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House of Commons Hansard #35 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was review.

Topics

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, that is an absolutely ridiculous comment by the Bloc. To be fair, we have heard a lot of those coming from the Bloc.

Bilingualism is very important. Legal competence is important.

I can tell the hon. member about the particular bill he talks about. This bill just makes no sense. As retired Supreme Court Justice John Major said, “If they want to sacrifice competency for linguistics, well, it's just a mistake”.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect the government to account for what is clearly political interference with the enabling accessibility fund. The minister has never explained why approximately 90% of all funding went to Conservative MPs' ridings. Remember, we are talking about a fund for the disabled. It is supposed to be for all disabled Canadians, but clearly it is not.

Could the minister start by explaining how one single Conservative riding, one riding, received more projects than the provinces and territories of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Yukon and the Northwest Territories combined?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of the enabling accessibility fund, as we are of many other things we have done to help the disabled. This program allowed over 300 more facilities to become accessible, including Iona Church in the member's riding.

These projects have taken place across the country and have built on what we are doing to make federal buildings more accessible. We have extended this program for the next three years so we can make even more buildings accessible to those who need to get into them and have the right to and deserve to.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not even care enough about the disabled to have an accessible riding office after six years in office.

This Conservative slush fund is an insult to Canadians with disabilities, who are more likely to face barriers to success and are more likely to live in poverty. They deserve better than this. This culture of deceit abandons millions of Canadians who need help. It is inexplicable and it is offensive.

Here is an easy question. How could it be that 26 individual Conservative ridings each received more projects than the entire province of Newfoundland and Labrador?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, let us be honest. We brought in the enabling accessibility fund. We have extended it. We brought in the funds to make federal buildings accessible.

Prior to our becoming government, for 13 long years the Liberals ran not one but two offices for disability issues, and neither one of those national head offices was accessible. Our government changed that. We made both of them accessible. Not only that, we made them into one and it has become a showpiece for how businesses can learn to adapt their facilities to help the disabled, but the member voted against that.

Workplace SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is failing Canadian workers. Worse, it is actually endangering workers' safety.

A report released yesterday showed that while the provinces have cut the number of disabling workplace injuries by 25%, the number of serious injuries in federal workplaces like Canada Post and the trucking industry has increased. It is no coincidence that those rates rose at the same time the government cut the number of workplace inspectors.

Will the minister commit to hiring more workplace inspectors to protect Canadian workers?

Workplace SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we have received the report, and officials in the department are currently reviewing it.

As the member opposite is aware, the health and safety of Canadians is the top priority of this government. That is why I want to talk today about the National Day of Mourning, which has not been mentioned yet in question period today. I want to extend, on behalf of the government, our sympathies to the families and friends who have lost loved ones on the job.

I know very well that no words can take away their sorrow, and the best way to pay tribute to those we remember today is to continue to strive for safer and healthier workplaces.

Workplace SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the best way to pay tribute is with real action.

On this National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured at work, the flag of Parliament is flying at half-mast. The minister and other members attended the national ceremony, and some have said some touching things, but Canadian workers need much more than words and symbols. They need action from the government.

I ask again, will the government commit to enforcing health and safety protections, hiring more labour affairs officers, and setting concrete targets for reducing workplace injuries?

Workplace SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as is known, any federally regulated workplace is expected to adhere to occupational health and safety codes as set out in the Canada Labour Code. It is no different from anywhere else in the country, and that is what we expect.

The labour program works with employees and employers to better put in place occupational health and safety standards. But, quite frankly, given the fact that every time this government proposes anything in the House, that party votes against it, I doubt it would vote for anything to help workers in general.

Arctic SovereigntyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are rightfully proud of our beautiful Arctic, the true north strong and free. Our government made a commitment to protect our sovereignty in the Arctic.

Could the Minister of National Defence tell us what our government is doing to protect our ability to operate and protect our most northern territory?

Arctic SovereigntyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, Operation Nunalivut 10, the Canadian Forces' annual exercise in the high Arctic, was just completed.

Our Arctic Response Company Group and the Canadian Rangers tested new equipment and themselves as they demonstrated their capability in safeguarding our high Arctic.

During the exercise our search and rescue team saved the life of an Australian, Tom Smitheringale, from an ice floe, and we saw our CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft land for the first time on a gravel airstrip near Alert. A navy dive team conducted its longest underwater Arctic dive. The SAR techs parachuted in. Our troops trekked further north than ever before on the Arctic Ocean.

What an expedition. Great work—

Arctic SovereigntyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Ajax—Pickering.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, by 2012, Conservative prison spending will be up 238%. That is the Conservatives' number, and it does not include billions in new bills.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer is working to expose the true cost, but in a culture of deceit the government is blocking him.

The PBO had to dedicate more than six months to getting hidden government facts, basic facts like projected prison population which should have been handed over in a day. These are not cabinet confidences, they are Conservative secrets, embarrassing truths about a government chasing disastrous failed Republican plans to build prison cities.

How about some truth in budgeting? Where are the numbers?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the protection of Canadians must come first. Part of keeping our communities safe is keeping dangerous criminals behind bars.

We understand that the Liberal Party is opposed to keeping dangerous criminals behind bars. That is not our position. That is not the position of Canadians.

We understand the cost to victims, and we are prepared to work on behalf of victims.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 24, the House of Commons passed, at report stage, the Bloc Québécois bill that would eliminate the unpaid two-week waiting period that the government imposes on all workers who apply for employment insurance. This bill cannot be passed unless the government gives it the royal recommendation.

Will the government abide by the will of this House and grant a royal recommendation to eliminate the employment insurance waiting period?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I repeat that we have put in place a number of measures to help workers get through the economic crisis. Every time we proposed measures to help those who needed them most, they voted against those measures. Instead of going ahead with two weeks of EI, we are proposing five, which is much better for all the workers who need EI.

Canada Elections ActOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, at a time when public confidence in our democratic institutions has been seriously eroded, we read in La Presse today that the Liberal Party has learned nothing from the sponsorship scandal. Even the Liberal Party members in Westmount—Ville-Marie cannot take any more and are filing a formal complaint.

We all know that all the candidates for leadership of the Liberal Party used loans to get around the limits on donations. Now that practice is spreading to the ridings.

Can the government tell us what it plans to do to put an end to these practices that threaten our democracy?

Canada Elections ActOral Questions

3 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, to the Liberal member who has taken action, I am not going to speculate about what is going on in that Liberal EDA.

I will draw the member's attention to a government announcement on political loans, which will occur in the foyer at 3:45 eastern standard time this afternoon.

Canadian Blood ServicesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the future of the Canadian Blood Services facility in Saint John has been a topic of much concern for all residents of New Brunswick.

An all-party committee of the provincial legislature recently brought forward a report with recommendations.

Could the minister update this House on the position of the government on this issue which is so important to health care delivery in New Brunswick?

Canadian Blood ServicesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the health and safety of Canadians will always be a priority of our government. Decisions on relocations are made by the CBS board of directors as well as by the provincial and territorial governments, which are at arm's length from Health Canada.

Access to InformationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, every time the current government has had a choice to come clean, to tell the truth, to share what it knows, it buries it. It covers it up and dumps it in a shroud of secrecy fed by a culture of deceit.

When there are credible and serious allegations against a cabinet minister, they are hidden. When Parliament asks for documents on allegations of torture, they are blacked out. When the Parliamentary Budget Officer asks for basic information on the government's plan to build prison cities, he is shunned.

Our democracy depends on free and open access to information. Why does the Prime Minister attack that principle at every turn?

Access to InformationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, what I might want to mention to the member is that the cost of allowing criminals to avoid the consequences of their actions is much greater than the cost of incarceration.

The Liberals have shown that they have a fundamentally different view of what it means to be tough on crime. They believe that it is citizens who should be locked in their own houses while dangerous criminals are on the street. That is not the position of our party. We stand with the victims. We stand with the rights of Canadians even if he does not.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, in January, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that every minute Omar Khadr sits in a U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay is a violation of his rights.

Omar Khadr was a child soldier of 15 years of age when he was captured. The nature of his detention and the extreme interrogation techniques put to him would not be tolerated here in Canada.

As his pretrial begins before a U.S. military tribunal, will the current government finally petition President Obama to send Omar Khadr home?

Omar KhadrOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada recognizes the independence of the U.S. criminal proceedings. We are aware of media reports indicating ongoing discussions between the prosecution and the defence, and I want to point out that the Government of Canada continues to provide consular services to Mr. Khadr.

Wood in Federal BuildingsOral Questions

April 28th, 2010 / 3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Forest Products Association of Canada, Avrim Lazar, had asked all members to support our bill to promote the use of wood in the construction and renovation of federal buildings. Only the Conservatives voted against it.

Will the government reconsider its position and support the bill, which would be an excellent way to revive the forestry industry?