House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was research.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government says it will privatize the Experimental Lakes Area program, if it does not eliminate it altogether. However, the program does large ecosystems-scale research whose findings inform federal public policy. Because of the program, we have an acid rain treaty with the United States and we have taken phosphate out of detergents.

Canada's ecosystems belong to Canadians. Only the Conservatives would think that privatizing research fundamental to the health of our aquatic ecosystems is a good thing.

Why is the government not treating Canada's water as a public trust?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let me assure my colleague that it is.

He is indeed correct. The Experimental Lakes Area program, over the decades, has greatly informed both treaty-making as well as public consumer goods; it played a big part in the acid rain treaty.

At the same time, we want to put the research where the challenges are. Environment Canada is moving its scientists farther west, to examine the acidification of lakes in western Canada.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is throwing out tools that would allow it to develop and implement a national water strategy.

It is sabotaging the Fisheries Act; it is abandoning the Experimental Lakes Area; it is cutting the Institut Maurice-Lamontagne—the only francophone research centre at Fisheries and Oceans Canada; it is eliminating the water resources strategy group at Environment Canada; and it is ending groundwater modelling. The list goes on.

Will the government ever stop pretending that it wants to adopt a national water strategy?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, clean and cleaner water is a priority of our government, certainly for Environment Canada. We have invested significantly in our Great Lakes, in Lake Simcoe, in Lake Winnipeg. We continue to maintain the highest standards of water quality monitoring across the country, leaving to the provinces and municipalities water quantity because they are the ones that regulate both metering and pricing.

This government does not pay lip service to the environment, as the previous Liberal government did. We are getting things done.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday at the agriculture committee, Canada's honey and honeybee producers testified first-hand their gut-wrenching accounts about devastating losses to their industry. Some witnesses reported up to 85% of colony losses. This could lead to a crisis in agriculture production in areas of this country. They also highlighted the lack of support programs for this disaster.

What support is the government providing to these producers to ensure that they will make it through this crisis, and will it take action immediately?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we take these types of allegations very seriously. Of course, we rely on sound science to prove these types of situations.

There are reports from the United States and other areas that this type of action has happened. There are studies that are ongoing. Certainly, we will look at those. We will begin our own studies and get to the bottom of this as quickly as we can.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, the witnesses we heard at committee believe that the death of their healthy bees this spring is directly linked to corn planting in neighbouring fields. Corn seeds are coated with neonicotinoid insecticide. Recent research shows that seed planter exhaust containing this dangerous chemical is likely responsible. A number of countries have banned the use of neonicotinoid insecticides. Canadian voices calling for a moratorium are growing.

What urgent action is the minister taking now to ensure these chemicals are not destroying a vital and irreplaceable part of the food chain?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

June 5th, 2012 / 2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, as the government, we understand the importance of bees in pollinating our crops and moving forward on that front. We have spent some $3 million on research and development projects to make our bee industry healthier here in Canada.

These are new allegations that have just come to light yesterday.

We are a good government. We react as quickly as possible. However, we do not do things overnight, just like that. We rely on sound science to make sure we are moving in the right direction. We spend our money appropriately, with taxpayers' funding. We can never ever count on the NDP to backstop any of that spending.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, despite the budget bill having the longest amount of debate in the House and the longest amount of committee stage consideration of any budget bill in over two decades, the NDP and its partners want to delay it and the implementation of the economic action plan 2012.

At a time when the global recovery remains fragile, especially in Europe, Canadians want the government to focus on promoting jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

Could the Minister of Finance explain why the implementation of Canada's economic action plan is so important to ensure that Canada's economy remains strong?

The Economy
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is the best question of the day so far. It is about the economy and it is about jobs. The economic recovery, particularly in Europe as I know from my discussions today, is fragile. We must protect our own country.

The economic action plan is vitally important for our country. It has been working. We have created over 750,000 net new jobs in Canada. We have the bill before Parliament now to continue with Canada's economic action plan. It is important that we get this bill passed to protect Canada and protect—

The Economy
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for St. Paul's.

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of the Environment effectively shut the door on including aboriginal groups in the new advisory panel on hunting and angling. That is the same minister who has refused to apologize for listing first nations as “adversaries”.

How can the Conservative government exclude the only Canadians with constitutionally protected hunting and fishing rights from this important consultation?

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I reject the entire content of that question. The hunting and fishing advisory panel was created to deepen the dialogue with a group which had not been previously broadly consulted, and that is fishermen and hunters.

As my colleague has rightfully said, first nations have a constitutional right to hunt and fish and they are regularly, if not constantly, consulted with regard to wildlife and conservation issues. They also, in many cases, are members of the panel committee.

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Experimental Lakes Area of the Freshwater Institute is a vital program for keeping our ecosystems healthy. It has helped us make outstanding discoveries, especially in terms of the effects of acid rain and pollutants—

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!