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House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

International Co-operationOral Questions

December 10th, 2010 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of International Cooperation was asked about the cancellation of funding for the NGO KAIROS, the minister suggested that she had nothing to do with the decision and that CIDA officials were responsible. Yesterday in committee, the minister finally acknowledged that she was the one who made the decision against CIDA's recommendation.

Why did the minister deliberately mislead the House? Why is she trying to blame public servants for her own ideological decisions?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, quite the contrary. I will take full responsibility. It is my responsibility to ensure that Canadian public funds are utilized in an accountable and effective way to help people living in poverty. As I have always done, I take advice from the department as well as other parties.

This is something that is important to Canadians. They want to see more food, more children going to school and more medicine getting to those in need.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, KAIROS has been working with the federal government since 1976. The report prepared by government officials was very positive and recommended that the organization continue to be funded.

Will the minister admit that her decision to cut funding to KAIROS was based solely on political and ideological factors that have nothing to do with the quality of service provided by that organization? Will the minister restore funding to KAIROS?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

The answer to the question, Mr. Speaker, is no. It was made on the most effective use of public funds for people living in poverty, and, no, the decision will stand.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Globe and Mail has obtained the Conservative government's communications plan designed to make Canadians and Quebeckers swallow its plan to harmonize Canadian and U.S. border controls. The Conservative government believes that the general public underestimates the terrorist threat.

Does the government not think that this security perimeter should be established in a more transparent manner, and that a more balanced approach to security and freedom should be adopted?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is quite obvious that the main objective is to ensure not only that the Canada-U.S. border is secure and meets all standards, but also that Canada's interests are protected through increased trade.

We know that this government has defended Canadians' interests and, by means of its economic action plan, increased Canada's economic activity, which has created jobs. Furthermore, we take our responsibility to protect the border very seriously. We defend the interests—

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers are quite right to be wary of the Conservative plan to create a Canada-U.S. security perimeter. All we know about the plan is that it was negotiated in great secrecy. The federal government is preparing to share personal information about individuals with the American authorities.

Can the government tell us if its plan, which is to be made public in January, has been approved by the Privacy Commissioner?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is getting worked up about hearsay and speculation.

Let us be clear: of the political parties in the House—not even counting the Bloc Québécois, of course—ours is the one that defends the interests of Canadians. We do so by promoting our trade agreements, opening up our borders and creating jobs in Canada. That is what Quebeckers and Canadians want to see.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the 2009-10 public accounts, Canada spent roughly $18 million on its embassies in Europe. For the Caribbean and Latin America, it spent about $17.5 million and for Africa, barely $1 million.

Is this imbalance a precursor to decisions to come with regard to our ability to have a diplomatic presence on the African continent?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am glad for the hon. member's question because it gives me an opportunity to reiterate that this government has been able to double its aid to Africa. This government has been able to provide additional funding for food aid. When this government has a chance to review all its operations—as well it should—it does so in the best interests of all Canadians. This is just another rumour started by the Liberals.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, since I am not getting a straight answer I will change the subject.

In March, the House passed a bill on Supreme Court justices. A majority of the representatives elected by the people passed a bill and sent it to the Senate. The bill has been languishing there ever since. The Conservative senators refuse even to refer the bill to committee to allow people to discuss it. As the old adage goes, things come in threes.

Two or three weeks ago, they killed Bill C-311. This week Bill S-216 got the axe.

Will Bill C-332 be the next victim of the Conservatives in the Senate?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, the member referred to the Senate. What would be very helpful for the Liberal Party to do would be to support our legislation that would limit the terms of senators to eight years and, also, to support our initiative to have senators elected. I think that would go a long way to ensuring democracy remains strong in Canada.

Why does the Liberal Party not support democracy?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's deceit, inaction and hypocrisy have left Canada shunned at climate conferences like Copenhagen and Cancun. Canadians are furious.

Canada's obstruction at Cancun is so undermining that it has been criticized as ecocide.

Shamefully, our part-time environment minister is publicly blaming Canada's own intransigence on China, a developing country that has already made massive investments to reduce emissions and has committed to a major reduction target.

Is poking China in the eye the government's new climate policy?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, to truly address the issue of climate change, we need to have all the major emitters as part of the solution and that is this government's position. Unfortunately, the Liberals do not take the environment very seriously and they laugh about it.

A couple of months ago, taxpayers paid for those members to go to the Nagoya biodiversity conference. They did not even show up. Now in Cancun, the Liberal critic on the environment left two days early. Is his suntan done and now he is leaving and going back? Shame on the Liberals.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec has been affected by disastrous conditions this week and I would like the government to recognize that shoreline erosion is a serious problem, and that it is aggravated by climate change.

The federal government must not only be present in times of emergencies but it must also develop preventive measures. This is a very important issue for the people of the region, and the Prime Minister would be aware of that had he not refused to answer reporters' questions during his last visit.

How does the Prime Minister plan to work with Quebec to address the problems caused by shoreline erosion?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is already happening. Environment Canada, through partnership and funding, has worked with the Ouranos consortium to assess the bank erosion problem on the lower St. Lawrence River. The work is in progress on the erosion problem and it includes the whole lower St. Lawrence River.

In terms of the commissioner's report, we agree with the recommendations and are developing a national adaptation strategy.

CopyrightOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians deserve effective copyright laws to protect jobs and ensure our economy remains strong. Our government's copyright reform is widely supported by creators, consumers and the businesses that drive Canada's economy. On Wednesday, our committee heard from another prominent Canadian who supports copyright reform, the former Liberal deputy prime minister, John Manley.

Could the parliamentary secretary please inform the House what the former deputy prime minister told our committee?

CopyrightOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Kitchener—Waterloo for all his hard work on this file, and he is right.

The former Liberal deputy prime minister and member for Ottawa South, John Manley, appeared at our committee and his message was clear when he said, “I strongly endorse Bill C-32. It brings Canada's copyright rules into the 21st century”. He said, “It gives creators a tool to control how their works are made available. The bill is needed to ensure that Canada does not become a haven for piracy”.

I hope the current member for Ottawa South realizes how much the former member knows about copyright and how much this bill could help creators in Canada.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry has told the House he had to wait 30 days before giving his reasons for turning down the BHP hostile takeover of Potash Corporation. Then he assured the House he would act with alacrity.

The House has plenty of reasons not to take the minister at his word. He is already a week late. Is he still working on his lines, or will he tell Canadians today why he and the Prime Minister changed their minds and turned down this deal?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the government did rule that this proposal was not of net benefit to Canada. BHP Billiton issued a statement on November 14, announcing that it had withdrawn its application for review under the Investment Canada Act. Once an application is withdrawn, there is no opportunity for the Minister of Industry to make a final decision and thus provide reasons.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was not so long ago that the Prime Minister decided to ignore concerns about the acquisition of the Potash Corporation by BHP. At the time, his ignorance was amazing. He certainly learned a lot in a very short period of time.

Can the minister now explain what made the Prime Minister change his mind? Was it the NDP's solid economic logic or the Conservatives' political opportunism that made him change his mind?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, there was no change in mind. There was one decision in this case. The decision was made to the net benefit of the country of Canada and only the country of Canada. Canadians expect that from this government.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the court proceedings involving Tony Accurso's businesses have revealed that at least a half-dozen public servants from the Canada Revenue Agency are being suspected of corruption and complicity. Spokespersons for the agency refuse to tell the truth about the scope of the scandal affecting Revenue Canada.

Can the Minister of National Revenue confirm how many public servants are being investigated and how many construction businesses like Tony Accurso's profited from this system in which tax auditors were paid off?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Revenue Agency has a very strict code of ethics for all its employees. Any allegation of wrongdoing is taken very seriously and thoroughly investigated.