House of Commons Hansard #125 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

Government Accountability
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect their government to answer questions about public policy decisions they make and be accountable to Parliament and the public.

However, when we questioned the environment minister last night, he refused to answer even the most basic questions. He could not tell us how many times staff had been dispatched to environmental emergencies in the past three years, and he is cutting 40% of those positions.

The minister refused to say why the government was dismantling the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, who it consulted about this closure, who would replace the work and how many research requests the government gave it. He even refused to say how many times the round table's climate prosperity report had been downloaded.

Last night was further proof that the arrogant Conservative government has simply abandoned any notion of openness or being accountable to Canadians. Canadians want a transparent and open government. Canadians need transparency and accountability in our democracy. That is just what they will get in 2015 when Canadians vote to get rid of this secretive, unethical and unaccountable government.

Transboundary Waters Protection Act
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier today I was pleased to join with my colleague, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as he confirmed the government's support for my private member's bill on bulk water removal.

Bill C-383 proposes stronger measures to prevent the bulk removal of water from Canada and strengthens enforcement provisions and penalties. It also delivers on a long-standing government commitment. My bill would reaffirm the Prime Minister's commitment to sovereignty over our water. Canadians need to know that our water is not for sale, and Bill C-383 would achieve that.

I have spoken to some opposition members who have expressed their support for this bill. I hope there will be continued support for it as it is debated more in the House.

The bill respects provincial sovereignty when it comes to water issues. We will continue to work with our provincial and territorial partners to ensure that Canada's freshwater is protected.

I am very happy to have such great support for the bill. I hope all members will support Bill C-383 when it comes up for debate next month.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister said that there are no reductions to old age security in this budget. This pamphlet on the budget, which was one of the supplementary documents the government tabled in this House with the budget, gives a detailed explanation of the cuts the Conservatives want to make to Canadians' retirement income. Of course, this document is missing one vital piece of information—a number, which is also not found in the budget itself.

Exactly how much money do the Conservatives plan to take directly from pensioners?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, there are no cuts to people's pensions. Canadian pensioners know that. On the contrary, next year, they will have the option of delaying their participation in the program, thereby increasing their benefits.

This government has been very clear: we are ensuring the long-term sustainability of this program for future generations.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, how can the Prime Minister claim that these cuts are intended to make old age security sustainable when the Conservatives cannot even tell us how much their cuts are supposed to save? The truth is this is not about sustainability; this about forcing seniors to work until they are 67 years old or else they will not be able to retire with dignity.

I have a very simple question. Leaving aside the fact that the Parliamentary Budget Officer and other experts have all concluded that the system is sustainable, if the Conservatives really believe old age security is unsustainable, how much do they need to cut to make it sustainable?

Pensions
Oral Questions

May 16th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it does bear repeating that there are no reductions to old age security or other pensions in this budget. On the contrary, these things have been protected as we balance the budget.

There will be no change as well to eligibility until the year 2023. In fact, between now and that time, and in fact after that time, the government's spending on old age security and guaranteed income supplement will continue to rise, but will rise in a way that is affordable and sustainable for future generations.

National Security
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, earlier today, the Minister of Public Safety stood by a Conservative decision to roll out the red carpet for a Chinese company called Huawei.

Huawei will be allowed to buy up key telecommunications assets in Canada, despite the fact that the United States and Australia have blocked it from major telecom projects due to serious national security concerns.

The United States and Australia are two of our closest allies. They still see the risk. Why did the Prime Minister choose to ignore their warnings?

National Security
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP is speaking of some contractual relationships between some Canadian companies and foreign companies. The particular concerns that he raised in fact have been addressed. Those concerns have been examined and those concerns have been addressed in our mind.

I would remind the leader of the NDP that we do not take dictates on security from the United States.

National Security
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows the government's own information security was compromised last year by attacks from Chinese servers. Yet when the Prime Minister visited China, he was honoured to meet with Huawei, despite the Americans preventing Huawei from taking over any major telecom companies or participating in infrastructure projects. Its concern is obvious. It does not want this company getting back door access to its communications infrastructure.

Could the Minister of Public Safety tell us, in the House today, what does he know about this company that the Americans do not know?

National Security
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, what I can tell the member is that all carriers will continue to be subject to Canadian law. We will continue to ensure that Canadians can rely on a telecommunications infrastructure that is safe and secure.

What the hon. member did not state, nor did the CBC in its story state, is that in the same memo cited by the CBC, my official stated that despite the concerns, “I want to stress that Public Safety Canada's is not in opposition to the auction”.

National Security
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, we can selectively quote from the memo all we like, but the facts and the documents contradict the minister.

National Security
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National Security
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca has the floor.

National Security
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the other part the minister did not cite says:

The lessening of current restrictions could create new, and increase existing vulnerabilities in our telecommunications networks, further exposing them...to an increased threat of cyber espionage and denial of service attacks.

What makes the minister so confident when the United States, Australia and even his own department disagree?

National Security
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, in fact what the official did do is point out certain concerns and then indicate that those concerns had been addressed.

What I find surprising is that member is a member of a party that did not even recognize that there were any security concerns a year or two ago in respect of cyberspace.