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House of Commons Hansard #130 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I was not aware until yesterday that the president of Liberia was here. I am certainly prepared to check with my office, and if there is a request for a meeting, I would be delighted to have a meeting.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, since 2004, the residents of Kashechewan in northern Ontario have been forced to leave their homes due to flooding. The community has reviewed the options outlined in the Pope report and has come back with its preferred choice.

Can the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development tell the House what he plans to do about Kashechewan?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 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, approximately 10 days ago Chief Solomon of the Kashechewan community advised me that his community's preference was to relocate to a site that has been described as site five. I promised the chief at that time that I would consider his request and would report back to him by the end of this week. I intend to do that once the department has completed its preliminary assessment.

I can advise the House, however, that in the meantime we continue to make sure that the people of Kashechewan have a safe water system. There has been $2.8 million expended on that and we continue to spend $13.2 million to ensure that there are housing and mobile home improvements for the people who are currently in Kashechewan.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the 50th anniversary of the Canada Council, but sadly there was little to celebrate in the government's budget when it comes to the arts.

In Toronto, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Conservatory, the National Ballet School, the Canadian Opera Company and the Gardiner Museum are all looking for funding from the federal government.

Will the heritage minister finally tell Toronto's cultural sector when it can expect the help it has been asking for?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as the arts community knows, this government has made a significant commitment to the arts. We contributed $50 million to the budget of the Canada Council. We have introduced tax incentives.

In fact, a tax incentive last year contributed $20 million in donations to the arts. We extended that tax measure to private foundations and we know that it also is going to contribute to the arts.

In addition to that, we have contributed $60 million for local arts and heritage activities.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister should read her own budget.

Our culture is what makes us Canadian, but our culture is at the bottom of the priority list for the government.

Artists were looking for recognition in this budget, but what did they see? Nothing. Stable funding for the Canadian Television Fund? Nothing. Reversal of the cuts to museums? Nothing.

Investment in the arts has huge economic benefits for Canada's cities, like Toronto. When will the minister finally do her job and invest in the cultural sector?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, in asking her question the member did not check her facts. In fact, we did commit $100 million for two years, which is $200 million, to the Canadian Television Fund.

I ask the member to ensure that she is accurate because the people who are involved in the arts know that this government supports them and recognizes their contributions to Canada.

TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to parliamentary inquiries and numerous media reports, safety at our ports and airports is still a major concern. For the second week in a row, a Senate committee has found that Transport Canada is unable to do the bare minimum with respect to this matter, and is thereby endangering public safety.

How, then, can the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities keep saying that everything is fine? Why is he still endangering public safety?

TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague should not be getting his information from the Senate committee. Instead, he should be getting information from the source, such as the testimony given by people in my department and by the people who represent air safety administration authorities. These people are in a position to say what a big difference this government has made compared to the last one.

That is why I am not at all ashamed to say that we are doing what needs to be done for our public transportation network.

TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, perhaps he might want to take a look at what the facts are. He has been absolutely disinterested in security and safety.

CATSA, for example, has collected $250 million more than it spends on security and the minister is silent.

On rail safety, he leaves the private sector to resolve the problems.

For two straight weeks the Senate committee has highlighted breaches in safety and security in our ports and still the minister says nothing.

In fact, nothing is what is available in the budget for transportation.

Does the minister have a plan or is he waiting for the Prime Minister to appoint somebody with influence around the cabinet table in his place?

TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

I can see, Mr. Speaker, that my hon. colleague is going on here and making things up, because as a matter of fact had he looked at what has occurred over the last couple of months, he would see that we have appointed a board. We have appointed a board to make sure that we can look at rail safety in this country. We have done that. We have done that when for five years the Liberals did nothing, zilch, nada. We are getting the job done.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the result of the government's tainted plebiscite on barley is in and, due to the Minister of Agriculture's meddling, the victim in fact is democracy. Never before has Canada seen such a farce, fraud and betrayal of core democratic values, with traceable ballots, no available voters lists and no transparent scrutineers to monitor.

The government is mocking democracy and does not seem to be concerned. When will the government give farmers an honest vote on an honest question?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral 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

Finally, Mr. Speaker, an agriculture critic I respect. What we also respect are the results from the plebiscite.

What a great day for western Canadian farmers. Sixty-two per cent of barley producers said they want freedom of choice to market their own barley. Sixty-two per cent said that. We campaigned on it, we promised, we consulted, and they delivered the votes: 29,000 farmers voted and 62% said choice.

We are going to give them the choice that farmers demanded.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, that is some spin. The minister knows, if he is being honest, that the proposal he put forward today, based on his false choice and fraudulent vote, is the open market for barley, nothing more, nothing less: the open market.

In fact, let us examine the numbers: 86.2% want the Wheat Board and only 13.8% want the open market. That open market is what the minister is trying to drive down their throats. Why will the minister not accept defeat and listen when farmers have clearly told him they do not want the open market?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral 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 think we are making progress. I think I heard the member accepting that the plebiscite was good. That is a move forward.

When we look at the numbers, we see that 62% of people who voted, the barley producers themselves, say they want marketing choice. We are going to move forward with regulatory change. We are going to move forward on marketing choice. As for the member for Malpeque, it is time to act like a man: listen to the farmers.

PalestineOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, since the signing of the Mecca agreement, which allowed for the creation of a Palestinian government made up Hamas, Fatah and other groups, there is renewed hope for resuming negotiations with Israel. Many countries, the European Union and even the American consulate in Jerusalem have met with non-Hamas ministers of the Palestinian government. However, the Minister of Information, Mustafa Barghouti, a non-Hamas member of the Palestinian authority, is in Ottawa today and the Minister of Foreign Affairs refused to meet with him.

By refusing this meeting, is the Minister of Foreign Affairs perhaps not missing an excellent opportunity to contribute to the resolution of this dispute—

PalestineOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

PalestineOral 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, while l was speaking with President Abbas about this particular situation I reminded him that we are in fact very closely following developments in the peace process. This is a very sensitive issue, as we all know, and there is much progress that is being made.

I advised the president that we continue to support his efforts to bring peace, in particular to the territories, but until such time as we see progress in the area of the quartet principles, which call for the recognition of Israel, which call for the cessation of violence and which call for the road map to be adhered to, we are not going to deal directly with a terrorist organization, namely, Hamas.

PalestineOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reiterate that Minister Barghouti is not a member of Hamas. He is a member of another group.

If Condoleezza Rice was able to meet with Mahmoud Abbas and other non-Hamas members, why is it that Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs cannot meet with them? Is his approach not too dogmatic? If we hope to contribute to the resolution of a dispute between two parties, we must be able to communicate with both parties. I repeat, the minister is not a member of Hamas.

PalestineOral 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, I appreciate the righteous indignation. Perhaps she did not hear me. I do speak directly with the president. I speak with Mr. Abbas quite regularly about the situation and his efforts. I commend him. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I have expressed support for the work he is doing.

This is an ongoing process. We hope that we will see the unity government express in a more forthright way its respect of and adherence to the road map, to the principles the quartet has clearly laid out. I know the members opposite do not want to hear the answer, but I will tell them again. We will deal directly with President Abbas. We will continue to support the Palestinian people through aid. We will continue to support the peace process.

Equalization FormulaOral Questions

March 28th, 2007 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Matthews Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, on January 4, 2006 the Prime Minister wrote Premier Danny Williams promising to remove non-renewable natural resources revenue from the equalization formula.

The Prime Minister also sent Newfoundlanders and Labradorians a brochure promising 100% of oil and gas revenues. He promised no small print, no excuses, but most importantly, he promised no cap.

Regrettably, budget 2007 tells a very different story. Why did the Prime Minister lie? Why this betrayal?

Equalization FormulaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Equalization FormulaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, order. The hon. member is an experienced member. He knows that the use of that kind of language is not proper in questions. I know he will want to withdraw that allegation following question period.

If the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans wishes to answer the question, he may do so.

Equalization FormulaOral Questions

3 p.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member well knows that a commitment was made to the people of Canada and to all the premiers of Canada that this government was satisfied to take out non-renewable resources from the formula.

The premiers said, “No, that is not what we want. We want a different formula”. They got one, but Newfoundland and Labrador was protected. We kept the Atlantic accord. There were no cuts: not a cent, not a jot, not a tittle. As was promised, as was negotiated, it is ours to keep.

Equalization FormulaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

That will bring to a conclusion our question period for today.

I call now on the hon. member for Random—Burin—St. George's to withdraw his unparliamentary remark.