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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

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, the recent gang violence on the streets of the Lower Mainland has shocked British Columbians and the entire country. Yet to date the government has presented no coherent strategy for crime prevention or diverting high-risk youth from gangs. In fact, it has spent more time playing politics than taking action.

New Democrats have supported and will continue to support strategies for getting gangs off the streets and putting criminals behind bars. When will the government present the House with an effective plan to combat gang violence in metro Vancouver and, indeed, across Canada?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, apparently the hon. member was not there in Vancouver a month ago when I announced five different projects aimed at diverting young people from activity involvement in gangs, vulnerable at-risk youth. We are providing the funding through our national crime prevention strategy, something I might add, numbers in the budget that party votes against all the time.

I do not know why those members are complaining about the lack of funding. When we are taking action to fight crime, they are standing and voting against it.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, as the mother of two police officers in Vancouver, I find the minister's answers rather insulting and very disappointing.

Our region has the lowest police to population ratio of any metro area in the country. People in B.C. do not want political games; they want effective action to combat criminal gangs. We need more police officers, stronger witness protection, investments for crime prevention that will keep our kids away from gangs. We must make drive-by shootings explicitly an indictable offence.

When will the government finally bring forward a comprehensive strategy—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Public Safety.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our party committed to deliver over 1,000 new RCMP officers. So far we have delivered over 1,500. We have provided money to the provinces to hire additional police officers. With that, a week and a half ago the province of British Columbia was able to announce that it was doing exactly that. We have delivered on tougher penalties for gun crimes and a range of other measures through our Tackling Violent Crime Act.

There were a bunch of bills in previous Parliaments that those parties across the way did not let pass. We will be bringing forward tougher penalties for drug crimes and other measures. We invite them this time, in this Parliament to support those measures so we can really get tough on crime for a change.

International AidOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, while past Liberal governments were content with the status quo, this government was not. In budgets 2007 and 2008, the government committed to make our international assistance focused, effective and accountable.

Last April, the Minister of International Cooperation announced Canada would be untying food aid. In September she announced that all aid would be untied.

Could the minister update us on the next steps in the government's aid effectiveness agenda?

International AidOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, today Canada is moving forward on another element of its aid effectiveness agenda. We will be increasing our effectiveness efforts in 20 countries, with increased resources focusing our bilateral country programs and improved coherence and coordination.

This does not mean we are abandoning those in need. We will continue to respond to humanitarian crisis around the world.

Today I am also pleased to announce an additional $1.5 million for shelter and protection for Sri Lankan civilians who are victimized by the conflict.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, when is the Prime Minister going to realize his office must obey the law? Following the listeriosis crisis, the Prime Minister, after months of delay, has appointed an investigator who has no power to subpoena witnesses or documents and reports to the very minister who is under question.

Now today, we have the spectacle of the PMO and the Privy Council Office refusing to release information concerning the activities of the government during the crisis.

What is the Prime Minister trying to hide? Will the Prime Minister commit today, right now, to release all notes related to the listeriosis crisis, as required by law?

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the member is trying to create the impression that decisions about what information to release are driven at the political level. That is in fact absolutely false, and that member knows it.

ATIA requests are never handled by ministers or political staff. The work is done by individuals in the public service. We assume and we expect them to obey the law in every respect.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

February 23rd, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, a British national detained in Guantanamo for four years was released from the prison and repatriated by his government.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs is scheduled to meet with the American secretary of state soon. Why not use that visit to ask that child soldier Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen still detained in Guantanamo, be returned to Canada?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our position remains exactly the same as that already taken by previous governments. We all know that the individual in question has been charged with serious crimes against Americans. In that respect, President Obama has established a procedure. We intend to follow that procedure through to the end.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, last summer's listeriosis outbreak killed 20 Canadians and made many more sick. During the election, the government promised to get to the bottom of it. However, not only is its their own closed door investigation a sham, we are now learning that the Conservatives are denying Canadians the full scope of the situation by blocking information about the outbreak from being released.

Will the government tell us when the agricultural subcommittee hearings on listeriosis will start, and when will the government tell Canadian families everything it knows about the crisis in order to restore Canadians' confidence in the food supply?

Access to InformationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I answered that question which was asked by the member for Malpeque. I gave a fulsome answer to that member. However, I will repeat it.

The member is trying to create the impression that decisions regarding the information being released are driven at the political level. That is absolutely false. These requests are never handled by ministers or their political staff. That work is done by professional public servants in the public service.

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month Canada's transport, and infrastructure minister and his Ontario provincial counterpart announced more than $1 billion in infrastructure investment to Ontario communities with fewer than 100,000 people. Communities in the great Kenora riding were elated with these investments.

Could the minister inform the House how this funding will affect their communities and has affected the communities in the Kenora riding?

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in these uncertain economic times, Canadians want us to work together to get things going, to create jobs right across the province.

The Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Liberal MPP Leona Dombrowsky calls the funding that the government announced the most significant infrastructure investment that has been made in rural Ontario probably in the history of the province. The mayor of Timmins said that he applauded the federal and provincial governments for their quick and decisive action.

This government is getting the job done for rural Ontario.

International AidOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last May, Bill C-293, calling for proper accountability for Canada's international aid dollars, was given royal assent after receiving full support from all parties in the House.

With the funds recently allocated to the conflict in Sri Lanka, I ask the Minister of International Cooperation, what is CIDA doing to ensure the provisions of this bill are in fact being met, and when can we expect the full integration of this legislation in all of CIDA's aid initiatives?

For those suffering in Sri Lanka and in countries all around the world, it is now time for this bill to be acted upon.

International AidOral Questions

3 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, Bill C-293 falls in line with our priorities for focused, effective and accountable aid. It is based on poverty reduction. The department has been working on implementation, and I can assure the House that we will meet all of its requirements. I will keep the member informed. We are on track to meeting the obligations.

International AidOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

That will conclude question period for today. On a point of order, the hon. member for Saint Boniface.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I believe that it is imperative for all of us to guard against any kind of unparliamentary commentary, in both official languages, here in the House. I would like to bring to your attention that a member from the Bloc Québécois today, the member for Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, used unparliamentary language in addressing the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

I would ask that he apologize for that.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour have something to say on the matter?

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether you ever declared the word “niaiseuse” to be unparliamentary. I do not recall any ruling. I would just like to explain that this is a colloquial French word meaning ignorant. I will therefore replace the word “niaiseuse“ with the word “ignorant”.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Chair has heard from both hon. members on this matter. I will review today's Hansard and report to the House, if necessary. I have not heard the member use the word at issue, but it has now been mentioned. I will therefore review the whole matter and come back to the House with a ruling.

Canada Grain ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-13, An Act to amend the Canada Grain Act, chapter 22 of the Statutes of Canada, 1998 and chapter 25 of the Statutes of Canada, 2004.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, your committee has considered the proposed appointment of Brian J. Saunders as the Director of Public Prosecutions pursuant to the order of reference of February 4, 2009, and subsection 4(4) of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act.

I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. I am pleased to report that the committee has considered the question of the proposed appointment of Brian J. Saunders to the position of Director of Public Prosecutions and has agreed to approve the appointment.

National Hockey Day ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-320, An Act respecting a National Hockey Day.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Toronto—Danforth for seconding my bill.

This bill is being brought forward at this point in time when people are suffering across Canada, community to community, during the economic downturn. The intention of the bill is to honour Canada's historic sport, hockey. There is some controversy within my own party about what is the best sport in Canada. I stand proudly and say hockey is Canada's historic sport. It is enjoyed by all ages, all genders, all communities, and all cultural backgrounds across our country.

This past hockey weekend was celebrated. The CBC sponsors the competition in a community. There were regional challenges. There were outdoor hockey reunions. There are historic community run rinks. Every day after school my brother and his school friends would go out and play hockey in the local rink. We need to bring back that historic community practice. We need to support our communities and get people out having fun.

In my own riding of Edmonton—Strathcona Vimy Ridge School sponsors a hockey school. Last Friday I was able to join the game which included a female goalie. The school is very supportive of the bill.

I am happy to bring this bill forward and look forward to receiving the support of the House for this initiative for Canadians.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)