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House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was justice.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the first UN report on the future of water commends Quebec on its approach but strongly condemns Canada, particularly the oil companies in Alberta that use vast quantities of water to extract oil from the oil sands, threatening the very existence of the Athabasca River, where the water comes from.

Does the Minister of the Environment realize that by subsidizing the oil industry as he is doing, he is contributing directly to the ecological disaster the report condemns?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc is misinformed about this issue. I have said a number of times that Canada is and will be responsible in developing all energy sources in Canada. That principle underlies our clean energy dialogue with the United States, and it also underlies hydroelectric projects and the use of water in extracting oil from the oil sands.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of acting like an oil company lobbyist, he should work to protect the environment. That is what he should do.

Ottawa shelled out the equivalent of $66 billion between 1970 and 1999 to support hydrocarbons and oil companies, but spent a mere $329 million on renewable energies and nothing on Hydro Québec.

Is this not the same policy the Conservatives are still clinging to today at the expense of the environment and Quebec?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc should set aside its partisanship and support the government in our efforts to protect the environment.

In particular, the clean energy dialogue that the Prime Minister and the president have struck provides the way forward. It holds remarkable promise in North America with respect to the responsible utilization of energy resources, the consumption of resources, clean energy research and the effective use of water.

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, since coming to power, the Conservatives have tripled the amount of funding that goes to Atomic Energy of Canada. In just two years, they have squandered $1.2 billion on nuclear energy alone, while the entire forestry sector will receive only $170 million for the next two years.

Can the Minister of Natural Resources deny that the reason for giving so much money to the nuclear sector is to help Ontario and the oil companies in the west, once again to the detriment of the environment and of Quebec?

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member said is obviously incorrect if we take a look at the track record that this government has on clean energy.

May I point out that on renewable energy alone, this government has dedicated and committed $3.7 billion to research, development and deployment of renewable energy. I fail to see how that is not significant. I fail to see how that is not something that is very important for Canada. It shows that we are leaders.

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, money put into hydrocarbons and nuclear energy should instead be invested in the development of renewable energy sources, such as cellulose ethanol production, which would be beneficial not only for the environment, but also for the forestry industry.

How many devastating reports do we need to see before this government will finally decide to act?

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Once again, Mr. Speaker, I think it is important to point out that this government actually did act. It acted in 2007, 2008, and again this year with a $1 billion clean energy fund.

Let me help the hon. members with what the content of the ecoenergy renewable program is, which is incentives for the production of power from emerging renewable energy sources such as wind, biomass, hydro, geothermal, solar photovoltaic and ocean energy.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary study of the auto industry has revealed the inadequacy of the government's response to the crisis that is crippling Canada's auto industry.

Access to credit for consumers is a critical issue. The government could be providing eligible consumers with access to credit through the secured credit facility that was announced in December, more than three months ago, and repeated in the budget more than six weeks ago. Still it has not turned a wheel. Why not? Why the delay?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, let me thank the ex-critic on autos for his question, and I would like to tell this House that we are ready to go. Now that the Liberal-dominated Senate has passed our budget bill, we can get moving on this issue. It is a part of our economic action plan.

We have already communicated with the public on how to proceed with this credit facility because we want to get credit out to consumers and to businesses to make sure that our businesses can grow and our consumers can continue to be part of our economy.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not dependent upon the budget passing, and the member knows it.

I invite the minister to read his own report. Page 127 is clear evidence that the secured credit could have been deployed over three months ago when announced, when needed, and without a vote, and still the wheels have not turned.

Chrysler has threatened to go bankrupt or leave the country because car sales are evaporating. Conservatives are not getting the job done.

Why did the minister fail to get the wheels in motion when it was needed the most?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in fact the announcement of a secured credit facility was part of the budget package, as the hon. member knows well.

As far as we are concerned, this is an important part of expanding the ability of consumers to get credit and of small business to get credit. We are moving as smartly as we can, but the hon. member and his party have held things up for several weeks. I thank them now for moving forward for the benefit of Canadians.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell the Minister of Justice that the gang killings in British Columbia continue.

The Attorney General of British Columbia and the Solicitor General of British Columbia came to Ottawa two weeks ago. They talked to the government. They talked to the opposition. They wanted two amendments, one on the two-for-one remand credit and the other on modernizing investigative techniques. The Liberal Party of Canada agreed with those amendments.

I want to know the position of the government on B.C.'s request for amending the Criminal Code so that gang problems can be dealt with more satisfactorily in British Columbia.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would invite the hon. member to have a look at the bill that is now presently before Parliament, which addresses gang murders, drive-by shootings and offences against police officers. The bill that goes with it is on a crackdown on drugs.

For the Liberal Party this is a sometime thing. It is something that it comes to every couple of weeks or every couple of years. I am proud to be a part of a party that knows the fight against crime has to go on 365 days of the year. That is what Canadians want. That is what Canadians deserve.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, what Canadians deserve in Canada is clear answers from the minister who is responsible for this file.

The fact is that he appeared before the justice committee on Monday last, and he actually refused to say whether or not he supports British Columbia's requests.

I want to know why he does not support British Columbia's requests. British Columbians actually want to know why he would not tell us what his position is on this issue.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I will tell members what the people in British Columbia want. They want the same things as all Canadians. They want to see action on gangs, reckless shootings, gangland murders, protection for police officers and a crackdown on drugs. That is what everybody wants.

I can tell members what I told the committee and I am glad to tell all Canadians. When it comes to standing up for law-abiding Canadians and victims in this country, there is only one party that can be counted on, and that is the Conservative Party of Canada.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, we learned today of a tragic accident off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. A helicopter carrying 18 people ditched into the ocean. We know search and rescue personnel are on site, but conditions are difficult because of rolling seas.

Could the parliamentary secretary provide the House with an update on the rescue operations?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this was a tragic accident and our thoughts go out to those in peril on the sea and to their families.

There is an ongoing search and rescue operation involving four Cormorant helicopters, two Hercules and one Aurora aircraft from the Canadian Forces, and a Coast Guard vessel. There are also civilian aircraft on site as well.

There are high winds and the seas are rough. At this point, one person has been picked up, and the search continues for others. Canada has brought a very significant search and rescue capability to bear on to the scene today, and every effort is being made to search for survivors.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

March 12th, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, by stripping the Navigable Waters Act, the Conservatives will promote industrial development on our lakes and rivers but without any environmental assessments whatsoever. While the minister believes such safeguards are ”red tape”, hunters, anglers and boaters see them as critical in protecting our great outdoors from pollution and dangerous development.

Conservationists and recreation users across Canada are furious, and rightly so. Why does the minister feel that he can be judge, jury and executioner for Canada's waterways? Why is he fast-tracking the destruction of Canada's great outdoors?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, nothing further from the truth could possibly be said out of that individual's mouth. The reality is that we have a bill that has been on the books since the early 1900s unamended. Even that member knows the difference between water running down a river and water running down a ditch and the different regulations that would take place to make that happen.

The House understands it. We need to get infrastructure out in order to get Canadians working. This is a critical time when we need our infrastructure working and Canadians working with their money. We want that to take place as soon as possible, which why this piece of legislation needs to be changed.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, the changes made to the Navigable Waters Protection Act are unacceptable.

The Conservatives want to prevent people who hunt and fish from freely accessing Canada's natural resources. That is an acquired right that dates back to Confederation. The NDP proposed an amendment to remove that measure from Bill C-10. Unfortunately, the Liberals agree with the Conservatives on this issue.

Why should people who hunt and fish be deprived of those activities, which are already carefully monitored and regulated?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, we are not compromising the environment in any way. We are getting infrastructure dollars working for Canadians and Canadians working right now.

It is unfortunate that that individual and his party, as well as the Bloc Québécois, have done everything they possibly could to obstruct this piece of legislation all the way through.

What all members need to understand is that we will do everything we need to do to deal with this at a critical time in the history of Canada and the world to get this money working for Canadians.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice told us that he was giving thought to the approach government lawyers should take in the case against Groupe Polygone, a key player in the sponsorship scandal. But while the minister is thinking, his lawyers are, through their silence, endorsing the extraordinary procedure the Groupe Polygone lawyers used to have journalist Daniel Leblanc subpoenaed to reveal his source.

My question is simple: does the minister approve of this manoeuvre?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have no intention of conducting litigation here on the floor of the House of Commons. If that member would go back to his constituents, he would find that they have some serious concerns about violent crime in this country. He would be better off spending his time worrying about the safety of his constituents here and leave the litigation to the lawyers.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, freedom of the press is recognized in the Charter. In the civilized countries that we like to compare ourselves to, freedom of the press includes protecting a journalist's confidential sources.

How can the Attorney General, the guardian of the Charter—and does the Minister of Justice want to live up to this title?—how can the Attorney General allow his lawyers to remain silent and indifferent in the face of an extraordinary procedure that would force Daniel Leblanc to reveal enough information that his source could be identified?