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House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was code.

Topics

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's intentions are clear. His bill is nothing less than a convenient way to protect the religious groups that form his most conservative ideological base.

Will the minister admit that his bill aims at nothing less than protecting religious spokespeople from potential prosecution? In short, under cover of protecting freedom of expression, what the minister is preparing to do is legalize discrimination.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member—

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please.

The right hon. Prime Minister has the floor to answer the question. We need to be able to hear him.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Harper Conservative Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member is merely speculating. I have not seen such a bill.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is becoming increasingly evident what path this government is going down.

While preparing to sacrifice the rights of individuals for religious groups, it has appointed to the Human Rights Tribunal Kerry-Lynne Findlay, a former Alliance candidate who supported the candidature of chief of staff Darrel Reid, an adherent of the extreme right religious organization Focus on the Family.

Does the Prime Minister realize that in the presence of such ideological cronyism it is quite difficult, if not impossible, to believe that Ms. Findlay will have the requisite impartiality to make objective decisions, particularly in cases of discrimination?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the individual mentioned in respect of the Human Rights Commission is a very competent and qualified individual. We are very proud of that appointment.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, examples of bias are growing: the Black and Blue Festival which had its grants cut, the Minister of Justice's bill, the appointment of Ms. Findlay and chief of staff Reid, the end of the court challenges program.

Are all these decisions not indicative of a shift to the right by this government, which is finally showing its true colours?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, our record is a good one. We intend to give Canadians good government, something the former government did not give the people of Canada, and we intend to do so on a principled basis.

LiteracyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minority government has slashed $17.7 million in funding for literacy programs, describing them as wasteful. People in British Columbia are deeply disturbed at the impact this will have on literacy services and adult education.

What does the minority government have against helping British Columbians who want to learn how to read and write?

LiteracyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we are trying to help all Canadians get value for their money. We are also trying to help them get the literacy and training skills they need, which is why we are investing over $80 million in literacy programs and over $300 million in new settlement programs for new Canadians. I do not understand how the Liberals can say they are for literacy when they voted against that.

LiteracyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, this morning Literacy Partners of Manitoba announced that the Conservative government cuts are forcing that literacy group to close its doors by summer 2007. The executive director, Lorri Apps, is furious over the comments of the Treasury Board President to the effect that the root cause had to be dealt with rather than fixing the ensuing problem. Furthermore, Raymond Roy told how this program had changed his life outright. He is now a confident individual and a productive member of society.

Does the Treasury Board President really believe that it was not worthwhile “fixing” Mr. Roy.

LiteracyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we will be helping Canadians, those who really need it, at the national level. We will be helping youth at risk with their literacy. We will be helping aboriginals with their literacy. We will also be helping the unemployed and new Canadians to develop the skills, the literacy and the numeracy skills that they need to survive and thrive in Canada.

LiteracyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, my colleagues today have demonstrated how the minority meanspirited Conservative government has cut the heart out of literacy services across Canada.

As the chief hack-and-slasher, the President of the Treasury Board gave the back of his hand to millions of Canadians who need literacy help. “No value for money”, he said. The government should “not be trying to do repair work after the fact”. He has denied that quote.

I have two questions. First, does he know that insult was caught on tape, and second, does he still deny it?

LiteracyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we are focusing on investing at the federal level in all Canadians who really need it.

We believe we need to focus on issues of federal importance and allowing local and regional people to deal with their local and regional issues. We will be investing over $80 million in literacy programs to help youth at risk, the disabled, aboriginal Canadians and all those other vulnerable segments of our society.

LiteracyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government has just proven my point.

As the Mike Harris hatchetman on social services, the President of the Treasury Board spent a lot of time designing meanspirited schemes to keep welfare from the poor in Ontario. One of his big ideas was that welfare should be denied, and get this, unless the poor took a literacy test. He said that literacy could empower people, improve lives, expand jobs and boost the whole economy. That was his view in 2001.

Was that just an excuse to block poor people from welfare, or will he now buy his own argument and restore $18 million in federal funding for literacy?

LiteracyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank and congratulate the President of the Treasury Board for supporting over $80 million in spending on literacy.

The President of the Treasury Board also supported over $300 million that we are putting into settlement funding for new Canadians to help them learn English and French in this country, so that they will have the skills to get jobs here. Our President of the Treasury Board supported that. That party did not.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bill Casey Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, recently the Prime Minister appointed Barbara Hagerman as the Lieutenant Governor for Prince Edward Island. Yesterday the member for Malpeque tried to put a negative political spin on it by undermining her qualifications.

As Mrs. Hagerman is a very well respected member of our community and our province, would the Prime Minister comment on this appointment?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

$Mr. Speaker, I was rather surprised by the comments yesterday from the member for Malpeque. Prior to appointing Barbara Hagerman I had received letters from a number of Canadians. I received this endorsement: “Mrs. Hagerman would bring her admirably conscientious qualities to the vice-regal office with great élan and that she would therefore be an admirable choice”. That came from a colleague she served with on the Canada Council for the Arts, Senator Tommy Banks.

I also received this quote: “Her life story has been one of accomplishment and achievement. I am confident she would bring to the position of lieutenant governor a deep sense of purpose and passion”.

Another Liberal, the former premier of Prince Edward Island, Catherine Callbeck--

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Skeena--Bulkley Valley.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

October 4th, 2006 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment has already had to apologize for her remarks suggesting that she is not at all concerned about Quebec in terms of the environment.

We all know that the Liberals do not really care about the environment. The Commissioner of the Environment called the Liberal's plan a national disaster.

This minister has already given her friends in the oil industry a free ride. Can the minister tell us today if she has the courage and her boss' permission to impose mandatory standards for greenhouse gas emissions in the automobile sector?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we recognize the importance of the auto sector to the Canadian economy, but we also recognize that this is a sector that needs to make large contributions to our environmental agenda.

We had a very positive meeting with members of the auto sector last night. They understand why clean air matters to them. My concern is with Buzz Hargrove and the Liberal premier of Ontario. I am sure they do want cleaner air, but if the Liberals do not want it, the Conservatives will deliver it.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has a number of concerns on her plate, namely that the memorandum of understanding signed by the old Liberal regime had no teeth, no enforcement and no penalties for non-compliance. This government has no strategy of how to protect Canadian auto jobs.

Last week the environment commissioner reported the pathetic Liberal climate change plans would have done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this country. It would have allowed them to grow out of control.

Here is a skill testing question for the minister: How many tonnes of emissions have been reduced in the last 17 months by this voluntary agreement? Does she even know that?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am very familiar with the voluntary memorandum of understanding with the auto sector. That was a step in the right direction. As I said, members of the auto sector understand that Canadians want cleaner air and that they will be a big part of our environmental agenda. We look forward to working with them.