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House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regime.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Canada is now a leader in clean energy. For example, in the last budget, we invested $1 billion in research and development for green energy and technology. We are a world leader in carbon capture and storage and we are working on reducing our carbon footprint.

While we work, the Bloc Québécois is a shining example of passivity.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources speaks of additional resources for wind energy in the budget. What does the budget say? Nothing!

If this money did not go to the wind sector, can the Minister of the Environment tell us where it did go? To the oil companies, perhaps?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member should examine the budget. Our government has made massive investments in green and clean energy such as wind and solar energy.

Furthermore, with regard to clean technologies, we need carbon capture and storage to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. The Liberals have never had the courage of their convictions and the Bloc and the NDP will never have the chance to do anything more than stand up in the House.

FinanceOral Questions

June 12th, 2009 / 11:35 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a very simple question. Yesterday, the government's report clearly said that $11 billion of the Canadian secured credit facility had gone out the door. However, yesterday at the finance committee, the president of BDC, who is the man in charge of this program, said:

--we expect the first cheques will reach the market in a few weeks.

Can the government clear this matter up? As of today, have any of these cheques gone out the door, yes or no?

FinanceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the answer to that question lies with the Business Development Bank of Canada, whose representatives appeared at committee yesterday. We provided the allocation that provides them with the opportunity to deal with their customers.

I would ask my hon. colleague to ask BDC representatives when they are going to deliver the cheques, because it is through the Business Development Bank of Canada that they are delivered to those people who need it.

FinanceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

So there are no cheques, Mr. Speaker. Here we have, for a single program, an $11 billion gap between what the government has promised and the reality on the ground. It is not a very good example, but I have another.

Yesterday, in its report, the government said it had committed between $1 million and $5 million to a water treatment plant in Grand Falls, Newfoundland. However, yesterday a reporter spoke to the mayor of that town and he had never heard of the project. Can the government clear that one up? When is construction going to begin?

FinanceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

FinanceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Apologize.

FinanceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, order. It is a Friday. The Speaker should be able to hear the member who is rising to answer. If members cannot stay quiet, the Speaker might have to ask them to leave the Chamber so the Speaker can hear the answer.

The hon. Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

FinanceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I wish that the member for Ottawa South could be more like his brother Dalton.

Yesterday, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador announced that it currently has 107 tenders out for projects totalling $1.6 billion, creating an estimated 1,500 jobs. I hope the member opposite will join me in welcoming those important investments. We are working well with not just my premier, we are working well with the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Danny Williams.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, last year, when the government announced the enabling accessibility fund, people in the disability community raised concerns right away that the fund was specifically designed to provide money for Conservative ministers. They called it “pork barrel politics”.

That turned out to be entirely true. In fact, not only did the Minister of Finance get his project worth $15 million, but fully 94% of all funding went to Conservative ridings. Can the minister explain the mathematical equation she employed in order to send 94% of all funding to Conservative ridings?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the enabling accessibility fund is a great program that will make it easier for so many disabled people to actually get access to buildings. This is a good thing. It is long overdue. It is something that party should have done when it was in government for 13 years, but it did not bother. It did not even have an accessible office for people with disabilities.

We are working right across the country, particularly in small communities, to ensure the disabled have the access that they not only need but deserve.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is very sad. The Conservatives have one lens they use for everything, and that is political. The rest, good public policy, economic prudence, social justice, equity, means nothing to them.

This fund was supposed to be set up for all Canadians with disabilities. It now appears to have become a Conservative slush fund. There is no plausible explanation how 94% of any program could end up in a minority party and only there. It does not make any sense.

I invite the minister to speak to Canadians with disabilities and ask them how they feel. Could she honestly justify this level of political abuse in a program designed for persons with disabilities?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, when the member opposite looks in totality at the important investments we are making in infrastructure, he will see we are making significant investments in Newfoundland and Labrador, and none of that money has gone into government ridings.

He will see that we made substantial investments in the city of Windsor, which is undertaking very serious unemployment challenges. He will see we are making substantive investments in Ottawa—Vanier, where we turned the sod on a project just this morning.

We are putting partisanship aside. We are working constructively with Liberal, Conservative and New Democratic governments around the country. We hope the hon. member will also put aside partisan politics and do what is right for the Canadian people.

Middle EastOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, for three years now, this Conservative government has taken a principled stand in response to the senseless violence in the Middle East. For example, back in 2006, Canada was the first government in the world to cut off aid to the Hamas terrorists who control Gaza. Just this winter the world witnessed hundreds of Hamas rockets, with increasing range and destructive power, fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel and civilian targets.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs inform the House as to what Canada is doing to stop arms smuggling into Gaza?

Middle EastOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government firmly believes that the continued threat of terrorism and arms smuggling as well as Hamas' continued rocket attacks against Israel's citizens are major obstacles to a lasting peace in the Middle East. The government is leading international efforts to ensure action is taken to stop the flow of arms into the Gaza Strip.

This week, Canada hosted an expert level panel meeting on the Gaza counter-arms smuggling initiative. Alongside like-minded allies, the government continues to show leadership on a clear commitment—

Middle EastOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, isotope levels are getting so low that hospitals in Manitoba and in Ottawa are now saying that they are about to completely run out. Tens of thousands of patients across Canada face a long, dry summer without the scans they need. The government's isotope contingency plan is quickly becoming the new normal and doctors across Canada are sounding the alarm that if isotope supplies dip any lower, people will start to die.

Will the health minister guarantee that, at a minimum, critical care patients, no matter where they live, will have access to the isotopes they need in order to save their lives?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, my colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, continues to work with the international community to ensure we have supplies in Canada.

The current shortage is a challenge. We have contingency measures to ensure that supplies of isotopes are targeted to patients most at risk, such as children. Supplies will vary throughout time, depending on what global reactors are available to supply these isotopes. We will continue to work with the provinces and territories to ensure that alternatives are available.

HealthOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, there is still no real plan, no real answers for Canadians. The same is the case with the H1N1 wherein it has revealed there are serious cracks in the system.

Years of neglect of first nations communities has produced the ideal conditions for this pandemic to take root, cramped living conditions, poor water, lack of drinking water, and the government cannot even get hand sanitizers to all first nations communities. Worse, Health Canada is now talking about closing nursing stations in the north.

Will the minister guarantee that no nursing station in the north will be closed and that, in fact, the government will fix this public health disaster.

HealthOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear to the House that we will not close nursing stations in Manitoba. The facts were misrepresented.

We continue to work with the provinces, public health agencies, Indian Affairs and Northern Development, aboriginal organizations and communities to ensure a coordinated response.

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's blunders in managing the isotope crisis are common knowledge. The minister left it up to the scientific and medical community to find solutions on its own, while she did nothing.

How can the minister explain this negligence and flagrant lack of leadership? She should have come up with a plan to deal with such a crisis, seeing as how the Chalk River reactor is now 52 years old and has been showing signs of failure for years.

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there are two tracks to the response to this global problem. One is to work with our international partners to increase the supply of medical isotopes and also to find alternatives in the meantime. The other is to appoint an expert panel that will work together on a long-term strategy for the production of medical isotopes in the future.

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, faced with the fiasco in the management of the isotope crisis, the Prime Minister must see that his minister lacks the credibility to deal with this issue.

What is he waiting for to fire her and replace her with someone who can restore the hope and confidence of the scientific community and the many patients waiting for diagnosis and treatment?

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, my department has taken action by working with the isotopes experts to develop guidance on dealing with the shortage. We are also using a special access program in the clinical trials to provide alternatives to Canadians.

Many tests can be completed using other options, such as thallium and sodium fluoride. While these are not long-term solutions, they provide doctors with more options to ensure that patients who require testing and who cannot use the alternatives, such as children, can receive TC99.