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House of Commons Hansard #33 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

International CooperationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, my minister is hosting the G8 development ministers in Halifax today where this issue will be discussed. We will be leading the discussion at the upcoming G8 summit on child and maternal health. We are focused on how to make a positive difference to save the lives of mothers and children in the developing world. Canada's contribution to maternal and child health may include family planning, however, Canada's contribution will not include funding abortion.

International CooperationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has asked for Norway's help in establishing its maternal and child health strategy for developing countries. Norway's special adviser insists that family planning measures, including abortion, are essential to such a strategy.

Will the Conservative government listen to this wise advice and make resources available in order to give women the freedom of choice?

International CooperationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, it gets a little tiresome having the opposition always trying to score cheap political points on the issue of abortion.

We are giving the opportunity to all our G8 partners to assist us in promoting maternal and child health. The standard practice is that each country makes its own domestic decision on which areas it will focus. Our government has no intention of reopening the abortion debate in Canada. We will work with our partners on this important issue.

Military Police Complaints CommissionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Military Police Complaints Commission's investigation of the detainee torture scandal started years ago in 2007 with no end in sight because the government has obstructed it every step of the way. Its lawyers have acted like dictators, insulted the commission, intimidated the witnesses and bullied the journalists. The Conservative culture of deceit must end.

Why can the government not be honest with Canadians and call a public inquiry?

Military Police Complaints CommissionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the mandate of the MPCC is very clear and well set out. Certain parts were challenged in court and they were upheld. There are officials there who take their role very seriously. Procedures are in place and the member should let the MPCC do its work.

Military Police Complaints CommissionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, so should the government actually. It should let the commission do its work. The fact is that there is so much tension at the commission due to the antics of the government and its lawyers that now Mr. Len Edwards, a respected deputy minister, will have to appear to answer why the government is hiding documents from even its own censors. This is all a result of the Conservative culture of deceit.

All of this obstruction and cover-up tells me that a public inquiry is the only way that Canadians will learn the truth. When will the government have the courage to call the public inquiry?

Military Police Complaints CommissionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Again, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has it completely wrong. There are procedural safeguards within the hearing process at the MPCC. I am sure all the officials there take their work very seriously and they just want to get on with doing the work that they have been mandated to do. The hon. member should be supporting that.

Member for BeauceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member for Beauce has spent the last 10 days denigrating Quebec. He thinks that Quebeckers are spoiled rotten. Recently, the member criticized the Bachand budget for being too left-wing. Now a minister and a parliamentary secretary, both Conservative, are defending him.

Why is the Prime Minister letting his former minister go on this anti-Quebec crusade? Why is he once again choosing to play politics at Quebeckers' expense?

Member for BeauceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Quebec has its own government, and we respect it, just as we respect every other provincial government. That being said, I get the impression that if we were to accurately describe the situation in the House, we would see that one particular party—the one opposite known as the Bloc Québécois—has spent the last 20 years projecting a negative image of Quebec outside the province.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the hon. member for Beauce has been ridiculing and insulting Quebeckers to the great pleasure of the Prime Minister, the Conservatives have gone back on their word on harmonization and will penalize Quebec.

Instead of negotiating in good faith, as they promised to do, they are slipping in changes to their conditions and abandoning Quebec's taxpayers.

Why does the Prime Minister insist on insulting, penalizing and misleading Quebeckers so much? It is probably out of respect for culture—the Conservative culture of deceit, of course.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is rather surprising to hear such things coming from a Liberal colleague who was once part of very centralist government.

We are negotiating in good faith. In order for compensation to be paid to Quebec, there needs to be an agreement on full harmonization of both taxes.

Under our government, Quebec has set aggressive targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions. In our 2007 budget, we transferred $350 million to Quebec. Our Liberal friends across the way never would have set such a fine example of decentralization.

AgricultureOral Questions

April 26th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, a number of recycled rural policy ideas that continue to ignore rural Canada and farmers was announced by the Liberal leader.

Our government continues to work hard for farmers. Our agriculture minister continues to work hard and has just returned from a two week trade mission to China and Uruguay. During that mission, he delivered hundreds of millions in new deals for farmers, including expanded access for canola, pulse and barley growers, and reopening the Chinese markets to genetic swine.

Could the minister please tell us how we put farmers first while--

AgricultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' neglect of rural Canada is so bad, the member for Malpeque said that Canadian agriculture groups “are not prepared to support me”. That reason was compounded today when they made another stirring rural policy statement from the greater Toronto area, at the same time that they are voting through unscientific seed regulations and stalling free trade deals that would benefit farmers.

We will get out there on the world stage and get the job done for our farmers.

Foreign AidOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in June, Canada will be hosting the G8 and G20 meetings. The government has stated that it wants to make headway on the millennium development goals, such as maternal and child health, but when it comes to paying for these commitments, the government is going in the wrong direction and actually cutting the foreign aid budget.

This is a question of accountability. When Canada makes a promise to the world, it should honour that promise.

How can the Conservatives be taken seriously when they say one thing and do another? To be taken seriously, they have to do one thing: show us the money. Where is the money?

Foreign AidOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, to be taken seriously, it comes down to the fact that the member needs to ask an accurate question.

The fact is that the government has increased funding to $5 billion, the highest in the history of Canada. The least he can do is tell the truth when he asks a question.

EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has scheduled an array of G8 ministers meetings but none on the environment. In the 18 years of G8 meetings, only once before has the environment not been on the agenda and that was the 2004 meeting hosted by the former president, George W. Bush.

Action on climate change and the environment is integral to a healthy, sustainable world economy. I am sure the Minister of the Environment would agree to that. Will the government then commit to convene a meeting of environment ministers this June at the G8 and G20?

EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raises the question of climate change. She is well aware that in December of last year, this government helped lead the way toward the Copenhagen accord. That accord has now been signed by 120 countries, accounting for close to 90% of the world's emissions.

Our objective is to translate that into an effective international treaty. It is for that reason that the major economies forum met in Washington a week ago. It is for that reason that the ministers of environment are meeting in Bonn next week. We will continue to get the job done in those fora.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is announcing new community diversification measures.

It has been proven that this type of assistance does not help the forestry industry, because the crisis is still going on. The government should not use these diversification measures, which are not enough, as an excuse not to invest money to help the forestry companies that badly need cash.

What is the government waiting for to introduce measures to support the industry and workers who want to continue developing forestry?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my colleague that this morning, the Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada announced the temporary initiative for the strengthening of Quebec's forest economies.

This three-year, $100 million measure will support communities affected by the forestry crisis.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the measures announced today will not help forestry companies that have to put off their banker.

“It is a drop in the bucket,” says the CEP. Left to their own devices for five years, these companies are at the end of their rope. They are asking for loan guarantees, which the agreement with the U.S. allows, to get through the crisis.

When will this government help Quebec's forestry companies?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord has some nerve. He voted against our government's $100 million initiative in the last budget. It is shameful.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, there are three recent items of good news for First Nations University. First, the former chief financial officer of the institution, the one who raised money concerns and was fired, has been reinstated. Second, the Canadian Association of University Teachers has withdrawn its motion of censure. Third, the university has just been awarded a research excellence grant by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Given these votes of confidence, will the minister now confirm that the Government of Canada will reinstate full federal funding?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, that is called cherry-picking through the good news, I am afraid. For example, there is a memorandum of understanding between the universities and the provincial government. They are still waiting for the legal documents to follow that up. Time is ticking away. If they are not in place by the end of the week, the province may pull their funding as well.

Problems continue there but we are working with the university, specifically with the University of Regina. We are hoping they will get their ISSP application in. We have already told them that there are $3 million to help students get through to the end of the school year. We are determined to help them do that and we are working with the university to make it happen.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina strongly support First Nations University, as do the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber says that past problems have been fixed. It calls FNUC a unique, important and rare asset. The reinstated chief financial officer says that he has enormous faith in the people now running the institution.

Will the minister confirm today, at least in principle, that he is prepared to restore federal funding?