This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was water.

Topics

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the minister is talking about has already been done. Quebec and the provinces have undertaken to harmonize their practices in the area of securities and have not needed any form of federal intervention in their areas of jurisdiction.

Does the finance minister realize that, by proposing such a commission, not only is he reneging on his government's commitment and going against the Canadian constitution, but he is directly contributing to a major shift of 6,000 jobs, as well as financial and trading activities out of Quebec, for the sole benefit of Toronto?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we acknowledge the work that has been done by the provinces and the territories with the passport system as they have tried to move toward harmonization. Unfortunately, it means harmonization with pages and pages of exceptions.

The reality is that the Ontario Securities Commission is now regulating something like 83% of the business and that is hardly paying respect to the regions across Canada and the involvement of the various provinces.

A number of good suggestions are on the table, including the report by Purdy Crawford's committee last week. I hope we will have some informed and constructive discussions next week moving toward a common securities regulator, not necessarily a federal regulator in Canada.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was much clearer last December 19 when he came to Quebec and promised to correct the fiscal imbalance. Since then, statements made by the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister have become ambiguous. On the one hand, they say that the provinces should not expect much, and on the other, that the fiscal imbalance will sort itself out.

Do these statements not prove that the Prime Minister is about to renege on another promise, just like all previous governments have done with promises made to Quebec in the past?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we want to move toward fiscal balance in Canada. A great deal has been accomplished already with respect to discussions concerning core responsibilities of the provincial and territorial governments on the one hand and the federal government on the other and progress with respect to health care issues. We need to work more on infrastructure issues and particularly on the issue of post-secondary education. I look forward to those discussions next week with the provincial and territorial ministers of finance.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fiscal imbalance is far from working itself out. Instead, it is getting worse. For example, post-secondary education transfers are much lower than they were 10 years ago. Two reports have concluded that the equalization formula needs to be reviewed. Daycare funding has been slashed. Yet the government expects a $12 billion surplus next fall.

Will the Prime Minister admit that all of these elements are making the fiscal imbalance worse rather than improving it?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the fiscal situation of the governments in Canada is better today than it was several years ago. Most of the provinces are in balance now. The federal government will not have surprise surpluses as we saw opposite. We are accurately reporting to the people of Canada.

As I say, we only have two governments in Canada now that are not operating in surplus and those are the Government of Ontario and the Government of Prince Edward Island. Substantial progress has been made already moving toward the fiscal balance of the federation.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, a recent report by the National Energy Board clearly states that with the development of Alberta's tar sands gaining momentum, there will be an increasing demand for environmental and community resources.

Canadians would like some assurance that this development will be managed sustainably and in an environmentally respectful way.

What will the government do in response to the National Energy Board's report? When will the government act?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we are looking at that specific report. We are actually looking at areas where we do need to respond. Officials at our department are looking at it. Incredible strains are being put on the systems from the increased expansion and our demand on energy.

As we face those challenges we are doing the research. For example, the amount of water that is used in the recovery of the oil sands is very high and we are looking at ways of reducing that. We are working together with our scientists to find solutions.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, studying is good and talking is good, but we need action. Right now Fort McMurray is facing a crisis and the Athabasca River basin is being severely strained by the speed of these development projects.

The government has a duty to protect the interests of all Canadians, especially those directly impacted in Fort McMurray and the surrounding communities.

A recent Pembina Institute study showed that 91% of Albertans want their environment protected. Why is the government abandoning the environment, the residents of Fort McMurray and indeed all Canadians? Why?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, that may have been what happened in the 13 years of the old Liberal government.

I have been up there. I have visited these projects. The work they are doing in the environment department on the reclamation of their lands, on the replanting of their forests has been very successful. On the recovery of water, they are going through extensive science and have been very successful at recovering almost 100% of the water, recycling it, re-purifying it and putting it back through the systems. There are a lot of resources being put on that, as well as on the scientific community. Natural Resources Canada is working with the industry to find solutions that work for Albertans and for all of Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, no place is facing greater disaster due to global warming than my riding of Nunavut. The ice cap and permafrost are melting. Southern vegetation and insect life are migrating northward.

As a result of the actions of the Conservative government, not one penny will be spent on fighting climate change until 2007. Will the Minister of the Environment immediately restart the programs that her government cancelled?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the party opposite that this did not become an issue on January 23. This has been an issue for Canadians for years and years and finally there is a government in power that is actually addressing it through action.

I can assure the hon. member that the issue is adaptation, which definitely is what is occurring in terms of mitigation of adaptation in her area. We are looking at it very closely and we are working with the government in her region.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, it is one thing to say that we have to do things differently, but the government has quit the fight on climate change by cancelling programs.

Our national sovereignty in the north is threatened by global warming. As the ice cap melts, more international vessels will try to sail the Northwest Passage without Canada's consent. It is crucial that we fight global warming to protect Canada's control over the north.

The minister has proven that she cannot even save one program to fight global warming. Will she resign and allow someone with more credibility to take over?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Resources has tried to get this point across to the opposite party. There is not one program that has been cancelled by this government that was not on the chopping block of the previous government. The review process that was undertaken by the Privy Council Office was begun by the Liberal Party of Canada. Any program that is not being continued was either terminated or had fulfilled its obligations. We are not cancelling any program other than those.

JusticeOral Questions

June 19th, 2006 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday, the Montreal police reported that crimes committed with guns increased by 25% between 2004 and 2005, in Montreal—25%.

Can the hon. Minister of Justice explain to this House why the Liberals and the Bloc are against the bill on mandatory minimum sentences and why they insist on defending criminals who use guns instead of protecting honest people from criminals?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his unwavering support for mandatory minimum penalties for gun crimes.

Those statistics out of Montreal are shocking to Canadians and yet the Liberals and the Bloc fail to recognize the clear evidence on gun crime in Montreal.

The Liberals and the Bloc can continue to defend criminals with guns. This party will defend law-abiding Canadian citizens and their hard-working families. We will protect them from criminals with guns.

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, regulatory delays in Europe and the U.S. are blocking an Inco-Falconbridge merger proposal, putting many Canadian miners at risk and their families in a status of limbo. Three weeks ago the industry committee put forth a unanimous recommendation calling upon the industry minister to actually delay the Xstrata hostile takeover of Falconbridge until at least the foreign bodies have ruled on the Inco favourable takeover.

Will the Minister of Industry commit to the House today to protect Canadian jobs, the industry and fair due process by ensuring that this hostile takeover does not take place because of bureaucrats in Brussels holding up the process?

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague knows, the provisions under the Investment Canada Act do not allow me to comment on any questions like that. As usual, we will act in the best interests of all Canadians.

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is pretty clear the only thing more toothless than our foreign investment review act is the minister when it comes to standing up for Canadian mining and smelting jobs.

Let us paint a picture here. These are national resources and the government is sitting back while they are picked off by some company set up in an unaccountable Swiss canton. Meanwhile the futures of Sudbury, Timmins, Rouyn-Noranda and Bathurst are being traded away like chips in a card game.

When is the minister going to stand up for the rights of our communities and put them ahead of the interests of the financiers, the money-changers and the speculators?

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this government is standing up for Canadians. Also, we are going to act according to the Investment Canada Act.

There is a test and the test is when we have an investment like that, it is to act on a balance of net benefits for Canada. We will do that for the net benefit for Canada and all Canadians. That is what we are going to follow.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2002 Mr. Justice O'Connor released his report on the Walkerton tragedy. His conclusions were stark. He noted that the Harris government failed to put proper safeguards into place after privatizing the water supply and that a weakened ministry of environment failed to detect the problem.

We are heading down that same path. Global warming is a real problem that will have devastating effects on our climate. Left unchecked, it will cost lives. Yet the government has chosen to cut or eliminate programs that fight global warming.

Will the Minister of the Environment announce today that she will reinstate those programs?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate that after 13 years of Liberal rule, Canada now ranks 28 out of 29 OECD countries on air pollution and we are 35% above target.

I am reviewing all the programs related to climate change. I can assure this House that any of the programs that are effective and affordable and that will reduce air pollution and reduce greenhouse gases will be kept on by this government.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Health and the President of the Treasury Board were at the cabinet table in Ontario that made decisions which directly led to Walkerton. They have personal experience with the effects of bad management on the environment.

My question is for the Minister of Health. As the true guardian of our national public health and given the fact that he had a very real tragedy under his watch in Ontario, did it not concern him when he heard that the government was cutting programs that fight global warming? Did he not warn his government?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I can assure members that the Minister of Health and I work very closely on a number of health impacts on Canadians, particularly air pollution. One thing I learned this week that made me very concerned is that not only has Canada fallen behind in every industry sector on air pollution compared to the United States, but there are areas where we do not even have regulation for air pollution because the last government completely ignored the issue of air pollution in Canada.

The Minister of Health and I will be working with provincial health authorities consulting on this. We will also be bringing forward regulation to curb air pollution.

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health continues to be embroiled in one conflict after another.

At first it was the minister's 25% ownership in a drug company. Then on the weekend we learned that the minister has hired his political crony and paid him $25,000 for 33 days of work. Then today we learned that this political crony, Mr. Gordon Haugh, a long-time friend of the Conservative Party, is the general manager of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association and is responsible for lobbying on behalf of drug companies.

Why does the minister continue to put his and his friends' profits ahead of the health care needs of Canadians?