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House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Social HousingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, during the campaign we made a commitment to work with industry to develop affordable housing. We are exploring options for that. We will continue to consult with industry to make sure that the program we develop will end up producing real results.

AccountabilityOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of the government's priorities is accountability and it says it wants to present a bill on this shortly. For a number of years now, the Bloc Québécois has been calling for returning officers to be appointed by the chief electoral officer based on the skills of the candidates and not on their political affiliation.

Does the government intend to take this Bloc Québécois request under advisement and include it in the upcoming bill?

AccountabilityOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I am quite pleased to work with my colleague from Quebec. I can tell him that the answer to his question is yes.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Minister of Canadian Heritage what her priorities were. In her answer, which was not an answer at all, she never mentioned the Canada Council. This is very worrying. Again today, she says that her priorities are to support performers and creators. However, the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the Mouvement pour les arts et les lettres and the country’s numerous other cultural and artistic bodies maintain that the top priority is to increase the budget of the Canada Council.

Are we to conclude, from the eagerness with which she did not answer the questions, that she has no intention of honouring the Liberal government commitment to double by 2008 the budget of the Canada Council for the Arts?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly not our intent to honour any Liberal commitment.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The Minister of Canadian Heritage has the floor.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, our intent is to meet the commitments and to honour our commitments to the people of Canada and to the arts and culture communities. Our intent is to make sure that they have the resources that they require to meet their needs. The creators and the performers of Canada for years have been at the end of a string with the former government. We will make sure that they have stable funding. We will make sure that the resources go to the performers and the creators, as they should.

Gomery CommissionOral Questions

April 6th, 2006 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, sadly, the sponsorship scandal highlighted 13 years of Liberal waste and corruption. As most Canadians are aware, Justice Gomery reported on this last year, yet his findings are now being challenged.

Can the Minister of Justice assure us that the Conservative government will defend Justice Gomery against spurious legal actions by various Liberals?

Gomery CommissionOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government will defend all allegations of bias and unfair process against the commission based on the evidence that is known at this time.

In respect of defending matters of fact, departmental officials advise it is appropriate that the commission defends that aspect of the hearings and in the alternative that an amicus curiae be appointed to do the defence.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, last August Canada won on softwood lumber under binding dispute settlement. When the Bush administration in effect said it would not respect NAFTA, the former Liberal government did absolutely nothing to stand up for Canadian rights.

One month ago, on the Prime Minister's watch, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed further illegal punitive tariffs on Canadian value added products, like flooring.

Would the Prime Minister tell the House what specific actions he has taken to protect the small businesses newly hit by the latest bullying, or has he just rolled over here, too?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, I can say categorically having been on this file for a couple of years now that this Prime Minister has escalated this issue to the highest levels with the President of the United States.

We are looking at all options on both sides of the border. We are digging into this and we are going to come to a resolution that will be in the best interests of the Canadian industry and all Canadians.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is nice to see the minister emerge from the witness protection program. I can see why the Conservatives took a Liberal to handle this file; there is no difference in policy.

For Woodland Flooring in Comox, B.C., this bullying means a loss of 25% of sales.

Giving away Canadian rights under NAFTA by trying to negotiate a side deal means the death of binding dispute settlement, and that opens every other industrial sector to the same kind of illegal actions.

Since he has no plan, would the Prime Minister at least commit today to not accept one penny less than the over $5 billion that is owed Canadians?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that there is more than one company affected by the softwood lumber dispute. The Government of Canada has an obligation to the industry across this country. We will solve this problem, and we will do it in the interests of all companies and all regions of Canada.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, genocide is being committed in Darfur right now where 200,000 people have been murdered and the situation is getting out of control. The United Nations has called this the worst humanitarian catastrophe in world. Bartering with the butchers from Khartoum will not end this problem.

My question for the Minister of Foreign Affairs is simple. Will he call on the United Nations quickly to push for, assemble and deploy a rapid reaction force to Darfur as soon as possible to save these people's lives?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I know my hon. friend opposite has a long held interest in this file. Canada is very pleased and very proud of the role that it has held in the region albeit there is certainly much more work to do as the member knows. Yet, Canada has welcomed the recent African Union's decision to move into transition and put United Nations forces on the ground. There has as yet been no official request put to Canada, but we are certainly going to continue to work with our international allies to do everything we can to elevate the status of the people in Darfur.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal questioner forgot to mention that under the Liberal watch, water quality on reserves has been steadily deteriorating. We saw the awful effects of this neglect in Kashechewan. Could the Minister of Indian Affairs tell us what the government's plans are to provide clean water to reserves across Canada?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the tragedy of Kashechewan and the experience at Canoe Lake remind us of the abject incompetence of the former Liberal government in dealing with this issue. After 13 years and the expenditure of close to $1 billion, the Liberals left aboriginal Canadians living in 21 communities at risk and an additional 170 communities at high risk.

The new Conservative government and the new Prime Minister are committed to accountability and to results. We will act. We have already taken action with respect to water, remedial standards and national standards. We will stay the course.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of a number of persons. I would ask hon. members to restrain their applause until all have been introduced.

First, there are six veterans representing major Canadian veteran organizations here for the launch of the new Veterans Charter. They are: Mary Ann Burdett, Ken Henderson, Brian Forbes, Retired Colonel Donald Ethell, Robert McKinnon and David Munro. Accompanying them are Elsie Wayne, former MP and Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the 722 Communications Squadron Reserve Group and Major Mary Furey of the 722 Communications Squadron Reserve Group.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

This being Thursday, I believe the House leader for the official opposition has a question.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, there are a number of things that the House would be anxious to learn today from the government House leader.

Could he tell us what business is planned for tomorrow, next Monday and Tuesday, and the last week of April?

In that context, I wonder if the minister would provide for us full details on the rules applicable to the special debates that we have requested on both agriculture and the Canadian deployment in Afghanistan. Incidentally, we thank the minister for agreeing to these requests.

Further, I wonder if the minister could specify for us the days between now and the end of June that will be devoted to the business of supply. In other words, will he designate today the required opposition days? Finally, when will the government present its long awaited first budget?

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I am so pleased to be in a position to answer the Thursday question, though I feel like asking the member opposite a question. Is that what he did as finance minister? Did he announce in advance when his budget would take place? Did he? I will check on that and perhaps get back to the member.

It is the government's intention to continue with the second appointed day of the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne and the third, fourth and fifth appointed days will be scheduled for Friday, and Monday and Tuesday of next week.

When we return from the Easter break, it is our intention to conclude the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne.

The member is quite correct, I have a number of motions that I believe will need the approval of the House. We will have a take note debate on Canada's commitment in Afghanistan on Monday, April 10. Therefore, I move:

That a take note debate on the subject of Canada's significant commitment in Afghanistan shall take place pursuant to Standing Order 53.1 on Monday, April 10, 2006 at the conclusion of regular government business.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.