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House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was forest.

Topics

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we have always been clear in our priorities so that the safety of Canadians comes first. I know it is difficult for a Liberal to understand why we would not put the interests of criminals ahead of public safety. I know that the Prime Minister and this government will stand with ordinary Canadians to ensure that our streets are safe and we will not turn criminals out into the streets to prey upon the innocent.

Airport SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, there have been numerous media reports about the enhanced security screening methods used by other countries. Although terrorism is a real threat in today's world, passengers expect their government to provide security and safety while being respectful to the passengers.

Can the Minister of Transport tell the House what this government is doing to increase the safety and security of the travelling public?

Airport SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this government agrees that the safety and security of the travelling public is of the utmost importance and that passengers must be treated respectfully. Unlike the United States, CATSA has not instituted and has no intentions of instituting more aggressive pat-downs.

As of yesterday, additional privacy screens are being installed in airports countrywide. Unlike the American body scanners, ours do not pose the same health risk because they use a millimetre wave technology rather than X-ray technology. Passenger security is extremely important and our government is committed to balancing that by ensuring that passengers are treated respectfully and properly.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is bleeding billions of dollars every year, money super-wealthy Canadians and corporations hide offshore to avoid taxes. Even with the record deficit, the government is sitting on its hands. It does not even know the size of the problem, or if it does, it is not telling Canadians the truth.

The U.S., Britain, Sweden and Mexico do it. When will the government come clean and tell Canadians just how much they are losing to wealthy tax cheats every year?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and this government have taken decisive action to give CRA the tools and resources needed to aggressively pursue those Canadians who avoid paying their taxes. We are cracking down to recover money owed to hard-working Canadians. The number of full-time employees working on international audits is up 44%, and we have doubled the number of people working in our aggressive tax planning program since the government took office.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the minister sincerely wants to curb tax evasion, why does he not adopt the U.S. IRS model, which was recently adopted by Quebec?

In the future, large corporations using the services of financial or tax planning experts will be required to proactively disclose all their tax tricks. That is a simple and practical solution that Quebec is applying to both corporations and individuals.

Why not implement it at the federal level? Is it because it would hurt their friends too much?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, we are working very aggressively on the offshore tax files. Through the measures in budget 2010, we are eliminating tax loopholes and making it harder for Canadians to hide assets offshore.

Since 2006, CRA has audited more than 6,700 cases, identifying approximately $3.7 billion in unpaid taxes through international efforts.

Last year alone, CRA uncovered over $1 billion in unpaid taxes internationally, nearly 10 times the amount uncovered in the last year the Liberals were in power.

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the National Assembly of Quebec has unanimously adopted a motion calling for major amendments to Bill C-32 on copyright. The elected members in Quebec are calling on the Conservative government to protect Quebec creators better against illegal copying of their works and to compensate them better.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage listen to this call from Quebec and recognize the role of the creators of content and the importance of intellectual property to the vitality of Quebec culture?

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, indeed, we have listened to that call. It was the Conservative government that engaged in unprecedented consultations with the artists of Quebec and Canada in order to draft Bill C-32 to modernize the Copyright Act. It is for the benefit of all Canadians, consumers and creators alike. Where we disagree with the Bloc Québécois is on a new tax on iPods. It would not be in the best interest of consumers.

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the government has to stop saying that everyone applauds its bill because that is not true. In Quebec, artists, creators, authors, composers, editors, the Union des consommateurs, which represents consumers, and the National Assembly are unanimously calling for major changes to Bill C-32.

Does the minister understand that he has to change his big-business-friendly bill substantially, finally recognize creators' copyright and compensate them properly?

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, our bill is fair and responsible and it reflects consultations that were held across Canada.

Our copyright legislation, Bill C-32, is now before a legislative committee to consider how Canada could best move forward.

We have put forward our proposals. The only thing we have heard from the opposition side, the only proposal it has come up with to help consumers and protect the creative communities, is to impose a massive new tax on consumers on iPods, cellphones and BlackBerrys. We reject that. It is bad for consumers. It is bad for the creative community to make it more expensive for Canadians to consume the creative community's creations. We are opposed to an iPod tax. We stand with consumers.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, not only does the Conservative government refuse to call a public inquiry into the shocking number of missing and murdered aboriginal women but it has lost the support of the Native Women's Association of Canada.

NWAC has said that the government's recent funding announcement is not specific to aboriginal women and that it reinvents and conducts work that has already been done by Sisters in Spirit.

Will the Conservative government address the real issue, call a public inquiry and recommit to Sisters in Spirit?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we have an obligation and a responsibility to protect vulnerable women, and that is exactly what we have done with our new program.

We have committed, now, to creating a new RCMP centre for missing persons and improving our law enforcement databases to investigate missing and murdered women, and we created a national website for public tips to help locate missing women. In fact, Elizabeth Bastien, from the Native Women's Association of Canada, was there the day of the announcement. She said that this is a significant investment, one that could go a long way to addressing the challenges experienced by women and families in our communities. We appreciate her support.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly not what NWAC's president said.

It is beyond offensive to hear the current government congratulate itself when so little money is going to victims and their families. We are talking about 600 missing and murdered first nations, Inuit and Métis women.

Does the government want to be tough on crime? Then fund Sisters in Spirit.

Does the government want to be tough on crime? Then call an inquiry so we can know why so many have gone missing.

That would be real justice, the type of justice we would give to any other group in this country.

Why the double standard?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there is definitely no double standard. In fact, this $10 million program was created specifically to deal with the issue of murdered and missing aboriginal women. When it comes to support for victims, on this particular program, let me tell the House what Sue O'Sullivan, the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crimes, said. She said:

[W]hat we need is more government action of this breadth and initiatives that address all aspects of the issue, from prevention and prosecution to victim support. These are the kinds of initiatives that have the most impact and that we can all support.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, budgets may be frozen but the government's budget for P3s is exploding. That means prison cells for unreported crimes, propaganda flacks for the PMO, and plenty of pork for the bloated hospitality budget of the President of the Treasury Board.

When the President of the Treasury Board froze the hospitality budget of all government departments, why did he freeze his own at double what it was in 2006? How can the President of the Treasury Board stand and be proud of the fact that he announces $500,000 a year for complimentary beverages, golf courses and visits to spa resorts?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I have no idea what the member is reading from. He is obviously not reading from the simple facts.

As a matter of fact, Treasury Board expenses in this regard have been reduced significantly. Overall, when we compare what the Liberals spent on hospitality in the year 2002, it was about $56 million. Because we have frozen hospitality expenses, this year's year-end spending by this government is $38 million, compared to $56 million by those people.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I will show the minister the numbers.

The Conservatives have spent $125 million on hospitality since 2006. That might seem like chump change to the most reckless spendthrifts since Brian Mulroney, but let me remind the Gucci shoes gang of 2010 what that money could have bought: 62 million hot breakfasts for schoolchildren, full tuition for 25,000 university students, or old age security for 21,000 seniors for a whole year.

The President of the Treasury Board has just announced he is going to freeze his budget for hospitality at half a million dollars a year and $15 million--

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. President of the Treasury Board.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, not only has the announcement been made that all government operational spending will be frozen for the next three years, with hospitality spending frozen for three years at 2009 levels, but because of what we have put in place, we have already saved, in one year, $56 million.

I would encourage the member opposite to try to get his facts straight. If he would depart from his usual approach of using the most inflammatory adjectives he can find in every sentence he ever utters and just stick to the facts, he would find that we are making headway.

AfghanistanOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of families in Valcartier with loved ones in Afghanistan have been the victims of a disturbing incident. During the night, heartless pranksters told them that their loved ones had been killed in Afghanistan. Such calls are despicable and, understandably, have caused these families deep dismay and needless worry and anxiety.

Can the Minister of National Defence tell us what he will do about these heartless pranksters and how people who believe that tragic accidents are something to joke about will be dealt with?

AfghanistanOral Questions

3 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, these acts are deplorable and completely unacceptable. I am convinced that I speak on behalf of all members of the House when I condemn this despicable behaviour. The Canadian Forces are helping and supporting the families who have received these disturbing calls. It is our hope that the perpetrators of these despicable acts will be brought to justice as quickly as possible.

Military personnel should never be cruelly alarmed while their loved ones are serving overseas. They make an incredible sacrifice in our country's name. They should never be the targets of such insensitive, immoral, disgusting acts.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

November 24th, 2010 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, our cities need firm answers. They need to know when the new regulations on municipal waste water will take effect and whether the federal government is going to provide any funding to help them meet the new standards.

It will cost our cities between $40 billion and $80 billion to comply with the new regulations, depending on which version the government goes with. When will the government finally make up its mind and put an end to the uncertainty that is standing in the way of clean water in Canada?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 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, quite clearly, in 2010 it is unacceptable for anyone to be dumping raw sewage into our rivers, lakes, streams and oceans. It is completely unacceptable.

This government has been working with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to bring in a regulation, to be phased in over the next 20 years, to ensure that we do the right thing for the environment, to ensure there is clean water everywhere in this country. We will not back down on this. We believe it is important. We believe it is in the Canadian interest and it should have support from members on all sides of the House.

HomelessnessOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Réseau Solidarité Itinérance du Québec is holding a huge demonstration in Gatineau tomorrow to press the Conservative government to take action to implement the homelessness partnering strategy, or the HPS. Fewer than 130 days before the current funding lapses, funding delays can be expected if Ottawa insists on imposing its way of doing things on Quebec's agencies and government.

Will the government implement the HPS as soon as possible and respect Quebec's model so that the homeless are not—