This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #155 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, the member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, claims that he suspended the work of the committee because it had become too partisan. His impetuous decision, which was made with no consideration for witnesses who had come from as far away as Winnipeg, forced them to return home without testifying.

In light of this, how can the Prime Minister still say that the committee chair is doing an excellent job, and why is he persisting in protecting the chair?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 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, the chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages has done a good job. All Conservatives agree and support the chair. The Conservative members and the chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages are prepared to work and to attend meetings. It is up to the opposition members to decide whether they want to go back to work or carry on with their procedural shenanigans.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2004, this Prime Minister stated: “It is the Parliament that’s supposed to run the country, not just the largest party and the single leader of that party”.

The Prime Minister needs to face facts: he has a minority government and he cannot control everything. If the Conservatives think they can behave in this way when they have a minority, just imagine what would happen if they had a majority and what impact it would have on official languages.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:40 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 repeat: we are prepared to work. All the Conservatives are prepared to work. The problem is that the opposition is engaging in procedural shenanigans.

Electoral Boundaries ReadjustmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is not alone in opposing the bill introduced by the government, which seeks to increase the number of members in this House from 308 to 320. A majority of members of the National Assembly of Quebec also spoke out against the electoral representation bill yesterday.

If the Prime Minister does not want the motion on the Quebec nation to be nothing but wishful thinking, he must withdraw his bill and guarantee Quebec 25% of the seats in this House. That is what he must do.

Electoral Boundaries ReadjustmentOral Questions

2:40 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, in our bill, Quebec will be guaranteed that its current level of representation will be preserved. This legislation will restore fairness. Representation by population will be virtually assured for Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta. As well, Quebec’s level of representation will be the standard by which the level of representation for the other two provinces will be measured. This is a strong guarantee for Quebec.

Electoral Boundaries ReadjustmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the effect of Bill C-56 will be that since the Representation Act was passed in 1985, 48 new seats will have been added to the federal Parliament, and Quebec will not have received a single one of them. That is what is called losing political weight.

Does the government realize that it cannot recognize the Quebec nation, on the one hand, and then on the other hand step up the dilution of that nation’s political weight in the House of Commons?

Electoral Boundaries ReadjustmentOral Questions

2:40 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, contrary to the other parties’ proposals, our proposal is based on principles.

First, it is based on the fundamental principle of democratic representation: one person, one vote, each vote to have the same weight, as far as possible. Second, it is based on the principle of protecting the proportional representation of the provinces. That principle was a very foundation of Confederation: representation by population, together with the concept of federalism.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, Governor Schwarzenegger's environmental adviser says that this Conservative government has made the same mistake as President Bush and that these neo-con cousins are asleep at the switch.

Reports out of Bonn say the Bush administration is trying to water down the G-8 climate change statement. It refuses to endorse the most basic of limits. It will not even recognize the UN as an appropriate forum for negotiating future global action.

Could the minister today tell us his position on these issues, or is he still waiting for instructions from Washington?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Canada strongly supports global efforts to reduce in absolute terms greenhouse emissions. For the first time in Canadian history, we have a national plan to actually cope with that.

I can appreciate that for the member opposite and his colleagues this is a sensitive issue.

“I think our party has gotten into a mess on the environment”. Do members know who said that? The deputy leader of the Liberal Party.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, at the G-8 Summit, France, Germany and Great Britain all argued for a strong statement on climate change. During that time, the Prime Minister, like his friend President Bush, remained silent and Canada’s reputation suffered as a result.

Will Canada show some leadership at the G-8 Summit or will it continue to act like mere background scenery?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, for 13 long years Canada was the leader at all talk and no action. The time has come in this country to move and to act aggressively, to finally, in absolute terms, reduce harmful greenhouse emissions.

We have a plan to deliver that. We think a 25% increase in greenhouse gases in this country, the record of the Liberal government, is unacceptable. We believe we can lead abroad, but leadership requires going first. We are going to deliver with real reductions in greenhouse gases.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, jaws dropped yesterday at the public safety committee when Correctional Service Canada revealed that its “financial situation is dire”. “We're broke,” said acting commissioner Don Demers.

The minister ignores the advice of dedicated Correctional Service Canada officials and blows $3.5 million on a blue ribbon review headed by a Harris Conservative.

Why does the minister not take the advice of his officials and demand adequate funding for Correctional Service Canada immediately?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, this year's budget at Correctional Service Canada is about $1.8 billion for some 13,460 very dedicated people working with offenders both in and outside of the system.

There was an increase in the allotment to Correctional Service Canada this year of $102 million. That is for two years, so some of that may not be fully reflected in the 2007 budget.

If the member had been able to, as she indicated, lift her jaw from her briefing book and look, she would have seen there is a substantial increase coming in for Correctional Service Canada. Not just that, but I also want to congratulate officials for saving $5.9 million in procurements. That money will go to assisting inmates.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government had a bad day yesterday. Not only did we learn that there was an increase in the number of inmates who escaped from penitentiaries last year, but Correctional Service Canada also reported that it has no more money.

The commissioner criticized the Conservative minister's transition fund by stating that they are having trouble making ends meet.

There are two federal prisons in my riding. Why is this government depriving them of the means required to supervise the most dangerous criminals?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the prisoners who escaped were not dangerous; they were in a minimum security institution.

They took a walk from minimum security and they have returned from their walk. Of course, most of those facilities do not even have fences.

Any time somebody walks away from an institution it is serious, but they have been walked back there, let us say.

I can assure the member for Beauséjour, who always raises good concerns about the system, that there are substantial increases, many of which will go into the two institutions right in his constituency.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

May 16th, 2007 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, can the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration inform the House of the government's intention to help prevent vulnerable people coming to Canada from being exploited or abused?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to announce that later today I will table legislation to help prevent vulnerable foreign workers such as strippers from being exploited or abused.

The amendments will authorize the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to instruct immigration officers to deny work permits to foreign strippers.

The previous Liberal government gave blanket exemptions to foreign strippers to work in Canada despite warnings that they were vulnerable to forced prostitution and other exploitation.

Thanks to today's amendments, the good old days of Liberal strippergate will be a thing of the past.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday National Chief Fontaine asked for a relationship of mutual respect.

The minister is working on new legislation to deal with specific land claims, but to date there has been no consultation with first nations.

Why is the minister repeating all the mistakes of his predecessors and refusing to work with first nations to create legislation that actually works?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 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, the hon. member is quite wrong in her question. As a matter of fact, Mr. Fontaine and I met for over an hour on Monday of this week.

The former Liberal government left office with approximately 800 unresolved land claims left in the closet. I think that situation is unacceptable. Mr. Fontaine agrees with me.

I intend to do something about it. I have indicated that I wish to hear from the Ipperwash inquiry, which is to be heard on or about June 1, and I have every reason to believe that Mr. Fontaine will work together with the government in aid of this.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, talks are not consultations.

The Haida case made it clear that government must consult with first nations before making any decisions that affect treaty rights. Specific claims are all about treaty rights.

Will the minister start showing respect, abide by the Haida court decision and consult with first nations on land claims legislation? What is he waiting for?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 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 will leave the fascinating subject of whether talks are or are not consultations for wiser minds than we find here.

For my part, Mr. Fontaine and I did meet, we did discuss this issue, and we are of common purpose in terms of working together on this matter.

Summer Career Placements ProgramOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government has slashed the summer career placements program. Organizations across Canada that for years have depended on funding to hire students are getting the bad news in the mail this week, just like thousands of students have.

Contrary to what the minister says, these jobs were going not to MPs' friends but to students and outstanding non-profit organizations. They are getting nothing and they are rightly outraged at the government.

Status of Women, literacy groups, the court challenges program and now students: who is next on the government's hit list?

Summer Career Placements ProgramOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the member is simply wrong.

First of all, today's students are benefiting from the lowest unemployment rates in 40 years in this country.

It is also a fact that the funding for the not for profit sector has been absolutely preserved.

Even in the member's own riding, the Salvation Army's Scotian Glen Camp, FANE, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Akerley Child Care and the Boys and Girls Club all received funding under the Canada summer jobs program. We are giving quality job opportunities to students and helping not for profit organizations.

Summer Career Placements ProgramOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, FANE is a francophone organization.

What can the minister possibly have against the YWCA, the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Elizabeth Fry Society, and arts groups, all of which are non-partisan, non-profit organizations across Canada?

Last year the Autism Society of Nova Scotia had seven positions. This year? Nothing.

Organizations like these have a question for the government: “Why is the government shutting us out?”

When will the minister restore full funding to this program? When will he do what is right for these organizations across Canada?