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House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was policy.

Topics

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:50 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, we, of course, are very respectful of this Parliament. We always answer every question in a very forthcoming fashion.

It is sad that we have across the aisle a party that comes here, supports the government on every major issue in virtually the past year, allows every single major file to pass, asks its people to sit down on every single vote, and shows lack of respect for the voters.

On Monday, the Liberals will be asking Canadians to send four more Liberals to sit here to collect six figure salaries for another year while they sit on their tails and do not even vote.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, instead of copying Brian Mulroney's intimidation and delay tactics, the Prime Minister should be accountable to Canadians.

Would an accountable Prime Minister, caught on tape, not simply tell us what his own words mean?

Would an accountable Prime Minister not simply ask his chief of staff if he personally leaked confidential and diplomatic information? Would that not be better than chill letters from the Prime Minister?

Why does the Prime Minister not just answer the questions being asked and tell Canadians the truth?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:50 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, we always tell the truth, but we also come here and do our jobs seriously, and with respect for the House.

When there is a budget on the table, we vote on it. When there is a throne speech setting out the direction of the government, we vote on it. When we set an environmental direction for this country, we vote on it. When it comes to tackling violent crime, we take action and we vote on it.

What has to be asked is, what will happen when the Liberals have to go back to their true accountability to Canadians and explain why for almost a year so far they have come to this House, collected their salaries, enjoyed their privileges, yet not had the responsibility--

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Ajax—Pickering.

Municipal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, which minister was interviewed twice by police about his involvement in bribing Terry Kilrea with a federal appointment, named in court documents by an informant who said the minister met with now charged mayor to discuss the bribe, interfered to help elect that same mayor, and played games with the light rail project leaving taxpayers on the hook for a $280 million liability?

Court documents and informants have named this minister, will the government?

Municipal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, the real question in this matter is, when will the member opposite apologize to Commissioner Julian Fantino of the Ontario Provincial Police for having clearly implied that the commissioner and his officers violated the law by allowing political interference in a potential criminal investigation?

Commissioner Fantino said that any suggestion that the OPP was influenced by anyone or anything except the pursuit of the facts of any part of this investigation was nonsense, and that is what that member is filled with.

Municipal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

What is nonsense, Mr. Speaker, is that the minister's chief of staff would contact the OPP, by his own admission, on two separate occasions in the middle of a police investigation.

What the minister told police directly contradicts Mr. Kilrea's version of events. Mr. Kilrea attested to his version by passing a polygraph, something maybe this minister should consider.

The Prime Minister has the court documents. He knows this will explode when the publication ban ends. Will he ask the RCMP to investigate or will he cross his fingers and hope he can cover it up?

Municipal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, I understand the member opposite, who by the way pleaded guilty for violating the Elections Act in a recent campaign, asked the RCMP to investigate, and it has not. That is the member who tried to exercise political interference into a police matter in this respect.

I know this much. When it comes to credibility, if Canadians are given a choice between believing Commissioner Fantino and the Ontario Provincial Police or the conspiracy theorist from Ajax—Pickering, I know who they will believe, and it is not the member opposite.

Marine TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a totally unacceptable situation on the Magdalen Islands. Islanders have had to wait eight days for a flight out, because three flights were cancelled this past weekend by the bad weather. The situation would certainly have been different if there were a permanent maritime link between this Quebec archipelago and Prince Edward Island.

Could the Minister of Transport tell us what he intends to do in the short term to remedy this situation, which falls right in the midst of the Magdalen Islands whitecoat observation season?

Marine TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I sympathize with the people of the Magdalen Islands, as I do with all the Canadians hit with record snowfalls this past weekend, particularly in eastern Canada.

People must understand, however, that the Department of Transport is actively involved in making sure there can be a permanent, year-round link with the Magdalen Islands. As I have already told the mayor, we will be working on the file and the business plan, and will carry out the project next year.

Marine TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, could the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities tell us why the last Conservative budget does not include any financial assistance for the creation of a permanent maritime link between the Magdalen Islands and Prince Edward Island, yet there is assistance for the one between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador?

Marine TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, facts are facts. The hon. member is misinforming us.

The federal government ensures there is transportation ten months of the year. We are working on a pilot project. Let him go tell this to his fellow citizens.

Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, for seven months the procedure and House affairs committee has been trying to study election law violations by the Conservative Party while the government members did every procedural trick in the book to stall that committee. Frustrated committee members recently elected a new chair.

My question is for the member for Elgin—Middlesex—London. When will the chair call a meeting to study the elections violations of the Conservative Party, as well as voter identification Bill C-6, which was passed in the House on November 15?

Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her question. I would like to remind the member that I was forced to take this position over my protest, but the member for Cambridge is a great chair, and fair and equitable.

In that I am new to the process, it will take some time to study the legislation before the committee before setting the agenda.

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Wajid Khan Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, last summer the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health announced Canada's first ever Mental Health Commission. Mental health groups from across the country gave an enthusiastic welcome to this long overdue action to help some of the most vulnerable in our society.

Those who failed Canadians sit on the benches on that side of the House. After years of struggling in the shadows under the previous government, individuals and families dealing with mental health issues can finally count on help from this federal government.

Could the Minister of Health inform the House on how this Conservative government is keeping its promise to help Canadians?

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, let me first thank the hon. member for an excellent question. I would say to the House that even in good economic times there are those at risk of being left behind, but Canadians are guided by the values of compassion, kindness and generosity. That is why we created the Mental Health Commission in the first place.

That is why the Minister of Finance, demonstrating those important values himself, announced funding in budget 2008 for the commission to establish five pilot projects across the country to help show the way on how we can help those who are homeless and suffering from mental illness.

Mr. Speaker--

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative agenda is getting us nowhere. According to Louis-Gille Francoeur, of Le Devoir, the government will incur a minimum $35 billion penalty for not respecting the Kyoto protocol. Canada made legal commitments to the planet, and the Conservatives are not following through on them.

Why does the minister not invest now to fight climate change, instead of wasting our money on penalties?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, if we receive a bill, I will send it to the Leader of the Opposition and the Liberal Party.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, under the Conservative government, Canadian families are getting soaked by big oil in two ways. First, they watch as the government forks over billions in corporate giveaways to the petroleum industry. Second, they get gouged at the pumps because the government leaves gas prices unchecked and uncontrolled.

Working families deserve better. Will the government legislate and fund an independent regulatory agency to monitor the price of oil and gas, so that instead of protecting the interests of big polluters, the government can start protecting the pocketbook of the average Canadian?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, first of all, one thing we do know for sure is that under the Liberal plan, the price of gasoline would skyrocket.

Market prices are the only thing that is going to work. That has been proven over and over again. Once the government tries to regulate, it is proven that it does not work.

Our government has taken action. Our government has reduced the GST from 7% to 6% to 5%. We will continue to reduce taxes for all Canadians to ensure that they can have their hard-earned income.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, five years ago today, the Liberal government unveiled its action plan for official languages. This plan ends in three weeks, at the end of March, and the budget did not include any money to renew it, even though the Conservative government had promised to renew it in the last throne speech. When the committee invited the minister to appear, she declined. When the committee invited her emissary, Bernard Lord, he also declined.

Considering the uncertainty her government is creating, why is the minister refusing to appear before the committee and explain her inaction? Why does she prefer to keep communities waiting?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. I did not refuse to appear before the Standing Committee on Official Languages. In fact, I appeared on December 6. I will be pleased to discuss the second phase of the action plan for official languages further as soon as it has been introduced by our government.

LabourOral Questions

March 12th, 2008 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, some members of this House may be aware that a recent study found that in 2005, Canada lost more days of work due to labour disruptions, both lockouts and strikes, than any other G-7 country. The big picture is that these numbers represent $700 million in lost annual gross domestic product.

Could the Minister of Labour inform this House how he is addressing this very serious issue?

LabourOral Questions

3 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, I am concerned about those numbers. Work stoppages hurt workers, their families and their communities and they are also bad for businesses.

As Minister of Labour it is my responsibility to look for new ideas to keep the talk going on between unions and employers. I have launched a study on the causes and impacts of work stoppages. The study will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on ways to improve labour relations in our country.

An expert, Mr. Peter Annis, will consult with unions and employers and will submit a report to me with recommendations.