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House of Commons Hansard #16 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was arctic.

Topics

Arts and 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, let us talk a little about our government’s budgets for artists. Last year we gave $30,000 to Tumbuktu, Les Transarts africains and the previous year we gave $15,000 to Tumbuktu, Les Transarts africains. We gave $19,000 to this organization in her riding.

Why does it take a Conservative government to vote in favour of the electors and artists in her riding? We are the ones who take care of her electors while she always goes against her own electors and artists. We are the ones who are delivering the goods for Quebeckers.

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. Southern Governors' Association has passed a motion attacking the already crippled Canadian softwood lumber industry. It calls on President Obama to take new extraordinary measures to punish a sector that has done nothing wrong and is hanging on by a thread.

Within hours our trade critic met with Governor Barbour and many of the other governors in order to defend Canada's forestry sector. But where were the Conservatives? Why are they not standing up for Canada and for its forestry workers?

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, first, when it comes to any protectionist activity, it has been our Prime Minister among all world leaders who has been public and very strong on this overarching concern.

On the specific issue, if the member had taken the time to read the resolution, in fact, it is something that we would support. If there is someone who is part of the agreement who is perceived to be running afoul of the agreement, then there is a dispute mechanism in place that should be followed and we endorse that. We think it is a good motion.

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government just does not get it. What the Southern Governors' Association is calling on President Obama to do is to take extraordinary measures to punish the softwood lumber industry, claiming that Canadians are engaging in unfair competition. Once again, we see the Conservatives giving consent by remaining silent and putting off stopping the attacks on another Canadian industry.

Will it take that industry's collapse to get the government's undivided attention?

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the motion is clear. If someone runs afoul of the agreement, then there is a mechanism that should be followed, and we endorse that.

ChinaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs about China. Just last week his predecessor, David Emerson, who is now in the private sector, was enormously critical of the government for its failure to engage on China, for its failure to pay attention to the importance of this relationship, and for allowing a few ideological enthusiasts to take over Canada's China policy. Why has the minister allowed this to happen on his watch?

ChinaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am actually very pleased to be able to respond to that question. As a matter of fact, we have been extremely active on that file, contrary to what my colleague is saying. I personally had the opportunity of meeting with the foreign affairs minister. Colleagues of mine have travelled to China. My colleague, the Minister of International Trade, intends to go there very shortly. Not only will we be increasing our presence in China, but we also will be increasing our presence in Asia.

ChinaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, every prime minister since John Diefenbaker has taken—

ChinaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Dief, dief.

ChinaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

I knew Mr. Diefenbaker, Mr. Speaker, and none of those members is John Diefenbaker.

Every prime minister since John Diefenbaker has engaged with China and has paid attention to this relationship. The present Prime Minister is the first prime minister we have had who is not engaged with China and who has not dealt with this relationship.

The president of China is going to be present at the conference of the G20 that is taking place in London. Does the Prime Minister and the minister not realize how serious a mistake this is with respect to building that relationship?

ChinaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, since I still have a little more time to talk about what we are doing with China, my colleague will be able to open up six new trade offices in China very shortly.

We all recall that in the House we were able to secure $2 billion to ensure that the Asia-Pacific gateway opened up the doors to new trade with China and with Asia.

We are getting the job done.

Human RightsOral Questions

February 23rd, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ontario's largest public sector union recently passed a motion calling for a boycott of all Israeli academics. The Canadian Union of Public Employees' deliberate targeting of the Jewish people is not new. In fact, CUPE's president, Sid Ryan, recently compared the Israeli government with the Nazis.

Will the Minister of Immigration explain the government's reaction to the motion by CUPE?

Human RightsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians should be concerned about the growing wave on Canadian campuses by organizations such as CUPE that are singling out and targeting the Jewish democratic state of Israel for opprobrium in the most vile language possible.

Last week Jewish students at the Hillel Club at one of our universities faced an angry mob shouting anti-Jewish slogans. The resolution passed by CUPE is in the same spirit. All these people are rejecting the right alone of the Jewish people to a homeland.

On behalf of all Canadians, we denounce this kind of intolerance and extremism that is totally unacceptable.

Pay EquityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government never had any intention of introducing real proactive pay equity legislation and it made that obvious last November. It intends to deny more women the right to equal pay for work of equal value, and apparently the Liberals agree.

In committee this morning legal and women's rights experts made it clear that this law would be challenged. This will slow down women's rights to justice.

Will the minister finally admit that it is time to stop this pay equity charade and give women the justice they have earned?

Pay EquityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I find it hard to understand how the process could be any slower. At present, women have to wait 15 or 20 years in order to achieve equity in the workforce. That is simply not acceptable.

We are adopting proactive legislation, in the same way that the member for Toronto Centre did when he was in the Ontario legislature, to ensure that women have equity in the workplace on a timely basis.

Pay EquityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the only proactive thing in this legislation is the Conservatives' clear and determined intention to deprive Canadian women of the right to equal pay for work of equal value. They are raising the occupational concentration threshold for women from the current 55% to 70%. They are inventing a new exception for the market economy, even though the market is responsible for the discrimination.

Obviously, the minister thinks that women's right to work is a joke. He ought to be replaced.

Pay EquityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we are changing the system so that women will no longer have to wait for 15 years for compensation.

Under the old way of doing things, unions refused to deal with pay equity issues during negotiations. We believe that everyone is responsible for pay equity in the workforce, so unions and employers, both parties, must ensure that equity is achieved in a collective agreement. That is only fair to women. That is fair to society.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, Groupe Polygone, which was involved in the sponsorship scandal, is trying to uncover the identity of the journalistic source who brought the whole affair to light. A process has been undertaken to force a journalist to reveal his source, the person known as “Ma chouette”.

Will the Minister of Justice direct his lawyers to uphold freedom of the press and the protection of journalistic sources?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are certainly reviewing this matter and we will take all suggestions under consideration.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, it sounds as though the Minister of Justice did not understand the question.

What a paradox. The government demands complete transparency from the media, but when it comes to access to information requests, it charges exorbitant fees and spews red tape, which is contrary to the spirit of the act.

If the government really wants improved access to information, how can it justify implementing a fee structure designed to get around the legislation, which is what is going on at Foreign Affairs?

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, last year, requests amounted to some 3,500 pages. There is nothing wrong with cost recovery in that context.

We are not against the idea. On the contrary, we agree that the Access to Information Act should enable people to get information, but we also think that it makes sense to try to recover the cost of handling access requests.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, President Obama has earmarked $400 million for climate change research.

In Canada the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, which has financed 160 projects and 24 research networks on climate change, has received nothing from the government over the last four budgets.

Why is the Conservative government shutting out Canada's best and brightest?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, only the Liberal Party could find fault with what transpired in our country last week when the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States struck a historic understanding relative to biofuel research, research relating to the smart grid, research relating to energy efficiency, clean engine research, carbon capture and storage, all the most advanced technologies in the world.

Only one party in our country has delayed progress on climate change, and that is the Liberal Party.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, a new brain drain from Canada has begun.

Andrew Weaver, who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, notes his modelling team recently lost three researchers to Australia. James Drummond, who directs a remote polar lab and whose funding has all but dried up, says that he has already lost a post-doctoral student to the U.S. and fears more will follow.

Climate scientists are leaving Canada because of the government's decision to starve scientific research at odds with its ideology. When will this end?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, what has begun is collaboration between our country and the largest economy in the world south of here in relation to research, research on all aspects of energy consumption, energy efficiency, smart grids.

These developments will benefit our country in every respect. It does not matter what form of energy we are speaking of, whether it is hydrocarbons, renewables, hydroelectricity, across the Canadian economy we will be the beneficiary of the remarkable work that happened here last week.