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House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was prices.

Topics

Canada Border Services AgencyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, small cities across the country are experiencing major customs staffing shortages at local airports and face unfair treatment by the CBSA. As a result, there has been a loss of income from air cargo contracts, business travel and tourism. Economic development is also suffering. However, the public safety minister has been AWOL on this critical issue.

Why will the minister not respond to calls for fairer treatment by the CBSA?

Canada Border Services AgencyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, in fact, across the country, not just airports but other regional systems are experiencing economic growth because the fundamentals of the economy of Canada are so strong that requests for more flights, for instance, are coming into airports.

My officials have been working very carefully and closely with airport representatives, like the ones the member mentioned, not just in Moncton but in Charlottetown and Fredericton, to look at how we handle the pressures of a robust economy because of the good policies and principles that have been put in place by this government. We want to assist these growing economies.

Canada Border Services AgencyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, many of these smaller airports are losing carriers that need to operate beyond the strict nine to five service offered by CBSA because the government has cherry-picked some airports to be open 24 hours a day and has punished other smaller airports, like Regina or Moncton.

When will the public safety minister come forward with staffing solutions that will allow air carriers to land outside the nine to five times and when will the public safety minister stop separating A cities from B cities?

Canada Border Services AgencyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Canada has a robust and strong economy because of the principles that have been put in place by this government, which means from region to region there are increased pressures for all kinds of systems to be operating, including transport systems.

If we were to follow the Liberal approach, which would be an approach that would plunge the country back into deficit, then that problem would go away because the pressures would not be on those airports.

These are the challenges of growth and we are working with those challenges.

Minister of Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairshas demonstrated his incompetence again within the last week. In Rome, he announced that C-17s would be deployed to transport four UN helicopters to Burma. It became clear that he had spoken off the cuff when he realized that the planes were unavailable. Imagine that. He was forced to charter a Russian commercial aircraft at taxpayers' expense.

How can the Prime Minister defend his Minister of Foreign Affairs and especially his incompetence?

Minister of Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 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, our priority is to deliver aid to the people of Burma. I remember that the opposition never wanted us to purchase C-17s, which we are using to bring badly needed aid to the suffering Burmese people.

Minister of Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has repeatedly shown that he lacks judgment. His long list of blunders include the one concerning the governor of Kandahar, the fact that he believed that Aristide was still the president of Haiti, the famous incident when he handed out Jos Louis in Kandahar and his irresponsible behaviour in the Couillard affair.

Given this sad list of screw-ups by the minister and his lack of judgment, what is the Prime Minister waiting for to relieve him of his duties?

Minister of Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 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, today we had an example of the fine job the Minister of Foreign Affairs is doing, in the address by the President of Ukraine, who said that the people of Ukraine very much appreciated the position taken by the Government of Canada in support of his country's membership in NATO. That is an example of the leadership provided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, on May 15 the Minister of Agriculture announced that regardless of the law he will undermine the single desk selling authority of the Canadian Wheat Board beginning August 1.

Obviously he cannot do it through regulations. That effort was found illegal by the courts. Just what is the minister's intended course of action in his vendetta against the board?

Is it the minister's intention to force the directors themselves to violate the very laws that both they and the minister have sworn to uphold? Or does the minister have some other illegal scheme in mind?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

3 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, it has been great to watch the minister try to open up the lines of communication with the Canadian Wheat Board and to work with it. We hope the board will return that spirit of cooperation, because western Canadian farmers are waiting to benefit from the markets, which have gone up.

We would ask the opposition to join with us in bringing freedom to western Canadian farmers so they can finally benefit from the markets that we see in western Canada today.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday history was made when the NASA Phoenix Mars Lander touched down on Mars carrying Canada's meteorological station. This mission marks the first time Canadian technology has landed on the surface of another planet.

Canada has made critical contributions to the International Space Station, including Canadarm2, the Mobile Base System and, most recently, Dextre. Can the Minister of Industry tell us what this recent historic event means for the future of Canada's participation in space exploration?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander did indeed land last night, carrying Canada's meteorological station successfully onto the red planet. This is great news for Canadians. Canada is making great strides. We will be on the horizon in space for many years, first with scientific and robotic instruments.

I sense from the Liberals some excitement about the mission, knowing that they could perhaps find someone, anyone, on the red planet who would support their Liberal gas tax.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, for five years now, the Conservatives and the Liberals have been saying that Omar Khadr is being treated humanely. Last Friday, the Supreme Court rejected those claims and ruled that Mr. Khadr's treatment at Guantanamo was unjust and violated his basic rights.

When will the minister finally do something to bring Omar Khadr back to Canada?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as we know, Mr. Omar Khadr is facing very serious charges. Mr. Omar Khadr has been receiving consular services. We will continue monitoring this case.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

No, Mr. Speaker, they cannot get away with that any more. The Supreme Court of Canada made it very clear that the position first taken by the Liberals and now by the Conservatives that he is being treated humanely and according to justice at the international level has all been proven false.

When is the government finally going to protect this minor, get off its backside and do something to get him back into Canada?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are weighing the decision made by the Supreme Court, but I can tell members that we are keeping Mr. Khadr's interests in mind. He has had court counsellor services. We are providing all the services, as is required by the law, and we will continue doing that.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the minister continues to sow confusion for the Wheat Board and in barley markets. His government continues to put Canadian producers and Canadian industry at a disadvantage to our United States counterparts.

The United States farm bill helps U.S. agri-retailers pay for security measures on fertilizer and chemical supplies. While the Canadian government imposed similar security costs, it tells the industry that it is on its own. Why is the government putting the Canadian agrifood sector at a disadvantage to that of the United States?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised to hear that kind of question from my opposition colleague because after 13 long years in agriculture, farmers were left to fend for themselves. We have already invested $4.5 billion more than the regular budget. Supply management, the livestock sector and biofuels are all sectors that drive the agricultural economy.

Those on the other side of the House are trying to cover up their government's inaction, but one thing I can say for sure is that agricultural producers know they can count on the Conservative government.

FedNorOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, FedNor is the federal program tasked with supporting economic development in northern Ontario. Over the course of the past two years, the so-called official opposition has not asked a single question about FedNor and the work our government is doing in northern Ontario. One has to ask oneself if it is because the Liberals are completely out of touch with northern Ontario or, worse yet, if northern Ontario is just not a priority for the Liberal Party of Canada.

FedNor is a priority for this government. To that end, would the minister responsible for FedNor update the House on how this Conservative government is delivering for northern Ontario?

FedNorOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is important to have these questions relating to FedNor, because in two years the Liberal opposition has not asked a single question in relation to this file.

We think it is important for northern Ontarians that FedNor has a five year stable budget for the first time in the history of any government. It is a five year budget and we delivering tens of millions of dollars to the people of northern Ontario, from Parry Sound to Muskoka, Kenora and Timmins.

We are there for northern Ontarians and this government will continue to be there for northern Ontarians.

Beef ProducersOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Independent

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

Mr. Speaker, Canadian slaughterhouses are already starting to close. Our beef producers have to absorb the high cost of complying with regulations on specified risk material designed to meet high food safety standards, requiring that they get rid of tissue from all cattle slaughtered.

In the meantime, American producers are selling us their beef, which meets only 90% of our safety criteria, at one quarter the cost.

What is the government waiting for to ensure the survival of Canadian and Quebec beef producers without lowering the safety standards the public demands?

Beef ProducersOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I can tell hon. members that the government is not waiting for anything. The government has been working on this very serious matter. The markets needed to be reopened and we reopened them. I am not just talking about the United States, but also about Korea and Russia. These are new markets where our producers can sell their products and make money.

In the meantime, the Minister of Agriculture on this side of the House is providing clear direction, whereby safety standards for specified risk material in the United States have been harmonized. Progress has already been made when it comes to water used for cleaning the buildings and other things. This is concrete action.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

May 26th, 2008 / 3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Ken Krawetz, Deputy Premier of Saskatchewan.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

EthicsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

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

In April I was misinformed that the finance minister and his wife were joint owners of a Canadian private school. Students attending this school are eligible for scholarships from third party organizations. In my mind, this could have created a potential conflict of interest when a measure in budget 2007 made those scholarships tax free.

On April 30 I wrote to the ethics commissioner to share my concerns and to ask that she investigate. On May 5, I raised the subject in question period.

I later discovered that evidence of financial involvement by the minister was limited to a $250,000 loan in the form of a mortgage.

I have written to the ethics commissioner to correct this error. I apologize to the finance minister for any embarrassment that this error may have caused him or his family.