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House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was officers.

Topics

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the lobster industry is facing the worst crisis in 30 years. Prices are at their lowest and the U.S. market is sluggish. Fishers are not sure they will even break even this year, and many are on the verge of bankruptcy.

The fishers are calling for more response from the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans than a simple conference call. They want an emergency meeting.

Can the minister tell us when this meeting will take place?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the situation of the lobster fishery is dire. We all know that the fishery would not escape this economic downturn. That is why our government has provided access to credit, which was one thing the minister was asking for.

That is why we established the community adjustment fund. That is why we spent half a million dollars in a partnership program to promote Atlantic lobster. As I told the hon. member this morning in committee, we certainly will meet with the industry. I have been doing that since last November.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister claims she is monitoring the situation, but that is not enough. The spokesperson for the fishers is calling in particular for measures that will make them all eligible for employment insurance, as well as subsidies to help them through the current crisis.

Instead of settling for passive observer status, could the minister not take action based on what the lobster fishers are asking her for?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, this government has made a significant investment in the fishing industry. As part of our economic action plan, we have provided infrastructure. We have provided $1 billion in our community adjustment fund. This is the same government that has provided capital gains exemptions for the lobster fishery that has been asked for by the fishermen for so long.

We have received many requests from the lobster industry and every one of them will be taken into consideration.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, as we heard, the Auditor General issued today a scathing rebuke of the government's lack of gender-based analysis policies.

She was also critical of central agencies and their role. We know that many public policies affect women differently than men. Yet, the government has a tepid response to them at best. Some governments consider gender policies while others completely ignore them.

When will the Conservative government listen to the Auditor General and conduct honest, consistent gender-based analyses?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the member could actually read the report. The Auditor General is not saying that gender-based analysis is not being done. In fact, it was our government that took action to ensure that gender-based analysis was included in memoranda to cabinet.

Officials perform their challenge function every day as part of their duty and day-to-day work with many departments and agencies, often verbally and within very tight timelines. However, I can assure the member that it is being done. I have had the discussion with the Auditor General and we are committed to working with the Auditor General.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have another question for our official languages expert.

The Auditor General just released a scathing indictment of the government's secret and paranoid withholding of information. She says that the government “must be able to demonstrate support for decision making by preparing and keeping relevant documents”.

This is in fact what it is not doing. It concerns her. It concerns all Canadians, and it is yet again proof positive that the Conservative government happens to be the most secretive and probably the most unaccountable that we have seen in Canadian history.

What do these Conservatives have to hide?

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, that is rich coming from a member who was part of the government that consistently opposed the release of information to the public.

It was this government that released information from many of the boards and commissions that the Liberal government refused to release. This has been the most open government in the history of Confederation and our government is committed to ensuring it remains that way.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, that was a little bit too rich for me.

Canadians have been watching with concern as so many Canadian-owned companies are bought up by foreign firms. Now Nortel is joining the list, forced to sell off parts of its company to foreign interests.

Instead of acting in the national interest, the government loosens foreign investment rules and encourages a hauling out of our industries and then watches idly by as Canadians are sent home, fired from their jobs. Canadians know it is being sold off to foreign companies, but this knowledge belongs to us, the Canadian taxpayers.

When will the minister live up to his responsibilities, act in the national interest and protect Canadian jobs?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in fact, this company has gone through a court-managed process because it has sought protection under the CCAA. That process is ongoing and should not be interfered with by the Government of Canada.

Our Investment Canada laws have recently changed. They have a national security provision in them so that we can defend our national security interests, but this is a country that also must trade with the world. We must be open for business. That is how we get jobs and opportunity here, as well as through our own domestic competitiveness.

The NDP fails to understand that year after year.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister forgets how to protect business and protect the market.

The great thing about the open market is that it will adapt and change the rules. Nortel Networks has been providing opportunities for hundreds of years. Now we hear Tundra Semiconductor is going south. Those are jobs going south and lost. The high tech sector has created thousands of jobs across the country and right here in Ottawa, but the government has failed to provide support.

Will the minister intervene, support good jobs and support a vital sector? Will he show us his--

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Industry.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of the high tech sector in this country. Companies such as RIM, for instance, and other companies of that generation are selling to the world. They are world-defining and world-beating companies. We are very proud of our heritage as innovators and inventors.

In the case of Nortel, I think the hon. member is jumping the gun. There have been no bids entertained so far. It will go through a court process and certainly we hope that there will be Canadian buyers that will be interested as well, but in the meantime, our laws stand and they should stand.

International AidOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Mayes Conservative Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, today marks the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in China's Sichuan province. It killed and displaced thousands, damaged and destroyed property and livelihoods. Many continue to rely upon aid and struggle to get back on their feet. Nearly a year ago, this government committed to matching, dollar for dollar, the contributions of Canadians to alleviate this suffering.

Could the Minister of International Cooperation please tell us how much money Canada contributed and how this money has been used?

International AidOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canadians did show their compassion and took action, raising over $30 million, and our government matched that dollar for dollar.

Because of that $60 million and our international partners, homes are being rebuilt, shelters were provided, and medical teams were on site. Some 160,000 children and women received micronutrients, and school classes continued with 60,000 schoolkids. Our government will continue to support the Chinese Canadian community and all Canadians who are showing compassion.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again, the government has failed on the diplomatic front. As strategic and political discussions are underway among foreign ministers and special envoys on the ongoing tensions in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Canada is nowhere to be found.

The U.S. already signalled a shift in strategy in Afghanistan, with a change in command yesterday. Liberals have continued to press for a Canadian special envoy, and recent events clearly demonstrate this need. Failure to act is not leadership. Failure to engage is not leadership.

When will the government get off the sidelines, appoint a special envoy and show real leadership for a change?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

This is pretty rich, Mr. Speaker, coming from the former Liberal government's soft power fantasies on non-engagement.

We have an envoy in Pakistan and we have an envoy in Afghanistan. Their names are Mr. Ron Hoffmann, our Ambassador to Kabul, and the high commissioner in Islamabad, Mr. Randolph Mank. Both of them are serving Canada's interests well.

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the very time that Canada is signing a free trade agreement with Colombia, the Uribe government is at the centre of a scandal. Its secret services have been engaged in wiretapping certain opponents of its regime, journalists and magistrates involved in the investigation of the connections between several members of Uribe's party and paramilitary groups.

Does the Minister of International Traderealize that the Colombian government is constantly violating human rights and that by signing this agreement he is sanctioning the anti-democratic actions of Alvaro Uribe?

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, everyone acknowledges the great progress that has been made in Colombia thanks to our free trade agreement with that country. There are certain provisions which allow us to continue to support the human rights included in the agreement, and this is a better agreement than those Colombia has signed with other countries. We will continue to support human rights.

HealthOral Questions

May 12th, 2009 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the nursing shortage is expected to explode to 60,000 nurses within the next 12 years. The Canadian Nurses Association is marking today, the nurse recognition day, with meaningful recommendations for action on recruitment, retention and attrition to head off this impending crisis. The government seems committed to doing something but lacks direction.

Will the minister at least take some very concrete steps to move forward on CNA's solutions to work on nursing recruitment and to do an updated nursing health human resources study to pull us out of this nosedive?

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I know the critical role that nurses play when it comes to our health care system. That is why we have taken action to help retain and recruit nurses through an investment of $4.2 million in March of this year, announced in Manitoba.

I appreciate the suggestions by my hon. colleague. I have instructed my department to carefully review the recommendations from the Canadian Nurses Association, including an update on the baseline study. I can assure the hon. member that our government will continue to take steps to support Canadian nurses.

In recognition of National Nursing Week, I would like to thank nurses and front line health care workers for what they do each and every day.

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am a nurse, so that is great news.

It has been 28 days since the Liberal leader said, “We will have to raise taxes”. He has not denied this statement, he has not retracted his statement, he has not told Canadians which taxes he would raise, how much he would raise them by or who would have to pay.

Could the government please tell Canadians if it believes the Liberal leader has a secret plan to raise taxes?

TaxationOral 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, during his 34 years in the United States and the United Kingdom, the Liberal leader became a very distinguished wordsmith. I commend him for his words and I quote them: “We will have to raise taxes” or “I'm not going to take a GST hike off the table” or “I am a tax-and-spend, Pearsonian, Trudeau Liberal”.

His faculty with words permits him and his sense of honour compels him to explain which taxes he will raise, by how much and who will have to pay.

Environmental Enforcement ActGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Before question period the hon. member for Peterborough had the floor for questions and comments arising from his speech. There are about two minutes remaining in the time allotted for questions and comments on the hon. member's speech.

I therefore call for questions or comments.