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House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was women.

Topics

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, provincial taxation is a provincial responsibility in Canada. Recently two provincial governments decided to move to a harmonized sales tax.

With respect to mail and courier services, nothing has changed at the federal level. For mail and courier services, the sales tax has always been applied on the basis of where the consumption takes place. This has not changed. It has always been the case.

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is question period, not answer period.

Canada Revenue Agency is unable to answer the basic questions of constituents on the implications of the HST for Albertans.

Could the minister please inform the House who benefits from the HST paid by Albertans? Who pays the collection cost of this tax destined for the coffers of another province? What additional administrative burden is now imposed on Alberta businesses to collect and remit this new tax?

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

This is question period, Mr. Speaker, and here is the answer again.

Nothing has changed at the federal level. Provincial taxation is a provincial responsibility. For mail and courier services, the sales tax has always been applied on the basis of where the consumption takes place. This has not changed. It has always been the case.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

November 1st, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of experts interviewed by Le Devoir have pointed out that the seismic testing to be done on the Newfoundland portion of Old Harry, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, poses significant risks to a number of endangered species.

Will the government act on the unanimous motion of the National Assembly, calling for a halt to the current exploration?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the safe, responsible and sustainable development of Canada's natural resources. We will continue to work with the provinces and territories across the country in order to promote responsible development.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the seismic testing in Newfoundland has repercussions for hundreds, if not thousands of kilometres. What is happening in Newfoundland has an impact on Quebec.

In the name of due diligence, will the government act on the motion of the National Assembly and halt the current exploration until we have the results of the environmental assessments ordered by Quebec?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we will continue to work with the provinces and territories to promote responsible development. Quebec had indicated that it wants to enter into an offshore agreement similar to the ones that the federal government has with Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. We look forward to working with it on such an agreement.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the enabling accessibility fund for people with disabilities was meant to support projects from across the country, not just in Conservative ridings. Yet over 90% of all funding went to Conservatives. It was quite the Conservative feast.

The minister has refused to be straight with Canadians about this fund. The facts, which that Canadian has such an aversion to, point to a full and complete abuse of the fund.

Could the minister responsible ensure that the next round of funding be available to all Canadians with disabilities, not just her Conservative colleagues?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, last week I was very pleased to be able to announce the launch of the call for proposals for the mid-sized projects under our extended enabling accessibility fund. These are for projects from $500,000 to $3 million to go into communities right across the country to help make communities more accessible.

We are focusing on ensuring that rural and remote areas that do not often have access to the funding for this get extra points on the evaluation system. We support accessibility for everyone in those areas.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for people with disabilities has hijacked the accessibility fund, cancelled the PAL survey for active living and sat back quietly while the long form census, so important to disability groups, was changed.

After six years as an MP, three years as a minister and seven and a half months after we raised it in the House, why does the minister responsible for people with disabilities not have an accessible constituency office?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, no government has done more to help those with disabilities become fully included in our society than our government has. We removed barriers to participation across the country, whether in the over 300 enabling accessibility fund projects so far, or in our federal government offices in which we are investing significant dollars to make accessible. We have also launched the RDSP, the registered disability savings plan, to help families save for the future.

We have done a lot, we have a lot to do and we keep doing it. I just wish the opposition would support it for once because its record on this is pretty darn bad.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen. The will of the House, the ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada was to have Khadr brought home to face justice in Canada.

Canada has been the only country to accept the Guantanamo process and that fell far short of Canadian, U.S. and international legal and human rights standards. There is no justice in Guantanamo.

In light of the diplomatic notes that have surfaced, the obvious question is this. What else is the minister hiding and what other plans does the government have for Omar Khadr?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our friend and closest ally, the American government, agreed that Omar Khadr return to Canada. We will implement the agreement between Mr. Khadr and the U.S. government.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives, specifically the Minister of Foreign Affairs, have repeatedly said that Omar Khadr was America's problem, that no talks were under way and that this had nothing to do with them. We now find out that on October 23, the government had in fact been in talks and had in fact considered a request by the U.S. to bring Omar Khadr back to Canada. The diplomatic notes are clear.

Why did the minister deny that this was the case? Why did he mislead Canadians? Why is he hiding from the truth? He should embrace the truth. It might even set him free.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Government of Canada was not part of the plea negotiations. The chief prosecutor of the tribunal reiterated this on numerous occasions. I will not go back into this response. We are not and were not part of the plea negotiations.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, in Canada today aboriginal women are more than three times as likely to be a victim of violent crime than non-aboriginal women. Our government is concerned by this disturbing pattern of violence and the impact it has on their families and our communities. We believe all women have the right to be safe, regardless of the community in which they live.

Could the Minister for the Status of Women update the House on what the government is doing to address this issue and help protect these women?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar for her tireless efforts on this issue.

I am proud to inform the House that our government is taking several concrete actions to address the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women. We have committed $10 million to create a new centre for missing persons with the RCMP, improve law enforcement databases, boost victim services and support the creation of community and educational safety plans and create a national website for public tips.

Elizabeth Bastien of the Native Women's Association of Canada has said that this is a significant investment, one that can go a long way in addressing the challenges experienced by women and families in our communities. We will continue to keep women safe.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the environment minister says he wants to create regulations for the shale gas industry in Quebec. Yet the natural resources minister told the House his government will not get involved in shale gas mining.

Does that mean the water taking regulations the environment minister says that he is working on will be merely a public relations exercise? In other words, will they have teeth and be strong enough to halt a shale gas project that compromises surface water supplies in Quebec, or will they just be a rubber-stamping process for approving industry proposals?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we are committed to working with the provinces and territories on the safe and sustainable development of Canada's natural resources. Shale gas represents a tremendous opportunity for Quebec. It is up to the Quebec government alone to decide and to set the framework for the development of those resources. We will continue to work with the provinces and the territories.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, it has now been almost two years since the government implemented its 98% Canadian content standard for labelling products as made in Canada. Ever since, all stakeholders in the agri-food sector have been criticizing the standard, which has cost millions of dollars and significant market share for our producers and processors, who are calling for a threshold of 85%.

After two bogus consultations and promises to change the standard, will the minister give in to the arguments of the UPA, which is calling on the government to adopt labelling rules that eliminate all ambiguity regarding the origins of products, thereby allowing consumers to make informed choices?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the consultation is to ensure that consumers, the Consumers' Association of Canada and processors can all agree on the best possible wording. We also conducted another consultation, which is still under way. Of course we expect to be able to report on the results of this consultation in the very near future.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, new questions have surfaced in the tragic death of Ashley Smith. A Correctional Service report says that her repeat transfers went against doctor's orders, interfered with her treatment and escalated her self-harming behaviour. It reveals that her death may not have been a suicide at all, but a desperate cry for stimulation and release from her segregation cell.

The treatment of mentally ill offenders is still deficient and the conditions that led to Ashley's death still exist in our federal prisons. Instead of building more prison cells to warehouse the mentally ill, will the government act now to provide safe and effective treatment?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, this truly was a tragic incident and our sympathy to the family of Ashley Smith. This matter is before the courts and it would not be inappropriate for me to comment on specifics on that case.

In the government's 2008 federal budget, Correctional Service Canada did receive permanent funding of $16.6 million annually for institutional mental health services, commencing in 2009-10.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, ever since our government was elected in 2006, we have consistently stood up for victims of crime in our country. Not only did we establish an ombudsman for the victims of crime and commit record funding to services for victims, we backed it up by passing a number of bills aimed at cracking down on serious and violent crime in the country.

Could the Minister of Justice please update the House on the status of our tough on crime agenda?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, not only have we passed the truth in sentencing bill, we also have the identity theft and tackling violent crime legislation. We have a very busy agenda before the House. I am calling for a conversion by members of the opposition. I am calling for their support to help us get tough on crime in our country. I know they will not like this, but I know my colleagues on this side of the House will like this. We will be introducing more legislation, all of it to help victims and law-abiding Canadians. I know that will be supported.