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House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, this stuff is all in the open.

There was no offer ever made and there was no appointment ever made. It is only the Liberal Party of Canada that would consider the failure to make a patronage appointment a scandal.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians deserve better answers than that.

In an affidavit, Detective Sergeant Mason said that Ottawa Mayor O'Brien asked his political rival, Terry Kilrea, to vacate the mayor's race if O'Brien could make an appointment happen. Hours later, Kilrea said that he got a call from O'Brien saying that John Reynolds had place his name on the list.

Yesterday the minister admitted the government was indeed approached with an offer. Clearly making such an offer is against the law, in case he forgot.

Who in the government or in the Conservative Party made this offer?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I think it is a matter of public record.

Terry Kilrea, the individual in question, approached the Minister of the Environment to see if an offer had been extended or made, and none had. He made that quite clear.

I think the one person who could have made that offer in the past might have been the mayor in question, back in the days when he was the president of the Liberal fundraising organization, the Laurier Club.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is Persons Day and once again the Prime Minister continues to attack women's equality.

The Prime Minister broke his promise from the 2006 election campaign to take concrete and immediate measures, as recommended by the United Nations, to ensure that Canada fully upheld its commitments to women in Canada.

Could the Prime Minister please explain how by silencing the voices of women improves Canada's commitment to women's equality?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, what the member has just said is completely untrue. She knows quite well that our government increased funding for the women's program to its highest level, a 42% increase, and the member voted against it.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was women's voices that gave women the vote in Canada and declared them persons under the law, and it was women's voices that forced the Government of Canada to include women in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Women's groups that advocate for change are now excluded from applying for funding, but the Conference of Defence Associations, the oldest advocacy group in Canada's defence community, received a $500,000 multi-year grant. Why are defence contractors eligible for advocacy funding when women's groups are not? This is a disgrace for the government.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, nothing is further from the truth and that is shameful.

Just recently, I gave a grant to the Actu-Elle organization, which provides opportunities and tools to help women achieve economic independence. In addition, about 60 other projects will be announced over the course of the next few weeks with a total allocation of $8 million.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, women do not need charity; they need real programs.

The throne speech is a slap in the face for women. It makes no mention of pay equity or improving the economic security of women.

Can the minister, who says she is connected to women's reality in Quebec, explain why there are no measures for women and no pay equity legislation announced in the throne speech? That is not what I would call connected.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, this summer we all read about how the members of the Bloc Québécois decided that they would be more aggressive. However, that is no reason to spread falsehoods. The reality is that our government increased the grants to women's programs by 42%, making it the largest budget ever for the program that provides direct assistance to women, thus much less bureaucracy and more tangible results for women.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can anyone support this government, which has abandoned more than 52% of its citizens, namely, women?

Women's groups are calling the Conservative government's record, when it comes to defending the rights of women, nothing short of disastrous. Women are angry at this government, and with good reason.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages ever come down from her ivory tower and really understand, at ground level, the reality facing women, and finally restore the original criteria of the women's program and the court challenges program?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I do not need the hon. member's comments and suggestions to understand the needs of women in Quebec. If the member would truly like to contribute to the advancement of women in Quebec, I would invite her to start by enlightening her colleague from Brome—Missisquoi, who made some inappropriate comments following my appointment as Minister of Canadian Heritage.

That said, the budget for women's programs has been increased by 42% and $15.3 million has been invested to achieve concrete results for women in need.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, at the Vancouver International Airport on Sunday, a visitor from Poland tragically died after RCMP officers jolted him with a taser.

This is not the only incident. Last night a Montreal man was also killed by a taser.

Canadians need answers. They need reassurance that the use of tasers is not routine procedure. Will the government ensure that the RCMP follow clear, proper procedures for restraint and that taser use does not continue to result in such fatalities?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, certainly any incident that ends in tragedy has our full condolences.

I would also say that the RCMP is right now in the midst of doing a review for me on the use of taser. I understand the Canadian Police Association is also doing that.

Since 2001 tasers have been used by the RCMP about 4,000 times and at least as many times by other police associations. The training is very intensive.

We are looking forward to getting the updated reviews to see what those have reported.

The ArcticOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to helping the Arctic finally realize its true potential after years of neglect by our Liberal colleagues. Under our government's leadership, we are strengthening Canada's sovereignty and place in the world.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs explain what action our government is taking to protect our country's sovereignty, specifically in the north?

The ArcticOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as part of asserting sovereignty in the Arctic our government will complete a comprehensive mapping of Canada's Arctic seabed. Never before has this part of Canada's ocean floor been fully mapped.

New Arctic patrol ships and expanded surveillance will guard Canada's far north and our Arctic Rangers will also be expanded.

The opposition can only talk and always talks about protecting sovereignty, but the fact is that they did not get it done.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives continue to play dangerous games when it comes to our environment. The watered down half measures of the government will do nothing to fight dangerous climate change.

New Democrats will again show what it means to act on our principles and fight for a progressive environmental agenda for working families.

Will the minister explain to this House why the government insists on thumbing its nose at the hard work of this Parliament and why his government refuses to bring back the clean air and climate change act for a vote in this place?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, very simply, the amendments made by the opposition parties to the old clean air act simply created an unlimited licence to pollute. That is not acceptable for those of us on the government side of the House.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the huckster keeps selling it but Canadians ain't buying, and now, tragically, because of Liberal support for this agenda, it seems the Liberal leader will have to rename his dog. It is a shame.

I was in Washington recently. I met with senators, both Republicans and Democrats, who are fighting for serious climate change action in their governments. If politicians in George Bush's America have the courage to act, why is it that the Liberal and Conservative MPs do not have that same courage? Do they want to pass on this dangerous agenda to future generations?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am a Canadian nationalist. I am not going to be taking my orders from the U.S. Congress, from Democrats or Republicans. Our policy is going to be a made in Canada policy.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Saul Itzhayek, a Canadian citizen in my riding, Mount Royal, has been rotting in a prison in India for the past five months.

I spoke with Saul from his squalid prison cell, who advised me that he has been sentenced to three years for an alleged visa violation resulting from entrapment by Indian officials and has not received the needed consular assistance.

Will the Canadian government take the requisite steps to assist and expedite the return of a Canadian citizen to Canada and his family?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeSecretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely aware of this issue. In fact, I have been in regular contact through correspondence on Mr. Itzhayek's case with the critic for the Liberal Party. I can assure the hon. member that consular affairs has been in regular contact with him, with his family and with his lawyer. We have ensured that he is provided the consular services he is entitled to.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, in budget 2007, our government took action to improve the water we drink, clean polluted waters, help maintain water levels in the Great Lakes, protect our ecosystems, and ensure the sustainability of our fish resources. In fact, just last week I was with the Minister of the Environment and the government House leader when they announced $12 million for the cleanup of Lake Simcoe in central Ontario.

I would like to ask the Minister of the Environment if he could tell the House what additional actions our government has taken to protect our precious rivers, lakes and oceans.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the government is taking real action on environmental remediation to help clean our waters.

It was the Liberal Party that voted against funding to help support Lake Simcoe and the cleanup there. I know the member was as shocked as I was and the next time we go to Lake Simcoe we will invite the member for Wascana.

We are also putting major resources into cleaning up our oceans and our Great Lakes. For the first time ever, we are going to be banning raw sewage from being dumped into Canada's oceans, rivers and lakes. The previous government did not get it done. This government is delivering real results for the environment.

Equalization PaymentsOral Questions

October 18th, 2007 / 3 p.m.

Independent

Bill Casey Independent Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, I just sent to the Minister of Finance a chart of the projections prepared by the Government of Nova Scotia relating to its interpretation of how much money it will get out of the new exchange of letters. Will the minister confirm that the provincial chart I just sent him is the same as the federal projections?

Also, the exchange of letters says the amendments to legislation will be made but they do not say what legislation will be amended. Will the minister tell us what legislation will be amended as a result of the exchange of letters?

Equalization PaymentsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, the agreement that has been reached between the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada has been overwhelmingly positive in the response. The specifics the member is referring to will be made public.

The reality is that much of these charts, these projections, are based on assumptions. We do know that the legislation that has to be amended will include the Budget Implementation Act. Currently there are discussions happening between the province and Ottawa.

I just want to quote for the record what the Premier of Nova Scotia says. He is satisfied that the federal government will follow through with its promise and introduce legislation to implement the changes. Former Premier Hamm also said last week that it “fits very nicely with the original accord”. This is a positive outcome.