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House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was human.

Topics

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the minister may be bamboozled by the talking points of the Prime Minister's Office, but I can say this. Canadian producers are not.

This morning before a committee, producer organizations said that the minister's program was virtually useless. They stated, “ It had very little bankable results”. The program for hogs “was a cruel joke to many of our producers”.

The Government of Canada has a responsibility to act. Why will the minister not put forward bankable real funding for hog producers?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I hope members around him know CPR. He is going to need it one of these days. His eyes are going to pop out.

My members from committee were there as well. The government was well represented and we got our points across. The member opposite is selectively quoting from the cattle and hog producers. I have had meetings with both of them earlier this morning and with the Canadian Pork Council. They are quite happy with the direction we are going. They are all concerned about countervailability. They are all concerned about bankable programs.

We have made the first major step in getting rid of that CAIS program and moving forward this spring with a brand new program that is bankable.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, like the manufacturing and forestry sectors, the agriculture sector is in crisis and this Conservative government still does nothing. The pork and beef producers of Quebec have been asking for months now for help in dealing with the current situation and they have been waiting in vain for a sign from this government.

Instead of recycling funds that have already been earmarked, what is the minister waiting for to implement transitional measures to deal with the crisis in the pork and beef sectors and long-term measures related to competitiveness?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, we have seen the recent efforts of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. Furthermore, we have worked with the provinces and the territories. We presented a Speech from the Throne that, for the first time, talked about agriculture and supply management.

What are the opposition members doing? They come up with magical thinking. They criticize and vote against supply management. Let them tell that to the producers. Talk about being useless.

We are working for the producers. Some $300 million is currently being allocated to pork producers in Quebec.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was not dreaming. Earlier, the real Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food did not say anything very interesting in his responses. Frankly, the farmers are entitled to more substantive responses from him.

The unanimous report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food submitted on December 12 includes many of the requests by the pork and beef producers of Quebec.

Does the minister—the real minister—intend to do nothing, as his government is doing with the manufacturing crisis, or does he intend to accept his responsibilities and follow through on the unanimous recommendations of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member is hard of hearing. I just said that an additional $300 million is being allocated through the Quebec's farm income stabilization insurance program.

I do not know if that means anything to him, but on this side of the House we are providing assistance and concrete actions, not useless, ineffective and meaningless criticism.

KenyaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, Kenya is in meltdown and 850 people have died, including opposition member Mugabe Were. The violence is escalating. Canada can play a critical role to enable peace and security to return to the country.

Will the Prime Minister support an African Union stabilization force to be deployed to Kenya and will he also ask Elections Canada and offer Elections Canada services to run a free, open and transparent general election in Kenya?

KenyaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are very concerned about the situation in Kenya. That is why yesterday my colleague announced in the House a contribution of $3.3 million to help the Kenyans. However, the most important thing is we are there to help the Kenyans. We want to have a peaceful solution to the conflict.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader is refusing to stand up for Canadians who are calling on the government to protect the safety of our children.

Ignoring the Liberal Ontario premier, who supports swift passage of the tackling violent crime act, the opposition leader refuses to show leadership by not urging his senators to expedite the bill.

More can be done and must be done to protect our children, and the Liberals should get on side. Could the Minister of Justice please tell the Liberals what they can do to ensure passage of the tackling violent crime act?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, I pointed out that Premier McGuinty of Ontario had some serious concerns with the Liberal approach to fighting crime. I did not want to leave the impression that he was the only one in that government who has some concerns. In fact, Michael Bryant, the former attorney general of Ontario, said that the Liberal approach to fighting crime was something out of the summer of love.

We have a bill right now before the Senate that gives mandatory jail terms for people who commit crimes with guns and protects 14 and 15 year olds from sexual predators. It is time for the Leader of the Opposition to get a hold of his friends and get that bill passed.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, education is a universal human right unless one lives on a first nation territory under the current government. The families of Attawapiskat are reeling from the fact that a school for which they have fought for eight years, which was supposed to begin this spring, has been cancelled.

We have had three Indian affairs ministers support the project, but the current minister told the community that first nations schools are no longer a priority for his government.

Why should the children of Attawapiskat have to put up with his fundamental disinterest in their health and well-being?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I never said any such thing. Education is one of the keys for first nations communities, as it is for all Canadians, as is economic development opportunities.

We have invested over $3 million into the school system on that reserve. We have also invested another $250,000 to help with some renovations people wanted to have done. There are no health concerns in that school.

We would all like to have more and newer schools, but we continue to invest in schools across the country. It is a priority for the government.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

No health concerns, Mr. Speaker? I have been in that school. Those portables are a fire trap.

Health concerns, is that the minister's criteria for education? We are not talking about buying holding pens for cattle. We are talking about the most fundamental right that every child in our country should enjoy, the right to go to a good school to give them hope.

I will ask him a simple question. Would he put up with such a dismissive attitude for any school board official his children were under? Why should the children of the James Bay coast have to put up with his dismissive attitude?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, they have to put up with that sanctimonious attitude because the member knows full well, and we have had meetings on this, that there are requests from schools from across the country. We have extensive investments, record investments, in education across the country. It is a priority for the government.

There are no health concerns in that school. He should not portray it otherwise.

We continue to work with first nations across the country. Education is key to their success. We want to make it a priority, which we are doing right now, and we will continue to invest in first nations education from coast to coast.

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister said the names of two individuals of Greek origin, namely one employee who works in Ottawa, and another who is a Conservative Party supporter in Montreal. The fact that the two are Montrealers of Greek origin does not mean there is a plot.

As a Canadian of Greek origin, I am asking for an explanation from the Prime Minister. I am asking the Prime Minister to have the decency to stand in his place and apologize to the House and all Canadians of Greek origin for this racist remark.

The fact that he has troublesome characters in this party has nothing to do with the fact that they are Greek.

EthicsOral Questions

3 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, not only is the opposition member mischaracterizing the remarks, he is doing it to such a degree that I would have to be convinced he was not even here yesterday. However, I could be wrong.

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I think the government House leader is aware of the rule that it is inappropriate to refer to the presence or absence of members in the House. I know there may be comments that members are not voting from time to time, but saying they are not here is not within the rules. I am sure the hon. member will want to ensure he complies with the rules in every respect.

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, to clarify, I said having heard that question, I cannot imagine that he would have been here to hear what the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister said nothing of the character that was implied.

The reality is yesterday the Prime Minister was defending from repeated attacks from all opposition parties, including the Liberal Party, distinguished leaders in the Greek community who were advancing and they committed what the Liberal Party considered to be a crime.

They are Greek-Canadian community leaders who are participating in the mainstream of our society under this government. That is something of which we are proud. That is something we will continue to defend and members opposite should be apologizing for attacking—

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Northumberland—Quinte West.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade).

As the Secretary of State knows, Brenda Martin remains in a Mexican jail awaiting trial. My constituents of Northumberland—Quinte West are worried about Ms. Martin, while people like the member for Pickering—Scarborough East are using ambulance chasing tactics to try to make Ms. Martin's plight a political tool.

Could the Secretary of State tell the House what steps our Conservative government is taking with Mexico to advance Ms. Martin's case to ensure a speedy trial and her rights are being respected?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeSecretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, the member for Northumberland—Quinte West has worked tirelessly to advance Ms. Martin's plight.

Our Canadian officials regularly supply Ms. Martin with consular services. We have raised her case at the highest levels in both letters and personal representation up to and including the president of Mexico.

I returned last night from Mexico, where I met face to face with its foreign minister and its attorney general, where I again raised Ms. Martin's case. I also met with state and federal officials, expressing our concerns for consular matters and Ms. Martin's need for a very speedy trial.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Dr. Norbert Lammert, President of the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would also like to draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Paul Oram, Minister of Business for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.