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House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a darkening cloud hanging over the minister and Prime Minister. Unless these allegations prove to be false, it is clear that the minister has absolutely no confidence in her colleague's ability to handle what is now a full-fledged health care crisis.

Thousands of Canadians are failing to get the cancer, heart, bone and organ tests they need. Will the Prime Minister now intervene, take the file away from his distracted minister and see that this crisis gets the urgent attention it deserves and Canadians get the procedures they desperately need?

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, again, I think it is important to correct the facts. Yesterday, the member for Ottawa South himself made some statements in the media with respect to reactors. He said that the OPAL reactor is 12 months away from operation. Indeed, that is false. He said that Australia would not be able to export a single medical isotope. Again, that is false. Finally, he confused the countries of Belgium and the Netherlands, indicating that the Petten reactor was in Belgium when, in fact, it is in the Netherlands.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to documents obtained as a result of an access to information request, the government, despite public statements to the contrary, felt that the greenhouse gas reduction targets set at the 2007 Bali climate change conference were unrealistic.

How could the Prime Minister brag at every international forum that he was a climate change leader when Canada never had any intention of achieving the GHG reduction targets that the industrialized nations at Bali had set for themselves?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. I was present at all the negotiating tables in Washington, at the G8 and in Copenhagen, and I never saw the document in question before hearing about it today. This document in no way reflects the position of the Government of Canada on climate change or the subsequent negotiations.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the minister did not see the document, he should ask his press secretary. Maybe he saw it.

At the Poznan conference, one year after the Bali conference, the federal government did everything it could to divide the European countries and sabotage the common stand they had taken on climate change.

Given that this government seems to have a talent for secrecy, does the minister promise to table in committee and have the House vote on the position he plans to take at the conference in Copenhagen?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our position is very clear. Our government will attain the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. Canada is still a leader in developing post-Kyoto plans on climate change. That is quite clear. We want a plan that is as inclusive as possible and that will include targets for all major emitters. The Bloc should stop playing politics and work with the government.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment is finally facing the facts and admitting that carbon capture and storage is not a cure-all for greenhouse gas reduction. Nevertheless, since 2006, the government has spent $500 million to help develop the technology, and most of the $1 billion over five years announced in the 2009 budget will be spent on carbon capture and storage projects.

Now that he has recognized that the technique is of limited use, will the minister stop funding his oil buddies' carbon capture and storage projects?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. We believe that the technology has a lot of potential. Right now, in 2009, the world's major economies are all involved in international negotiations to determine their policies. It is very clear that Canada is now a leader in reducing emissions from, for example, road vehicles. Canada will also be a leader in other technologies, such as reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants. The Bloc should talk to us and work with us.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that the government is a leader in failing to take action in the fight against climate change. That is the truth.

Funding for carbon capture and storage programs benefits only big oil companies and diverts money that would be better spent on researching and developing clean, renewable energy, which is one of the most promising options for reducing greenhouse gases.

Will the minister shift his focus and put a real greenhouse gas emissions strategy in place right now?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we will be investing in all kinds of green energy technology. That is a fact. Our targets are now very clear. We will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. We will be announcing all policies applicable to all emitters public, sector by sector, before Copenhagen. We have made progress.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are breaking all kinds of records for economic mediocrity: we have seen the worst drop in GDP in 18 years, the first trade deficit in 33 years, the largest deficit in the history of Canada, and now, the worst unemployment rate in over 10 years. Some 400,000 full-time jobs have been lost.

Mayors are telling us that they have not received any of the money to stimulate the economy.

Does the government realize that the municipalities are going to miss the summer construction season, which would create the jobs people need right now?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that was a very interesting question coming from that party which voted against an economic action plan that actually put in place the stimulus money that is flowing out to communities right now. We will be tabling a report very soon detailing how much money has flowed. I wish the hon. member would be patient, but a little support would also help.

He must forget that we put in place tax reductions for Canadians. If the member had been here last Friday, he would have heard that we have moved tax freedom day forward 19 days from where it was under the former Liberal government.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, that will be great news for the people who cannot pay taxes any more because they have been thrown out of work because of the Conservative government's policies.

The finance minister misled Canadians this morning. Contrary to what he said, the economic action plan is not in place. The money is not flowing.

The mayor of Kitchener said, “Our shovels are ready and we're simply waiting for the money”. The mayor of Regina said, “Unless that money flows through, unless we get the go ahead, we could lose a full construction season”.

Four hundred thousand full-time jobs have been lost since the election. The government has to get the lead out, put people back to work, get rid of the--

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in working with municipalities across this country, we have doubled the gas tax to those communities so they can get their money spent quickly.

The transport minister has been working diligently with all three levels of government, which is required to make sure that the stimulus money flows.

We have created jobs. We have provided money for those people who cannot get jobs. It is always difficult when people lose their jobs. We have an economic action plan to help retrain those who have lost their jobs.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers have proudly defended the French language, which is now spoken widely throughout North America. However, more work needs to be done to protect that language.

The people of Quebec must have the right to work in French, whether in a bank or credit union. The Conservatives and the Liberals just voted against that.

Can they explain to Quebeckers why they do not have the right to work in French, in Quebec, regardless of the industry?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we respect the provinces' jurisdictions, but we also respect the fact that our Canada has two official languages.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

June 8th, 2009 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, three weeks later and still the message from the Minister of Health to the provinces and territories is that they are on their own and they will have to figure out how to get along without isotopes.

All across Canada patients are waiting. Do they have cancer? Has the cancer spread? Is their chest pain really heart disease?

Marilyn Williams, the director of diagnostic imaging at Bluewater Health Foundation in Sarnia, said that her hospital is only able to perform about half the diagnostic tests it would normally do, with a total daily supply down to 10%.

Where is the government's plan to get worried patients the tests they need?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, in 2007 our government and health care providers developed contingency measures to minimize the impact on patients. This includes using alternative isotopes, such as thallium-201, for cardiac scanning.

We are working closely with the experts on medical isotopes who are assessing and assisting in identifying alternatives for provinces and territories. Health Canada is taking every possible step to ensure access to alternative isotopes where possible.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister is asking these people to practice 20th century medicine in the 21st century.

She knows that the patients are being turned away from hospitals. Tomorrow, the Ottawa Hospital will be out of isotopes. Its corporate manager of nuclear medicine, Alan Thibeau, said that after that, it is anybody's guess because there is nobody out there who can really answer those questions.

Hospitals are looking at a 30% increase in costs because of having to use alternatives. Will the Minister of Health commit to the provinces and territories that she will reimburse every single dollar—

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Health.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada has taken measures, providing advance warning to update the provinces as well. Working with isotope medical experts, we are looking at alternatives. Many tests can be completed using other options. What this means for Canadians is that we are making alternatives available so medical isotopes can be used where most needed.

While Health Canada does not regulate the price of pharmaceutical products, including isotopes, we will continue to work with the provinces and territories in addressing the issue.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives claim that the Dutch, the Australians and now the Belgians will make up for the isotope shortage. We know the Dutch reactor is leaking and it will be down next month for four weeks. The Australian processing plant will not be commissioned for at least 6 to 12 months, meaning no isotopes.

When will the Conservatives be honest with Canadians and admit that for at least the next several months there will be a continuing isotope shortage in and for Canada that is already adversely affecting the health care needs of at least 5,000 Canadians?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, again, as we have indicated, this is a global issue and we are dealing with our global partners on the matter.

Petten in the Netherlands has indicated it will be increasing production supply by 50%. The Belgian reactor is coming back on line in July. As well, the Australian reactor is accelerating, by five months, opening up its ability to produce medical isotopes. Those are all successes on the basis that Canada is the leader with respect to bringing together this group of world owners of reactors.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister states that the Dutch or the Australians or the Belgians will make up the isotope shortage across the world.

Is there any guarantee that any of those isotopes will end up in Canada? Can the government offer a guarantee to this House that any isotopes from any of those three countries will ever be guaranteed to come into Canada?