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House of Commons Hansard #167 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, we might as well be waiting for Godot. We have heard that promise before.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

That's when you were in government, I believe.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

The minister might think that he is the Artful Dodger, but the government is sounding more like Fagan.

The minister was fond of saying when in opposition that studies are just a way for the government to get to the next election without offering compensation. Now that the election is delayed, he says that these fact-finding missions are important.

I ask the minister directly, does he have no plan at all? Is he stalling until the next election or was his plan rejected by the Prime Minister?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, we are committed to resolving the agent orange problem. This issue will be resolved as soon as possible.

TransportationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Quebec, the granite and monuments industry is the lifeblood of entire towns such as Stanstead and Saint-Sébastien. The skills of Quebec sculptors, cutters and polishers are a tremendous asset in dealing with increasingly fierce competition from Asia. However, Transport Canada is forcing them to face this competition with their hands tied behind their backs.

Why is Transport Canada ordering blocks of stone, imported and washed according to the rules, to be turned back when they arrive at the port of Montreal, thereby denying the industry its raw material?

TransportationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is raising an issue. I will be pleased to look into this matter. I presume that these measures were very likely taken under the previous government. Since I am not certain about this, I will verify everything and report back to this House.

TransportationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the transport minister should know about this. The granite industry has written a number of times to his department.

The port of Montreal claims that it is turning back granite blocks to avoid soil contamination, but these blocks are washed and inspected thoroughly before being shipped to Canada. With granite blocks being turned back at the port of Montreal, companies are failing to deliver on export orders and losing customers.

How is the industry supposed to work without raw materials? Will the transport minister wait until the Quebec granite industry is driven out of business before taking action?

TransportationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague has mentioned, there are so many answers that we could give here concerning blocks and inertia, but as I have mentioned to my colleague, I will look into the matter and I will be very pleased to come back with an answer.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I find it ironic that the Minister of National Defence is using the Access to Information Act to build on his culture of secrecy. We learn that officials at the Department of National Defence are using the Access to Information Act to unduly extend deadlines for publishing documents that have already been evaluated, thereby denying the public's right to information.

How can the government, which claims to be transparent and accountable, accept such behaviour from the Minister of National Defence?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our department follows all the processes in accordance with the law. In fact, recently a report came out assessing the access to information law within the government and the defence department was given a higher grade than last year.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, are we to understand that the new access to information guidelines in effect at the Department of National Defence have a single objective, and that is to extend deadlines in order to protect the Minister of National Defence? For the past two months the minister has shown his inability to inform this House appropriately on the increasing number of cases of torture among detainees in Afghanistan.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, the department follows all the procedures with respect to access to information, and I do not interfere in the process at all.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned from the media that Dr. Munir El-Kassem, a well respected professor of dentistry and community leader in London, Ontario, was detained, fingerprinted and subjected to four hours of indignities at the border. He was asked if he personally knew Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and if he loved God or Allah.

When will these indignities end? I have known this good man for years. He is beyond reproach in our community and deserves better.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs seek an apology from the U.S. administration, undertake an investigation of this incident, and discover why news of this indignity took a month to see the light of day?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. As the hon. member has pointed out, this was a very, very unfortunate incident.

Our society is built on a foundation of respect for cultural diversity, religious and ethnic differences and certainly tolerance. Followers of all religion should be accorded dignity and respect, and in matters of border security, we expect Canadian citizens to be treated with respect and in a manner that does not target them on the basis of any faith or cultural background.

We will take this matter up with the U.S. authorities. I have done so in the initial stages. With respect to the timing of this, I would appreciate any information the hon. member has and I would like to hear directly from Dr. El-Kassem so that we can sort out this very, very unfortunate incident.

Status of WomenOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, the truth is out. The Liberals were out of touch with women.

When the Liberals were in government, they commissioned a Status of Women Canada report. In reports, the agency's own staff labelled it “a relic of the past” and said, “We're not showing results”. The reports concluded that gender equality was no longer a headline political issue for the federal government.

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women say what our Conservative government is doing for women?

Status of WomenOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Status of Women I appreciate the member's question and would like to remind her that the Liberals continue to deceive Canadian women. In fact, they ignored a report they commissioned when they were in government, and that report did say that they were not showing results.

This Conservative government delivered. We delivered $20 million in additional funds over two years, the highest amount of funding for women in Canadian history. We remain focused on goals with concrete and measurable outcomes and we prioritize actions--

Status of WomenOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

Order, please. The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Whistleblower ProtectionOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government came into office boasting that it was going to clean up politics, including protecting whistleblowers. However, the brave public servants who exposed serious wrongdoing in past governments have yet to be compensated.

Thirteen months ago, I received assurances in the House from the former President of the Treasury Board that the government would “look at each case and seek a speedy resolution”. To date, the government has done nothing to follow up its words with actions.

Will the President of the Treasury Board inform the House of what process his government has put in place to resolve this black mark on its record?

Whistleblower ProtectionOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the hon. member for his continued work on behalf of whistleblowers everywhere. He works hard to represent the public servants who live in his Ottawa Centre constituency.

We have worked to protect whistleblowers by passing ironclad protections for those whistleblowers in the Federal Accountability Act. The member knows that the cases he is talking about all emanated from past wrongdoing in the previous Liberal government.

I see that those members are expressing some pity and shame for their behaviour, but on this side of the House we have passed into law ironclad protections so that never again these things--

Whistleblower ProtectionOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Whistleblower ProtectionOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that might be good enough for this government. It is not good enough for Husein Jeewanjee, Shiv Chopra, Allan Cutler and many others. These innocent public servants did the right thing in the name of better government. They deserve better treatment than broken promises from an increasingly arrogant government.

Has the government not broken enough promises for one week? How many more years for this minister's so-called “speedy” resolution? When will it happen? When will he right this wrong? When will the government deal with these cases as it said it would? That was 13 months ago.

Whistleblower ProtectionOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Once again, Mr. Speaker, one of the great challenges that the government faced was cleaning up all the corruption that was left behind by the previous Liberal government.

We are investigating corruption at the RCMP that occurred under the previous Liberal government. We are now investigating corruption involving polling from the previous Liberal government. Now the NDP is asking us to clean up corruption and intimidation against whistleblowers who spoke out against the previous Liberal government.

The point I am making to the member is that he needs to be patient because we can clean up Liberal corruption only so quickly.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the former Liberal government had a proud record of developing strong relationships with our cities and communities. Desperately needed financial support was flowing to cities like Toronto to fix crumbling infrastructure and to assist them in providing services that Canadians need and deserve.

The current government has abandoned our cities and communities.

My question for the Minister of Finance is simply this. When will the government and the minister show some respect and give some help to the communities across the country?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

The truth, Mr. Speaker, is that not only has the government committed to communities and cities in the last budget, budget 2007, we extended the gas tax to its maximum amount, which is going to see us flow over $8.2 billion to our cities and communities.

Last week I was in Calgary at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities meeting, where I had the opportunity of announcing the government's commitment to an urban transit strategy for Canada in the coming years.

On the contrary, we are getting the job done where they did not.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

June 8th, 2007 / noon

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the aboriginal affairs committee the opposition parties continued to block Bill C-44, further preventing Canada's aboriginal people from enjoying the same human rights protections as the rest of Canadians. Even though they have run out witnesses to hear, they are trying to continue the delay by calling the same witnesses back again.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs please tell the House why after 30 years it is time to take action on delivering human rights to aboriginal Canadians?