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 #120 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was drugs.

Topics

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Once again, Mr. Speaker, there is a legal framework that we have to follow. We do not comment on internal departmental staffing matters but we do ensure that federal departments have the tools they need to address them.

We brought in the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act with the express purpose of protecting whistleblowers, an act that was passed by members of the House.

Under our government and our new laws, the lines of accountability are clear. The act has a clear reporting clause that all federal departments must strictly follow and the information is readily provided through a proactive disclosure. That is the law.

HousingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, government inaction is jeopardizing our economy and the health of our nation. It was reported today that less than 1% of the stimulus money for social housing has been spent. Over 100,000 Canadians are homeless and thousands more lack stable affordable housing.

While vulnerable Canadians are waiting for the promised help, the government has wasted a year of opportunities. It opposes our national housing strategy. Its plan is a straw house with empty promises.

How does the government justify its inaction?

HousingOral 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, when we had in our economic action plan a provision for $400 million for seniors, the NDP members voted against it without even reading the budget. We had $75 million for the disabled and they voted against that. We had $1 billion for retrofits and energy upgrades, and they voted against that. Now they are complaining about what is happening.

We have entered into agreements with all the provinces and territories. They know the money is there and is available. As soon as the projects go forward and they bill us, the moneys will be there to pay the bills.

HousingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the answer earlier was that the stimulus plan was inefficient and we should not be upset that 99% of the funding still has not been spent. That is exactly why we pushed for spending to go through the gas tax transfer.

Stable housing saves lives, improves the health and safety of our communities and stimulates our economy. Stimulus spending is more than photo ops and ad campaigns. Real Canadians are in real need.

After a year of inaction, do the Conservatives honestly expect us to believe that they really wanted to help?

HousingOral 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, funding is proceeding and going to over 300 projects.

What is important is that we have made billions of dollars of investments that are there ready, able and willing to deliver as soon as the provinces select the projects. It is their responsibility to select the projects, ensure the projects get built and then they invoice us. The money is there to pay it, moneys that would not have been there if the NDP members had their way.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has improved the employment insurance system for all workers and their families. We introduced Bill C-56, which would offer compassionate care and sickness benefits to self-employed workers in Quebec at an affordable and reasonable rate. That is a first.

As it stands, Quebeckers have access only to a private insurance program that can be very expensive. I invite the Minister of National Revenue to give the House an update on Bill C-56

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I can understand that our newly elected colleague may be a little baffled that there is a political party in this House, the Bloc Québécois, that systematically attacks the unemployed and self-employed workers. I will tell my colleague that he is in the right party, and we are helping the unemployed. We have implemented four different measures. We have also established another measure to help self-employed workers by offering them sickness and compassionate care benefits, in the event that one of their loved ones becomes sick. We support the unemployed. They are against them.

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, we strongly condemn the decision of Nortel executives to reward themselves with millions in bonuses when employees are denied their severance, their pensions and their disability payments.

The federal government is now currently undertaking a review of the Nortel sale to Avaya.

Will the government commit to Nortel workers that they will ensure the pensions, the severance and disability benefits of Nortel employees are fully protected in the review of the Nortel sale?

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the terms and conditions of the sale are pursuant to the sections of the Investment Canada Act.

However, I can tell the hon. member and this House that my colleague, the Minister of Finance and his parliamentary secretary, have been working hard with the provinces and the territories to ensure we have a comprehensive look at our pension legislation.

As I am sure the hon. member is aware, the Nortel pension is registered with the Province of Ontario, not with the federal government. We set up a provincial-federal research working group on retirement income and we look forward to its presentations to this chamber.

National DefenceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, about a hundred families in Sainte-Foy are worried about losing their homes. The Minister of National Defence has decided to tear down their houses and relocate the families to the Valcartier base 30 kilometres away. The Association des conjointes de militaires canadiens, a group of soldiers' wives, hopes that the government will reconsider this decision, which will have a negative impact on military families' independence.

Will the minister responsible for the region of Quebec advocate on their behalf to the Minister of National Defence?

National DefenceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the relocation with respect to quarters for some of the soldiers who were previously stationed at the Manège militaire in Quebec City is currently at the planning stage. The proposal is to build a new facility on the area that is currently owned by the Department of National Defence.

This project does not aim to replace the Manège militaire Voltigeurs. I can assure the House and the member opposite that we are currently working on developing a plan for the future with respect to the Manège militaire.

LabourOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, instead of using her power to have both sides in the CN Rail strike resolve their differences at the bargaining table, the Minister of Labour has instead put Parliament in an untenable position. The minister is asking us to rush through a bill that we have not even seen yet.

Instead of introducing legislation in a manner that is disrespectful to the House and, more important, disrespectful to the parties involved in this dispute, why will the minister not do everything in her power to get the two sides back to the bargaining table?

LabourOral Questions

3 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as a government and as parliamentarians, it is incredibly important that we protect our economy. The union Teamsters decided to go on strike on Saturday and we cannot allow a major disruption in our transportation system. Therefore, we will introduce back to work legislation to end this strike.

We do continue to hope, though, that CN and the Teamsters can reach an agreement in the interim.

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, we all know that Quebec agricultural producers can count on the Conservative government when it is time to take action for agriculture.

Unlike the Bloc members, Ottawa's very own armchair quarterbacks and sideline observers, can the Minister of State for Agriculture explain the government's policy on supply management? How is our government going to defend supply management internationally?

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that if any government has been on the farmers' side, ours has. We defend supply management nationally and internationally, including at WTO negotiations.

We believe that it is important to maintain supply management. It is important to help everyone working in the dairy, poultry and egg sector. These sectors are protected by supply management, and we will stay the course.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to set the record straight, not to take anything away from what I said or may have said but to add a context.

I was quoting Jim Travers, the columnist for the Toronto Star, and I want to read a very short quote by him with respect to the generals. He said:

For all its sound and fury, the counter-attack that politicians, bureaucrats and generals mounted this week was morally weak and legally flimsy. In struggling to sway public opinion, finely parsed denials skidded around the looming conclusion that Canada transferred prisoners into probable torture after being warned by the pre-eminent and most credible victims-of-violence organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I do not think I heard anything about a point of order there.

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence is rising on a point of order?

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, during question period there is a lot of noise and, as we all know, people get carried away with their emotions, but I want to point out that the hon. member for Toronto Centre referred to the Minister of National Defence in very uncomplimentary terms and in language that is clearly not parliamentary. I would simply ask that he rise and apologize.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the course of a conversation with my seatmate, I may have made a comment about the minister. I am sure he has said some nasty things about me as well.

Of course, if anyone overheard my comments, I would withdraw them without hesitation.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I did not overhear the comment. However, the only disparaging thing I have ever said about the member opposite is that he was a former NDP premier.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I think we have probably had enough points of order for this afternoon.

Railway Continuation Act, 2009Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Labour

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-61, An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of railway operations.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

November 30th, 2009 / 3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I have the honour to present to the House a report from the Canadian branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association concerning the 55th Commonwealth parliamentary conference held in Tanzania from September 28 to October 6.

Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Nazi and Soviet Communist RegimesRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and I think you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:

1) WHEREAS the Government of Canada has actively advocated for and continues to support the principles enshrined by The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights and The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 260 (III) A of 9 December 1948;

2) WHEREAS the extreme forms of totalitarian rule practised by the Nazi and Communist dictatorships led to premeditated and vast crimes committed against millions of human beings and their basic inalienable rights on a scale unseen before in history;

3) WHEREAS hundreds of thousands of human beings, fleeing the Nazi and Soviet Communist crimes, sought and found refuge in Canada;

4) WHEREAS the millions of Canadians of Eastern and Central European descent whose families have been directly affected by Nazi and/or Communist crimes have made unique and significant, cultural, economic, social and other contributions to help build the Canada we know today;

5) WHEREAS 20 years after the fall of the totalitarian Communist regimes in Europe, knowledge among Canadians about the totalitarian regimes which terrorized their fellow citizens in Central and Eastern Europe for more than 40 years in the form of systematic and ruthless military, economic and political repression of the people by means of arbitrary executions, mass arrests, deportations, the suppression of free expression, private property and civil society and the destruction of cultural and moral identity and which deprived the vast majority of the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe of their basic human rights and dignity, separating them from the democratic world by means of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall, is still alarmingly superficial and inadequate;

6) WHEREAS Canadians were instrumental during the 1980s in raising global awareness of crimes committed by European totalitarian Nazi and Communist regimes by founding an annual “Black Ribbon Day” on August 23, to commemorate the legal partnership of these two regimes through the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols,;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT every victim of any totalitarian regime has the same human dignity and deserves justice, remembrance and recognition by the Parliament and the Government of Canada, in efforts to ensure that such crimes and events are never again repeated;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Parliament and the Government of Canada unequivocally condemn the crimes against humanity committed by totalitarian Nazi and Communist regimes and offer the victims of these crimes and their family members sympathy, understanding and recognition for their suffering;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Government of Canada establish an annual Canadian Day of Remembrance for the victims of Nazi and Soviet Communist regimes on August 23, called “Black Ribbon Day”, to coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the infamous pact between the Nazi and Soviet Communist regimes.

Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Nazi and Soviet Communist RegimesRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Toronto Centre have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?