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House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was special.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has won three “Fossil of the Day” awards in as many days. That is a perfect score for the government. Canada was awarded the latest booby prize because the Minister of the Environment rejects the science.

He is now saying that Canada will not be tabling its regulatory framework for large emitters ahead of the climate change summit in Copenhagen.

Another delay. Why keep putting things off?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada's position is very clear. We are promoting the development of a new international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, an agreement that will include all major emitters of the planet. That is essential for an agreement to be efficient. Our position is almost identical to that of the United States.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, winning three fossil of the day awards at the International Climate Change negotiations is no small feat. They give these awards to countries that are blocking the progress of the UN negotiations on the treaty on climate change. Negotiations are taking place there now and the International Climate Action Network has given Canada, once again, the fossil of the day award.

The environment minister said in June, “the full suite of policies that relate to all major sources of emissions” would be released before Copenhagen. Was that just another hot air emission from the minister, or will the Prime Minister finally tell us whether he even has a plan?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, the government, as the Minister of the Environment said yesterday, will not sign on to an agreement that imposes obligations on Canada and on hardly anyone else and is ineffective.

The government will ensure that we stand up for Canadian interests, that we get an international agreement to which we contribute, along with all the major emitters on the planet. Our position is identical to that of the American administration of President Obama, which the leader of the NDP so heartily supports.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is the one condemned in international negotiations. That is what is happening.

This government is being awarded more booby prize than any other.

The European Union's chief negotiator said it was difficult to comment on a position one knows nothing about.

Mali's chief negotiator said he did not feel that Canada was taking an active part in moving things forward.

Canada is isolated. Does the Prime Minister not realize that?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this may be a shock to the NDP, but the negotiators Canada assigns to international negotiations like this are there to represent the interests of Canada, not the interests of Mali.

These are very difficult negotiations on a very important subject. This government is determined that we will get an effective international agreement that includes everyone, that includes all the big emitters, including the Europeans, the Chinese, the Indians, the Brazilians and the Americans. We will be part of that. We will do our part, but we will ensure that our interests, the economic interests and the energy interests of our country are protected.

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, health experts predict the second wave of H1N1 may peak well before Christmas. Because of the government's delay in getting the vaccine out, many Canadians will not be vaccinated before that peak period hits.

In British Columbia a disease control official has called the increase in doctors' visits startling.

Will the minister inform the House how many Canadians have been actually vaccinated, especially children who are most vulnerable?

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to hear the individual has taken the advice of the experts on planning for the second wave. We have been planning for the second wave since April and planning the second wave for the rollout.

The six million vaccines that have been distributed to provinces have been rolled out. An additional two million will be distributed next week. Some jurisdictions will have completed their entire population immunization campaign next week. We will continue to roll out the vaccine by jurisdiction.

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, what really matters is the number of Canadians who have actually been vaccinated. Rather than the six million doses of vaccine that the Conservatives claim have been distributed, a Quebec doctor notes a few days makes the difference between falling gravely ill or being completely safe from H1N1.

What additional action will the government take to protect Canadians from falling gravely ill between now and the end of November?

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, since April we have been advising Canadians what measures they can take to protect themselves from H1N1 as we were in the process of developing the vaccine.

We were early in producing the vaccine for all Canadians and we were able to distribute the vaccines to the provinces in October, two weeks ahead of schedule.

The one way to protect oneself from H1N1 is to get the vaccine. The provinces and territories are working very hard to roll out the vaccines, so every Canadian can receive the vaccine by the end of this year.

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Liberal Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to H1N1, there is confusion and chaos. Canadians across the country who are not proficient in English or French are having difficulty accessing H1N1 information. They are confused about what to do. They have been left to piece together information from family and friends, many of whom are also uncertain.

The government has left Canadians with language barriers to fend for themselves in the face of this pandemic. Why?

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our government has demonstrated leadership in communicating with Canadians with regard to H1N1.

As well, in partnership with the provinces and territories, we have been communicating what Canadians can do to protect themselves from H1N1. We will continue to do that across the country, to educate Canadians on ways to prevent the spread of H1N1 and the importance of getting the vaccine in their jurisdictions when it becomes available.

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Liberal Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, how can spending $100 million on Conservative propaganda be justified, when less than 10% of that amount is being spent on the H1N1 pandemic?

Will they use what is left of the $100 million to better inform the public? Will they reach those who have difficulty with French or English?

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, a number of jurisdictions have gone out of their way to communicate to their population the importance of preventing the spread of H1N1.

Nunavut has produced a booklet in Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, English and French. Various other jurisdictions have done the same to communicate with their population.

If the member wants that information, I will gladly share it with him.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Revenue says that the contributions the government wants to collect from self-employed workers in Quebec reflect the cost of the new benefits to which they would be entitled under Bill C-56. That is just not true. Sickness and compassionate care benefits constitute less than 8% of employment insurance pay-outs. The government should therefore collect just $0.32 per $100, not $1.36.

Does the minister acknowledge that the contribution rate is too high compared to the real cost of the new benefits for self-employed Quebec workers?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we agreed that we would offer special measures to help self-employed workers who do not have access to special benefits. In Quebec, that means sickness and compassionate care benefits. The government announced that it would bring in these measures. It delivered the goods this week and now, for the first time, it is offering self-employed workers an opportunity to benefit from services that will be offered to all self-employed workers in Quebec as well as all of the other provinces and territories.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister needs to bear in mind that Bill C-56 does not take into account the fact that self-employed workers in Quebec already have access to maternity and parental benefits, for which they pay $0.86 per $100.

Does the minister realize that, by charging an extra $1.36, he is making self-employed workers in Quebec pay for those in Canada?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the government decided to help self-employed workers by offering them special benefits. That is what we are doing now by introducing this bill.

The $0.86 that the member is talking about is the amount that the Government of Quebec collects to cover the cost of maternity and parental benefits. Now we are giving self-employed workers the opportunity to opt in, but what he is talking about is mandatory. Our program is voluntary, and it finally gives people access to sickness and compassionate care benefits.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

November 5th, 2009 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the National Assembly adopted a third unanimous motion asking that the federal members maintain the firearms registry in its entirety. The Conservative bill, sponsored by the member for Portage—Lisgar, and supported by the Liberals and New Democrats, would dismantle the firearms registry system.

So that Quebec does not lose this important crime-fighting tool, will the government comply with the request of the Parti Québécois, which is calling for the transfer of the firearms registry to the Government of Quebec, with full compensation?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote a press release I received today.

The Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs welcomes the fact that members of Parliament have supported private member's bill C-391, introduced for second reading in the House of Commons yesterday. The Fédération believes that the so-called unrestricted long arms registry is not useful, does not protect the public, and costs Canadian taxpayers a great deal of money.

The Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs represents 125,000 members.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, I met with officials from the federation, and a number of them told me that their wives did not agree.

The Government of Quebec is urging the federal government to transfer this responsibility, and the funds that go with it. Quebec believes in gun control.

Will the Prime Minister comply with this request from the Quebec nation?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the firearms registry is a huge waste of money and does not help prevent crime. That is clear.

I encourage the Bloc Québécois leader to do as the other leaders are doing and let the members vote freely, and we will have more support for the abolition of the firearms registry.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources is already under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner, and is implicated in violations of the Lobbying Act.

Today we learned of many new allegations of ethical breaches while she was president and CEO of the federal Toronto Port Authority. Instead of investigating, the government has done everything in its power to cover this up.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Will he finally demonstrate accountability and call on the Auditor General to investigate, without delay?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in the morning papers we learned nothing new, contrary to what the member opposite said.

What we do know is the Toronto Port Authority has said many times that “all expense and hospitality policies were followed”. The board has since stated that “the management and staff clearly followed all of these policies”. The chairman of the board's audit committee stated that “there was nothing unusual in expenses for a business of this size”.

Those are the facts.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, Deloitte & Touche disagrees with the minister. The minister ran up almost $130,000 in hospitality and other personal expenses as head of the authority. Now we learn that she unethically signed her own expense reports rather than the chairman of the board of directors. Contrary to the evidence, the transport minister assures us that all policies were followed. That is not the case.

When did the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Transport, and his predecessor learn of these allegations? Why is the government continuing this shameful cover-up?