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House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was offenders.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there was a delay of several months in the decision to order the vaccine. Those facts are very clear. There was an entire gap of time in which things were not done which needed to be done. There was a race against time and we are now late in dealing with the outbreak of the virus.

I would like to ask the minister this question. Yesterday in the Saskatchewan legislature the health minister announced that there will be 40,000 fewer vaccines distributed next week than there were this week because of the decisions of the federal government. Those cuts are being faced by provinces across the board.

How does the minister justify the fact that we are late in the day in dealing with this crisis?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I have a simple proposition to the hon. member and to the rest of his caucus: work with us, work with public health officials who give their best advice to us day in and day out, work with the doctors, work with the nurses, work with the medical profession.

We are all in this together. Work with us.

Government AdvertisingOral Questions

October 29th, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is confusion, uncertainty and delay across the country when it comes to H1N1. And yet, the Prime Minister has created a slush fund to allow his ministers to continue their propaganda campaign. They have spent 12 times more on empty slogans than on providing useful information on the virus. More has been spent by each minister on self-promotion than on informing the public across the country about the virus.

Why is the Prime Minister putting his political interests ahead of the health of Canadian families?

Government AdvertisingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our government has demonstrated real leadership when it comes to communicating with Canadians on H1N1.

Thousands and thousands of Canadians, as I stand here speaking, are receiving the vaccine. We will continue to work with the provinces and territories in the rollout of the vaccine. We will continue to communicate to Canadians the importance of getting the vaccine, and so should the opposition members.

Government AdvertisingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Prime Minister to open the books on his blue waste campaign. Now we know why he will not.

Here is how he is dishing it out: to the Minister of Finance, $12 million for propaganda, including $2 million for the Prime Minister's vanity website; to the Minister of National Revenue, $7 million; human resources, $7 million; to the Minister of Transport, $8 million.

Why is the Prime Minister putting his political interests ahead of the needs of families who are coping with the most serious public health issue in decades?

Government AdvertisingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, if the Liberals had their way, they would continue to spread the kind of misinformation and scaremongering that they have been doing in recent days. Their health critic had to, of course, apologize earlier for making some rather regrettable comments and trying to make light of a public health emergency.

We have an important responsibility. The Minister of National Revenue makes important pronouncements with respect to tax credits available to Canadians. The Minister of Finance reports back to Canadians, as mandated by this House, on our economic stimulus plan.

We are working hard to create jobs and opportunities. We are working hard to get that job done.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the David Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute have published a study showing beyond a doubt that Canada can adopt the international community’s greenhouse gas reduction targets while maintaining strong economic growth. This study contradicts the catastrophic evaluations of the Conservatives.

Will the Prime Minister admit that his approach of pitting the economy against the environment does not hold water and is only intended to help oil companies continue to pollute with impunity?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, that is totally false. This report is nothing more than a draft carbon tax.

We have always said we will adopt a balanced, pragmatic approach, taking both the economic recovery and the environment into account. Those are the kinds of practical solutions we will propose, and not just fine words.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that the Conservative approach is catastrophic and particularly damaging to Quebec, which has the best record when it comes to fighting greenhouse gases.

If 1990 were taken as the base year with absolute reduction targets, Quebec companies would be able to sell carbon credits and see their efforts rewarded.

Why favour polluters like the oil companies to the detriment of Quebec and economic prosperity?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, quite to the contrary, my colleagues in the opposition should soon see the practical actions that are being taken.

We are currently working with the United States on a continental harmonization of our targets. We are also working with countries on other continents to make progress in this regard. The Bloc can hardly ask us to implement a report that is just a draft carbon tax. We need a balanced, pragmatic approach that takes all the factors into account, and that is what we will do.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government’s refusal to adopt a credible plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions penalizes Quebec. Quebec paper mills have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 41% since 1990, but the lack of absolute targets is preventing them from benefiting from this effort through carbon credits.

Does the environment minister realize that as a result of his inaction, Quebec companies are losing a lot of money that they could access if Canada adopted the international community’s targets and such mechanisms as a carbon exchange?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as has already been said, we do not support a carbon tax. Effective action on the environment requires a balanced approach to taking action, providing a cleaner environment, and economic prosperity for Canadians. That is what our plan does, with an absolute reduction of 20% by 2020.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the biomethanation project in Rivière-du-Loup is an informative example in this regard. The lack of absolute targets and the absence of a real carbon exchange in Montreal are penalizing Rivière-du-Loup.

What does the Minister of the Environment say to the mayor of Rivière-du-Loup, who claims that the lack of a carbon exchange will result in his city losing more than $1 million? We are far from the Conservative Party slogan, “Actions, not elections”. There is no action on climate change.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member is advocating a carbon tax on Canada. Canadians and Quebecers were really clear in the last election. They said no to a carbon tax.

Our plan is clear. We will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. Our government has entered into an integrated North American approach to climate change. It is getting the job done. The member needs to get serious about climate change.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Ontario's premier said that he could not have imposed the HST without the active help and involvement of the federal government.

Today the Prime Minister is with Premier Campbell in British Columbia. He will no doubt be trying to collect credit out there for having helped put a tax on just about everything from haircuts to housing. There is no question that the government has earned this credit for having helped the HST to come into being.

However, the question is this: Why would the government have wanted to put a tax on hard-working families in British Columbia and then go out and try to get a little credit for it? It makes no sense. Would the government please explain what it is up to?

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, speaking of British Columbia, this Conservative government has delivered for British Columbia. This Conservative government has lowered taxes across the board for British Columbians.

When we lowered the GST from 7% to 6%, members of the NDP voted against it. When we lowered it from 6% to 5%, they voted against it. When we introduced pension income splitting for seniors, they voted against it. Every single time we have lowered taxes for British Columbians, members of the NDP have said no.

It is no wonder. Their track record as a government in British Columbia shows that all they did was raise taxes on British Columbia and drive our economy into the ground. We have shown leadership by cutting taxes and standing up for B.C.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I can see why the Conservative government does not want to attach itself to the HST. Even the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, including the wife of the Minister of Finance, know to whom to write so a stop can be put to it. She writes her husband asking him to please put a stop to this unfair tax.

I think she would know whether or not he has the power to do that. Of course, these Conservatives used to be against the HST. When it hit Atlantic Canada, here is exactly what they said in the House. They called it “a regressive tax” that would “hurt the poorest of Canadians”. Why are the Conservatives trying to hurt the poorest of Canadians now?

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, speaking of the power to do things, the Minister of Finance and this Conservative government, through four budgets and two minority Parliaments, have passed tax relief measure after tax relief measure to stand up and protect Canadian families.

That is $190 billion in tax relief over four budgets in order to protect Canadian families. That is what we have done. Every single step of the way, all the NDP has done is condemn this Conservative government for cutting taxes.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, they have condemned us for cutting taxes and now they applaud it again. That goes to show how faulty and how false the front is that they are putting before British Columbians. British Columbians know that lower taxes mean voting Conservative.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the town of Truro in Cumberland-Colchester has been waiting for funding for a new recreation centre since last year. New Democrats have been pushing hard for this to happen.

After months of delay, the government now says that it will make new funding announcements only after the byelection. However, Truro's deputy mayor said recently, in print, that the member for Central Nova had promised funding for this centre already.

Will the Minister of National Defence confirm that he said this and that the funding will in fact flow for the Truro centre, regardless of who wins the byelection?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence has always fought hard for the province of Nova Scotia.

For 13 years, the people of Nova Scotia were let down. They finally have a fighter, someone who works hard to create jobs, hope and opportunity and someone who works hard to ensure that Nova Scotia gets its fair share. The people of Nova Scotia are lucky to have such an advocate for the first time in decades.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, next year, Canadians will host the G20 summit, yet Canadians are concerned when they hear that the Minister of Industry is using the opportunity to siphon millions of dollars to projects that have nothing to do with the summit itself.

Could the minister explain why the G8 legacy fund is being used to replace a sidewalk 84 kilometres away from the summit? This sidewalk has nothing to do with the summit. How can the minister justify such blatant, personal misuse of taxpayer dollars?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this government is very excited about hosting the G8 summit. We are even more excited to host the G20 summit. We are particularly excited about the opportunity to promote one of the most beautiful places on earth, Muskoka and Georgian Bay. When the world comes together, there will be literally thousands of journalists and they will be taking over literally every single inch of hotel space and rental accommodation within 150 miles. We are going to take one of the most beautiful parts of this country and spruce it up and make it even more welcoming to the world.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, he cannot account for the spending because the sidewalk leads to a minister out of control. So much for accountability. It is just another misuse of taxpayers' dollars. The problem is the minister is using funds solely for his pet projects and not for what they were intended. When will he stop using taxpayers' dollars as if they were his own?