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House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was scotia.

Topics

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid to inform my friend from the Bloc that the era of Liberal entitlement is over. We are no longer going to allow members of Parliament to manipulate where grants go. That is completely contrary to the spirit of the Federal Accountability Act.

Canadians sent us into government to clean up the mess that the Liberals left behind. We are not going to go back there. I am sorry if the Bloc does not like it. We are not going back to that era.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture has utterly failed to deliver assistance to tobacco farmers, teetering on the brink of disaster.

In 2004 the member for Haldimand—Norfolk criticized the Liberal government's TAAP as too cheap in providing $71 million. The minister wrote to me less than two weeks ago and said, “the sector's difficulties remain an important concern to my department”. Some concern. Nothing was provided in the budget for over 600 tobacco farmers, who are in desperate straits.

When does the minister intend to demonstrate real concern and provide a buyout package?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I realize the very difficult situation for tobacco growers, especially in Ontario.

There is a proposal that they have put together. It involves over $1 billion in federal money for about 600 producers. I have told the producers that this particular package is too rich, frankly, for the government.

We are working with stakeholders within the department, the provincial governments and other stakeholders in the industry to try to find a way forward, but it is difficult. The $71 million is one thing, but a $1 billion is too rich. We are trying to find the right balance so we can move forward with an appropriate package for the region.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, victims of Indian residential schools have been calling for years for a settlement agreement. Unlike the former Liberal government that miserably failed on aboriginal issues, this Conservative government has taken action on this since the beginning and has moved things forward as quickly as possible.

Could the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development update the House on the status of the settlement for the Indian residential schools survivors?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 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 am pleased to advise the House today that as of yesterday, March 21, all the court approvals have now been secured for the residential schools agreement in all nine jurisdictions in which they were required. We will inform all parties to the settlement agreement to ensure that the former students and their families receive access to the benefits under the agreement as quickly as possible.

This is an honourable settlement that will foster healing and reconciliation among former students and, indeed, among all Canadians.

Pet FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, pet owners across Canada are worried about their pets. Some 14 cats and dogs have died of renal failure because of bad food.

Pet owners in Canada now realize that pet food in our country is not regulated or tested.

It is sad that it has taken a tragedy to expose this problem. Now that the minister is aware, what is he going to do about it? Will he immediately seek to expand the CFIA mandate to ensure safe foods for Canada's cats, dogs and all our furry friends?

Pet FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I think all Canadians are very concerned about these reports that started in the states and have now come across the border. This concern is for all pet owners who are worried about the welfare of their own animals.

These products were regulated in the United States. They are regulated products. As soon as we were made aware of this and the company was made aware of it, it started a recall program. CFIA has been monitoring that recall program to ensure these products are off the shelves.

We urge all pet owners to ensure they do not have any of that product in their cupboards and also that they protect their pets as best they can at this time.

Pet FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, my dog Shodan is not satisfied with that response.

The United States has regulation. The United Kingdom has regulation. In fact the entire European Union has regulation.

Canadian pet owners are scrambling to keep their pets safe. Animals were dying and no one knew why. No one in Canada's government is responsible for ensuring what we feed our cats and dogs is safe.

What is the minister going to do? Will he expand the role of CFIA? Will he regulate this industry?

Pet FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am sure all members in the House share the concern of the hon. member from the Kootenays. It is a concern for all of us.

We have several regulations in place, things that prevent the importation of products that contain BSE related food. We have regulations in Industry Canada, which ensure they are properly labelled. We have arrangements with the USDA for regulated products, such as the product in question, to ensure that we can withdraw them and pull them from the shelves as soon as we are made aware of those dangers.

There is no regulation that would have saved this problem here in Canada.

HealthOral Questions

March 22nd, 2007 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have learned this week that a woman from British Columbia has died after taking pills she ordered from an Internet website labelled Canadian.

The Minister of Health has clearly failed in his duty to protect the lives of Canadians. Our drug supply is being threatened by counterfeit and contaminated drugs, and the upcoming U.S. legislation will make Canada America's drugstore.

How many more deaths will it take before the minister will act to protect the quality and supply of Canada's medicines?

HealthOral Questions

3 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, as the hon. member knows, this was a very tragic situation and our hearts go out to the family involved in this particular situation. As the hon. member does know, I am sure, the regulation of these kinds of products are left with provincial agencies and with the provincial colleges.

The hon. member is trying to draw a tenuous, specious link between this tragedy and her own public policy issue, which is in fact a non-issue because, as the hon. member knows, or should know, the amount of export from this country to the United States is down 50% in one year alone.

The hon. member, quite frankly, is trying to tie one issue to another, which is a tragic issue. She should stick to the facts and not try to--

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, after years of neglecting the criminal justice system, the Liberals are trying to deceive Canadians by stating they are suddenly interested in getting tough on crime. They even went so far as trying to use an opposition day motion to perpetuate this deception, which the Speaker ruled out of order.

My question is for the Minister of Justice. What can hon. members do to help the government achieve its criminal justice objectives?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are indeed trying to claim to be converts to the justice file. The first thing they should not have done is start breaking the rules of the House of Commons.

That being said, I can understand why they would want to change the channel. They spent the last couple of months bashing police officers' participation in judicial advisory committees. They voted against their own Anti-terrorism Act. They have been fighting us about increasing mandatory minimum sentences for people who commit crimes with firearms.

I guess the low point came a couple of weeks ago when the Attorney General of Ontario said the Liberal approach on crime is something from the summer of love.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of Laureates of the Governor General's Awards for Visual and Media Arts: Ms. Daphne Odjig, Mr. David Silcox, Mr. Ian Carr-Harris, Ms. Agantha Dyck, Mr. Bruce Elder, Mr. Murray Favro, Mr. Fernand Leduc and Mr. Paul Mathieu.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the government House leader would be kind enough to indicate to us his business plan to carry through for the next week right up until the Easter break.

Specifically in that report, I wonder if he could indicate his plan with respect to what was Bill C-55 and is now Bill C-47. Opposition House leaders have been asking about this bill for some time now. We have been asking for a report from the Minister of Labour as to exactly what is wrong with Bill C-47 and how the Minister of Labour proposes to correct it. The minister made some favourable comments in question period a few moments ago, so I wonder if the House leader could indicate if we will see that bill in the properly revised form within the course of the next 10 days.

Second, I wonder if the minister could tell us about Bill C-16, the bill dealing with the timing of election dates. I understand that is subject to a technical amendment in the other place today. I wonder if the government House leader would give us the assurance that the unelected Conservative senators in the other place will not delay that bill. Perhaps we could deal with it tomorrow or at the beginning of next week.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 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 believe that the opposition House leader takes a very broad view of the definition of technical. However, we hope that Bill C-16 will progress and will be approved in a form that is appropriate and reasonable to approve and that we will have it here to deal with in the House quickly. That has not happened yet, however, and therefore today we are going to continue with the Liberal opposition motion and the business of supply.

Tomorrow we will continue debate on second reading of Bill C-35, which is the bail reform bill. This is one that has been the subject of positive words from the opposition, and we hope that we will be able to move to unanimous approval.

That would allow us to get on with other issues such as Bill C-42, the Quarantine Act; Bill S-2, hazardous materials; Bill S-3, which deals with defence and justice matters; and Bill C-33, which is an Income Tax Act item.

On Monday, we will be having day three of the budget debate. On Tuesday, we will have the final day of the budget debate.

On Wednesday and Thursday we will continue with the unfinished business from this Friday, including hopefully, the addition of Bill C-10 dealing with mandatory minimum penalties, which I know the opposition House leader will want to add to his package of justice bills he wishes to enthusiastically support.

On Friday, March 30 we will begin debate on the budget implementation bill.

I would like to designate, pursuant to Standing Order 66(2), Wednesday, March 28 for the continuation of the debate on the motion to concur in the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture, and Thursday, March 29 for the continuation of the debate on the motion to concur in the second report of the Standing Committee on Health.

There is one further item that the opposition House leader raised which was the question of the labour bill. I believe he heard a very generous offer from the Minister of Labour today. I believe the ball is now in the opposition's court on this.

Comments by Government House LeaderPrivilegeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege and it relates to remarks made by the government House leader during question period in which allegations were made in respect of torture. This is an unfounded, baseless allegation.

If the Speaker would allow me, I would like to quote one sentence from a book of mine on this subject which makes my views perfectly clear. As I wrote in 2004 in The Lesser Evil:

Torture should remain anathema to a liberal democracy and should never be regulated, countenanced, or covertly accepted in a war on terror.

I ask the government House leader to withdraw his comments.

Comments by Government House LeaderPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 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 am pleased to have this opportunity to respond to the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore because he has said some other things that are very different, in fact, on which I based the very comments I made in the House. I am quite happy to provide these to the House.

In the Edmonton Journal on May 9, 2004 he said, “To defeat evil we may have to traffic in evils: indefinite detention of suspects, coercive interrogations“--I think that is torture--“targeted assassinations, even pre-emptive war”.

Again in the Edmonton Journal on May 9, 2004 he said, “But defeating terror requires violence”. Violence; I think that is torture. “It may also require coercion, secrecy, deception, even violation of rights”.

Then in the Toronto Star on May 5, 2004 he said, “Defeating terrorism requires violence. Putting the problem this way is not popular”. I suspect he feels that way right now. He continued, “But thinking about lesser evils is unavoidable. Liberal societies cannot be defended by herbivores. We need carnivores to save us”. Well, I think the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore has demonstrated he is a pretty good carnivore.

Comments by Government House LeaderPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the point is very simple. Any member of this House is committed to the defence of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I have taught human rights, I have promoted human rights, I have defended human rights. I ask the minister to stop taking remarks entirely out of context and withdraw the remarks that he has made.

Comments by Government House LeaderPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I believe the remarks stand for themselves. I welcome the apparent conversion of the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore whereby he is now embracing this notion that we must stand by the charter, but I will quote once more from the Edmonton Journal of May 9, 2004:

The siren song in any war on terror is “let slip the dogs of war. Let them hunt. Let them kill. Already, we have dogs salivating at the prospect.”

And then he goes on with his comment about herbivores and carnivores.

I have simply relied on the words that the member said, admittedly before he was a member of Parliament. If he wishes to say that his views have changed, I will fully accept that, but I have no intention of withdrawing comments that are obviously accurate in the context of what he has said, on which I relied.

Comments by Government House LeaderPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Comments by Government House LeaderPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. It seems to me that we are into a debate about the meaning of various--

Comments by Government House LeaderPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!