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 #98 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives spent $33 million more on advertising last year than the entire Canadian beer industry combined spent. That is over $130 million on billboards and TV ads during a recession. Is the government under the influence?

While Canadian families were tightening their belts, this government was spending “like it was Christmas”. The Conservatives' advertising budget last year was so big that the same amount of money could have helped 100,000 Canadian caregivers.

How is it that the Conservatives can so easily waste taxpayers' money?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the Liberals' fascination is with raising the bar related to the beer industry. These are private sector decisions. I know it is of some concern. There are ways where they can find out about the availability of those products and where they are sold. I do not know why they are upset about that expenditure.

However, we are concerned about Canadians being informed about issues that are of great importance to them. We do not apologize for that. We are actually quite pleased with the way we have put a freeze for the next three years on government operational spending, including on ministerial offices, an $11 million reduction this year.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is no secret that the government and the Minister of the Environment have no interest in fighting climate change. In the past, the minister has shown that he would rather torpedo the work of conferences on climate change than work constructively to ensure their success.

In light of the Conservatives' obvious lack of interest in environmental issues, can the Prime Minister guarantee that the Minister of the Environment will attend the 16th Conference of the Parties, which will be held in Cancun?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, at COP 16, Canada seeks an outcome that includes commitments from all the major emitters and reflects the balance achieved with the Copenhagen accord.

Copenhagen has the support of 139 signatory countries representing 85% of greenhouse gas emissions. Canada is on the right track.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the parliamentary secretary understood my question, and the Prime Minister was not listening either. Today the question is clear. What we want to know is whether the Minister of the Environment will fulfill his international responsibilities and go directly to Cancun for the next conference on climate change. Yes or no?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the government has been very clear. Canada's desired outcome in Cancun is to build upon the success of the Copenhagen accord. It is the only accord that includes all the major emitters. Canada will continue to work toward outcomes that include funding, deforestation, adaptation, technology, mitigation commitments from all the major emitters. measured reporting and verification. We are getting it done.

Securities IndustryOral Questions

November 17th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week, in response to a question I asked him, the Minister of Finance said that the Government of Canada had conducted discussions with the China Insurance Regulatory Commission to allow Chinese insurance companies to invest in Canadian products. What is important is not who held talks and discussions during the summer, but who negotiated the agreement and signed it on November 10. Who signed this agreement?

Securities IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, discussions took place when I visited with the regulatory commission in June of this year, in Beijing. In fact, those discussions also took place when I was there previously, in 2007, and the agreements were signed with the appropriate regulatory authorities in Canada.

Securities IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, now the cat is out of the bag. The minister is finally acknowledging that it is the regulatory authorities in Quebec and the other provinces that have jurisdiction in this area. They are the ones who signed the agreement on November 10. There were no federal officials involved, because this does not come under federal jurisdiction.

When will the federal government understand that it has no business getting involved in this, that it should butt out and that it should not impose its will to favour Toronto? Get out of that.

Securities IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have always said, participation in this initiative is voluntary for Quebec and the other provinces.

The Supreme Court of Canada will deal with the jurisdictional issue in April of next year and then we will have confirmation with respect to the legislative authority of Parliament on this subject.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are just days away from the international climate change negotiations in Cancun and under the current government, Canada has no position, no action, and no plan. For five years, the Prime Minister's long series of ministers have posed and postured and have done nothing. Every week that goes by, the government is creating a steeper hill for Canadians to climb in the future, which will make it tougher for Canadians and tougher for Canadian business.

Would the Prime Minister or his part-time minister care to tell us today when they plan to stand up for Canadians' interests on climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is this government that always stands up for a cleaner environment and is cleaning up the mess left by the previous Liberal government.

Our government supports the new global climate change regime, based on the Copenhagen accord, that recognizes the importance of greening the economy for tomorrow and protecting jobs today. We are getting it done.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, in that answer, which I assume was given to him by the minister, we are reminded that Canada not only has a part-time environment minister but a retreaded failed minister, clearly one instance where recycling should have been avoided.

In Japan last month, on biodiversity, and in Copenhagen on climate change, the government has stocked the trophy case with fossil and dodo booby prizes for its poor international performance.

Canadians are looking for leadership, while the Prime Minister is surrendering to the U.S. Congress to look after our interests on climate change.

When will the government admit that it has failed Canadians on one of the biggest challenges our country faces?

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 is distorting the facts. The facts are that, under the previous Liberal government, emissions went up. Under this government, emissions are already going down.

Regarding biodiversity, we are very pleased with the outcome in Nagoya. It is very unfortunate that the member did not attend the meetings that he was supposed to attend.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, why is it so difficult to get the government to protect the environment, especially where the oil industry is concerned?

It took a two-year Liberal-initiated study to get the government to admit that it has a water problem in the oil sands; it took complaints by aboriginal leaders to get the government to dispatch officials to look at the mess at the Horizon tailings pond; and the government still has not set emission targets for the oil industry.

Why is it taking so long for the government to name a real, full-time environment minister?

Then again, at least a part-time minister can only do half the damage.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to making sure that the oil sands are developed in the most environmentally sensitive and responsible way. That is why we created a panel of leading scientists from Canada on water monitoring, chaired by Dr. Elizabeth Dowdeswell. That panel will report whether what we are doing is world class, and if it is not, it will be improved.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, speaking of water, when will the government protect the Athabasca River and the first nations that depend on those waters? When will it set a minimum water level below which any water removal by the oil sands industry would be prohibited?

The federal government has jurisdiction over this, but it does not have the will to take action. Why not?

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 is well aware of the panel of leading scientists. I just answered that question.

The member may not be aware that we have new technologies for chemical fingerprinting. We are going to find out where the toxins are coming from, whether they are naturally occurring or whether they are coming from the oil sands.

This government is committed to making sure that the oil sands are developed in the most environmentally sensitive way.

Member for Marc-Aurèle-FortinOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Bloc member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin was Quebec's justice minister, he used his own Law 86 to force police to report illegal activities. Apparently this principle did not apply to him for 17 years. His irresponsible and reckless behaviour clearly makes him unfit to carry out his duties as justice critic.

Now that the Bloc leader has returned from his European vacation on a salary paid by Canadian taxpayers, will he force the member to resign immediately, and can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue tell us what our government is doing to fight corruption?

Member for Marc-Aurèle-FortinOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The question is unacceptable. This does not concern the government's roles or responsibilities.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister came to office campaigning on accountability and promising to bring decisions on military engagements to Parliament for a vote. Time and again, the Prime Minister has assured this House and Canadians that our soldiers would be out of Afghanistan in 2011. These promises and principles are now out the window.

Why is this government breaking its promise to bring our soldiers home in 2011? Why is it breaking its promise to put such important matters to a vote?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I think the Prime Minister has been clear. Obviously this is an issue of great importance to Canada and to the international community.

We have contributed mightily over the last number of years in Afghanistan. Now we will move to a new phase that involves training. We will continue with the reconstruction and development. We will continue to invest in all the good programs there, such as immunizing children, educating children, democracy building and infrastructure.

The reality is that this is now a non-combat role, thus not requiring the same type of resolution that we saw in the previous Parliament.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, among all the broken promises this week, the most devastating for Afghans was the Conservatives' cutting of development commitments to the people of Kandahar. We promised to build 50 schools, but only 19 have been built. We promised to train 3,000 teachers, but we have not even reached half that target. We committed to be partners in Afghan reconciliation, but the government has no progress to show there.

Can the Conservatives explain why they broke their word to the people of Canada, and most importantly, why they broke their word to the people of Afghanistan?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, we are keeping our promise to the Afghan people, particularly to the children and youth of Afghanistan. In fact, we have now completed 26 schools and the remaining schools are currently under construction. Seven million children will receive polio vaccinations. Where there were no schools for girls before, there are now and two million girls are attending. There have been 158 teachers trained, with better curriculums that Canada is supporting to improve.

Families of Victims of CrimeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government lacks all credibility when it comes to supporting the families of victims of crime. At the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, the Conservative members were the only ones who voted against Bill C-343, which provides financial support to victims' loved ones. The AFPAD, the murdered or missing persons' families' association of Quebec, has been calling for this kind of financial assistance.

Will the minister have the courage to tell us why her government opposed the Bloc Québécois bill meant to help the families of victims of crime?