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House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nations.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian government does recognize the importance of contributing to an effective and efficient search and rescue for Canadians and others who depend on us.

Today the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence announced in Halifax the Canada First defence policy, which includes fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft. We are going to purchase new aircraft. We are examining options at this time.

It is pretty amazing that somebody who pretends to care about the security of Canadians would stand up and trash a Canada First defence policy that after decades of darkness is finally giving some long term stability to the Canadian Forces, which it has deserved for so long.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, what the Prime Minister announced today is exactly that the government was delaying the search and rescue planes that we would have purchased four years ago. The old planes are facing mechanical--

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Yukon has the floor and it is clear that the whole ministry is waiting to hear this question. We will have a little order, please, so the appropriate minister will be able to respond after hearing the question.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the government inherited the money to buy these planes and it did nothing. The old planes are facing mechanical and technical problems. Getting parts is hard because they are not even made any more. In December, we ran out of spare propellers. The old civilian aviation instruments may not even allow them to go some places.

If one is a Canadian in need of rescue in the most critical time of one's life, one should watch out, because the planes may not be there. When will the minister stop giving excuses for endangering the lives of Canadians and buy the planes now?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I will tell the House who endangered the lives of Canadians for 13 long, horrible years and over a decade of darkness. It was that party across the way. If we want to talk about programs that have been delayed, let us talk about the Sea King replacement program. In 1993 former Prime Minister Chrétien tore that up. We are still working to fix that mess. That party opposite left more messes for the Canadian Forces and this party in government is cleaning them up.

Again, after decades of darkness, the Canadian Forces finally has some long term stability, funding, and a plan that will take us to 20 years and beyond to fulfill the mandate that we give to the Canadian Forces and which it fulfills on behalf of Canadians and our allies around the world.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, over 42,000 Quebec seniors, most of them women, are not yet receiving the guaranteed income supplement they are entitled to. The guaranteed income supplement is not a gift from the government. It is a right.

When will the government grant full retroactivity of the guaranteed income supplement to everyone who has not been receiving it simply because they did not know about it?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we did not need the Bloc's help to increase benefits paid to seniors with low incomes. Our government has been listening to seniors and has been responsive to their needs. Had we done as the Bloc recommended, our country would be in more debt. That would have been irresponsible.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, our seniors' dignity depends on financial security. The government is responsible for seeing to it that they have enough to meet their basic needs, at the very least. The government should also stop being so shockingly insensitive to the most vulnerable members of our society. Instead, it should help them, once and for all.

When will the government increase the benefit by $110 per month so that it meets the low-income cutoff, and when will those eligible for the guaranteed income supplement be enrolled automatically? What is the government waiting for?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, this is the way the Bloc operates every time we bring forward increases to guaranteed income supplements, 7% over and above inflation in the last two years, we bring forward improvements to the income exemption, we lower their taxes dramatically, thanks to the Minister of Finance. Back home Bloc members complain about not having enough for people in the ridings. When they come here, they vote against everything. Talk about gross hypocrisy.

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Don Bell Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday the House approved my private member's motion, Motion No. 426, calling on the government to establish a Canadian policy on rare diseases. I have since received dozens of emails and letters of support from families whose lives are affected by a rare disease asking how this important issue that affects an estimated 2.5 million Canadians will finally be proceeded with.

How does the Minister of Health plan to move forward on Motion No. 426 and what will the next steps of the government be toward a rare disease policy?

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

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

First, Mr. Speaker, let me congratulate both sides of the House for supporting the hon. member's motion and coming to an agreement on this important issue.

I am disappointed that the Bloc members did not support this motion.

As the motion suggested, it is important to bring all of our partners on side. This includes the provinces and the territories and, indeed, we will be engaging with them to see if we can get further toward a solution on this very important issue.

This motion was a very important first step and we will move forward.

LebanonOral Questions

May 12th, 2008 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, for the past few days Canadians, along with the rest of the world, have watched with great concern as the irresponsible actions of Hezbollah threaten to plunge Lebanon into deeper chaos. At least 36 people have died and hundreds have been injured. There is still fighting in the north of the country.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell the House the government's response to what is taking place in Lebanon?

LebanonOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

In regard to what is currently going on in Lebanon, we would like to tell my colleague and the Canadian people that we support Mr. Siniora's government and that we want peace and security to return to Lebanon. We strongly condemn Hezbollah's irresponsible actions. We will continue to provide the necessary support to Canadians in Lebanon to ensure their safety.

BurmaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canada's follow-through on Burma's humanitarian crisis is pitiful. Australia's Prime Minister Rudd has committed 10 times Canada's pledge and is personally lobbying world leaders. British Prime Minister Brown is pressing for action at the highest UN levels. New Zealand's Prime Minister Clark is appealing to Southeast Asian countries to step up their efforts.

Has our Prime Minister contacted Singapore's Lee Hsien Loong directly in his capacity as chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations?

BurmaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this morning I personally contacted China's foreign affairs minister. Last week, I had a telephone conversation with the UN Secretary General to pledge humanitarian aid from Canada for Burma, and to urge him to do what he can to help Canada get this aid into the country to the people who need it most. I also believe, and this is important, that the situation should be examined and discussed by the United Nations Security Council to ensure that humanitarian aid can enter the country. That is an important part of the debate.

BurmaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Burmese crisis is deepening. Projections estimate 200,000 may die, many more if aid delivery is not accelerated. A DART unit of 200 will be too few too late. Thousands of Canadian NGO personnel are already on the front lines in Burma and in the region ready to deliver, and they lack financial and diplomatic support from Canada.

Why is the government focusing on deploying DART instead of financially supporting NGOs already delivering aid, with the capacity and the knowledge to do the job in Burma?

BurmaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, in fact, that is what we are doing. We are investigating every possible avenue to get the aid and supplies to the people of Burma directly. We are working with NGOs on the ground. I released $500,000 for shelters to the Red Cross that are being delivered to Burma.

It is incumbent that we ensure that Canadian support directly helps the people in Burma and is not diverted to other uses.

Anti-Money Laundering RegulationsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the proposed anti-money laundering regulations affecting the real estate industry are set for June 23 with some potentially disastrous consequences.

Industry has always been supportive of efforts to monitor and report suspicious illegal activity, but huge loopholes are in the legislation. It appears that no one, including anyone in the government, is prepared to proceed on the June deadline.

Will the government delay the enforcement of the regulations, begin a campaign to educate the public and facilitate adjustment by the industry?

Anti-Money Laundering RegulationsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

The regulations, Mr. Speaker, against money laundering are of great importance to the integrity of the financial system in Canada, the integrity of the financial system in the G-7 and in fact around the world; there are serious issues with respect to terrorist financing and with respect to money laundering around the world. That is why through FINTRAC we have taken certain steps. These steps are resisted by the lawyers. They are resisted by the realtors. They are resisted by various participants in our economy, but they are essential if Canada is going to play its role in combating terrorist financing--

Anti-Money Laundering RegulationsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Peace River.

Polar BearsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of the Environment held bilateral meetings with the United States Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne. I understand that they discussed a number of important cross-border issues, including the protection of one of Canada's icons, the majestic polar bear.

I am wondering if the Minister of the Environment can update the House on the progress and the details of that meeting.

Polar BearsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, protecting the iconic polar bear is a concern for our government because Canada is home to two-thirds of the world's polar bear population. We will not wait to act. Last week Environment Canada agreed to work with the U.S. Department of the Interior to protect the future of the polar bear. I am pleased to note that last week's meeting ended with a signed commitment between our two countries to work toward the long term protection of Canada's polar bears. I was pleased to include the Inuit leader, Mary Simon, in these discussions, because we have a great deal to learn from Inuit traditional knowledge and from their firsthand experience.

We are committed to protecting the polar bear.

Oil ImbalanceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Independent

Louise Thibault Independent Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, regional economies are being hard hit by the rising dollar and higher gas prices, which are reducing export opportunities and increasing transportation and operating costs. People are paying for this economic imbalance.

The government has provided massive funding for oil sands development through the petroleum incentives program and has once again reduced taxes for the oil companies, which are making huge profits. However, it is refusing to take equity measures, saying that market forces will sort things out.

When will the regions affected by this oil imbalance get a fair shake?

Oil ImbalanceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, our government has created more than 300,000 new jobs in Canada in the past 12 months. Industry in Quebec is very robust. We have listened to the manufacturing sector, the aerospace sector, the pharmaceutical sector and the rest and have gotten results.