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House of Commons Hansard #173 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post-secondary.

Topics

Expenses of the Former Lieutenant-Governor of QuebecOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as the member has been informed, the government does not control who appears before committee. Committees are masters of their own domain and if they wish to call witnesses they can do so through the proper process.

I am happy to report that we met with Minister Pelletier this morning and we have come to an agreement that we will continue to work with the Government of Quebec to ensure there is accountability and transparency and that the proper steps are taken.

Expenses of the Former Lieutenant-Governor of QuebecOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, this government prides itself on being transparent, but in fact, does little to prove it. Will the federal government do as the Government of Quebec has done and require that, in the future, the Governor General and the lieutenant-governors defend their budget in committee and justify their expenses?

Expenses of the Former Lieutenant-Governor of QuebecOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the committee is free to call whatever witness it would like to call before it.

Minister Pelletier and I have agreed that we will be coordinating our efforts as we go forward to ensure there is full public disclosure, transparency and accountability in providing adequate resources to the lieutenant governors across Canada.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Canada greeted the new emergency Palestinian government sworn in by President Mahmoud Abbas, who said that his primary objective was to have the embargo lifted on international aid.

Yesterday, the minister promised to respond to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinians. Does he intend to put his money where his mouth is and reinstate financial assistance directly from Canada to the Palestinian Authority?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for her question. Indeed, our government supports the Palestinian people.

We, of course, will be working with the international community as well, as we have in the past, to see that funding flows to the Palestinians.

This has been a very tumultuous time. We commend the efforts of the president and the new prime minister. We look forward to working with them. I had the opportunity to speak with both of them on the weekend to indicate Canada's support and our ongoing willingness to send the necessary resources so they can get on with dealing with this humanitarian crisis.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, just a few months ago, the government refused to meet with a Palestinian minister who was visiting Canada and who was not linked to Hamas.

Now that the minister has changed his position on the Palestinian Authority, can he assure us that in future, Palestinian ministers visiting Canada will be received by this government?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the government has not changed its position. The conditions of the Palestinian Authority have changed.

This government has been consistent in its position. When it comes to the issue of terrorism, we do not deal directly with terrorist organizations, even if they form part of a unity government, as was the case in the Palestinian territories.

What we will do is work directly with leaders like President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad who is now in place. This will allow Canada to do much more with respect to our obligations with the Palestinians.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. trade representative sent a letter in March requesting consultations on the softwood lumber agreement. Supposedly, consultations were held and yet the issue has not been resolved.

Due to the government's preference for secrecy and withholding the truth, our softwood lumber industry remains in the dark about the results of these consultations. When will the government tell Canadians the truth about what is going on with these consultations?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, we would like to thank the hon. member for his support in passing the softwood lumber enabling legislation.

We knew that the Liberals were not quite capable of getting that done so it is a good thing that this Conservative government did because we now have an avenue and a venue that we can actually have these discussions with the United States on that very important issue.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I guess it is a bit of jet lag there because we did not support the softwood lumber agreement.

The Minister of International Trade is so desperate to defend his flawed deal that he is pressuring Canadian industry to comply with new U.S. demands.

I guess leaving $1 billion on the table, implementing a quota system and throwing out all of our past legal victories at NAFTA and the WTO were not enough. Why will the parliamentary secretary not admit the truth, which is that he is caving in to the U.S. softwood lobby and selling out the Canadian industry?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, that could not be further from the truth and, in fact, I believe it was the Liberals who saw the wisdom in this softwood lumber agreement and did indeed help it get through committee. I would correct the hon. member with that.

It is very unfortunate that the housing industry in the United States has softened and we are feeling the pressures from that but we are dealing with the Americans in a face-to-face discussion.

Air TransportOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, despite opposition from many Canadians, including Conservative members, the no-fly list takes effect today.

Who is on this list? Who recommended that these people be on the list and why? What threat do they pose?

Even the member for Leeds—Grenville does not trust the list or the procedure. His colleague from Edmonton—St. Albert has called the no-fly list a “fraud”.

Are we to believe them, because their colleague, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, cannot tell the truth about this?

Air TransportOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. It gives me an opportunity to update the House about the protection that Canadian air travellers enjoy today.

Since this House adopted the anti-terrorism and national security legislation, the previous governments and our government have worked closely with stakeholders to put in place a measure to protect people who travel by air. Today, I am happy to announce that this measure is now in place.

Air TransportOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, he still has not really addressed the real purpose of the list. What is the mystery behind who gets on the list and why? The Minister of Transport alone determines that, but his department cannot detain or arrest anybody. If someone is on that list because he is a serious risk, why would that individual not be investigated, charged and given due process?

If the minister is simply acceding to the homeland security department's demands for a no-fly list, why does he not just tell us? His colleague from Leeds—Grenville has called the list a joke. The member for Edmonton—St. Albert calls it a fraud. Who is telling the truth?

Air TransportOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the guidelines in making the determination of who is on the list are quite clear.

Let me recall for the members of the House what we are talking about. An individual has been involved in a terrorist group: he is on the list. An individual who has been convicted of one or more serious and life-threatening crimes against aviation security: he is on the list. A person who has been convicted of one or more serious and life-threatening offences against a passenger or crew members: that person is on the list.

The vast majority of Canadians are not on this list.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

June 18th, 2007 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to addressing the economic and social challenges facing first nations, Inuit and Métis youth by helping them to pursue their dreams, increase their chances of employment and promote their full participation in Canadian society.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell the House what our government is doing to provide increased opportunities for aboriginal youth?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, across Canada, the National Association of Friendship Centres is making a difference in the lives of the growing urban aboriginal communities, particularly the youth.

That is why this morning I was pleased to announce an additional $33 million for the association of friendship centres. This will help aboriginal youth to develop their leadership skills, strengthen their cultural identity and gain the experience they need. By gaining these tools and skills, they will be able to go into their future with pride.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety today said we do not need a public inquiry to thoroughly examine the RCMP pension scandal because his hand-picked investigator found all the answers. But the public accounts committee has heard hours of testimony regarding murky dealings over pension contracts and his report does not even look into the contracting abuse.

In fact, even while his report was being printed, our committee was hearing new and conflicting testimony. How can the minister claim to have all the answers when he has not even asked all the questions?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing wrong with vigorous, robust debate, and we should have that here, but when people are debating they should at least tell the truth about what is being presented.

In fact, at no point did Mr. Brown indicate that he has all the answers. That is why one of the recommendations is to put a task force together and make sure we have a governance structure that allows for transparency and accountability. He also indicates that he does not have all the answers when he indicates that there should be another view to the possible criminality that was involved.

If there is going to be debate, at least the opposition should be truthful about what those points of debate are.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a minister who is clearly afraid of the truth.

The government's hand-picked ad hoc investigator's report did not finish the job and has not told Canadians the whole story. The investigator did not even provide any evidence to back up his personal conclusions. There were no lists of witnesses, no lists of questions, no transcripts of answers, no copies of emails, no copies of records produced, no transparency, and certainly no accountability.

Canadians deserve to see these documents. Will the minister commit today to tabling every one of those documents?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Brown and his team of forensic auditors and others looked at some 400,000 electronic documents, some 35,000 hard copies of documents, and over 3,200 emails, and they interviewed all the witnesses they wanted to interview. Nobody refused. Credit goes to Commissioner Busson for making sure that happened.

I can understand the Liberals being concerned and wanting this to go to a public inquest, because that would carry on for years and would possibly get them past the next election. It would cover the fact that when they had this file, they did nothing. We are taking action.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is time for the government to be truthful about what is going on at Devils Lake. The fact that the U.S. turned on the tap without notifying the government is of great concern to Canadians, particularly Manitobans.

Instead of ignoring the problem, the government has to take real action to ensure that our waters are not being contaminated. Photos show adult minnows in the channel downstream from the outlet. The longer the outlet is open, the greater the consequences. How can Canadians be sure that no alien species have invaded our waters?

Natural ResourcesOral 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, the hon. member would know that there was a very rigorous debate on this subject in the House of Commons last week. Our government is of course very concerned about the biodiversity and the health of our lakes and waters.

This decision by the government of North Dakota is extremely troubling. We have signalled that to the United States on numerous occasions. I know that my counterpart, the Minister of the Environment, has met with his colleague from Manitoba. This has been conveyed at the highest levels to members of the United States government.

We continue to call upon North Dakota to close this gap until such time as the proper technical equipment is in place to prevent any species from entering our waters.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we need more than signals and calls.

Under the Canada-U.S. agreement on Devils Lake, a monitoring program was set up. The first year testing results have been completed. These results were presented at the last International Joint Commission meeting on boundary waters, held in Washington in March, and they have not yet been made public.

It is time for the government to tell Canadians the truth. They want to hear it. Why have these results not been made public?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, we have stressed repeatedly to members of the United States government, both at the state and the federal level, our seriousness about our desire to have this water pass through a filter. There have been undertakings made.

We continue to call upon North Dakota to allow for this outlet to close until the engineering work on a permanent filter is put in place, as well as the study, which will allow us to put in place a type of ultraviolet filter that will prevent any invasive species from entering Canadian waters.