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House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was authorities.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, China has turned down a request by Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to visit Tibet. The Chinese authorities told her that such a visit was not possible at this time. Louise Arbour is due to step down from her position at the end of June, and China did not propose another date.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs approach China so that Ms. Arbour can visit Tibet before she leaves her position?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canada expects China, as a member of the Human Rights Council, to live to the highest standards of cooperation with the UN human rights system. We call upon China to receive the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the earliest possible data.

Canada also reiterates and supports the call for unrestricted access by generalists, diplomats and independent experts to Tibet and nearby regions affected by the recent violence.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, last December, the Bloc Québécois introduced a motion calling on the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to release Franco-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt. That motion was adopted unanimously. My colleague from Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher has asked the Prime Minister to join us in calling publicly for Ingrid Betancourt's release.

Will the Prime Minister comply with that request?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, this government's priority is human rights. As said by the Prime Minister, we are very much concerned about the hostage crisis in Colombia. We call upon the rebels to release the hostage as quickly as possible and also to accept the medical team that the French government was sending.

Child CareOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year the Conservative government made the biggest child care cut in Canadian history, slashing $1 billion in funding. Now Canadian families are suffering.

Yesterday a new report confirms that two years of Conservative government has resulted in 6,000 lost child care spaces. Young families have been left without spaces they can afford or quality care their kids need.

Will the minister restore these spaces and stop cutting from the most formative years in a child's life?

Child CareOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that report was an indictment of the record of the previous Liberal government. It does not take into account that we have transferred $250 million, through the Canada transfer to the provinces, so they can create spaces for child care. This has allowed provinces to announce 45,000 child care spaces. This is more than Sheila Copps, the previous deputy leader of the Liberal government, had said. More than 45,000 spaces is what we—

Child CareOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Ajax—Pickering.

Child CareOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is the Conservative record. The provinces have had their funding cut. Municipalities have cut back their plans. Thousands of spaces have been lost. A national early childhood learning strategy has been replaced by a gimmick.

When there is no quality of care, when we have grossly underpaid professionals, when we have no spaces, we have no choice.

When will the government reverse these cuts and offer families a real choice for the spaces and quality of care they so desperately need?

Child CareOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, $5.6 billion annually goes into child care. We are giving choice for parents in child care, in fact, $1,200 to each and every child under the age of six. The leader of that party has said he will take it away.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is new information out this morning that suggests the call for proposals under the enabling accessibility fund has been rigged by the Conservative government. The very complex nature of the application requirements and apparent advance notice to one particular applicant seems designed to favour people connected to the member for Whitby—Oshawa.

Could the minister explain to all disabled Canadians why the process is rigged to divert disability funding into the finance minister's riding?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, an initial call for proposals has been under way since April 1. Those will close on April 30. All projects have to meet the same conditions and terms, and that is, the program including community support, feasibility and sustainability.

I advise that member do as we did: go out and ask her constituents to get the proposals in.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister still has not explained why the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres is angry with his government for concocting “this entire program...as a means for pork-barrelling for the riding of Whitby”.

Will the minister admit that rigging the application in favour of an organization where his own wife and executive assistant are members of the board is just wrong? What does he have to say to all other disabled Canadians?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, again, budget 2007 proposed the creation of the enabling accessibility fund to contribute to the capital costs of construction and renovation projects to improve the accessibility of people with disabilities. The initial call for proposals has been under way. No determination has been made on grants.

Drugs and PharmaceuticalsOral Questions

April 11th, 2008 / 11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, the official opposition members seem to be incapable of asking substantive questions in the House. They focus on scandals that do not exist.

Meanwhile the NDP is trying to fill the vacuum. While at least the NDP members are using their time to ask questions of the health minister, they are still misrepresenting the facts when it comes the government's health initiatives.

Therefore, would the Parliamentary Secretary for Health please explain to the unofficial official opposition how our product safety legislation strengthens the prohibition of direct to consumer advertising?

Drugs and PharmaceuticalsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Health

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his great work on the health file.

The government opposes direct to consumer advertising and has not only done this in words, but we have taken action. We are fighting a court case to protect the prohibition on direct consumer advertising for pharmaceuticals. We are undergoing proposed legislation to enshrine this prohibition into the act itself and further reinforce it with tough targeted regulations, regulations that will employ full public consultations.

This is just another example of the NDP inventing controversy where there is none. The NDP—

Drugs and PharmaceuticalsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Burnaby--Douglas.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages is reported to have said that she hates Bill C-10. I hope she has finally joined the club.

Others continue to call on the government to use this tax measure to censor film and video production. Just yesterday, Charles McVety, the lobbyist who claims to have influenced the Conservatives to put this controversial guideline into law, said “decency trumps freedom”.

Given the concerns raised by the arts community and producers, will the minister withdraw this amendment and develop guidelines that fully respect the freedom of expression and directly address the serious concerns about censorship?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is very important that we take a look at some facts. The facts are that many of the people who were witnesses yesterday were of the 33 organizations that, on March 19, 2001, received the following from the Liberal government.

In a request for their response, they were told by the Liberal government in 2001, “The existing public policy and acceptable share of revenues test, which is presently found in the draft regulations, will be incorporated in the act”. Those organizations wrote back in June saying, “We would agree with the technical amendments outlined in the 2001 discussion paper”. What is the issue?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, today, outside CBC facilities, listeners will raise a ruckus for Radio 2 to express serious concerns about the cuts to classical music programming and the disbanding of the CBC Radio Orchestra.

CBC Radio-Canada is key to the development and promotion of classical music in Canada. The CBC Radio Orchestra, based in Vancouver, is an important national cultural institution, one of the few in the west.

Will the government adopt the unanimous heritage committee recommendations and provide increased stable, multi-year funding to CBC Radio-Canada?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the response is twofold.

First, that report is now being considered by the minister and she will respond in due course.

Second, with respect to the decisions of the CBC, as the member well knows, as he is a member of the committee, we have invited the executives of the CBC to come before the committee to explain to us their future plans with respect to the CBC.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, legal experts in Mexico point out, contrary to statements coming from the Mexican Embassy, that the Mexican government could legally send Brenda Martin home at any time, but will not do so unless Canada makes it a major political issue.

When will the Prime Minister show that he actually cares about the fate of Canadian citizens? Make the call, make this a major political issue in Mexico today so Brenda Martin can be free tomorrow.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, I do not know of a single consular case in recent memory which has received more attention from a government. This has been raised with the Mexican foreign minister on at least four separate occasions. It has been raised at the very highest levels.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs had meetings with senior officials right across the board in Mexico on this matter. I did as well two weeks ago.

I am pleased to see, since my trip there, that the process seems to be moving quite quickly. We hope that it will have a resolution very soon and that Ms. Martin will come home to Canada as soon as possible.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, obviously that secretary of state thinks a cocktail party is at the highest level.

Brenda Martin's Conservative MP abandoned her and even said she deserved to be in prison. What is more, the secretary of state attended a cocktail party in Mexico instead of meeting with her.

Has a doctor visited Ms. Martin? Will the Prime Minister take steps today to bring Brenda Martin back to Canada tomorrow?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has already taken diplomatic steps with the Mexican authorities. The Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) has had some 20 meetings with Mexican government officials. It is true that she met with Canadians while she was in Mexico. Ministers often meet with Canadians when they are abroad.

We have raised this issue at the highest levels of the Mexican government. Currently, the process is in the hands of—and I hope that—

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Egmont.