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House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was athletes.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has done absolutely nothing to help Atlantic Canada's economy. The government abandoned the industries and workers when the plants closed. The minister and the government remain clueless about the reality of people who have to apply for employment insurance in order to feed their families. We are not talking about living; we are talking about surviving.

How can the minister have the audacity to say that the EI program is a rich program for employees? How can he say that?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I do not know who he is because the member never said. I do not know if the minister said that. However, I want the member to know that changes to the EI program take into account impact it would have on employees, employers or beneficiaries.

I do not understand what he is talking about, when he said the minister said that.

Montreal PlanetariumOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, nine months ago, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services promised the mayor of Montreal $9 million for the relocation and construction of the new Montreal planetarium at the Biodome. The Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal have already invested that amount. All that is missing is Ottawa's contribution.

Why is the federal government taking so long to make its financial contribution when it committed to it in writing nine months ago?

Montreal PlanetariumOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, we are aware of the situation. We respect the concerns expressed by the Bloc Québécois and by Quebeckers in the region. If any announcement is to be made, it will be made soon.

Montreal PlanetariumOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the City of Montreal has calculated that this project will result in approximately $33 million in economic spinoffs for Montreal's east end. By failing to keep its promise, the government is jeopardizing the relocation of the Montreal planetarium.

What is the Minister of Public Works and Government Services waiting for to announce the federal government's participation as soon as possible?

Montreal PlanetariumOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, every time our government makes a decision, we take great care to ensure that the interests of Quebeckers and Montrealers will be served. Michael Fortier is making sure that Montreal's voice is being heard loud and clear in our cabinet.

With respect to the planetarium, if we have a decision to announce, we will do so shortly. Our government will always serve Montreal's best interests.

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week the government defended its decision to cancel the visitor rebate program by quoting the premier of Nova Scotia. This week the premier was clear in his opposition to the cancellation of the program saying, “the federal government's decision will have an impact on visitation to Nova Scotia”.

Cancelling this program will kill thousands of tourism jobs, particularly in Atlantic Canada.

Will the government listen to the premier of Nova Scotia now and will it keep the visitor rebate program?

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the government is focused on priorities. I know my colleagues in the Liberal Party find it difficult to make priorities. Our priorities in the budget this year will be to put more money into health care, to put greater tax assistance, to help young children and families with disabilities, rather than supporting a program that has very little take-up and has proven ineffective.

InfrastructureOral Questions

February 23rd, 2007 / 11:50 a.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, this year is the 10th anniversary of the 1997 flood of the century. Manitobans were devastated and had to endure the loss of lives and property.

The Prime Minister stated that he would commit to the expansion of the Red River floodway and protect Manitoba's capital region.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport inform the House of recent developments on keeping our commitments?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud and happy to inform the House and all Manitobans that Canada's new government is fulfilling its commitment to the Red River floodway expansion project.

Great news, today both federal and provincial governments are making matching contributions of up to $170.5 million. That brings the total up to $665 million. The government takes action. This investment will save lives and property in Winnipeg.

This is another great example of what this government can do after 13 years of nothing.

Electoral ReformOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, in December 2006 I introduced a motion that the House engage citizens and parliamentarians on the question of reforming our outdated, unfair electoral system and reporting to Parliament the values and principles they would like to see in a more fair system. However, the government wants to hijack the process with a closed door, contracted out process that will leave out the very people who are under-represented in the House.

Will the Minister for Democratic Reform commit today to allowing true, open citizens consultation on the issue of federal electoral reform?

Electoral ReformOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the consultation, which has begun, is one that is designed to be representative of all Canadians and is a process that will do this without allowing the process to be hijacked by special interest groups.

I note with interest, though, that the hon. member's party actually voted against a parallel process whereby parliamentarians could engage in exactly the kind of consultation she wants. Why her party voted against it and then she complains about it, I do not understand.

Electoral ReformOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the citizens' assembly of B.C. consulted broadly in 2004. The Ontario citizens' assembly is consulting now, giving citizens a direct voice in determining the options they will want to have when they go to the polls.

Seventy-eight per cent of the Ontario citizens' assembly chose a form of proportional representation as the preferred alternative to first past the post.

Will the Minister for Democratic Reform throw out his unfair process he contracted out to his friends, hear from all Canadians and report back to Parliament?

Electoral ReformOral Questions

11:50 a.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 process was contracted out to people who I do not even know. The reality is it was done through a fair process.

The real question is this. If she is so upset that there is not another consultation process in place, why did her party vote against the motion by the member for Elgin—Middlesex—London to establish the kind of consultation she wants? She has to ask herself why her party opposed it. We put forward the proposal.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, each year community organizations in my riding of Davenport, and across the country, anxiously await for their funding and start dates for the HRDC summer career placement program. This year students and community groups are sitting in limbo. They have no funding announcements, no start dates and no information whatsoever.

Will the minister inform the House when his department will finally release the information start dates? While he is at it, please also put back the $55 million that the government cut?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we understand the importance of those programs to students, to organizations and to communities. We are committed to ensuring that this program will be continuing to help these organizations, communities and students.

I suggest the member wait and see. Stay tuned, it will be coming soon.

PassportsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, starting in 2009 Canadians will be required to show a passport at land and sea border crossings when travelling to the United States. This could provide difficulties for families, sports teams, youth groups and even school field trips.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety share with the House if there have been any changes in the western hemisphere travel initiative.

PassportsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the American government announced that it will exempt children from the western hemisphere travel initiative requirement of all visitors to show a passport at land and sea borders crossings starting in 2009. Canada's new government has been working with the American government to have children exempted from the U.S. WHTI requirements.

Thanks to the Minister of Public Safety's ongoing efforts, children will be exempted from this requirement. That means children who are vacationing with their families or participating in sports tournaments or cultural activities can continue to cross our shared border without a passport.

Coast GuardOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, while Coast Guard managers are awarding themselves generous performance bonuses, they are depriving the seal hunters on the North Shore of substantial income by providing icebreaking services one month after the start of the hunting season.

Could the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans not recommend that the Coast Guard coordinate its icebreaking activities with the seal hunt?

Coast GuardOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the hon. member that, number one, that we are strongly supportive of the seal fishery. We will make sure that the people who participate in this fishery have every access. In relation to bonuses, let me say to him that of the 44 people qualifying, only six people got bonuses, because they deserved them.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Norwegian government opened talks yesterday to ban cluster bombs throughout the world. Cluster bombs have a history of causing mass civilian casualties and indiscriminate death. At this meeting, the Conservative government prevented setting a timeline for the negotiations.

In the past, Canada has taken a lead on disarmament. Now we are throwing up roadblocks. Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs today commit to show leadership on this issue and agree to a moratorium? Will Canada destroy any cluster bombs in Canadian stockpiles?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to report that Canada signed on to the agreement in Oslo, Norway to ban cluster bombs. Canada participated in it and now will work with that process to ensure that it becomes an international treaty.

Security InformationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, in the United States, Karl Rove, the Republican hatchet man in the White House, disclosed secret security information to personally smear certain individuals. Mr. Rove may pay a heavy price for that. One of his associates has already been indicted.

Now in Canada we have seen here the disclosure of secret security information to personally smear a member of Parliament. Canadians need to know who in the government is responsible. Who is the Canadian Conservative Karl Rove?

Security InformationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think what Canadians need to know is why the flip-flop: why did the Liberals change course? Why are the Liberals not backing their own anti-terrorism legislation?

Why, when John Manley, Anne McLellan and anyone else who has had a substantive briefing on this issue is saying to support the anti-terrorism measures, are the members opposite now flip-flopping and opposing protecting Canadians?

Security InformationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. We have exhausted the list, so question period is over.