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House of Commons Hansard #17 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Laurier--Sainte-Marie.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

February 24th, 2009 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when asked about the reference year for the fight against climate change, the Minister of the Environment has accused the Bloc Québécois of looking back to the past by referring to the year 1990. Yet that year, 1990, is the reference year for the Kyoto objectives, for the European Union, and is also the reference year for President Barack Obama.

Does the Prime Minister realize he is being the odd man out by opposing environmental protection and the economy, especially with intensity targets and using 2006 as the reference year?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said on numerous occasions already, it is not possible to solve the problem of greenhouse gas emissions in the past. It can always be done in the future. There are various ways of measuring greenhouse gas reduction targets. The Americans have proposed targets and outcomes very close to our own. We are in discussions with the U.S. government in order to ensure effective regulations for the North American continent.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister tells us that 1990 is in the past. I would point out to him that so is 2006. That seems pretty obvious. If he opts for 2006 as his reference year, that is because that year gives the advantage to the gas and oil companies at the expense of Quebec manufacturers.

Will the Prime Minister admit that, with that as a target, his party is serving the interests of the oil patch, which has, unlike the Quebec manufacturing sector, done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions since 1990?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are clear on this: all industries, including the gas and oil industry, must be part of the solution as far as climate change and greenhouse gas emissions are concerned.

What we see again from the Bloc is not an environment question. It is just another attempt to divide Quebeckers from Albertans and from people in other parts of the country. It is why nobody seems to want to have a coalition with that party any more.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the past four weeks, one job in seven in the manufacturing sector has been lost. In spite of his optimistic statements during the election campaign, the Minister of Finance was aware of the situation, because on page 27 of his October 2007 economic statement, he himself referred to the decline of manufacturing.

Does the Prime Minister understand that the current crisis is dealing a direct blow to an industry that has been ailing for years and that his budget is not nearly enough to help overcome this crisis?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, certainly, there are huge challenges because of the global economic crisis. This government is responding to that crisis with the Minister of Finance's economic action plan. Our plan will facilitate access to credit for businesses, it includes measures to help companies buy new equipment, it reduces taxes for Canadian families and so on. But the Bloc voted against that.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Québec Forest Industry Council, Guy Chevrette, yesterday condemned the Conservatives' indifference toward the catastrophe in Quebec's forest industry, which has lost 42,000 jobs since 2005. According to Mr. Chevrette, the government must provide loan guarantees to support the industry.

Can the Prime Minister tell us which specific provision of the softwood lumber agreement with the United States prohibits such loans? Otherwise, everyone will know that he has decided to side with the American protectionist lobby.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, we are very aware of what is happening in the forest industry. Last week, I made another tour of the regions of Quebec, including several regions that rely on forestry. I met with a number of forest industry managers and workers. Our government agrees with them that we must do everything we can not to threaten the softwood lumber agreement with the Americans, who are our main economic partners. Consequently, our government, which is a responsible government, will continue to support the forest industry in keeping with the agreement with our American partners.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is speculation coming out of Washington today that the United States may ask Canada to extend our engagement in Afghanistan beyond 2011, and this on a day when a Department of National Defence report says, and I quote, that a military victory is unlikely.

Will the Prime Minister confirm today, uncategorically, that Canada will honour the 2011 deadline that has been adopted by this House, or does he agree with the leader of the Liberal Party, who believes that we should suggest to Secretary of State Clinton that perhaps we could stay longer?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when President Obama was here, he made clear that he had not made any such request to Canada. I was equally clear that we are acting according to the parliamentary resolution.

I thought President Obama spoke very eloquently about the tremendous contribution that has been made by Canadian troops and Canadians at all levels in the mission to Afghanistan, and it is something that this party and we on this side of the House are extremely proud of.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we too were touched by the words of President Obama about our troops.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

We hear the heckling from across the way, which I think is not really appropriate, I must say, on this serious matter.

Yesterday the American administration, the Obama administration, released its first Guantanamo detainee. He was returned after diplomatic pressure from the British government. That is quite a contrast to what we have seen from our Prime Minister with regard to the child soldier Omar Khadr.

Can the Prime Minister tell us whether he has raised this issue or asked the foreign affairs minister to raise it, and whether we are going to be recommending that he be brought here to face due process?

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as we have said on numerous occasions, we have pointed out to the House that Mr. Khadr is charged with very serious crimes, including terrorism and murder. Unlike many of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, he is in fact charged and subject to a legal process.

We know the United States is reviewing that process. In the meantime, of course, we are providing all assistance that we are required to provide to Mr. Khadr.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court of Canada has condemned Guantanamo. President Barack Obama has promised to close the prison. The British government has repatriated its citizens and residents. But our Prime Minister is doing nothing. Meanwhile, the mission in Afghanistan is not working. The people we are supposed to be helping are holding our soldiers responsible for the death of children. They are now hurling insults at our troops. We need a new direction.

Does the Prime Minister realize that?

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I believe I have answered this question. Mr. Khadr is accused of very serious crimes, such as murder and terrorism. These types of acts have caused the deaths of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. Clearly, the American government is revising its approach and we will react appropriately once we know what it has decided.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, on the government's watch the streets of Vancouver and Surrey have become more like shooting ranges. The minister has blamed the opposition for the government's failure to act. Ninety per cent of the Conservatives' legislation on public safety has been supported by the opposition parties; the Conservatives killed the other 10%, either by calling an election or by proroguing Parliament to save their own political skins.

Why is the government misleading Canadians and then in fact failing Canadians?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to see that the opposition has finally figured out that crime is a problem in this country and that it is a big problem in British Columbia. I wish the hon. member and his party had been more helpful in the last Parliament in getting the Tackling Violent Crime Act passed out of this Parliament.

We took the right steps to crack down on violent crime. Canadians know that when it comes to fighting crime and standing up for victims and law-abiding Canadians, they can count on this Conservative government.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is engaging in phony propaganda again.

In 2006, those sheriffs rode into town slinging rhetoric and pretending to have a silver bullet for every criminal offence. However, on their watch the main streets of Toronto, Vancouver, Surrey and other cities have turned into war zones.

Canadians want those bumbling sheriffs to wake up and smell the gun smoke from the streets of Vancouver to the buses in Toronto. Why will they not?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, that comes from the gang that could not shoot straight.

Under the Tackling Violent Crime Act, which was fought all the way along and had problems getting passed in the other place, 14 and 15-year-olds are now better protected from adult sexual predators. Now, people who commit serious gun crimes will get what they have been asking for, which is mandatory prison time. We did that without their help or cooperation. I hope they get it now and have changed their mind.

Chalk River Nuclear FacilityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, there was another heavy water leak at Chalk River as the minister toured the facility. An undisclosed amount of tritium was released again into the ventilation system. This is the third radioactive leak in two months.

Could the minister assure Canadians that the cause of these leaks has been determined and corrected or will she simply abandon her responsibility and ask for another report?

Chalk River Nuclear FacilityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, AECL, Atomic Energy Canada Limited, notified my office and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission on Sunday of a heavy water leak. It was also discovered at the time what the cause of the leak was and the repair was undertaken. I can also indicate that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has released a statement informing Canadians that the leak had no impact on the safety or the operation of the reactor and posed no risk to the health and safety of the public, the workers or the environment.

The reporting systems we have put in place have worked and the Canadian public, of whom we are concerned for health and safety, were informed in a timely fashion.

Chalk River Nuclear FacilityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, just weeks ago, the Minister of Natural Resources stated categorically in the House that the supply of medical isotopes was secure. Following the February 15 shutdown at Chalk River, AECL is now warning of another medical isotope shortage. The minister has clearly failed to act upon the recommendations of the lessons learned panel to ensure a plan to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Could the minister tell the House if she still thinks the supply of medical isotopes is secure or is she doing something about the warning from the AECL?

Chalk River Nuclear FacilityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, while I appreciate the vigour with which the hon. member has approached the question, I must say that her facts are incorrect. The reality is that we prize the health and safety of Canadians as our utmost concern in the government.

We have taken concrete steps in dealing with medical isotopes here in this country while studying the best ways to ensure we have it in the future, that, in the medium term, we coordinate with our global partners with respect to the supply of medical isotopes, and that, in the short term, we take all the steps necessary at our reactor to ensure that we are delivering these medical isotopes in a timely and safe way.