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House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

Sitting ResumedTaseko Mines LimitedOral Questions

2:45 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, there he goes again. The member for Ajax—Pickering is making reckless and unsubstantiated allegations. He has done this before only to be called before a judge and then forced to come back to this House to apologize for smearing a reputation. There he goes again.

Sitting ResumedTaseko Mines LimitedOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the only party that was forced to apologize was the government when it leaked financially sensitive documents to Conservative lobbyists.

It did not stop there. It continues with this Taseko leak. It told investors to get lost and gave them no answers. What are they to think? No environmental assessment has ever resulted in this kind of trading. The stock did 10 times its normal volume and dropped almost 40% in a day.

What other possible explanation is there? This is not just about Taseko; it is about the integrity of our financial markets.

Sitting ResumedTaseko Mines LimitedOral 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, when asked why he was seeking election as a Conservative candidate, Julian Fantino responded that he supported the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party's policies. Then he also said that he could never sit in the same caucus as the member for Ajax—Pickering.

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, close to 100 Quebec artists came to Ottawa today to protest against the Conservative bill that changes the scope of copyright. The bill does not take into account the reality of new technologies. Royalties are currently collected on CD sales, but no provision is made for levies on new media.

Will the Prime Minister finally get with the times and amend his bill to include a levy on sales of digital audio players that would be paid to artists for copyright?

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, with respect to copyright, there are always demands from all sides. The minister introduced a balanced bill that will make piracy illegal.

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is a strange balance: all the consumers and artists in Quebec are against it, but big business supports it. I imagine that is balance for the Conservatives, who confuse taxes and royalties. It is rather strange, though, because there is never a problem when it comes to using taxpayers' money to purchase military equipment. However, it is a problem to use the same money to pay royalties to artists for their copyright, to which they are entitled.

Why the double standard?

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is obviously a big difference between our government's philosophy and that of the Bloc Québécois. The Bloc supports higher taxes, including a new tax on iPods. This government does not want to impose such a tax on Canadian consumers.

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, this is not a tax. These are royalties that go to the artists.

According to a coalition of consumer associations, Bill C-32 will also penalize consumers. By giving in to demands from big business, the Conservative government is allowing artists' rights to be restricted, denied even.

Does the government understand that if it deprives artists of their copyright royalties, consumers will be deprived of new artistic works? If artists starve, culture starves.

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, the Bloc Québécois is not telling the truth about this issue. It is saying that it is artists versus everyone else. This is what one Montreal artist had to say: “Illegal downloading has been catastrophic for me and many of my colleagues. The government has taken an important step in addressing this issue by introducing Bill C-32. I want to thank the Conservative government.“ A francophone artist from Quebec said that. We are taking responsible action for artists.

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, we would like the minister to say who this artist is. His parliamentary secretary said that 400 businesses, 37 multinationals, 300 chambers of commerce and 150 CEOs support this bill.

Will the heritage minister listen to the artists and creators who are on Parliament Hill today and fix his bill to give them justice and protect their copyrights?

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, we listened to our artists: we conducted unprecedented consultations on Bill C-32. The Union des artistes is on the Hill today; I met with them. They had six proposals concerning our copyright bill. We agree with four of the six. However, we are against a new tax for consumers. That is not in the interest of consumers, artists or Canadians.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Foreign Affairs gave an incoherent answer on the question of the transfer of child detainees in Afghanistan.

The transferring of minors to the threat of torture is a clear violation of international law. According to a very powerful report from the United Nations, the record of the Afghan secret police is well known. There are beatings, interrogations, electric shocks and forced confessions of children.

My question is for the Prime Minister. How many children have been transferred under Canadian control to the Afghan secret police?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when there are Taliban individuals who may be under 18 years of age, there are special procedures for the handling of those individuals. If those individuals have been responsible for the killing or wounding of Canadian soldiers, this is taken very seriously. When they are transferred, they are subject to the supervision provisions in the transfer agreement and they are detained at separate facilities for juveniles.

This, by the way, is on the website if the member wants to look.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's policy to transfer children to the Afghan NDS is shocking. The United Nations cites many instances of abuse of children by the Afghan secret police. We all know that the NDS practices torture. That is what we are talking about.

Can the Prime Minister tell us how many children Canada took prisoner? How many children did Canada transfer to the NDS? It is a simple question.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there are special procedures for when a Taliban insurgent under 18 years of age kills or wounds a Canadian soldier. Under our agreement with the Afghan government, special procedures are in place for such individuals and there are separate detention facilities.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians remain in the dark about this whole business of the transfer of detainees to the Afghan secret police because of the cone of silence that was placed over the whole process in a deal worked out with the Liberals and the Bloc. That process is now being exposed as a sham.

We know that the Conservatives were exposing detainees to torture by Afghan secret police. Now they are sending children to the same fate. How many children? What is happening to them? Canadians want to know. When will we have a full public inquiry into what has gone on with the detainees?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, there are special procedures in place for those who may be under 18 years of age and there are special detention facilities. All of this is publicly available information that is on the website.

I find it very unfortunate to hear these kinds of attacks on the job being done by Canadian troops and Canadian diplomats in the field. It is without any information. I think the hon. member's party got a message from the Canadian public last night that they do not appreciate this kind of questioning.

Taseko Mines LimitedOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to come back to the issue of Taseko Mines' Prosperity mine because we are talking about the possibility of insider trading and this is too important.

The Minister of the Environment tried to dodge the issue last week by telling us that the report had been public for quite some time, so there was surely no link between the fluctuation of the stock market index and the alleged government leak. This year alone, over 1,700 environmental reports have been completed to date and we have not seen any fluctuations like the one with Taseko.

So why Taseko? What are the Conservatives trying to hide?

Taseko Mines LimitedOral 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 member for Bourassa is engaging in high level speculation. If he has any information concerning the allegation that he is making in the House, he should place it before the House so we can have a look at it.

Taseko Mines LimitedOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that it is the privileged information about the implementation of the decision to stop development of the mine that could have caused the insider trading. Even the CEO of Taseko, Russell Hallbauer, says that nothing justifies such a fluctuation on the stock market. So the answer is in the implementation of the decision. There are two ways to make a decision in cabinet. Either the cabinet meets—the minister says that there was no cabinet meeting—or four ministers do what is called a walk around to make a cabinet decision and take turns signing.

Who signed the decision on November 2? Was it the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development? Who signed it?

Taseko Mines LimitedOral 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, the cabinet did not approve this project because the environmental assessment, which has been public for some amount of time, said that it would do irreparable harm and damage to the environment. The government stands by that decision. We think we did the right thing.

PensionsOral Questions

November 30th, 2010 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Prime Minister watched silently as security ejected sick, disabled and dying people from Parliament Hill. They were here begging Conservative senators to reconsider their decision to eliminate medical benefits for this desperate group. Since then, the Prime Minister has maintained his silence, refusing to use his influence to prevent hundreds of disabled people from being evicted this Christmas.

How can the Prime Minister look these people in the eye knowing that in 32 days they could be living on the street?

PensionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I think every member in this place and every senator recognizes and sympathizes with the difficult situation facing Nortel pensioners and the LTD recipients. The fact remains that today's situation is the result of a court approved settlement between all parties, which was enacted under the legislation in effect at the time.

Based on expert testimony before the Senate, the bill that the hon. member purports to support will not help Nortel LTD recipients. In fact, it would lead them to endless litigation to the detriment of all involved.

We are for solutions that will work.

PensionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have legal opinions as well and they also heard testimony at the committee that Bill S-216 would help.

The Conservative senators are clearly playing games in an effort to wait out the clock. For months the industry minister has falsely claimed that he has a plan for Nortel pensioners and disability benefits, but all we get is inaction.

It is funny how the Prime Minister can find the time to give Patrick Brazeau a 40-year appointment to the Senate and a $2.5 million pension, but cannot be bothered to tell his Conservative dominated senators to do the right thing and pass Bill S-216.

PensionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, these are quotes from a couple of witnesses who were in front of the Senate. “I think that litigation would end up in the Supreme Court” said Patrick Shea, who is an expert on BIA and CCAA litigation.

Another person from the Canadian Bankers Association said, “Our concern, however, is that the solution that has been proposed might very well prove to be ineffective in providing relief to beneficiaries, and it might have serious negative consequences to the broader economy”.

We are for solutions that work.