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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

IranOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, presidential elections were held in Iran. Reports indicate that election results may have been falsified. We have also heard disturbing media reports of security forces cracking down on protesters and opposition supporters.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please tell the House what the government's position is on Iran's presidential election?

IranOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are extremely troubled by the current situation in Iran. We have called for a full and transparent investigation into electoral fraud and discrepancies.

The security force's brutal treatment of peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable. We are also investigating allegations of mistreatment of a Globe and Mail reporter.

I have directed my officials to call in Iran's top diplomat here in Ottawa so that we can have an explanation.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Prime Minister demonstrated his disdain for both Parliament and Canadians by presenting a sham economic report with the help of a phony journalist hundreds of kilometres away from the House.

Despite a $5.5 million partisan advertising campaign paid for with taxpayers' money, not Conservatives' money, nobody believed him. Even the Liberals are pretending to be angry. That is saying something.

Does the Prime Minister realize that neither a public relations campaign nor false advertising can resolve the economic crisis?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the context, of course, is that we are in a global recession.

I just came back from a meeting of the G8 finance ministers and I can tell the House that Canada is the envy of the industrialized world in terms of the size of the deficit that we are running. It is relatively small. We are on track to eliminate the deficit and to move into surplus in 2013-14.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the fall, the Prime Minister said there would be no recession and no deficit while the Parliamentary Budget Officer projected two years of deficits.

In January, the government had a $34 billion deficit, but the PBO was saying it would be much higher. In May, the finance minister admitted he would break the record with the largest deficit in Canadian history: $50 billion.

Time and time again, Kevin Page has been right when the finance minister has been wrong. Talk about envy.

Now Mr. Page says that the finance minister will have to raise taxes or cut government spending radically. Which is it?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Neither of the above, Mr. Speaker.

I appreciate the views expressed by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. He is making an assumption. He says in his remarks, 1.3% growth for 2010, which is what one of the banks had. This morning, RBC has its estimate at 2.5% for 2010; Scotia Bank is also at 2.5%. Mr. Page is way off.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the urging of Denmark and the Netherlands, the UN is calling on Canada to drop its policy of no longer seeking clemency on behalf of Canadians sentenced to death abroad.

Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs intend to act on the UN recommendations and thus choose not to abandon Ronald Smith, a Canadian who has on death row in Montana for over 25 years?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in the case of Mr. Smith raised by the hon. member, the government will be subject to the decision of the courts, but in all other cases, and I will be very clear on this, clemency is not an obligation. It must be earned. We will study each appeal for clemency individually.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the subject of the courts, I add that, in an interview with Fox news, the Prime Minister stated that he was opposed to accepting prisoners from Guantanamo. Need he be reminded that those prisoners include a child soldier, a Canadian citizen, whom the Federal Court has ordered repatriated?

Will the Prime Minister abide by the decision of the court and repatriate Omar Khadr as quickly as possible?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have given the government's position on this file. Our position has not changed.

Mr. Omar Khadr faces very serious charges, and we will await the outcome of the review that President Obama is doing right now.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the defence department, which has already spent $44 million for its program to purchase a new fleet of supply ships, is now examining whether to start the project again from scratch.

Several weeks ago, officials said that the first supply vessel will not be available for at least seven years, and now this: $44 million down the drain.

The Minister of National Defence knows that the navy needs JSS so it can operate around the world. What is the minister's excuse this time?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, first and foremost, the joint supply ships have not been cancelled. This is a priority for the Department of National Defence; it is a priority for the government.

We fully intend to proceed with the procurement of this ship that is, as the member said, vital to support the ships that are doing important work around the world.

HMCS Winnipeg and HMCS Ville de Québec have just returned from doing important work in the Gulf of Aden, providing escort for the World Food Programme. That is the type of work we want to see continue.

Unlike the hon. member, our government is not going to cancel projects like the fixed wing or the helicopter program, which he knows cost the government over $100 million.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, he does not have an answer, again.

We have learned today that the government is contemplating restarting the process to acquire support ships for the Canadian navy from the beginning. We are in the midst of an economic crisis and this would mean the loss of $44 million.

The government already aborted a call for tenders for joint support ships last August, and now we have this. We are talking about a project worth some $2.1 billion, of which $500 million will go to implementing the program. This is not Monopoly money, it is not an open bar, this is taxpayers' money.

Why is taking the minister so long to clear this up?

National DefenceOral 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 his always constructive and calm input on the subject matter.

Of course the joint supply ships are something that will proceed. We are working closely with Industry Canada and the Department of Public Works and Government Services to secure the contracts necessary.

After careful review, the Department of National Defence found that the application process, the review process, which was there to have mandatory minimum requirements, unfortunately came back non-compliant. However, we did not cancel the contract.

I stand corrected. It was actually $500 million that the member's government cost the taxpayers of Canada when it cancelled the maritime helicopter program.

Early Childhood EducationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the Pascal report laid out an ambitious plan for seamless day learning for children. The first six years of a child's life is the most important time for development, yet Canada consistently places last in all international reports in its investment in child care. Each billion dollars invested in child care creates 20,000 jobs, so it is a win for the economy, a win for our children.

When will the Conservative government seriously invest in early childhood education so that the Pascal report could become a reality quickly?

Early Childhood EducationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of our record in helping young children and young families. Indeed, we recognize the importance of investing in early learning. That is why one of the very first things we did as a government was to introduce the universal child care benefit, so that families could choose the form of early child learning and support that met their needs and their unique needs.

We are also working with the provinces and territories to make sure the support through the Canada social transfer is there to provide the services that are within their jurisdiction.

Early Childhood EducationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, there was not one new penny of child care money in this budget. Over and over again, we hear of shocking stories of expectant mothers who are putting their names on child care waiting lists before the babies are born. This is such desperation. The costs of child care can be higher than mortgage payments in this country.

When will the government enact the New Democrats' bill to create universally available, high-quality, affordable and non-profit child care for all the children in this country?

Early Childhood EducationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we believe that parents are the best people to determine by whom and where their children should be taken care of. We do not believe in a one size fits all solution to this challenge. That is why we invested in the universal child care benefit, which provides $100 a month to parents of children under age six. I would point out this is a major investment for Canada and Canadians. It is one that helps children, that helps families, and it is one that the NDP voted against.

IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, over 90% of businesses in Canada are small businesses. Hundreds of thousands of jobs in communities throughout Canada depend on their continued vitality. Due to the global economic recession, access to credit has become the number one issue faced by Canadian small businesses.

Will the Minister of Industry please inform the House what is being done to provide enhanced access to credit for small businesses?

IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as we have discussed, of course we support the vital role that small businesses do play in our economy. As we respond to the global recession, we understand that credit markets have indeed made it harder for small businesses to achieve the financing needed this year.

For this reason, I had the pleasure this morning of announcing the small enterprise tranche of the new Canadian secured credit facility, which means $450 million has been allocated to help drive venture capital investment for small and medium size enterprises, the access to credit required to both innovate and boost the Canadian economy. That is the kind of thing this government is doing.

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the World Health Organization has now singled out aboriginal communities in Canada. In Manitoba, aboriginal children are on respirators, women are having miscarriages, first nations chiefs are driving hundreds of kilometres to obtain essential masks and supplies.

The response to H1N1 in aboriginal communities is an international embarrassment. Will the minister commit today to personally guarantee that Manitoba will get the resources it needs to respond to the crisis in aboriginal communities?

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, again, Canada has the pandemic plan that we have been implementing since April and that includes first nations communities.

I can reassure the member that supplies are not an issue at the nursing stations in any first nations community. We have ensured that they have the supplies. I continue to work with the provinces with regard to this, as well as the aboriginal community. In fact, I had a conference call with Phil Fontaine on Friday to discuss this issue that is targeting first nations communities.

Sri LankaOral Questions

June 15th, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the UN Secretary General is insisting, in order to prevent history from repeating itself, that reconciliation between Sri Lanka and the Tamil people begin immediately.

Does the government intend to act on the report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, which recommends, in a unanimous report, that Canada begin a dialogue with the Sri Lankan government in an effort to lay the foundations for the political reconciliation of these communities?

Sri LankaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, not only do we subscribe to this approach, this plan for reconciliation, but we are asking the Sri Lankan government to initiate it and to respond favourably to it.

In addition, I would remind members of this House that it is vital for the UN and those seeking to obtain aid to have unlimited access to the camps for displaced people. That is the priority of the Government of Canada.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, half measures by the government will not save the forestry industry.

Last week's billion dollar black liquor aid package is a start, but it will not level the playing field against U.S. competitors. The American subsidy is much larger, and it will still provide an unfair advantage to American mills.

The Conservative plan will do little to help the million people who rely on the forestry sector for work. When will the government start seeing the forest for the trees and help the forestry industry emerge from this downturn more profitable and stronger than ever?