. We are providing funding at a record level but in responsible ways to arts and culture to make sure that it continues to contribute to our national identity and to our economy.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, closing down the marine rescue coordination centre in St. John's was not bad enough. An ailing fisherman off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador had his call for help routed to Italy. That is right: Italy, as in Europe. It speaks volumes about the Conservatives' lack of understanding or concern for the challenges faced by fishing crews and mariners on our coasts. It—

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, order. The hon. member for St. John's East has the floor.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

It is funny, Mr. Speaker, but it speaks volumes about the Conservatives' lack of understanding or concern for the challenges faced by fishing crews and mariners off our coasts. We never imagined that medical emergency calls would be routed to Italy, all calls. Coast Guard emails confirm this new procedure for all medical calls will be in place effective May 7.

How can the government explain such an outrageous decision?

Search and Rescue
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, as I have indicated a couple of times now, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Department of National Defence provide radio medical services to our mariners in this important work they do, and their safety is of our utmost concern, in Atlantic Canada through centres in Halifax.

As in the past, and we continue to do so, we use an internationally renowned, recognized service provider in the case of—

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for St. John's East.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, we cannot close the barn door. The horse has gotten out on this one, and I have lost count of how many times the government has taken wrong decisions on search and rescue. It is poor management and a lack of priority.

People who make a living working off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador deserve far better than having their calls for help taken by a doctor sitting in an office in Rome, who did not even know where Newfoundland was. When will the government take search and rescue seriously for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and for all Canadians? Who signed off on this outrageous experiment and will the government open up the centres in St. John's—

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Search and Rescue
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, the service provider that was used as a backup, as I said, is internationally known and has provided backup service to our centres for many years. It is the same service centre that provided backup for the Swissair disaster. It is a renowned company, well known. We use it as a backup only and normally operate through channels in Halifax.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, as you know, the French just recently elected a new president of the Fifth Republic. Canada has a long-standing close relationship with France, and trade liberalization only serves to strengthen those ties.

I have a question for the Prime Minister. Can he give us an update on the most recent developments with regard to the ongoing relationship between Canada and France?