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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

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, GSK had overstated its production abilities for the last week. As soon as I became aware of the situation, I communicated to the provincial health ministers so they were aware of what was coming before them.

Thousands will be distributed this week. Millions more will be produced next week. By Christmas, every Canadian will be able to receive the vaccine.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Fédération québécoise des municipalités and the Union des municipalités du Québec deplore the fact that they are still waiting for the infrastructure money. By insisting on entering into agreements for each individual project in each program, the federal government seems more concerned with its own visibility than the need to create jobs and rehabilitate public infrastructure.

Why is the federal government refusing to transfer a block of funds to Quebec for infrastructure so that it can get to work quickly?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government is working very well with the Government of Quebec and the municipalities in each region of Quebec. It is absolutely vital to have a good working relationship with the province. Our government respects provincial jurisdictions. It will continue to work well with Quebec and to announce and pay for good infrastructure projects in the province.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not what the representatives of Quebec's various municipal unions are saying.

Some fear that Quebec will not obtain its share and that a number of projects will not be funded if the federal government sticks to the deadline of March 30, 2011, for infrastructure project funding.

Given that the federal government is in part responsible for the delays, and to avoid abuse, will the government be flexible so that all funds slated for Quebec are truly invested in the Quebec economy?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our economic action plan is a national plan. It is mandatory, not just essential, that it create employment in the province of Quebec. That is the position of our government and of our team. We work well with the Government of Quebec and with the municipalities.

Last month, because of the municipal elections, we were unable to announce projects. However, the elections are over and we will continue to work hard with the municipal leaders and our colleagues in the Government of Quebec.

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been nine months since the Minister of Finance tabled his budget. In the past nine months the minister has failed to deliver on his promise to help consumer and small business struggling under the weight of outrageous credit and debit fees.

Here we are some nine months later and there is still no action by the minister, except of course a rumoured quick fix voluntary code of conduct, a move that comes nowhere near addressing the damages to the credit and debit payments market.

Where is his plan, or does he even have one?

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the same concern we share about ensuring that financial instruments in our country are fair not only to consumers but to industry and small businesses as well.

In fact, the best way to ensure fair pricing of financial services is to encourage disclosure, competition and choice. We have been working through both the Senate committee and a joint finance and industry committee in the House to ensure that we listen to Canadians and hear what they have to suggest to us for improvements.

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that Visa and MasterCard constitute 93% of the debit and credit market in the country. Some competition.

That is not enough. We proposed a number of reasonable solutions to the problem, but the Conservatives have nothing to offer but hollow words. Even their answers are meaningless.

Hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses are hoping for a little help from the government. All they want is a fair and transparent payments market.

Why are the Conservatives turning their backs on consumers and SMEs?

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this reminds me of last week when all of a sudden the opposition Liberals decided that there actually were concerns among Canadians about their pensions. Now in one day they have a meeting. Now today they have a press conference. They are all concerned about Canadians and credit card issues.

We have been listening to Canadians. We have been consulting with Canadians. In fact, the CFIB is suggesting that a code of conduct would be an excellent way to deal with this.

We will be rolling out changes in the very near future. Stay tuned.

Crown CorporationsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Robert Abdallah's name has joined those of Senator Housakos, Dimitri Soudas and Tony Accurso on the list of people at the heart of the scandal that has been rocking Montreal, and indeed, all of Quebec.

The mayor of Montreal said that senior public servant André Delisle had raised serious doubts about Mr. Abdallah. Mr. Delisle tendered his resignation as soon as Mr. Abdallah was hired.

What qualities did the Prime Minister see in Mr. Abdallah to try to impose him on the Port of Montreal?

Crown CorporationsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, another day, another drive-by smear by our friends in the Liberal Party.

What Canadians want to see is a government that would be focused on the health of Canadians, that would be focused on jobs, economic growth and creating opportunities for Canadians and providing support for the unemployed.

If the member opposite has any facts whatsoever he would like to put on the table, I would encourage him to do so here and then have the courage of his convictions to repeat them outside this place.

Crown CorporationsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, before his Senate appointment, Leo Housakos was already benefiting from his privileged relationship with the Prime Minister. On December 7, 2007, he was appointed to VIA Rail's board of directors. Now, VIA Rail is preparing to award a major equipment refurbishing contract to an American company. This will cost some 500 Canadians their jobs.

How did Senator Housakos benefit from these job losses?

Crown CorporationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am inclined not to dignify that type of question with a response, but I will say that VIA Rail operates at an arm's-length relation from the government. It recently awarded a contract after an open and transparent process with several bidders.

As I have said in this place, and as others have said in this place, the government, at least at the elected level, does not get involved with who gets contracts with crown corporations.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, Thursday the Ontario legislature will be debating a private member's bill that would see Ontario join other provinces in holding Senate nominee elections.

Alberta has also introduced legislation to extend its process and a bill is currently being considered by the Saskatchewan legislature.

Could the Minister of State for Democratic Reform tell us if the Government of Canada welcomes this idea?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, our government is welcoming these developments in the provinces. We support the provinces creating processes that allow for the members, the citizens of each province, to select nominees directly.

As the Prime Minister has done in the past, he has respected these results and is willing to continue respecting the results of the will of the Canadian people.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr, Speaker, I hear heckling from the other side. I wish they would support Senate reform and enter into the 21st century.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have legitimate concerns about how to protect themselves and their children from the H1N1 virus. They are worried, concerned and afraid and they are especially worried about the government, whose plan for pandemic planning went off the rails this past week. Canadians want some answers. They are particularly stunned to watch the rich sail by to get shots at private clinics that they cannot afford.

My first question is, why is the minister allowing our precious supply of H1N1 vaccine—

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Health.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, six million vaccines have been delivered to provinces and territories. Thousands more and a million more will be sent out to provinces and territories.

Canada currently has more H1N1 vaccine per capita compared to other countries and there will be sufficient H1N1 vaccine for every Canadian by December. This is one way Canadians can protect themselves from H1N1.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, no wonder the minister will not answer the questions directly, the government that is responsible for allowing medicare to be dismantled and privatization to be brought into our system.

We would expect the minister to give some real answers to Canadians who are living in fear and worrying about how they can get access to the H1N1 vaccine.

Why should pregnant women have to stand in line for hours, while the rich get access to a private clinic in Toronto? That is the question. I want to know, what is the minister's plan for ensuring a safe, secure supply of vaccine for everyone?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member should know by now that the provinces and territories deliver health care.

This government has produced six million vaccines and has distributed those to the provinces and territories. Each province and territory will then roll out its vaccine campaign based on its infrastructure systems by jurisdiction.

Currently, we have more H1N1 vaccines in Canada on a per capita basis than any other country. There will be sufficient H1N1 vaccines for every Canadian who wants it or needs it by Christmas.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

November 2nd, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hasty decision made by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism to require visas for Mexicans in the middle of tourist season damaged the Quebec industry. According to Tourisme Québec, from August 2008 to 2009, the number of Mexican tourists dropped by 63%.

Will the minister admit that his hasty, unprofessional decision has significantly harmed Canada-Mexico relations?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, we can now see how irresponsible the Bloc Québécois is when it comes to government responsibilities. The Government of Quebec asked me to take action and to reduce the number of false asylum seekers who move to Quebec and who were costing millions of dollars. We acted responsibly with Mexico, the country that has generated the highest number of asylum seekers in Canadian history.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, if asylum seekers are causing so many problems, it is because there is no consistency in the commission's decisions. Some commission members allow nearly all requests, and others allow none. It is like a commission lottery. The only way to put an end to this anarchy is to implement the refugee appeal division, which would ensure that decisions are consistent, as proposed by the Bloc Québécois.

When will the minister finally implement the refugee appeal division, as already provided for in the act?