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House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was negotiations.

Topics

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of improving homelessness partnering strategy programs, the government has announced new bureaucratic requirements, which have led to uncertainty in terms of starting new projects and the end of funding for many others.

Does the government realize that its relentless, short-sighted amendments risk creating service interruptions for the homeless?

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we consulted the provinces and the territories to find out what they need, particularly in terms of homelessness. We have kept our promises. We listened to the requests from the provinces and territories and we are working with them. We guaranteed funding for homelessness programs for five years. That is more than any other government has ever done.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were shocked by how this government embarrassed them in Cancun. The only thing this government did was obstruct and sabotage international efforts.

Will the government cancel the $1.4 billion in useless, ineffective subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and put that money into clean energy?

Will it fully support all efforts to fight global warming, yes or no?

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, do you know who brought in the subsidies for the oil sands and the accelerated capital cost allowance? It was the Liberal Party of Canada. Who had the courage to do the right thing and remove those subsidies? It was this Minister of Finance who was named the finance minister of the year.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister of bluster over there won all the international booby prizes that could be won in Mexico, from daily fossil awards to colossal fossil for the climate change talks.

In the six days that I was there, everyone from other countries and our own NGOs were asking when the government would stop blocking and start acting to protect Canadians.

Will the minister cancel the $1.4 billion a year in inefficient fossil subsidies now and put those dollars into programs that will help? Will he immediately restore the energy retrofit program that he cancelled so middle and low income Canadians can stop paying so much for their heating this winter? Will he do that?

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, I was happy to be at the high level negotiations in Cancun. They started on Tuesday at three o'clock and went very late. I was so pleased to see the NDP member of Parliament stay until the bitter end. I was also pleased to see the Bloc Québécois member stay until the bitter end. However, halfway through the conference the representative of the Liberal Party went home, so how would he know what went on in Cancun?

Foreign TakeoversOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, just this morning we learned that the government had planned to approve the BHP deal until political risks grew too great. No wonder the Minister of Industry is refusing to tell Canadians why he turned down the BHP takeover.

The Conservatives voted for the NDP motion calling for greater transparency and openness but now they are lowering the cone of silence again.

Why will the Conservatives not level with Canadians? Why is the Minister of Industry keeping his reasons a secret?

Foreign TakeoversOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, this is the second time in a week where the NDP asks questions in this chamber based on rumour and allegation, not based on the facts of the case.

I have made it clear. I made an announcement. Perhaps the hon. member was aware that the BHP bid was not of net benefit to Canada. I did explain some of the reasons behind that decision and that was covered by the media.

The hon. member continues to act on rumour and spurious allegation. We act on facts for the best interests of Canada and Canadians.

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Industry pretended to know nothing about his own notes on Vale Inco. I will therefore repeat the question in the hope that the minister's response will be more informative.

A document obtained by Radio-Canada through access to information clearly reveals that the minister was aware of the violation of the agreement reached between Vale Inco and Investment Canada. Under the circumstances, why did the Conservatives not take legal action against that corporation?

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I spoke to the hon. member's leader yesterday and I will repeat what I said for the chamber today.

It is in fact the exact opposite of what the hon. member is alleging. I was briefed that in fact Vale Inco was in compliance with its undertakings. If that were not the case, I would have acted on behalf of Canada and Canadians.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of vehicles are stranded on Highway 402 between Strathroy and Sarnia because of an extreme snow blizzard. The highway has been shut down and some travellers have been stranded in their cars since Sunday night. I have just talked with a number of municipal leaders and the situation is dangerous and desperate. Yet they are very appreciative of the government's help.

Would the Minister of National Defence tell us what the federal government is doing to help these people get to safety?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question and the concern expressed by the member for Lambton—Kent—Middlesex. We all share that concern for the travellers who are stranded in the snowstorm that has pounded southwest Ontario and has left people in their vehicles on Highway 402.

Canadian Forces are hard at work, including members of a helicopter crew and SAR techs, to help the Ontario Provincial Police and fire services. Those citizens who were stranded have benefited greatly from these efforts and I applaud all that has been done thus far. I have indicated to the provincial minister that the Canadian Forces are there to do more.

At home or abroad, the magnificent men and women of the forces are doing their job.

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, it appears the government has abandoned its moratorium on closing rural post offices. Despite assurances that the post office in Burgoyne's Cove in my riding would remain open, Canada Post has closed it and used underhanded tactics to do so, including installing roadside mailboxes that it said would be a temporary measure.

I ask the minister responsible for Canada Post if the government has lifted the moratorium and instructed Canada Post to begin closing down rural post offices as yet another way to nickel and dime Canadians, while ministers overspend their budgets.

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, when I first got the portfolio two years ago, I understood that there was a need to protect rural post offices and rural mailboxes. We brought in a service charter that guaranteed an agreement between Canada Post and the rural people of Canada that delivery of their mail would get through.

The moratorium stays as part of the charter. We are working in the best interest of Canada to ensure Canada Post delivers the mail on time.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the last cattle slaughterhouse in Quebec, Levinoff-Colbex, is threatened with closure. Farm producers who injected $30 million have already done their part to save this business, which employs more than 300 people. Levinoff-Colbex got off to a rocky start after it was bought by producers, but anticipates that it will break even next year.

Will the Minister of State for Agriculture do his part and announce at least an extension of the program to support slaughterhouses in removing specified risk materials or SRMs?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the hon. member that we received a letter this morning from Levinoff-Colbex. We are analyzing this case. I also want to remind the member that our government has offered $9.6 million to save Levinoff-Colbex. That offer is conditional on a viable business plan, of course. We will look at the letter that came this morning.

We have spent $25 million to offset the added costs of processing SRMs. Levinoff-Colbex has received funding and will continue to receive money under this program.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

December 14th, 2010 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, for several months, perhaps for several years, contaminants have been seeping from the Chevron refinery in Burnaby into Burrard Inlet. While the amount is small, local residents are concerned about the cumulative effect, that the source has not been found and that remediation has been limited.

Who is responsible? Is Environment Canada working with other agencies and governments? What is the federal government doing to ensure that the seepage stops and the groundwater, soil and waters of Burrard Inlet are cleaned up?

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, at the outset, I want to acknowledge the work the member opposite has done on water quality in Burrard Inlet. We are as concerned as he is.

Environment Canada is working very closely with the province of British Columbia. First, we want to contain any spill. Second, we want to identify the source of the leak. Third, we want to ensure that all of Canada's tough environmental laws are fully enforced so the polluter will be held responsible.

TaxationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to modernizing Canada's copyright laws, the position of the government is very different from that of the opposition coalition.

Our government is proposing a balanced approach to copyright. Our proposal is good for Canada's economy and benefits all Canadians, especially young Canadians.

On the other hand, the opposition coalition would slap a $75 tax on every iPod Canadians buy, just in time for Christmas.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage remind the House why we oppose this tax?

TaxationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, this is what the Retail Council of Canada said today. The iPod tax “will drive away Canadian retailers, draining hundreds of millions of dollars from the Canadian economy”.

This is what Loreena McKennitt, a Juno award-winning artist said, “I oppose the iPod tax. It's bad for Canadian artists”.

The gaming industry said, “The iPod tax is harmful. It's not something that we're supportive of”.

As more Canadians are understanding what the opposition wants to do by imposing a massive new $75 iPod tax, more and more Canadians are standing up and saying “no”. We need to ensure they understand. The coalition is saying—

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Random—Burin—St. George's.

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, despite a meeting in Burgoyne's Cove with community leaders, where it was made clear that the post office should stay open, Canada Post carried out a survey of the residents in July, when many of the residents were either working away or on vacation, and the survey did not include people living in surrounding communities who used the post office.

Will the minister instruct Canada Post to reverse this decision, or has the government given instructions that all rural post offices are on the chopping block?

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, let me inform the House and my hon. colleague that no rural post offices are on the block. The moratorium is part of the service charter.

If she is having problems with her specific post office, under the charter there are only very limited ways that it can be closed. The post office must work with the community to find alternatives so the mail gets through. Canada Post will work with those communities to make certain those post offices stay open and the mail gets through. That is our obligation.

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have taken over Rights & Democracy claiming that the agency was poorly managed. A number of documents on how the previous administration managed it still have not been made public. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has been sitting on an accounting report for months.

How does the government explain that after stacking Rights & Democracy with Conservative cronies, it is unable to get its new administration to produce the documents required by the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development?

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I understand the hon. member's impatience, but I would like to remind him that it was my parliamentary assistant who suggested in committee that the committee obtain the report. It was not the opposition. We are the ones seeking the truth. We are the ones who want everything to come to light. When the committee members meet, they can question all the board members and the president.