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House of Commons Hansard #17 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was documents.

Topics

PensionsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, last year the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance led the approach on consultations which is very important and that resulted in very important amendments that were done in October of last year. They are very important for defined benefit plans in Canada.

Now, together with the other governments in Canada, the provinces and territories, we are working on further initiatives, but remembering always that this is a joint effort in Canada. This is not just a federal effort. We must work with the provinces and territories, and I counsel the member--

PensionsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Brossard—La Prairie.

PensionsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are more than 10,000 retirees in Canada who thought they had sufficient retirement income. They are about to lose 30% to 40% of their income and all of their health benefits at a time when they need them most. We cannot wait for more consultations. The government must take immediate action to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and treat retirees as preferred creditors.

When will we see the necessary legislative amendments to protect retirees?

PensionsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as was stated in the Speech from the Throne, work is being done on that issue. It is an important issue for Canadians and we have to try to move forward on that issue. But on the broader pension issue, again I say to the member opposite, we have one of the best pension systems in the world in Canada, something we can be proud of and we will make it better.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week Corporal Darren Fitzpatrick died as a result of injuries sustained in Afghanistan. We have offered our condolences to his loved ones.

This death took us by surprise. Since 2007, the government reports on wounded soldiers only once a year, citing operational risks.

No one wants to put our troops in danger, but would monthly reports not allow us to give more help to the wounded when they return home?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, like the hon. member and I am sure all members, we send our condolences to Corporal Fitzpatrick's family. I had the poignant experience of speaking with the family today.

I would indicate to the hon. member that the aim around disclosures of information is meant to meet a public balance and that is of course to ensure that any decision taken around disclosures of information is in keeping with decisions taken by the commander on the ground firstly, done so recognizing the importance of the necessity of operational safety; that is, to not endanger our troops by giving information that would assist the Taliban.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is the same government that wanted to shut out the media and the public from military repatriation ceremonies. The families of fallen soldiers spoke loudly. They wanted to allow Canadians to share their grief. The government always wants to manipulate the news. Wounded soldiers and their families have the right to be supported by Canadians. To support them and respect them, we need to know about them.

When will the government put care for wounded soldiers over concealing the numbers?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as mentioned, this was a decision taken by the commander on the ground in Afghanistan.

With respect to disclosures, the yearly release of information avoids any direct incident-specific correlation between Taliban actions. Precise information of that nature, with respect to locations, the number of injuries, could, in some ways, assist the Taliban in adapting their planning and their operations.

As a government, as a military, we will not do that.

TransportationOral Questions

March 25th, 2010 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the Canadian Transportation Safety Board, 12 airplane accidents that led to 28 deaths were caused by extreme fatigue experienced by the pilots, who have to fly ridiculous schedules. Airlines even advise pilots to fudge their logbooks. According to a number of studies, tired pilots act as though they are drunk.

How can the government ignore passenger safety when it has known for years that some companies are breaking the rules?

TransportationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the safety and security of Canadians is a top priority for Transport Canada. We have a significant amount of regulations that are enforced, with respect to flight crew fatigue management. It is something that is incredibly important.

All of our rules follow the standards put forward by the International Civil Aviation Organization. All of them.

TransportationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government always says that it is concerned. Yet, Transport Canada did not hesitate to change an important study on aviation safety by removing two recommendations concerning the effect of the biological clock on a pilot.

How can we believe that Transport Canada is worried about aviation safety when it has hidden information and refused to act since 2001?

TransportationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we constantly seek to raise the bar with respect to the standards not just for aviation security but also aviation safety. That includes mechanical aspects of civil aviation, but also those men and women who work in the system. We are currently following all ICAO standards. There are a good number of recommended practices that have been suggested in recent years. The department has established a task force to address these and what we can do to raise the bar and do a better job for Canadians, and we certainly welcome the advice and counsel of the member opposite.

Maternal and Child HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government, with the help of the Liberals, rejected a Liberal motion on maternal and child health because it said that it did not want to re-open the abortion debate. That is not the problem. The problem is that the Conservative government is calling into question a woman's right to abortion and, furthermore, that it is attempting to export its outdated ideology.

Why will the Conservative government not admit that all means of family planning, including abortion, contribute to the health of women and children?

Maternal and Child HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, let me again just say that what we want to do is to ensure we take real action and save the lives of mothers and children. We already debated it in the House. We are going to move forward. We do not want to play political games. This is an important issue. We know we can make strides. We are receiving information. We are reading reports. I know that Canada will make a difference in the lives of those mothers and children.

Maternal and Child HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, a coalition of social groups including gynecologists, nurses and other public health experts reminded us this morning, with well-documented studies, that contraception and abortion save lives. Safe abortions are less expensive than unsafe abortions.

When will the government set aside its conservative and backwards ideology in order to work on improving the health of women and children?

Maternal and Child HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the member that I have personally read the report. I have met with Canadian representatives of every organization that was at the press conference this morning. CIDA officials will also be meeting with regard to the report, and that report will of course inform us as we move forward on this very important initiative to save the lives of mothers and children.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Veterans Affairs has admitted to making the new war memorial program nothing but a political slush fund. He refuses to use an already existing external committee to approve funding for a war memorial. His deputy minister recommends the use of this external committee, but the minister says he alone will make the decision on who gets funding.

Will the minister stop playing petty politics and respect our veterans? I ask the minister, will he listen to his deputy minister and allow the external committee to approve funding applications?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in the 2010 budget, $1 million in each of the next two years will be used to honour our military dead. We want to help Canadians build new cenotaphs. Naturally, our officials will analyze the projects submitted and a recommendation will be made to the minister.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, surely the memory of those Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom is beyond political partisan politics. These memorials are legacies for Canadians, not the Conservative Party.

The external committee contains real experts: veterans groups and heritage and conservation professionals. How dare the minister substitute his judgment for the judgment of our veterans?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the member is referring to the restoration of certain monuments. An advisory committee is looking at those proposals and will make suggestions to the minister.

Once again, the program for new monuments and cenotaphs is not yet available. It will soon be submitted to Cabinet for a final recommendation and we will then see what it contains.

It is quite proper that proposals are submitted to the minister and that the latter makes the final decision.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Finance. Page 242 of the budget states that UPEI will receive $30 million for infrastructure updates. The statement could not possibly be more clear.

I remind the minister that all members and all Canadians are entitled to assume that statements made in documents presented in the House are assumed to be accurate, correct and truthful.

My question for the Minister of Finance is very simple. Is this statement true, and if it is not, how could Canadians be expected to believe the government will honour any commitment in the budget?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the budget is accurate.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Charlottetown, PE

If so, Mr. Speaker, considering that we are only 371 days from the time this expires, could the Minister of Finance today provide us with the details of the initiative he is talking about?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the budget text clearly refers to the benefits to the economy of the island that we expect to see from these construction and renovation projects, benefits that will be seen not just on campus but throughout the local region as a result of the stimulus funding.

Budget 2010 notes on page 242:

Upgrades to the infrastructure at the University of Prince Edward Island will create over 300 jobs and inject about $30 million into the economy.

IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that our government is committed to job creation and economic growth. It is in line with our commitment to competition and foreign investment.

I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry if he could tell the House, and in fact why does he not just tell all Canadians, about new advancements in foreign investment and job creation?