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House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jurisdiction.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again I will quote the president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, who said, “Things are starting to move fairly quickly. We're pleased about that”. That could not be clearer.

We have 3,000 projects under way, ready to go. The choice for the opposition is really very simple. It can vote on Friday to ensure all those things go ahead in the Canadian economy and we keep construction moving this summer or it can block it. Obviously the responsible thing to do is vote to ensure that money flows and those projects move ahead.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the isotope crisis is putting the health of thousands of Canadians in jeopardy. It is affecting the quality of care they are receiving. The president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine said today that he is extremely alarmed by the situation and that he expects it to get worse.

Why is the government incapable of providing a detailed plan to deal with this crisis?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I continue to work with the experts on medical isotopes. In fact, this past weekend I had a meeting with the Society of Nuclear Medicine in Toronto. One of the things we did was assess how we were handling the contingency measures. We are on track and we will continue to do that.

I am very pleased to announce to the House that Canada has been given regulatory approval today for isotopes at the Australia facility. This means that an additional supply of isotopes will be coming to Canada in the very near future.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, if the government is concerned about the health and safety of Canadians, it has a strange way of showing it.

The Minister of Natural Resources talks about an increase in isotope production at various reactors around the world but she cannot tell us what action she has taken to actually secure an alternative supply.

Where is the plan to manage this medical crisis and why is the minister not doing her job?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in conjunction with the Minister of Health, I too am pleased to announce that it is over 75% of medical isotope supply that is available to Canada this week. That is a direct result of the leadership that Canada has shown with respect to working with the Netherlands and South Africa to have them increase their production of medical isotopes and the Minister of Health working with her counterparts to ensure there are ways and means for those reactors to produce the isotopes to come into the country.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, unlike what the Minister of Health stated last week, there are no alternatives for children with cancer. Her own guidelines state that children get technetium 99 or nothing.

How will the Minister of Health assure the parents of children with cancer all across this country that their boys and girls will get the bone scans they need when they need them, regardless of where they live in Canada?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I provided an answer to that question in the House on Friday.

The contingency measures that were put in place for the provinces, territories and health care providers allowed alternatives to be available where they can be used so that Tc99 can be used where alternatives are not available, such as in the case of children. That process is in place and it is being followed by the health care providers in the provinces and territories.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, we still need a plan.

I am pleased that the minister took our advice from last week and appointed a medical advisor but I wish she had consulted the medical community.

Earlier this year, Dr. Sandy McEwan, talking about Canada's role in medical isotope production, stated

We have established ourselves as leaders in this technology over a such a long period of time and to be prepared to just throw it all away is, I think, criminal.

Will the minister take this advice from her new adviser?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we established an ad hoc medical advisory group back in 2006-07 and have been working with that group since then. We have acted on all of its recommendations to ensure that in situations like this we have a plan to work with. The contributions Dr. McEwan has made have been valuable and we will continue to work with him as we deal with improving how we can manage the situation.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment systematically refuses to answer when asked if he has redirected money intended for the wind program to benefit oil companies instead.

Can the Minister of the Environment tell us if, yes or no, he redirected money to his oil company pals to develop the oil sands?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case. Our plan is clear. We are investing in green energy and in green technologies. We will reach our target, our objective of 20% by 2020. Before we go to Copenhagen, our government will release its policy on greenhouse gas emissions. When we come back from Copenhagen, we will provide the funding for the regulations needed to reach our target.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's answer is very telling.

Since the Minister of the Environment systematically refuses to answer, does the Minister of Natural Resources maintain her version, namely, that her colleague has redirected money intended for wind energy to the oil companies? Is that true or not? That is what we want to know.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc should take a look at the offset system I announced last week.

The Bloc refuses to work on the international scene or cooperate on the national scene. It refuses to take part here in a constructive way, choosing instead to be absent for the environment and for Quebec. The Bloc Québécois is talking out of both sides of its mouth. We get a lot of talk but very little action from them.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

June 15th, 2009 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the March 2009 meeting of the UNESCO committee on cultural diversity, Canada expressed some reservations with respect to the call by the International Organization of la Francophonie for francophone visas enabling artists to travel freely among its 60 member countries. This same attitude was observed during the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Quebec City.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs explain why Canada has refused to follow up on this initiative?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are well aware of this matter.

Statements have been issued about this in the past. We will continue to monitor this issue closely. I can speak about it to my colleague, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, who is responsible for this file.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, there will be another meeting to promote the objectives of UNESCO's Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Will the minister assure us that Quebec will speak for itself and clearly indicate whether Quebec will be allowed to express any disagreement with Canada's position in UNESCO debates?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada and the Conservative Party have recognized not only the legitimacy but also the expanding role of Quebec in its representation at UNESCO, precisely because we sincerely believe, on this side of the House, that it is very important for Quebec to have a voice at this organization.

This was done without the support of the Bloc, the Liberals or the NDP. It was done so that Quebec could have its voice heard at UNESCO.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Prime Minister suggested that he might have seen the light and finally be prepared to join with those calling for changes to employment insurance.

However, that memo did not get to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development who contradicted the Prime Minister the very next day. Then the Prime Minister contradicted the minister the very same day. This confusion might be amusing if it were not so serious. While this improv routine continues, Canadians are losing jobs. They need help and they need it immediately.

The government now acknowledges that additional EI measures are necessary. Will it deliver that help now?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear and consistent in stating our desire and our actions to help those who have been unfortunate enough to lose their job during this global economic downturn. That is why we introduced an extra five weeks worth of benefits for the unemployed, why we are protecting 130,000 people's jobs right now by expanding our work-sharing program and why we are trying to keep people at work with our infrastructure investments by creating jobs.

We are working to help Canadians and we will take further action.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the unemployed cannot eat off of that rhetoric. It has been 139 days since the budget and Canada's largest city is still waiting for even five cents of infrastructure stimulus funding.

The city of Toronto has had a plan for infrastructure and jobs and to spend $10 billion on new transit improvements. Embarrassingly, the federal government is a shirker, paying for only 10%. The minister has absolutely no vision on his own.

Will the government now stop second-guessing the unanimous decision of Toronto City Council? The deadline is June 27. Will the government finally do its part or will it once again let down the people of Toronto?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are making significant advancements and investments in public transit in Toronto. The Prime Minister and my premier made an important announcement with respect to the Sheppard line. We are investing in Union Station and we are investing in the Spadina subway.

However, we must be cautious because no investment can be made if that member and members of the Liberal Party vote no to flowing additional funds for infrastructure.

We will face an importance choice on Friday. We hope all members of the House will do the responsible thing and vote yes, freeing up even more money to create jobs, hope and opportunity in this country.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, Edmundston's Fraser Papers plant has laid off its employees.

Today, the Province of New Brunswick announced crucial funding to reopen the plant. The province and the employees are at the table, but the Conservative government is nowhere to be seen.

The U.S. government is helping its paper mills, but the Conservative government is asleep at the switch.

When will the Conservative government finally announce funding needed to put workers back to work? When will the Conservatives fix the problem once and for all?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the issue to which the hon. member refers is a serious one and this government has taken action on it already, and we will continue to take action on the matter.

We have written to the United States with respect to this unfair subsidy. The Minister of International Trade is working with the United States on matters surrounding the trade issue. Internally, we are looking at options in order to help the forestry industry.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has not taken enough action on the forestry crisis. Over the last two years, 55,000 jobs have been lost in this industry.

The government has known about the $8 billion that the U.S. government is giving to its pulp mills. The government knows that our mills on their own cannot compete against the treasury of the United States of America. The government has not responded adequately or aggressively to the need for more help and more support.

When will the government actually come up with a real plan to protect a major Canadian industry?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in the unprecedented communications that we had during the build up to the economic action plan. we heard clearly from the forestry industry what it needed. It wanted help in marketing and help in innovation. Small industry towns wanted help with respect to difficulties in the forestry industry.

Since then, we have had difficulties with respect to the subsidy being paid in the United States. We have taken a look at it very carefully. We have been engaged with our stakeholders on the trade side and on the forestry side.