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House of Commons Hansard #33 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was benefits.

Topics

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the IRB is an independent quasi-judicial government body that makes its own operational decisions. I cannot dictate procedures to the members of the IRB. It is up to them to decide.

However, we clearly stated that we expected all agencies and quasi-judicial bodies to comply with the Official Languages Act.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot hide behind the IRB's autonomy, because it admitted in a March 16 decision that the request to proceed in French does not present a problem if the Canada Border Services Agency agrees. The agency is still refusing to translate these documents, however.

Is the minister aware that his government's behaviour is sending the wrong message to newcomers, that Canada's real language is English and French is just good for the minister's fine speeches?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for that compliment, but I must say that the Department of Citizenship and Immigration provides all its services in both official languages. We welcome immigrants in both official languages everywhere, and we are proud of that record.

As for the operations of the IRB and the procedures involved in the cases it hears, because it is a quasi-judicial body, I cannot tell the members of that organization what to do.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, when will the Minister of Agriculture accept his responsibilities and take the issue of food safety seriously?

After recognizing its past failures, CFIA, on February 27, implemented new control measures for listeria, however, now the agency has had to cancel the implementation of this new policy due to lack of trained personnel. Imagine government inspectors not fully trained.

Why did the government put inspectors to monitor listeria into plant operations without proper training?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this whole problem arose because the Liberals cut that program in 2005.

We are reinventing that program. We have reinvested money into CFIA. We have hired more inspectors. They are getting the training they need. Listeria testing is still ongoing. In fact, the mandatory testing for environmental swabbing is being enhanced.

The member should applaud the results we are getting.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, we have heard enough of the old rhetoric about years ago. The fact of the matter is that I have the internal email--

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Malpeque has the floor to put his question. The minister is aching to hear it and will not be able to with this noise.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the members on that side of the floor think this is a joking matter, but 20 people have died.

I have the internal email here in my hand, and it states:

CFIA Inspectors are requested not to proceed with collection of environmental sampling under the sampling plan M205 for this fiscal year ending March 31, 2009.

Simply put, inspectors are not trained to do the job. After 20 deaths, how could the--

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I cannot understand what the member for Malpeque is braying about. I hope someone has a set of paddles over there. He may need them one day.

We have mandatory environmental testing, which we are reinstating since the Liberals cut it in 2005.

Certainly inspectors who are new on the line require updated training. We have provided the funding for that and extra moneys to hire new inspectors. We are getting the job done.

There is more testing going on to make sure the food is safer than it has ever been. I wish the hon. member would get with the program.

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has completely abandoned the innocent victims of this recession, and now, to add insult to injury, the Prime Minister has decided that this is the perfect time to link arms with Dalton McGuinty to increase taxes on everything from children's shoes to electricity.

Conservative economic policies got us deeper into this mess, and now they are about to make it a whole lot worse.

Why is the Prime Minister scheming with Dalton McGuinty to increase the financial burden on seniors and on Ontario's shrinking middle class?

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the decision by any non-harmonized province as to whether or not to become harmonized with the GST is up to that province, as it is for the province of Ontario.

We will have to wait for its budget, which I understand is tomorrow, around 4 o'clock.

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, that answer is cold comfort for Ontario families who are already facing the prospect of more layoffs and losing their homes.

Adding taxes to electricity and home heating bills will not make it easier for families to make ends meet.

Will the Minister of Finance admit that he is grasping at straws during this economic crisis, and end the tax grab that he has cooked up with the McGuinty Liberals at Queen's Park?

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, whether or not to harmonize provincial sales tax with GST in a non-harmonized province is up to that province, as it is for the government of the province of Ontario.

With respect to this government, we have an economic action plan. We are implementing the action plan. It is working in Canada. It is providing stimulus as we go forward. It is what Canada needs now. That is what this government is doing.

Canada Elections ActOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, today media outlets reported on the Canada Elections Act.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister inform the House of the details?

Canada Elections ActOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, donation limits exist in Canada to protect the political interests of the broad middle class so that never again will the powerful, wealthy elite own politicians, as they did under the previous Liberal government.

However, the Liberal leader is now holding a royal fundraiser where he is encouraging his members to funnel donations through his non-existent Liberal leadership campaign and bust through donation limits.

I am filing a complaint with Elections Canada to protect the political interests of the people who work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules, not just limousine Liberals.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Red River is rising rapidly in Manitoba and even more rapidly south of the border.

Flood preparations are under way in Manitoba. The river will reach its highest levels since the flood of 1997. At that time, the federal government provided a full-scale response.

Can the government advise the House and Manitobans what it is prepared to do in this potential emergency?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I have met with Minister Ashton of Manitoba to discuss this matter already. He is of course taking a close interest in it, as are we.

The good news is that since 1997 a lot of good work has been done to improve the flood-proofing situation in Manitoba.

We will continue to work together with the province to monitor the situation and assess what support will be needed. We are hoping it will not come to that, but we are keeping a close eye on it.

JusticeOral Questions

March 25th, 2009 / 3 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are pleased to see that the government has adopted the Bloc Québécois recommendation, made in June 2007, to abolish the practice of two-for-one jail credit. Another practice condemned by the Bloc Québécois is the conditional release of inmates who have served only one-sixth of their sentence.

Does the government also intend to put an end to that practice, which plays a role in discrediting the administration of justice?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the Bloc is endorsing our position. I hope that when we introduce the legislation, those members will be the first ones on their feet to say they want to make it unanimous to get this matter before the House of Commons, get it passed, and get it over to the Senate.

That is exactly what this country needs, and the hon. member's constituents will thank him for it.

Campaign AdvertisingOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

Given the serious allegations made regarding campaign spending in the riding of Saanich—Gulf Islands, does the Prime Minister agree that the Minister of State for Sport should do the right thing and step aside from his ministerial responsibilities until the matter is fully resolved?

Campaign AdvertisingOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can try to redraft the question any which way he wants, but as you ruled yesterday, this is an issue that is more applicable to Elections Canada than to the government. It has nothing to do with government business.

My colleague, the minister, has had nothing to do with the third party advertising. Therefore, the hon. member should ask his question of Elections Canada or of the third parties themselves.

HealthOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are concerned about where medical marijuana can be used, about the potential health effects it can have on those exposed to it when it is smoked in public.

Will the Minister of Health instruct her officials to examine this issue and provide further legislation?

HealthOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am concerned about the issue of smoking medical marijuana in public places. That is why I have instructed my officials to examine the issue and develop some options.

I agree with the hon. member that further regulation is required. Canadians can have confidence that we are taking action on this issue.