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House of Commons Hansard #69 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was custody.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that over 80% of those who have contributed to employment insurance are receiving benefits. That is a fact. In addition, we are trying to help people who have lost their jobs by providing five additional weeks of benefits. It is worth noting that the Bloc Québécois, as usual, voted against the unemployed. That is shameful.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the solutions are obvious; what is needed is the will to implement them.

What is this government waiting for to lower the EI eligibility threshold to 360 hours, to eliminate the two week waiting period and to increase benefits from 55% to 60% of insurable income? Those measures would be beneficial not only for unemployed workers, but also for the economy.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, before presenting our economic action plan, we consulted Canadians from all over the country. What they told us was that they wanted additional weeks of benefits. The Bloc asked for two more weeks, and we offered Canadians, our unemployed workers, five additional weeks. The Bloc voted against that.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, another day, another mediocre economic record from the Conservatives. After the biggest drop in GDP in 18 years, after the first trade deficit in 33 years, after the largest deficit in the history of Canada—even worse than under Brian Mulroney, which says a lot—the Conservatives have given us an unemployment rate of 8.4%, the worse rate in over a decade. More than 400,000 full-time jobs have disappeared since they came to power.

Does the government realize that its economic strategy is a dismal failure?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, we have an economic action plan to help workers and protect jobs. We are now protecting more than 120,000 jobs.

In addition, we have a plan for investing in infrastructure and creating jobs. It is important to note that the NDP voted against all these initiatives to help Canadians.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, she is right. We are against their harmful policies that have caused the loss of 186,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector since October, and we are very proud of having voted against their incompetent budget.

Off the top, their so-called stimulus package is not flowing, the senior civil service refusing to play their partisan tune. In fact, big city mayors said today that they have not seen a single dime. Their shovels are ready to dig, but they cannot dig deep when the only tools the government is sending them are press releases.

Is the government going to get the money flowing and work with Parliament, or is it going to miss the construction season again?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, that is ironic coming from the NDP members who voted against our budget and tried to do everything they could to stop it.

We have actually doubled the tax gas fund, and we accelerated the spending by three months. The money is already flowing. Get with the picture.

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to trust this government. The Conservatives announce investments that never happen, lose the Royal Canadian Mint's gold, and sell the Crown's treasures for a song. Despite a series of rulings against them—Khadr, Smith and Abdelrazik—they continue to ignore the law and the courts.

Then there are the ministers who break the rules regarding secret documents and blame their assistants. Apparently leaving secret documents at CTV is not as bad as leaving documents at one's girlfriend's place.

Will the government try to regain a tiny bit of the people's confidence and dismiss its irresponsible and incompetent minister?

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, appropriate corrective measures have been taken on that. The person responsible for handling those documents has offered her resignation and it has been accepted.

I know the hon. member likes to yell at people. Why does he not talk some sense into his colleagues and use that energy to get the drug bill, the bill that cracks down on people who bring drugs into the country, passed?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

June 5th, 2009 / 11:30 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, AECL officials have confirmed that Chalk River may not be back on line within three months. The shutdown remains indefinite. The minister falsely claims that shortfalls can be met by the Dutch and Australian reactors.

Can the minister explain precisely how these two reactors will make up for Canadian shortages? What guarantees has the government received that Canadians will get access to these isotopes given that we are going to be competing against Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and particularly the United States, where the prices paid for isotopes are the highest in the world?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, rather than trying to score political points on this issue, the member perhaps should have been at the Natural Resources committee yesterday where we heard about these very issues.

In fact, if he had been at question period yesterday, he would also know that the minister said we are working with our partners. In the Netherlands, Petten reactor is going to be upping its production by 50%. The Australians are coming on line with their reactor much quicker than anticipated. The minister is working with the international partners to deal with this situation.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Nice try, Mr. Speaker, but here are the real facts. The Dutch Petten reactor has a radioactive leak. It will shut down for a month on July 18. It is going to be shut down for a further six months this January, and its licence to operate expires in March. The Australian OPAL reactor was built strictly for its own market. Its processing plant is not yet commissioned; that will take 6 to 12 months. Currently Australia does not supply medical isotopes to anyone. It imports 100% of its domestic supply.

When will the minister level with Canadians and start treating this crisis with the honesty and the urgency it deserves?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, he is one to be talking about honesty. He should be trying to deal with the issue instead of fearmongering and trying to scare Canadians.

We know in fact that the Petten reactor in the Netherlands is going to increase production by 50%. South Africa has increased its supply as well. These commitments are similar to the commitment we made to other countries when they were having problems. We are working internationally with people to deal with this situation.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, sadly the Minister of Health has failed Canadians. Her message to the provinces is, “You're on your own, figure out how to get along without isotopes”. The provinces are scrambling to extend hours for testing and dealing with expensive alternatives, transferring patients, the clinical use of research scanners and now the skyrocketing isotope crisis.

Will the Minister of Health commit today to reimburse the provinces and territories for every single dollar incurred because of the government's incompetence?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, while Health Canada does not regulate the price of pharmaceutical products, including isotopes, we continue to work with the provinces and territories on addressing the shortage.

As a matter of fact, we are taking action now. We are ensuring that the testing is available for Canadians by quickly approving alternatives. To date we have approved two clinical trials and ten special access program requests. The clinical trials were approved in a record three days, and we are approving special access program requests in just 24 hours.

We are helping the provinces and territories triage and manage their supply through an expert guidance document.

We are taking action, and I would appreciate the member--

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for St. Paul's.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that will not get any isotopes within this year. The crisis is right now, and the Minister of Health has done nothing to prevent it, to fix it or to reassure the patients needing these lifesaving tests that are being cancelled because of the government's incompetence.

Saskatoon is getting one-eighteenth of its usual weekly allotment. Peterborough is operating at 10% capacity. Kingston has been forced to operate with 25% of its normal supply.

The government had 18 months to develop a made in Canada plan. Why does it continue to abdicate the federal responsibility--

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as a physician, the member should know that about 75% of the actual testing can be provided with alternatives. Other isotopes are available now. Thallium or Iodine-123 and gallium can help the provinces manage their supplies.

It is very important that we work together with everyone involved. This is an international issue. We have been engaging our provincial and territorial counterparts, the U.S. secretary of health, as well as the medical community and experts in the field.

My colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, has been working closely with isotope producing countries. We are taking action now, and we would appreciate the member's support in that.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Jacques Lyrette of Développement Économique-CLD Gatineau has said, “While the federal government is pouring millions of dollars into the city of Ottawa, its neighbour, Gatineau, is getting nothing but crumbs.” According to Mr. Lyrette, neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives ever give Gatineau its fair share.

The Conservatives promised Gatineau the earth. When will they have the courage to keep their promise and rebalance the amounts of money invested on both sides of the Ottawa River?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, like my colleague, I heard that comment this morning, and I was a bit surprised.

While my colleague, the member for Hull—Aylmer, was in power, he managed to have a road built through Gatineau Park, at a cost to Canadian taxpayers of roughly $50 million. Just recently, Highway 5 was built, costing Canadian taxpayers $32 million. The Government of Canada has also contributed to a sports complex. It has been announced that the Palais des Congrès, the conference centre, in Gatineau will be renovated, thanks to another federal contribution.

My colleagues need to wake up once in a while and take a look at—

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Gatineau.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, for 23 years, we have been waiting for the Science and Technology Museum in Gatineau. For 13 years, we have been waiting for phase II of the Centre régional d'archives de l'Outaouais in Gatineau. There are no research centres in Gatineau, but there are 27 in Ottawa. In short, they always make big promises, but they do not keep them.

Conservatives and Liberals: same inaction.

When will the government take real action for Gatineau?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am used to this.

Bloc Québécois: all talk, no action.

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the ineffable Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue said that this government has gotten along very well with the Government of Quebec about harmonizing the GST. However, it is no secret that Quebec is not at all satisfied with the lack of compensation when it harmonized provincial and federal taxes.

If there was an agreement, as the parliamentary secretary claims, why did he say that one day there will be an agreement?