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House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was organizations.

Topics

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we did hear a lot about the Liberals getting back to supporting a carbon tax.

However, I must tell the House how disappointed I was when the Leader of the Opposition addressed the convention and there was not one word about getting tough on crime or standing up for victims or law-abiding Canadians.

That is the difference between our two parties. Canadians know that when it comes to standing up for victims and law-abiding Canadians, only one party and one government is prepared to do that and that is this Conservative government.

Public Appointments CommissionOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, sadly, the 2006 Conservative campaign promise to fix the accountability deficit left by the Liberals has been left in the dust, as today the Conservatives have become one of the most secretive governments in recent memory.

One of their key promises to establish a public appointments commission was quickly broken when thePrime Minister's hand-picked choice for commissioner was rejected by Parliament. Since then, the commission has been mothballed and hundreds of partisan appointments go unvetted every year.

Will the Conservatives stand up for accountability and transparency and finally fully establish the public appointments commission?

Public Appointments CommissionOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are in the process of establishing that public appointments committee. The process was delayed when opposition parties engaged in partisanship and blocked a very qualified person to begin that process in motion.

However, the member is correct in saying that the Liberal Party is not accountable, and it will not be accountable until it explains the words of its leader, which were, “We will have to raise taxes”.

The Liberal Party has a responsibility to explain which taxes will go up, by how much and who will have to pay.

Public Appointments CommissionOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, clearly the grieving period is over. Once upon a time, Conservatives believed in open government. In opposition, they pushed for greater transparency, for proactive disclosure, for independent analysis, for access to information and for budgetary oversight.

Now that they have power, things have changed, and dramatically. Rather than welcoming the work of the Parliamentary Budget Officer to shed light on government finances, one minister has dismissed his work as a complete pain.

Will the government ensure independence and full and proper funding for the Parliamentary Budget Officer?

Public Appointments CommissionOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, if that member wants to do something really meaningful about accountability, right now he will stand up and point his finger at members of that caucus who broke their word to their constituents when they said that they would oppose the wasteful $1 billion gun registry. They campaigned election after election against that wasteful boondoggle but member after member stood up and betrayed their constituents.

The member can show real leadership by pointing to his colleagues, by shaming them and by demanding they get back on track.

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the people of the City of Shannon are circulating a petition demanding that the federal government recognize its responsibility for water table contamination and commit to compensating the victims.

Will the federal government show just a little compassion by compensating the victims for the irreparable harm it has done to them?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her question.

This government has made a major commitment already. We have invested over $40 million in projects to upgrade and maintain the base's water supply systems. In addition, the government has announced that it will invest $13.3 million to complete construction of the water supply system for the people of Shannon.

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the Quebec region said that Mayor Labeaume can close wells if he wants to because that is within his jurisdiction, as though the mayor's decision had nothing to do with TCE contamination of Val-Bélair's water.

Will the minister be serious for a moment and tell us that her government intends to compensate the City of Quebec for costs arising from the closure of the contaminated wells?

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, expert reports have found Val-Bélair's water to be potable. That being said, Mr. Labeaume had the right to close the two wells. I would like the member to know that I talked to Mayor Labeaume very early this morning. I also talked with the municipal councillor for the area. We all agreed to meet for the purpose of finding a solution.

Agri-food IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadian pork producers need a government that has some influence in China, but the Conservatives have sabotaged Canada's relations with that country.

Does the government realize that it is not helping our pork producers when the Minister of International Trade has said that China is one of the fiercest and most deeply entrenched tyrannies on earth?

Agri-food IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth and, of course, this misdirection is not helpful.

I have spoken with the Chinese ambassador and, as of today, he is making our plea back to Beijing to ensure they understand the sound science and get back to dealing with good, top quality Canadian pork.

Agri-food IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canada's pork producers need a government that has some influence in China to persuade the Chinese that there is no science behind any ban on Canadian pork.

The Conservatives' rhetoric has damaged Canada's relations with China.

The government does not seem to realize that it is not helping Canada's pork producers when it has a trade minister who says that China is one of the fiercest and most deeply entrenched tyrannies on earth.

When will the Conservatives stop their gratuitous attacks on China and actually work with China to help defend Canada's pork industry?

Agri-food IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what mystery the member is reading over there. Those are some sorts of off-the-wall quotes he is making.

That trade minister was in China less than two weeks ago and was very well received. The Chinese are continuing to work with us on various fronts. There is great bilateral trade between the two countries. We want to ensure they understand the science around the pork situation we face in Canada. We will get that message through to them on a number of levels, in spite of what member does and says.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, ImmunoVaccine Technologies is currently researching a cancer vaccine in Halifax that is ready for human clinical trials.

The lidar atmospheric laser radar and the Nova Scotia-led PEARL are measuring the front lines of climate change. However, despite being on the forefront of science, these research projects are facing sudden death, as their funding commitments expire with no renewal from the federal government.

Will the minister explain how accelerating the brain drain and stifling innovation is going to help Canada's economy recover?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, the member is completely misinformed. This government has put in $5.1 billion. That is the decision by the Conservative government to support scientists and science and technology. That member voted against all of it.

These decisions are made by independent peer review panels, scientists reviewing the scientific quality of the research, and that is exactly how it should be. I cannot believe the member is suggesting that the government get involved and interfere with an independent panel.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, obviously the research community is not buying the government's spin on its funding cuts, rubber stamped by Liberals. A cut is a cut is a cut, and the brain drain has already begun.

I cannot believe the government is not more concerned about the loss of one of Canada's leading vaccine experts, Dr. Sékaly, and 25 of his associates, who are leaving from Montreal to the United States, where the research funding has been practically doubled.

Does the government not know it is going in the wrong direction, that it should be investing in science and research, not—

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. minister of state.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, once again, let me point out that this government made a decision to put $5.1 billion into science and technology. A lot of that is for basic discovery research. The NDP voted against all of it.

Last week, I had the pleasure of announcing the Canada Vanier scholarships, which are attracting scientists from all around the world. The president of McGill University told me that 900 scientists have come from around the world to do their research in Canada. The reason they are doing that is we have a gold medal game going on here. We support our scientists.

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, scientists around the world agree that H1N1 flu in pigs is not a food safety issue. The OIE and the WHO also continue to state that eating pork is not a food safety issue. We see some countries keeping their borders open, while others are closing their borders and limiting trade.

Canada is a trading nation and many of our pork producers make their living off exports. In these tough economic times, what is the government doing to ensure our pork producers are treated fairly?

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Portage—Lisgar for the great work she is doing on behalf of her pork producers.

The science is clear. Canada's pork is safe. I spoke with U.S. agricultural secretary Tom Vilsack last night. The U.S. is Canada's major trading partner for pork. The Americans are doing everything they can to work with us to prove the science, to keep those borders open and pork flowing.

We will defend Canada's pork producers in whatever venue necessary. The claims that are being made by some countries are absolutely outrageous.

To that end, we, as the government, have organized a pork barbecue on the Hill tomorrow. I invite everyone to come and take part and enjoy some great top quality Canadian pork.

Airline IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, Liberals led the call for an airline passenger bill of rights. The House unanimously approved, 259 to 0, my motion calling on the government to bring forward this consumer protection legislation.

I will point out that both the current and the former ministers of transport voted in favour of this resolution. However, now, one year later, even the airlines cannot hide the fact that the government has done absolutely nothing on consumer protection in this industry.

Will the government ever bring forward meaningful, enforceable consumer protection provisions for airline passengers? If the Conservatives will not, we will.

Airline IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals had 13 years to do the job. They were just getting around to it had they only had that fifth term.

We strongly support greater rights for air travellers. There were many good points in the member's motion. We were pleased to see the airlines come forward yesterday with some proposals to strengthen the rights of consumers. They could be put into force through tariffs or they could be enforced through an independent commission. We certainly will give them fair consideration.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the European Parliament voted this morning to ban the sale of seal products in the EU. The ban is to take effect in 2010.

Do the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and her government have an action plan prepared to challenge that decision and do they intend, among other things, to lay a complaint with the World Trade Organization.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the EU has dealt a serious blow to the livelihoods of many of our coastal communities across the country. This is totally unacceptable and we will take whatever trade action is necessary to protect the markets for Canadian seal products. Unlike the Liberal Party, we will stand up for Canadian sealing families.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

May 5th, 2009 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, countless temporary foreign workers, live-in caregivers and undocumented workers are exploited by their bosses because of their precarious status in Canada.

Almost 1,000 Canadians took to the streets of Toronto last weekend, urging the government to crack down on those who prey on the most vulnerable. The House is very aware of just how close to home these injustices take place.

When will the minister take action to stop the exploitation, the ripoffs of the most vulnerable by these bosses who have power and have the money to do the exploitation?