House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

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, this government has made and continues to make massive investments in science. We have invested $30 million to refit laboratories and science vessels, millions of dollars to complete ocean mapping for Canada's UNCLOS submission and $10 million to support emerging commercial fishing in the Arctic. Additionally, in Canada's 2012 budget there is another $30 million to support fishery science.

The Environment
Oral Questions

May 29th, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, to make matters worse, the Conservatives are eliminating the Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research, so last week, the Conservatives put one million hectares of our Arctic waters up for sale for oil and gas exploration, and this week, they are giving pink slips to the people who give us expert advice on how to deal with oil spills.

Is the minister planning to base something as important as Canada's energy policy on a whim or a hunch, or is he happy just to do whatever his oil lobbyist friends suggest?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we announced over $20 million for the Beaufort regional environmental assessment process. That process is now ongoing to set benchmarks for future activities that may occur in the north, in the Arctic. Yes, indeed, we put out some exploration licences. There was take-up. This is good for the north; this is good for economic activity; this is part of our jobs and economic prosperity agenda.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives’ irresponsible cuts go even further than that. They are also scuttling Environment Canada’s group for monitoring smokestacks and thereby eliminating our ability to measure industrial emissions. This interferes with our efforts to control pollution and, in addition, jeopardizes the health of the entire population of Canada.

Does the minister understand that slashing the monitoring of polluting emissions does not reduce atmospheric emissions?

Why is the minister taking an axe to the important scientific work done by his department and closing his eyes to industrial pollution?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question, but it misrepresents and exaggerates what she is talking about.

Information that is relevant to our government's development of industrial smoke stack emissions regulation is available through a variety of sources, including the provinces and industry itself. Environment Canada will continue to work with other jurisdictions and with other expert bodies to ensure high standards to protect human health and the environment.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government's ideological approach to budget cuts harms Canadians. A program that helps low-income Canadians access the Internet at libraries is gone; inspectors who ensure our food is safe to eat, gone; scientists who protect our oceans and environment, gone; the Coast Guard station in Kitsilano and search and rescue centres in St. John's and Quebec City, all gone.

Why is the government intent on making budget cuts that defy common sense and endanger lives?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that we have made some moderate decisions that are designed to get the budget back into balance in the medium term. This is part of our long-term jobs and growth strategy that the Minister of Finance ably put forward in budget 2012. That is what we are focused on. We are focused on jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast; we are focused on economic growth that can be shared by all Canadians; and we will continue to focus on that because that is the mandate the Canadian people gave to us.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, for some reason, the government is reluctant to fix a glaring problem with registered disability savings plans. To qualify for such a plan, people have to be seriously disabled right now, but those suffering a debilitating disease like MS, for example, which will result in serious disability at some future point but not right now, cannot get a registered disability savings plan. In other words, they cannot save now while they are still able to do so.

For the third time, why will the government not fix this obvious problem?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the registered disability savings plan was brought in by the government several years ago. I am interested in the member opposite's question. It is unfortunate that he voted against the plan when we brought it before the House of Commons.

There are some provisions in the budget this year, and I hope that the hon. member will look at the budget bill that is before the House now that addresses some of the revisions that the consultation we had in the past year indicated ought to be made to the registered disability savings plan. I hope the member will read it and then vote for the amendments.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities delivered a groundbreaking report today showing the Conservative government takes a lot more tax dollars out of municipalities, cities and towns than it puts in.

To paraphrase a former city mayor from Toronto, “Where is the money? Show us our money”. Municipalities have difficulty fixing their crumbling bridges and have problems dealing with policing costs and building affordable housing.

Will the Conservative government replace the build Canada fund by the fall of 2014 so that municipalities can deal with—

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, never in the history of this country has a government invested as much as this government to support municipalities throughout the country.

We implemented the rebate of the excise tax on gasoline. Not only have we continued to rebate it, but we have now incorporated this in legislation.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. There is far too much cross dialogue going on. The hon. Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has the floor.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, municipalities in Canada do not have a more committed partner than our Conservative government, with $33 billion through the building Canada fund. This fund will expire in 2014. That is why the new plan we are working on will be ready for 2014.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a lot of talk but little comfort to Canadians who are stuck in traffic gridlocks and who have to boil water before they drink it. These are direct results of Conservative government neglect of cities and communities. To make matters worse, the green infrastructure fund has been cut.

The municipalities need to know by the fall of next year whether there will be a permanent program. They need to know whether the gas tax will be indexed so that it will be protected from the ravages of inflation.