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House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was help.

Topics

Nuclear WasteOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is talking about the Nuclear Waste Management Organization which is responsible for implementing a safe, secure plan for managing nuclear fuel over the long term. This organization is having a very broad based consultation with Canadian communities all across Canada informing them of this process and indeed receiving their feedback.

Like every other province, Quebec is included in this consultation and I urge people to take part in it.

Nuclear WasteOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources, who represents an Ontario riding, needs to understand that Quebec has no intention of becoming her province's nuclear trash can. The Quebec nation is prepared to take responsibility for its own energy choices.

Why does she want to send Ontario's nuclear waste to Quebec?

Nuclear WasteOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, this is very much a broad based public consultation. Only those communities that are willing to have the nuclear waste in their communities will be the ones that will be considered. It is very fulsome and very inclusive. If they do not want to participate, we will have the people of Quebec tells us that, not the Bloc.

YouthOral Questions

September 28th, 2009 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, under these Conservatives, our young people are once again being ignored. Even though young people make up more than 37% of the population, only 0.04% of the economic action plan funds are being invested in youth programs. Moreover, you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times our youth are mentioned in today's economic report.

If the Conservatives are not concerned about our young people, how can they claim to be concerned about the future of our country?

YouthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, this government is making very important investments in young Canadians across the country. In my department alone, we are investing well over $100 million in youth programs across the country that will see young Canadians involved in this country.

I can tell the House, as a young member of Parliament and as a young minister, that all Canadians, young and old, benefit when this economy turns around and starts moving in the right direction with lower taxes and better opportunities. That will only happen with a Conservative government.

YouthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite wants to talk about programs, let us talk about what little the Conservatives did when we did an analysis of all youth skills linked program announcements from January to August and found that 75% of the announcements landed in Conservative held ridings.

How can we trust a government that actively works to divide along partisan lines rather than allowing all young Canadians to contribute to building this great country?

YouthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is this government that put unprecedented infrastructure spending in every corner of this country, regardless of how a province or a riding votes.

This government is committed to the equal distribution of infrastructure spending and any proper and fair examination would show that. We are making substantial investments, such as the one the Prime Minister made last week in northwestern British Columbia of $137 million to support clean electricity, or the investments we are making right here in the city of Ottawa at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University so young people can have better access to a good education which will help them get the jobs they need to succeed in the future.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, last spring, the NDP asked that self-employed workers be covered by the employment insurance system.

We tabled a motion in this House that was supported by the majority of members.

The government reiterated on a number of occasions that access to employment insurance by the self-employed was a priority. It was an election promise.

When will the government keep its promise? When will it put forward a plan to extend employment insurance benefits to self-employed workers?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it is true that we made this promise during last year's election campaign and that is why, in the meantime, we have continued to help those hard hit by this economic crisis.

We made this promise and we are going to deliver the goods.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, workers at the U.S. Steel plant in Nanticoke are currently in a labour dispute, but at the same plant there were layoffs before that dispute was ever started.

ROEs clearly show that these layoffs predate the dispute and yet EI claims are being held up for an average of six to eight weeks. This cannot be news to the Minister of Human Resources. The Nanticoke plant is in her own riding and it is her constituents who are losing their homes.

Will the minister direct her officials to process such claims immediately, and not just for workers in her own riding but for workers right across this country?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I am very aware of the hardships that are being faced by the steelworkers who are employed by U.S. Steel. I meet with them regularly and I truly am listening to their needs and what they need.

That being said, I do have an obligation to respect the law. The Employment Insurance Act is designed and is legislated to be neutral in the case of a labour dispute, whether that dispute be a lockout or a strike.

As members are aware, each EI case is evaluated on its own unique merits and I know that my department and my officials are working to resolve those cases and resolve them as quickly as possible.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Liberal leader and the Liberal member for Parkdale—High Park had the audacity to launch a major, unwarranted attack on the hard work of the small towns and big cities across our country, including my hometown of Burlington. This was downright shameful.

Could the transport minister please tell the House how our government has been working at record pace with municipal and provincial governments across Canada to create jobs and provide economic stimulus to help fight this recession?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in no unequivocal terms, I agree with the member for Burlington. I, too, was shocked and surprised that the leader of the Liberal Party would attack the provincial government in Ontario and attack the good city of Burlington and its mayor, Cam Jackson, for not moving quickly enough on infrastructure spending

Right across the province and in every corner of the country, infrastructure projects are under way. Tenders are being issued. Contracts are being signed. Steel, concrete and construction equipment are being ordered. We are seeing shovels in the ground. We are getting the job done.

I want to quote one Liberal MPP from Ontario who said, “I'm telling you, I get a lot more [money] from my Conservative seatmate than I ever got from the Liberal MP who--”.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, speaking of contracts, this year the job of resupplying fuel to Canada's Arctic sovereignty patrol vessels went to, get this, Europe.

Conservatives think that it is fair that European firms can operate in our north without having to use Canadian ships, without having to pay Canadian duties, without having to use Canadian crews or to pay Canadian wages. The rules for Canadian companies, however, are the exact opposite. Effectively, a multi-million dollar subsidy continues to go to European firms to out-compete and replace Canadian companies on Arctic supply.

Will this be fixed by requiring that Canadian government contracts use Canadian registered vessels?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the contract was awarded according to the tender process and all the rules in place were followed.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government refuses to speed up the adoption of the Bloc's bill to abolish parole after only one-sixth of the sentence has been served. This bill has received the support of the Liberals and the New Democrats. While the Conservatives are dragging their feet, Vincent Lacroix has pleaded guilty to multiple charges of fraud after embezzling millions of dollars from investors.

Does this government realize that its refusal to act quickly means that Vincent Lacroix could be released after serving one-sixth of his sentence?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are certainly pleased to take action. I wish we could get some action out of the Bloc Québécois. We could not even get the Bloc to support mandatory jail terms for people trafficking in children. This is absolutely despicable. I said this to the Bloc before. Bloc members should stand up for all victims because that is the right thing to do in this country.

Airport SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, CBC's the fifth estate reported that the government was walking away from aviation safety and security. When I raised this issue before, the minister told the House that this “is an important public role for the government...and we take it very seriously”.

Previously, the Minister of State for Transport told the House that I should apologize for questioning the government's commitment to safety.

The government should apologize. Its deregulation ideology puts profits before safety and security. Why is the minister putting Canadians' safety at risk?

Airport SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am supported by a great team of senior officials at the Department of Transport and a lot of folks who work on the ground. I have no hesitation in saying that we need to do a much better job at listening to their concerns as we move forward with changes.

What we are doing is increasing employee screening, which is important. A lot of good work has been done in the Senate by Senator Kenny and others. We are improving background checks for employees, launching an air cargo screening pilot program and launching efforts to further restrict access to the tarmac and those crucial areas that surround airports.

Allegations that our safety and security is being breached are being treated very seriously and we are working hard to improve the situation.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party has been opposed to the long gun registry since the Liberals introduced it over a decade ago. This morning I debated my private member's bill which would end the long gun registry and I look forward to opposition members voting their constituents' wishes and not being whipped on this important issue.

My question is for the Minister of Public Safety. It was with great shock that we learned that the Canadian Firearms Centre shared important information about law-abiding gun owners with a polling firm. This is a serious breach of privacy and security. Did the minister approve of this highly inappropriate polling?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

3 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her outstanding work on behalf of farmers and outdoors enthusiasts and their lawful rights.

I am very much surprised that this survey took place. I can tell the House that it was undertaken without my authority and without any consultation with me. The high cost of it at $80,000 is staggeringly poor judgment at an economic time like this.

We have been hearing from firearms owners for years that they feared their privacy would be put at risk and their privacy rights would be deprived if we had a registry like this. What they saw with this survey was exactly those fears coming true. We do not approve of that. That is wrong.

FisheriesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, the season for the Fraser River sockeye is now long gone and so are the very fish that are the lifeblood of aboriginal communities to commercial fishermen and to sport outfitters and recreational enthusiasts alike for this resource. The government has said nothing about its disappearance. It has announced no plan to investigate, no plan to mitigate and no plan to compensate. It has done only one thing, however. It has cut the very science that is essential to understanding this dilemma and this loss of such a precious resource.

Is it true that the government's Fraser River sockeye plan for next year is to simply wait and see if these fish will come back?

FisheriesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, for the information of the House, science has not been cut at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. As a matter of fact, it has been increased.

I have been to British Columbia a number of times and have taken the time to speak to many people. I have probably met with 30 groups or more on the salmon issue in British Columbia. I have listened to their opinions and suggestions. We will take all those opinions and suggestions into consideration as we consider the best options for action.

I hope to announce the direction soon, but I think it is better to make the right decision as opposed to a hasty decision.

Comments by Member for WascanaPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order regarding an incident that happened on Friday, September 18, shortly before adjournment.

On that date the member for Wascana rose to make a statement in the House, at which time he apologized for some unparliamentary remarks he made earlier this year.

You will recall that incident, Mr. Speaker. On June 10 of this year during question period, the member for Wascana, in a question directed to the Minister of Natural Resources said, referring to the minister:

--the minister cannot give the numbers and clearly she cannot tell the truth either.

Following question period on that day, I rose on a point of order, Mr. Speaker, and asked you to make a ruling on whether the remarks made by the member for Wascana were unparliamentary. The member for Wascana responded, defending his words, and said that he did not believe any such words were unparliamentary.

However, to the benefit of the member for Wascana, the Friday before we adjourned for a week, late in the day I must add, the member for Wascana stood to apologize. The point is that we need to clarify something, because the statement and the apology made by the member for Wascana were extremely evasive. Again, these are the words from Hansard that are attributed to the member for Wascana:

--I am happy to withdraw any specific word on that occasion--

This is referring to the June 10 question.

--that turns out to be unparliamentary.

The member did not clarify what remarks he made that might have been unparliamentary. In fact the member for Wascana, earlier in his apology, said he still did not believe he said anything that was untoward or unparliamentary.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I would ask you to make your ruling, which you have not done yet, to give direction to the House as to whether the words by the member for Wascana were unparliamentary. Since the minister to whom those unparliamentary remarks were intended is in the House today, I wonder whether the member for Wascana would rise again and apologize so she can actually hear the apology.

Comments by Member for WascanaPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Certainly I will examine the matter and come to the House as necessary.