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House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was development.

Topics

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

First, Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government killed the court challenges program. Then, it went to court to fight groups who only wanted to protect their minority language rights.

Now, it is going where no other government has gone before. It wants these groups to pay the government its costs, which has never been done before.

The courts do not award these types of costs in public interest litigations. What has the government got against minority language rights?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his legal advice and how we should conduct litigation, but as I indicated yesterday, this matter is presently before the court and we should let the court do its work.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, in April 2006 in New York, the Prime Minister called the court challenges program a very valuable program. Four months later, he scrapped it.

Why does the Prime Minister claim to defend linguistic minorities when he is outside the country, but scorn those very communities when he is here at home?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, our government has made a firm commitment to official language minority communities, and to the promotion of both official languages in Canada.

The court challenges program is currently before the courts. Thus, it would be inappropriate to comment on this matter.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I can suggest a solution to the government: since it was the government that created the problem, it could simply drop the court fight and reinstate the program.

This government has the power, right here and now, and at a minimal cost, to restore the court challenges program. Over the years, that program has had a very positive impact on a number of minority groups and there are many examples of its usefulness. Despite that fact, the government continues to ignore the most fundamental of Canadian rights.

Will the minister get his head out of the sand and commit, once and for all, to restoring the court challenges program, out of respect for all citizens of this country?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague knows, our government, during the Speech from the Throne, committed to official language communities across Canada.

We talked about the next action plan and we are working hard to deliver the goods. Since the court challenges program is currently before the courts, we cannot comment on it.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like the member to prove it once and for all, by getting the court challenges program out of the courts and restoring it immediately.

The government's obligation to take action to promote the growth and development of official language minority communities is enshrined in the law. Since its creation, the court challenges program has made it possible for minority communities in all provinces to fund their legal battles in order to assert their rights.

Can the minister tell us why a program that protects our minorities would be so harmful for Canada and minority communities?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, my colleague insults French and English language minority communities because he bases the health of these communities upon one single program. We delivered $30 million for the promotion of official language minority communities and we are committed to the action plan.

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives fired Linda Keen for her supposed lack of judgment in the Chalk River affair. We have learned that, after her departure, the new president reintroduced the pre-assessment of new Candu reactors, which Ms. Keen had set aside due to a lack of financial and human resources required to respect the rigorous safety standards.

Does this not prove that the Conservatives got rid of the obstacle to developing a nuclear network and without providing any real justification?

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the only thing this suggests is that the member is also engaged in these conspiracy theories. There is nothing that is further from the truth. Obviously, I cannot comment with respect to the former head of CNSC. That is a matter before the courts.

As far as any dealings which are completely within its control and matters that are dealt with by the CNSC in consultation with AECL, the government has no input into that at all.

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not seem to have understood the question.

Health and safety must be the priorities of the commission headed by Ms. Keen. Reintroducing the pre-assessment of Candu reactors, highly desired by the Conservatives, casts doubt on respect for nuclear safety standards.

What is the real reason for this decision if not the quick establishment of new plants in Canada? Why jeopardize the safety of our citizens for commercial interests?

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what the government did in looking at the health and safety of Canadians.

When we acted in December, we ensured that we were going to restore the supply of medical isotopes so that the safety and health of Canadians could be taken first. We did this with the support of every single member in the House. Now they want to change their minds. Shame on them.

KosovoOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, when I asked the minister's secretary of state a question about Kosovo, she replied that the government was “assessing the situation”. However, Kosovo's independence has now been recognized by a number of countries, including several European countries and the United States.

What does the government intend to do? Several countries have already reacted; they have already assessed the situation. What is the government waiting for to recognize Kosovo's independence?

KosovoOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the secretary of state said, we are assessing the situation. What does that mean? Simply put, it means that we are in touch with the international community, we are discussing the situation with our allies, we are watching to see how the situation evolves on the ground. We will inform the House of our position in due course.

KosovoOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, everyone agrees that each case is unique, but there is a universal principle in place: every nation's fundamental right to self-determination, as recognized by the UN charter.

Why is the government hesitating to recognize the efforts of the people of Kosovo, a nation that is taking control of its own destiny?

KosovoOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Kosovo case is unprecedented, and it calls for an unprecedented approach. I do not think that we can look to the legal record to assess what is happening in Kosovo or in other international cases. That is why we are conducting an in-depth assessment of the situation, and we will inform the House of our position in due course.

Copyright ActOral Questions

February 26th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week the industry minister unveiled yet another Conservative Party attack ad. This Republican-style negative attack ad not only failed to tell Canadians the truth, it even broke Canada's copyright laws. The industry minister is allowing his party to break the same Copyright Act for which he himself is responsible.

Why will the minister not stand and simply demand that the Conservative Party obey the law?

Copyright ActOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I welcome my hon. friend lately to the law of copyright. I wish him well.

In fairness, he must admit that the song For the Love of Money does bring to mind the Liberal Party. That is the party of big spending, with spending proposals of $98 billion over four years. That is the party of deficits and it is proposing a deficit to Canadians of $62 billion. It is a loud group, but it is also not the party of answers, because it does not have an explanation of where the money is going to come from.

Copyright ActOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, so much for accountability.

The best defence that the industry minister has come up with is that the negative attack ad was not really an ad. By failing to get permission before releasing the attack ad, the Conservative Party broke the law. Is this simply another case of the Conservative Party believing that it operates above Canadian law?

Copyright ActOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the thing about budget time is that it always brings out the very worst in the Liberals. Theirs is the party of big spending. It is inexplicable, but it has been said before in this House:

--the spenders in the Liberal government are revving up their engines again. Nothing starts a feeding frenzy more than the smell of cash around Liberal backbenchers.

Copyright ActOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

An hon. member

Who said that?

Copyright ActOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary Centre-North, AB

The member for Kings—Hants.

Copyright ActOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Copyright ActOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. That question is finished. We are on to the next one.

The hon. member for Kitchener Centre has the floor now. We will have some order, please.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to set new standards for dishonest communications. Just last week the Minister of Industry embarrassed himself with bizarre economics and incoherent math and these were backed up with false and misleading quotes.

The minister tried to rewrite the history of deficits in this country, the kind the Conservatives create and the Liberals have to clean up. Does the minister recall the multi-billion dollar deficit left to Canada by his political hero Brian Mulroney?