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House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was language.

Topics

Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister falsely claimed Linda Keen was a partisan hack. He wanted her to do his political bidding, but she would not.

Then he dispatched his ministers to bully her and violate the independence of the regulator's office. Still she did her job. When that did not work they wrote threatening letters to pressure her to break the law, but she would not budge.

Ms. Keen's firing has already cost Canadians' confidence in nuclear safety in this country and around the world. How much will it cost Canadians for the government to defend itself against its unbelievable incompetence and stupidity?

Canadian Nuclear Safety CommissionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, one thing was clear. A health risk existed for Canadians. The Liberal deputy leader himself called this a national medical crisis. Parliament made the decision to act, and it was the right decision.

Now opposition members want to rewrite history. Through this whole time period, they have tried to take different positions each week. We have acted. Parliament acted in the right way. We protected the health of Canadians, and Canadians have thanked us for that.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have discovered that the Prime Minister is not just a nuclear safety expert. He fired the National Science Advisor, so he must be a science expert. He fired the Environment Commissioner, so he must be an environmental expert. He fired the Information Commissioner, which is a bit of a stretch.

Why does the Prime Minister fire any public servant who will not bend to his will?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:40 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, that is certainly not the case. We have been proceeding in a fashion. We are hiring very capable people, very capable appointments.

The folks he talked about, half of them did not leave their positions in the way he described. Some took their retirement voluntarily.

I do not think it is appropriate for him to tarnish their reputations with the way he has made those comments.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, what we know is during the last campaign, the Prime Minister said that he would not be held back by the country's professional public servants.

It did not take him long to launch the seek and destroy mission against anyone who would dare stand up to him. We can add to the list the president of the Law Reform Commission, the Ethics Commissioner, the Chief Electoral Officer, the Information Commissioner and the chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board, and the list goes on and on.

How long will the captain of the good ship pink slip continue his vendetta against independent experts?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:40 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 am saddened at this desire by the member to disparage the reputation of individuals, who have served the public well, took their retirement on their own basis, and suggest, for some reason, they had to be fired when they were not fired in any way.

Bernard Shapiro, the Ethics Commissioner, his position was actually extended before he resigned, effective March 31, 2007. The Chief Electoral Officer retired on his own. He himself said there was no political interference. The Information Commissioner, John Reid, his term was actually extended past seven years before he retired. The National—

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently, Yasamin, a 17-year-old girl from Afghanistan, spoke about the improvements her country was experiencing due to the support of NATO and the Canadian government. Yasamin said:

Life is getting a little bit better. There are still explosions and bombs, but it is not like it was before. There is definitely more freedom.

Our government believes in the importance of development. Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us why assisting in the development of this wartorn country remains vital?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, the truth is we are helping millions of young women and women across Afghanistan like Yasamin. We are enabling them to go to school. Millions more girls are in school. We have heard of support of 1,500 women to develop home based gardening. Microfinance credit is readily available throughout the country.

We know, on the democratic side, many young people, millions in fact, are now registered to vote in free and democratic elections in that country. Twenty-five per cent of parliamentarians in Afghanistan are women. Development dollars into health and education across that country—

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, in the throne speech, the Conservative government said that it would protect Arctic sovereignty through several means, including “improving and devolving governance, so that northerners have greater control over their destinies”.

The Premier of the Northwest Territories was hopeful last month that the Prime Minister would want to discuss devolution of governance when they met. Returning from that meeting, he said that devolution was now on the back burner.

Northerners know the Conservative government's promises are hollow. When will the Prime Minister show leadership and do the things he promised?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, we have made that commitment to devolve government in the Northwest Territories. In fact, we are prepared to return to the table as soon as the territorial government indicates its interest in doing so.

We have made this commitment, and I believe it will be mutually beneficial for the people of the Northwest Territories and Canada.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, I hope this proceeds in due course in the next while.

Examples of how the Conservative government has failed the people of the north are its much ballyhooed improvements to the funding formula for the territories and its lack of any attempt to negotiate a resource revenue sharing agreement with the public and aboriginal governments of the Northwest Territories.

The result is the GNWT is now facing budget cuts of up to 13%, with attendant losses of essential services and jobs. This is hurting the north.

When will the government start working on a fair deal for the people of the north?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question, as it gives me an opportunity to highlight the incredible efforts that we have made in the north. In fact, the Prime Minister has led our government in a way that we have put a focus on the north, which has not been seen since the Diefenbaker era.

Our government is extending a massive amount of interest to protect the sovereignty of our north. Through our equalization improvements, northern territories are receiving a financial incentive to continue with their negotiations in Canada. I am very proud of the efforts we have made.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

February 15th, 2008 / 11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, Wednesday night, during an emergency debate on the livestock industry, the minister had an opportunity to propose concrete immediate action, but incredibly, he remained voiceless. Might it have been a prime ministerial gag order?

The minister's minions spouted the same old lines about the useless December announcement. In fact, the Canadian Pork Council called that plan “a cruel joke to our producers”.

Today, Statistics Canada has confirmed what the government refuses to hear. We are losing our livestock industry. Will the minister come out of hiding and act today?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry Ontario

Conservative

Guy Lauzon ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, we seem to be getting just the opposite feedback that the member seems to be getting from our agricultural community. After 13 years of neglect, finally farmers are being put first by this government. Here is the reason we are getting such positive feedback.

Farmers are very happy with the $4.5 billion for program payments in 2006. They are also very pleased with the $600 million that is coming and is being paid right now under agri-invest kick-start. There is $76 million to help farmers combat the hog disease. They are very pleased, and—

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Malpeque.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

I wish the minister would take the blinders off, Mr. Speaker. The minister has authority to act under the Family Farm Protection Act, but seems intent on destruction, destroying the Canadian Wheat Board, eliminating the interest of farmers in the Grain Act, allowing the tender fruit plant in Ontario to die on the vine and missing in action on livestock, allowing beef and hog producers to face financial ruin.

Is the minister only interested in destroying rural Canada, or is the real reason for not acting due to the incompetence of the Minister of Finance to handle the finances of the nation?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry Ontario

Conservative

Guy Lauzon ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I find it incredible that question would come from the member. He has had an opportunity over the last 13 years to help rural Canada, to help our agricultural community. He did absolutely nothing. Farmers were in a disastrous situation.

I will go on with what we are doing: $400 million to cover increased input costs of farmers; $200 million in the eco-agriculture biofuels capital initiative; $145 million for the agricultural byproducts innovation; and it goes on and on.

Saint-Jean-Baptiste DayOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, when Canada Post failed to mark Saint-Jean-Baptiste day, a holiday for all French-speaking Canadians, on its calendar the Prime Minister's Office described the situation as unacceptable, and rightfully so. Today we learn that the calendars issued by the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Department of Finance also fail to mark the importance of June 24 to French-speaking Canadians.

Do the ministers responsible believe that omitting Saint-Jean-Baptiste day from their respective calendars is any more acceptable?

Saint-Jean-Baptiste DayOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, absolutely not and I thank the hon. member for raising this issue.

Obviously, Saint-Jean-Baptiste day is a historic day in Canada for all Canadians, not just French-Canadians. It is very important that it be indicated on all calendars, as all official provincial holidays are. I remember when a departmental calendar under the Liberal government forgot to include Easter and Christmas.

This must be corrected.

Acadian DayOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' attitude has gone from contemptuous to insulting. The calendars of the Treasury Board and the Department of Finance have left no stone unturned in insulting francophone employees. Not only did they omit Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, but they also completely ignored Acadians. This government did not highlight June 24 or Acadian Day, August 15. This is yet more proof of the Conservatives' lack of respect for francophones.

Do the Conservatives think that Acadians do not deserve to be celebrated or acknowledged? Is that the Conservative philosophy?

Acadian DayOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have a tendency to drive wedges in our society on any issue.

Obviously we agree that these important and historic days should be acknowledged, and the government will review the calendar policy it inherited from the Liberals.

Furthermore, I remind the member that the Prime Minister attended the Acadian Day celebrations last year and the year before.

Veterans affairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, a soldier in the riding of Verchères—Les Patriotes has asked Veterans Affairs Canada for help but has received nothing. She left for Afghanistan in January, leaving her spouse, a young, gravely ill veteran, at home alone. He needs home care.

Will the government help this man who has been alone since January 4?

Veterans affairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his question.

This is a major priority for our government and our Canadian Forces. We always take a special interest in helping military families. The member can give us the details, and if we can help, it would—

Veterans affairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

You already have the details.