This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was restitution.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the registry of lobbyists, it appears that access to the Prime Minister is not equal for everyone. While the Prime Minister's door is always wide open for lobbyists for the oil patch, environmental groups have very limited access to the Prime Minister.

How can the Prime Minister claim to care about the environment when he only listens to the views of big oil?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our government's number one priority, for the past year and a half, has been the economy, so it should not come as any surprise that the Prime Minister meets with people whose fundamental priority is the economy.

The Prime Minister has also demonstrated that the environment is tremendously important. That is why he attended Copenhagen, and that is why he has appointed one of his most capable ministers as Minister of the Environment.

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is putting himself in an awkward position by allowing his new chief of staff to retain his ties to Onex, especially since Onex is refusing to divulge the conditions for loaning this employee. Given that Onex has its fingers in many projects involving the federal government, it is troubling that the most powerful unelected official in Ottawa may still be under its control.

Does the Prime Minister acknowledge that his chief of staff must break all ties to his former employer?

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Wright has sought counsel and advice from the independent Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. He is following all the rules that are in place and following all her counsel. I am pleased to report to the House that he will continue to do so.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, as part of the southern Ontario development program, the minister gave a company in his own riding $5.2 million and stated, “This investment will create jobs”. Well, it did not.

In fact, that same company took that $5.2 million and later fired 81 of its employees, nearly all in Canada, using $3 million of it for severance payments.

Can the minister tell us when he became aware of these job cuts, and how many other jobs have been lost at firms that received FedDev funding?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to report that FedDev Ontario has been created for years. Not just the government of Ontario but the people of Ontario want economic development initiatives for southern Ontario.

This government has provided some $200 million a year for the next five years to support job creation and economic growth. We are very pleased with the work that has been done initially in the early years of this initiative, and I would be very pleased to take the inquiry and the specific question back to the minister upon his return.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, U.S. Steel indefinitely closed its Stelco facility in Hamilton, thereby breaking its commitment to the government.

Neither the Prime Minister nor the industry minister is suffering because the government entered into this shoddy agreement. We can be sure that the people of Hamilton who lost their jobs are suffering.

Lawsuits to restore these jobs have failed, and the symptoms of weak-worded contracts the government is prone to entering into are glaring.

Why is the government so impotent in ensuring that promises are kept and that jobs are protected in southwestern Ontario?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Of course, Mr. Speaker, we are disappointed to learn that U.S. Steel will idle its blast furnace in Hamilton, but we are encouraged by the company's statement that it will not lay off staff as a result. We will continue to closely monitor this situation.

With regard to the ongoing litigation between the Government of Canada and U.S. Steel, of course, I cannot make further comment.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend the Minister of National Defence revoked an invitation to a moderate imam to speak at defence headquarters at an Islamic history month event. The minister went over the heads of his own officials to arbitrarily cancel this speech at the last minute.

Dr. Delic is known as a bridge builder who promotes peaceful dialogue between different faiths. Canadians from all backgrounds benefit from such open dialogue.

Will the minister reinstate the invitation as a show of good faith?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the member in the House that this internal event that took place this morning at national defence headquarters was to celebrate Islamic heritage month and to recognize the positive contributions that come from Muslims within the Canadian Forces and within the entire defence community.

The organization in question has been associated with comments in the past that, in fact, do not reflect the positive roles and significant accomplishments of the Muslim Canadians in the Canadian Forces.

This event was to focus on inclusiveness, diversity, bringing Canadians together and noting Canada's contributions to the world. I am pleased that this event provided an accurate and informative portrayal of what Muslims do for our country.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, while Dr. Delic had no part in the previous remarks, we do not want this kind of divisive, disrespectful religious debate in Canada as is going on in the U.S.

There are no winners when one faith is pitted against another. The original comments of course were unacceptable but the person apologized and retracted them. Dr. Delic had absolutely nothing to do with these comments. Foreign Affairs has had no trouble working with him and seeing him as a moderate.

The minister just does not seem to know what he is talking about on this file. Will he come to his senses and reinstate the invitation?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, maybe the hon. member did not hear my response to his question.

I have already indicated that this internal defence event took place this morning with the focus on inclusiveness, with the focus on ensuring that we were having a debate that was about the contributions made by the Muslim community. This was a very good news event, an initiative taken by the Department of National Defence.

Let me refer the hon. member to what the Muslim Canadian Congress said on October 2. It said it “strongly welcomed the decision” of the minister.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week, Conservative and Liberal members of Parliament dealt U.S. military deserters a crushing blow. No longer can American deserters look forward to automatic permanent resident status. Instead, if they are here illegally there will eventually be a cold, hard knock on their door by agents of the Canada Border Services Agency telling them that their time in Canada is up and that their deportation is imminent.

Could the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism explain why this is an unmitigated victory for the rule of law?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the leader of the Liberal Party for his assistance in ensuring the defeat of the irresponsible Bill C-440. We reject the ridiculous notion implicit in that bill that President Barack Obama is persecuting deserters from voluntary military service in the U.S. armed forces.

We further reject the basic inequity proposed in the bill that we would impose very severe penal sanctions on deserters from voluntary service to the Canadian Forces while welcoming as heroes deserters from voluntary service in foreign militaries. We believe that would send entirely the wrong message in terms of morale to our men and women in uniform.

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the Union of B.C. Municipalities passed, by an overwhelming majority, two resolutions: one, that the federal government legislate a ban on oil tanker traffic along B.C.'s north Pacific waters; and two, full opposition to tar sands oil being carried in pipelines across B.C. to the coast.

Will the Conservative government listen to these 154 B.C. municipalities for a change or will it just impose its own agenda, as usual?

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, my colleague knows that a joint panel is examining a study of the pipelines she mentioned. We will wait for the conclusions of this panel. A voluntary tanker exclusion zone does exist and will remain unchanged.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of Canada's former ambassadors to the United Nations Security Council has revealed that the Prime Minister tried to muzzle Canadian diplomats by asking them to refrain from participating in UN negotiations on human rights, and to avoid using terms such as “equality between men and women” and “international humanitarian law”, which are values that are largely shared and defended by the people of Quebec.

Does the Prime Minister realize that these revelations will only worsen Canada's already fragile candidacy for the Security Council?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to point out that Canada's candidacy for a seat on the Security Council is based in large part on its reputation and on the work it does abroad, including development, its role in Afghanistan with other forces, and the number of other councils it sits on at the United Nations. This all makes Canada highly qualified for a seat on the Security Council.

I am extremely disappointed that the Bloc and the Liberal leader—

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Churchill.

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

October 4th, 2010 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the national student debt increases by almost $1 million every day. The federal government has Canadian students and their families on the hook for close to $15 billion.

According to the Canadian Federation of Students, when students have a higher load of debt, they are less likely to complete their degrees or their diplomas and, if they do graduate, they are slower to raise a family or buy a house. This is no way to stimulate our economy.

Will the government work with us to ensure that education is affordable for all Canadians?

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I have to wonder where the member's concern for students was when her party voted against the Canada student grants program that is benefiting 146,000 students more than under the previous Liberal government. Where was the NDP's concern when it was voting against making scholarships and bursaries for students tax free?

Where was the NDP when we were trying to give a textbook tax credit to students. Where was it when we were setting up the graduate scholarship fund?

It was voting against all of our initiatives that help support students.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we have learned that senior bureaucrats at Veterans Affairs are more worried about defending their programs than they are about defending veterans. In documents made public by veteran, Sean Bruyea, a senior bureaucrat, wrote that it was “time to take the gloves off.

Could the Minister of Veterans Affairs tell the House what he is doing to correct this terrible situation?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I am very concerned about the information that has been brought to light. Our veterans deserve our respect and gratitude, and I have asked the deputy minister to verify this information, to investigate the issue, and to crack down if necessary.

I remind members that the public servants in the Department of Veterans Affairs are there to defend veterans, and to ensure that they receive the benefits they are entitled to, within a reasonable period of time.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs has asked the government to halt the process and consult with them but, of course, it does not listen. Does the minister not know that 56,000 jobs on B.C.'s north coast depend on the seafood and tourism industries?

The Conservative MPs for that region could have told the government but since they did not, here is what the UBCM has to say:

...[this] critical marine habitat...sustain the social, cultural, environmental and economic health of coastal communities....

How can the minister play fast and loose with the livelihoods of those B.C. communities?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, we are always concerned about fish and fish habitat and our number one priority is to protect the habitat so we can conserve the fishery for the future.