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House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was efficiency.

Topics

Canadian ForcesOral 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 could not disagree with the hon. member more. There are no better soldiers in the world than the Canadian Forces.

If he is talking in some vague fashion about using private security contractors in the mission, which all countries are doing, which NATO countries are doing, hiring Afghans, we are working with Afghans to build their security capacity. We are working with operational mentoring liaison teams in both police and army to build their ability to secure their own country. That is exactly what we will continue to do.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, that is not good enough for the safety of our troops.

The Bush administration's use of private security contractors in Iraq led to abuses that were severely criticized. The people we have hired here are outside the military chain of command and not subject to our military laws, discipline or justice.

Why is the government using these private companies as cheap labour in the first place? Will the government commit to stop using private security contracts to protect our bases or to carry out military or paramilitary operations in Afghanistan?

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I know the member is new to the file but he really should delve into the details of this issue a little further.

Using private security contractors is what all countries have been doing. This is what allows us to help train Afghans to do the type of work that we are doing now. In fact, Canada has been a leader, with other countries, working on the International Committee of the Red Cross to finalize the Montreux document on private and military security companies.

This demonstrates our country's commitment to identify and promote good practices regarding operations of private military security companies. This is exactly what we are there to do, which is to help them do the jobs we do.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism is hiding behind the IRB to justify the partisan appointment of Pharès Pierre. Yet before the committee, the Auditor General said, “The decision whether or not to appoint a candidate is always the prerogative of the minister and the governor in council.”

The minister therefore could have rejected, and still could reject, this shameful appointment. Pharès Pierre's swearing in is set for June 2. Will the minister take action, assume his responsibilities and remove Pharès Pierre?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, as I have said in the past, the chair of the IRB recommended the man in question to the government for an IRB appointment following a screening process. When I learned that that individual had prior questionable ties with Haitian authorities, I expressed my concerns. The appointment was made based on the recommendation of the IRB, which is an independent tribunal. I spoke to the IRB chair about this matter and it is up to him to oversee the board members.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister still refuses to act and continues to defend this partisan appointment, claiming that he cannot do anything about it. Yet sections 153(1) (a) and 186 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act clearly indicate that the governor in council can remove a member of the board.

Will the minister admit that he is refusing to assume his responsibilities simply because he wants to continue to protect a Conservative crony?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I reject the question, the suggestion and this interpretation. I do not know that individual. To the best of my knowledge, he was not involved in the Conservative Party. He was proposed as a candidate recommended by the IRB after a screening process. Following the appointment of members to the IRB, it is up to the chair of the IRB to oversee the members and their behaviour. That is the chair's responsibility. He is a very professional man and I have complete confidence in the chair of the IRB in this file.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

May 6th, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the minister may be able to serve barbecued pork, but his responsibility as minister is to ensure that Canadian pork producers themselves are not barbecued.

First there was the United States' country of origin labelling and now there are illegal pork bans driving Canadian farmers into financial ruin. Yet the only thing this minister has delivered to date is additional debt. I ask the minister to send a message to the world, and not just threaten trade action but stand up for producers and deliver for once.

Will the minister commit today to cash payments to Canadian hog producers so that they can have some financial security?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral 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, pork producers as well as the rest of the farmers across this great country know that we will develop programs and be there for them in their need. We continue to open trade routes for them. We continue to maintain the great trade they have with certain countries. I understand the Philippines are reassessing their position. We are hoping for some very positive news there.

What would really barbecue farmers quickly is increasing their taxes, and a punitive carbon tax would have an exponentially harmful effect on agriculture. We will never do that.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I plead with the minister to reconsider and deliver cash.

However, let me turn to another area of increasingly proven ministerial incompetence. The documents that the minister provided to the Subcommittee on Food Safety confirm that the minister never received a full briefing on the listeriosis crisis until August 24, weeks after the crisis began and with deaths mounting.

Was it the minister's concern over the political fallout that caused the delay, or interference by the PMO, or both? Delays could have increased the health risk. Why the delay?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral 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, everyone knows the timeline involved. The member opposite has been working with that at committee. Several different studies are being done. We look forward to those reports, including the independent investigation by Ms. Sheila Weatherill. I think it is going to be very enlightening when that comes out in July. We look forward that.

Of course, the timeline could be looked at 100 different ways. I can assure the member that I was involved. CFIA made the recall in the early morning hours on the 17th, and I was notified at the beginning of business on the 18th. We began to take action. We will continue to do that to build a better food safety system in this great country.

Mining IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, last February, workers at Xstrata got a double shock, and today they are on the Hill. The first shock was when 700 workers were laid off in violation of the agreement between Xstrata and the government; and the second was when the government did nothing to enforce that agreement. It took the hard work of the CAW local to negotiate a delay of these layoffs, but now that time is almost up.

Workers and families feel abandoned by the Conservative government. Will the government realize that its inaction is causing the demise of mining communities like Sudbury, right across northern Ontario?

Mining IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is quite the opposite. At the time of the original decision by Xstrata, we announced that Xstrata would in fact commit to contractual terms on investment of up to $390 million in Sudbury for their mining operations. It was not just something that was in a brochure or in an annual report. We committed them to contractual terms.

That is the kind of work we do. We work with a company, if it is so willing, and find the best deal possible to protect the workers and the communities. That is what we do on this side of the House. They do not do it on that side of the House.

Mining IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, today 50 CAW mine mill workers from Xstrata have travelled from Sudbury to talk to the Minister of Industry. These miners feel abandoned by the Conservatives. It was the union, not the government, that got Xstrata to delay the layoffs.

The government chose instead to side with corporate interests and just sat on its hands. Now the workers' deal is set to expire and they are worried about their future. Will this minister commit today to working with these miners and finally commit to rebuilding the mining sector in northern Ontario?

Mining IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member may be aware, we have a number of programs that are going to be helpful to Sudbury. They are delivered through FedNor. They are delivered through our community adjustment fund.

We are there for the people of Sudbury. I have had numerous meetings with the Mayor of Sudbury to make sure their plans for their community are brought through our system in an appropriate manner. That is what we are doing on this side of the House.

I wonder if the union members are aware that many members of his caucus in fact voted for the continuation of the long gun registry, voted for the immediate removal of the plans to have that done.

That is on their side of the House. They have to answer to their constituents on that.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, nannygate is not just about the member for Brampton—Springdale, it is about the Liberal Party. It is about a culture of arrogance and entitlement that treats women, immigrant women in particular, like chattel.

Not one Liberal has come out and stood up for these abused nannies. The Liberal Party is failing immigrant women, not just by taking them for granted but by being silent when they are being abused.

Where are the Liberal voices standing up for these abused caregivers?

Will the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism tell the House what the government is doing to protect immigrant women?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, as I said on this matter yesterday, we are concerned about any allegation of the abuse of the rights of live-in caregivers or women more generally. I pointed to various avenues.

I encourage women in these vulnerable situations to understand that their rights can and will be protected under Canadian law. I would refer them, for instance, to section 124 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which says that every person who employs a foreign national in a capacity in which the foreign national is not authorized under the act to be employed could be found guilty of an indictment with a penalty of up to $50,000 or two years in jail, or both.

These are very serious matters.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, President Obama remarked last week on the global outbreak of the flu:

[I]f there was ever a day that reminded us of our...stake in science and research, it's today.

While President Obama recognizes the value of the American scientific community, the Conservatives cut operational funding. Two thousand Canadian scientists have written that the cuts are detrimental.

President Obama understands the value of science and research. The Liberals understand. The scientists understand.

How come everyone understands except the Prime Minister?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the Americans' recommitment to science and technology. In fact, I met with our American counterparts last Friday, who are very impressed with what Canada is doing.

No country in the G7 provides more money than Canada does with respect to basic discovery research. I can tell the House that the Liberals cut $442 million out of science and technology.

Our approach is different. We are putting $5.1 billion in, and on a per capita basis, that is better than most other countries, including the United States.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 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 five petitions.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, a report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, entitled “Temporary Foreign Workers and Non-Status Workers”.

At this time I would like to acknowledge all the present members and the past members of the former 39th Parliament who sat on this committee, who travelled the country, met Canadians, and did a great deal of work in helping us put this report together.

Fisheries and OceansCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans in relation to the European legislative actions regarding the Canadian seal harvest.

Air Canada Public Participation ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-379, An Act to amend the Air Canada Public Participation Act.

Mr. Speaker, I thank my seconder, the member for Vancouver East. She supports this bill, as well. The bill calls for an operational and overhaul centre for Air Canada to be continued and maintained in Vancouver, British Columbia. So the member of Parliament for Vancouver East is standing up, as she always does, for people of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

When the Air Canada Public Participation Act was put into effect, it called for the corporation, Air Canada, to maintain operational and overhaul centres in the city of Winnipeg, the Montreal urban community and the city of Mississauga, but it did not include the city of Vancouver. As a result, the Lower Mainland has seen a hemorrhaging of jobs in the operational sector, in overhaul centres. A wide variety of jobs have been cut back. We believe Air Canada should be maintaining those jobs on the west coast of Canada. It should be maintaining those jobs in the Lower Mainland. It has an impact not just in the Richmond, Vancouver and Burnaby—New Westminster areas, but of course, right through the Lower Mainland. There are small businesses that depend on the dollars that are brought in through the provision of those jobs in operations and in overhaul.

For those reasons, the NDP is supporting this amendment to change the Air Canada Public Participation Act and to oblige Air Canada to maintain those facilities in the city of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-380, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (hate propaganda).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table my private member's bill, an act to amend the Criminal Code regarding hate propaganda.

The bill seeks to expand the definition of “identifiable group” under hate propaganda provisions of the Criminal Code to include any section of the public distinguished by gender.

Currently the law states that it is prohibited to propagate hate against an individual because of colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. However, it is not against the law to propagate hate against individuals because of their gender.

By enacting this important improvement to the Criminal Code, Parliament can begin to address the serious issue of promoting hatred and violence against women or men.

This amendment should have been made long ago. It is my sincere hope that my colleagues on all sides of this House will support this long overdue initiative.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

There seems to be a discussion going on at the far end of the chamber, which is creating a lot of noise. I would urge hon. members to carry on their discussions in the lobby. It is available, and I am sure they will find it much easier to chat there rather than yelling across the House here.