This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was change.

Topics

Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, for over six months the Conservatives have used every dirty trick in their infamous disruption manual to block hearings into the Conservative in and out election financing scheme. It got so bad that MPs were forced yesterday to elect a new committee chair.

Will the new chair of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, or the vice-chair, confirm that a democratic vote allowing the committee to study the in and out scheme and hear directly from the Conservative candidates themselves will be his first order of business?

Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. vice-chair of the committee.

Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I certainly hope that with the election of our new chair, the member for Elgin—Middlesex—London, there will be a new spirit of cooperation at our committee and we can finally get to this study.

Canadians have a right to know all about how the in and out scheme worked and they need to know this before the next election in case the Conservative Party plans to use this scheme again.

SeniorsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ernest Boyer, President of the FADOQ network said: “The 2008 federal budget will definitely not help low-income seniors improve their lot”. Yet, when in opposition, the Conservatives promised to rectify the injustice perpetrated against seniors because of poor management of the guaranteed income supplement.

Given the current year's surplus of more than $10 billion, could the Conservative government not pay its debt to seniors who were adversely affected by granting full retroactivity of the guaranteed income supplement—monies to which they are entitled?

SeniorsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this government recognizes that our seniors have built this country and they deserve to play a vital part through a strong voice at the cabinet table. We have increased the GIS to 7% and we have created a Secretary of State for Seniors. We have created a national advisory board to advise on seniors issues.

In the 2008 budget, we increased the exemption for GIS from $500 to $3,500. We want to thank the Liberals for assisting us with the passing of that budget.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, when speaking before the La Baie Chamber of Commerce, the Bagotville base commander insisted that the main landing strip is in urgent need of repair as the surface layer has practically disappeared.

Can the Minister of National Defence guarantee that this urgent work, estimated at almost $25 million, will be undertaken this year—in 2008?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that the Bagotville runway is deteriorating far more slowly since I stopped landing on it.

However, I can also assure the hon. member that serviceable runways are obviously key to the operational capability of any Canadian Forces base, especially a base such as Bagotville. We are putting a lot of money into Bagotville with the air expeditionary wing. I can assure the hon. member and the House that it will receive all the infrastructure it needs to do the great job that it has been doing up until now and which I know will continue.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Public Works and Government Services contracted with ProFac to manage the department's real property inventory. Public Works and Government Services also uses contractors for other work. The department is careful about paying all its suppliers, and it pays interest on late payments.

Why is ProFac late in paying its subcontractors? Is ProFac using these delays to finance its own operations at other contractors' expense?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

No, Mr. Speaker.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's Great Lakes are an integral part of our lives. Not only are they a source of recreation for millions of Canadians, but we also make a living from them.

Our government recognizes that uncontrolled discharge of ballast water and sediment can lead to the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens which destroy our Great Lakes habitats.

Could the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities explain what the government is doing to clean up the marine environment?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his question. Without a doubt, it is the best question I have heard all day.

It is true that our government has done a great deal—much more than the previous government—in this regard.

I want to remind the members of this House that even before the completion of the review of the Canada Shipping Act, which we reviewed quickly, we took a zero tolerance approach to marine pollution by any ships in Canadian waters. This is a historic first for Canada. As well, in 2006, we introduced regulations—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The member for Ottawa Centre.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

March 7th, 2008 / 11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the sale of Canada's largest space company, MacDonald Dettwiler, and the Canadian RADARSAT-2 satellite will give unprecedented control of Canadian technology, bought and paid for by Canadians, to an American firm, Alliant Techsystems. First built by the Canadian Space Agency, Canada has spent $524 million for the promise of “priority access” to the satellite in cases of emergency, including oil spills and suspect vessels entering Canada's north.

The final say on the sale rests with the industry minister. Will he meet the March 22 deadline to stop the sale?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, from what came out in committee this week, we found that this was another example of Liberal mismanagement. What this issue underlines is the legacy of the Liberals and how it affects Canada today. In 1998 the Liberals sold Canada out by signing over RADARSAT-2 to MDA because the Liberals could not negotiate a deal.

I can tell the member right now that there is a process in place and the minister will follow that process.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, if we cannot get an answer from the industry minister, let us try the foreign affairs minister.

The sale of RADARSAT-2 to Alliant Techsystems is against Canada's national security interests. The U.S. company may be planning to use the RADARSAT-2 technology for weapons control. This same company also builds landmines banned by Canada and the UN. It also builds cluster bombs. Canadian law requires the minister to make his decision with “regard to national security and the defence of Canada”.

Will the foreign affairs minister exercise his statutory authority and stand up for Canadian sovereignty by refusing to approve the transfer of RADARSAT-2's licensing authority?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Actually, Mr. Speaker, it is the Minister of Industry who is responsible for Investment Canada. Any sale of MDA will require his approval. No approval has been granted. The Minister of Industry is also responsible for Industry Canada, Technology Partnerships Canada and the Canadian Space Agency.

The House can be assured that Canadian taxpayers' dollars will be protected and the proposed MDA transaction will require the consent of the Minister of Industry.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, ProFac puts off paying its suppliers and does not pay interest on late payments even though it collects interest from Public Works and Government Services Canada when the government pays late. According to the Association de la construction du Québec, ProFac often takes 90 to 150 days to pay.

Why does it take ProFac so long to pay its suppliers? Why does ProFac not pay interest on late payments? Why are ProFac's deadlines for responding to calls for tenders often too short and why are the results of its calls for tenders not made public?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is asking for a lot of information. I can get the answers after question period. This is a serious matter and it deserves a very serious response. It is very technical. I can talk to him about it after question period.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is astonishing: the Liberal member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca continues to attack both this Conservative government and the B.C. provincial government for, get this, wanting to stop the discharge of raw sewage into Victoria harbour.

My question is for the Minister of the Environment. Why is it so important to health and safety to stop this dumping of raw sewage, something the Liberals failed to do in 13 long years?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I was shocked when the Liberal Party of Canada had a member of its shadow cabinet come out and say it was okay to dump raw sewage into the Pacific Ocean. This is intolerable. It is wrong. It should not be happening in 2008.

We are committed to taking real action. We are coming forward with regulations to ban this practice so that we can protect our oceans.

While I am up, I want to condemn the NDP's non-confidence motion and say shame on those members, and I want to thank the Liberal Party of Canada for its confidence.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, Six Nations, in my riding of Brant, has 12,000 residents. Many of those residents boil their water because it is unsafe.

In October 2005, the Liberal government committed $10 million to refurbish the water treatment plant in order to address this deplorable situation. The Conservative government, 25 months later, has not honoured the commitment and those residents continue to boil their water.

We all know that aboriginal issues are not a priority for the government, but surely providing people with safe drinking water is the government's minimum obligation. When will Six Nations receive the necessary $10 million?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:55 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, when our government first took office, we had a situation wherein 193 first nations communities across the country had water that was not drinkable. We have brought that number down to 83.

The member feels our government has not taken aboriginal issues seriously. Would members of his party extend matrimonial real property rights to first nations women on reserve? I do not believe they will support it.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the report issued yesterday by the environment commissioner puts a number to the Conservatives' inaction. Progress has been made in only a small minority of the 14 areas studied, and nine were described as unsatisfactory. Nothing about this Conservative government's attitude inspires hope for any political will to remedy the situation.

How can the Minister of the Environment explain his government's poor results when it has been in power for over two years now?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the environment commissioner's report emphasizes that it is very important to do more to clean up Canada's Great Lakes. We have to work harder on resolving the problems that were created by the previous government.

There is nothing the Bloc Québécois can do. The only thing it can do is talk. The only thing it has to offer to Quebeckers is a national conversation on the environment.

This party, this government, is getting things done.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, over 100 Canadian scientists were asked to write a crucial report on the state of climate change in Canada, which the government has tried to bury for more than a year. The report will say that Canada is in for far more droughts, landslides, extreme heat and smog and more violent and damaging storms. Communities are in deep jeopardy if the government does not act.

The Minister of the Environment must explain why he has stalled on the release of this report and what his government plans to do about it. Why should Parliament have any confidence in the government and its inaction on the environment?