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House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday in response to the same question by the hon. member, provincial taxation is a provincial responsibility in Canada.

There has been no change with respect to dealing with federal sales tax in terms of mail and courier service. It always has been a matter of destination. It was from the beginning and it still is.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the four Island Lake First Nations in northern Manitoba are facing third world living conditions when it comes to water and sewer services. They are facing serious health and sanitation consequences.

The government has claimed that investments in water and sewer services on first nations has been a priority. Plants have been built but there are no water lines. There are no dependable water trucks. There is no plan to invest in all of these communities in the next five-year capital plan.

When will the government act to not let these first nations down? When will the government act to resolve this crisis?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, those statements are simply incorrect. We built a new water treatment plant at Red Sucker Lake in Island Lake. Wasagamack is in the plan for a water and sewer project worth $5.5 million in 2014-15. St. Theresa Point is identified for the third phase of the water and sewer project. Garden Hill is awaiting connection to the hydro grid so we can move ahead with infrastructure improvements.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, 40 years after the implementation of the Official Languages Act, the public service is still incapable of enforcing the law, according to the Commissioner of Official Languages. Only 10 of the 16 institutions evaluated were able to offer bilingual services in 80% of cases. One public servant in five reports dissatisfaction with being unable to use his official language in the workplace.

How does the government explain this appalling situation?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Gatineau for his question because it gives me the opportunity to refer to some key figures in the report by the Commissioner of Official Languages.

On page 8 of the report, he advises Canadians that the number of admissible complaints in the area of official languages services to the public has dropped by 35% since our government came into power in 2006.

We are delivering the goods when it comes to official languages. It is thanks to our roadmap that we are able to deliver the goods as far as Canada's two official languages are concerned. And I mean both of them.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Commissioner of Official Languages reports that Canadian institutions do not take minority language communities into account when planning their programs. One would assume that scrapping the mandatory long form census will not improve matters.

Will the government admit that it has failed to meet its obligations when it comes to official language minority communities?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is completely wrong and the Minister of Industry has indicated this on several occasions.

However, I would like to just repeat again to this House, so that people are aware, what the Commissioner of Official Language's report has to say.

He reports that since our government took office, complaints with regard to the public service application of Canada's Official Languages Act have dropped by 35% last year and 22% this year, which has delivered results for both of Canada's official languages.

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, starting next week, Bay Street deal maker Nigel Wright will have access to every file, every document and every official in the Government of Canada. That is privileged access.

Soon he will return to his corporate job, armed with new government contracts and inside knowledge of virtually every major file in the Government of Canada.

Worse, his personal ethics monitor will be the deputy chief of staff, who, believe it or not, reports to Mr. Wright himself.

Is this Conservative logic for putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop?

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, the member for Malpeque is already planning the departure of the incoming chief of staff before he has even started work.

We on this side of the House think it is good that people who have been successful in private life want to come to our nation's capital and make a contribution to public life and to their government.

Mr. Wright has sought and has followed all of the high, stringent ethical guidelines from the independent ethics officer, who reports not to the government, but rather, through you, Mr. Speaker, to all members of this place.

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, documents show his departure date is already planned and he is going back to Onex.

Conservatives believe they have conjured up a magical ethical wall that will allow Mr. Wright to ignore the mandatory one-year cooling-off period when he leaves the PMO. In reality, they have created an ethical vortex that is sucking rules and safeguards right out the window.

Will the Conservatives ask Mr. Wright to observe the normal cooling-off period? Or is it their intent to use this magical ethical wall to curry favour for their Conservative corporate friends?

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, we are very pleased and very supportive of people from outside of government coming in to make a contribution. Mr. Wright is to be congratulated for wanting to make a contribution to public life. He has sought the counsel and advice of the Ethics Commissioner, the independent Ethics Commissioner. He has followed all of the rules and will continue to seek out and to follow all of the guidelines that the independent Ethics Commissioner sets.

With respect to deadlines for departure, I know there is one departure we are seeking to make and it is the member for Malpeque, and that will be 37 days after the next election is called.

Violence in SportsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, a report presented yesterday confirmed that concussions happen all too often in junior and amateur hockey. These serious injuries have a negative impact on the future quality of life of these hockey players. The government did not do anything when the NDP asked for a public inquiry concerning violence in sports.

Now that we have a concussion epidemic on our hands, will the government take action?

Violence in SportsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I know that the Minister of State for Sport and the Minister of Health are very involved in this file. We will work with organizations on the ground, such as volunteer organizations for children, to ensure that our sporting events are safe for children.

Violence in SportsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, we need only look south of the border to see government action on this serious concern. Legislation has already been tabled in the U.S. House of Representatives, and several states have similar practices already in place.

It is time for the government to step up and recognize the urgency of this concussion epidemic in sport among our youth.

When will the government make the safety of children and our game a priority and finally take action?

Violence in SportsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as, of course, the science and medical science in this has progressed, the need for concern has been raised among Canadians. I know the minister responsible for sport and the Minister of Health are obviously looking at this file and are engaged with local amateur sport organizations across the country to ensure that we have a response that is comprehensive and responsible.

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of QuebecOral Questions

November 2nd, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the House will recall a certain statement made by the Liberal candidate in Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia regarding the Liberal Party leader. She said, “he does not have the ability to give Quebeckers their rightful place”. Let me repeat: “he does not have the ability to give Quebeckers their rightful place”.

The Liberal leader proved once again yesterday that he is completely out of touch with Quebec's reality. He said he intends to re-evaluate the role of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and merge it with other agencies that work in the other provinces.

Is the—

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of QuebecOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of State.

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of QuebecOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his excellent question. Indeed, we must prevent the leader of the coalition from achieving his goal of centralizing the economic development agencies. Since he spent 34 years outside the country, he probably does not know that the Economic Development Agency of Canada already makes its decisions in the regions. They are made by people working in the regions.

Yesterday he said he wants to decentralize the agency, yet he insisted on creating a single national strategy. This shows a lack of respect for the economic players in the regions and for the public servants who work tirelessly for regional economic growth. The people—

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of QuebecOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Eglinton—Lawrence.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, after two disgraceful broken promises and inaction by the Conservative government to assist Toronto merchant David Chen, I introduced Bill C-547 to amend the Criminal Code regarding the section on citizen's arrest.

Now that Mr. Chen has been acquitted of all charges, thus validating the changes in my proposed legislation, will the Prime Minister stand up today, adopt my bill and pass it, or will he continue to allow victims of crime to be victimized twice?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member might want to check the records. The Prime Minister has already spoken on this.

We always know when there is an election or a byelection in this country. That is when the Liberals discover the justice agenda. I say to them that we need support at all times of the year, not just when there is a byelection in Vaughan or other places in Canada.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the survey done by the International Exchange for the Performing Arts shows that the Conservative cuts are purely ideological and make no economic sense. According to the president of CINARS, Alain Paré, “For every dollar … cut, the … companies had to absorb $6.30 in lost revenue.” The cuts are weakening the entire cultural industry. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, for example, may not be able to travel to Beijing, even though the Chinese government is funding a similar tour in Canada.

Is the government going to restore the funding for international tours and transfer it to the Canada Council?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, frankly, the member is not really familiar with this situation, because if she knew the facts, she would know that the Canada Council already has 11 programs to assist artists on the international scene. Do we really need a 12th or 13th or 14th program? The Canada Council's budget has been increased so it can assist artists, help them directly with the funds our government has provided, the taxpayers’ money. The budget has been increased by 20%. They have 11 programs to assist artists on the international scene. They do not need a 12th program.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and I attended a conference last night on disabilities and poverty where we heard Cindy Blackstock say that what government does is more important than what government says.

Given that the disabled are three times more likely to live in poverty than anybody else, this is what they want the government to do: implement the international covenant on the rights of the disabled; bring in a guaranteed annual income for the severely disabled; and make the disability tax credit fully refundable.

Will the minister do this?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I was delighted to the see the hon. member at the conference last night. He is finally showing an active interest, unlike the rest of his party, in helping the disabled in our communities.

Our government has done phenomenal things to help the disabled, including introducing the registered disability savings plan and our enabling accessibility fund. Unfortunately, the NDP voted against it.

Take my word for it? No, listen to Al Etmanski at the Plan Institute:

I believe [this] Government is hands down the most effective Federal champion people with disabilities and their families have ever had.