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House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was home.

Topics

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, in reality, the minister’s decision is harmful to the Quebec tourism industry and to relations with Mexico. The minister’s stubborn refusal to put in place a system for handling refugee claims that would produce predictable decisions is totally incomprehensible, because it is precisely that lack of uniformity in decisions that encourages illegitimate claimants to try their luck.

Instead of shifting the blame for his decision to the shoulders of the Government of Quebec, why does the minister not implement the appeal division that is already provided for in his legislation?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, 90% of refugee claimants from Mexico have been rejected by the IRB. Now, with the visa system, 90% of visa holders are being approved by our visa officers.

We have saved Quebec taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in costs associated with false refugee claims.

I think the voters of Rivière-du-Loup will agree with me on this.

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada was recently ranked 28th out of 30 countries on cellphone costs.

Canadians need competition to ensure better services and lower monthly bills.

The government has horribly mismanaged the Globalive file. It took $442 million from the company 15 months ago and encouraged it to invest in a new network. Last week the government told Globalive it was not eligible to operate in Canada under foreign ownership rules.

This is nothing short of total incompetence. What does the government intend to do about it?

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are well aware of the CRTC's decisions with respect to Globalive's bid to provide cellular coverage in Canada. We take this situation very seriously and action surrounding it.

We are currently studying the CRTC's decision in the best interest of this country and when our government is in a position to comment further we will certainly do so.

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is certainly not the way to treat our businesses.

This government awarded Globalive Communications Inc. a portion of the spectrum reserved for cellular telephone communications.

The company paid $442 million for that privilege 15 months ago.

Last week, the government informed the company that it was not eligible because of foreign ownership rules—15 months later!

How could this government have exhibited such enormous incompetence in handling this matter?

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, once again, the hon. member is referring to two different decisions by two different entities.

I reiterate the fact that we take this situation very seriously. We are currently studying the CRTC's decision and the government will be in a position to comment further shortly.

Arctic SovereigntyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, the people of Canada's north know that the government's words on protecting Arctic sovereignty are hollow.

Photo ops and announcements with no follow through are not enough. No one is fooled by red herrings like the non-dispute of Hans Island or the theatrical protests over Russian bombers which never actually came close to us.

When will the government take real action to protect Canada's Arctic sovereignty?

Arctic SovereigntyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we have taken a series of actions, not only on the military side where we have already launched the start of the ice-hardened vessels that will patrol the coast, but also on the creation of CanNor, which is the new Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and also in investments in the Rangers and other programs in the north to enhance our sovereignty. It is interesting that the Yellowknife newspaper says that the member of Parliament from that region should get behind this party and this government because finally they are seeing action in the north.

Arctic SovereigntyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, as I expected, a number of hollow words. This summer the U.S. banned commercial fishing in the Beaufort Sea, including 21,000 square kilometres of Canadian waters. The government's response was to send a note.

Now the U.S. and Alaska are planning to drill for oil and gas in our waters.

Will the government finally stand up for Canadian Arctic sovereignty or, as it has with climate change policies, will it wait for the U.S. to make the decision for us?

Arctic SovereigntyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, it is an exciting time to be in the north, despite the hon. member's presence, and here is why.

Last year, companies that were drilling and exploring in the north gave a record amount of money to the Government of Canada for the privilege of just exploring in the Beaufort Sea.

We continue to work with the Inuvialuit, the Governments of NWT and Yukon, and with northerners to ensure we advance carefully considered drilling and exploring in the Beaufort area to ensure it is done properly and done for the benefit of all Canadians.

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, history shows that when times get tough the worst thing countries can do is retreat into protectionism. That is why it is important, more than ever, to oppose protectionism and defend free and open trade on the world stage. For Canada, this means opening new doors for Canadian businesses.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade tell the House what the government is doing to create new business opportunities for Canadians?

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is absolutely correct. Protectionism is absolutely the worst response in difficult economic times. I would like to thank the member for Essex for his tireless promotion of international trade.

We have been working hard to open new markets for Canadians and we have been having a lot of success. We have signed new trade agreements with eight countries and are in the process of negotiating agreements with over 50 countries around the world.

While some countries are choosing protectionism, Canada is open for business. That is what Canadians expect and that is the message the Prime Minister is taking to India this week.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Americans are investing in the production of medical isotopes and the Dutch are investing in isotopes. Both are building up their economies and investing in this sector because the Prime Minister decided Canada will no longer be a world leader in the field. He threw it away.

How is it that the rest of the world sees the value in nuclear medicine but the Conservatives are blinded by their ideology?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I have spoken with the U.S. secretary of energy about plans regarding medical isotopes. On Friday, I spoke to the minister in the Netherlands with respect to that country's plans regarding medical isotopes as well. We are on the issue. We are ensuring that Canada is playing a lead on this around the globe.

Domestically, first, we are ensuring that there is a safe return of the NRU to service to produce medical isotopes, and second, we are ensuring that the expert review panel has all the options in front of it to give advice to us.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the television program Enquête has once again pointed out the lack of psychological resources for the Canadian military. The report revealed that National Defence did not inform Frédéric Couture's family of his first suicide attempt.

How does the Minister of National Defence explain that, in addition to not providing adequate psychological support, his department leaves the families of military personnel to their own devices?

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of the investments made in the Canadian Forces health system.

We continue, as we are seeing in the private sector, to reach out to try to find more professionals from the mental health field. We have recently been acknowledged and in fact commended by the Canadian mental health professionals for the work that is being done. Chief of the Defence Staff Walter Natynczyk continues to reach out to others within the Canadian Forces to support one another in an acknowledgement that we have to continue to do more.

I thank my hon. colleague for raising this issue. We will continue in the Canadian Forces to acknowledge the needs of our families and of Canadians who--

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the health minister has appointed a Pfizer VP to the Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Having Dr. Bernard Prigent sit on the council is extremely alarming and should never have happened in the first place.

Having drug companies advise the government is like having the big bad wolf advising the three little pigs on how to build their homes.

Does the health minister have the common sense to see this as a huge conflict of interest and reverse the appointment?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I will take the member's comments and review the matter.

In terms of the decision, there is a due process involved in reviewing all people who are interested in appointments. I believe that has been conducted to date to appoint the individual.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, until last week, newcomers studying for the Canadian citizenship test were given a study booklet that did not include a single reference to our military history or the sacrifices of our veterans. In fact, it had more information on recycling and composting than on Confederation and failed to recognize important landmarks in Quebec's history.

Would the citizenship and immigration minister update the House on what he has done to improve the citizenship study guide?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that after extensive consultations with historians and experts from across the spectrum, we published last week the new study guide for Canadian citizens, which we hope will be used by all Canadians to develop a deeper understanding of our country and the values, symbols and institutions that are grounded in Canadian history.

It is entitled, “Discover Canada”. It focuses not just on the rights but also the responsibilities of Canadian citizens. It includes an appropriate reference to the sacrifice of the 110,000 brave Canadian war dead. It talks about Canadian values, like the equality of men and women.

It also tells of the founding of Quebec and New France. We are proud of this new study guide for new Canadians.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

November 16th, 2009 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has already said that Canada will stop producing isotopes. His government does not want to commit to renewing the Chalk River reactor's operating licence after 2016.

Why are the Conservatives throwing away thousands of jobs and doing nothing to guarantee supplies of medical isotopes for patients suffering from cancer and heart disease?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, first, as I indicated in the answer previous, we are ensuring that AECL is working on the NRU to return the reactor to service in order to produce medical isotopes because the health and safety of Canadians is our primary focus.

Second, the government has already announced that we are looking to strengthen Canada's nuclear industry, be it in medical isotopes or in research and development or in Candu. In fact, we are taking steps along that matter now.

Nuclear WasteOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal Nuclear Waste Management Organization has still not officially ruled out Quebec as a potential site for the permanent disposal of all nuclear waste in Canada. However, the Quebec National Assembly has adopted a unanimous motion to prohibit the burial, on Quebec territory, of nuclear waste from outside Quebec.

Will the minister respect the wishes of the Quebec nation and remove Quebec from the list once and for all, so that we do not become Canada's garbage dump?

Nuclear WasteOral Questions

3 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization has a very long-term mandate. The mandate is to find a safe place for nuclear waste in Canada. In fact, the key of it is to find a willing and informed host community that consents to the storage of the waste in that area.

By virtue of that, it would seem the member has answered her own question.