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House of Commons Hansard #172 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was income.

Topics

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this government's responsibility is to be honest with Canadians about its mission in Afghanistan. We now know that the Prime Minister had been advised that the mission was not progressing in the way he would have liked. However, he saw to it that a report was tabled in this House indicating that everything was going well.

How could the Minister of Foreign Affairs dare to table a misleading report? Was he simply trying to dupe the Canadian people?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, it is quite clear that we have been making considerable progress in Afghanistan. I have spoken in this House before about the number of people who are now having access to health care, who never had access there before, the number of children who have been vaccinated, the number of women and children who are now able to go to school, and the fact that millions of Afghans got to vote who never got to vote before. We are doing good things in Afghanistan.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Diane Marleau Liberal Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, there was a report to the Prime Minister about Afghanistan saying that there is a dramatic resurgence of the Taliban, that Afghanistan could split in two, and that the Karzai government's authority is increasingly being eroded.

However, the foreign affairs minister reports to Parliament only that there are grounds for optimism. We have two reports, one subject, two different stories.

Why did the foreign affairs minister choose to mislead Canadians?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:20 a.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 only folks who mislead Canadians are the folks on the other side who do not want to talk about the progress and who do not talk about the progress.

They talk about the International Committee of the Red Cross. Even it acknowledges progress. I look at an interview here with an individual involved, Reto Stocker, on the International Committee of the Red Cross website. He talks about activities it has carried out, such as supporting medical structures and serving thousands of beneficiaries. He says, “We have even expanded these services into the troubled southern region by extending our supports to all departments in the regional hospital in Kandahar”.

Even it is making progress getting into the south. It is not easy. It is very difficult, but good things are happening in Afghanistan.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Diane Marleau Liberal Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable that this government and this Prime Minister receive a report on Afghanistan and present a completely different version.

Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs not read the reports on Afghanistan or did he simply table a report in which the embarrassing information was deleted because he wants to keep the truth from Canadians?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:20 a.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 this House is well aware of all the unfortunate things that have occurred in Afghanistan because that is all the Liberal Party ever talks about: it is all doom and gloom, it is all pessimism, and I guess we had better walk away because there is no point in being there.

But we are there for very good reasons and there is good progress that we do want to talk about. What we can talk about, of course, is that for the first time in over three decades over 10 million Afghans voted in free and fair national provincial elections, almost 5.5 million children, almost one-third of whom are girls, went to school in 2006-07, and there are 63,000 soldiers disarmed and demobilized, 35,000 small arms collected, and 12,000 heavy weapons secured.

I call that progress. Those members call that failure. That is the difference.

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources, who is so enthusiastic about nuclear energy, is now announcing the government's intention to centralize radioactive waste disposal. Using nuclear energy is not a very environmental choice, to say the least.

Is the real reason behind all of this that the government is trying to pave the way for oil companies in the west to build nuclear generating stations in order to extract more oil from the oil sands at a lower cost instead of promoting clean energy such as geothermal and wind energies?

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we are taking responsible measures today to benefit the generations of tomorrow. We accept the recommendations of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization on how to dispose of spent fuel.

This approach gives Canada a historic intervention plan by advocating a safe and long-term plan for managing spent fuel.

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only does centralizing nuclear waste pose some problems, but transporting the waste presents other problems and the government must also take into account safety-related costs.

Instead of blindly encouraging something as perilous as nuclear energy, would it not be wiser for the government to invest its money in developing truly clean energies?

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we accept this approach because it responds responsibly to nuclear waste management. Now that we have adopted this approach, it will be the responsibility of the nuclear industry to implement it. The entire cost of eliminating nuclear waste will be borne by the industry.

The industry has set aside over a billion dollars for that purpose. Our government promised to protect the health of Canadians, our environment and our future energy needs.

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Bloc Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources is constantly reassuring us and presenting nuclear energy as a clean energy, even though he knows that managing nuclear waste will cost billions of dollars.

Will the minister admit that, by insisting that nuclear energy is a clean energy, his real aim is to give the advantage to western oil companies?

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, good governance rests on responsible decisions and today we are taking action to adopt a safe, long-term plan on nuclear energy in Canada for future generations.

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Bloc Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources claims that nuclear energy is a clean energy source, even though managing nuclear waste continues to pose a problem. Rather curiously, the minister claims that there is a renewed interest in nuclear energy.

Will the minister admit that the only ones to actually express such an interest are the western oil companies, and no one else?

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, this announcement reflects the determination of the new Government of Canada to take decisive and responsible action to protect the health of Canadians and our environment, and to meet our future energy needs.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

June 15th, 2007 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the 2004 study that tracked the attitudes and perceptions of RCMP front line officers and middle managers shows that they lost all trust and faith in their leaders. The study highlights disconnected senior leadership, poor communications and insufficient funding, contributing to what the author describes as institutional sickness in the RCMP.

How long has the government known about the deteriorating state of the RCMP? Does it not agree that it is time to ensure the professional management of the force?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, there has been a change at the top at the RCMP and a new commissioner will be appointed very shortly. I expect that we will see changes.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us not forget that this government and the Liberal governments before it were defenders of the status quo for the RCMP. Only now, because of the pension scandal, the resignation of the commissioner and ordinary officers coming forward, is the government paying attention to this issue.

Officers should not have to rely on university surveys to come forward when things go wrong. They should be protected, just like civil servants. Again, will the government now realize the importance of RCMP whistleblower protection in the Federal Accountability Act and protect RCMP officers who come forward? They deserve that.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, a report will be tabled this afternoon by Mr. Brown. That has been requested by the minister. As I previously indicated, there will be a new commissioner appointed very shortly to head the RCMP and we expect to see changes.

Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the environment committee chair resigned to prevent testimony from witnesses who prove that under the government's ecofraud climate change plan emissions will continue to rise every year until 2050.

After he resigned, not one of the Conservative members cared enough about the work of the committee to take a seat. I guess the government's dirty tricks playbook for committee chairs is still in effect.

Why is the government so averse to hearing independent analysis when it is so clearly in need of knowledgeable advice on actually addressing the climate crisis?

Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member for Ottawa South, rather than wanting to talk about how we can work to improve our environment, continues to cast aspersions on the efforts of a very decent and honourable member of the House. The member for Red Deer is well liked and well respected on all sides of the House and none of the scurrilous accusations have any basis in fact.

This is a time when many teachers around the country are preparing report cards. I suspect that if the teacher for the member for Ottawa South were doing a report card what the teacher very clearly would say is that he has trouble getting along with others.

Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

In fact, Mr. Speaker, what the teacher would say is that the Minister of the Environment got caught cheating on exams. He has an answer for everything except for the fact that he cheats on his exams.

Let us be clear: the chair unilaterally changed the witness list against the wishes of the committee. And this was not the first time that the committee chair has followed the orders of the Prime Minister's Office or the Minister of the Environment.

Why is the government still refusing to let Mark Jaccard testify about the so-called environmental plan? The Minister of the Environment considers him to be one of Canada's best economists. What exactly is he trying to hide?

Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I think the meanspirited personal attacks of the member for Ottawa South are beneath him, frankly, and beneath all members of the House.

Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the committee is trying to hear independent analysis from witnesses on the government's so-called climate change plan.

Not a single independent report has substantiated the minister's numbers. The Pembina Institute, Deutsche Bank, the Tyndall Centre and now the C.D. Howe Institute have all concluded that emissions will rise each and every year for the next 50 years with his plan.

Why will the government not let the committee hear what needs to be fixed now instead of trying to put a broken plan into action?

Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I understand the committee meets regularly. I think it will be meeting on Tuesday. The good news for the member for Ottawa South is that I understand the member for Ottawa—Orléans is interested in seeking the chair of the committee.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the plan is a fraud. The numbers are not realistic. It is full of flaws. It offers subsidies to companies that reach their meaningless objectives, and their greenhouse gas emissions will continue to climb until 2050. This government refuses to bring the climate change bill back to the House.

After yesterday, should Canadians expect the Conservatives to try to silence anyone who does not agree with them?