House of Commons Hansard #130 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was co-operatives.

Topics

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research is not shutting down. Important research currently being done by scientists at the centre will now be done through a new advisory group that will provide advice on priority issues and will manage a research fund. Through this new advisory group, the department will continue to provide science advice on contaminants and will provide funding to universities and other facilities to conduct research.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, even former Conservative fisheries ministers disagreed with the government's devious and scary changes to the Fisheries Act. It will be giving the green light to projects that pollute our waterways, destroy our fish habitat and devastate our coastal communities, all the while getting rid of scientists and researchers who help ensure sustainable management of these resources.

When will the Conservatives stop playing Russian roulette with the fisheries and coastal communities?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are focusing on fish and fish habitat protection rules on Canada's fisheries. I have said that many times. The changes that we are making are vast improvements over the current act. We will be identifying ecologically sensitive areas, make fisheries hatch conditions enforceable and allow higher maximum penalties for rule breakers. We will also create new and clear accessible guidelines for Canadians to follow prior to produce in or near waters.

We are making substantial changes and NDP governments, such as in Manitoba, are very supportive of the changes we want to make.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, fishers are not the only ones who will be left out in the cold once the Conservatives push their Trojan Horse bill through Parliament. Yesterday, we heard troubling testimony from the Commissioner of the Environment.

He said that the Conservatives plan to eliminate environmental assessments. Instead of conducting 4,000 to 6,000 assessments per year, the government will conduct only about 20 or 30. That is irresponsible.

Will the minister confirm that that is his intention?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would be glad to correct my colleague's impression and that, as a matter of fact, of the environment commissioner. While it is true that about 4,000 to 5,000 screenings are completed each year under the current Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the vast majority of these are very small projects that pose little or no environmental risk.

Under the new act, the focus will be on projects that pose high risks to the environment and the actual number of federal panels or standard environmental assessments will actually number in the hundreds.

The Environment
Oral Questions

May 30th, 2012 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are only two possible explanations: either there will be only 20 economic development projects in the country per year, or the vast majority of projects will simply not be assessed.

Because of the Conservatives' changes, aquaculture and bridge projects, not to mention offshore drilling and oil sands projects, will not be assessed because they will be considered “small”. The Conservatives are presenting this as a decision to streamline the process, but people are not buying it.

How many environmental assessments will be carried out under the new regime?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, once again, I would correct my hon. friend. She is wrong. The environment commissioner is wrong. In fact, if the—

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of the Environment has the floor.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will tell my hon. colleague that if the NDP were ever, in the unlikely eventuality, to form government, there would not be any assessments--

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. minister probably appreciates the applause but I would ask members to hold off until he is finished his response.

The hon. Minister of the Environment has the floor.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, in that highly unlikely eventuality, there would be no environmental assessments because the NDP has made it clear that it opposes all responsible resource development and all resource jobs.

Employment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, not only are the government's employment insurance changes an attack on the seasonal industries in the workforce that depend on those jobs, new rules around foreign workers, especially in the farm sector, would make the government the big boss.

Government officials would in effect determine whom employers may or may not hire. Farmers claim this would impact their productivity and jeopardize their harvest and their businesses.

Why would the minister take Mike Harris's failed and discredited workfare program and impose it on the entire country?

Employment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we do have skills and labour shortages in many sectors across the country. This has been the situation for a very long time in agriculture.

We want to ensure that even though we require that employers check with Canadians first before they go offshore looking, we are just reinforcing that Canadians should have first crack at those jobs. It does not make sense to have 300 people registered as farm labourers on EI and then allow the employer to bring in 200 people from offshore. We want Canadians to have first crack at those jobs and that is what we are going to help them get.