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House of Commons Hansard #161 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was election.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, this morning President Bush called for a meeting of major greenhouse gas emitting countries by the end of the year in order to establish global emission targets by the end of 2008.

I understand the Prime Minister will be meeting with G-8 countries next week. Will the Prime Minister tell the House what his approach will be to the suggestion by President Bush?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I am sure the Prime Minister appreciates all the help with his answer, but I think he is ready to give it on his own and members will want to hear the answer the Prime Minister gives to this question.

The right. hon. Prime Minister has the floor. We will have a little order, please.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Harper Conservative Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have heard about the president's speech, but I have not had an opportunity to discuss it with him.

What I will say is that next week we will have the G-8 meeting. As members know, Canada and several of the European countries favour the targets for the reduction greenhouse gas emissions. I would also note that as part of the G-8 meeting there is the G-8 outreach, the G8+5, where most of the world's major emitters will be around one table. I hope we would have the opportunity to discuss the matter then.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, Justice Linden has laid the blame for the tragic and preventable events of Ipperwash at the feet of the federal and provincial governments. He said today that neglect by successive federal governments is at the heart of Ipperwash.

I am certain that the minister wants to tell first nations and Canadians how he is going to ensure Ipperwash will never happen again.

Will the minister act on the recommendations of the commissioner and immediately return the site to Kettle and Stony Point First Nation?

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, on behalf of the Canadian government I would thank Justice Linden for his fine work. The circumstances of the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation are well known to me.

Justice Linden in his report has pointed out that more than 50 years have passed since the end of the war and since the expected return of this army camp land to this first nation. He has chronicled the long neglect by previous federal governments and I agree with his conclusions.

This land was appropriated in 1942 for military purposes. It has been decades since it should have been returned. I am indeed sorry that previous federal governments have not dealt with this. I intend to--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Nanaimo—Cowichan.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is true that both the Liberals and the Conservatives have failed first nations communities, but that cannot be an excuse for inaction by the government. And it is no excuse for the stunt that the Conservatives tried to pull today with human rights legislation.

The commissioner says that the federal government lacks an effective and fair system for land claims. Today it is the minister's responsibility and Canadians demand an immediate solution.

As the Ipperwash inquiry states, the flashpoints are very likely as intense today as they were at Ipperwash. When can first nations expect respect? When will they get a fair and effective land claims system?

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, Mr. Justice Linden today made a number of recommendations. A number of those pertain to provincial aboriginal policy and the absolute necessity of having the provincial government present during land claim negotiations. We await the province's response with respect to those recommendations.

With respect to the recommendations relating to the resolution of claims generally, the report reflects many speeches which I have given personally, many discussions which have taken place in Parliament. I can assure the member that she can expect major land claim reforms soon, very soon.

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past several days, whenever we have put questions to the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec about his expenditures, he has remained rather vague in his replies. It is as though he is hiding something from us. The minister said that the contract had been approved by the department's financial comptroller.

Can the minister confirm that the approval did not come, rather, from his chief of staff? Will the minister assume his responsibilities at last, admit that he did something wrong and pay back to Canadian taxpayers the $24,804 that he gave to his assistant?

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:50 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, as the minister has advised and I have confirmed in this House as well, all the expenditures were disclosed and were in accordance with the approval of the comptroller of the department.

However, I am glad again to have the chance to discuss expenses, because it is great getting them from the Liberals. Today we are one year plus one day after Bill S-4 went to the Senate, where the Liberals do not like to work on the bill, they like to delay it, and we can figure out why. The leader of the government in the Senate under the Liberals spent 3,711% as much as the leader under the Conservatives in the past year. That is an amazing difference. I guess they like their perks in the Senate and that is where they like to spend their time spending the taxpayers' money.

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the minister is violating the rules of the Treasury Board and of this House by awarding a contract to someone who is already on his staff. Yet, he stubbornly insists in a totally irrational fashion that he did not do anything wrong, while everyone in this House, except him, knows otherwise.

For transparency and accountability's sake, will the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec admit that it is his chief of staff who approved the contract and related expenditures? Awarding a contract to his assistant is against the rules. Will he pledge to immediately pay back that money?

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:50 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, everyone in this House has already heard that all Treasury Board guidelines were followed. The contract was approved by the department's financial comptroller. This contract of less than $25,000 is reported, as it should be, on the department's website, with the person's name and the relevant details, in compliance with all the transparency and accountability rules. We fully support transparency.

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism has failed to disclose any travel expenses since he took over the job in January.

On May 16 and again on Tuesday, we asked the minister where his travel expenses were posted. Both times he said he had asked the department officials to post the expenses on the website, despite the fact that officials are required to post them automatically. Surprise, the posting has still not been done.

What is it about proactive disclosure that the minister does not understand?

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:50 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 think we heard clearly from the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism that he has directed that those expenses be disclosed. He is quite prepared to do so. They have all been filed and he has directed that they be disclosed.

But I can tell the House that there is a difference in the lifestyle of Liberals living in government and the lifestyle of Conservatives living in government. We can see that the hospitality expenses of the former minister of heritage on the Liberal side in her last year were 321% higher than those of the Conservative minister in her first year.

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, what is the hold up and what are the Conservatives hiding? The secretary of state likes to justify laundering his expenses by saying that his friends are taking care of it.

If he has done all the extensive travelling he claims, are we to understand that he owes more than 100 favours to his friends?

Whether it was a charge to the government or a personal gift to the minister from friends, the minister has a legal obligation to disclose it. Which was it, a gift or a charge, and how much?

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:55 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, as I have indicated of course, everything is disclosed properly or has been directed to be disclosed.

As I indicated, in that first year, for Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, the total expenses under the Liberals were significantly higher than those under the Conservatives.

The bottom line is that when it comes to minding taxpayers' dollars, Conservatives put taxpayers first. Liberals put their own wining and dining first.

Wage Earner Protection Program ActOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to return to the Bankruptcy Act. I have discussed this briefly with the Prime Minister. I have discussed it with government ministers. I have discussed it with the labour federations in Quebec. I have discussed it with Quebec minister of intergovernmental affairs Pelletier, and he has proposed an amendment we have passed on to the government. Everyone agrees on acting quickly, while still respecting jurisdictions and the civil code of Quebec.

My question for the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the Quebec political lieutenant, with whom I have had a constructive discussion, is this: are they prepared to take action that will respect the jurisdictions of Quebec and its Civil Code?

Wage Earner Protection Program ActOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, the various labour organizations and the workers have been asking us for this legislation for months and months now. They are asking all parliamentarians to respect the wishes of the previous Parliament. This legislation is ready. We have tabled a notice of motion, but the only problem is that the Bloc Québécois is anti-worker. It is doing everything possible to impede progress.

If we went to the Senate, there would be nothing to prevent it from proposing amendments. If there were anything in it they felt could be improved, it could be returned to the House. But the Bloc Québécois does not want this legislation. It is anti-worker.

Wage Earner Protection Program ActOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this minister is not only incapable of counting, he is also incapable of thought. He has a serious problem.

I know the workers and the labour federations of Quebec. When this government says that Quebec jurisdictions and the Quebec Civil Code must be respected, I take it seriously. I have had a good discussion with the political lieutenant, whom I am again calling upon here in this House. There is no way that the Civil Code of Quebec will not be respected.

When the minister tells us to send it up to the Senate, where amendments can be made, I would suggest to him that he bring the legislation here to the House, because it is possible that amendments can be made. He is the one who does not want to table it. There is nothing stopping him from tabling it. And the Government of Quebec requires amendments.

Will he get moving on this?

Wage Earner Protection Program ActOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, I would remind hon. members that the bill, the notice of motion we have tabled, is in keeping with what had been decided by the previous Parliament.

The Bloc Québécois needs to respect the way the Canadian system operates. There are two chambers here. The changes being made to the legislation are technical ones. The Senate is in a position to carry out an in-depth analysis of it in order to save some time, so that workers losing their wages as the result of a bankruptcy can have up to $3,000 in protection. But the Bloc Québécois is doing everything it can to delay things and to prevent progress from being made in this situation.

Canada Summer JobsOral Questions

May 31st, 2007 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the summer grants program has been a case study in mismanagement. The new program went off the rails big time, and scrambling, frantic on the fly policy made it worse.

Government members and ministers flew into damage control. The height of incompetence though was the charge by the Minister of Foreign Affairs that bureaucrats were to blame. That is disgraceful and offensive.

As the government spins out of control on this issue, will the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development tell us if he believes that his officials are really to blame for this Conservative fiasco?

Canada Summer JobsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, do you know what is really incompetent? It is when the member stands up and defends an old program that funnelled thousands and thousands of dollars to very large corporations like Bacardi, Ford and Safeway. We do not want to go back to that.

The new program is about ensuring that students get the best possible work experience. Thousands of students today enjoy summer jobs in their field that will allow them to go on to very successful careers and I think we should all be very supportive of that.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, despite promising that he wanted to get tough on crime, the suspect Liberal leader and most Liberals voted against increasing minimum sentences for gun crime. What a hypocritical flip-flop as the Liberal Party platform stated that the Liberals would double the minimum mandatory sentences for serious gun related crimes. I guess even in opposition they still cannot keep their promises.

My question is for the Minister of Justice. What will happen to this bill now that it is going to languish in the Liberal dominated Senate?