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House of Commons Hansard #159 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fishery.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2004 the current Prime Minister said:

I will always bear in mind that the people express their wishes as much through the opposition as through the government.

It is time he practised what he used to preach.

The opposition parties built a strong plan to fight global warming and wrote it into Bill C-30, but the government refuses to bring it back to Parliament for a vote.

When will the Prime Minister live up to his 2004 commitment and bring Bill C-30 back for a vote in the House?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we saw two bad changes made to Bill C-30. Let me tell the House about each of them.

Bill C-30, as amended by the Liberal Party, contains an unlimited license to pollute. That is wrong. If there is an unlimited licence to pollute, where countries can simply buy their way out of actual greenhouse gas reduction, that will not cut it.

I also take great offence and have great concern with the Liberal approach to allow the Minister of the Environment, with the stroke of a pen, to allow pollution to continue to rise in some parts of the country. That is wrong and it is bad for our environment.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are sick and tired of the eco-fraud that the government keeps dishing out.

Yesterday the Pembina Institute punched holes through the environment minister's plan. Today the minister was caught saying there were fewer greenhouse gas emissions from coal plants while he was a member of the Ontario government, when in fact there were more. The government's environmental agenda has no credibility.

Why will the Prime Minister not admit that Parliament created a better plan than his minister did? Why will he not bring back Bill C-30 for a vote in the House?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, very directly for my friend opposite, I will tell her who was caught with eco-fraud this morning in committee.

We saw the Liberal members of the environment committee try to suggest that the leader of the Liberal Party was somehow responsible for warmer weather back in 2005, leading to a reduction in greenhouse gases.

One of the big reasons why greenhouse gases did not go up as much as they previously had was because Mike Harris privatized the nuclear reactors and got more power online. However, instead of working with privatization czars, apparently Mike Harris, rather than working with his own ministers, was working with the leader of the Liberal Party on that.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker—

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Saint-Maurice—Champlain now has the floor.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, Option Canada and the Canadian Unity Council spent $11 million and not $5.2 million, as was believed, to support the federalist camp at the time of the Quebec referendum. Justice Grenier has reported that this small fortune came from one source: the federal Department of Canadian Heritage.

Does the involvement of the federal government, which spent at least twice as much as the limit imposed on the yes camp, not warrant that a commission of public inquiry get to the bottom of the matter?

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, once again I must say that the truth will come out. In this context, I explained to the hon. colleagues of the Bloc Québécois that, on the one hand, this government is committed to one principle, respecting the jurisdictions of provinces and territories. On the other hand, it practices a form of open federalism, which has already had a very positive impact on federal provincial relations. I hope that we will continue exactly in that direction.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my colleague that the government also promised that there would be greater transparency.

In addition to the $11 million identified by Justice Grenier, we must remember that Chuck Guité admitted to reserving billboards, at a cost of $8 million, during the Quebec referendum campaign and that, according to information from the Canadian Unity Council, almost $25 million was spent by the federal government in 1995 to promote Canadian unity.

Does the Prime Minister's promise to clean house also apply to Canadian unity? If so, what is he waiting for to set up a commission of public inquiry?

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the honourable member, as well as the Bloc Québécois members should remember that the Gomery report has already determined that $40 million went missing.

On this side of the House, we hope to discover the source of this information. We are waiting for the official opposition to provide clues leading to the recovery of the $40 million.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have also learned that the federal government violated Quebec's Referendum Act by illegally spending $539,000 in federal money to influence the vote, and that there were close ties between the no committee, Option Canada and the federal government.

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that the federal government's actions during the 1995 referendum were unacceptable, and does he agree that it is his duty to condemn those actions? Will he commit to respecting all of Quebec's laws in the future?

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, once again, I would like to remind my hon. colleague that these events took place 12 years ago.

As soon as we came to power, we took real action. We made the Canadian Unity Council a thing of the past. We put an end to its operations so that we could adopt a new approach to developing and maintaining relationships with the provinces: open federalism. It is clear that this new approach is producing results. The Bloc Québécois should acknowledge these real, clear results.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, ever since he was elected, the Prime Minister has told us over and over that respecting provincial jurisdiction is important. He has recognized Quebec as a nation. Today he has an opportunity to put his pretty words and his big promises into action.

Will the Prime Minister apologize to Quebeckers on behalf of Canada and commit to respecting Quebec's Referendum Act starting today?

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, once again, I must remind the member that this event took place 12 years ago.

There have been opportunities to verify that. Just now, a member mentioned the work of the Gomery commission, which analyzed a series of events, including events that led to a vacuum, a shortfall. We are still looking for that shortfall.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of National Defence said that upon attaining office he directed his department to pay the full burial costs for fallen soldiers and to review the existing Treasury Board policy.

Would the minister like to correct another in his series of errors now that the families and his own officials say that he is wrong? Will he now admit that at least two families have not received assistance to cover the full cost of these funerals? Will he, as minister, also explain why his department is only now going to the Treasury Board for more funds when the minister in fact said that he undertook these measures a year ago?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I stand by every word I said yesterday.

Beyond that, defence officials are contacting families to make certain that nobody has been overlooked with respect to funeral expenses, and if they have, we will make sure that the difference is paid to them.

As I said, we are resolving this problem that was left to us by the Liberals and it will be resolved soon.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, either the minister has no idea what is going on in his own department or he misled the House. Which is it?

Is the minister ready to admit that this fiasco is a shameful insult to all the families involved and to all Canadians who believed that the government would have the decency and the ability to pay for the funerals of our brave soldiers, yes or no?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our government stands behind our soldiers and our veterans. We will give them what they need and all the support they need. If we have to correct some of the errors of the Liberals in the past, we will do so.

AfghanistanOral Questions

May 29th, 2007 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the report released yesterday by the Senlis Council states that Canada's ineffective development efforts are compromising the hard-won victories of our soldiers in Afghanistan. It says that the government has articulated no objective for Kandahar province, that our development and aid strategies are incoherent and that there is a tremendous imbalance between our military mission and our humanitarian mission efforts.

When will the Prime Minister stop belittling his critics and address the concerns raised in this very important report?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question is extremely surprising considering that the previous government did not commit the funds needed for development in Afghanistan. Last year, it spent only $5 million in Kandahar. This year, in Kandahar alone, we, the Conservatives, have spent $39 million, or nearly eight times more.

Now, concerning the Senlis Council report, I would like to quote the director of the World Food Programme:

“It is untrue that there has been no substantial food assistance to the province since March 2006”.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, unlike the minister, I would not be partisan. I want to talk about the specifics while our men and women are making sacrifices in Afghanistan.

Despite the $139 million CIDA has spent on development programs, the report states, among other things, that the Kandahar hospital is falling apart, is filthy and has no heat in the winter.

As a result of such failures we are losing the battle for the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. When will the government recognize that there is more to winning in Afghanistan than just combat?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I find the hon. member's comments rather curious, when he said he would not be partisan when it comes to Afghanistan.

How many times have those on the other side of the House changed their minds about our mission in Afghanistan? How many times have they contributed real support to the people of Afghanistan?

We have made a number of announcements. This year alone, $139 million has been spent in Afghanistan: $39 million in Kandahar, as well as food aid programs, women's programs, heath programs and children's vaccination programs, to name only a few.

Festivals and Special EventsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Conservative Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of events in Quebec and across Canada celebrate arts and heritage.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women tell us whether festivals whose funding has been approved have to wait until the end of the summer to receive the money they have been promised?

Festivals and Special EventsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, no, the festivals do not have to wait. Through various programs, our government is already supporting festivals like the Just for Laughs Festival and the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

We have announced $60 million in new funding for a new program that will be in place at the end of the summer. This program will support small and medium size events that celebrate heritage and the arts, not just major festivals.