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House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's aerospace industry is shocked by the Liberal leader's vow to kill the F-35 program, which would create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in benefits. It would also give our troops the best equipment available. The Liberal leader introduced a motion to officially kill jobs and deny our troops the equipment they need.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence tell the House what the aerospace industry said about the Liberal motion?

National DefenceOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to getting the best equipment for our men and women in uniform. We are also committed to giving the best opportunity to Canadian industry.

Let me tell the House what Claude Lajeunesse of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada said:

Cancellation and delay of this purchase will not only mean lost jobs and investment related to the 65 planes, but also billions of dollars and thousands of Canadian jobs lost relating to thousands of planes to be built as part of the broader program.

Let me also quote what the member for Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor said yesterday. When asked whether the member was willing to put Canadian jobs, aerospace and our military at risk by supporting cancelling this F-35 purchase, he said “no”.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the people of Toronto were cleaning up the broken glass from the G20, a picture was emerging of the massive slush fund that had been set up for Muskoka. Fifty million dollars in taxpayer money were funnelled into the Tory minister's riding under the pretext of the G8 for inconveniences. Some inconvenience. It is a staggering list of vanity pork-barrel projects that had nothing to do with the summit. Meanwhile, Toronto was left out in the cold.

How can the government defend its gross misuse of taxpayer dollars?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as part of Canada's economic action plan, investments were made in the region of Muskoka to support the summit, to spruce it up for the huge number of international visitors and media not just at the summit site, but even hundreds of kilometres away. Some investments were also made to municipal infrastructure to compensate the community for the inconvenience.

That is something which has happened in past summits. It is certainly not unusual.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, Toronto took the hit with this Tory photo op. Businesses were trashed. The city was shut down. Shopkeepers are still waiting for compensation. Meanwhile the government was investing in defending a Conservative cabinet minister by sending $50 million into his riding.

The question is simple. Why did the government leave a Tory riding littered with hundreds dollar bills, while the streets of Toronto were littered with broken glass?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from the Department of Foreign Affairs has already spoken to the compensation plans that are available, and the deadline was just yesterday. They will be processed as expeditiously as possible.

This government has made unprecedented investments in the city of Toronto, whether it is in public transit, or in arts and culture or in municipal infrastructure. No government has done more to support Toronto's infrastructure in five short years than this government has done.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian government's foreign affairs policy on the continent of Africa is becoming more and more obvious: it is giving up and could not care less about it. After removing seven African countries from the priority list for development assistance, the government is now preparing to shut down other embassies in Africa.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirm that no Canadian embassies in Africa will be shut down?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Yes I can, Mr. Speaker. Every year the Government of Canada property holdings reviews our embassies abroad. An ongoing program is in place to review property and decisions are made based on value principles applied in these decisions.

As part of the ongoing review, 12 to 15 properties every year are sold on average in any given year. The normal practice is to replace them with a more appropriate property.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Official Languages wants to meet with officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs to get to the bottom of the lack of French-language services at Canadian embassies abroad. The committee clerk has tried several times to speak to an appropriate official at the department, but he still has yet to hear back from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Can the minister explain his department's silence, or is he the one trying to avoid something that cannot be justified?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade regularly reviews our bilingualism policy as it is applied in missions abroad. Bilingualism is an important component in Canada's international relations and we place great efforts to promote linguistic duality.

While I am disappointed by the department's overall grade in this past year and by complaints as cited by my colleague, the official language investigators have noted very high levels of service availability—

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Davenport.

HaitiOral Questions

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, for months Haitians have been dealing with a serious outbreak of cholera. This epidemic has killed over 1,000 people and 10 months after the earthquake, up to one million people still live in tents and lack clean water, the source of the cholera outbreak.

Why is the government not showing leadership in this crisis? Why are we not hearing anything from the government on this issue? When will the government report to Parliament and give us an update on this crisis?

HaitiOral Questions

12:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, we are very concerned. The latest report indicates that 1,100 lives have been lost and 18,000 people have been hospitalized.

In fact, it is my pleasure to inform my colleague that today we are adding $4 million to combat this cholera outbreak. We are working with organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization and UNICEF. We will be providing more prevention campaigns, more medical supplies and clean water.

HaitiOral Questions

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Haiti deserves better.

Those are empty, hollow words. They are committing to commit. Announcing an announcement. But an announcement, even if it is repeated 1,000 times, does not make medications, doctors or potable water appear. An announcement does not save lives.

The Conservatives promised millions of dollars after the earthquake and only a small portion of that has been sent. They reached out and then pulled back. Are they going to do the same thing once again?

HaitiOral Questions

12:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, again I announce that Canada has committed $5 million to fight the outbreak of cholera. This money is being disbursed. In fact, millions of litres of water are being provided. We have organizations on the ground.

As members know, this is a growing outbreak and we will continue to monitor the situation.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada brings in 200,000 temporary foreign workers and the government does nothing while their right to join unions is denied. The United Nations has just ruled on a complaint filed by the UFCW that Canada is trampling on the human rights of these migrant workers. Canadians believe it is illegal to exploit workers and deny them the right to organize.

Will the government make respect for human rights a condition for provincial participation in the temporary foreign workers program?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

12:20 p.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, this government will take no lectures or direction from the opposition in dealing with the temporary foreign worker program. It is, in fact, a program that has been successful from one side of this country to the other. It puts people from other countries to work in circumstances when we cannot fill positions here in Canada.

It allows them to help their families. It allows them to help their country. It allows them to lead lives that they would not have been able to lead had they had to stay in their countries. This is a program that works. Province after province after province is asking us to make this program bigger because of how successful it has been.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the best way to protect vulnerable migrants and help them go after those who exploit them is to let them stay in Canada permanently.

Migrants are often targeted by crooks and traffickers. Some are sold to the sex trade. I see today the Conservatives are having a press conference on vulnerable migrants. Will the minister commit to provide real protection to the most vulnerable migrants and let them stay in Canada so they can go after those who exploit them?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

12:20 p.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, every temporary foreign worker who comes to this country does so under Canadian labour law. It is upheld and enforced. It is there to protect those who come to work in this country. If the member has a specific example that she would like to bring forward, I can say that the minister and the ministry will act immediately on it to ensure that no labour law has been broken.

This program is for our country. This program is for the foreign workers. In fact, some say it is the best foreign aid program we have in this country.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

November 19th, 2010 / 12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberal-Bloc-NDP coalition failed Canadians when it chose to stand in the way of rapid passage for our Conservative government's Senate term limits bill. Time and again our government has reintroduced legislation to make Canada's Senate more democratic and accountable, only to be thwarted by the opposition.

Could the Minister of State for Democratic Reform please tell the House and all Canadians why Senate reform is so important to our government?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

12:25 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and our government remain committed to reforming the Senate to reflect the values we as Canadians have in the 21st century.

That is why this government has introduced legislation that would limit Senate terms from the current term of up to 45 years to one single term of eight years.

We believe that Canadians support this legislation overwhelmingly. We have also introduced legislation to encourage provinces to have elections.

Unlike the opposition coalition, our government believes that all parliamentarians should be elected and accountable.

Food SafetyOral Questions

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food demonstrated his word is meaningless when it comes to food safety issues.

While he originally committed to implement all the Weatherill recommendations, the minister has now admitted the government has never done the critical audit called for in the Weatherill report.

That report called for a third party audit of CFIA inspection resources which includes an examination of how many plants each inspector should be responsible for.

Why has the government not acted on this key recommendation? Is it because it could show government neglect on food safety?

Food SafetyOral Questions

12:25 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that an independent review, a thorough review, was done as was a front-line assessment in co-operation with the union, both of which confirm that our work to improve food safety is working.

In addition, we have invested $75 million. We are moving forward on the recommendations contained in the Weatherill report and we are in the process of hiring an additional 170 new inspectors.

City of LévisOral Questions

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to the minister's claims, and after checking with those in charge of the 2011 celebrations, Lévis will not receive $1 million from the cultural capitals of Canada program. Vancouver, on the other hand, is receiving $1.75 million. Lévis and Vancouver are cities in the same category; they both have populations over 125,000.

Can the minister tell us if Lévis will be treated like Vancouver and also receive $1.75 million from the cultural capitals of Canada program?

City of LévisOral Questions

12:25 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, what a wonderful opportunity to stand up and congratulate the hard-working member for Lévis—Bellechasse, my colleague who has championed through the cultural capital program for his home riding.

Only three cities out of eleven that applied were honoured with the title of cultural capital. Lévis--Bellechasse was one of them. He is an outstanding member of Parliament. It is a great city. The title is well deserved and we are honoured to support it with this distinction.