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House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was lanka.

Topics

Executive PayOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question.

The G20 has looked at this issue. As the member knows, we are working together with our G20 partners to create mutual economic stimulus around the world because that will help relieve the global recession. This also is one of those points that was agreed on, and members will note this week that some Canadian bank executives have voluntarily restricted their compensation. The member needs to note also that we also have not put one cent of Canadian taxpayers' money into our banking system, unlike the United States and the United Kingdom.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, seniors were the big losers in the most recent budget. Needy seniors who receive only the old age pension and guaranteed income supplement will live below the poverty line.

What does the Minister of Finance have to say to the President of FADOQ, who stated “we are not talking about a fortune, but of a minimum income that everyone should be guaranteed in a society that claims to respect its seniors”?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have a great deal of respect for seniors and that is why we appointed a Minister of State for Seniors. We have also established a council that will identify and analyze the concerns of seniors so that we can take action to help them as we did with the supplement.

Child CareOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister stands and answers leaders' questions on every subject but child care. Why?

I would also like to suggest that the Minister of Human Resources leave her office, go into a child care centre and ask parents. Then she would find out that the impact on child care of her government's programs has been zero. Not a little bit, zero.

This is another example of the Prime Minister's attitude on government programs. Programs? Who really knows whether a program's money is in place or whether it is for next year or the year after, and the public has been the loser. When will the Prime Minister act like a prime minister?

Child CareOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear the action we have taken to help parents, to help families get the form of child care that they choose. Sometimes it is at home with mom or dad, sometimes it is with granny, sometimes it is informal daycare. We have made all of those options possible through our universal child care benefit which we delivered inside of six months to every parent with a child under the age of six. We know through our relationships with the provinces and the funding we provide them that so far in the last year they have created over 60,000 new daycare spaces.

Child CareOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is the Prime Minister's self-proclaimed political genius: give the public what it wants even if it does not get it. Reality is not the program itself, it is the announcement. But then for the Prime Minister this pesky economic crisis ruined everything. Now program money actually needs to be spent. People need services. Because of our budget amendment, the Prime Minister now has to report that he is actually doing what he said he would do.

The Leader of the Opposition realized that somebody--somebody--has to act like a prime minister. For three years, why has the Prime Minister not?

Child CareOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our Prime Minister has demonstrated tremendous leadership.

Thanks to his leadership, our country is better prepared than any other country to face this global economic crisis. Thanks to his leadership, we are entering later than most countries in the G7. We expect to go shallower into it and to come out sooner and stronger.

That is leadership. The others should try it.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is an $8 billion hole in the Conservative budget. In November's economic update, the government was ridiculed for padding its books with the phantom sale of government assets. Despite criticism from all sides on this scam, it is in budget 2009. In table 4.2 in the budget there is a gaping hole.

Could the government tell taxpayers where the money will come from to fill it: a fire sale of assets, layoffs, program cuts or higher deficits?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

As the budget makes clear, Mr. Speaker, there will be a capital asset review, just as we have an ongoing expenditure management review with respect to the operating and program expenses of government. This has not been done since the early 1990s.

It is incumbent on the government, as good managers, to ensure we review assets as well as operating expenses and that is precisely what we are going to do in this budget, which the hon. member voted against.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

This Ottawa member actually read the budget, Mr. Speaker. The finance minister is not coming clean.

We have a budget that is based on rosy numbers of the sales of billions of dollars in public assets at the bottom of a market no less. Great deal.

Exactly what public assets are the Conservatives planning to sell and what other programs are on the chopping block: the former U.S. embassy perhaps, the CN Tower or maybe CBC? Is that what they are intending?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

That is why we do an asset review, Mr. Speaker. It is to look at all of the assets of the government to see if it is appropriate to have public ownership of all of these assets, many of which were acquired many years ago. We do the same thing with respect to government operating programs.

As I say, that is just good, sound economic management of government.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, two days ago I was surprised when I received a message from the member for Ahuntsic in my personal e-mail account. She sent a series of articles and videos about the recent conflict in Gaza to all MPs. What shocked me the most was the fact that some of the 27 attachments applauded the actions of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. This is the same member who, in 2006, claimed in a false statement that Israel had committed war crimes in Lebanon.

Can the Minister of Public Safety inform the House of the official status of these groups and—

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Public Safety.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I, too, received the surprising email from the Bloc member for Ahuntsic.

I can confirm that Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa martyrs' brigades are all formerly listed under section 83.05 of the Criminal Code as terrorist groups, all of whom have knowingly carried out terrorist activities.

I would hope that all members of the House would condemn terrorist activity and I certainly do not think it is appropriate for members of the House to use their House facilities to distribute that kind of propaganda.

I would certainly ask that the hon. Bloc member apologize to the House and Canadians for having distributed terrorist group propaganda.

Freedom of SpeechOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, free speech and the right to oppose government is vital to any democracy and yet the Prime Minister seeks to crush it, to punish it at every turn. Most recently, the government used the budget as an instrument of revenge against a particular province, now Conservative operatives are pushing a bogus investigation to destroy a former member of their caucus who dared to speak his mind. It seems there are no limits.

Will the Prime Minister apologize to the member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada and uphold the reputation of this good and decent man?

Freedom of SpeechOral Questions

3 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, that is, of course, an RCMP matter and the government does not interfere or direct in RCMP matters. However, I can observe that the RCMP did confirm yesterday that this file was closed. I can further advise the hon. member, who apparently missed it, that Conservative Party officials have also made it clear that they do not believe that the hon. member in question, the hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, did anything wrong.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, Amnesty International, like other civil society organizations, is urging the Prime Minister to repatriate Omar Khadr. The upcoming visit of President Obama is an opportunity for the Prime Minister to ask that young Khadr be repatriated according to the international convention on child soldiers.

Does the Prime Minister intend to request that Omar Khadr be repatriated, knowing that President Obama has clearly announced the upcoming closure of Guantanamo?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our position on this matter is the same as the position of past governments. We know that the charges against this individual stem from serious crimes. We also know that the President of the United States has decided—and issued two orders—to review this matter. So, we will wait for the process that is underway to take its course.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Public Service Agency have not submitted a report on official languages to Parliament since 2006. The Official Languages Act requires that a report be submitted every year. Last year, the former Minister of Canadian Heritage pointed out that all federal institutions are required to submit annual reports, and that any institution failing to do so could be subject to prosecution.

Will the government respect the law of the land and submit the missing reports on official languages, or does it have something to hide?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we have nothing to hide. We are proud of our investments in official languages. For example, our roadmap means $1.1 billion over five years. That is 20% more than the former government did for official languages.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Watch out!

The information is on its way. I will appear before the Standing Committee on Official Languages and I will answer all their questions. All the reports will be tabled. All the information will be very clear and will show that our government is investing more heavily in official languages than ever before in this country's history.

AgricultureOral Questions

February 4th, 2009 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, livestock producers in my riding and across Canada have been hurting since the BSE crisis hit them in May 2003. For years the former Liberal governments failed farmers and did nothing to reopen markets for our livestock producers.

Could the Minister of Agriculture please tell this House what action he has taken to open up new markets and help the bottom line for our cattle industry?

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I know the livestock industry appreciates the great work done by the member for Lethbridge on this file and the work that he continues to do.

We were very fortunate in January, on our trip to Hong Kong in conjunction with the livestock sector, to reopen that market to a lot of the cuts we do not make use of here in Canada, or internationally for that matter, which will double our sales to the Hong Kong market.

Yesterday we received great news from a small, dynamic market in Jordan that will open its doors to complete access to us after the BSE crisis. That is the beginning of many good announcements to come.

AgricultureOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, crews began killing 60,000 turkeys at a farm in Abbotsford, British Columbia after the CFIA confirmed several of the birds had contracted an H5 avian influenza virus. Farms in the Fraser Valley also suffered avian flu outbreaks in 2004 and 2005.

What specific steps have been taken to determine the source of these outbreaks in this particular region?