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House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member of the opposition knows full well that we took part in that conference. Canada played a crucial role in the final resolution. We will continue to be interested in this important issue and to become involved, as always, when it comes to issues that affect many people, humanitarian issues and the protection of human rights.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

While we await the treaty, will Canada declare a moratorium on the use, production, trade, transfer or acquisition of cluster bombs, as Norway and Austria have done?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, Canada took part just as the other countries did. It is not necessary to take a definitive decision now on all the issues—particularly weapons related issues—and establish which weapons fall under this definition. Canada played an important role at this conference. We are planning to do the same thing in the future. I also hope that this hon. member will play an important role.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, last fall, the minority Conservative government cut the funding to the Public Diplomacy Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the branch responsible for the international promotion of Canadian art and culture.

The $11.6 million cut will almost certainly mean the end of a variety of important promotional tools, including the exhibition of Canadian art in our embassies around the world.

Was Margaret Atwood right when she said, “there's more culture in a cup of yoghurt than in the Conservative government?”

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I prefer milk, myself. The reality is that Canada continues to look for ways in which we can promote Canadian artists abroad, which we do. We have very active people in our missions who travel and work with Canadian artists. We are continually looking for ways in which we can enhance and support artists and artisans who are working, living and exhibiting abroad.

I speak regularly to my colleague, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, about ways in which to do this. We will continue to work with the arts community on this important file.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada has the third largest supply of freshwater in the world. In my home province of Manitoba, we have Lake Winnipeg, the 10th largest lake in the world.

Lake Winnipeg is important to thousands of cottagers, hundreds of commercial fishers, attracts thousands of tourists and is the main source of water for many of my constituents.

Budget 2007 announced the establishment of the national water strategy and allocates money to protect our lakes and to improve water and waste water infrastructure.

Could the Minister of Environment tell the House how this will help the province of Manitoba and my constituents in Selkirk—Interlake?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, at the outset I want to congratulate the member for Selkirk—Interlake. I know this is an issue that he has fought long and hard for.

Thanks to the actions of a strong Conservative government caucus from Manitoba, we are pleased to announce that as part of the national water strategy, budget 2007 has allocated $7 million to help clean up the Lake Winnipeg basin.

This really is a remarkable team. Last year this team cleaned up government and cleaned up Liberal corruption. This year we are cleaning up Lake Winnipeg.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

March 27th, 2007 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, first nations are being left behind by the government: no action to close the poverty gap for first nations, the clawback of money to promote and protect indigenous languages and no movement on self-government negotiations. Now the Conservatives are refusing to recognize the wrong-headed damaging policies of past governments.

Why does the minister and the government refuse to apologize to first nations for the cultural destruction brought about by residential schools?

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, as I indicated previously, a very comprehensive agreement was arrived at between the Government of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations. It is several hundred pages in length. It deals with the truth and reconciliation commission, with advance payments and with all the matters that have been negotiated. An apology did not form part of the contractual provisions at that time.

We will carry on and we will implement the agreement as it has been negotiated.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, even the Conservatives' independent blue ribbon panel disputes the $10 billion figure the minister likes to toss out. Enough is enough. The truth must be told. The $10 billion includes millions in lawyers' fees to fight legitimate land claims and every dollar that it takes to run the minister's department.

When will the minister stop misleading Canadians on how much money will actually end up in the hands of first nations people? Why does the Conservative government continue the pattern of discrimination against first nations?

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, as I indicated in the House previously, the $10.2 billion represents all the expenditures within the Government of Canada, across departments, on aboriginal programs, services, negotiations and the like.

My friend should be fair in pointing out that a fairly modest amount of that money is spent on the government itself, on bureaucracy and on the civil service. The lion's share of the money makes its way through to aboriginal people. The vast lion's share of it makes its way through to on reserve people.

There are $10.2 billion. This is $1 billion more than any previous budget of any previous Government of Canada.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, in January, a Canadian citizen, while in Kenyan custody, was abruptly removed to Somalia and then, as many had feared here, was sent to Ethiopia where he has since disappeared without a trace.

Has the Minister of Foreign Affairs asked the Kenyan government why Mr. Bashir Makhtal was rendered to another country without consultation with Canada? Could he further explain to the House whether he has taken actions that will determine the fate of Mr. Makhtal with that government?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Yes, Mr. Speaker, we have made inquiries about the fate of that individual. We continue to work with consular officials to try to locate him and to render assistance if possible.

I appreciate the hon. member bringing the matter to the House of Commons. I will continue to work with him and others to do as we always do in cases where Canadians find themselves in jeopardy abroad, and that is to assist them in every way possible.

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, budget 2007 invests billions in critical infrastructure: roads, highways, public transit and green energy. It also renews this government's commitment to a new Windsor-Detroit border crossing, with a detailed plan and a big down payment.

Sadly, local NDP MPs, their party and the Liberals oppose this project going forward and are voting against this budget, preferring instead higher unemployment and missed investment.

Would the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities tell us how this government and its budget are committed to supporting our cities, our communities and our economy?

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this budget commits an unprecedented $33 billion to helping our cities and our communities across the country. Indeed, we are putting a lot of importance on our gateway projects, whether they be out in B.C., in the prairie provinces or in central Canada.

We are helping the Windsor-Detroit crossing to ensure that our goods and services flow so we can keep the economy flowing, and that is doing the job.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the reason the NDP will not support the government is because the government will not support injured soldiers.

Two DND ombudsmen asked that the SISIP for injured soldiers be fixed. The House passed a motion recommending that the SISIP for injured soldiers be fixed. For less than 2% of the federal surplus, this problem could have been fixed and these soldiers would not need to go to court to get the money they are rightfully owed.

Why did the government so carelessly and callously ignore the needs of these injured soldiers?

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this issue has been in existence since 2003. The previous government did not resolve the issue. We now have the recommendations and we will resolve the issue.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Mexican authorities and the media continue to identify Cheryl Everall and Kimberley Kim as suspects in the murder of two Canadian citizens in Mexico.

In a letter to me, the Minister of Public Safety stated, “Foreign Affairs Canada is responsible for representing Canadian interests abroad”.

Why has the Minister of Foreign Affairs failed to request information from Mexican authorities regarding the status of this investigation and to find out if these women have been added to any watch lists? Why will he not help clear the names of these innocent women?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. As usual, he has his facts completely wrong on a consular case.

As he knows, I met with the individuals, to whom he is referring, in my office. I raised this issue when the minister of foreign affairs, Patricia Espinosa, was here in Canada just a few weeks ago. This has gone to the highest levels of the Mexican government.

As for allegations that appear in the press and reports that somehow there is a connection to these individuals, I do not know if the hon. member realizes it but it is a little difficult in this country sometimes to control what the press might write.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 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 Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would also like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, President of the Senate of the Republic of Chile and His Excellency Patricio Walker Prieto, President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Republic of Chile.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Comments by Member for Timmins—James BayPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the other day I had an exchange with the Indian affairs minister on whether the dike in Kashechewan was in danger of collapse and whether life was at risk. I was referring to a capital budget report, and I would like to quote from it to set the context, in which it referred to:

—a possibility of loss of life and decrease the potential for extensive property damages of the dike failure during a flood. There is a probability that the dike will collapse during a major flood...

I had asked the minister about this. He said that the community was satisfied with steps taken on the dike. I do not believe that is the case. However, I did use an intemperate, off-the-cuff remark. I used it three times. I fully admit it. I am very passionate about these issues. However, I do have immense respect for the House and the importance of discourse in the House.

Therefore, I wish to apologize to the House for my intemperate use of the street vernacular. I am sorry, Mr. Speaker.

Comments by Member for Timmins—James BayPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I believe this concludes that matter.