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House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provisions.

Topics

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

3 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, everything the member for Malpeque said is not true.

The reality is, as the minister of record for the Canadian Wheat Board, I have the fiduciary responsibility to make sure that these pilot projects do not intrude on taxpayers' money and that they are effective in their delivery.

When I found out that only 25 farmers took part in this pilot, I thought it was a good opportunity to phone them all personally to find out what exactly worked, what did not work, and build a better mousetrap for the future. That is what we are trying to do.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, when most Canadians turn the water on to have a drink or for cooking, they are not really worried about their safety, but this is not the case with many first nations. There are still far too many communities with risky drinking water systems.

This is a critical issue for first nations and one they often identify as one of their top priorities. The current state of drinking water on reserves needs improving and it needs to be addressed now.

Could the Minister of Indian Affairs tell this House what our government is doing about this critical issue?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the current situation is unacceptable. That is why, since we have come to power, we have launched a water action plan in which we have cut in half the number of high-risk drinking water systems that we inherited from previous governments.

Our work is not done. That is why yesterday we announced a strategic investment in the new water and waste water action plan that will double the resources provided to improve training and technical skills to first nations water operators.

We are conducting a formal assessment of water systems in all first nations communities. We will work with first nations organizations to develop a legislative framework. Clean drinking water is important. This action plan will get it done.

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, tens of thousands of ordinary Canadians are suffering a crushing burden of debt. Graduates continue to be exploited through the National Student Loans Service Centre. They have to contend with shoddy service, poor record keeping, an unwillingness to share information that would help them to repay quickly, and all of this at the hands of the U.S.-based company responsible for administering the program.

Can the minister tell us why he is allowing American companies to victimize Canadian graduates for the sake of the bottom line?

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to say that in the last budget the government moved forward with transformational changes to student financial assistance, which will mean low and middle income Canadians will receive upfront cash grants when they are accepted for post-secondary education, whether at a university, college or technical school.

We have also made important changes to repayment assistance, which will ensure that vulnerable students who struggle to repay will not have to bear that burden for the rest of their lives. We got it done, but the NDP voted against it.

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government spent $66 million last year on the National Student Loans Service Centre that offered no service, loses paperwork, and is causing untold headaches. There was $18.5 million paid to collection agencies, including the U.S. firm Resolve, which is paid only for the accounts it recovers. This means the longer they keep graduates in debt the more money they make.

Why does the minister continue to dole out contracts that allow companies to make money by keeping Canadian graduates in debt? When will he amend the contract to help graduates avoid financial problems?

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the answer lies in the budget. It lies in the changes that we have made in student financial assistance. If the critic for the NDP would simply read the document, she would know that.

Instead, she gets up and pontificates on an issue on which we have already provided the answers. Again, the NDP gets up with all this rhetoric, and then turns around and votes against the very solutions that are necessary to fix the problem.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

During oral question period, the hon. member for La Pointe-de-l'Île made comments that could be seen as insulting to Quebec and Canadian workers and consumers. I grew up in Sainte-Marie and we were very proud of the Vachon bakery. When we went abroad we would bring boxes of Vachon snack cakes with us and people were pleased to have them.

I would like to give my colleague, the hon. member for La Pointe-de-l'Île, the opportunity to clarify what she said and confirm that she is a proud ambassador of Quebec's products and Quebec's agri-food industry.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Bloc Québécois whip has the floor on the same point of order.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on the same point of order. I believe the hon. member is getting things mixed up.

My colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île does not want to ridicule workers in the agri-food industry, or the people at Vachon, or the people from Beauce. She simply wanted to ridicule the fact that the Minister of Foreign Affairs went to Afghanistan and handed out Vachon Jos Louis snack cakes. That was what my colleague was referring to. Instead of resolving real problems, he was handing out snack cakes. I believe the hon. member is getting things mixed up and that he did not understand.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse. However, I do not want a debate on this matter. This is simply a point of order and I believe I have heard about enough.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to live in Sainte-Marie. I have relatives and there are people here today who have worked at Vachon and they deserve some respect. We will defend them and represent them to the end.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Obviously this is a debate.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the question I put today, I seek unanimous consent, once again, particularly at the request of the Minister of Public Safety, to table the special investigation report from the University of Calgary audit services, a 27 page report that goes into the details of what is clearly an advertising scam.

I seek unanimous consent, which was denied yesterday by government members, to table this very report.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is there unanimous consent for the tabling of this document?

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I have in my hands the exchange of letters between the minister and the Canadian Wheat Board, wherein the minister was advised his request was in violation of the Privacy Act, yet he wrote and demanded that information again, commercial confidential information.

I ask permission to table these documents in the House.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table these documents?

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 66 petitions.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

April 16th, 2008 / 3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian Parliamentary Delegation of the Canadian Section of the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas, FIPA, respecting its participation to the trade knowledge workshop and bilateral visit held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and Bridgetown, Barbados from March 17 to 20.

Status of WomenCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women in relation to the gender budget.

The report deals with the government appointing an independent commissioner for gender budget analysis, immediately, to conduct a gender based analysis of governmental policies, including budget policies.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food in relation to the freight rates for grain and their impact on grain shippers and our great farmers.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Conservative Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-537, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of conscience rights in the health care profession).

Mr. Speaker, this conscience clause private member's bill would prohibit coercion in medical procedures that offend a person's religion or belief that human life is inviolable. The bill seeks to ensure that health care providers will never be forced to participate against their will in procedures such as abortions or acts of euthanasia.

Canada has a long history of recognizing the rights of freedom of religion and conscience in our country, yet health care workers and those seeking to be educated for the health care system have often been denied those rights in medical facilities and educational institutions. Some have even been wrongfully dismissed.

The bill would make those conscience rights explicit in law and would safeguard the fundamental human rights of health care workers.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Criminal CodePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, during this National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, I am pleased to submit a large number of petitions signed by many people from across Canada in just a few short days.

The petitioners urge the minister and the government to amend the Criminal Code of Canada and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to stipulate that convicted murderers should only have parole hearings every five years after reaching their parole eligibility dates.

On behalf of the Gardner family, which is visiting Ottawa today, I am pleased to present these petitions for all victims.