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House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provisions.

Topics

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, people across Quebec who are awaiting nuclear diagnostic testing for cancer and other serious illnesses are already terribly worried. As a doctor, I have seen the fear in their eyes; I understand their apprehensions and share their concerns.

Does this government have enough compassion and empathy to realize that we are talking about the fate of hundreds of Quebeckers and Canadians who deserve to be cared for quickly?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, again, for the last 18 months, we have been dealing with the provinces and territories and medical experts to develop plans to manage this situation.

I can assure the member that we are doing everything within our power to ensure that alternatives are available for the provinces and territories. We will continue to work with the provinces and territories as we manage the situation.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, health care professionals in Quebec have worked miracles so far, but they cannot do so forever. They have extended their hours of service and are making sure that not a single gram of isotopes is being wasted. Dozens of tests have already been postponed. The situation can only get worse if this government does not immediately find a way to guarantee isotope supplies, instead of denying everything.

How will this government, which is insensitive to human suffering and anxiety, ensure that isotopes will be available at all times?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as we have indicated, we are working with the global partners. There are five nuclear reactors in the world that create medical isotopes. One of them is the Canadian one, which is down for the health and safety of Canadians because it needs to be inspected for potential repairs.

There are other reactors in the world. We have been working with the reactor operators in terms of scheduling maintenance and in terms of scheduling ability. In fact, we have had a breakthrough with respect to Petten increasing by 50%, South Africa increasing by 30%, as well as Australia hopefully coming on line sooner.

We are dealing with it. We are working on it. We are taking action.

His Highness the Aga KhanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has built a strong and meaningful relationship with His Highness the Aga Khan, imam of Ismaili Muslims worldwide. We have partnered on numerous projects in Asia, Africa and Afghanistan, where the Aga Khan Development Network is a vital partner in our efforts to secure and improve the lives of Afghan citizens. We have also partnered on the Global Centre for Pluralism right here in Ottawa to promote ethnic, cultural and religious tolerance.

Would the Prime Minister take this opportunity to update the House on any developments in Canada's relationship with the Aga Khan?

His Highness the Aga KhanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first, I think I speak on behalf of all members in congratulating His Highness the Aga Khan on receiving an honorary doctorate today from the University of Alberta.

The Aga Khan, with his network of agencies, is a great partner and long-time friend of Canada, and a great benefactor to humanity. He is truly a beacon of humanitarianism, of pluralism and of tolerance throughout the entire world.

I have informed the Aga Khan that our government will be seeking the consent of the House to extend honorary citizenship to His Highness. I hope that all members will see fit to confirm it.

Public TransitOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is arrogant, vicious and hurtful.

One minister finds cancer sexy. Believe me, cancer is not sexy. The same minister gouged taxpayers when she was the boss of the Toronto Port Authority. Then the Minister of Transport covered it up by hijacking the constitution of the port authority and stuffing the board with his cronies. Yesterday he cursed and gave the finger to the people and the government of Toronto.

Will he apologize here publicly and admit that he is wrong?

Public TransitOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member might have heard my answer to the question from the member for Don Valley West where I did just that.

When it comes to the Toronto Port Authority, it is very important that we put on the record that the member for Trinity—Spadina does not support the Toronto Island Airport. She does not support Porter Airlines. This government does, just as the previous Liberal government did.

We also support the thousands of construction workers at Bombardier who are building world-class airplanes which are being used at this airport. Step by step we are committed to getting the job done. All the smears from the member opposite will not improve the situation whatsoever.

Public TransitOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the know-it-all minister does not understand that the streetcars come from Bombardier, a Canadian company hiring Canadians. The know-it-all minister does not realize that Toronto streetcars do qualify for this funding. There are immediate jobs created here, planning, engineering and tooling jobs. It is good for the economy and good for the environment. However, all the Minister of Transport has to offer to Toronto are swear words and contempt.

When will the government give Toronto the streetcar funding it deserves and needs desperately?

Public TransitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, 425 municipalities around Ontario were able to fill out the one-page online application form properly. One did not. That is a fact.

We are committed to supporting public transit in the city of Toronto. That is why the Prime Minister has announced funding for the Spadina subway expansion. That is why we are supporting GO Transit in an unprecedented way. That is why the Minister of Finance is providing funding to help refurbish Union Station. That is why the Prime Minister of Canada stood with Premier Dalton McGuinty to put our money where our mouth is to support the Sheppard LRT line.

We are delivering for Toronto. We are getting the job done.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, after agreeing with the consensus reached at the Bali climate change conference in 2007, the Minister of the Environment now maintains that the objectives set were not Canadian but European, and that the target of 25% to 40% reduction is not realistic for Canada.

Does the minister's hypocritical attitude on this matter not reflect the general attitude of this government, which talks a fine talk but does not think twice about reneging on commitments at the earliest opportunity?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our position has always been the same and has always been very clear: a realistic greenhouse gas reduction target for Canada is 20% by 2020, using 2006 as the reference year.

Our Canadian target takes the Canadian reality into consideration, for example our industry, our climate and our geography. The Bloc Québécois continues to work with us.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the minister fails to mention is that his 20% targets are intensity targets, and will be harmful to Quebec manufacturing. That is the reality.

Is the Minister of the Environment going to deny that the reason his government made numerous sabotage attempts in Bali, as they did in Poznan, is that its true objective was to slow things down as much as possible so that its oil company pals could continue to pollute without being hampered by restrictive targets?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we can always expect a partisan attitude from the Bloc Québécois. We are following certain principles that resulted from the climate change discussions, such as balancing environmental protection and the economy, the view over the long term, the development of green technologies, and the inclusion of all polluters.

Those are the main efforts made by the Government of Canada, and progress is being made as far as climate change is concerned.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

June 9th, 2009 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, again these are the words of the Minister of Natural Resources: “It's sexy. Radioactive leaks. Cancer. When we win on this, we get all the credit. I'm ready to roll the dice on this”. The Prime Minister has embraced his minister with no sanctions whatsoever, so the Prime Minister now owns those words.

Will he tell cancer patients waiting in the queue for the tests they cannot get today in Saskatchewan just exactly what is sexy about their pain and their anguish?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as we have indicated, we have been working on the issues of shortages of medical isotopes for a very long time, not just as a result of this unplanned, unexpected outage of the NRU.

We have actually put an action plan together. We delivered on a five point plan and we continue to work with our global partners, which is a far cry more than when the member opposite was the minister of natural resources, knew about the issue with the MAPLEs, knew about the difficulties we had with the MAPLEs and did absolutely nothing. What does he tell cancer patients?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the facts are clear. The breakdowns have occurred on her watch, not our watch.

The Minister of Natural Resources thinks the Minister of Health is incompetent. She said so. This makes both ministers dysfunctional in the midst of a national emergency. The Minister of Natural Resources tearfully apologized to her colleague, but it is not the feelings of the Minister of Health that are at issue. The pain and suffering of cancer patients is the issue, 5,000 of them every day.

Will the minister apologize to them and will she compensate the provinces for all of their extra expenses because of her incompetence?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as much as the hon. member wants to hide behind my skirt, the reality is that he was the one. He was the minister who held the same portfolio as I do. It is very important to recognize that the Minister of Health is a strong, capable Minister of Health who has handled the extraordinarily difficult issues of H1N1 and medical isotopes. I am proud to serve with her as part of this cabinet and I can speak for her personally.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources has shown she cannot handle her job. She is leaving top-secret documents behind and sees medical isotopes as a career opportunity.

She just claimed the Dutch were onside with her plan, but the Dutch are not okay with her plan. Canadians are not okay with her plan.

Helping cancer patients should not be about rolling the dice. Why will she simply not resign?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, the one thing that is important in a crisis like this is for Canadians to understand the facts and not to have conspiracy theories or falsehoods put before the House and Canadians. The reality is that we are working with the global medical isotope community both in terms of the shortage here, but more important, in terms of increasing the supply that is so important and so fragile in the world. Australia is working with us. Petten is working with us. Belgium is working with us. Why will the NDP not work with us?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the facts are today the minister had the opportunity to show some dignity and apologize to Canadians suffering from cancer for her callous remarks. She did not. She could have resigned, but she is still here. She does not seem to understand how hurtful her comments are to Canadians. Does she not see that the damage done to Canadians' faith in their government to help them has been suffering by her actions? Why is she still here?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is the actions of this government that matter in dealing with the medical isotopes. Since November 2007, we have dealt with this issue in a forward thinking way. We have taken action, which is something that the Liberals did not do in 13 years in government. We are working with global partners. Indeed, we have a recognized leadership role in the world with respect to medical isotopes and we will continue to use that next week in Toronto when the world comes to Toronto to discuss the issue.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, members of the House have spent considerable time questioning the government about the circumstances surrounding the detention and treatment of Taliban prisoners transferred by Canadian Forces members. Canadian Forces members were, by innuendo, accused of possibly abusing defenceless persons and of failing to investigate injuries.

Our government initiated a number of investigations into these allegations. Could the Minister of National Defence tell us if these investigations are concluded and if so, what were the results?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service report has concluded the allegations of abuse were unfounded. Then a Military Police Complaints Commission report stated “there was no harm done”. The prisoners were provided with “a high standard of medical care”. Today the board of inquiry after two years of work, 40 days of hearings, 121 witnesses, has found that the conduct of the Canadian Forces personnel was “consistently above reproach when dealing with the prisoners in Afghanistan”.

There were three investigations and three clearances of the forces. Canadians know their forces are the finest in the world. They are courageous, honourable and bring pride to our country at home and abroad.

TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the west coast U.S. ports have accused the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert of receiving illegal subsidies under the WTO just because our governments in Canada have attempted to provide better roads and rail links to our ports.

Our government's right to invest in better rail and roads is fundamental to our ports and our economic progress. It is a question of our sovereignty.

What is the government doing to protect our sovereign right to make these nationally important investments in our ports?