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House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was french.

Topics

Government AdvertisingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Parkdale—High Park.

Government AdvertisingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister makes it clear he cannot answer a simple question. He supports his ministers acting in conflict of interest.

From the G8 summit fund, his Minister of Industry is given over $1 million for sidewalk improvements that are 80 kilometres away from any summit activity.

Either the Prime Minister believes his minister should help all Canadians or just those the Conservatives want to vote for them.

My question is simple. Will the Prime Minister request the Auditor General to investigate, or will he continue to protect his Minister of Industry from any accountability at all costs?

Government AdvertisingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are tremendously pleased to be hosting the G8 next year. We have one of the most beautiful places on earth in Muskoka, Georgian Bay. It will be highlighted to literally thousands and thousands of journalists. It will be bringing together some of the greatest leaders in the world, and we want to make one of the most beautiful places in this world even nicer. We are working hard to do that so it can benefit from tourism.

With other infrastructure projects, the Minister of Industry was working hard with his provincial colleagues on infrastructure investment in every corner of the province.

The member cannot even get along with Dalton McGuinty, and someone who cannot get along Dalton McGuinty is certainly no friend of mine.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is the third time that the Minister of the Environment has delayed the adoption of a regulatory framework for Canadian greenhouse gas reduction targets. The minister is using the lack of progress in negotiations as an excuse to do nothing. But as Dale Marshall of the Suzuki Foundation has said, not having a plan is what sets back negotiations.

If the minister for big oil intends to go to Copenhagen without a plan, can he tell us what he will be doing there? Is this just a vacation for him?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have checked the portfolios of all my colleagues in cabinet and I cannot find a minister for big oil.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, he should have a look around cabinet. He will see that there are a number of ministers for big oil there.

The Suzuki Foundation reminds us that Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the European Union all have targets. If these countries were able to set targets and create mechanisms to meet them, does that not mean that the reasons given by the minister are nothing more than excuses for doing nothing and giving the oil companies free rein to go on polluting as much as they want to?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc is incapable of thinking about the best interests of our nation. By continuing to serve as props in the NDP's publicity stunt, the Bloc is once again showing that it is irresponsible. This party of armchair critics just wants to get along well with lobby groups. The Bloc is an outdated party that would sacrifice the environment for sovereignty.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, Nathalie Morin and her three children are being held against their will in Saudi Arabia by her violent spouse. Yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said this was a domestic dispute that did not concern him. Imagine the outcry there would be if the police refused to act in a case of spousal violence, claiming that it was a private family dispute.

Why is the Minister of Foreign Affairs refusing to listen to the calls for help coming from this abused Quebecker?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this is a very complex family matter. Due to international law, Ms. Morin and her husband must resolve the custody before the children, who are all Saudi citizens, are able to return to Canada.

Not only that, the Minister of Foreign Affairs was in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago. He met with the minister of foreign affairs of Saudi Arabia and brought this issue up with him. He also talked to the human rights commission of Saudi Arabia.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs is engaged very heavily in this file and we hope it will resolve through the courts.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 22, Nathalie's spouse demanded $300,000 U.S. to agree to a divorce, give her custody of the children and allow her and the children to leave. When the Minister of Foreign Affairs defers to Saudi justice, he ignores the fact that Nathalie was never married either here or in Saudi Arabia and that this Quebecker does not have to buy her own or her children's freedom.

What is the minister waiting for to act?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Nathalie Morin's case is a very complex family dispute. This matter must be resolved between her and her husband because her children are Saudi citizens and this is an international law that Canada has signed.

Let me also repeat that the Minister of Foreign Affairs was in Saudi Arabia, brought this issue up with the minister in Saudi Arabia as well as with the human rights commission in Saudi Arabia. Consular officials have been in contact with Ms. Morin over 300 times. We will continue to be engaged in this file.

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government announced the feeblest attempt at pension reform in Canadian history. At most, the Conservative proposal will marginally affect just 10% of all private pension plans.

Canadians are facing a pension crisis today. That puts the retirement security of millions of Canadians at risk, and the best the government can offer is a piecemeal 10% partial fix.

Why are the Conservatives continuing to abandon 90% of Canadian pensioners, telling them, “Go fend for yourselves?” Why do they not care?

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government has been working hard on this serious and complex issue, beginning many months ago. We announced some solvency regulations earlier in the year to help with pension plans in some difficulty then, then long-term, broad consultations across the country, led by my parliamentary secretary, and then the development of the comprehensive reforms that were announced yesterday.

However, that is not all. We are working with the provinces. We have a research group in place. That will report shortly. Then we will work with the provinces and the territories in Whitehorse in December on even more reform to protect Canadians.

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadians need help today, not 10 years from now.

After reviewing the Conservative pension proposals, a leading national columnist said that her friends were now talking about being forced to work until they were 70. The president of the Canadian Labour Congress says that the Conservative changes announced yesterday do not deal with the pension crisis facing most Canadians.

The Conservatives announced they would fix our pension system, but the truth is their plan does little more than nibble at the edges of the crisis. Who do they think they are fooling with those amendments, anyway?

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, at least the NDP has some policies and has some ideas on pensions. As the critic, the member for Outremont, said yesterday, “We're all agreed that on pensions we're on the right track and we're getting an important report in December”.

If that member wants to talk about not caring and feeble, then let us talk about the position of the Liberal Party of Canada and what its finance critic said two days ago about that party. He said, “The Liberals don't actually have a policy on pension reform”.

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, in February, the Finance Minister said that the government would bring in pension reform within 90 days.

Months after this deadline passed, the government introduced another inadequate solution to a major problem.

All it proposed was a plan that will help 10% of pensioners. How many years will it take before everything is resolved? It may take a number of years with this Conservative government.

When will the government take the plight of pensioners seriously and help the majority of them who are afraid for their future?

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, we take the issue very seriously, as do most Canadians, unlike the Liberal Party that admits it has absolutely no policy at all on pension reform.

How could the Liberal Party have any policy? All those members did was to have one day of meetings here in Ottawa the other day: no policy, no plans, no consideration, no caring for the pensioners of Canada.

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the government has been asleep at the switch for months now, and our pensioners are paying the price. Canadians expect their government to play a leading role in the future of pension plans. But the changes the government is proposing are simply not enough.

These changes do not even meet the needs of Nortel and forestry industry pensioners, who are holding demonstrations and are very worried.

When will the government come up with real solutions for pensioners and stop playing politics?

Our pensioners want respect. Is that so hard for this Conservative government?

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is very difficult for the members opposite in the Liberal Party to understand because clearly the member opposite has not read the comprehensive reforms that we announced yesterday.

For example, the tax provisions announced yesterday apply to all pension plans in Canada. It is an important change of the pension plans for which unions and others asked. It allows greater buildup of surplus in pension plans in difficult times. There is also a workout scheme for pensions in more difficult times, as we did with Air Canada this year.

If members opposite want to contribute to this important debate, I wish they would at least read the reforms.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, victims of crime are a priority. Our government appointed the first Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime and increased funding for victims' services. Now we are attempting to eliminate the faint hope clause.

Could the Minister of Justice tell the House what more this government plans to do to help victim?

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we certainly have plans to do more.

I am pleased to be joined today by Sharon Rosenfeldt, president of Victims of Violence. Since the day that Clifford Olson ripped Sharon's son Daryn from their lives, she and her late husband Gary have worked relentlessly to ensure other families of victims do not have to be victimized. Because of their leadership, it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that the lives of victims and their lost ones are validated.

Canadians can continue to count on this government.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

October 28th, 2009 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday President Obama announced the creation of new green jobs through massive investments in green energy.

Despite claims that the Conservative government is in sync with the U.S. on climate change, the 2006 eco-energy renewable program is almost out of money. Despite budget promises, no new money has been allocated to renewables. Instead of delivering promised money to this sector, the Minister of Natural Resources now simply offers to consult.

Why is Canada the only G8 member heading to Copenhagen with no commitment for renewables?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is correct. This government has done an awful lot for renewable power in our country, $1.5 billion in eco-energy renewable power. That is 4,000 megawatts of clean power on the grid. One million homes in Canada can be powered because of what this Conservative government has done.

Now we are embarking upon four round tables, speaking to Canadian industry, academia and Canadians in general about how they would like to see eco-energy renewable power facilitated in the future.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the environment minister has also announced his regulatory targets will now be delayed until after Copenhagen.

Will the government agree to bring Bill C-311, the climate change accountability act, back to the House before Copenhagen so that Canada does not show up in the negotiations completely empty-handed? What will it take for the government to finally realize that investing in the environment and renewable energy is actually good for the economy?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the short answer is no.

Virtually everyone who is associated with the Copenhagen conference has indicated caution and that an agreement is not likely going to be achieved there.

There is an old salient adage that the pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist dreams it will change, but the realist adjusts his sails. That is exactly what needs to be done.

From our perspective we are going to continue to move forward on a continental basis dealing with vehicle tailpipe emissions, the clean energy dialogue, aviation emissions, marine emissions, and a continental cap and trade.