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 #157 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

JusticeOral Questions

May 18th, 2007 / 11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the very simple bill raising the age of protection from 14 years to 16 years spent months in the House, with opposition members finally joining with us to send it to the Senate.

The track record of the unelected, unaccountable Liberal senators on passing simple bills is not good. Could the Minister of Justice say whether this important bill, which seeks to protect children and youth from sexual exploitation, will receive royal assent before the summer?

JusticeOral 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 commend the hon. member for her unwavering support for our criminal justice agenda.

The issue of raising the age of protection from 14 to 16 has been driven by members of the Conservative caucus for over a decade, and it took a Conservative government to take action on this important issue.

The House of Commons held fulsome debates on Bill C-22 and the committee thoroughly studied it. It is now up to the Senate. We call on senators to get the job done by respecting the will of Parliament and passing C-22 before they rise for the summer.

Public TransitOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Montreal announced an innovative transit plan to improve air quality and quality of life. The plan calls for more public transit, pedestrians and cyclists.

The Bill Clinton Foundation announced millions of dollars for Toronto to improve the energy efficiency of the city's buildings. Mr. Clinton emphasized the Conservative government's failure to help cities.

When will the government deliver the goods and implement a national public transit strategy?

Public TransitOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we had the opportunity to learn more about the transit plan introduced by the City of Montreal. Naturally, we are very interested in their transit plan. This plan calls on officials throughout the Greater Montreal Area to implement it.

In its latest budget, the Conservative government not only reconfirmed and renewed the gas tax amounts but also increased them to make a noticeable—

Public TransitOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Parkdale—High Park.

Public TransitOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, a one time election style announcement just will not cut it. What cities like Toronto and Montreal need is long term stable funding so they can plan for the future.

We have already seen two consecutive smog days in Toronto. Skyrocketing gas prices are squeezing working families and traffic jams are hurting the economy. There is no better time than now to introduce a national urban transit strategy, like the one called for by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Big City Mayors Caucus and the Toronto Board of Trade.

Why will the monkey wrench gang not just do it?

Public TransitOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

I find that rather unfortunate, Mr. Speaker. What the municipalities are looking for is action, and we are delivering on that.

We delivered on Brampton. We delivered on Mississauga. We delivered on Spadina. We delivered also on Durham. We delivered in Montreal. We delivered all through the country. We delivered on the Canada line out in British Columbia.

We are getting the job done. Budgets 2006 and 2007 committed an unprecedented $33 billion to that.

PassportsOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Don Bell Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, two days ago the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs was asked about the passport fiasco. He said, “We are working very hard to ensure the backlog is completed by the end of the summer”. Well, whoopee, just in time for the travel season to be winding down.

The government thought it could work out a deal with the U.S. on passports, and that fell apart. Now the next deadline requiring passports at land border crossings is fast approaching.

When will the government take serious action on a failure that continues to needlessly inconvenience Canadians and cost them time and money?

PassportsOral Questions

Noon

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is nice to see the hon. member here. He would know that the government has taken enormous efforts, in particular the effort to address the 20,000 passports a day that come in. We have a 40% increase in capacity because of the hard work of the professional, dedicated public servants working at Passport Canada.

We have taken steps to keep offices open later. We have taken steps to increase the number of passports that we can produce. We are continuing to do so at every step of the way. Those numbers are coming down increasingly, satisfaction is going up and we are getting the job done.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Waterloo I had the privilege of attending an announcement made by the Prime Minister, along with the Minister of Industry, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

The Prime Minister made an announcement regarding enhancing our science and technology assets and expertise. Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry please explain how this program will improve Canada's standard of living and build a stronger economy for the future?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

Noon

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada's new government announced our science and technology framework, mobilizing science and technology to Canada's advantage. Our national science strategy is a practical, realistic plan to boost our international competitiveness.

Our government understands that science is key to a stronger economy and to a stronger Canada. That is why our government has stressed the importance in “Advantage Canada” and has budgeted $9.2 billion for science and technology expenditures in the current fiscal year.

Our government is charting a new direction for innovation in Canada, a direction that leads the competitive energy of our entrepreneurs to the creative energy of our sciences—

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

That will conclude question period for today.

The hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine is rising on a point of order.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, while I was asking questions of the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, the President of the Treasury Board made the comment,“Take your medication”. He was clearly referring to me. The member for Hull—Aylmer also heard the President of the Treasury Board.

That would obviously be an inference that any member of Parliament who takes their responsibilities seriously and who communicates the anguish, the anger, the frustration of their constituents, and in this case it is a whole list of organizations in my riding that are still awaiting responses from the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development on the summer jobs program as to whether or not their applications have been refused. The fact that I show emotion and outrage at the fact that these organizations are still awaiting a response and would require medication, I believe is unworthy of this House. It is disrespectful to every single member sitting in this House who is elected to represent the wishes, the desires, the wants and the needs of their constituents. I intend to do that to the best of my ability.

I do not appreciate having a minister of the crown make an inference that because I attempt to properly represent my constituents that I would need some kind of medication, implying either mental illness or some other condition.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask through you that the President of the Treasury Board have the courage, the intellectual honesty, to admit to what he said and to apologize to me and to every other member in this House.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I was sitting here listening to the minister give an answer and all I heard was absolute screaming and yelling from the member. The member has a practice and a habit of absolutely screaming and yelling. This is what she consistently does throughout question period. I am sure members sitting around her can attest to the fact that that member specifically screams and yells on all occasions. What I indicated to her is perhaps she might want to take some medication.

I do not know what the issue is over there, but I have never in my time in this House heard a member act in such an irrational way. Perhaps that member might seriously consider something.

If she feels that type of conduct is appropriate, I can only say that I think most other members would disagree. This is not an isolated issue. This is a consistent pattern of conduct by that member.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am not sure there is a point of order here.

The honourable member for Bourassa also has a point of order.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, June 2 will be my 10th anniversary as a member of this House. I have always worked hard, passionately and with great determination.

During question period, we ask honest questions. We are now spending $6.1 billion on a mission, and we support our troops, yet we have a minister who says that it costs a certain amount of money, then comes back the next day and says that it costs twice as much, so I think it makes sense to ask about that during question period.

I invoke Standing Order 18. The government whip cast aspersions on my passion and my patriotism by calling me an idiot. He said:

“Tell that to the troops we are supporting, you idiot”.

I would ask the government whip, who often gets carried away, to withdraw his comment.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeSecretary of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, I too have been here quite some time now, about 14 years or close to it.

I have, as my colleagues have, for the past number of weeks listened to the member for Bourassa denigrate and personally attack our Minister of National Defence. The member says he has been asking these questions properly. The Minister of National Defence is a man with an outstanding 35 year career serving our country in the Canadian armed forces. The member has called him an “arms dealer”. Today he called him a “spendthrift” for the minister's efforts to rebuild the Canadian Forces and to give it the equipment it needs, to give it the tanks it needs.

If he wants me to apologize, I will apologize. I should not have called the member an idiot because even an idiot would support the Minister of National Defence.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, when my colleague from North Vancouver got up to ask a question, I could not help but hear many colleagues opposite refer to his absence from the House. Even the Minister of Foreign Affairs in his answer in a rather unorthodox manner referred to it.

I would hope that all colleagues, and I am saying this for the benefit of Canadians who may be watching us from the gallery or on television, that all colleagues would take good advantage of next week when the House is in recess to cool their tempers.

If someone is absent from this House for medical reasons, I would hope that members from all parties would avoid making reference to that in a denigrating manner, as I have heard today.

Bill C-44Points of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the House the government House leader was talking about Bill C-44 and he indicated that the bill was going to actually provide access to human rights under the Canadian charter of human rights.

I hope the government House leader would correct the record by indicating that Bill C-44 is actually a repeal of section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Bill C-44Points of OrderOral Questions

12:10 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, if I said that, I misspoke. Of course the provision in the statute is as the member said, one that right now denies to first nations on reserve the protection of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The purpose of Bill C-44 is to give them the rights that that act provides to every other Canadian. It was not under the charter. It is indeed the Canadian Human Rights Act that we are trying to restore their rights under Bill C-44.

When I was referring to the efforts by the opposition to delay that legislation over the summer, it was not with regard to the charter. It was with regard to denying first nations people the human rights code protection.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Don Bell Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs just made allusions to my attendance in this House. Earlier this year I was absent for a short period due to a personal medical illness. I would like to thank my colleagues in the Liberal Party for their support at that time.

Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that I take very seriously my responsibility to attend in Parliament and to serve here and on the committees to which I have been appointed. I ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs to apologize for that remark.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am sure the member's comments will be duly noted.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to two petitions.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

In accordance with the motion adopted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007, your committee recommends that the government issue a directive to Canada Post Corporation with respect to letters intended for delivery outside of Canada.

International TradeCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on International Trade entitled “Bulk Water Removals”.

I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 10th report of the Standing Committee on International Trade entitled “Main Estimates 2007-2008: Votes 15 and 55 under Foreign Affairs and International Trade”.