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House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was international.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I get the impression that the Minister of Foreign Affairs was not sure how he was going to conjure up an answer to that question. That being said, in one case, they turn a blind eye because there are only allegations and no action is taken, but in the other case, they take action.

Does that mean the case of the former minister for the status of women was more serious than simple allegations and that is why action was taken? Is that what this means?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have given the leader of the Bloc Québécois clear answers every time. We have said that when there are allegations we take action. It would be like me asking the leader of the Bloc Québécois whether, during his cross Canada tour, he took the time to stop in Fort McMurray, Alberta, to check on the status of his personal shares and investments.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation put up $5.2 million for tobacco control at the International Development Research Centre. However, when the foundation discovered that a board member of the IDRC was also on the board of Imperial Tobacco, it sent a letter expressing this blatant conflict of interest. After no response from the government, it pulled the funding.

Why did the government show such little respect to the largest philanthropic organization in the world? Was it incompetence or indifference?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me remind my colleague that if she is alluding to the chairman of the board's position, I understand the chairman of the board has, within the last month, month and a half, resigned her position from that company.

Research and DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, this was not the first time the Conservatives showed a lack of respect to the Gates Foundation. An agreement was reached to help fund an HIV vaccine facility in Canada, but the government cancelled it for no apparent scientific or economic reason. This bungling and possible political interference cost our researchers funding and may cost lives in the long run.

Why does the government continue to damage Canada's standing in the world?

Research and DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to correct the perception that is here. In fact, the IDRC continues to partner with the Gates Foundation in a number of worthy areas, and I will be able to send my hon. colleague that information if she requests it.

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we heard shocking testimony regarding Rights & Democracy, where government appointees handed out unauthorized contracts to friends, broke accountability rules and spent like drunken sailors. Half a million dollars of public funds have been squandered in less than two months. In fact, when I asked the interim president how much the recent contracts he signed were worth, he could not even give me a ballpark figure.

The buck stops with the minister. What will he do about this? He should fire these rogue board members.

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, when I had the opportunity to go to the committee and to speak about our main estimates, we did have a period of time where we did discuss this specific issue. I invited colleagues around the table to ask the board of directors of Rights & Democracy to come in and to explain their position.

Rights & Democracy, I recall, is an arm's-length organization, and I am waiting for the parliamentary committee to come forward with its recommendations.

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we just heard it. They are out of control. They are spending half a million dollars in a couple of months. The buck stops with the minister. If he is not going to do it, granted, we will do his job. We will look and make sure that every dollar is spent well.

The question is: What is going on over there? We had a parliamentary appointments commission that is supposed to be going. They get a million dollars a year. Those guys are still appointing their friends. No accountability. This is from a government that was going to be different, the new era of accountability. Where is the new era? When will they get with the program, and when will we see accountability with those guys over here?

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I will remind my hon. colleague that as of October 29, 2009, the organization got a clean bill of health. The committee, indeed, had the opportunity of hearing the members of the board of directors, and they all said that the job that was being completed by Rights & Democracy was a fine job.

Tomorrow, I understand that the committee will have the opportunity to question the person who is in charge, Mr. Latulippe. Those questions can be asked of Mr. Latulippe and I am sure that they will find the proper response.

RailwaysOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, railways are an integral part of the Canadian economy. Every year, there are more and more trains on the tracks carrying Canadian goods. At the same time, every day Canadians drive across rail tracks on their way to work, to visit families, to drop kids off at school. Our government wants to ensure that they can cross the line safely.

Would the Minister of State for Transport please inform the House of the announcement he made this morning to support these objectives?

RailwaysOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, we are a government that takes safety very seriously. That is why, this morning, I was able to announce $11 million toward 155 projects for rail safety crossings right across this country. We take safety very seriously and we hope that these dollars will do the same as the last investments, which was to reduce, last year, rail crossing incidents by 36%.

The government is getting the job done for Canadians.

British Columbia EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government is so busy thinking up new excuses to avoid accountability that it has completely ignored British Columbians.

In my province, most so-called new jobs are part-time and short-term; EI recipients' benefits are long gone; lumber mills are closing; there are no salmon left; and welfare rates have gone up 17%.

Does the government have a plan to deal with these urgent problems, or will it treat it like everything else it wants to avoid and refer it to the RCMP?

British Columbia EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this government has made unprecedented investments in British Columbia. The first province that we could make substantial infrastructure announcements was where?

British Columbia EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

An hon. member

British Columbia.

British Columbia EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

We have an excellent working relationship. We are making unprecedented investments, not just under building Canada, not just under the stimulus program, but with major investments in the Asia-Pacific gateway, step by step. No government in Canadian history has delivered more for British Columbia than this team right here.

Broadband Canada ProgramOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, last September the government stated that the projects selected as part of the broadband Canada program would be announced at the end of 2009. Here it is April 2010 and still no projects have been announced. The Fédération québécoise des municipalités has complained about the significant delays with this program.

Will the minister announce all of the selected projects immediately, or will municipalities have to keep waiting, at the risk of compromising other projects?

Broadband Canada ProgramOral 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 part of our digital economy strategy for Canada, we are taking measures to extend broadband service to all provinces and territories. The 2009 budget directed $225 million to extending the broadband Canada program.

Industry Canada launched an application process that has been very successful. We are taking a final look at these applications and we will announce those selected at a later date, no thanks to the Bloc, which, once again, voted against this project.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

April 14th, 2010 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the American transportation secretary has labelled Toyota “safety deaf”. He has actually levied millions of dollars of fines and is considering more. Now Consumer Reports has put a Toyota vehicle on the rare “do not buy” list. What is happening on the Canadian side? The minister actually issued a statement and a press release applauding Toyota's behaviour.

Meanwhile, American, Japanese and European governments are investigating Toyota executives for failure to act. The minister and the Prime Minister know how to call the RCMP. When will Toyota executives be investigated in Canada just as they are being investigated across the planet?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me say two things. One is that officials within Canada's defect investigations and recalls division are in fact conducting an investigation. The member knows that, because these officials appeared before committee. With respect to the Lexus issue he raised, coming from Consumer Reports, our defect investigations and recalls division has received no complaints of rollovers and no complaints about steering systems from the 2007-11 years.

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, one year ago today, the Liberal leader issued his pledge to raise Canadians' taxes and kill jobs. The Liberal leader called for higher taxes on all Canadians. He has been joined by key Liberal spokespersons like the members for Parkdale—High Park and Dartmouth—Cole Harbour.

Can the Minister of Finance please inform the House how many jobs the Liberal leader's GST hike will kill?

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Burlington for his historically accurate question about the Liberal leader and tax hikes.

Canadians are, of course, concerned with the Liberal plan to recklessly raise taxes. A 2% hike in the GST by the Liberals would kill 162,000 jobs in Canada. While they dream of tax hikes, our government is cutting taxes and helping fuel job growth, with 18,000 new jobs in the month of March and 180,000 new jobs since July 2009.

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, information in the public domain suggests Nazim Gillani has unsavoury connections, including public links to organized crime, and is reported to be the subject of police investigations. Today we learned that he put his business associates in compromising positions by taking photographs as a means to ensure their silence. Given this, is the government aware of any risk that Mr. Jaffer or the former minister was or could have been compromised by Mr. Gillani or anyone associated with him?

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Malpeque certainly has quite the imagination. I do not know the individual in question so I cannot speak to the issue. But what I can say is that when allegations were brought to the Prime Minister's attention, what he did was refer the issue to an independent officer of the House, what he did was refer it to the relevant police authorities. That is ethical conduct. That is doing the right thing.

Competition BureauOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has announced that it will crack down on gas stations that are overcharging customers because of inaccurate pumps. But the real problem is that the retail price of gasoline systematically increases just before long weekends or vacation. The near-monopoly held by oil companies needs to be watched more closely.

Why is the government not really dealing with the problem by giving the Competition Bureau more power, as the Bloc proposes in Bill C-452?