This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-50.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, again I have to emphasize that the opposition has to realize that there are two different plans.

The federal emergency response plan is aimed at natural disasters, and in the event that a pandemic reached the level where it required public safety intervention, it would be managed under that plan, but we are operating right now under the pandemic management plan, updated by this government in 2006, and the North American pandemic plan, which our government has also put in place. That plan is working well. As a result, we have available the most doses per capita of any country in the world. That is a sound accomplishment. Canadians have gotten the message that they have to get the vaccine and they are going out—

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, maybe if the committee had met even once, it would have come across this disturbing fact.

The contract for pandemic vaccine for 10 years was awarded by the Liberal government to a single company in 2001, Shire Biologics, which was, in turn, sold to GlaxoSmithKline. Getting 50 million doses from one company is like trying to fill 50 million cups of water from the same tap.

The Prime Minister's old friend, Ken Boessenkool, is now a lobbyist for GSK. Is he the person who has been reassuring the government that GSK would have no problem delivering a speedy supply of the vaccine?

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, what Canadians care about is the availability of the vaccine. Six million doses have already been distributed throughout the country, through the provinces and territories, and that is enough vaccine for all of the priority groups. That is more per capita than any other country in the world.

But we are not resting on our laurels. We continue to distribute the vaccine as it is produced. That is our role and responsibility, along with the provinces and territories. We are working with the public health officials. That is what people expect of us and that is what we are doing.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, today our Conservative government introduced the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act. This bill would provide self-employed Canadians with access to maternity, parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits on a voluntary basis.

This is yet another way our government is supporting Canadian families. Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of HRSDC please explain to this House how this bill will help self-employed Canadians balance work and family?

Employment InsuranceOral 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 believes that self-employed Canadians should not be forced to choose between their family and business responsibilities.

That is why for the first time in history, self-employed Canadians will have access to all special benefits under the EI system. There are 2.6 million self-employed Canadians who have long asked for this support, and for 13 long years the Liberals completely ignored them.

Self-employed Canadians now have a Conservative government that takes action and continues to stand up for Canadian families.

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

November 3rd, 2009 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's small businesses are being squeezed at the worst possible time.

Despite the recession, credit card companies and banks have rapidly raised their rates and have set their sights on the debit market. The Retail Council of Canada claims that these new cards gouge merchants hundreds of millions of dollars more each year.

The Conservatives are proposing nothing but a voluntary measure. Does the government really believe that credit card companies and banks will give up all that money voluntarily?

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is not a one-day issue for the typical sort of one-day conference treatment that the Liberal Party gives to issues that are very important to Canadians.

We have been working on this issue of credit cards and debit cards all year. We have already promulgated some regulations as we said we would under the economic action plan in January. Most of those regulations come into force on January 1, in less than two months. There will be better disclosure for Canadians, and that will certainly help them to choose from among various credit cards including a low-frills, low-cost credit card.

Parliamentary Budget OfficerOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is intent on undermining the work of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. In addition to refusing to provide the information he needs, the government is refusing to ensure that the Parliamentary Budget Officer has adequate funding.

This government refuses to give the facts on the state of public finances and has made every effort to get rid of an embarrassing officer of the House. Today, Kevin Page is asking us to eliminate his position or to fund it.

When will this government stop playing games and give the Parliamentary Budget Officer the means to do his work in a completely independent manner?

Parliamentary Budget OfficerOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer reports to the Parliamentary Librarian, and the Parliamentary Librarian reports to you. The hon. member is accusing you of underfinancing the Parliamentary Budget Officer. I want you to know that I will not countenance any accusation of any kind against you, and I will defend your honour.

On this side of the House of Commons, we are working on the economic action plan, which creates more jobs and builds a brighter future for communities through construction projects, lower taxes and a very successful home renovation tax credit.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear in the Standing Orders that members in the House cannot call out or yell out and accuse each other of lying or being a liar. During the responses to the questions from his party by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, the leader of the Bloc called out to the minister and accused him of being a liar on at least four occasions and more like six. I would ask him to respectfully withdraw the remarks that he made here in the House of Commons.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I did indeed say, about six times, "lies, lies, lies" or "mensonges". It is permissible. You regularly allow us to use the words "mensonges" or "lies" in our questions. We cannot say that the person who utters—

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

They do not want to listen.

We cannot say that those uttering lies are liars. It is not permitted to say that there are liars in the House. Outside the House, it can be said, but not here. However, we can use the words “mensonges” and “lies”. You have regularly allowed them in questions. I said, “lies, lies, lies”, “mensonges, mensonges, mensonges”. I am not withdrawing my words. They are permitted, Mr. Speaker.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear. A number of members on this side of the House heard exactly what the member said. He used the word “liar” directly at the minister while he responded. I am simply asking him to acknowledge it.

Mr. Speaker, you have said on many occasions that the decorum in the House needs to improve. The leader of the Bloc has an opportunity to stand in his place today to show that the decorum must change and withdraw the remarks that he made. They were unparliamentary.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I could not hear any of the language being complained of.

What the leader of the Bloc Québécois said is that he used the word "lies". I heard nothing like that, but if he did use this word and it was not in reference to the statements by the minister, it may be acceptable.

I encourage hon. members to avoid using these words altogether. Whether it be in reference to everyone, to documents or to whatever, it is not the thing to do in the House.

I heard nothing. I will see what we can see on the video of today's proceedings.

If there is a problem, I will come back to the House on the point of order raised by the hon. member.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a separate point of order.

During question period, I quoted a letter I received from the Quebec minister of employment and social solidarity, Sam Hamad, and I would like to table it in the House. I am seeking leave of the House to do so.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The minister may do so without leave. He has considerable power in that regard. The document is received.

The Chair has notice of a question of privilege from the hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore and I will hear his point now.

Comments Regarding Member's Position on Firearms RegistryPrivilegeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, this is actually the first time in my 12 and a half years that I have had to rise on a question of privilege in the House of Commons.

When somebody sends something into a riding, it must be based on facts. It must be based on debate that happened in the House of Commons and it must be based on the truth. I received something in my riding that caused much grief to many of my supporters, because it was an outright fabrication of the facts. I cannot say one of the words we talked about earlier, but that is exactly what it is. What I received was deliberately misleading to my constituents with regard to something I have worked towards reversing for 12 and a half years.

I find it unacceptable that the member of Parliament for Saskatoon—Wanuskewin would use such an opportunity to deliberately impugn my reputation and impugn the work that I have done on a particular piece of legislation that is before the House of Commons.

It is intolerable and I have asked that the member, if he wishes this thing to end, stand in the House of Commons and apologize not just to me, but to my constituents for the deliberately misleading article that went to my riding.

Comments Regarding Member's Position on Firearms RegistryPrivilegeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Conservative Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, I guess, first off, on the subject of ten percenters, I want to quickly refer to a ten percenter that came to my riding this past week. It refers to the PM's to-do list and, among other things, it states, “Break up family reunions and wedding receptions. Cripple the tourist industry at the height of summer”. These are ten percenters that came courtesy of the leader of the NDP, compliments of, actually, an acting Speaker in the House.

Moving on, I would encourage the member to actually take it back to his own caucus services, in terms of nuancing, and getting this stuff right, too, because he can imagine how upset I felt when that kind of trash or garbage came into my riding.

However, to the point, and very specifically on the matter of the ten percenter that he refers to, which, at least in part, states, “Your Member of Parliament, “the member for Sackville--Eastern Shore”, worked to support the registry and end the amnesty”. This particular statement was in regard to a Bloc Québécois motion, which stated:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should not extend the amnesty on gun control requirements set to expire on May 16, 2009, and should maintain the registration of all types of firearms in its entirety.

I would just simply say, to the member's credit, actually, the member absented himself on that occasion. It probably took courage because it was a whipped vote. So, I want to give the member credit where credit is due. It actually does speak something in terms of this individual's convictions on the matter.

Actually, ending the amnesty would have had the effect of prosecuting law-abiding gun owners and hunters. So, to his credit, he absented himself on a whipped vote, and I do thank him for that.

However, let it be said in this place, I will concede that in terms of the totality, this context aside, the hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore has supported the scrapping of the gun registry, and I want to thank him for that.

I also want to thank him for the work that I understand he has probably done within his own caucus to bring this to a free vote. We are appreciative of the fact that it is not only walk but it is talk, but it is going to be walk tomorrow, and we do thank the member.

We trust that there will be others that he has convinced within his own party to do the right thing, as this member is clear on the record, and all members will have a clear opportunity tomorrow night, once and for all, to vote yes or no with respect to the scrapping of the long gun registry.

I believe that the member opposite, who I know to be an honourable person, will do the right thing and I believe he will convince many of his other colleagues as well to vote in favour of Bill C-391. So, I thank the member for that.

Comments Regarding Member's Position on Firearms RegistryPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, if it is a private member's bill and it is a free vote, why are the Conservatives whipping all of their members in the House of Commons tomorrow to vote in favour of keeping the registry?

Comments Regarding Member's Position on Firearms RegistryPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Comments Regarding Member's Position on Firearms RegistryPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. Question period is over. We are dealing with a point of order and I do not think this has much to do with the point of order raised by the hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore.

So, in the circumstances, the Chair will examine the statements made by the hon. member for Saskatoon—Wanuskewin and the hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore, and the ten percenter that the hon. member forwarded to the Chair with his letter indicating he wanted to raise this matter. I will get back to the House in due course and clarify the matter.

Is the hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse rising on a point of order as well?

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on the same point of order raised by my colleague from St. Catharines.

We do not have to read all of Marleau and Montpetit to know that common courtesy is required here in this House. We can debate ideas, but today we have had another example from the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie of a childish lack of manners. This, by the leader of a Quebec political party brings shame on Quebeckers. And it is not the first time.

On October 20, the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie called our Minister of Justice a liar. He did not say “lies”, he said “liar”. That is appalling. Is the leader of this Quebec political party tired? Is he fed up with being in Ottawa after spending 17 years doing nothing but shouting out stupid remarks at the parties and people who govern? That is unacceptable.

My colleague from Beauport—Limoilou was called a hypocrite, and I demand an apology. Apologies are required for unparliamentary language that is disrespectful of our Quebec and Canadian colleagues. It is unacceptable. I demand an apology. I demand civil behaviour in the House, even though we may not always agree on ideas. We are entitled to disagree, but basic respect is a must in this House.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord on the same point.