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House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was security.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, illegal lobbying, nepotism, favouritism, collusion, partisan appointments and shady financing—those words mean nothing to them.

It turns out that the very consultant hired by the federal government to smooth out disagreements in the project donated money to a Conservative fundraiser. Howie Clavier says that he did nothing wrong by paying $500 to attend the fundraiser put on by a contractor. He says that he saw it as a good opportunity to network with people involved in the West Block project.

However, some are questioning whether an impartial mediator and facilitator should be mixing government business with party politics. What does the government think?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government's first order of business was to bring in the Federal Accountability Act. It eliminated good money from politics, no more union contributions and no more corporate contributions of any kind. We eliminated all individuals from donating big money to politics. That has been good for our democracy and it has been good for Canada.

Scientific and TechnologyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, federal scientists decided to create their own website in order to break the government's gag order. They are criticizing the government's attacks on scientific research integrity. They are particularly critical of the elimination of the mandatory long form census and cuts in the field of climate science.

Are scientists justified in criticizing the Conservatives' preference for basing decisions on their own ideology instead of on scientific facts?

Scientific and TechnologyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, not at all. In fact, we have no new measures to prevent scientists and other public officials from expressing their opinions. We will maintain our policy that the minister who is responsible for a file will respond, but scientists can also discuss things according to the government's policy, and there are no restrictions on that. We will not be changing the existing policy.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, for four years, Canada tried to water down the Cartagena protocol on biosafety, then refused to ratify it. On Saturday, in Nagoya, a new protocol became a definitive treaty. This new protocol provides rules and procedures governing GMO producers' liability and redress for damage to ecosystems.

Does Canada plan to sign and ratify the new protocol or will it remain completely uncompromising as it did with the Cartagena protocol?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member well knows the importance of the environment and biodiversity and protecting the environment to this government. Canada was instrumental in drafting the United Nations convention on biological diversity. We were the first industrialized country to ratify the convention and we hosted the international secretary in Montreal.

We have a strong record that we are proud of on the environment.

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, more than 640 days after the Conservatives promised action on pension reform, Canadians are still waiting.

Canadian pensioners are watching as the Conservative government spends billions of dollars on untendered jets, bigger prisons and unaffordable corporate tax cuts, and then drags its feet when it comes to tackling pension reform.

More than 75% of Canadians working in the private sector are without pensions and they deserve better.

Why has the government promised so much and delivered so little?

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the members opposite should pay more attention.

We did large consultations across the country. We went ahead with pension reform with respect to funding pensions over time, very important for certain Canadian companies and unions represented in those companies to ensure that there was some smoothing with respect to pension reform. We already did that. We already did the legislation. We already did the regulations.

Now, moving on to the next part, pensions for people in Canada. We are working together with the provinces doing the research and showing the kind of co-operative federalism that works in this country.

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, here is something that the minister can do right now.

Last Thursday, the Conservative-dominated Senate abandoned pensioners and the disabled by shelving Bill S-216. Instead of agreeing to fast-track the bill, the Conservatives eliminated any chance of getting it through Parliament before Christmas and, as such, smashed the hopes of hundreds of disabled Nortel workers who will lose their benefits by the end of this year.

Will the Prime Minister tell his Conservative senators to pass Bill S-216 immediately to help these desperate people?

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this is a complex issue that is of concern to our government and we are carefully studying the issue. We realize that there are several bills, both in this place and the other, that relate to long-term disability. As with all pieces of legislation, we will carefully review these proposed bills and we encourage members from all parties to bring forward any ideas they may have.

RCMPOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, this summer, senior RCMP officials spoke up about serious management problems on the force.

Today we learned that these brave whistleblowers are being forced out. One deputy commissioner was asked to leave, another pushed into retirement and the third targeted officer says that those who spoke out have become “sacrificial lambs”.

Commissioner Elliott was supposed to reform an organization badly in need of change. Instead, he has become part of the problem.

Why does the government not stand up for courageous RCMP officers who are simply trying to improve our force?

RCMPOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Reid Morden was hired under a contract by Public Safety Canada to conduct a workplace assessment of senior management at the RCMP. Further, he reports directly to the deputy minister of public safety. I do not think it is appropriate for a minister to become involved in this type of internal management of the RCMP. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on the matter.

RCMPOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want this government to get involved in the RCMP and make sure it is a good organization that works for them.

Every time someone disagrees with this government, the person is muzzled or fired. Instead of improving RCMP oversight, it terminated the complaints commissioner for speaking out. It let the victims' advocate go, failed to renew the veterans ombudsman, and left a trail of revenge for anyone who speaks up. Now it stands idly by while its own hand-picked commissioner forces out his critics.

Will the Conservative government admit that its commissioner has gone too far and will it uphold fairness for officers in the RCMP?

RCMPOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, what Canadians want is that member and his party to support our initiatives in respect of cracking down on crime. The protection of Canadians must come first. Unfortunately, that member and his party are one of the biggest impediments to safety on the streets for Canadians today.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

October 19th, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the opposition members continue to play their partisan games, our government continues to deliver on Canada's economic action plan which is creating jobs right across this great country. While the recovery is still fragile, we are seeing signs of life.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry please update the House on the great news that was just announced in Oshawa today?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for the great question as well as his hard work, and the hard work of the member for Oshawa as well.

In fact there was great news yesterday when we learned that over 600 laid-off workers are headed back to the GM assembly plant in Oshawa.

Our government's priority of keeping taxes low while seeing the economic stimulus through is clearly having an effect, so while the opposition continues to advocate for job-killing taxes, we will continue to create an economic environment that will create new jobs, just like the 600 in Oshawa.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian students, volunteers and workers who require criminal background checks by the RCMP are facing delays of more than four months before receiving the security clearance they need. In North Bay, for instance, the entire taxi industry risks shutting down completely when drivers will be required to renew their badges next February.

Why is the government not doing more to expedite the process and ensure that honest law-abiding citizens are able to pursue their goals and contribute to society?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the safety of Canadians and those who receive service from individuals is in fact our primary concern. We understand there are some delays in the way these issues are being dealt with, but what I must stress is that the various agencies that are responsible for that in fact are ensuring that Canadians remain safe in terms of these inquiries.

HousingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a desperate need for social and affordable housing, and the Bloc Québécois introduced a bill that would give CMHC's surplus to Quebec and the provinces. These billions of dollars could be used for social housing.

Will the government support this bill, which would be a major contribution to the fight against poverty?

HousingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we made significant investments in affordable housing for all Canadians through our economic action plan. As a result, 9,000 projects have been started and many of these have been completed. Nine thousand families benefited from this initiative, which the Bloc voted against.

Workplace SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, one year ago today, Mr. Peter Kennedy was killed when a Parliament Hill boiler exploded. It is my understanding that later today, charges will be laid against Mr. Kennedy's employer, the federal government, citing its failure to protect the health and safety of its workers.

In the year since Mr. Kennedy's death, what concrete actions has the government taken to protect its workers?

It is imperative that Peter Kennedy did not die in vain. When will the government finally take a leadership role in setting the national standard for making workplaces safe?

Workplace SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I too would like to acknowledge and extend my sympathy not only to the family of Mr. Kennedy, but to all Canadian families and friends who have lost loved ones on the job, especially since no words can take away the sorrow that they feel.

It is true that my officials have conducted a thorough investigation of the matter to which the member referred, and charges have been laid against Public Works and Government Services Canada for health and safety violations under the Canada Labour Code. That is because we are committed to safe and healthy workplaces. We will continue our efforts to ensure that is the case.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, today at the human resources committee we heard from witnesses on the eliminating entitlements for prisoners bill. Sharon Rosenfeldt from Victims of Violence, whose own son was murdered by Clifford Olson, and Kevin Gaudet from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation urged all parties to pass this bill quickly.

Could the minister tell the House what she is hearing from Canadians across this country about our Conservative government's plans to take old age security benefits away from prisoners?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the response from Canadians in support of our Bill C-31 has been overwhelmingly positive. Canadians agree with our government. They really believe that it would be grossly unfair for taxpayers to continue to fund pensions for convicted criminals when those criminals are already being provided room and board by taxpayers.

Canadians want this bill passed. I urge the opposition to pass it quickly because it is the right, fair and reasonable thing to do.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, nursing students, prospective teachers, hockey coaches and thousands of other law-abiding Canadians are all being adversely affected by the delay in receiving the results of their criminal background checks. The minister was made aware of this months ago. He says he is aware, but he has done nothing to ensure an efficient security clearance process.

Why is the minister putting so many Canadians and Canadian companies at risk?