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House of Commons Hansard #88 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was food.

Topics

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, according to Elections Canada, on July 26, 2004, the Liberal Party of Canada, national, sent a cheque cashed by the local campaign of Aileen Carroll. Then, on August 6, 2004, only 10 days later, the Liberal Party of Canada then cashed a cheque from Ms. Carroll for exactly the same number of dollars: $5,000 in, $5,000 out. In, out, it was legal for them. It must therefore be legal for our party.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has cut the court challenges program, cut funding to aboriginal groups, women, literacy, people with disabilities, the poor, and cut off the voices of his own caucus, his own cabinet. His message to them, to the country, is that there is one voice that counts and that is his.

To the Prime Minister: Why is his voice the only one that matters?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:30 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, oddly the Prime Minister is not answering this question. Someone else is because his is not the only voice that matters. The voices that matter most to the Prime Minister are the voices of Canadians; the voices of Canadians who told us they had enough of unaccountable Liberals in office, lining their pockets and their party pockets at the expense of taxpayers.

They had enough of that. They had enough of a party that spent all its time figuring out new, clever ways to raise taxes and increase spending on behalf of their vested interests.

They wanted someone standing up to talk for them, cutting taxes for them, not someone who ran around the country as their leader did two weeks ago talking about how raising gas taxes was going to help ordinary Canadians.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the scripts they write for their own open-line callers and the plastic cards their caucus has to carry around with them, how humiliating. One voice, only his.

But silencing all the voices around him means there are no other voices to say this is wrong. This is trying to buy a vote to bring down a government. This is unlevelling a playing field that must be level. This is when there is a Cadman affair and an in and out scheme.

To the Prime Minister: Why is his voice the only one that counts?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:30 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 recent Conservative voices count for more in this government than any other. It is because the Liberal leader there has silenced the voices of the Liberal Party. In this session of Parliament, over a quarter of the time he has told his members of Parliament they cannot stand up and vote on behalf of their constituents. That is called silencing the voices of his members.

Conservatives come here and they speak on behalf of their constituents, and they vote. They vote again and again for lower taxes, and action on crime. They are voting for real Canadians.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government wants to control everything, from which movies we watch to which brochures we read. And now, since the first of April, they have stopped updating the system for coordination of access to information requests, an important tool in obtaining information on how this government operates.

If it is not in order to govern away from prying eyes, why then did this Conservative government kill this wonderful tool of democracy? Is this the transparency promised by the Conservatives during the election campaign?

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, a leading expert on access to information law said this about the Liberal CAIRS program in 2003:

No other country maintains a government-wide database like CAIRS. CAIRS is the product of a political system in which centralized control is an obsession.

That is not the way of this government. That is the way of the Liberals. That is the way of the Bloc and the way of the NDP. This government is committed to open information as we did with the CBC, and as we did with the Wheat Board and Canada Post.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not an answer.

The Prime Minister, in his secretive and controlling way, has decided that requests for access to information must go through the Privy Council from now on. This is reminiscent of what the Conservatives did with the gun registry. It is their way of getting in their cheap shots—quietly and without public debate. The Conservatives have made this decision for a very specific reason—they want to hide information from the public.

Will the government immediately reinstate the system for coordination of access to information requests?

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, why would we reinstate a program that blocks access to information, that centralizes control? For the first time, over the objections of the Liberals, Canadians can see how their taxes are being used and spent by the CBC, by the Wheat Board and by Canada Post. The Liberals were never willing to relinquish that central control. We are.

Montreal InternationalOral Questions

May 5th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, in keeping with its decision to no longer support non-profit economic organizations, the federal government has decided to stop funding Montreal International, which also receives funding from the Government of Quebec, the City of Montreal and the private sector, and whose mission is to attract foreign investment and support the development of targeted sectors.

Does the minister responsible for the economic development for the regions of Quebec plan on reconsidering his decision, as called for by the Quebec minister of economic development, innovation and export, Raymond Bachand, who has said that it is based purely on ideology?

Montreal InternationalOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, Montreal International is an organization that has been financed for several years by Economic Development Canada and other partners. We clearly indicated to the organization that we now wish to fund one-off projects with measurable results.

Nevertheless, we are taking a very civil approach. We advised Montreal International to submit a transition plan so that after March 31, 2010, it will be self-sustaining.

Quebec City ArmouryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 3, the federal government issued a call for tenders to relocate the occupants of the Quebec City armoury, home of Les Voltigeurs, for a period of 10 years as of June 2008. But on April 12, this period was indicated to be three years.

Could the minister responsible for the Quebec City region tell us whether this means that the government has decided not to rebuild the armoury or that it has secretly come up with a new purpose for it?

Quebec City ArmouryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. The member is obviously behind in the news, because this was reported in Le Soleil on the weekend.

The Minister of National Defence issued a call for tenders because of the number of people affected. This does not call into question the rebuilding of the armoury.

Ontario EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the federal government often disagrees with provincial governments on policies, but especially at a time of hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs, it is unacceptable and unprecedented for Canada's finance minister to tell the world that Ontario is the last place to invest. When even the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador is now promising to stand up for Ontario and also to move forward with his anyone but Conservative campaign, why can the minister not stop trashing the business climate of Ontario?

Ontario EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, last week the member for Markham—Unionville, disregarding the facts, attacked me, my wife and our children. His remarks were defamatory and we are awaiting his apology.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would recommend a little collegiality in this House, and on the matter of that school, my questions are very simple. Is there now or was there ever in the past any ownership by the minister or anyone in his family? Was there anything in his budget that potentially or actually supported that school? If so, why did he not recuse himself from the budget?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has been a longtime supporter of helping developmentally disabled people in this country. He is someone who has done more to help the disadvantaged with developmental disabilities than the Liberal government ever did. The lies and smears that we hear from that side of the House are simply unacceptable. The member should do the right thing, he should apologize and he should do it immediately.

Montreal InternationalOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of worrying about the Constitution, the Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec should worry about his own affairs and make sure that Quebec's economy also is stimulated in Montreal. This stupid decision to cut funding to Montreal International and other not for profit organizations will have disastrous repercussions on Montreal's economy and on all the regions of Quebec.

First it was Ontario, and now it seems to be our turn. What does the minister have against Montreal?

Montreal InternationalOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to support economic organizations, but we are supporting one-off projects and no longer providing recurring funding.

Montreal International has received $66 million from Canada Economic Development over the past 10 years. We expect Montreal International to present us with a transition plan. In two years, effective March 31, 2010, it should be self-sufficient and drawing its support from its community.

Montreal InternationalOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, imagine, we are dealing with an armchair constitutional scholar like the CED minister and with a senator who is an expert at closing things down and who does not have the Prime Minister's ear when it comes to representing the interests of Montreal in cabinet.

The partnership between the federal government and Montreal International is an unprecedented success. This organization has attracted almost $6 billion in investments over 12 years. That is $6 billion for Montreal. The World Anti-Doping Agency is a good example. What does this cost the federal government? It costs $2 million a year. The minister is alone in his thinking.

When will the minister announce that he will renew funding for Montreal International?

Montreal InternationalOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, the contract we have with Montreal International ended on December 31, 2007. People there know full well that they have to present us a with a transition plan.

Furthermore, every economic organization that has presented us with a serious and credible transition plan has had its projects approved. We expect the same thing from Montreal International.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, media reports over the weekend suggested the government was proposing changes requiring all federal skilled worker applicants to submit the results of a French or English language proficiency test.

Could the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration clarify what this means for skilled workers applying to come to Canada?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we value the contribution that newcomers have made in building Canada. We want more newcomers to come here. We want more to be reunited with their families and more to become successful Canadians.

That is why these are proposals only. They are presented in the Canada Gazette for a 30 day period to ensure public consultation. If it becomes clear that they might place additional burdens on applicants, then we will not proceed with them.

However, rest assured, our government will always ensure that immigrants who want to come to Canada are treated fairly and equally.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the exemption that allows Insite to operate is set to expire June 30. Again and again, the government has delayed a decision on this important facility, saying more research needs to be done.

The research has been done and it is absolutely clear. More than 20 studies have demonstrated the health, safety and cost benefits of Insite. This morning, the criminologist hired by the government said that Insite contributed to public order and saves lives.

When will the government listen to the evidence and extend Insite's permit to operate?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 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, as the hon. member knows, the extension ends on June 30 and the government will make a decision before that time.

However, I was very pleased to be with the justice minister and the public safety minister last week, when we announced $111 million to help individuals addicted to illicit and unhealthy drugs and for prevention purposes as well, to ensure our kids get the message that these drugs are unsafe.

That is the kind of government we have in Canada now, a government that cares about addicts and cares about those who would otherwise be twisted on to these very dangerous drugs.