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House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was table.

Topics

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as part of Canada's economic action plan, we expanded the work-sharing program. Work sharing means that Canadians get to keep their jobs and employers avoid layoffs and expensive rehiring and retraining programs when the companies recover.

The work-sharing program is so successful that 6,000 agreements under this program are now protecting 167,000 Canadian jobs. Some 225,000 jobs have been protected since February. We are protecting Canadian jobs and creating new ones for Canadians.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, since 1994, an NGO known as Alternatives has been receiving CIDA funding to continue its extraordinary work.

However, in March 2009, the office of the Minister of International Cooperation stopped responding to this NGO's inquiries.

The minister refuses to confirm or deny the rumour that Alternatives will no longer receive funding.

It is simple. Alternatives wants to know if it can expect the funding it needs to implement its projects in Haiti, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. What does the minister have to say?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I am familiar with the file. The file is still being reviewed, as is the process. A decision will be made in due course.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, like Alternatives, KAIROS is also funded by the governance sector of CIDA.

Despite the fact that KAIROS is internationally recognized and respected, CIDA has withdrawn all $7 million of its funding.

Coincidentally, we learned today from Elizabeth Thompson of Sun Media that $7 million is precisely the amount paid by the Conservatives to their own political staff for all kinds of bonuses.

What is the Conservatives' priority: world peace or lining their own pockets?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I am happy for the opportunity to remind the House that it was our government that took action to tighten the guidelines around separation pay. Upon taking office, we reduced separation pay to a maximum of four months, bringing it down from the six-month maximum being paid out by the former Liberal government.

Copenhagen SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada is on a roll and has raked in its third fossil of the day award in two days in Copenhagen. The Umbrella Group, which Canada belongs to, is pushing to have carbon storage technology recognized as a clean development mechanism.

How can this government have the gall to make any demands, when Canada has the least ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets of all the industrialized nations?

Copenhagen SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely wrong. Our plan is clear: a 20% reduction by 2020. It is a target that is almost identical to what the United States has. Our Prime Minister and President Obama will be going to Copenhagen, to the international summit.

Canada wants an agreement. It is in our interest to have a new agreement. We are prepared to accept our fair share of responsibility under a new binding international agreement on climate change.

Why will the member not support realistic targets to fight climate change?

Copenhagen SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government's pathetic attitude in Copenhagen is not surprising, since we know that the environment minister's former chief of staff is a lobbyist for Imperial Oil. Furthermore, we know that the developing countries will have to adapt to global warming.

Does the government plan on walking away from the table when the bill comes, or will it do its part to help these countries adapt to the effects of climate change?

Copenhagen SummitOral Questions

3 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this will demonstrate how out of touch with reality that member is. The executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Yvo de Boer, said, “Canada has been negotiating very constructively at this process”. It is a harmonized process with realistic targets and a government that is committed to doing something on the environment. That is what we have with this Prime Minister and that is what we have with this government, a commitment to action on climate change.

AfghanistanOral Questions

December 9th, 2009 / 3 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, just yesterday the Minister of National Defence said in the House that the detainee we have been talking about was not transferred by Canadian authorities. Today the government is admitting the reverse.

Can the minister tell the House what new information led him to change his story? Will the minister understand that this constant charade of changing his story will not do? Will he further understand that a military inquiry into this matter is insufficient because it does not deal with political responsibility?

When will the government do the right thing and appoint a public inquiry to get to the bottom of this?

AfghanistanOral Questions

3 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the new information was provided by the Chief of the Defence Staff, Walter Natynczyk, this morning. It came from field notes that were made at the time of the incident. Something that happened almost three years ago, while I was in a different department, and that was not known by the Chief of the Defence Staff, is hardly something that I would know.

What it does prove is that when credible evidence comes forward, Canadian soldiers act meticulously, ethically, and marvellously each and every time. We applaud their efforts and their courage. They did the right thing.

AfghanistanOral Questions

3 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, again, the issue is whether the minister will bring to the committee this afternoon the new information that has made him change his story once again.

Will he appreciate that this constant changing of stories reduces the trust that Canadians have in the minister's capacity to tell the House the truth?

Will he finally agree that it is more than time to appoint a public inquiry, with a judge, to get to the truth of the matter?

AfghanistanOral Questions

3 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, again, General Natynczyk spoke the truth this morning. He received new information this morning, which he shared with me.

This information, by the way, was recorded on a battlefield at a time when soldiers were under extreme stress. There were different versions of what took place in this instance.

All of that was laid out by the general in his press conference this morning. He has called for a military board of inquiry, which will occur. That will allow the facts to be disclosed.

As is always the case, we have been forthright, we have been straightforward and will continue to be.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, today, first nations announced a plan to fight the imposition of the HST in Ontario and B.C. and the hardships it will bring to their citizens. There will be roadblocks. There will be court cases.

First nations question why their inherent right not to be taxed by another nation is being ignored.

Why did the government not recognize its responsibility and consult with first nations before imposing a new tax?

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the GST approach with respect to first nations has been the same since the GST came into force in the early 1990s, and the same approach to the GST continues now.

I understand there have been some discussions between the Government of Ontario and first nations concerning the PST in Ontario.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to hide behind its doublespeak of provincial choice.

It bribed the provinces with billions of dollars to accept the HST now, in the middle of a recession, when it will hit families the hardest. Restaurants and small businesses know that when families are hit, they will be too.

If the Conservatives are certain that this is the best tax for B.C. and Ontario, why do they not let their members vote their conscience?

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the arrangements are the same for all provinces that make the decision in their autonomous taxation jurisdiction to harmonize, which British Columbia and Ontario are in the process of doing, and which was done previously in three of the Atlantic provinces.

Olympic and Paralympic Games in VancouverOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the opposition is politicizing the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Recently, it accused the government and VANOC of not making the games fully bilingual.

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages please assure the opposition and all Canadians that the games will be celebrated in both official languages?

Olympic and Paralympic Games in VancouverOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the opposition members show enthusiasm for this question. I will try to deliver.

The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the most bilingual games in the history of the Olympics. Yesterday, the official languages commissioner said, “I am pleased that the government and VANOC have taken the necessary measures to present a truly bilingual Olympic Games”. That includes government services, the opening ceremonies, the Cultural Olympiad and official sites, such as the Whistler Olympic Park and the Richmond Oval. All of the Olympic sites and every single one of the events will respect Canada's two official languages.

MuseumsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in a letter to the minister, if the Museum of Civilization and the War Museum agree to binding arbitration, the museum workers' strike will be over.

In the CN strike the minister pressured the union to accept binding arbitration. This strike has gone on far too long and with Christmas coming, the workers want to go back to work.

I know that the Canadian Labour Congress has spoken to the minister, asking her to put both sides in a room and deal with them. Is the minister prepared to do that?

MuseumsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, it is always a difficult decision when workers decide to go on strike, but this is a legal strike and it is the decision of the union.

The union overwhelmingly rejected the latest offer of the employer. Obviously, arbitration is not an option because we need both parties to agree to it.

We will continue to urge both of them to come back to the table as soon as possible.

First NationsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, first nations chiefs are in Ottawa this week to send the government a clear message. They are calling on the minister to finally honour his fiduciary responsibilities and reinvest in the education system. Although population growth and the higher cost of living together justify an annual reinvestment of 6.2%, the federal government is increasing budgets by only 2%.

When will the government recognize that respect for first nations comes in the form of reinvestments in education?

First NationsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, clearly, education is a priority for first nations chiefs and it is also our priority.

It is clear that last year we committed $268 million over five years, and another $75 million in subsequent years, for two new programs that will help with education, the education partnership program and the first nation student success program.

We have also added since 2006 some $630 million for 87 school projects, and in the economic action plan another $200 million that will build 10 new schools, and under the building Canada plan money to build another 8 new schools.

There is lots of work to do, but we are working closely with the Assembly of First Nations and other leaders to get this job done.

RCMPOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP public complaints commissioner just released his report into the taser death of Robert Dziekanski in B.C. Mr. Kennedy found that the officers acted inappropriately, that their testimony was not credible and that the internal investigation was flawed.

He stated there is inadequate taser training and that the RCMP still lacks a clear policy on taser use. But instead of showing leadership, the RCMP officials have refused to respond to this report and the government told Mr. Kennedy that his services were no longer needed.

Will the minister admit that Mr. Kennedy was fired because he had the courage to point out the ongoing failure of leadership at the RCMP?

RCMPOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we thank the commissioner for his report on this matter. We are of course still awaiting the outcome of the Braidwood inquiry, which has conducted very extensive hearings on this matter and which we expect to be quite authoritative in its findings.

In terms of acting on the rules for taser use, the RCMP has made improvements. However, I am very pleased to report to the House that at the recent federal-provincial meetings, we did propose to the provinces, and they did agree and accept, the proposition that we should establish national standards for all police forces in the country. Work on that is now under way.