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House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was office.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I also want to acknowledge again the hard work of the front line people who are working very hard in the provinces and territories to vaccinate every Canadian who wants to receive the vaccine by the end of this year. Canada is ahead of schedule. We produce more vaccines for Canadians, 10.4 million vaccines by the end of this week, and 20% of our population has been vaccinated to date.

Once again, I will say this in the House, some jurisdictions will have completed their vaccination program this week and that is something to be proud of as Canadians. We should be proud of how we are doing.

Community Adjustment FundOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is still using the fund for partisan purposes. What it did in Quebec was shameless and totally inappropriate.

The community adjustment fund has a budget of $1 billion over two years. It targets regions that have lost a lot of jobs, regions that are in need. Let me repeat that: the money is supposed to help regions in need, not help Conservative members get themselves elected. Let us look at the numbers. The Conservatives hold 15% of the seats in Quebec, and their ridings received 54% of the funding. That is 54%.

Does the government realize that this violates all of the rules of ethics, fairness and impartiality?

Community Adjustment FundOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to remind the member of the facts.

The facts are these: thanks to the community adjustment fund, our government, together with the Government of Quebec, has made over $230 million available to the silviculture and forest resources management sectors in all regions of Quebec.

We will continue to do our job. The member recently came to my riding and said that I was not doing my job. Now he says that I am doing it too well.

Community Adjustment FundOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is a load of bull. What happened was that 15% of the ridings received 54% of the funding just because they voted for the Conservative Party. Clearly, the Conservatives believe there are two kinds of ridings: good ones, which voted for them; and bad ones, which voted for other parties. They believe there are good voters and bad ones. In other words, they are sending the message that they will help people who voted for them and ignore everyone else.

Do we have two classes of citizens now? Is the government telling workers and the unemployed, families and children who do not live in a Conservative riding that they deserve nothing?

Community Adjustment FundOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, it has been my pleasure to make a number of announcements, just as several of my colleagues have done across Quebec.

The community adjustment fund serves all regions of Quebec. Canada Economic Development's mandate is to help regions that are struggling economically, and we intend to do our job.

I would like to thank the 400 public servants working in 14 business offices across the regions of Quebec. These people analyze all of the applications we receive. Unfortunately, we cannot help regions that do not ask for financial support. We will continue to do our job. As long as people ask for our help, we will take action.

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

November 18th, 2009 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, regarding the potential sale of Candu reactors to India, the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs for the Americas tried to reassure us by saying that India has agreed to respect a “voluntary moratorium” on nuclear testing. It does not take much to satisfy the minister, when we know that India misused Canadian civilian nuclear technologies to produce its first nuclear bomb in 1974, even though the parties had signed an agreement.

Does the Minister of State realize that Canada is being negligent by not requiring that India sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty before Canada sells India any Candu reactors?

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, Canada's support for a nuclear cooperation agreement is a turning point in our bilateral relationship that we should celebrate. We are rebuilding a relationship that was badly damaged under the previous Liberal government which petulantly imposed ineffective sanctions.

India has indeed made substantial non-proliferation and disarmament commitments to achieve the trust of all of the nuclear suppliers group and which were reiterated on September 5. As the Prime Minister said, “We have great faith in our Indian friends and partners”.

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government is definitely in the pay of the nuclear industry. Since it is hard to find buyers for Candu reactors, the Conservative government is ready to try anything. It is turning a blind eye to the 1974 betrayal, and says it is satisfied with India's political declaration, which is hardly binding, to ease its conscience.

When will this government take responsibility by imposing conditions on India: no Candu reactors unless it signs the nuclear non-proliferation treaty?

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, this is 2009 and not 1974. I can assure the House that both sides are committed to moving as quickly as possible so Canada can fully participate in the important Indian market.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, Israel has authorized the construction of 900 new homes in East Jerusalem, even though its annexation has never been recognized by Canada and the international community. The United States, Great Britain and the European Union have vigorously condemned the action.

Will Canada add its voice to that of the international community and condemn this illegal decision?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague.

I can assure him that Canada's position has not changed. Canada considers settlement expansion unhelpful to efforts to restart peace negotiations. At the same time, Canada urges both parties to refrain from any unilateral actions that undermine the resumption of direct bilateral negotiations.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to George Mitchell, the U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, this project threatens the chances of negotiations with Palestinian authorities resuming.

Why is it that Israel's closest ally can denounce this situation while Canada dithers?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, one might quibble in terms of the proximity of Israel's closest ally but, as I said, our long-standing position has not changed. We do consider settlement expansion to be unhelpful to the peace process.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Senator Housakos' financing methods are so suspicious that the leader of the ADQ has asked the police to investigate.

The Conservatives refuse to disclose what they learned about the senator from government checks prior to his appointment to the Senate.

Why is the government hiding the results of its inquiry?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this is another fishing expedition from the member for Hull—Aylmer.

I will tell the House what the government has done with respect to political financing. When we took office, we made the biggest priority an overhaul of our public laws with respect to political financing. We banned all corporations from donating to political parties. We promised it and we did it. We banned all unions from contributing to political parties. We promised it and we delivered it.

We finally put an end to $5,000 a person cocktail parties and lowered the limit to $1,000.

Those are the most pro middle-class initiatives ever taken in Canadian history. We have cleaned up the ethical mess we found when the hon. member's party left government.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, would the hidden inquiry first reveal a shady arrangement of cross-funding between the ADQ and the Conservatives, along with a system of partisan federal appointments in exchange for payments, as was the case with Nick Katalifos and Jean-Martin Masse, for example?

How can anyone fail to see the connection between this cross-funding arrangement and the Conservatives' system of partisan appointments?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is increasingly becoming the leader of the Liberal rat pack.

The Liberals seem to have only two objectives in relation to this matter. One is character assassination and the other is a mean-spirited personal mudslinging, which does not serve the member opposite or his party well in my judgment.

Toronto Port AuthorityOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has claimed many times that it takes the allegations surrounding the Minister of Natural Resources' sorry tenure of the Toronto Port Authority seriously. However, its definition of serious seems to condone violations of ethic codes, breaking rules against conflicts of interest and using taxpayer money to advertise Conservative fundraisers.

How can Canadians take the government seriously when it refuses to discipline its ethically challenged minister?

Toronto Port AuthorityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, once again we have a member of the Liberals' rat pack seeking to malign a hard-working minister in this government.

Let me say that the Minister of Natural Resources has brought more integrity to her office than many ministers whoever sat in cabinet from that party opposite.

Toronto Port AuthorityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is willing to take the Toronto Port Authority at its word when it suits its interests. Signing off on unauthorized expenses is not a problem. Hospitality policies violated but we need not worry because the board says that it is fine.

However, when the Port Authority asks for an audit by the Auditor General to shed light on the truth, the government covers up.

What do the Conservatives have to hide? Why are they afraid of what the Auditor General will find?

Toronto Port AuthorityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Toronto Port Authority operates on an arm's-length basis. We look to its directors and to its audit committee. We look to ensure that all of its statements are audited each and every year, which has always happened.

The Toronto Port Authority also undergoes, as do all similar port authorities and crown corporations, a special examination every five years, and that will be happening this year.

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Health announced the site of the February meeting of the G7 finance ministers and the central bank governors.

Could the Minister of Health please tell the House the significance of today's announcement?

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the meeting of the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors will be hosted in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

At such an important and challenging time, I can think of no better location for an international meeting focused on collaboration to resolve shared challenges.

Throughout its long history, the people of Nunavut and all of Canada's north have demonstrated a community spirit and steadfast determination to overcome adversity.

[Member spoke in Inuktitut]

Broadcasting IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are fed up with the ridiculous media war between the broadcasters and the cable giants.

On the one hand, the cable giants have racked up $2.1 billion in profits while jacking up cable rates year after year and, on the other hand, the broadcasters are crying destitution after blowing $740 million on U.S. programs.

Meanwhile, Canadian consumers are getting gouged, local television is being held hostage and Canada's amazingly versatile film and television industry is being hung out to dry.

What steps will the minister take to put an end to this corporate circus?

Broadcasting IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question and obviously all Canadians have been paying attention to this important debate. What we have done are two things most recently that are very important.

First, we gave a section 15 requirement to the CRTC that the most important thing it needs to do in its consideration and deliberation over this very important issue is to put consumers first. We want to ensure that consumers are put first in this conversation and discussion.

The second thing we have done is to bring together all the stakeholders, which is what the member is talking about. We have brought together all the partners and we have reached an agreement on part II fees which gives $450 million in immediate relief to the industry. This is good for all Canadians.