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House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-2.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, if it is a question of $5 billion for aboriginal peoples or $5 billion for the GST, I choose the health of aboriginal peoples.

The infant mortality rate for native communities is 20% higher than for the rest of the Canadian population. The incidence of type 2 diabetes is three times greater and the suicide rate, in certain communities, is ten times higher than in the rest of Canada.

The Kelowna accord was a first step towards addressing these problems as it provided $870 million over five years for the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, and a further $445 million to increase the system capacity.

Can the current government inform us of its concrete alternative solution—?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that there are some very serious problems in aboriginal communities. We must take up these challenges and find other solutions ourselves, which requires much financial assistance and additional costs.

Personally, I support another solution to the problems of aboriginal peoples because the Liberal solutions have been catastrophic for aboriginal health.

Visit by the Prime Minister to Quebec CityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the eve of Quebec's Fête nationale, the Prime Minister has decided to hold a cabinet meeting in the national capital. We can assume, then, that the Prime Minister accords some importance to this holiday. If Quebeckers have a national holiday, it is because they see Quebec as a nation.

Since the Prime Minister considers it important to be in Quebec City for the Fête nationale, does this also mean that he recognizes that Quebeckers form a nation?

Visit by the Prime Minister to Quebec CityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is true that the Prime Minister and the entire cabinet will be in Quebec City on Friday. You have also seen in the newspapers that the Prime Minister will be in Beauce to celebrate the Fête nationale with the people there, who are great federalists and believe in a proud Quebec in a united Canada.

Visit by the Prime Minister to Quebec CityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is all well and good. I do not dispute that. I have this question for the minister. We recognize, and rightly so, that the Acadians form a nation and the first nations are nations. Both sides of this House recognize that.

Since we recognize that aboriginal peoples and Acadians form nations, which I support, can the minister clearly tell us whether he recognizes that, by the same token, Quebeckers form a nation?

Visit by the Prime Minister to Quebec CityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Wellington—Halton Hills Ontario

Conservative

Michael Chong ConservativePresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are focusing on the things that matter to Canadians and Quebeckers living in Quebec. We are focusing on ensuring that the Government of Canada is relevant in Quebec, that federalism works for Quebeckers.

Our belief is that Quebec is stronger within a united Canada. That is exactly the kind of policies the government has acted on and will act on in the coming months.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will be in Quebec City for the Fête nationale, but unfortunately, everything Quebeckers hold dear seems unimportant to his government. The Kyoto agreement is a priority for Quebeckers; his government has struck Kyoto from its agenda. His government plans to abolish the gun registry, which 76% of Quebeckers support. Antiscab legislation is a reality in Quebec but not in Ottawa because of his government.

Given this context, how can the Prime Minister justify telling Quebeckers that his government shares their priorities?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been very clear right from the start. We have concentrated on the five priorities that we talked about in the last election. I am very pleased to say we have made tremendous progress on all fronts. I know that is important not just to Quebeckers but to all Canadians.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is more. Other issues that are very important to Quebeckers have received no more than a passing glance from his government.

Limiting imports of milk by-products is a priority for agricultural producers, but it will never happen because his government does not believe in it. Older workers need help, but the government has not made any POWA announcements. The softwood industry needs loan guarantees urgently, but his government refuses to give them.

How can the Prime Minister claim to be on the same wavelength as Quebeckers when what is important to them is not important to his government?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, the hon. member lives in a world where she believes that everything is wrong. That is not the case. We have been emphasizing those things that are important to Canadians, and they are important to Quebeckers as well. We have made tremendous progress. The hon. member should celebrate that this coming weekend.

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the NDP moved a motion before the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development, calling for the resignation of the Minister of the Environment.

The government claims that this is a confidence matter. Once again, as in the case of Gwyn Morgan, the Prime Minister is blinded by partisanship. His minister does not understand the need for immediate action. Climate change is an important file that requires immediate attention.

Why does the Prime Minister want to force an election because of his incompetent minister?

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have made it clear that after 13 years of Liberal waste and mismanagement on all fronts, including the environment, this government is focused on accountability on all fronts, particularly on the environment because the environment is something that Canadians care deeply about.

This government is concerned about the health of Canadians. Canadians have asked us to protect their health. Those are the measures we are taking every single day in government.

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Platitudes, Mr. Speaker. The minister should resign if she is not going to act. That is all there is to it.

She does not understand climate change, but there is another minister who has been briefed on climate change. The Minister of National Defence has been told by his officials what impact climate change is going to have on the Northwest Passage. Government documents obtained by the NDP say this: “If the current rate of ice thinning continues, the Northwest Passage could be open to more regular navigation by 2015”.

That is only nine years away. Does the government not realize that climate change impacts not only the environment but also our sovereignty?

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, whether the ice melts or does not melt in the north, we will continue to protect our sovereignty. That is why we are investing in the military. That is why we are going to ensure that the air force, army and navy are able to operate through the north and enforce our sovereignty.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, on National Aboriginal Day, the government has once again abandoned aboriginal Canadians. Canada took the lead in developing the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous people. Now, when it is time for the government to support it, the government rejects it.

Adopting this resolution would be a sign that the government values the rights and the contributions of aboriginal Canadians. Why does the government continue to abandon Canada's first citizens? Why does the government not think that Canada's indigenous people should have the same rights and the same privileges as all Canadians?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 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, that is a continuation of Liberal hypocrisy, empty promises and rhetoric. The member knows full well that no previous government of this country has ever supported that draft declaration. She knows full well that it is inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is inconsistent with our Constitution. It is inconsistent with the National Defence Act. It is inconsistent with our treaties. It is inconsistent with all of the policies under which we have negotiated land claims for 100 years. That is Liberal hypocrisy.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Merasty Liberal Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, we all know the Conservative government was a huge disappointment to aboriginal Canadians. In fact, it completely left out the Métis.

Worse yet, there was no mention of the Métis in the throne speech. There was no mention of the Métis by the Indian affairs minister at the aboriginal affairs committee. On top of that, the Conservatives killed the Kelowna accord which had tremendous opportunity for Métis people.

Perhaps certain advisers to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development have told them the Métis do not exist. Let me say that they do exist and they are proud to be Métis. When will the government start treating Métis as a priority?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 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 member knows full well that the budget contains $300 million for off reserve housing for native Canadians.

I will not stand in the House and take any lectures from the Liberals on aboriginal policy. That is the party of empty promises. That is the party that stood by while aboriginal Canadians drank water contaminated with E. coli. That is the party that stood by while native aboriginal women could not sleep in their own beds because they have no matrimonial property rights.

For 13 years of shame, the Liberals have been slammed by the Auditor General and Amnesty International. I will not take it.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. I called on the hon. member for Labrador.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, this is the most attention a Métis will get from that government.

It is National Aboriginal Day, a day to celebrate. Yet aboriginal people are crying shame on the Conservatives, shame for killing Kelowna, shame for opposing the UN indigenous race declaration, shame that the Conservatives do not consult with aboriginal people.

Premier Williams said that the Prime Minister agreed to finance the Lower Churchill hydro project and the Conservatives have not consulted with the aboriginal people in Labrador. Before signing a deal, will the government in its shameful way consult with the Inuit and Métis to resolve outstanding legal issues and ensure all residents of Labrador benefit from this resource?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 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, I think today we are actually talking about Liberal shame. The former leader of the Liberal Party describes the Liberal record as shameful. One of the current leadership candidates describes it as devastating.

There is lot of noise and sputtering from the other side of the House, which is the Liberals choking on their own record of shame.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, on June 15 the Minister of Indian Affairs claimed that the procurement strategy for aboriginal business continues to be government policy.

Perhaps he should speak to his colleague, the Minister of Health, whose communications director said that the health department would not respect this federal policy, in place since 1996.

Would the Minister of Health please clarify for us whether his department will respect the mandatory set aside program for aboriginal business?