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House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

Anti-Personnel Land MinesOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, on December 3, 1997, Canada led the world as the first government to sign, and this House ratified, the mine ban treaty, or Ottawa convention.

To date, 152 countries have agreed to ban anti-personnel mines. Sixty-two million stockpiled anti-personnel mines have been destroyed.

Working with national governments, the International Red Cross, UNICEF, Mines Action Canada and other dedicated organizations--

Anti-Personnel Land MinesOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of International Cooperation.

Anti-Personnel Land MinesOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Barrie Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, next week's Nairobi's summit marks the halfway point between the treaty's entry into force and the deadline for the first countries to clear their minefields.

At the summit, world leaders, international NGOs, youth activists and my own parliamentary secretary will measure progress to keep this issue on the international agenda.

Canada and many members of the House have been actively involved in the action plan for the implementation of the Ottawa treaty because mine action is a precondition for poverty reduction.

Office of the Auditor GeneralOral Question Period

November 19th, 2004 / 11:40 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, clearly the President of the Treasury Board has a problem with strong women. On Wednesday, some hon. members heard him refer to a woman MP as a sweetheart. Now he has followed through on his relentless attacks on the Auditor General and cut her budget.

I ask the President of the Treasury Board to stand in his place and restore the funding to the Auditor General, because Canadians trust this strong woman, not his strong-arm tactics.

Office of the Auditor GeneralOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, being new to the House, the hon. member may not be aware of the work that was done by the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates in the previous session, prior to my becoming a minister, in which we worked with the Auditor General to solve this very problem.

I am in fact one of her champions. I have huge respect for the Auditor General. I believe she has been bringing forward for some time a very important issue and we are addressing it.

However I would remind members that she is an officer of this House and this House has to get engaged in this question. It is not a question for the government. It is a question for the Auditor General in her--

Office of the Auditor GeneralOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie.

Child Benefit SupplementOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, low income parents in Ontario announced that they will take the Government of Canada and their province to court because families on social assistance are being deprived of a benefit intended to reduce child poverty. The clawback of the national child benefit supplement robs from the poor under the guise of promised reinvestment in other programs to help the poor.

My question is for the Minister of Social Development. With New Brunswick not clawing back, Manitoba stopping and Ontario reviewing, will the federal government do the right thing and revamp the program in order to put the money in the hands of the people for whom it was intended?

Child Benefit SupplementOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Trinity—Spadina Ontario

Liberal

Tony Ianno LiberalMinister of State (Families and Caregivers)

Mr. Speaker, this government cares deeply about solving child poverty. It continues to work with the provinces and other stakeholders to ensure that all children have the quality of life we believe in. We put into the child tax benefit $2.4 billion a year, and it is growing. In the year 2007-08, up to $10 billion total. We continue investing in the homelessness to ensure that children with families that are living in poverty continue to have affordable housing with the $1.6 billion we put in. There are many other measures we continue adding.

Whistleblower LegislationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-11 will enable the government to cover up scandals like the sponsorship scandal. The minister cleverly claims to be protecting people making complaints, but the Information Commissioner refutes this. Elsewhere in the bill, the statement is made that honest informants will not be protected.

Will the minister admit that the purpose of this bill is not to protect honest public servants, but to support a corrupt government?

Whistleblower LegislationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I do wish members would take the time to read the testimony and the reports.

The reality is that this clause was put into the bill as a result of concerns expressed in the debate over the previous bill. It grants to this investigative body exactly the same investigative protections that are enjoyed by the RCMP and other parliamentary officers.

The assertion is akin to saying that if the RCMP holds its files confidential, which it does, then it cannot act on them. It is utter nonsense.

Now, there is a debate here that is a legitimate policy debate, which is why the bill is before the committee at first reading. The committee will have the ability to--

Whistleblower LegislationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Stormont--Dundas--South Glengarry.

Whistleblower LegislationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-11 would allow the government to cover up corruption like the sponsorship scam.

The minister says that this would protect the identities of whistleblowers but the information commissioner plainly states that “there is no merit to the government's argument”. In fact other sections of the bill say explicitly that the confidentialities of whistleblowers will not be guaranteed.

Why will the minister not just admit that this bill is all about protecting the corrupt government, not honest public servants?

Whistleblower LegislationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, this is an enormously important issue and I think it is absolutely irresponsible for them to continue to come forward when the government tries to protect the employees at their request. The reality is that the protections offered here are exactly the same as the protections that are offered the information gathered by the other parliamentary officers who are not subject to access to information, and by the specific exclusions to investigative bodies. It is no different.

It is the magic of the minority. We will all be responsible for the decisions that come out of this. This is to address exposure, not to conceal it.

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Loyola Hearn Conservative St. John's South, NL

Mr. Speaker, recently, at a United Nations meeting, Canada was one of the sponsors of a resolution recommending action be taken on destructive fishing practices, including bottom trawling. This was done without any consultation with industry and without the minister's officials being aware of the key components.

While such a ban could be tolerated in certain sensitive areas, this one could be interpreted very broadly.

Why would Canada and the minister support a resolution that could have a disastrous effect on several of our fisheries, including the shrimp fishery?

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

First of all, Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague should know that the resolution is a non-binding resolution, and as a matter of fact, it talks about sensitive areas.

Let me tell him what I said in my address to the UN General Assembly earlier this week when I made our position on bottom trawling very clear. I said that “Canada's position is that no specific gear type is inherently destructive”, depending on how it is used. I said, “From experience we know that all gear types can have negative impacts”. He should know this.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, at a recent agriculture committee meeting, the parliamentary secretary said about the CAIS program:

I guess...it's a policy problem, but...part of the problem with CAIS is...it really wasn't designed...to deal with a disaster, and we're trying to have it cover a disaster at the moment.

The agriculture minister has ignored MPs and he is ignoring his own parliamentary secretary. The minister is not listening nor is he designing farm programs that respond to disasters like BSE. I ask the minister, what alternatives is he considering to get emergency cash to the farm gate right now?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that under the CAIS program $400 million has gone to producers. That is what has happened this year.

As I said to the committee, there is a need for things to be done in addition to CAIS. We had an announcement on September 10 of an additional $488 million to assist specifically with the BSE issue, bringing our investments in respect of that particular problem to somewhere over $2 billion. This government cares about Canadian producers and it acts on that.

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, management and unions agree that there is an urgent need for action in the Bombardier case and that the federal government must disclose the conditions for its support. The president of the Conseil du patronat, Mr. Taillon, said that Bombardier was not asking for a blank cheque and that it was up to the government to set its conditions. In the past, Bombardier has always adhered to any conditions imposed.

Does the government intend to accept the arguments from all stakeholders, both union and management, restating the urgent need for the government to put its offer on the table and make its conditions known, so that Bombardier can respond appropriately?

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would like the hon. member to know that the government is in daily contact with the people from Bombardier. I talk to the president of Bombardier every day.

We will act on the details. We will act within deadlines, but we will make sure that we are doing the responsible thing, both for the company and for the employees, as well as for the taxpayers.

We will do this in a reasonable way, under a national aerospace policy, a national policy that has supported the aerospace industry in Quebec and that has ensured that aerospace is still—

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Minister of Transport. The hon. member for Drummond.

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the FTQ, Henri Massé, has confirmed that, in his opinion, Montreal was the only logical place in Canada to build the factory to produce Bombardier's new aircraft.

In view of the unanimity of the stakeholders that action is urgently needed, what is the government waiting for before revealing its conditions and putting its offer on the table right now?

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I must tell the hon. member that if she were aware of what is in this file, she would know that we are in preliminary discussions; that Bombardier has not yet chosen a location; and that it is waiting for some pieces of the picture. Bombardier is not expecting an immediate offer, so long as the discussions continue.

Therefore, the government and the company are working hand in hand to ensure that Canada is chosen as the site for developing this new aircraft. We are going to—

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Minister of Transport. The hon. member for Calgary East.

Canadian International Development AgencyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the CIDA minister issued news justifying CIDA aid to communist China. This is a nation that can take care of itself. It has the world's largest foreign reserves.

People in Africa are dying. They need our help.

Why can CIDA not get its priorities straight? Why?

Canadian International Development AgencyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Barrie Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, CIDA has its priorities straight. We do an enormous amount of development aid with Africa, but at the same time we are very cognizant of the importance of China and our relationship with China.

China is a country in an economic and socio-political transformation that is indeed quite uneven. We have the opportunity to provide China with the expertise that is required to build governance and also to input reforms so that China, which is a world power, continues to be so in the right direction.