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House of Commons Hansard #49 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regulations.

Topics

Canada Pension PlanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Get the bonuses back.

Canada Pension PlanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Conservative Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Your brother probably supports it. Be careful what you say.

They have been supportive over the years. This is a well-run pension plan and we support it.

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is now 225 days since the Prime Minister announced a so-called investigation into the listeriosis crisis.

It is 225 days of the minister responsible sloughing off his responsibility, never being interviewed. His agency admitted yesterday to the tampering of documents. In fact, the past president of the Canada Safety Council wrote:

This investigation raises serious questions about objectivity, political cronyism, stonewalling, secrecy and a sign of things to come...a cover-up.

Why is there a Conservative cover-up?

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, what we have is 225 days of the member for Malpeque being mischievous with the facts, playing loose with the realities of what is really going on, that the independent investigation is just that. It is independent.

I will be interviewed by the investigation at some point along the way. I am not sure what day. That is up to Ms. Weatherill. I am looking forward to it.

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the fact is the minister could wave to her, from his office to hers.

Yesterday, senior CFIA staff claimed the changes were based on the recollections of the inspector. Was it a revelation in the middle of the night? How does an investigation into the worst food crisis result in an investigator recalling improvements to Maple Leaf operations five months after the critical findings? Or are these amendments really what they look like, the tampering with key evidence and a Conservative cover-up?

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I can be assured that the member for Malpeque would not make that statement outside this chamber, because he would certainly be blowing in the wind at that point.

He talked about my waving to Ms. Weatherill from my office. If he would like to offer his office as a replacement, I am sure she would appreciate it, because he is certainly not very effective in using it now.

Social ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the enabling accessibility fund was designed to assist persons with disabilities. If any program should be beyond the partisan cronyism of the government, it should be this one.

Yesterday the minister was unable to tell the House why 94% of all funding went to Conservative ridings, including the only two approved major projects in the country. It is beneath contempt for the government to play politics with this program for people who need this assistance so urgently.

Now that she has had 24 hours to reflect on this, can the minister explain why 94% of the funding ended up in Conservative ridings?

Social ProgramsOral 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, this funding is for Canadians with disabilities. It was included in budget 2007. The Liberal Party voted against the funding for Canadians in the budget and for those with disabilities. I think they are trying to deflect from the leader saying he is going to raise taxes on all Canadians, including those with disabilities.

Social ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, there is no answer on that side, and people with disabilities deserve better than that.

They cannot defend the crass partisanship of how this program has been managed: by their own figures, 94% to Conservative ridings. It is inexcusable. It is easy to see why members of the human resources committee, including the parliamentary secretary, scrambled to avoid an investigation of this program. They know the truth.

The program with such nobly stated goals actually stinks of political interference. It is an abdication of responsibility. How can the government justify such partisan funding?

Social ProgramsOral 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, nothing could be further from the truth. There are strict guidelines and criteria to qualify. It is a program that helps Canadians with disabilities. It is a program that the member and his party voted against when they had the opportunity to support something worthwhile.

FinanceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of Finance brought down his budget in January, his forecast was for 90,000 job losses in 2009. The fact of the matter is that, three months later, more than 270,000 jobs have been lost. The Bank of Canada and the Parliamentary Budget Officer both predict a more severe contraction of the Canadian economy. The Conservatives' plan was poorly targeted and inadequate. That is why the Bloc Québécois voted against it. The Minister of Finance said he might do something about it in the fall.

Now that reality is catching up to him, does he plan to move immediately on the measures put forward by the Bloc Québécois this morning?

FinanceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is right. The Bloc Québécois voted against Canada's economic action plan.

If they were successful, if they had their way, there would be no $20 billion in tax cuts and no stimulus package for any part of this country, including Quebec, because they voted against the economic action plan. There would be no support for Canadians with respect to EI, elongating EI, and helping industries like the forestry industry and the auto industry, for people to retrain.

That is what the Bloc voted against.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, three wardens in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region, the Minister of State responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec's region, have expressed their concerns and insist that the matter is urgent. We need measures to help the forestry and manufacturing sectors. Job losses are mounting and the government is not doing anything about it.

If the government is looking for ideas, perhaps it should consider the Bloc's proposals to help the forestry industry, such as loan guarantees and refundable tax credits to stimulate investment in equipment.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 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, I would like to thank the member for his question.

We are taking action. We set up the Canada-Quebec task team, whose work will focus on six key areas, to come up with ideas to help the men and women who have been affected by changes in the forestry industry. There will be results.

We are not just talking about it; we are taking action.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of setting the economy against the environment, many countries are taking advantage of the economic crisis to invest in green measures. The need to reduce our dependence on oil provides a golden opportunity to develop renewable energies and work on energy efficiency and sustainable development.

Will the government adopt the proposal in the assistance plan the Bloc outlined today, and will it invest $3.6 billion to reduce our dependence on oil?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, this government has acted very quickly with respect to the need to have clean energy in this country. In fact, we have set a very aggressive standard of having 90% non-emitting sources of electricity by 2020 and we are working very hard toward that.

Indeed, we have put a significant amount of money into having clean sources of energy and developing our renewables. That is what action is all about and we continue to do it.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc has released phase II of its assistance plan, which proposes measures to stimulate strategic spending and reduce our dependence on oil. But to reduce that dependence we must also set absolute greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Even the president of TMX Group says that the Montreal Climate Exchange is getting off to a slow start because of federal greenhouse gas policies.

Will the government finally wake up and realize that we must have absolute greenhouse gas emission reduction targets if we do not want to miss the boat on sustainable development?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, in the past 10 days, I have met with every environment minister in the G8, and my visits to the United States and Italy were extremely productive. I was able to discuss our plan for Canada with my counterparts. We also discussed our continental and international approach to fighting climate change.

The Bloc should stand up and applaud us because all Quebeckers and all Canadians will benefit.

HealthOral Questions

April 30th, 2009 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, health officials missed the opportunity to act in Mexico, where there are 2,500 suspected cases of flu. CDC and WHO officials say that the flu may turn out to be more similar in both Mexico and the United States; that is, more mild cases may be uncovered in Mexico and more severe ones found in the U.S.

What is the minister doing to ensure that no opportunity to intervene appropriately is missed here in Canada?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Canada is well positioned to deal with this issue. We have a national plan for disease outbreaks and we are following it.

All the cases in Canada to date have been mild. We have issued travel health warnings regarding non-essential travel to Mexico. I have spoken with my provincial and territorial counterparts across Canada and have provided them updates. We have engaged Foreign Affairs, Public Safety and Citizenship and Immigration. I am also having regular discussions with our international partners, including the World Health Organization and health officials in the United States and Mexico.

As the hon. member knows, I have been updating my opposition critics and continue to update Canadians regularly.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the swine flu outbreak is very dynamic, fluid, and is rapidly evolving. The increased threat level signifies that we have taken a step closer to a pandemic.

Should a pandemic occur, how will it be decided who has been exposed and requires treatment? How will antivirals be distributed?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government's highest priority is the health and safety of 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. The plan includes domestic vaccine capacity as well as stockpiling of antivirals.

I can assure all hon. members that we are continuing to review and update this plan in order to protect Canadians.

TransportationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Aéroport Montréal Saint-Hubert Longueuil will soon have a new terminal, no thanks to the Conservatives, but rather thanks to private investors. The airport's runway needs to be rebuilt, and the Conservatives are dragging their feet on allocating the funds needed.

When will the Conservatives finally deliver the building Canada funds for the Aéroport Montréal Saint-Hubert Longueuil?

TransportationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is a great thing when the private sector makes investments in Canada.

The Minister of Finance and I were at an airport in Toronto. All $45 million is being paid privately. This is creating a lot of jobs.

Under the building Canada fund and under the airports capital assistance program, we have the opportunity to provide a limited amount of money in support. We would certainly be prepared to give the Saint-Hubert airport due and fair consideration.

TransportationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not good enough. The problem with that answer is that it seems easier to find the money to redo the tarmac at the airport in the revenue minister's riding.

Unlike the revenue minister's pet project, jobs are at stake in Saint-Hubert. Pratt & Whitney conducts its engine testing there.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., Plattsburg airport is getting generous government funding to modernize and is openly courting Pratt & Whitney to move there.

Do the Conservatives want to see well-paid aerospace jobs moving down south?