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House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is the desperation of the Liberals who see that we have finally caught on to yet another one of their scams. She is absolutely wrong, Yes, it is true that two political staff asked to be added to a distribution list, not for names dealing with requesters for information, not for private information or private names, but for the minutes of weekly conference calls dealing with security and pandemic issues.

Yes, our government and our political staff want to ensure we know what is going on to combat pandemics and to maintain national security. Now we will also reverse the practices of the Liberals and protect--

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine.

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister has no honour. He is misleading Canadians once again today.

How can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister claim that no one read the email from the PCO when, two weeks earlier, Sandra Buckler had two more names of employees from her office added to the distribution list?

Will the Prime Minister ever assume his responsibilities, and stop misleading this House and all Canadians—

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister has the floor.

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, yesterday and today I presented the opinion of the Privy Council Office that there was a long-standing practice under the previous government, which I just cited verbatim, of furnishing names of applicants for information under the Access to Information Act to political officers of the previous government. Yes, sir, it is true.

I am sorry, but it is true that two political staff asked that their names be added to a list to receive information on pandemics and national security issues.

It is the Liberals that—

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Richmond—Arthabaska.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, over a month ago, the American border was closed to exports of Quebec potatoes after golden nematodes were found in a field south of Montreal. Producers took the necessary steps to prevent the nematodes from spreading, including washing their products and equipment.

Will the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food comply with Quebec's demands and exert all due pressure on Washington to lift the embargo on exports of Quebec potatoes? He just recently met with his American counterpart, and I imagine they discussed more than just the weather.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the government is very concerned about the presence of this parasite and its impact on the farming industry in Quebec. That is why I have discussed this problem on several occasions with Mike Johans, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and with Mr. Vallières, Minister of Agriculture of Quebec. We are working to minimize the impact of border controls as quickly as possible, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely in order to reassess the need for compensation, as required.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister intend to pay the bill that Quebec is going to send him for purchasing or renting equipment to wash the potatoes and the machinery needed to harvest the potato crop? Will he speed up the analysis and research process so that potato producers, vegetable producers and horticulturalists are not further penalized financially?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we met again this week directly with the producers who are affected, although many producers are affected, but we met with the ones who have this parasite on the farm. We have met with them with our Agriculture Canada staff. We continue to work with them and agriculture officials from the province of Quebec.

We are investigating to see whether there are any gaps in the coverage between production insurance or other programming to ensure farmers can not only get the crop off this year but can sell it as quickly as possible, regionalizing the problem as quickly as possible so that farmers are not disproportionately affected in Quebec.

Status of WomenOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women told me yesterday, during a very good conversation, that the Women's Program, which expires on September 26, will be extended.

Can the minister confirm here in this House what she said to me, that the program will be extended and therefore maintained? Also—and this is where things get dicey—does she intend to increase the budget as the Standing Committee on the Status of Women asked her to?

Status of WomenOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, in response to the member's question, the terms and conditions will be under review and will be renewed in a timely fashion. In fact, this represents the grants and contributions that we have been discussing in the House.

I find it very interesting that the status of women did not provide them to my office until this morning. They will be dealt with before the end of today.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development refused to comment on extending the transitional provisions in place for protecting seasonal workers in eastern Quebec, Montmagny-L'Islet and the North Shore, which will expire on October 7, claiming that these provisions are under review. The provisions have been in place for six years.

Will the minister stop hiding behind these excuses because on October 7 seasonal workers will lose eight weeks of benefits if the provisions are not extended? October 7 is in two weeks.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we are reviewing things. As is the custom with this new government, when we have something to announce, we will announce it then.

Access to InformationOral Questions

September 22nd, 2006 / 11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, we recently learned that the Prime Minister's staff committed serious breaches of the Privacy Act. Since then, the minority government, through the Prime Minister's parliamentary secretary, has tried to shift the blame to public servants and the previous government. We now know that the contrary is true, that when asked by public servants to end this practice, the Prime Minister's staff wanted to enhance it.

When will this so-called new government drop its new tendency of trying to intimidate public servants to get them to act in a partisan way?

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the Liberals are making an honest mistake. I do not know. However, on March 1, two employees of the political staff at the Prime Minister's Office asked to be added to a distribution list for information on pandemics and national security. The name of a journalist was included in a March 15 e-mail after their request. That was when we learned that it was common practice for the former government to reveal and distribute the names of parties requesting information. We have put an end to this practice.

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

That is not true, Mr. Speaker. The previous government did not ask for the names of those making requests for information.

Since we have learned staff in the Prime Minister's Office have committed serious breaches of the Privacy Act regarding access to information, the so-called new government has tried to lay the blame at the feet of public servants or the preceding government, its new mantra. We now know it was quite the contrary. When invited by public servants to stop their practice, the Prime Minister's staff instead asked that it be enhanced.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister can bully us all he wants, we will fight back. The problem is the growing tendency of--

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we received this advice from the Privy Council Office, that this was a long-standing practice of the former government. I will table the email that I have quoted from verbatim.

Yesterday, CBC quoted a former Liberal staffer saying that, yes, this was a regular practice of the former government. In 1999 the information commissioner identified the office of Art Eggleton as having engaged in this practice. Yesterday, Commissioner Stoddart, in a conversation with the Treasury Board president, said that there were two complaints about these kinds of leaks coming from the offices of former Liberal ministers. When will they apologize?

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, today the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister continues to be less than forthright with the House about serious breaches of the privacy laws of the Prime Minister's Office. Yesterday he unjustly smeared the public servants charged with handling ATIP requests. He attempts today again to pull the wool over the eyes of Canadian. Today media reports prove we cannot believe what the parliamentary secretary tells us.

The parliamentary secretary shattered the integrity of the public office he holds. Will he resign?

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will stay here and I will not be intimidated into stopping to identify and throw the light on the corrupt practices of the previous Liberal government, which clearly and according to the public service allowed this practice to become a standard operating procedure under it.

We have been absolutely clear that this government will not tolerate the unveiling of names of requesters of information. We are going to put an end to the Liberal practice.

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I find it amazing that a party that campaigned on integrity acts like a bunch of trained seals in supporting the parliamentary secretary, who should be stepping down from his office.

The parliamentary secretary continues to fabricate the facts. As bad, employees in the Prime Minister's Officer are complicit in what the parliamentary secretary is doing in flouting the laws of Canada. The parliamentary secretary's actions, as much as he tries, cannot be covered up.

Will the Prime Minister at least ask the parliamentary secretary to step aside?

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there was a pretty big forced resignation of the Liberal government at the hands of the Canadian electorate in January of this year because the Canadian people had enough of the kinds of corruption, law-breaking and violation of our democratic practices in our country.

One of those practices was to systematically leak the names of requesters of information to the political offices of that government, as identified by the information commissioner, as identified yesterday by the PCO. We will put an end to that practice because we are a government that is all about accountability.

Airline IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question concerns an issue that is important to those who work within the airline industry and to those who are passengers on Canada's airlines. My question is for the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

Could the minister please inform the House how this Conservative government is working to address the issue of flight attendant ratios?