This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #46 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was relationship.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I thank the health minister for the information she has given us, but I want to ask a further question in relation to this matter.

India and Malaysia are warning their citizens not to travel to Canada. I want to know what steps the government is taking to ensure not only that Canadians are protected at home, but also that foreign governments are fully aware of the measures our government is taking to protect Canadians.

HealthOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we are engaged with the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Public Safety, Citizenship and Immigration, and Transport to ensure a coordinated response on this.

In Canada, we have issued a notice to all travellers. That notice is for individuals travelling to Mexico, and from Mexico to Canada, to be aware of the situation, to be aware of the symptoms, to wash their hands continuously and to cover their mouth when they cough. That is what is in place at the moment. We are working together to address the situation and are monitoring the situation very closely with our international partners.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the agriculture sector in Canada, and especially in Quebec, depends every year on the help of thousands of seasonal workers who come from Mexico.

What will the government do to ensure that these workers can continue to contribute to Canadian agriculture without posing a risk?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his important question.

With respect to Mexican workers and visitors, we have taken additional measures to safeguard the health of Canadians. In response to the situation, all foreign or temporary workers from Mexico now must undergo a health examination before leaving for Canada. This includes a questionnaire, a physical exam and temperature readings by two doctors. This examination must be done before leaving for Canada.

Sri LankaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question on the subject of Sri Lanka. I would like to ask the government a very direct question about the comments that have been made recently by the president of that country, who said in a statement that was released today that he had instructed the army to stop doing what he had claimed earlier they had not been doing, that is to say, “Our security forces have been instructed to end the use of heavy calibre guns, combat aircraft and aerial weapons”, which have caused civilian casualties.

I wonder if the government could tell us what steps it is taking to ensure the protection of those 50,000 to 60,000 civilians who still find themselves in what has now been euphemistically called, in an Orwellian tone, “a no-fire zone”. Could the government please tell us what it is doing about that?

Sri LankaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the civil conflict in Sri Lanka, which has endured for over two decades, is very tragic, as the hon. member knows. On April 26, Canada, together with other G8 nations, issued a statement calling on all parties in the conflict in Sri Lanka to take all necessary actions to avoid further civilian casualties, and strongly condemning the use of civilians as human shields by the Tigers.

I must also say, as the hon. member would know, that the foreign ministers of Britain, Sweden and France are going to Sri Lanka, with full support from this government as well in that engagement, to tell the--

Sri LankaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

Sri LankaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, I asked the same minister why he was not going to Sri Lanka. That was before his colleagues' trip was announced.

So let me ask the government once again, where is Canada, where is the voice of Canada, speaking loud and strong in defence of humanitarian values, in defence of our long-standing relationship with all the people of Sri Lanka, including the Tamil population? Why is our minister not going to Colombo on Wednesday with those other foreign ministers and fighting for the values of which Canada is so proud?

Sri LankaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell the hon. member that this government has been engaged in the file on Sri Lanka. In fact, the hon. member on the other side has publicly stated that this government has done an excellent job on the file on Sri Lanka.

Let me also tell the hon. member that the foreign affairs minister has called the foreign ministers of India and all the other countries. We are working internationally to address this issue.

Again, let me remind members, the hon. member said we are doing a good job.

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec was the first to harmonize its sales tax with the GST. Over the years, the federal government has come up with all manner of excuses for not compensating Quebec. Recently, the Minister of Finance said that he would not compensate Quebec unless the province handed over the responsibility for tax collection to the federal government.

Can the Prime Minister tell us whether his condition is a sine qua non?

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I talked to Quebec's new finance minister today. We will be talking about compensation. A truly harmonized model would support investment, growth and jobs.

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is all very nice, but I did ask him a question.

He wrote a letter to the newspapers saying that there was one condition: there would be no compensation unless Quebec stopped collecting its tax.

So I will ask my question again. He wrote in the papers that Quebec would not be compensated unless the condition was agreed to. Is that a sine qua non or not?

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I think the article that the hon. member is referring to was in La Presse and was authored by me. It did not set preconditions. It described the way harmonization works in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, and how it will work in the province of Ontario. We cannot have different harmonization schemes. By definition, “harmonization” means harmonized, and we are prepared to harmonize.

As I say, I am open to discussions with the new minister of finance in Quebec. In fact, I spoke with him earlier today on another subject.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's assistance plan for forestry companies is not enough, but that has not prevented the Minister of Finance from going abroad to tell everyone about it. The plan includes $2.7 billion in loan guarantees for the automotive industry in Ontario, but the government is refusing to give the forestry industry the same treatment.

Can the economic development minister explain why loan guarantees, which are legal for the automotive industry, would not be legal for the forestry industry?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, as we announced previously, my colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, and I have set up a task team with members from the Province of Quebec and the Government of Canada. This team has been working for some time to address six issues facing the forestry industry. That includes analyzing access to credit. The team will report its findings by May 15.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's job is to support Canada's defence of the forestry industry, not the opposite. His words bolster the American position and undermine Canada's arguments in London.

Is the minister aware that he is adding weight to the American claims when he says that loan guarantees are illegal? That is not the minister's job.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, if my colleague had listened to my answer, he would have known that he just made that comment for nothing.

Fifty per cent of the wood and softwood lumber processed in Quebec mills is exported, and 96% of those exports go to the United States.

If we want to protect Quebec's and Canada's forestry industry, we need to make good use of every possible argument. We must not play politics, but really work for the men and women in the industry.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is no question that Canadians are gripped by this flu epidemic. One Canadian who has been tragically caught up in the crisis is 29-year-old Victoria George from Toronto, who suffered an acute asthma attack in Cancun.

According to the medical personnel, she has been nowhere near Mexico City. She contracted this critical bronchial attack prior to the outbreak of the flu, and her condition is in no way medically linked to the flu outbreak. Her family is fearing that if she is not brought back to Canada immediately, she could lose her life.

Will the Prime Minister use all the powers at his disposal to attempt to bring Victoria home as quickly as possible?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our officials are working very closely with the organizations in Mexico in regard to this situation, and we are working very closely with the family to bring that individual back to Canada.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is more bad news on the economic front today. We learned from General Motors that 6,000 more Canadians are going to be thrown into the streets. For communities like Ingersoll and Oshawa that have been the backbone of our manufacturing economy, this is a huge blow.

The economic prescriptions of the Prime Minister are clearly not working, and it is the middle class that is taking the brunt of the hit.

Does the Prime Minister understand that more has to be done? Will he fix the EI system that was broken by the Liberals before the government took power, and will he do something to bring a second stimulus package that will work?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we have made a number of improvements and extensions to the EI system that has been in place with the previous Liberal government for a number of years. The member voted against each and every one of those, even before he read what was in the budget.

There has been an extension of EI benefits by five weeks, a work-sharing program to ensure people can continue to work and not get laid off, and excessive funds put into worker training, retraining and skills upgrading. The member voted against each and every one of those provisions.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's broken promises are piling up. He said that the Parliamentary Budget Officer should be independent and receive all information, but that is not the case. He said that infrastructure money would be distributed quickly, but that is not the case. He said that he would put an end to patronage, but he appointed his friend John Weissenberger to the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Why is the Prime Minister breaking promise after promise?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as you know, the Parliamentary Budget Officer reports to the Parliamentary Librarian and he reports to you. As such, this question is out of order, unless you wish to answer it.

The real reason the member is distracting from budgetary matters is that he has pushed for higher taxes on Canadian business, just as the Liberal leader has pushed for higher taxes on Canadians. The Liberal leader said, “We will have to raise taxes”.

We strongly disagree on this side. We will cut taxes, because we are on the side of people who earn a good living with a lot of hard work.

HealthOral Questions

April 27th, 2009 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Minister of Health for her call yesterday.

After a quick reading of the main estimates, it appears that there is $12 million less this year for emergency preparedness response than last year in the Public Health Agency of Canada's budget, which includes pandemic preparedness and response.

Will the Minister of Health unequivocally assure this House that there will be adequate resources available to respond to this threat of a flu pandemic and ensure an adequate supply of antivirals?

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government's highest priority is the health, safety and security of all Canadians. That is why in budget 2006 we invested $1 billion to increase Canada's preparedness to respond to public health threats, including an influenza pandemic.

The Public Health Agency of Canada, working with the provinces and territories, has developed a comprehensive pandemic influenza plan. This plan, for example, includes a domestic vaccine capacity and stockpiling of antivirals.