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House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Child CareOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, is the minister aware that when the same questions were asked of child care providers in Halifax, Dartmouth, Fredericton and Saanich on the number of new spaces, they also said, “None”? When asked the number of better spaces and the number of parents who, with this extra money, had withdrawn their kids and were now staying at home, they said, “None” and “None. Zero”.

All across the country it is the same. Is the minister aware of just how wrong her information is?

Child CareOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the hon. member realizes or is aware of just what a slur he is casting on the provinces. They are saying that they are creating these child care spaces. I believe they are doing what they said they would do and what they said they have done.

Let us look at 13 years of Liberal government. It promised time after time to create child care spaces and to support parents. What did it do over 13 years, including two years with that gentleman as the minister for the portfolio? What did it do? Nothing.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, despite attempts by the Conservatives and Liberals to sweep the Cadman affair under the rug, Canadians still have a right to know what really happened. Sadly, the secret deal between the Conservatives and the Liberals appears to be an attempt to leave those questions unanswered.

Given the extremely serious allegations and the weeks of fury they caused in the House, and in the interests of full disclosure and transparency, will the Prime Minister make public all documents that would have been produced as part of the lawsuit?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question and I am pleased to report to the House that the matter is closed.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

It is not closed to the public, Mr. Speaker.

Weeks before this secret settlement was reached, the Prime Minister's lawyer in the Cadman affair abruptly withdrew from the case. This led to speculation. Did he realize that the case could not be won? Was it an ethical issue? The Prime Minister will know that solicitor-client privilege does not prevent him, as the client, from explaining what happened.

Will the Prime Minister explain to Canadians the reasons that his lawyer, Mr. Rick Dearden, withdrew?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Standing Order 30(5) of the House provides me with the occasion to respond to questions from members across the way, so I add to my previous answer by pointing out that the matter is closed.

Sri LankaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, like all Canadians, I am concerned by the ongoing civil war in Sri Lanka. This conflict has gone on for decades, and innocent civilians on both sides are bearing the cost.

Currently a large rally taking place on the front lawn of Parliament Hill features dozens of Tamil Tiger flags. Can the minister of state please inform us of Canada's position on this matter?

Sri LankaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, I am sure all Canadians share the government's revulsion at the continuing humanitarian catastrophe in Sri Lanka, a civil conflict born of a succession of repressive discriminatory Sri Lankan governments, which in turn spawned the terrorist organization known as the Tamil Tigers.

But I am sickened by the pandering of a Liberal member on the front lawn of Parliament to a flagrant display of the symbols of a listed terrorist organization. The Government of Canada would hope that all members of the House would abhor terrorism.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans did make an error in judgment, but the previous minister made a critical error in fisheries conservation.

Every fisherman in this country lives by a policy of licence rationalization, every fisherman, except for Tim Ryno of Inverness and Eugene Kean of Renews in the former minister's home town. Both applied for multi-million dollar crab licences and were denied. Both fishermen took the matters to the licence appeal boards and licensing boards. They were denied and denied. But before the last election campaign, they took the matter directly to the minister. They were approved.

Will the minister now do the right thing, show some leadership, suspend the licences and explain why that matter was done the way it was?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as you know, licensing issues are confidential.

I have great faith in my predecessor. There are a number of different issues around licences. I know he would have taken them all into account, and I will not be appealing an appeal.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, we cannot recognize International Women's Day without thinking about Nathalie Morin, a Quebecker being held in Saudi Arabia against her will. For a year now, and thanks to the initiative of my colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île, the Bloc Québécois has been calling on the government to repatriate her.

We know that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs met with Nathalie Morin, but we want to know what concrete action the government will take to quickly repatriate this woman and her children.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this is a very complex family dispute case with no easy solution.

During the past month, when I visited Saudi Arabia, I met with Ms. Morin and we spoke. We are bound, however, by both the Saudi laws and our own adherence to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, under which children cannot leave without the father's permission.

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, a study by Health Canada found that Canadians are exposed to bisphenol A, or BPA, in 72 types of soft drinks. That represents over 84% of the market.

We know that BPA is linked to cancer and reproductive problems. It is well established that it is a dangerous chemical. What did the government do? In October 2008 it designated BPA as toxic to humans and the environment, but that is just not good enough.

Therefore today I want to ask the government this: will it take decisive action, finally, to protect the health of families and our children and ban BPA?

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our government has a very strong record of taking action on bisphenol A, such as the study that was completed just this week.

The study concluded that there are no safety concerns with levels of BPA in canned soft drinks. In fact, an adult would have to drink over 900 cans of soft drinks a day to reach a harmful daily intake.

Canadians can expect actions from the government when it comes to their health and safety. We are world leaders on this issue, and I am proud to say that this government is taking action.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberals and the NDP renewed their coalition with the separatist Bloc by voting down a motion at heritage committee condemning the separatists who threatened to incite violence against Quebeckers and other Canadians over the re-enactment of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs please inform this House of the government's position on this matter?

Canadian HeritageOral 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, first the Liberal leader said he had no problem if a member of his caucus supported Newfoundland separatism. Then yesterday Liberal MPs had the chance to condemn the racist and separatist newspaper, funded by the Bloc, that threatened violence against Quebeckers, but all Liberals recemented their coalition with the separatists and voted against condemning this extremist newspaper.

The Liberal leader should show true patriot love, condemn separatism and stand up for Canada.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Independent

Bill Casey Independent Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, when Public Works and Government Services Canada called for tenders for the refit and overhaul of submarines, the tenders came in at $53 million and $57 million, but when the contract was announced, it had somehow gone to $370 million, $313 million more than the highest tender.

I wonder if the minister could explain to the House why the contract was granted for $370 million when the highest tender was only $57 million.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the process was clear, fair and transparent. The best bidder was awarded the contract.

Since this issue is before the courts, it would be inappropriate to comment further.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

March 5th, 2009 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, as usual on a Thursday, I would like to ask the government House leader about his work plan for the coming week and for the week following the regular mid-March break.

In particular, the House is anxious to know when the minister will designate all three of the remaining supply days. The last supply day, as the House knows, is especially important because that will be the day upon which any interim supply bill, including the Prime Minister's request for an extraordinary $3 billion, will be dealt with. Therefore, we would like to know when that supply bill is coming.

Of course, five sitting days before the final supply day is the date upon which the government must table its first report to Parliament accounting for its fight against the recession. That last supply day date, therefore, is an important date for the House to know.

Secondly, would the minister commit today that his government will consider fast-tracking Bill C-285 standing on the order paper in the name of the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine? The bill deals with the modernization of investigative techniques in the fight against drugs, gangs and other criminal matters. It is one of the measures specifically requested urgently by the province of British Columbia. Therefore, is the government ready to expedite that bill?

Finally, could I ask if there is general consent in the House today to fast-track the government's bills, Bill C-14 and Bill C-15, also dealing with gangs and drugs so that they both could be passed here and sent to the Senate before the end of next week? Would there be unanimous consent to move these two bills quickly? If there is, the official opposition would be prepared to move the appropriate motion right now.

Business of the HouseOral 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, I thank my hon. colleague for those questions. It just seems like every Thursday, the Thursday question becomes the Thursday questions and becomes a longer and longer list.

Yesterday, the House adopted the budget implementation bill, which is now before the Senate. I would take this opportunity to urge all senators to deal with the bill quickly so that the funds that are provided by it will begin to flow and to help our country and Canadian families weather this economic storm as quickly as possible.

Today, we are continuing debate on the opposition motion.

Tomorrow, we will begin debate on report stage of Bill C-2, the Canada-European free trade agreement, followed by Bill C-13, the Canada grains, and Bill C-7, marine liability.

Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10 shall be allotted days. As to the last day in this cycle, I am pleased to announce that it will be sometime during that week after our constituency week when members return to their ridings.

On Wednesday, we will continue with the Canada-European free trade bill. It will either be at report stage or third reading, depending on the progress that we make tomorrow.

When the debate on Bill C-2 is complete, we will call for second reading debate on Bill C-14, the organized crime bill, and Bill C-15, the drug offensive bill.

As my hon. colleague knows, the official opposition House leader, there have been discussions with all parties and, at this point in time, despite the acceptance and, indeed, the willingness of the government to move forward with these two crime bills as expeditiously as possible, unfortunately that is not the case with all parties and therefore we will not be able to proceed as quickly as possible.

However, on behalf of all Canadians who are worried about their safety and who want to move forward with this type of legislation, I do thank the hon. member and his party, the Liberal Party, for their support to try to move these bills very quickly through the process.

Following the justice bills, we will continue with the uncompleted business schedule for tomorrow, plus the new bill that was tabled this morning, Bill C-17, An Act to recognize Beechwood Cemetery as the national cemetery of Canada. I understand there may be interest in expediting this bill. I would hope, unlike the justice bills, that perhaps we can get agreement from all four parties to move very quickly with this bill at all stages and move it through.

As to private member's Bill C-285, I am always interested in discussing ways in which we can move quickly with legislation. This government certainly is interested in getting action on behalf of Canadians as fast as possible on all legislation that will positively impact on their lives. I am always open to those types of discussions.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The member for Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour on a point of order.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, I call on your good judgment and ask you to review today's question period. I feel that some language that was used violates my privileges and my rights as a member.

We sit in this House because we are people who believe in democracy and promote debate over violence. We are a group of members who want to live together in a democracy and who are neither extremists nor people who promote violence.

The language I am referring to was used against me because it was used to describe a group of members, in particular the Bloc Québécois members. One member used the word “extremists” and another member used the phrase “that promote violence”.

It is understood that any member of this House who promoted violence would not belong here, because this is a place where democracy reigns and where we use debate rather than violence to advance our ideas, which, we acknowledge, are different.

I believe that this language should be condemned and that the members who used it should be asked not to use it again.

I rely on your good judgment, Mr. Speaker, and ask that you look at the transcript of question period and ensure that this language is not used again. Thank you for listening.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I will do that, but I will soon deliver a ruling on a similar point of order raised by one of the hon. member's colleagues.

The President of the Treasury Board on another point of order.

Withdrawal of CommentPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, in reviewing the blues of yesterday I noticed that the unparliamentary word I used was not unequivocally withdrawn. I would like to unequivocally withdraw the word that I used to describe the leader of the New Democratic Party. If it was not clear, I want to make it absolutely clear.

Notice of MotionWays and MeansOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 83(1) I wish to table a notice of ways and means motion to amend the Income Tax Act to introduce a tax deferral in respect of flood induced sales of livestock.

I ask that an order of the day be designated for consideration of the motion.