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House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nation.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, scientists, Winnipeggers and the HIV community want answers. The Canadian HIV vaccine initiative was jointly announced in 2007 with the Gates Foundation. The International Centre for Infectious Diseases in Winnipeg was a prime contender for the work.

It is reported that the Minister of Public Safety tried to plant the provincial Conservative campaign manager in Manitoba as the chair of ICID, but the scheme failed. Is that why the Conservatives just cancelled the HIV initiative altogether?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, the money is still on the table. An independent study had been conducted, commissioned by the Gates Foundation, and concluded that the facility was unnecessary.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

There were different words at committee yesterday, Mr. Speaker.

The Minister of Public Safety issued a statement about science in February, “Science is about neutral fact-finding, and in this case, the critical health and safety of Canadians”.

Could the Minister of Health therefore explain why a minister contacted a board member of the ICID, suggesting that the Winnipeg application for the Canadian HIV vaccine initiative was indeed in jeopardy?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, during the committee appearance it was made very clear by the officials as to the process that was followed in examining the proposals that had been received. An independent study had been commissioned and it was determined that a facility was unnecessary.

We remain committed to working with the Gates Foundation. We will report back on what some of those initiatives will be.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberal leader said he would whip his caucus to vote to keep the Liberal long gun registry. Canadians know that there are only two options—

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar has the floor and she is trying to ask a question. We have to be able to hear.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know there are only two options: we vote to keep the Liberal boondoggle, or we vote to scrap it.

Eight Liberal MPs voted to scrap the ineffective Liberal gun registry during the bill's first reading.

Would the Minister of Public Safety remind those members why they should represent their constituents and vote to scrap the Liberal long gun registry?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader has again chosen to turn his back on rural Canadians by clearly stating he still supports a wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

Our government believes that gun control should target criminals, not law-abiding citizens. It should promote safe streets, not penalize the lawful activities of hunters and rural Canadians.

The Liberal leader is bending over backward to secure guilty pleas from law-abiding farmers and duck hunters.

The choice is clear for all MPs, especially those who voted for the bill at second reading. We either vote to scrap the bill, or we keep it.

Information TechnologyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General reported today that many of the federal government's information technology systems are on the verge of imminent failure.

From OAS and GIS monthly cheques to immigration and refugee applications, the breakdown of our computer systems would be devastating for the millions of Canadians who depend on them.

Will the government do the right thing and announce today the necessary funding to develop IT strategies and protect Canadians from critical IT failure?

Information TechnologyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we appreciate the work of the Office of the Auditor General. We have looked at these reports and have met with the Auditor General.

She has observed that a number of departments have made advances on their information technology plans and others have not. We have given instructions that we want all departments to bring forward their plans for dealing with information technology and to do it within a certain time limit. From there we will be able to take an overall view of what needs to be done and how much it will cost.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Police Association today said that the federal government is not providing sufficient money to local police forces across Canada. It is telling us that the 2,500 police officers New Democrats called for, and the government promised, are not being fully created or properly funded.

The five-year, $400 million police recruitment fund is now up for renewal and the CPA says it needs to be improved, not abandoned.

Will the minister commit to sustainable funding to help local police forces add the officers they need to keep our communities safe?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

That was an interesting question, Mr. Speaker, coming from an individual and his party who have voted consistently against support for the police.

Our Conservative government is committed to working with provincial and municipal governments that are responsible for policing and have asked for legislative initiatives to keep our streets safe.

We have instituted the police officers recruitment fund, which delivered over $400 million to the provinces to hire new police officers. We have taken steps to make sure there are individuals who are trained to ensure municipal and provincial policing is in place.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

April 20th, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage has it all wrong when he says that only the Union des artistes agrees with levies on MP3 players. I quickly came up with a list of a dozen other organizations that also agree with it: ACTRA, SOCAN, SODRAC, the Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec, the Guilde des musiciens, ADISQ, the CPCC, Artisti and even the Union des consommateurs.

What will it take for the minister to listen to reason and give artists their fair pay?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, our government cut taxes.

We are the government that cut taxes. We are not looking for ways to put new taxes on hard-working Canadians and consumers. We have made a commitment to copyright legislation. It will be fair and balanced and made in Canada.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a consensus in Quebec about fair pay for artists. The Union des consommateurs and the main organizations that defend artists' rights are calling for levies on digital players and eventually on new technology. A simple amendment to the Copyright Act would quickly clear up the issue.

How can the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages claim to know the needs of artists and consumers better than they themselves?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the solution does not lie in harming consumers' interests.

We are not focused on making it more difficult for consumers to buy products like BlackBerrys or iPods or other MP3 devices. We want to have a fair and balanced piece of legislation that protects the creators, protects the consumers and makes sure we have a made in Canada solution for copyright reform.

FisheriesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, a 63% cut in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab quotas has left an entire region in crisis. A 63% decline in just one season is too much to explain.

Either the science branch of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans failed to properly monitor the health of these stocks over the last several years and failed to provide the minister with timely advice, or the minister herself failed to properly act on the science advice that was given to her over several years.

I would like to ask the minister which it is: Did science fail or did the minister?

FisheriesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I certainly sympathize with those who are impacted by the reduction in snow crab quotas. This was a very difficult decision to make, but conservation must remain our top priority.

Surely the hon. member is not suggesting we allow overfishing.

FisheriesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, allow me to quote directly from the documents produced by the minister's own Science Advisory Secretariat on Gulf crab. In 2007, it said that a “population is now in a phase of decline” in Gulf crab. In 2008, it said that recruitment to the fishery was declining by 39%. In 2009, it said that recruitment to the fishery was declining by a further 13%.

Either the science branch of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans failed or the minister did.

She has now been exposed as failing the fishery and failing conservation.

FisheriesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, crab has a four-year cycle. Normally, it would go down in intervening years and peak in the fourth year.

As I said before, conservation is our number one priority in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. That is why the quota is what it is, to protect the future of this fishery.

Northern DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, today the Auditor General revealed that the main problem with the environmental regulatory regime in the Northwest Territories is the government's own failure to properly implement it.

The Auditor General detailed how the government has starved identified funding needs, not acted on past recommendations and dragged its feet when it comes to implementation.

However, the current government says the system's problems are all the fault of the process created by northerners to protect their lands and waters.

Will the minister admit that the highly publicized objective of regulatory reform is designed to open the north to uncontrolled exploitation and that it, not northerners, has created the problem?

Northern DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I encourage the hon. member to get home and talk to some of the industry folks in his own territory, because they are telling me that, if we do not get the regulatory regime fixed by the time the diamond mines are closed, there will not be any more employment

Mind, he is an NDPer and he does not really care about that, but we do. That is why we created the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. That is why we have invested in initiatives on community-based environmental monitoring. We have gone ahead and are going to create the first Canadian high Arctic research station.

We continue to invest in the north. That is what northerners deserve and that is what this government expects.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, instead of firing off cheap shots, the minister might want to get out and actually do some work to help people in the north.

Farmers and consumers agree that public scientific research is required to solve problems of debilitating crop diseases, like wheat rust and soya bean root rot. The Auditor General blamed the government's funding cuts of 20% and 6% over the past three years for reducing the amount of peer-reviewed research that helps producers. Cuts to peer-reviewed research mean harm to farmers' incomes and threats to food security across Canada.

Will the minister commit today to reversing cuts to agricultural research funding?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, we accept the Auditor General's recommendations, and we are already implementing many of them.

Our government continues to invest in research, including $158 million for the agri-innovations program, turning new ideas in technologies into viable market opportunities, and $26 million to modernize federal laboratories.

We are investing directly in industry, including $28 million for canola, flax and pulse crops, $6 million for beef producers and $10 million for dairy.