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House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region recently said that under the Investment Canada Act, Rio Tinto Alcan will soon be subject to a review and will have to prove that it is honouring the conditions and commitments it undertook towards the government.

The minister is suggesting that his government imposed conditions on Rio Tinto's acquisition of Alcan. If that is the case, can the Minister of Industry tell us what those conditions were?

IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, Rio Tinto's proposal to acquire Alcan was approved based on its plans and commitments, which demonstrated that Canada was likely to benefit. My representatives have been in contact with the company to oversee the application of those plans and commitments, and they will continue to do so. I believe Rio Tinto will honour its commitments.

IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government missed out on an excellent opportunity to demand guarantees from Rio Tinto regarding employment and processing activities in the region, and simply contented itself with Alcan's original commitments.

Can the minister tell us the truth once and for all, and acknowledge that he made a serious mistake by not imposing any conditions on Rio Tinto?

IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. Rio Tinto made commitments with an action plan and probable benefits for Canada. I will do my job and protect Canadian jobs.

CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the documents supporting the cuts in funding for culture will not be made public by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages on the grounds that they are cabinet discussion documents and thus classified as secret. That is pretty weak. Either the documents do not exist or their conclusions do not suit the government.

Either way, is the refusal to make these documents public not proof that there was no basis for these cuts?

CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, yesterday before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage I explained each decision taken by our government. I spoke about each of them in detail. Our government wants to meet the needs of our artists. If a program like Trade Routes costs $5 million and provides only $2 billion in benefits, it is not an effective exchange for artists or taxpayers. We are investing $2.3 billion for artists, and the Bloc is opposing it.

CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, there was no in depth analysis yesterday, despite what the minister is saying. If he did his analyzing that way, we can understand why he reaches such hare brained conclusions. This government unveiled the budget at every forum before presenting it to the House. To say it is secret and he cannot provide it because it was a matter of cabinet discussions is pretty weak.

Will the minister acknowledge that the real reason for his refusal to reinstate funding has more to do with a desire for vengeance on artists and on Quebec, given his party's defeat there in the most recent election?

CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, here is a clear analysis for all Canadians, Quebeckers and my colleague's constituents. In this budget, there is more money for festivals, theatres, libraries, small museums, the national arts training program, dance, music, art, drama and Canadians' access to magazines and community newspapers. There is more money for the Canadian television fund, restoration of historic sites and the Quebec City armoury.

That is a clear analysis. It is in the budget, which the Bloc opposes.

CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, when he appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, the minister took advantage of the opportunity to throw some numbers around that do not hold water. He said that the budget included $276 million for new investments in culture, which is not true. Even if we were to humour him by accepting that number, then compared it to the money invested in stimulating the economy, we would see that only eight-tenths of one per cent of that amount is going to culture—not even one per cent.

Is that what he calls investing in our priorities?

CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Again, Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Honoré-Mercier conveniently forgets that under this Conservative government we have increased funding for arts and culture every single year we have been in power. Of course he ignores that fact.

We have increased funding again for arts and culture in this budget. We have new money for festivals, new money for libraries, new money for museums, new money across the board, more money for cultural spaces. There is more money for Canadians for arts and culture under our government than under any government in Canadian history.

Of course, we are going to continue this approach because we believe in arts and culture, even if the Liberal Party is ignorant of the facts.

CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in that same committee hearing, I asked the Minister of Canadian Heritage a very simple question to which he partially responded, but a full answer is required, so I will ask him again. Can he guarantee to the House and to all Canadians that his government will never again use its power to censor culture in our country?

CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we did not do it before, so of course we will not be doing it again.

With regard to arts and culture, our government has supported Canadian heritage and supported important institutions that are important to the future of this country, important to the quality of life of Canadians. For example, there is more money for institutions like the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Ontario Museum, all these fantastic institutions that improve the quality of life of Canadians.

We are making these investments that are important to Canadians. We are going to continue to do it because it is what Canadians elected us to do.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Government of the United States is discussing with a number of its allies the question of what to do with those who are currently prisoners in Guantanamo.

I would like to ask the minister whether or not Canada is participating in these discussions and whether or not discussions about Guantanamo will be held between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States when he comes next week.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon we will have the possibility of going into more depth on that. With regard to his first question, the answer is no. On his second question, I believe that the agenda that is going to be discussed between the President of the United States and the Prime Minister is still under discussion, and stay tuned.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Khadr's situation is primarily a Canadian issue. I would like to put my question to the minister again.

Will he acknowledge that it would be better to guarantee guidance and supervision to bring Mr. Khadr back, instead of having a situation where we do not know exactly what will happen in the U.S. courts? Why not take advantage of the situation and negotiate directly with the Americans to ensure Mr. Khadr's return to Canada?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the member's assumption is based on the fact that he does not know what will happen in the United States, even though one of the first things that the President of the United States did was issue an order to close the military base at Guantanamo and to resolve this and every other detainee's case. Clearly, what we have to do is have faith in the system that is in place and not question the credibility of the President of the United States.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, there are no members of society who are more vulnerable than the children and youth of Canada. We as a government have a responsibility to protect children from the dangers that threaten them every day. The vast majority of children now have access to the Internet and online community. The massive child pornography bust last week only underscores some of the grave risks children may face online.

Seeing as today is Safer Internet Day, could the Minister of Public Safety please update the House on the work being done by the government to protect our children from these people who are lurking online?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Prince Albert for his interest in this important issue.

Our government takes seriously the priority of protecting Canadians, particularly young Canadians. In a world where technology changes and the routes that predators take are changing, it is ever more important that on a day like today, Safer Internet Day, we observe the importance of that and communicate that to people.

I am proud to state that today we have announced the renewal of the national strategy for the protection of children from sexual exploitation on the Internet. This will assist our government and our valued partners in our ongoing efforts to combat child victimization and increase our capacity to track down, investigate and prosecute offenders in this priority area.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

February 10th, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, we learned today that Omar Khadr has given up on appealing to the Prime Minister. Instead, he is appealing to the United States to return home.

How could things have gone so terribly wrong that a Canadian citizen gives up on his own country and turns to a foreign leader for the due process he should have been afforded here in Canada? When will the Prime Minister finally take action to bring Omar Khadr home to face justice here in Canada?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our position regarding this case has not changed. It is exactly the same position that the previous government put forward. This individual has been accused of the very serious charges of terrorism and murder.

As the member knows, there is a process in place that has already commenced. We will wait until such time as that process which has just been put in place by the President of the United States completes its course.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, every other country that had nationals in Guantanamo fulfilled their basic obligations and got them out, every country but Canada.

Lieutenant Commander Bill Kuebler says that attempts over the past year and a half to speak to senior officials at the Prime Minister's office or in the Department of Justice or the Department of Public Safety have met with the same closed door. This is no way to treat a Canadian.

Will the Prime Minister commit today to raise the issue of Omar Khadr when he meets with President Obama next week?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, officials in my department have carried out regular discussions with both the defence and the prosecution in this case. I also want to point out that consular services have been offered to this individual. He is being treated as any other Canadian citizen in detention would be treated.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is planning to privatize inspection procedures in slaughterhouses. Under the pilot projects, private sector employees rather than government veterinarians are responsible for rejecting substandard poultry carcasses. This regulatory change could lead to a new health crisis. I would remind members that, last August, a listeriosis outbreak caused about 20 deaths and made hundreds of other people ill.

Has the minister learned nothing from his mistakes?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in answer to the question raised by the member concerning poultry carcasses, the pilot program was introduced by the previous government. Public health is our primary concern. It is important for citizens to be protected. We will, of course, protect the health of Canadians.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency fired an employee who revealed the government's secret plans for privatization and budget cuts. Food safety is a matter of public health. We cannot take chances with it.

Does the minister realize that his decisions undermine the people's confidence in the food inspection system?