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House of Commons Hansard #50 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Canadian Flag PinsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that member has been wrong about pins in the parliamentary gift shop, wrong about pins purchased by the Department of Public Works, wrong about the contracting process, and wrong about the responsibility of our government to respect our trade agreements.

I guess the bit of advice that I would give my friend from Timmins—James Bay is that if he is going to devolve himself to being a single issue MP, then he should have a clue about the issue he is talking about.

Canadian Flag PinsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the real issue here is the fact that we have a minister who cannot give an honest answer in the House of Commons.

We have asked about the contracts and the outsourcing and he continues to make it up. Meanwhile, the CBC has been undermined, international art tours are being cancelled and there is the China flags pact.

I would ask him to be at least prudent this time because his political proboscis is such now that he is poking the poor members of the Bloc in the chest.

Canadian Flag PinsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, given that there is no question there, I will use this 30 seconds to make a statement for the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.

The member mentioned a number of things. I have been crystal clear on this process from the very beginning. If he wants to continue to build this soapbox to stand on, he is, frankly, building a faulty soapbox.

With regard to the CBC, we made a commitment in the campaign and we have kept our word.

If the member for Timmins—James Bay wants to stand up in the House of Commons and talk about integrity, he ought to first go back to his constituents and explain to them why, in the campaigns of 2004, 2006 and 2008, he said that he would vote against the gun registry and then showed up in the House of Commons and betrayed his constituents. He should explain that.

Leader of the Liberal PartyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader has had a free ride from his friends in the media on taxes.

He calls himself a “tax-and-spend, Pearsonian, Trudeau Liberal." He invented the Liberal carbon tax. He said, “I'm not going to take a GST hike off the table”. He said, “We will have to raise taxes”. This weekend the Liberal Party voted again in favour of a carbon tax.

If the media will not report these inconvenient facts, will the parliamentary secretary?

Leader of the Liberal PartyOral 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, last month, the hon. leader of the Liberal Party said, “We will have to raise taxes”. Therefore, we asked him which taxes he would raise, by how much he would raise them and who would have to pay.?

On Saturday, his party answered with a resolution favouring a carbon tax, which is a tax on everything.

His words are clear. There is no need to deny or reverse them this time. The distinguished gentleman is in favour of higher taxes, so let the debate begin.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, in March, British Columbia suffered the largest job losses of any province with 23,000 jobs lost. Since October, total job losses in B.C. have been 69,000, and that is without the April figures that are yet to come.

Many British Columbians cannot qualify for EI because of regional differences.

When will the Prime Minister stop apologizing for his inaction and establish a national standard for EI so Canadians can get EI when they need it where they need it?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, right now, in every region in British Columbia, individuals have easier access to EI and they get benefits for a longer period of time. That is because we updated the system so that it does meet the needs of those who are unfortunate enough to lose their jobs.

We have also expanded training for those who are eligible for EI and for those who are not because we want them to have jobs in the future.

While we are raising EI access and benefits, the Liberals just want to raise rhetoric and taxes.

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, first it was the city of Shannon, in the Quebec City area, and now Val-Bélair has discovered TCE in its drinking water. TCE is the contaminant that was used by the armed forces at the Valcartier base and that was suspected of causing many of the people of Shannon to develop cancer. Acting preventively, the mayor of Quebec City closed two wells and is asking Ottawa for $4.5 million in compensation. The Conservative government has said no.

The federal government is responsible for the presence of TCE in the water. It is paying for Shannon's water system. Why is it refusing to do the same for Val-Bélair?

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, of course we are concerned about the health and safety of the people of Val-Bélair, as we are about that of everyone living in the Quebec City area. That being said, reports have been released, and people were invited to an information evening in early April. Val-Bélair's water quality has been found to be up to par.

That being said, it is within Mayor Labeaume's jurisdiction to close wells if he wants to.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government was asleep at the switch when the Afghan rape law was passed. We also know that it did not read the report of the Afghan human rights watchdog, which stated that law enforcement officials being trained by Canadians do not know that torture is illegal.

Now the Afghan human rights commission warns that many women will not get to vote in the upcoming elections due to irregularities.

What is Canada doing to ensure that women will be able to vote? This time the government cannot say that it did not know. Ignorance is not a way out of this one.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, this government has been extremely active in terms of getting a larger number of people ready for the vote. Through our different programs, we have been able to increase the number of citizens who will exercise their vote, and, of course, that includes women.

I would like to indicate for my hon. colleague that through our six point program we are not only increasing the number of people who are working in Afghanistan on these projects, but we are also ensuring that women are getting back--

AfghanistanOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Miramichi.

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, the global economic downturn has put a great deal of pressure on Canadian families and they are looking to the government for leadership. Fortunately, this government has an economic action plan that is being rolled out across the country, creating jobs and quality infrastructure, to lead Canada through these difficult times.

Would the Minister of State (Transport) please inform the House about his recent announcement with VIA Rail?

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, I was in Moncton this morning announcing more than $100 million be awarded by contract by VIA Rail. These contracts will support some 200 jobs in the Moncton area, upgrading VIA Rail, LRC, Renaissance Cars.

The difference is that while the Liberals are on one side of this country explaining to Canadians why they will raise their taxes and hurt their future, we are on the other side of the country investing in their futures and creating jobs.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's Veterans ombudsman says that Ottawa is abandoning its former soldiers, leaving them to languish on the streets of our country, despite repeated warnings that many desperately need help.

After what these brave men and women have done for Canada, any veteran living on the streets of Canada is nothing short of a disgrace.

Other countries are able to keep track of the needs of their veterans. Why can this minister not do the same thing?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's concern because she has been with me on some of the things we are doing. She has been feet on the ground with me when we have announced some of our OSI clinics, which we have doubled across the country, and that is significant in itself. We are working very closely with our veterans organizations to identify these men and women.

One of the problems is that, by its nature, homelessness is very difficult to identify because many of these men and women suffer from alcoholism, drug dependency and other mental illnesses. We are there to help and will continue to do our best. I appreciate the member's interest.

Withdrawal of Unparliamentary LanguagePoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I stood on a point of order last week and you mentioned that I had used an unparliamentary word. I had no intention of using the word and my intentions have always been to respect the House and the members of the House and their integrity. Therefore, I would like to withdraw that word.

Withdrawal of Unparliamentary LanguagePoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. member.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to eight petitions.

Farm Improvement and Marketing Cooperatives Loans ActRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-29, An Act to increase the availability of agricultural loans and to repeal the Farm Improvement Loans Act.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Government Operations and EstimatesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

May 4th, 2009 / 3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates in relation to its study of the federal employee compensation system. The committee adopted a report tabled in the House on May 1, 2008, entitled “The Right Pay for Valuable Employees”.

Since the government did not provided a response to that report before the August 29, 2008 deadline, we are giving it a second opportunity to table a comprehensive response.

I want to record for the record, in relation to that report, that the House, according to previous Speakers, takes very seriously the failure of the executive to comply with House filing deadlines. In fairness, however, the last Parliament did dissolve for an election within a few days after the August 29 deadline. We are asking again for a comprehensive response to this report.

Standing Committee on the Status of WomenCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and a motion adopted by the committee on Thursday, April 23, the committee recommended that the Standing Committee on the Status of Women supports the government in its efforts to continue to press the Afghan government to meet its commitments to review the legislation violating the rights of women in Afghanistan in order to uphold their international human rights commitments. This will be reported.

As well, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women in relation to women's rights in Afghanistan.

I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women in relation to women's rights in Afghanistan.

The Standing Committee on the Status of Women calls upon the government to say that it will take measures if President Karzai refuses to repeal the legislation violating the rights of women in Afghanistan.

Income TrustsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 and as certified by the clerk of petitions, I am pleased to submit another income trust broken promise petition sent to me by Mr. Ken Charles from my riding of Mississauga South in Ontario who remembers the Prime Minister boasting about his apparent commitment to accountability when he said that the greatest fraud was a promise not kept.

The petitioners remind the Prime Minister that he promised never to tax income trusts but that he broke that promise by imposing a 31.5% punitive tax which permanently wiped out over $25 billion of the hard-earned retirement savings of over two million Canadians, particularly seniors.

The petitioners, therefore, call upon the Conservative minority government to: first, admit that the decision to tax income trusts was based on flawed methodology and incorrect assumptions, as demonstrated in the finance committee hearings; second, apologize to those who were unfairly harmed by this broken promise; and finally, repeal the punitive 31.5% tax on income trusts.

Democratic Republic of CongoPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions that I would like to present.

The first is with respect to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada and all members of Parliament to take action with respect to providing relief to human suffering in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

DarfurPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is with respect to the situation in Darfur. The petitioners urge the government to take action to deal with the genocide and the situation of humanitarian relief.