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House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was columbia.

Topics

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, did they not understand? According to some reports, Canada Revenue Agency is about to change the rules for tax evaders. The Conservatives are about to turn a blind eye to tax evasions over 10 years old. The vast majority of Canadians pay their taxes and contribute equitably to our society.

Why should we let those who shirk their responsibilities off the hook? When will the government bring in stricter laws to stop the scourge of tax evasion, like the use of tax havens in Switzerland and the Caribbean?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.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 government is taking very serious steps to recover the funds that honest, hard-working Canadians deserve. Last year we recovered over $1 billion in unpaid taxes. This is just one more example of what this government has accomplished, unlike the Liberals and NDP who have always failed.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that for strong economic management we need to have a strong Conservative government.

Our government responded to the worst economic downturn since World War II with a comprehensive economic action plan. Over the past two years, this plan has been at work protecting Canadian jobs and helping our economy recover as one of the strongest in the world.

Canadians know that the recovery is fragile. Would the Minister of Finance please update the House on what the Conservative government is doing to support the recovery?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have always said that we would be fair, reasonable and flexible. Nearly 90% of the infrastructure projects across the country, more than 20,000 of them, will be completed on time by the end of March.

We have begun planning for the next phase of the economic action plan. It is becoming clear, though, that some projects, a relatively small number, will not be finished on time for various good reasons.

Therefore, we have extended the deadline through another full construction season to help create jobs and ensure these projects are completed.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2005, the Conservatives promised to compensate anyone affected by Agent Orange at CFB Gagetown. Once in power, the Prime Minister broke this promise and compensated only those who survived until the very date they took power.

The Minister of Veterans Affairs now plans to return $33 million of the promised $96 million to the government coffers.

Will the minister instead confirm that every cent will go to victims and their families?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Greg Kerr ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, all of these concerns have been raised and reviewed very carefully by both the government and certainly by the minister. It is our full intention to take care of all of those who have been impacted by Agent Orange and we will follow through on that.

AgricultureOral Questions

December 2nd, 2010 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, producers attending the UPA convention called on the federal government to hold consultations concerning risk management programs for agriculture. Producers agree that needs vary from region to region and from crop to crop. The existing program, AgriFlexibility, does not take risk management into account.

Can the minister assure producers that risk management will be included in the program and that the program will be improved in the next agricultural policy framework?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, as the member well knows, we have a full suite of business risk management programs to support our farmers. We have agri-invest, agri-stability, agri-insurance, agri-recovery. All of these programs are delivering to our farmers. We put farmers first.

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer NDP Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, most countries either regulate cellphone locks or they ban them outright. Canada does neither.

The government lets big telecom routinely lock all Canadian cellphones. This limits consumer choice and market competition. It means higher prices and worse service.

Will the minister compel wireless companies to unlock our cellphones and give Canadians the fairness we deserve?

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the very thing the member is asking this government to do is in our copyright bill, Bill C-32. Unfortunately, his party is voting against Bill C-32.

Therefore, if he is asking our government to take an action in favour of the policy he has asked for, why does he not actually join us in doing what he says he should be doing?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, two years ago, the world faced the worst economic recession in over a generation. Canadians were concerned about their financial situations. The government took stock of the situation and developed Canada's economic action plan to ensure that our country would be among the least hard hit and emerge with one of the strongest economies. Our plan led to the creation of over 430,000 jobs.

Can the Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec tell the House what the government is doing to ensure the country's ongoing economic recovery?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, as we have always said, we have been fair, equitable and reasonable throughout this process. We expect 90% of the projects to be completed by March 31, 2011.

I would remind the House that the Bloc voted against the economic action plan. We will continue to carry out the plan. Our various partners provided information indicating that some of the projects would not be completed in time. We have therefore extended the program for one full construction season. Thanks to our government's efforts and together with our partners, the work will be completed.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, qualification criteria for the Agent Orange ex gratia payment were so strict that many veterans who needed the assistance did not qualify.

Instead of coming to their aid, the Conservative government spent nearly $8 million fighting them. Thirty-three million dollars would go a long way to meeting the needs of widows.

Will the minister confirm that all $96 million will go to victims?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Greg Kerr ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, we are moving on this and there is more detail to follow. I know the hon. member will be patient enough to listen.

I would remind her that this was the only government that acted to deal with the victims of Agent Orange. The previous Liberal government refused to even look at the issue. Therefore, it is a bit hypocritical being critical of what we are doing today.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, at the veterans affairs committee the other day, Pierre Daigle, the DND ombudsman, cited his serious concerns about a lack of a national database for operational stress injuries for our Canadian Forces. Without this vital information, many programs may not be available for our injured soldiers and their families.

My question is for the Minister of National Defence. When will the national database for this important segment come up and how soon can the minister announce that the program will be here?

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his praise for the $130 million in Canadian Forces health information system that we now have online. The next phase is about to begin, incorporating some of the lessons learned from this important new system to help health care providers in the Canadian Forces secure and share information and coordinate appropriate care.

The final rollout on the bases is expected by 2012. Already we have received much positive feedback from the users of this system. This is a tremendous investment in help for the Canadian Forces. No doubt the efficiency and delivery of care to members of the Canadian Forces will continue to improve under this government.

Government SpendingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the government is asking people to tighten their belts, it seems that there is no limit to the government's eccentricities when it comes to polling. Over the past five years, the government has blown $100 million on all kinds of polls. The government says they allow it to better target its programs. However, it cancelled the mandatory long form census, which is a reliable, non-partisan tool.

Before it asks people to make more sacrifices, will the government drastically reduce its spending on polls?

Government SpendingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the numbers are very clear. In each category, in comparison with the previous Liberal government—it is very expensive, as it was for them—we have reduced spending on polls by 66%.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the government House leader. Could he please tell the House what the remaining business is for this week, and what is the business for the forthcoming week? In particular, when is the last opposition day of this supply period? We still do know when that is scheduled for. Obviously it falls on the official opposition, because it is scheduled technically for next week, but we would like to know precisely when it is so that we can amply prepare for it, and of course, have Canadians able to follow it, in anticipation of that day.

Business of the HouseOral 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, we will continue today with the opposition day motion by our friends from the New Democratic Party. Pursuant to an order made earlier today, the vote on the NDP motion will be deferred until the end of government orders on Tuesday.

Tomorrow we will consider a great bill proposed by the Minister of Justice, Bill C-22, protecting children from online sexual exploitation. The Minister of Justice has another great bill, Bill C-54, protecting children from sexual predators, which we will then debate. We will then move to Bill C-33, the safer railways act, on which the Minister of State for Transport has done a lot of very good work. Next is Bill C-21, the standing up for victims of white collar crime act, which is another strong justice bill brought forward by the Attorney General of Canada.

Next week we will continue with business from Friday.

I am pleased to report that there are ongoing constructive, and even harmonious, discussions among the parties, so the list of business that I mentioned may change.

Next week, each and every day we will be debating great bills that will do great things for Canada.

Also I will return to the House at a later time to designate the last allotted day.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, during question period, when I was questioning the government, the member for Northumberland—Quinte West shouted that I was supporting the Taliban. It is the duty of the opposition to ask questions without being heckled in this way by members. I ask the member to withdraw his remarks.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I did not say that the hon. member supported the Taliban. I said that I wished he cared more about the Canadian armed forces and the 152 members of the Canadian Forces, as he does. I did not say that he supported the Taliban.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the word “Taliban” was repeated three times. I am asking him to act in a civilized manner and to withdraw his remarks about me.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 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 in fact did not hear the interventions that were said.

I know we disagree on many issues with the leader of the Bloc Québécois, but let me be very clear: I certainly do not believe that he supports the Taliban.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Based on the comments made, the Speaker will examine the blues. If I determine that such a word was used, I will return to the House to give my ruling on this point.