This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #2 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economy.

Topics

International CooperationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question because it gives me an opportunity to reiterate to the House this government's commitment to effective international assistance. We want to make sure that we are making a difference. We will continue to support religious affiliated groups. In fact, we support 11 of them that are working in 50 countries on projects that are helping people living in poverty.

We continue to support good work that will actually make a difference on the ground.

International CooperationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that was definitely not an answer. The government is intimidating not only religious NGOs, but also academic, cultural, agricultural and feminist organizations that depart ever so slightly from its ideology.

As soon as such organizations dare ask questions or take non-reformist positions, they lose their funding. The Prime Minister wants NGOs to be docile and submissive, while they have always drawn their strength from their independence, whether under the Liberals or the Progressive-Conservatives.

How can the Prime Minister justify such outrageously partisan cuts?

International CooperationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we want to make sure that we make a difference on the ground, and that is why we are supporting justice systems, human rights commissions and ombudsmen. We are ensuring that girls, not just boys, get an education. These are human rights. This is really making a difference.

We are building capacity for justice for all human rights commissions that will apply to all. We support every means by which people can live positive and fruitful lives.

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Rights & Democracy organization is going through an unprecedented crisis entirely provoked by this government, which wants to control it. Employees are being harassed or let go, and partisan appointments are increasing. In short, arbitrary decisions and intimidation abound. The organization is becoming a puppet for the government.

Will the Prime Minister admit that all these ploys have but one goal: to control an organization and take away its autonomy?

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat that Rights & Democracy is an arm's length organization that is run by a board of directors. Its staff is not part of the public service.

I met with the president and people from my department have met with the staff. We acted by appointing a CEO, who possesses all the necessary tools and skills to fulfill his duties. We strongly believe in this organization.

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, we believe that the appointment of Gérard Latulippe—who believes in the death penalty, opposes same-sex marriage, believes all Muslims are terrorists and, last but not least, wants to put Haiti under trusteeship—is the icing on the cake.

Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who seems to be the Prime Minister's puppet and official delivery boy of his news releases, really believe that his new appointee has the skills required to run an organization like Rights and Democracy?

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, not only do I believe that, but I am not the only one. Others will attest to this. For example, let me quote Charles Messier, director of the parliamentary affairs liaison office for MINUSTAH: "I am not surprised that the Government of Canada would choose such a strong, dynamic man for a strategic position within Rights and Democracy". Now that is positive feedback.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

March 4th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous session, when the government hid behind a Conservative member's bill, the Speech from the Throne confirms that the dismantling of the firearms registry is official government policy. However, women's groups, police chiefs and survivors of the attacks at Polytechnique and Dawson all report there is a consensus in favour of maintaining the registry.

How can this government claim to be fighting crime when it refuses to monitor the circulation of firearms?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed our position that the long-gun registry does not serve a valuable purpose, that it is in fact a waste of taxpayers' money.

We will continue to work with police chiefs and with police right across this country in order to ensure that we take effective and strong measures to deal with criminals.

White Collar CrimeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is just as inconsistent when it comes to fighting economic crimes. While it claims to want to fight white collar criminals, just this morning it opposed the quick passage of our bill to eliminate parole after serving one-sixth of a sentence, which could apply right now to Earl Jones and Vincent Lacroix.

Why is the government refusing to quickly abolish parole after only one-sixth of a sentence, as the victims of economic crimes are calling for?

White Collar CrimeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we certainly do not need any advice from a party that voted against a bill that was going to crack down on people who traffic in children around the world. That was shameful.

This government is committed to introducing legislation on white collar crime that would impose mandatory jail sentences and aggravating offences that would justify longer sentences.

There is only one party we count on when it comes to standing up against criminals in this country and that is this Conservative government.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, three years ago, the Prime Minister stated, before Bill Gates, that Canada was committed to financing a research centre to produce an AIDS vaccine. Last month, during the prorogation and without a compelling reason, the program was cancelled. Yesterday, to our surprise, the Conservatives declared that they are convinced of the importance of research and innovation.

How can this government reconcile its actions and its words?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the money that had been identified is still on the table. We are continuing to work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to identify an HIV vaccine that would be safe and effective.

As well, a study commissioned by the Gates Foundation showed that there is sufficient vaccine manufacturing capacity in North America as well as in Europe. We continue to work with the Gates Foundation on this very important issue.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's behaviour makes a mockery of its claims to support research and innovation.

The Conservatives have politically interfered with the plans to build an HIV-AIDS vaccine facility in Canada. By scrapping this project, the government is signalling that when it comes to fighting HIV-AIDS, Canada will no longer be a leader.

Would the Minister of Health commit today to apply these dollars to fighting HIV-AIDS, or do these people fall outside the government's recalibration?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker. The funding that was identified for this initiative is on the table. We continue to work with the Gates Foundation to identify a safe and effective vaccine.

As I said earlier, the Gates Foundation commissioned an independent study that identified that there was capacity within North America as well as Europe to meet research needs. We will continue to work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on this very important initiative. The money is still there.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is becoming all too clear that the new citizenship study guide is really a guide to Conservative citizenship. I can understand that the minister is against same-sex marriage, but he cannot pick and choose which fundamental rights must be respected and which ones should be suppressed.

Can the minister explain why he voluntarily removed all references to the legalization of gay marriage in his partisan guide?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I find the protest over this document to be unfortunate. It has been well received, even by members of my colleague's party.

The former guide, published by the Liberal government, made no mention of gays and lesbians in Canada. It also did not mention women's right to vote, equality of the sexes in Canada, the Chinese head tax, internment during the wars, the Quiet Revolution, Louis Riel, responsible government, sports, artists and Canadian heroes. It did not even mention the sacrifice made by Canadian soldiers in the two world wars. These are all mentioned in our document.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister takes the gold for skating.

The Conservative government always refuses to take responsibility for its actions, shifting the blame to public servants and to political staffers. The government cannot pick and choose which equality rights to respect.

The minister should admit that it was wrong to censor out this fundamental right or tell us whose rights are next on the Conservative chopping block: women, visible minorities, the disabled? Whose rights are next?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, after her party originally endorsed “Discover Canada”, it is unfortunate to hear her efforts to politicize it. I take full responsibility for the content of that document, which according to The Globe and Mail is “a welcome move that places a new and appropriate emphasis on Canada’s history and personalities”.

The guide published under the Liberal government made zero mention of gays or lesbians, women's voting rights, equality of men and women, aboriginal residential schools, the Chinese head tax, wartime internment, the Quiet Revolution, Louis Riel, responsible government, Canadian sports, artists or heroes, Remembrance Day, or even the 110,000 Canadians who died in the two wars in the last century.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. member

Hear, hear!

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, creating and protecting jobs is our government's top priority. The Governor General noted in yesterday's throne speech that thousands of infrastructure projects are creating hope and opportunity from coast to coast to coast.

Can the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities tell the House how our government will continue to build on the great success of Canada's economic action plan?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to tell this member that there are more than 16,000 infrastructure projects underway in every corner of this country. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, we have cut red tape. We have had an unprecedented amount of collaboration and co-operation with provincial and territorial governments. We are working well with municipalities in every corner of the country.

Last week, we were thrilled to see the good news that, in the fourth quarter of the economy last year, we surpassed even the most optimistic projections. Since last July, more than 135,000 new jobs have been created. That is nothing more than a good start. We are committed to doing more.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is rushing to tear up rules that have ensured Canadian innovation built world-class Canadian companies employing thousands across this country. It wants to strip foreign ownership restrictions in key strategic sectors essential for future growth such as satellite, telecom and mining.

However, instead of supporting made in Canada technologies and jobs, the government is selling out our economic jewels to foreign speculators whose only purpose is profiteering alone. The minister has botched this file so badly that Canadian companies are suing their own government to protect themselves.

What does the minister have against Canadian corporate leadership?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, absolutely nothing. Indeed, the fact of the matter is that Canadians can compete anywhere in the world against any competition and win that battle.

That is what Canadian companies can do and they are doing it right now. They are competing in open markets and we must open our markets as well. If we want more jobs, more innovation, more competitiveness, better prices and more choice for consumers, that requires Canadians and foreign direct investment in measures.

That is what this government is for. We are for the consumer. We are for more jobs, not only for today but also for tomorrow.