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House of Commons Hansard #149 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gasoline.

Topics

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs met with his NATO counterparts. He must have discussed our mission in Afghanistan. The bad management of this mission is just one of the reasons Canadians no longer have confidence in their government.

Did the Minister of Foreign Affairs inform his counterparts that Canada's mission in Kandahar will end in 2009, and that it is time for our allies to start getting ready?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I do not know why this would come as a revelation to the member opposite, but I suspect that people such as the secretary general of NATO do read papers internationally. They would be well aware of the Parliament of Canada's pronouncement that the mission itself will run its course.

For the member opposite to stand in the House and to somehow suggest that this government is undermining the mission when each and every day members opposite get up and cast aspersions upon the mission, she should be ashamed of herself.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is a new way to do foreign affairs policy in the government, to read the paper.

Canada's combat mission in Kandahar ends in February 2009 and the Minister of Foreign Affairs has the responsibility to inform our allies that they must be ready.

Has the government been in any discussion with NATO concerning the end date of the combat mission? Can the Prime Minister confirm that he is now negotiating with our allies concerning the rotation of our troops?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, perhaps unlike the government when she was a member of the government, we are in regular contact with our NATO officials. I speak with the secretary general not only at forums when we attend on behalf of the country, but we speak regularly on the phone. He is going to be attending this summer, so she can ask him these questions herself if she likes.

Let me assure her and members of the House that we are in regular contact. We know our responsibilities under NATO. We are fulfilling those commitments, unlike that party when it was in government.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, we were elected on a commitment to eliminate the undue influence of wealthy individuals and to restore accountability in government. To accomplish this we passed the Federal Accountability Act.

However, the Liberal Party of Canada managed to find a way around the rules again allowing big money to influence the political process. The result is the leader of the Liberal Party and the deputy leader and other Liberal leadership candidates indebted themselves to wealthy individuals to the tune of over $3 million.

Could the Minister for Democratic Reform inform the House what he is doing to correct this unacceptable situation?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 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, last year Canadians watched with dismay and increasingly with alarm as Liberal leadership candidates financed their ambitions through big loans from wealthy individuals.

Today I introduced legislation with respect to accountability with respect to loans, which will complete the work of eliminating the undue influence of big money in politics. Corporations will be banned from making political loans. Major political loans will only be available from registered financial institutions on a commercial basis.

We are taking action to clean up campaign financing in Canada. We are strengthening accountability with measures that are modern, realistic and effective, restoring the confidence of Canadians.

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Labour could not explain why his travel expenses failed to disclose a penny of almost $150,000 for charter flights last year.

We are not questioning that the minister needs to take trips. We are questioning the minister's practice of hiding the costs of them.

In the name of transparency, on which the Conservatives campaigned, can the Prime Minister tell us which other ministers are hiding their travel expenses the way that the Minister of Labour did?

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

2:45 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 that yesterday we made it quite clear that the Minister of Labour had all his travel expenses disclosed on the Internet website. It was there publicly available.

The major difference is he spent less than his Liberal predecessor last year. When we are on the subject of flights, let us talk about ministers on Challengers. Did the House know that under the Liberals in their last year in government, ministers flew on Challengers three times as often as Conservative ministers did in their first year?

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want real answers about the Minister of Labour's spending. We understand that the minister does not want to disclose everything to the public. He took a helicopter to cross Sept-Îles between two appointments. This is rather embarrassing because Sept-Îles is quite a small city.

Can the Minister of Labour disclose the cost of the five trips for which he hired a private jet as a personal taxi for himself, alone? Will the minister explain himself and submit all his receipts? What is the Minister of Labour hiding?

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

2:45 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 that when it comes to using jets as private taxis, he really must be looking at the Liberals. In their last year in government, Liberal ministers took 81 trips on the Challenger, 81 ministerial trips, and for Conservatives only 27, one-third.

With us there is a lot less high flying and not near what the Liberals were capable of.

Court Challenges ProgramOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the Standing Committee on Official Languages was supposed to begin studying the Conservative government's outrageous elimination of the court challenges program, but the Conservatives cancelled the meeting mere minutes before it was to begin, offering no explanation.

Will the Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages condemn her colleagues' actions, or is she involved in their attempt to hide the truth?

Court Challenges ProgramOral 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, as you know, the committee carries its work out independently and has the power to make its own decisions.

Here are the facts. First, can the member explain why the Liberals cut the budget for communities by $100,000 between 1993 and 1997? Can she explain why our government was able to announce an additional $30 million for communities in the last budget? Let us not forget that the Liberals voted against that budget. Can she explain the surprising statement made by the Liberals' star candidate in Papineau against—

Court Challenges ProgramOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Laval—Les Îles.

Court Challenges ProgramOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is why this is called question period, not answer period.

The government is refusing to do everything in its power to ensure that the rights of minorities are respected. Everybody knows that the Prime Minister wants to control everything. The meeting would certainly not have been cancelled without his permission.

Does the chair of the committee follow orders given by the Prime Minister's chief of staff, who, as everyone knows, hates the court challenges program?

Court Challenges ProgramOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as Canada's Minister of Official Languages, here is what I read this weekend in La Presse: the Liberals' star candidate in the riding of Papineau said he was against bilingualism and for the abolition of separate francophone and anglophone school systems.

That is what La Presse reported.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have just learned that two key smog-creating pollutants emitted by the oil and gas industry will be exempt from regulation.

The government repeatedly makes claims that economists reject, scientists contradict and environmentalists have declared a simple fraud.

When will the government admit it is recklessly allowing emissions to rise for the next decade, despite a negative impact on our economy, our air quality and our health? When will the minister back up his numbers with details instead of doublespeak and buffoonery? Will Chicken Little admit his plan is a sham?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this government is acting where the previous Liberal government failed to do so. For the first time in this country, we are going to come in with world leading, mandatory rigorous standards to improve air quality in this country.

Sitting back and doing nothing is no longer an option. Every single industry, including the oil sands, will be required on a mandatory basis to reduce its emissions.

In the case of the oil sector, if the Liberals had their way, they would increase it by 300% and that is something this government will not sit back and allow.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister speaks about turning the corner. I do not know how the minister expects to turn the corner when the wheels are completely off his feebated Chevy.

Toxics Watch says that smog levels in the oil sands will exceed Canadian health standards in five years. The Sierra Club said that Albertans will suffer poor air quality as a result of the government's eco-fraud plan.

Since the environment minister's credibility is now eroding precisely at par with that of the Minister of National Defence, will he simply release the full cost benefit analysis that he was required to do and present to cabinet weeks ago before the regulation got there?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I think the member opposite is trying to avoid the real issue. The controversy is not going away.

Elizabeth May has dismissed concerns of the Canadian Jewish Congress and Holocaust survivors and has refused to either apologize or retract. She is blaming the media. She is blaming others. She said the other day, “I said something I think is worth hearing and I would say it again”. She said that her comments were well received and part of a reasonable discussion.

When will the Liberals rein in their outrageous candidate from Central Nova and make her apologize, or will they ask her to quit?

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

May 8th, 2007 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, a study by the Fraser Institute and the Montreal Economic Institute recommends that the government open up its economy even further and lift foreign ownership restrictions in all sectors. The authors went on to suggest that we should do away with supply management altogether.

Despite the recommendations of Preston Manning, Mike Harris and the Montreal Economic Institute—which, incidentally, is where the member's colleague, the Minister of Industry, used to work—can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food assure this House that his government intends to remain on course, by continuing to firmly and resolutely defend supply management, as called for by the unanimous motion proposed by the Bloc Québécois in November 2005?

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

2:50 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 am happy to assure the member. As he knows, we campaigned on support to supply management. We have taken support to supply management to Davos and to Geneva on international conferences. We have given that support. For the first time ever, we supported the use of article XXVIII, again to protect supply management. We moved ahead with compositional standards for cheese, something that no government has ever done. We have taken concrete steps to support supply management.

Of course, the discussion paper by Mr. Falconer may be interesting, but it certainly does not represent the position of the Government of Canada.

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the government dared to eliminate supply management, this would have an impact on many regions of Quebec. After the devastation felt in the manufacturing sector, the regions do not need another hard blow.

When we see Preston Manning, who is close to the Prime Minister, when we see the Minister of Industry, who is from the Montreal Economic Institute, and when we bear in mind that the Minister of International Trade has already questioned supply management, we have good reason to ask more than once if the government really intends to defend supply management?

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral 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, it is interesting this party campaigned on support of supply management. We have taken measures in Geneva. I was with the Minister of International Trade in Geneva. We were there in Davos. We made representations internationally at the WTO negotiations and elsewhere in support of supply management.

What is more, we are the first government, after years of failure by the member for Wascana, to actually take steps to use article XXVIII to protect supply management, something the Liberals failed to do. We are used to failure on the Liberal side, but do not pin that kind of blame on us. We support supply management. We actually take steps to make that a possibility.

Pesticide ManagementOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, in an age where the rest of the developed world is trying to move toward better environmental stewardship, the government is deliberately going in the opposite direction. The government falsely claims it wants to clean up our environment, but today we learned that it has voluntarily agreed to loosen Canadian restrictions on pesticides for hundreds of fruits and vegetables, all in the name of loosening and lowering our standards to match those of the Republicans.

The integrity of Canada's food supply and health of Canadians should not be for sale or indeed placed in jeopardy. Why is the government once again bowing to the U.S.?

Pesticide ManagementOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member and this House that the hon. member is quite mistaken. This government takes its responsibilities to protect the health and safety of Canadians very seriously. Indeed if there is any harmonization, it will be to the highest standards as we protect Canadians on their health and safety when it comes to pesticide management.