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House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judges.

Topics

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, let me thank the member for the opportunity to say, once again, that the $2 billion going into our colleges and universities and for hospital research is actually meant to go toward increasing the functionality of the laboratories. That is exactly what our scientists need. They need the right facilities to do the best job they can. The member is correct that this is included in the $5.1 billion.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the United States has decided to invest $10 billion in medical research, but the Conservatives are going ahead with budget cuts to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Many Canadian researchers agree that spending on university infrastructure is all well and good, but similar investments in research are essential, too.

Why has this government cut funding to the three research councils?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, we have invested quite a bit of money in all types of research, from discovery all the way through to applied. In fact, let me read one example. Last month alone this government announced $100 million for 134 research chairs, including Dr. Reinhardt at McGill. He wants to discover answers to connective tissue disease and disorders. This Conservative government supports the good doctor.

Department of Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, Foreign Affairs funding has been drastically cut, while funding to the Department of National Defence has visibly increased.

Can the government tell us why and can it explain this growing imbalance?

Department of Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her question.

In fact, under this government, not only have budgets been stable, but they have increased. We have an annual budget of approximately $2.1 billion, which allows us to continue to develop Canadian policies specifically targeting the development of human rights, the rule of law and democratic principles. We are achieving what we were elected to do.

Department of Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the discrepancy between how the Department of National Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs are treated not a reflection of this government's fundamental attitude, which consists of favouring weapons over diplomacy in its international relationships?

Department of Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I disagree completely with the premise of my colleague's question. On the contrary, we take action on a daily basis in line with this government's foreign policy, whether in the course of our work with NATO members and other countries in Afghanistan or in the course of our work in Africa.

The member needs to realize, beyond the notes written for her, what the Government of Canada is doing for Canadians.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the cut to the Foreign Affairs PromArt program will, among other things, force Les Grands Ballets Canadiens to defray alone the cost of travelling to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Cairo, where performances are scheduled.

How can the Minister of Foreign Affairs meekly accept this cut to his department, after stating, during a recent visit to Israel, that it was important to strengthen diplomatic ties with that country, politically, economically, socially and culturally?

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, as we have in the past, we are now supporting our artists on the international scene. This year, we are doing so to the tune of $22 million. That is an unprecedented amount in the history of our country.

My hon. colleague referred to the Department of Foreign Affairs. That department maintains a network of 171 cultural affairs officers in its missions abroad.

We are doing what we promised to do during the election campaign; we are keeping our promises to the artists. That is what we are doing.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, having cultural officers does not provide Les Grands Ballets Canadiens with a cent more to finance their tour.

In an about-face, the Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) has started to put back money taken away from regional development organizations, as requested by the Bloc Québécois and community stakeholders.

Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage intend to do the same with culture and restore funding to arts and culture programs that have suffered cuts?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we are investing more in our artists. This year, our investment will be $2.3 billion, the largest investment in the history of this country. On the international scene, the investment is $22 million. We are providing $13 million to the Canada Council for the Arts, $4.8 million to the Association for the Export of Canadian Books, $1.9 million to Telefilm Canada, $1.8 million to FACTOR Music Action and $900,000 to the National Film Board.

The Bloc Québécois has voted against every one of these amounts.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

When she visited Israel, Ms. Clinton stated clearly that the United States was still in favour of two states representing Israel and Palestine.

I would like to know whether that is still Canada's policy.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure my hon. colleague. I also want to congratulate him, because I saw that he was Canada's ambassador in Syria. He travelled to Damascus and reiterated Canada's policy on the Middle East, which is that we support two sovereign states living side by side in peace and harmony.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in that light, I would like to ask the minister this. Compared to the United Kingdom, which has increased its budget for diplomacy and for public diplomacy, and the United States, which has increased its budget for the state department and for public diplomacy, how can he explain why only Canada is going in the opposite direction and is preventing our diplomats from doing their job and carrying out the policies that he claims to support on behalf of the Government of Canada?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am sure my hon. colleague, who has just come back from Syria, has been in a position to realize that Canadian diplomacy is alive and thriving. Our budgets are there. Our people, our ambassadors and our diplomats are doing exactly what they are supposed to do. Our policies are being carried out in the rightful and strong manner in terms of governance issues, in terms of freedom, in terms of the rule of law and in terms of human rights.

That is the position this government holds to and that is what we will continue to do.

JusticeOral Questions

March 23rd, 2009 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, several weeks ago ministers from British Columbia came here to ask the federal government to move to end the two-for-one remand credit and change the wiretap laws in the Criminal Code to deal with gangs.

At a meeting this weekend, ministers from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba added their voices to that concern and request.

What will it take for the Minister of Justice to move on these important issues?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would start with his support.

I was in British Columbia this weekend. I had a woman approach me who was confused about the position of the Liberals on fighting crime. I stepped up for them. I said that it was probably due to the fact they had been proposing a carbon tax for the last two years, so they had not had time to focus on this. I assured her that fighting crime in our country and standing up for law-abiding citizens and victims would continue to be a priority of this Conservative government.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have news for the minister. He cannot fight crime with empty words such as the ones he just spoke. The minister has refused and remained silent on this very important issue to British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to deal with gangs.

I want to know today from the minister what his position is. Is he going to move on this? What would it take for this minister to get off his duff and move 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, the problems are the result of 13 years of inaction by the hon. member and his political party. They gutted our bill on house arrest. They fought us for mandatory prison terms for people who committed serious gun crimes. If they have had a change of heart and become born-again crime fighters, I welcome it.

I ask the hon. member to stand, show resolve from the Liberal Party and support us on these issues once and for all.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are outraged at the ignorant comments about the Canadian military that are running on the Fox news show, Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld. The episode mocks the courageous efforts of Canada's brave men and women in Afghanistan and is particularly hurtful as Canadians mourn the loss of four more soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence tell us what he thinks about this appalling episode that belittles the efforts of our Canadian military?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I want to first express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of Master Corporal Vernelli, Corporal Crooks, Trooper Bouthillier and Trooper Hayes who were returned to Canada today after making the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan.

The comments expressed by so-called comedians on Fox News are disgraceful, ignorant and insulting to the Canadian Forces members, our diplomats and the development workers who have died in Afghanistan and others who have been injured. Canadians and others who know of Canada's efforts are not laughing.

Canadian troops have been consistently praised by allied commanders and political leaders for their courage, dedication and professionalism on the battlefield. I would hope these people recognize their remarks were wrong and would move to apologize to families and friends.

Le Réveil NewspaperOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, after Quebecor initiated its 14th lockout in 14 years, the Minister of National Revenue promised last week that he and his department would no longer advertise in Le Réveil, a newspaper in the Saguenay, as a gesture of solidarity with the employees. The NDP applauded this initiative but, unfortunately, the minister was rapped on the knuckles by the Prime Minister's office.

Rather than rebuking him, why is the Prime Minister not supporting the minister's proposal? Why support Quebecor's tactics by advertising in the Journal de Montréal and Le Réveil? Does the Prime Minister enjoy seeing families down and out?

Le Réveil NewspaperOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, Le Réveil is definitely an important weekly newspaper in our region. It employed many people and therefore union representatives asked to meet with their MP and naturally I agreed to meet them. They are very worried. In a recession, it is possible that major players in this sector may consider moving to major centres, to the detriment of the regions.

Having said that, they asked what I could do in terms of advertising. I checked and it was not possible to stop the advertising. This matter will be settled around a negotiating table and the employees have my sympathy in the current situation.

The Conservative GovernmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, more Conservative skeletons are emerging from the closet: the minister of culture is incapable of identifying prominent Quebeckers and Canadians in the fields of arts and culture; the member for Yorkton—Melville is planning to attend a meeting where Beretta semi-automatics are being given as door prizes; and, worst of all, the Minister of State (Science and Technology) does not believe in evolution even though it is at the heart of modern biology.

Can the minister—who likened evolution to the change from running shoes to high heels—explain his theory?

The Conservative GovernmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, once again, the New Democratic Party is piping up with its big ideas. From its perspective, the problem is always give, give, give. When labour conflicts arise, the government must try to remain neutral, but we are nevertheless concerned with what happens to people going through hard times because of a lockout or other labour action.