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House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was standards.

Topics

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, he should answer the questions.

By taking privileges away from the wealthy, the government could balance its budget and have room to manoeuvre to help abandoned economic sectors like the forestry sector, the manufacturing sector and the fisheries.

Why does the government keep sparing the banks and the oil companies? Why not use the existing tax room? Why not show some leadership and help workers in the sectors in difficulty? Why not take action right now?

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we remain on track to balance the budget by 2015-16, but I can assure the member opposite that if his proposals for our next budget are to spend more on this and spend more on that, there will be no balanced budget in Canada this year, next year or any years in the future. We have to be fiscally responsible in this country.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know the Prime Minister exercises absolute control over his government's messaging. Every minister, every parliamentary secretary, every Conservative MP delivering a Standing Order 31 statement must sing the tune on the Prime Minister's sheet music.

Recently the parliamentary secretary to the heritage minister suggested that it was time we got out of the broadcasting industry, time to sell the CBC. What does the Prime Minister have up his sleeve for the CBC? Is he preparing to privatize it? If not, will he reprimand his parliamentary secretary, or better still, replace him with someone who supports public broadcasting?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, if he is looking for someone who supports public broadcasting, it is not anybody in the Liberal Party.

When the Liberals were elected to government, they cut the CBC by $400 million and laid off 40% of the CBC's staff, so I think if my hon. colleague wants to present himself as someone who defends the CBC, he is a member of the wrong party. It was the Liberal Party that gutted and slashed the CBC, so if he is looking for a saviour of the CBC, he may want to quit the Liberal Party.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are the words we have just heard and there are the facts, but one has nothing to do with the other.

Last year, at the height of economic crisis, the minister refused to help the CBC. As a result, hundreds of people were laid off and the CBC had to sell off $125 million in assets. And recently we learned that the government is cutting another $13.7 million from the budget.

Their dream has always been to either shut down or privatize the CBC. Are the Conservatives essentially doing indirectly what they cannot do directly?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid I only have these quotes in English, so this will have to do.

The Liberal Party's attitude towards the CBC is to “gut it, kick it in the teeth, leave it hanging from a thread”.That was in the Globe and Mail. “The CBC has become a battered, unloved, friendless institution...under heritage minister Sheila Copps”. The “CBC has been treated shabbily” by the Liberal government, “downsized, underfunded, abandoned,” and “Only 23% of Canadians believe the current Liberal government is committed to preserving the CBC”.

When it comes to beating up, slashing and attacking the CBC, the Liberal Party takes the prize.

CensusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, our researchers have warned us that eliminating the mandatory long form census will force them to look to the private sector for the information they need. They will also have to use the research funds provided by the federal government to purchase this data.

We already know that the Conservatives' plan will cost an extra $30 million and provide less reliable data. But what will be the other hidden costs associated with this irresponsible decision?

CensusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, our position is clear. It is important to have a position that is balanced and responsible for Canadians and also the information important to research and development.

In our case we have found that appropriate balance. We think this is a way we can ensure that useful and usable data is collected and at the same time be responsible to citizens, respect citizens, so that they are not threatened with jail time and massive fines if they do not fill out a government form.

CensusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am amazed at how out of date the Minister of Industry is.

On Wednesday, MPs will have the opportunity to vote on a private member's bill that would restore the long form census, save taxpayers millions of dollars, and ensure that governments, charities, universities and colleges would have access to the data that they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. Anyone who votes no will be voting to support the Prime Minister's plainly stupid decision.

Instead of waiting for the vote, why will the industry minister not do the right thing and restore the long form census?

CensusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, our position is responsible and fair and it balances the rights of Canadians and the information that is important to researchers.

Before I came to this place today, I was happy to announce more funding for research and development commercialization so that our researchers and business people are working together for jobs and opportunity for Canada. That is what this government stands for.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

December 6th, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, over the past four years our Conservative government has expanded Canada's national parks system by 30%. Conservation achievements such as Nahanni, Mealy Mountain and Gwaii Haanas act as models throughout the world.

Could the Minister of the Environment please inform the House of our government's latest great conservation achievement?

The EnvironmentOral 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, I knew we were going to get a good question in question period and it finally arrived.

This morning I was pleased to join environmentalists and representatives of Inuit and the Government of Nunavut to announce a future boundary for a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound in Nunavut. Today's announcement is a giant leap forward in protecting one of the most amazing ecosystems in the world. It is another example of our commitment to protect our marine life, the boreal forest and our natural environment.

We have increased, as the member said, Canada's national parks system by 30% in just four years. That is a record to be incredibly proud of. Canada is providing real leadership.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is not telling Canadians the truth about employment numbers. By far, most of the jobs that have been created are part-time jobs. The recession cost us thousands of full-time jobs. For example, the unemployment rate in Windsor is 11%.

Why is Windsor not on the list of regions with high unemployment? Why not extend protection for workers in Ontario's industrial centres by five weeks?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, during the global recession, we improved the employment insurance program by adding five weeks of benefits. We did a number of other things, particularly in the area of training, to help unemployed workers acquire the skills they need to get new jobs. Unfortunately, the NDP voted against nearly all of our efforts to help unemployed workers.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, the extended benefit pilot project was meant to add five weeks of benefits in high unemployment areas, but Ontario has been left out. Unemployment in some parts of industrial Ontario has soared to over 11% and in the Niagara region it is now over 10%, yet the Conservatives refuse to extend EI benefits in Welland, St. Catharines, Oshawa or any part of Ontario.

When will the Conservatives wake up to the job crisis in Ontario and extend this program to all areas with high unemployment? Why are they ignoring the unemployment crisis in Ontario?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I think the NDP is going to give us all whiplash because its members go one way at one time and then they turn around and go the other way just as fast.

When we introduced the expansion of the five weeks of extra benefits under EI during the worst recession since the second world war, the NDP voted against it. Now those members are saying that it is not enough. They have consistently voted against almost every one of our attempts to help those who have unfortunately lost their jobs get the skills and training they need to get the new jobs of tomorrow and to help them look after their families while they are doing that. Shame on the NDP's hypocrisy.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, even as we commemorate the Polytechnique tragedy, the Conservative government is continuing to undermine gun control. For example, this is the third time the government has delayed the implementation of the firearms marking regulations, which would enable police officers to more quickly trace weapons used to commit crimes.

Twenty-one years after the Polytechnique massacre, how can the government deny that gun control can help prevent violence against women?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to making our communities safer. We continue to support gun control measures that assist people in law enforcement in protecting themselves and the safety and security of the public. Since being elected, we have consistently brought in new measures that work to prevent and solve crimes.

That member and her party have consistently stood against mandatory prison sentences for those who use guns. Why does she and her party not support efforts that actually help victims?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, rather than try to abolish the registry, which is critical to controlling guns, the government should strengthen it. We have asked the government to end the amnesty for those who refuse to register their guns and to make registration permanently free.

Will the government implement these two measures to make the registry more reliable and help the police do their job?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, that member consistently advocates the gun registry, but in fact talks about allowing criminals back on the street as quickly as possible.

If Canadians want to see a reduction in violent crime such as in my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, what she should do, as she should do for all people right across Canada, is support measures that put dangerous, violent criminals behind bars and protect law-abiding citizens.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, while the minister heads to Cancun without a plan for climate change, at home he is killing a pre-eminent Canadian research foundation.

The Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences has for years maintained and trained some of the leading scientists in the world, in research centres and universities across Canada and in the high Arctic, helping farmers and keeping Canadians safe. However, the Conservative government as not replenished its endowment fund, to the shock and concern of scientists in Canada and around the world.

Will the government immediately replenish the fund, or will this be yet another embarrassment that it takes to Cancun?

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 just heard a question on the gun registry and I can understand why the member for Yukon does not want to ask a question on that.

With respect to research, the government has put some $85 million toward Arctic research. We believe it is incredibly important and that it is a smart move. There was some one-time funding given to the foundation when Canada had a large surplus. It has made a request for new funding that will go into the budget mix with all the other requests that we receive.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, ending 60 years of Canadian data collection would be neanderthal.

Because their funds have run out, brilliant Canadian scientists and students are already being drawn to the United States and Australia. It is like the Conservative Avro Arrow debacle all over again where our best and brightest have to leave the country.

Hundreds of scientists and their students help farmers, foresters and fishermen, and help keep Canadians safe on land, water and ice.

Will the government immediately fund this foundation and stop this exodus of our scientists, or will it continue to put Canadians at risk and have another embarrassment at Cancun?

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, I do not recall being involved in the decision with respect to the Avro Arrow. That was done before I was born.

As for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we believe science and research have an important role in that, but so too does action. The leader of the Liberal Party is the one who summarized the efforts and failures of the previous Liberal government when he said, “We didn't get it done”.

This government is committed to getting it done.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has spent billions in Afghanistan with the hope of improving the lives of ordinary Afghans, not filling the pockets of corrupt officials.

Ambassador Crosbie said that corruption and rigged elections in Afghanistan make his blood boil. Canadians agree. What is needed most is democratic development and institution building.

Before committing to extend the military mission for three more years, what did the government do to end the rampant corruption?