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House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pandemic.

Topics

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, it is sad that we are being subjected to these unfounded criticisms. According to the UN, Canada has the most respected refugee system in the world, which the Bloc describes as anarchy. Canada receives more than 1,000 asylum seekers from Mexico every month, who cost Canadian taxpayers $30 million per month, and most of them settle in Quebec. According to the IRB, 90% of these were false asylum seekers. We took action based on a request from the government—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for York Centre.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week we heard of a sidewalk in Parry Sound. Its funding comes out of support for the three-day G8 meeting next July in Huntsville, 84 kilometres away.

The unemployment rate in the region, which includes Parry Sound, is less than half of what it is in Churchill, Manitoba, an NDP riding, and less than 50% of what it is in rural Newfoundland, all Liberal ridings. All these NDP and Liberal ridings are receiving much less in stimulus support.

I ask the industry minister, why?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are very pleased to be supportive of the G8. It is an exciting opportunity for Canada to show off to the world one of the most beautiful places on earth. The thousands of people who will attend the G8 summit will indeed stay within 100 to 150 kilometres of the site. We are going to make one of the most beautiful parts of Canada just a little bit more beautiful.

However, some of the people in Muskoka and Georgian Bay wonder why the member for York Centre's riding is getting $333 million for a subway, when they get such a small portion of that. Maybe he could stand in his place and explain why his riding is getting more infrastructure money than any riding in the country.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this sidewalk runs along Seguin Street in downtown Parry Sound. While it would be nice, for example, to imagine President Sarkozy and his entourage making the 168 kilometre round trip during the G8 to pop in at Lill's Place for breakfast or to pick up a bouquet at Obdam's Flowers, I doubt it.

This government, even in tough times, when Canadians need their government most, again just cannot help itself. Why does it insist on turning every public need, first and foremost, into a political scheme?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, one of the most exciting things about the G8 that will support our tourism industry for many years is the thousands of people in the media from every corner of the planet who will be converging on this region. We hope that they will report on a great part of this world and a great part of Canada, and that will have tourism benefits for decades to come.

The member opposite talks of a scheme. If there is a scheme, it must involve Allan Rock. The scheme must involve Lloyd Axworthy. The scheme must involve Dalton McGuinty. The scheme must involve people of every political stripe who have put politics aside and are working constructively with this government on our infrastructure programs.

The fact that his own riding is getting more money than anyone else's shows how fair we are.

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are undeniably in the midst of a pension crisis. We only have to look as far as our own steps to the Nortel workers who demanded action from a government that has left them vulnerable and empty-handed.

The minister responsible keeps insisting that he can do nothing because it is a provincial matter. He is wrong. The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act is under federal jurisdiction and could provide recourse.

When will the minister stop pretending his hands are tied and do his job to protect the pensions of Canadians?

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the pensioners at Nortel face a very difficult situation because of many factors, the circumstances around Nortel before the global slowdown, and of course the global slowdown affecting the markets.

What we have seen, though, is that this government has recently announced important pension reforms resulting from consultations recently released that will help protect pensioners by requiring companies to fully fund pension benefits on plan termination, make pensions more stable, give pensioners more negotiation powers, and modernize investment rules of pensions.

We are listening to pensioners.

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the 12 months ending August 2009, there were more than 5,700 business bankruptcies in Canada.

Currently, these companies can use federal bankruptcy laws to evade their debt to pensioners and instead pay off corporate creditors whose investments are likely insured anyway. Today, the average corporate pension plan is 20% short of the assets needed for its pension obligations.

There is a crisis. The government has the tools to fix it. We have shown it how. Why does it not take action?

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is well known to all members of this House that our Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance spent the summer travelling across the country listening to pensioners and various stakeholders talk about the state of Canadian pensions.

I will point out that the NDP member for Sackville—Eastern Shore even said that he would give the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance credit because he had gone across the country to talk about this issue.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is focused on what matters to Canadians, helping those hardest hit by the global recession get back to work and helping Canadian families through the global economic storm.

The measures we have introduced are having significant impacts on the lives of Canadians. Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development please update the House on the important actions our Conservative government has taken to help Canadians through the economic global recession?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government continues to take action to help Canadians and their families weather the global economic storm. Unprecedented investments in skills training, expanding EI, and protecting jobs through work-sharing are just a few examples. We also remain dedicated to our commitment to provide maternity and parental benefits to self-employed Canadians.

The Liberal leader wants to force an unnecessary opportunistic election that will harm our economic recovery. We will not let that happen. Instead, we will stay the course on our economic action plan, and continue to stand up for Canadians and their families.

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, there are not enough H1N1 vaccines available to complete B.C.'s inoculations even though B.C. will welcome half a million Olympic visitors in just 100 days. Vancouver's health authority has a strong H1N1 preparedness plan, but not a single federal dollar to help it deliver it.

Will the government provide resources to ensure that B.C.'s preparation measures are delivered in time, or can Canadians just expect more platitudes from the minister as the Olympic games approach?

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, six million vaccines have been distributed across the country. We will continue to deliver vaccines to the provinces and territories. Thirty-three million Canadians will be able to receive the vaccine by Christmas.

We will continue to work with the provinces and territories as we respond to this pandemic and assist them in their rollouts.

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the report prepared by the Pembina Institute and the David Suzuki Foundation clearly shows that Canada's greenhouse gas reduction targets can be met without building any new nuclear energy plants.

How can the Minister of Natural Resources explain her government's enthusiasm for nuclear energy and justify the billions of dollars spent on it, not to mention its decision to subsidize the development of the oil sands, an extremely energy-hungry industry?

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the member is referring to the Canadian nuclear industry, of which we are very proud here in this country. The 30,000 men and women in southern Ontario and other areas of Canada have worked diligently the past 40 some years to put Canada at the forefront of the world in nuclear energy and nuclear research.

We are very proud of it and that is exactly why we continue to support this industry by looking at ways to modernize and restructure AECL to take advantage of the coming nuclear renaissance.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the escape of 40,000 Atlantic salmon off the B.C. coast will damage the already decimated Pacific salmon stocks, a fact the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has failed to grasp. Last week, the minister gave permission to a B.C. fish farm to recapture these fugitive fish. It seems a little like closing the barn door after the horse has left.

DFO already cannot find nine million Fraser sockeye that disappeared earlier this year. How does it expect to find 40,000 escaped salmon? Will the minister come out of hiding and deal with B.C.'s collapsing salmon fishery?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that the sustainability of our fish and seafood sector, including wild fish and farmed fish, is very important to this government.

We did deal with the escape of the farmed fish. This is under the jurisdiction of the province of British Columbia, but we are working with the province. We will be bringing forward a plan to deal with the low returns of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River.

Polar BearsOral Questions

November 2nd, 2009 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, October 30, the Minister of the Environment travelled to Greenland to sign an agreement between the governments of Canada, Nunavut and Greenland to ensure the protection of shared polar bear populations.

Could the minister please share with the House the importance of this agreement?

Polar BearsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the government has made unprecedented efforts to conserve and manage polar bear populations in Canada. The agreement with Greenland represents a critical step forward in our commitment to protect one of Canada's true natural and national symbols.

I am sure that all members of the House would agree that the strength and rugged beauty of the polar bear stands as a reminder that Canada is a true Nordic nation. We are responsible, as primary stewards, for the health of polar bear populations.

The agreement will ensure conservation and sustainable management practices in both the Baffin Bay population and the Kane Basin population, undertaken by Nunavut, Greenland and Canada.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

To mark 100 days in the countdown to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of past and present Olympians and a Paralympian: Nicole Forrester, high jump; Danielle Goyette, hockey sur glace; Benoit Huot, natation; Bruny Surin, athlètisme; Deidre Dionne, freestyle aerialist.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Office of the Correctional InvestigatorRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table, in both official languages, the 2008-09 annual report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator as required under section 192 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.

I thank the Correctional Investigator for his good work, particularly on mental health issues.

Industry, Science and TechnologyCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology concerning the study of Bill C-273, An Act to amend the Competition Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with DisabilitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities relating to Bill C-241, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (removal of waiting period).

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendment.