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House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was training.

Topics

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, they are appointed senators who defeated that bill, and he can give the orders today and ask them to pass it in the Senate so we can help these people. Since he has killed any hope that these people have, the Conservatives had security throw them out of the building. I guess the Prime Minister wants them to get used to being thrown out in the cold.

Bill S-216 would have made sure these sick Canadians had medical coverage and support in the years ahead, but the Prime Minister stood in the way. Would the Prime Minister not set aside his partisan views and help these sick and dying people before Christmas?

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I find the hon. member's characterization false and regrettable. We on this side are working very hard for some real solutions to this dilemma. What the opposition is offering these people is false hope. The Liberals know, or should know, that their legislation cannot be put into effect to help the people they purport to serve. We are working on real solutions.

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, after two decades, it is time for Canada to take action on poverty.

A Campaign 2000 report points out that the rise in poverty has a direct cost in health care, criminal justice, social services, lost productivity and lost opportunity. These problems are systemic and need more than just the “get a job” attitude of the government.

Why is the government ignoring the HUMA report and refusing to deal with poverty?

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, while the member and his party talk about the kinds of things that might be done, we have taken very specific action to help those who find themselves in need. In fact, an average family of four finds itself with $3,000 more in its pocket than the previous tax and spend Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition's tax everything that is taxable mentality.

We have done a number of initiatives, like the universal child care benefit, to help people out. We have added the working income tax benefit to make work pay and help low-income Canadians over the welfare wall. We have helped over 900,000 Canadians by that measure alone.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, the number of seniors who are living in poverty has soared 25% and 80% of that number are senior women. For over two years in this place the NDP has warned the government that close to 300,000 seniors were living in poverty. In response, the finance minister would glibly talk about the tax breaks and about the supposed new jobs.

The finance minister just does not get it. Seniors are not looking for work. They are trying to survive.

When will the finance minister finally increase the guaranteed income supplement to end this national disgrace?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we have taken a number of initiatives to ensure that there is more money in the pockets of seniors. We have increased the guaranteed income supplement a number of times. In fact, we have allowed more money to be earned without clawing back GIS. We have taken these kinds of initiatives, including things like providing housing for seniors and those who are disabled. That party opposed those types of initiatives.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Ray Boughen Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, at a meeting of the public safety committee, we heard first-hand from victims as to why our pardons legislation is so important.

Sheldon Kennedy had this to say, “In my mind, child protection is paramount”. He said, “I fully support Bill C-23B, which eliminates the possibility of those convicted of sexual activity relating to a minor of any possibility of ever getting a pardon or record suspension”. We could not agree more.

Could the Minister of Public Safety explain the importance of this legislation?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his strong support of this legislation and his strong commitment to standing up for victims.

Yesterday, the NDP public safety critic got it wrong again. Our pardons bill is about victims. It is about ensuring that the rights of a criminal never again come before the rights of a victim when it comes to pardons. Victims support this bill. We call upon the opposition to do the same.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has made Canada the grand champion of booby prizes for doing nothing about climate change. Yesterday, we learned that the government cancelled the most important scientific research on climate change. Canadians have the right to know how global warming will affect their jobs, crops, health and drinking water supply.

How many more booby prizes do we need to win before the Prime Minister appoints a full-time environment minister?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 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, the government has moved forward with environmentally responsible policy. We have been working closely with the Obama administration. We now have an integrated approach with respect to automobiles, a common North American automobile standard. We are doing the same with light trucks. We are seeking to work with the Obama administration when it comes to marine, aviation and rail.

Canada is the first country in the world to look at phasing out dirty coal-fired electricity plants. That makes Canada a worldwide leader in one of the worst sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

Agri-food IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, everyone involved in the agri-food sector is against the 98% Canadian content standard for the “Product of Canada” label, except for the Minister of Agriculture , who again defended this Conservative measure before the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. The Minister of State for Agriculture, who has nevertheless recognized that the standard has had negative repercussions on processing, has failed to convince the real agriculture minister.

Who in this government will stand up and correct the mistake is hurting producers, processors and consumers?

Agri-food IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we consulted the Consumers Association of Canada and the processors as well and there is currently no consensus about whether we should exclude items such as salt, spices and vinegar. There is currently no consensus at the Consumers Association of Canada. We are exploring another option that is very promising.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government has rewarded a decade of lauded climate science by axing funding. Science, like industry, needs long-term, stable investment. As our young scientists are poached by other nations, we also lose the critical science necessary to form sound climate policy.

Instead of heading to Cancun empty-handed, will the government at least commit to restore funding to the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 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, this government values the important role that science plays in environmental policy, particularly when it comes to climate change. There was some one-time funding given by the previous government for the foundation.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. McBean and to receive the foundation's submission. The Minister of Finance will be presenting his budget, as he always does, in the winter and we will see where it goes.

International AidOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada has a proud tradition of responding when natural disasters strike, providing immediate relief to those who are suffering.

We saw how quickly our government responded to the earthquake in Haiti. We saw the speed with which our government acted to ensure that our neighbours to the south had the basics. We know how important speed is when it comes to providing medical care, food, water and shelter.

Could the Minister of International Cooperation tell Canadians how we have improved our ability to respond when natural disasters occur?

International AidOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, today I announced the Canadian Red Cross first responder initiative. It includes a Canadian Red Cross rapid deployment field hospital, one of only four in the world, the first to be based in Canada ready to respond within 24 hours anywhere in the Americas. It means more Canadian experts ready to provide needed medical help and the training of local Red Cross Societies in the country before the disaster hits.

In fact, a medical unit from this initiative will be deployed to Haiti to help with the cholera outbreak.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, just before Cancun the most important climate science research in Canada has been shut down, one research network at a time. Oceans has already shut down and other networks are about to close in December. Climate scientists have been forced to leave Canada to continue their research.

The government does not get it. The environment minister's own political staff spent more money on taxis and limos than any other office.

Will the part-time minister concentrate long enough to look after the needs of Canadians and fund climate change research, yes or no?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 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, the NDP just asked that question. As usual, the Liberal member is following the NDP. Our environmental record is clear. Our environmental policies are clear.

I went on the website of the Liberal member for Parkdale—High Park to find out what the Liberal environment policy was. This is what it said, “The Liberal green shift will move us forward”.

Canadians rejected a carbon tax in 2008. They reject it today and they will reject it at the next election.

International AidOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, after January's devastating earthquake in Haiti, Canadians responded by donating an unprecedented amount of money. Yet while Canadians were generous, the Conservatives are still sitting on a shocking two-thirds of this money. Now, as the cholera epidemic is claiming even more lives, these funds are needed more than ever.

We welcome the minister's announcement today, but when will the government finally use the money that is supposed to help Haiti and will it also consider deploying DART to assist the UN with containing the cholera epidemic?

International AidOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for recognizing how important this Red Cross initiative is. It means that we have a civilian field hospital that will be able to respond to any disaster in the Americas. It means that we will have Canadian expertise, medical help and technicians who will be part of this team.

I know it will be sending medical units to help with the cholera epidemic. In fact, Canadians want this kind of responsible support and use of their funds to help people—

International AidOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Verchères—Les Patriotes.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of the recommendations in the latest report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources is that the Government of Canada compensate Quebec for the costs resulting from the shortage of medical isotopes. The Conservatives' dissenting opinion implies that the government does not intend to make up for its mistake.

How can the government refuse to compensate the provinces and territories when it was the government's own inaction and negligence that caused the prolonged shutdown of the Chalk River reactor?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, at the last meeting of federal-provincial-territorial ministers, this item was discussed. At that point in time, I had stated that I was willing to listen to the jurisdictions in regard to this issue. That is where it is at this point.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Trevor Manuel, Minister in the Presidency in charge of the National Planning Commission for the Republic of South Africa.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!