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House of Commons Hansard #72 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was s-203.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada learned with deep regret of Mr. Hu Jia's sentencing.

Freedom of expression and religion are universal human rights and we note that China's constitution guarantees human rights for all its citizens.

Canada will continue to call on China to release Mr. Hu Jia, as we have persistently done since his detention in December.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Roger Valley Liberal Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, on March 17, six members of the KI First Nation, known as Big Trout Lake, were jailed for protesting mining activity in their traditional land. This includes Cecilia Begg, a great grandmother, who is now being held in a facility in Kenora.

Now, members of the community have started a hunger strike. Chief Donnie Morris, Grand Chief Stan Beardy and all Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities want to know what the federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development will do to resolve this dispute.

What will the minister do to support and protect the community of Big Trout Lake now left without leadership? Will the Conservative government help them or will it forget them?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:50 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, I appreciate the question from the member who obviously advocates on a continuous basis for the first nations people in his region.

We continue to have a relationship with this community. However, this case is something that has been initiated by the provincial authorities and it is in their jurisdiction.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government continues to get things done, especially for Canada's aboriginal communities. Just recently we announced that we are moving forward on matrimonial real property rights to help protect families and vulnerable aboriginal women and children.

We are cleaning up the disastrous Liberal legacy of a shocking 193 high risk water systems and our northern strategy is receiving praise from northerners.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development tell the House how we are living up to our commitment of delivering accountability to aboriginal peoples and Canadians?

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, I appreciate the question from the member who has taken a great interest in these issues as he sits on the aboriginal affairs committee with me.

We continue to promote greater accountability, transparency and oversight in government operations. That was one of the top priorities outlined in our Federal Accountability Act of 2006.

Just this week, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, following in the footsteps of many other departments, announced new audit clauses to be brought about in our government's commitment to bring accountability to all Canadians. They will show that first nations and tribal councils are accountable to their constituencies also.

I am very proud to be a part of this government that continues to work for all Canadians.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, many believe the government interfered in the U.S. primary elections by a deliberate disinformation campaign. NAFTA-gate continues to have serious consequences for Canada's relations with U.S. Democrats.

Now the trade minister adds insult to injury by accusing those who criticize NAFTA, such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, of being irrational. What a way to strain relations with candidates, one of whom could become the next U.S. president.

Will the government apologize to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the minister's insulting comment?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the substantive policy question of free trade and NAFTA, we are not going to make any apology for standing up for Canada's interests. One of those aspects of standing up is recognizing that NAFTA has been very positive for Canadians. It has been positive for Americans too.

Our standard of living is higher than ever before. As a result of that, there are more Canadians working than ever before, partly as a consequence of that free trade agreement. We believe it is very much in Canada's interests and we will continue to stand tall and advance that agenda and we will always fight for Canada's best interests on trade issues.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, two-thirds of Canadian families are actually earning less now than when the agreement was signed, so that simply does not hold water. It must be deliberate policy to undermine relations with U.S. Democrats.

Weeks ago NAFTA-gate broke and the alleged disinformation campaign of the government to interfere with the U.S. primary elections was revealed. The Conservatives are sweeping under the carpet the biggest scandal we have had with the U.S. by privatizing the investigation. When is the government going to release the mandate and results of the inquiry and when are we going to know the truth about NAFTA-gate?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the question of determining where the unfortunate leak occurred of the foreign affairs document out of the consulate in Chicago is ongoing. That is being led by the Clerk of the Privy Council.

It is a matter of great concern to us because our relations with the United States are important and the subject matter, the North American Free Trade Agreement, is particularly important for Canadians.

That agreement has been, contrary to what the hon. member said, very, very productive for Canadians. We had a massive increase in job growth as a result of increased trade with the United States. Canadians have been successful. We have been able to compete. We have been able to do well. More Canadians got jobs at higher incomes because we can compete.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Mackenzie River Delta's 45,000 lakes are the lifeline and lifeblood of many northern and aboriginal communities. Coastal communities in the north are experiencing more flooding sooner than anticipated. Widespread environmental changes could occur in the delta because of the climate change crisis. Yet the government is ignoring the warning signs. Its narrow agenda for the delta is focused only on development and the oil and gas industry.

In light of all the warnings, how can the government justify the ongoing failure to get serious about the climate change crisis?

The EnvironmentOral 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, unlike that member and her party, in fact, our government is getting very serious on this important issue of environmental change. That is why we brought about an important new measure to bring down greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by the year 2020. This is a remarkable initiative brought about by our environment minister. I am very proud to be assisting him on that front.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, under the previous Liberal government, we saw systematic and continued reduction to our fisheries and oceans enforcement resources.

Fishermen and the fishing industry were neglected by the previous Liberal government and suffered directly from these cuts. The fine individuals who do the job of monitoring and surveillance of Canadian waterways were stretched to the max due to lack of resources.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans please update the House on the progress our government has made in this area?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

Noon

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that one of the first actions of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans was to immediately reverse the irresponsible Liberal cuts to enforcement and conservation.

We continue to add officers. Very recently 21 new officers celebrated their graduation from the DFO training program in Regina. These men and women will be posted across the country in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and, of course, British Columbia. This brings the number of new hires to 105 since our government was elected in 2006. More will be added in the near future.

HousingOral Questions

April 4th, 2008 / noon

Bloc

Roger Gaudet Bloc Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, during the first federal-provincial meeting on housing since the Conservatives came to power over two years ago, the minister responsible refused to commit to reinvesting in affordable social housing.

What is the minister waiting for to reinvest in affordable social housing, as he is being asked to do by Quebec and the provinces, as well as the municipalities and the agencies involved? What is he waiting for to transfer to Quebec and the provinces an additional $1 billion from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation surplus?

HousingOral Questions

Noon

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this government has made substantial investments in housing, with $1 billion in affordable housing, $270 million in a homelessness partnering strategy, and $1.4 billion in new housing trusts.

This government cares a lot about vulnerable Canadians who find themselves in the position of needing affordable housing. That is why we made a big investment. We would like to thank the Liberal Party for its help by supporting our budget.

TransportationOral Questions

Noon

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the sinking of the Queen of the North off B.C.'s north coast was an avoidable tragedy. B.C. Ferry Services asked for and received safety exemptions from the federal government.

Other single compartment vessels had sunk prior to the sinking of the Queen of the North.

Has the government taken any responsibility for this disaster, or even attempted to apologize to the families who were devastated by this tragedy?

TransportationOral Questions

Noon

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, this government takes very seriously the safety of Canadians, particularly when it comes to transportation matters. I am sure the Minister of Transport will be happy to sit down and take up the matter with the member.

JusticeOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, nearly a month ago the government supported a House motion that it would stand consistently against the death penalty as a matter of principle both in Canada and around the world. Yet the government still will not seek clemency for Ronald Allen Smith, the only Canadian on death row in the United States.

Today, we learned that ACLU is intervening on Mr. Smith's behalf to stop this cruel and unusual punishment.

How can the government affirm it is against the death penalty around the world and yet not seek clemency for Mr. Smith's death sentence?

Why does it affirm one principle in the House and oppose that principle outside the House?

JusticeOral Questions

Noon

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, our government has stood steadfast on the issue of human rights and on this issue, not only in Canada but around the world.

Mr. Smith has availed himself of some rights, in the country in which he is, to an appeal and it would be inappropriate to comment on that appeal at this time.

Human RightsOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives believe that a 14-year-old who breaks the law should be punished as an adult, but the Conservatives also believe that a 40-year-old should be able to utter hate and prejudice and escape all punishment.

Why the double standard? Why are the Conservatives soft on hate?

Human RightsOral Questions

12:05 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, the type of comments he is referring to are unacceptable to this government, unacceptable in this country.

The parliamentary secretary has apologized for the comments on the 17-year-old tape. The comparison, I think, between the two issues really does not apply.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

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

FIsheries and OceansRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure, under Standing Order 32(2) to table, in both official languages, a treaty entitled, “Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on Pacific Hake/Whiting”. An explanatory memorandum is enclosed with the treaty.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 16th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the list of members of the committees of the House.

If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in this report later this day.

Human Resources, Social Development and the Status of Persons with DisabilitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.