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House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cards.

Topics

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we are actually working very firmly toward improving our trade situation and continuing to facilitate trade at our borders, while ensuring that they are secure. Those are both priorities.

Just as an illustration of the success of this government's efforts, we saw the announcement earlier this week by President Obama that NAFTA will remain in place. The Americans will not be renegotiating it. That is another big win for Canada. It is something we can be proud of that has been delivered by the government.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the minister is in denial, the homeland secretary is making quotes like this, “To the extent that terrorists have come into our country...it's been across the Canadian border”.

Does the public safety minister think this statement is acceptable, that we should just leave it out there, that terrorists come from Canada? Does he realize that such myths cost Canadian jobs and that in a tough economy we cannot afford to have him sitting on the sidelines with his fingers in his ears?

He should stand up, speak for Canada, protect Canadian jobs, and confront this appalling lack of knowledge.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as we have said many times, the homeland security secretary has acknowledged that the 9/11 terrorists did not enter the United States from Canada, they entered from elsewhere directly into the United States. She has acknowledged that.

We were in contact with her immediately after the statement. She clarified right away to us that it was not her view. It was the same view she had expressed previously in March.

Our focus is on ensuring that we can strengthen our security, both countries mutually working together to combat very real terrorist threats that do exist, and we will not ignore those terrorist threats. Some might prefer to think they do not exist. They do exist and we will fight to combat them every step of the way, and keep Canadians secure and all--

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

April 23rd, 2009 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of National Revenue said that his government had always had the intention of abolishing the long guns registry, regardless of what federal MPs think. In effect, the Conservatives are trying to indirectly what they cannot do directly. When a law does not suit them, they get around it. The Minister has irresponsibly admitted that his government does not care about respecting the law, and he is comfortable with that.

Will the government enforce the law, respect the vote in this House and keep the firearms registry up to date as the law requires?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we have always been very clear about this, and our approach is the right one. We focus on arms dealers and street gangs and we fight crime, rather than picking on honest citizens such as our farmers, hunters or first nations.

The Bloc Québécois ought to be thinking about the people in the regions. How does he explain himself?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, it sets a fine example for our youth when the government itself encourages non-compliance with the law. Canada's and Quebec's police forces are unanimous about gun control. Its application is a matter of public safety. Instead, the government encourages crime by allowing the amnesty from which those unwilling to register their weapons have benefited for the past three years.

For the Conservatives, not obeying laws that people find troublesome is no big deal. Is that the message?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois philosophy is unacceptable. It wants to punish criminals less in order to punish honest citizens more.

He wants to talk about young people, so let us do so. We had a bill here yesterday about child trafficking. Those people voted against it. That makes no sense.

Not looking after our children, or our families, is that their message?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the use of French at the IRB, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism is demanding that the independence of the board be respected. So be it. However, the Canada Border Services Agency reports directly to the Minister of Public Safety.

Consequently, will the Minister of Public Safety stop condoning the reprehensible behaviour of the agency by remaining silent and order it to translate its evidence into French and to respect the commissioner's decision?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Border Services Agency is fully committed to respecting Canada's two official languages and it intends to continue operating thus.

The Commissioner of Official Languages has given an overall mark of E to the Canadian Border Services Agency in terms of its services in official languages. We will continue to work on both fronts, English and French, to make sure services are provided as well as possible, and we will always be striving to improve our performance.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is another example of a government that just does not respect its own law. It is always those who cry out the loudest for law and order that do not respect it.

What is his government waiting for to do its job and order the Canada Border Services Agency to comply with not only the Official Languages Act but also the directives of the IRB tribunal?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Official Languages Act applies to the Canada Border Services Agency and we are asking it to respect this law.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

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

Last night, during Ms. Weatherill's appearance before the subcommittee on food safety, she confirmed her investigation into the listeriosis crisis only examines what happened, but avoids looking into ministerial responsibility. It seems this process is really designed to provide cover for the Prime Minister and his minister's incompetence.

Why has the Prime Minister designed a process to avoid ministerial accountability in the death of 22 Canadians?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I think the member for Malpeque should have taken his finger out of his ear last night. Sheila Weatherill said that she will follow the evidence wherever it goes. If it goes into a ministerial office, she will follow it. If it goes into an opposition member's office, she will follow that, wherever it goes.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the minister was not there and that is not what she said. Ms. Weatherill confirmed that she has a staff of 20, some of whom are seconded from the very government that she is investigating. Her offices are on the grounds of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. She reports to the very minister, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, whose actions are under investigation. He will decide what is released.

How can the Prime Minister pretend that this is anything but a carefully structured process designed to cover his government's incompetence?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, of course, saying it loud does not make it true. Sheila Weatherill is a very well-respected member. She ran one of the largest health boards in Canada. She has access to everything. She is going through millions of pages of documents. What she does not have time for is a partisan rant from anyone else when she has a very serious job to do, getting to the bottom of that crisis, that tragedy from last summer. I look forward to working with her. I look forward to her report.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, in an interview this morning, Irvin Leroux recounted a tale of abuse by the Canada Revenue Agency which drove him to financial ruin. This was made worse after the member for Cariboo—Prince George, on the advice of the former revenue minister, encouraged him to sue the CRA under the false assurance this would result in an out-of-court settlement. They did this simply to serve the Conservatives' political agenda.

Why did the government make the problem worse for Mr. Leroux by making him promises it could not keep?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Leroux's case goes back nearly 13 years. Moreover, he has filed an application with the court. Under the circumstances, we must leave it up to the court to do what is necessary to respond to Mr. Leroux's application.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Leroux and his family have lost everything because of the interference of the government. He was successful at the tax court. However, due to the interference of the former minister of revenue, he is now facing major legal expenses.

Can the government explain exactly what it plans to do to get Mr. Leroux out of the financial mess it created for him?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Revenue always takes the situation of taxpayers who are faced with problems very seriously. That is why there are appeal processes and courts are able to respond when someone feels he has been treated unfairly or when something does not go as he believes it should.

In this case, Mr. Leroux has appeal to the court for a ruling, and we will let the court do its job.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday afternoon, in this House, all but one of the Bloc members voted against private member's Bill C-268, which is designed to put an end to light sentences for child exploitation. Whereas members from all parties supported this bill against child trafficking, the Bloc members are turning their backs on families in Quebec.

My question is for the Minister of Public Works and Government Services of Canada. Can my colleague tell me about this important bill, which is supported by the Canadian Police Association and more than 30 other organizations, including the Canadian Centre for Child Protection?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Lévis—Bellechasse for his excellent question.

This is an excellent bill that was eagerly anticipated. It provides for minimum sentences for criminals who commit aggravated assault or aggravated sexual assault against a child or cause death to a child.

As a father, I cannot understand why the Bloc members would turn their backs on families in Quebec on such a crucial issue. I cannot understand why the Bloc members support easy sentences for criminals who attack the most precious members of our society, our children.

TransportOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, pilots responsible for inspecting safety practices on airlines said that because of the government's move to have the industry oversee its own safety, Canada is no longer meeting international aviation standards. The proposed safety management systems will remove Transport Canada from its important role of inspecting planes and enforcing safety regulations.

How can the government continue to allow the industry to police its own safety when it knows doing so puts Canada's air safety below world standards?

TransportOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. Safety absolutely comes first with our airlines. Anyone getting on an airplane in Canada must be assured and know that safety is paramount.

We not only insist on safety, but we make sure that we have a culture of safety within the entire airline system. That is our approach in Canada, and that is completely different from what the hon. member is trying to allude to. He should apologize for asking that question.

TransportOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the problems with the government's management of safety inspections extend to our railways, as well. Canadian Pacific Railway plans to remove its mechanical forces from Welland, London, Lambton, Oshawa and Windsor. This threatens the safety of our railway and the security of our border, and puts many communities in harm's way.

If the minister does not act today, the likelihood of an incident is an inevitable catastrophe, just like the one in Mississauga. Will the minister act to safeguard border security and public health by stopping CPR's plan to eliminate comprehensive safety checks? The government did this for Edmonton, Alberta and it needs to do the same for Ontario.