House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, SNC-Lavalin will face its shareholders engulfed by scandal. Money laundering, fraud and corruption are among the shocking allegations facing the company.

A distinguished member of this House once said, “High ethical standards for Canadian enterprise are not up for negotiation”. Do members know who said that? It was the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Will the government be reviewing its business with SNC-Lavalin?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, these are very serious allegations being made against this company and the government will do everything it can to support this investigation.

Canada is party to a number of international agreements and we have strict laws for companies in Canada. Other governments expect Canadian companies to respect the rules both here in Canada and when operating abroad.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, problems are resurfacing at SNC-Lavalin. Questions were raised when the company built a prison for Gadhafi. Now we have learned that the problem could be much bigger. There is talk of millions of dollars in bribes to senior managers in North Africa. In addition, Swiss authorities were the first to take action.

My question is simple. Were the Conservatives asleep at the switch or did they have their heads buried in the sand?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, these are very serious allegations being made against this company and the government will do everything it can to support this investigation.

I will repeat again that other governments expect Canadian companies to respect the rules both here in Canada and when operating abroad.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Roxanne James Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year, Canada was shocked to learn of the case of Shaima Jastaina, a Saudi citizen who was arrested for the simple act of driving a car. Saudi Arabia remains the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive, a routine act for most women in any democracy.

Today we have been informed that the 10 lashes sentence received by Ms. Jastaina has been dropped.

Would the parliamentary secretary please update this House on Canada's reaction to these latest developments?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Conservative

Susan Truppe Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, we are extremely pleased by reports that Shaima Jastaina's sentence has been dropped.

From the outset, Canada has fully supported the cause of Saudi women. In fact, during his trip to Saudi Arabia in March of this year, the Minister of Foreign Affairs raised this important issue with the Saudi foreign minister and the president of the Human Rights Commission.

We continue to call on Saudi authorities to review their position on the driving ban and implement the necessary reforms to ensure equality among all their citizens.

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, the budget's language says to cut funding for research at NSERC but to protect industry collaborations, scholarships and discovery grants. However, there is not much left to cut at NSERC. So, the RTI grants will be cut, the source of funding to repair and purchase medium-sized equipment.

Researchers are furious. It is like sending a carpenter to work without a hammer.

Why did the minister force cuts to funding used to fix and buy needed equipment?

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to say that this government has provided investments for science and technology, including equipment, at record levels. Never in the history of our country have scientists in Canada seen so much funding for research, for the buildings in which they work and for the equipment they use.

We have a brain gain because scientists around the world want to do their research here.

The real question is whether the opposition will vote for this kind of support in the budget.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are increasingly worried about the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing in the shale gas industry. Even though this is mainly a provincial matter, the minister has confirmed that the federal government has some responsibilities under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. That is exactly what the Conservatives want to eliminate by attacking environmental impact assessments in their budget.

Does the government realize that it has a duty to protect the public from the harmful effects of shale gas?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is false, absolutely false.

I would remind my colleague that the primary responsibility for shale gas rests with the provinces and territories except, as he said, where it might be found on federal land. We are continuing to accumulate data and the latest scientific information on this legitimate resource practice. We will continue to work with the provinces and territories.

National Revenue
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to the fair and equitable tax treatment of all Canadians. Our Minister of National Revenue has been working hard to ensure that Canadians are treated in a fair and respectful manner by CRA. It was this government that introduced the taxpayer bill of rights as well as the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman to provide Canadians with a clear statement of their service rights and a venue to voice concerns.

I understand that the minister has recently become aware of some troubling videos that do not meet our high expectations of CRA staff. I would ask her to inform this House of the steps she has taken to address this.

National Revenue
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I was recently made aware of some very troubling videos that have been made using CRA resources. I find these videos totally disrespectful to Canadian taxpayers. This is certainly not how CRA officials are trained.

I have asked CRA senior management to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary measures immediately. I have also asked the Taxpayers' Ombudsman to review all CRA training videos and to ensure that they respect taxpayers' rights.

We demand professionalism from CRA employees and this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable.

Finance
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week, the Minister of Finance said that government would not mandate the use of the banking ombudsman for dispute resolution. This goes against the clear best practices laid out by the World Bank and even G20 consumer protection finance principles that he signed. Instead, banks will be allowed to police themselves, leaving the ombudsman no choice but to close its doors. With this decision, the minister is creating a race to the bottom.

Why are the big banks being put ahead of consumers and small businesses? Will the minister reconsider his decision?

Finance
Oral Questions

May 3rd, 2012 / 3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is the requirement now that all federally regulated financial institutions, the banks, have a dispute resolution process. We passed legislation with respect to that. All of the banks do have a dispute resolution process and we are formulating the regulations. As the government, we will make the rules and we expect the banks to follow.

Freedom of the Press
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-François Fortin Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, May 3 is World Press Freedom Day. According to UNESCO, it is a day to alert the public and make people more aware of this cause. And so, I am sounding the alarm. A new code of conduct has been imposed on CBC, requiring journalists to support ministers in their accountability to Parliament and Canadians. If journalists fail to abide by this new code of conduct, they may be subject to disciplinary measures up to and including immediate dismissal. This reeks of totalitarianism.

How can the government justify the fact that it is secretly trying to make CBC the new Pravda? I am asking the government to allow CBC to maintain its independence. The government already has Sun TV News.