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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

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, he should tell that to the people of Timmins, Hamilton and Sudbury who are paying the price for the minister's failures. We have already seen the results of the Conservatives' ill-conceived approach to foreign capital.

It is this ideology that allowed Inco and Falconbridge, Canada's leading mining giants, to be picked off and stripped by foreign mining firms. The Conservatives welcomed Vale and Xstrata into our country and have done nothing when they have attacked workers and shipped Canadian profits to other jurisdictions. They never stand up for workers.

Why is the government so eager to make the rest of Canada's communities and economic sectors suffer the same fate?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, over the course of this Parliament and the previous Parliament, we have seen that party's record when it comes to protecting workers and Canadians. Those members vote for higher taxes. They vote against the economic measures that are increasing growth and opportunity for Canadians. They vote against those things because they have their own ideology and nothing to say to the workers and Canadians across this country.

International CooperationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is appalling that the government does not include abortion and contraception as part of its measures to assist women and children in the world's poorest countries.

Not only are they inadequately responding to the needs of women in this country, but they are also exporting their hidden agenda to the rest of the world. It is no coincidence that the minister was not warmly received at the UN. No applause, nothing. No one is fooled.

Can the government set aside its ideology and ensure that all women have access to all the methods that enable them to make an informed choice?

International CooperationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as Canadians know, our government has adopted a G8 initiative focused on saving the lives of mothers and children. This is not about reproductive rights.

In fact, when 500,000 women die in pregnancy and childbirth every year and 9 million children every year die before their fifth birthday, it is important that we put our support behind that which has seen the least progress.

This is an opportunity for Canada, all Canadians, and all developed countries to show leadership and make a real difference where it counts.

International CooperationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, women who do not want children must have access to contraception, and women experiencing an unwanted pregnancy must have access to abortion, in conditions that do not endanger their lives.

Why does the government refuse to finance these two essential tools to improve the lives of women in the least fortunate countries?

International CooperationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as all Canadians know, this government does many things to help all people living in poverty, particularly women and children.

What we have articulated is an initiative for our G8 on the international scene focused on saving the lives of mothers and children. We know this can be done. It is simple. We know what the solutions. They are providing clean water, vaccination, better nutrition as well as better trained health care workers and access to those health care services that they need as close to their communities as possible.

Access to InformationOral Questions

March 4th, 2010 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, access to information does not exist under the Conservative government. Requests for documents could take up to three years for a response.

The government is using every means to keep information from journalists, members of Parliament and Canadians. Three Conservative cabinet ministers are under investigation right now by the investigations commissioner.

When is the Prime Minister going to direct his ministers to be open, transparent and accountable? What do they have to hide?

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is actually the previous government that continued to vote against our request for expanded capability to get information out to our citizens. We have reversed that course.

We have increased the dollars to the Access to Information Commissioner. We have increased that budget by over $2 million. Also, we have expanded the number of agencies that can in fact be looked at. The Liberals used to protect those. We do not believe in that. We believe in being transparent and that is the path in which we are going to continue.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, the day after the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympic Games, the Minister of Official Languages was the first—the first—to criticize VANOC, saying that French should have been more prominent, and even adding that VANOC had reassured him in that regard.

Now that journalists are asking for proof of that reassurance, the minister is refusing to provide it. A leopard cannot change its spots. When asked for transparency, he becomes completely opaque.

Why does the minister refuse to trust the good judgment of Canadians?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to say that we are extremely proud to have been a partner in the 2010 Olympic Games. They were an extraordinary success for Canada.

But I would like to talk about official languages at the Olympic Games. Jacques Rogge said he was pleased that the Olympic Games were entirely bilingual.

Pascal Couchepin, the Grand Témoin de la Francophonie, said that the Vancouver Games set an example in terms of linguistic diversity and that it would be difficult to do any better.

We kept our promises regarding the official languages during the Olympic Games, and we are very proud to have been a partner in those Games.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, memos show that references to gay rights were shamefully deleted from the citizenship guide at the behest of the immigration minister. Half a million copies have been printed with gay history censored.

The minister will not take responsibility and instead leaves his staff to blame. That simply is not acceptable.

Will the minister do the right thing, admit his mistakes, stop laughing about this and immediately apologize to Canadians?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I take full responsibility for “Discover Canada”.

About that, the Montreal Gazette said, “The 62-page guidebook is a solid step toward a healthy, self-respecting Canadian nationalism we can all share”.

Maclean's said, “Beyond remedying the historical oversights of previous versions, the new citizenship guide also provides a clear-eyed and forceful statement of the expectations of current Canadian values”.

The old study guide, the one that is replaced, had zero mention of gays and lesbians in Canada. We corrected that in the new guide. However, it is true, there is no section on marriage; there never was. We are proud of this guide. We believe it does reflect the diversity of Canada.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, newcomers need to know that gay-bashing is illegal. They need to know that gay marriage is to be celebrated. Is the minister saying that those important elements of Canadian law should not be made known to new Canadians? Why is it missing? Why is it censored away from the new citizenship guide?

Canadians are tolerant, peace-loving and we value our freedom. Let us ensure that newcomers are welcomed in this spirit.

Will the minister immediately restore this reference to gay rights and gay history to the citizenship guide right now?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I have a higher estimation than the member does about new Canadians. I do not believe that new Canadians are potential gay-bashers. I believe new Canadians come here to respect our laws and the dignity of other Canadians.

We make very clear in this document, which was well accepted right across, I believe, the political spectrum and right across the country, that there are rights and responsibilities, and among those responsibilities are following the laws and respecting the dignity of all Canadians.

I am proud this is the first citizenship guide that does mention gay and lesbian Canadians, unlike the one it replaces.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, in the last session of Parliament, the Liberal leader's senators delayed and gutted our tough on crime legislation at every turn. Now we hear that the Liberals are again preparing to block important justice legislation, this time in the House of Commons and the Senate.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. We will have some order. The hon. member for Yorkton--Melville has the floor. We have to be able to hear the hon. member's question.

The hon. member for Yorkton—Melville.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, let me start again. They do not want to hear this.

In the last session of Parliament, the Liberal leader's senators delayed and gutted our tough on crime legislation at every turn. Now the Liberals are again preparing to block important justice legislation, this time in both the House of Commons and the Senate.

Could the Minister of Justice please tell the House what this government plans to do to stand up for victims and the—

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Justice.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what took place in the Senate was very disappointing. After all, it was their colleagues in the Senate that took Bill C-15 and gutted it. That bill targeted drug traffickers and organized crime in the country.

The good news is we will reintroduce that bill into the Senate without those Liberal Senate amendments and we will continue our fight against organized crime and white collar crime and secure justice for victims with tougher sentences.

Fighting crime is a priority and Canadians know they can count on this government.

Status of WomenOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, on February 19, at the Charlottetown Airport, the Minister of State for the Status of Women demonstrated behaviour that was unbecoming any Canadian, let alone a minister of the Crown.

Could the Prime Minister answer the question that his own backbenchers are asking? Why is that person still in cabinet?

Status of WomenOral Questions

3 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeMinister of State (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, I have acknowledged that I spoke emotionally. I did in fact apologize. I realize it was inappropriate. I not only apologized to the employees, I did follow up with a statement.

White collar CrimeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, Earl Jones' victims had the unpleasant surprise of being required by Revenue Canada to pay tax on profits they have never received. While Revenu Québec promises to be accommodating, the member for Lévis—Bellechasse says that a determination will be made on a case-by-case basis and within the parameters of the law. But it is precisely the Income Tax Act that is problematic.

Will the Minister of National Revenue change the law to allow these victims to deduct the losses resulting from these fraudsters' schemes?

White collar CrimeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the government empathizes with the victims in this sad case. I would like to point out to my colleague that, when the agency was informed of the problem, it decided to stop collecting these taxes until the investigation has been completed.

A working group was also put together to conduct the investigation in order to reach a decision that is fair and just for the victims. The minister will be meeting with the victims on Friday.

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the foreign affairs minister regarding Rights & Democracy.

The president of the institute has died, managers were fired, PI and PR firms were hired without tender, board members quit in disgust due to the political meddling of Conservative appointees, and yet the minister expresses confidence in the board and its chair. To make matters worse, he has made a mockery of consultations in the appointing of a new president.

Will the minister ask the board to step aside until the foreign affairs committee has investigated matters and makes recommendations to the government to make matters better?