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House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

Topics

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeMinister of State (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, aboriginal women are three times as likely to experience violence and five times as likely to die as a result, and this is something that our government takes very seriously.

We are supporting Sisters in Spirit, a five year research project that is not to end until March 2010. We are and have been working with the Native Women's Association of Canada on the next steps for some time now. The association has indicated that it appreciates that we have taken the time to sit down with it to understand the research that it has done over the past five years and to ensure that it plays a key role in developing what the next steps exactly will be.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, December 6, 2009, will mark the 20th anniversary of the massacre of 14 female students at the École Polytechnique de Montréal. Sadly, violence against women still exists. The Conservatives are the only ones to have refused to include “sex” in the hate propaganda legislation.

Why do the Conservatives so strongly oppose a simple amendment like the one proposed by Bill C-380, which would protect our sisters, our mothers and our daughters from hate crimes and violence?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeMinister of State (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, the government has taken a number of concrete steps to protect women across this country.

We passed the Tackling Violent Crime Act. We have made significant investments in policing. We are supporting Sisters in Spirit. We have introduced Bill C-42, which is to end conditional sentences for violent crimes such as kidnapping, human trafficking and rape, and yet I note there are so many members in the opposition benches who are against this piece of legislation.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on December 20, 2000, the current finance minister wrote in a letter:

Federal hate crimes legislation offers protection only on the basis of race, religion and ethnicity. This...would make it difficult to proceed with a prosecution for alleged hate crime relating to gender....

It is time for the federal government to provide such tools to prosecute those promoting hatred against women.

Why have the Conservatives vetoed the efforts to add sex to hate crimes legislation, not once, not twice, but three times?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, a better question is why did the Liberals do nothing in their 13 years in government? When it came to standing up for victims, when it came to standing up for women, when it came to standing up for children, they did nothing.

That is the difference between them and us. We are getting the job done.

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

December 3rd, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise to talk about the economic action plan, which has nearly doubled federal support for the tourism industry. These efforts are continuing to make Canada a top-of-mind destination for international travellers.

Could the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism please update the House on the latest developments affecting the tourism industry as a result of the Prime Minister's trip to China?

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, today our Prime Minister and China's Premier Wen announced that China has granted Canada approved destination status.

This is great news for the tourism industry. China is one of the fastest growing outbound tourism markets in the world. The Conference Board of Canada says that approved destination status, ADS, is expected to boost travel to Canada by up to 50% over the next five years. As the Prime Minister said, ADS is a significant moment in our history with China.

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of State for Tourism revealed at committee yesterday that the government has yet to study the impact the HST will have on tourism. That is astonishing and negligent. Tourism is the fourth largest industry in Canada. It has also suffered enormously because of U.S. passport laws.

This country's tourism industry has now become a deficit of $3.3 billion. Canada is one of the world's most expensive places to travel to. The HST will make it worse. Will the government shelve the HST or is it willing to send the tourism industry over the brink?

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, tax harmonization, as the House knows, is a matter under provincial jurisdiction. We have to respect that.

At the federal level, I can assure my colleague and the House that we will continue to deliver for tourism, as the House saw in the economic action plan, with $40 million over two years, additional money for the Canadian Tourism Commission to promote Canada as a travel destination, $150 million over two years for national parks and historic sites, and $100 million over two years for marquee tourism events that draw thousands to Canada. We are supporting tourism.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the list of those opposed to the HST just keeps growing: retirees associations, real estate associations, minor hockey associations, first nations chiefs and the provincial premier. In fact, included in Manitoba's throne speech was an outright rejection of the HST because “it would impose more than $400 million in new sales tax costs on Manitoba families at a time of economic uncertainty”.

Why will the government not stop pushing this grossly unfair tax on P.E.I., Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as well as Ontario and B.C.?

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that nothing is being pushed on anyone. I spoke with the premier of Manitoba yesterday. This is a decision for Manitoba to make on its own in time. It is a decision that British Columbia chose to make, and Ontario, and three provinces before them.

We respect the tax jurisdictions of the provinces in their own constitutional framework. I think it is our obligation in this place to enable them to make the decisions in their own constitutional framework that are appropriate for their own jurisdictions.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, recent municipal elections throughout Quebec have caused delays of at least three months in project submissions by a number of municipalities. By setting January 29, 2010, as the cutoff date for funding projects under the infrastructure stimulus fund and the recreation infrastructure program, the Conservatives will deprive Quebec of good projects and many jobs.

By refusing to push back the deadlines for approving projects, does the Conservative government realize that it is mostly penalizing municipalities in Quebec?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our primary goal is to work with the Province of Quebec and the municipalities on this. We worked very well with Minister Laurent Lessard and it is essential that Quebec and the municipalities benefit from our infrastructure stimulus program. We are always ready to work with my colleague and with the mayors and councillors from Quebec.

Nonetheless, we respect the fact that this is a provincial decision because we respect provincial jurisdictions.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ottawa is responsible for the deadline. It is the government that put that in its latest report.

The Conservatives must take people for fools when they say that 97% of the funding in their stimulus package has already been committed. If there were just 3% left to allocate, the Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités and the Union des municipalités du Québec would not be worried that a number of infrastructure projects will not be funded.

To avoid penalizing municipalities in Quebec, will the government show some flexibility?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the new interest my colleague from the Bloc is showing in this matter. People in Quebec are wondering why the Bloc voted against all these measures. When we wanted to work with the Government of Quebec, the towns and municipalities of Quebec, all the members of the Bloc voted against all these fine measures. Let them explain why.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's latest budget report is quite useless. There are no statistics on job creation or funds disbursed. Even amounts committed do not reflect the reality.

Can the minister explain how he arrived at his figure of 97% when only 5% of the $2 billion municipal infrastructure lending program has been disbursed?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is good to have a question from the member for Markham—Unionville. I hope his health is good. I welcome the questions in the House on economic matters.

We do have 97% of the funding committed. What that means is that the federal government has taken the steps it needs to take to have the authority to flow the funds. We have two out of three projects proceeding. They are preserving and creating jobs across the country. Our commitment in the economic action plan was about 190,000 jobs preserved or created during the two-year plan. We are ahead of the plan on those numbers.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his concern about my health. It is the health of the economy that concerns us on this side of the House.

Canadians know they cannot count on a government that cannot count. They also know when they are being told the 97% fairytale.

The list of contradictions goes on. Do Canadians not deserve the truth rather than weasel words? Why do the Conservative numbers not add up?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the numbers are consistent, of course. There are more than 8,000 projects under way now. Thousands and thousands of jobs are being preserved and created. Not only that, but about 167,000 people are now participating in work sharing. That means that as we move forward in our recovery, these jobs will be preserved and those industries and those people will have those jobs preserved.

Canadians know the economic action plan is working and is being implemented. We are going to stay the course and continue implementing the plan next year to ensure that we preserve and protect jobs in Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, more than 500 leading Canadian scientists have written to the Prime Minister, calling for more aggressive action on climate change. They are on the front line. They are in the field documenting already evident impacts of climate change on our oceans, on our Arctic, on the Prairies.

Dr. Smol, Canadian research chair in environmental change at Queen's University, has said that the only chance of stabilizing the climate is to move much more aggressively on reducing greenhouse gases.

Will the government commit to go to Copenhagen to seek deeper, earlier cuts supported by stronger action here in Canada?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Canada is committed to going to Copenhagen with the targets that we have announced of minus 20% by 2020 from a 2006 base.

The real question I would ask the hon. member is if she looks at the American targets, which are similarly minus 17%, if she looks at the European Union targets, which are 14% if calculated from today's emissions, how and why would the member put forward a bill in the House, supported by the other parties, which calls for reductions in Canada of 39%? That is almost triple the cuts that are being proposed by any other industrial democracy, triple the economic damage to our country as opposed to anyone else. It is irresponsible.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada has much to gain, contrary to what the minister suggests, from reducing carbon pollution.

We have the experts and we have the knowledge base to become the leaders in the green economy that will define the 21st century. Instead, what we have is a government clinging to an outdated 19th century way of thinking.

The Canadian economy is at serious risk and our once burgeoning renewable sector is losing its competitive edge.

Will the government finally deliver on its promise of support to the renewable sector and provide genuine clean power for Canadians?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this government has a plan. Our target is clear. Our plan is clear. We intend to seek an international consensus, an international framework. We intend to pursue continental harmonization with the United States.

The real danger to the Canadian economy resides on that side of the House. Those members would support targets calling for reductions of 39% from today's carbon emission levels, triple the economic consequences for any other industrial democracy. Why would they do that to our jobs, to our investments, to our economy?

International AidOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a world leader when it comes to helping feed developing nations. We have a solid reputation internationally and here at home. Working closely with organizations like the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, we are making a difference.

During her attendance at last month's world food summit, the Minister of International Cooperation met with World Food Programme executive director Josette Sheeran. Ms. Sheeran thanked Canada for being one of the WFB's strongest and most committed partners.

Could the minister update us on her plans for Canada's food aid?

International AidOral Questions

3 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, this is a crucial time because for the first time in human history the number of hungry people worldwide will exceed one billion.

As the number of people who have moved into extreme poverty and hunger increases, Canada has chosen to focus on food security. We will continue to respond as the world's third largest single country donor to the World Food Programme.

I am pleased to announce an additional $30 million to the World Food Programme to meet this challenge.