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House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pumps.

Topics

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of food products move around this country almost daily and not everyone can be in every place. Having said that, it was this government that put the Weatherill report in play and actually hired Sheila Weatherill, much to the chagrin of the opposition.

She has done a tremendous job and has given us a list of 57 recommendations to move forward on. We are beginning that and are well under way with a good number of them. In fact, working with industry and the provinces, we are well under way and we will get that job done very soon.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the City of Toronto is still reeling from the government's cancellation of support for Pride celebrations this year.

Toronto's Pride Week is not only North America's largest Pride celebration, it is also internationally recognized and brings approximately 300,000 people to the city of Toronto every year. In fact, last year alone the government support of $400,000 led to $6 million of economic activity for Toronto alone. This is a marquee event.

What does the government have against Pride celebrations in Toronto?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, this year, year two of the program, we have made a conscious effort to ensure all centres around the country, including in urban communities outside of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, also have access to the marquee tourism events program, and that has been the case.

In the city of Toronto, two very successful events, Luminato and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, were successful again this year. A number of other events were not successful. If the hon. member had his way, none of them would get any money because of course they voted against the budget.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute nonsense.

This Toronto Pride is part of a very worrisome pattern of the government. Vancouver Pride was also shut out of government funding this year, and last year the minister of state for small business and tourism was punished for supporting Pride events.

Then, the Minister of Immigration removed all mention of Canada's gay and lesbian communities from Canada's new citizenship guide.

How can Canadians celebrate our tolerance when it seems the government has none? It has to heckle because it is so sensitive to the truth.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as a result of our changes to the program, 19 new events in other urban centres across the country have had access to the marquee events tourism program. We think that is progress.

We had a cap for the major urban centres, like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Edmonton, a cap of a maximum of two events so we could spread the money around and ensure that the diversity of the country was recognized by this program. That is what we have done.

Again, those hon. members are very good at complaining now but they voted against those measures when they came up in the House. That is shameful and disgraceful.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, in a shocking display of ignorance of the Ontario Police Services Act, the Liberal leader and his team broke the law.

They used a photograph of an American police officer and falsely inserted the insignia of the Ottawa police force onto the shoulder to make it look like Ottawa police officers are behind his attempt to force Liberal MPs to support the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

Will the parliamentary secretary tell the House how Bill C-391 would stop hunters, farmers and ranchers from being criminalized by the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, last week at committee we heard front-line police officers with real experience, not photo-shopped Liberal spin.

This ad from the Liberal Party seeks to mislead Canadians into forgetting that many front-line police officers oppose the wasteful, inefficient Liberal gun registry.

Front-line officers, like Dave Shipman, said:

The long-gun registry is not working to prevent gun crime.... Criminals... do not register their stolen or smuggled guns that are being used to wage war in our cities.

This is the latest desperate attempt by the Liberals to save their failed registry. We hope that all Liberals come to their senses and vote in favour of Bill C-391.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, it has been over a month since the Prime Minister fired his status of women minister, kicked her out of caucus and called in the RCMP.

A lot has happened since then. The former minister has even been fired as a Conservative candidate. We still do not know the nature of the allegations deemed so serious that the Prime Minister called in the RCMP, the first time since the days of Brian Mulroney.

This is about the integrity of the government. When will the government end the speculation and tell Canadians whether a criminal investigation is under way and what it is about?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have answered that question several dozen times.

What I would like to know is why the law firm, that the Liberal member for Scarborough—Rouge River works for and which advertised him as a paid lobbyist, according to the Toronto Sun, helps clients “incorporate and maintain offshore companies in various tax-haven countries, e.g. British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Cayman Islands”.

Now we know why from the Leader of the Opposition's first questions. The Liberals want to raise corporate taxes. That is Liberal policy. Obviously the member for Scarborough—Rouge River and his firm saw an opportunity to help Canadian companies evade those taxes. More Liberal doublespeak.

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, high-speed Internet is essential for the development of remote areas. Numerous investment projects are on hold and yet this government is dragging its feet. The Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités is urging the government to speed up investments. Projects worth nearly $1 billion have been presented to the government, but barely $225 million has been made available, and that is over three years.

What is the government waiting for to invest in bridging the digital divide that separates the remote regions from the rest of the world?

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we in fact have made a series of investments for broadband. These were announced yesterday, Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day to every member of the House who is in that position. This was a serious 52-project start to rural broadband, making sure that Quebec and other areas of the country were covered. The response from the province of Quebec has been uniformly positive.

PensionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year CHCH-TV employees in Hamilton watched their underfunded pension plan wind up with an $8 million deficit. That means they will only get 85% of the money they were expecting; this while Asper's executives at Canwest were given $41 million to top up their underfunded pension plan before they went into CCAA protection. Fair-minded Canadians are asking how that happened in a federally regulated industry. They want to know when the government is going to accept that pension assets are deferred wages and not some corporate slush fund.

PensionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance and his parliamentary secretary have been hard at work, working with the provinces and territories, which are where 90% of the pensions were in fact regulated. To make sure we have a more comprehensive view on this, we have asked the NDP members to be part of the process. We have asked them to be constructive. They keep voting against our budgets, so that is not helpful.

The EconomyOral Questions

May 10th, 2010 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberal finance critic was asked about April's record-breaking monthly job gains, he sheepishly admitted it was, “clearly a positive month...a good month...the job numbers were positive...Canada (is) relatively strong compared to other countries”.

We thank the Liberal finance critic for finally admitting that under our Conservative government Canada's economy is staying strong. However, Liberals need to understand tax hikes would kill Canada's recovery.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance please tell us how lower taxes create jobs?

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in April alone Canada created a record-setting 108,000 new jobs. We saw job gains in every province, but the global economic recovery is fragile. There are still threats, threats such as the massive Liberal tax hikes that would kill new jobs and kill the recovery. Conversely, Conservative tax cuts and Canada's economic action plan help create jobs.

Comments by Member for Toronto CentrePoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, I was out of the House after question period when the member for Langley raised some issues about comments I made in heckling the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The parliamentary secretary will know that he and I have had a long, bantering relationship about his frequent flying, and when I made reference to the fact that he should get back on his plane, that is what I was referring to. I phoned the parliamentary secretary in the afternoon, after the member for Langley raised the question of what I had said, and in his customary fashion, the parliamentary secretary accepted my explanation of what I had to say.

If I have caused any offence by my remarks, if they have been misunderstood by anyone, I fully apologize, but I think members in this House who know me well will know that that is what I meant, and that is all I meant, and I shall continue to participate in this House in a vigorous and, I hope, well-spoken way.

Comments by Member for Toronto CentrePoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have a long history with aircraft. Before I came to this country, I was an air traffic controller. I boarded an aircraft and came to this country in September 1997, and I have travelled quite a lot.

I and the Liberal critic for foreign affairs have had a lot of hard words on everything, and I think that during that time, he was pretty upset with my answers, which is fair enough, no problem. In that light, he phoned me and I said that my colleagues may have taken offence, but I know him well, so I said I would accept his apology.

However, I have a serious concern in this House with the member for Wascana. The member for Wascana stood there on that Thursday and said these exact words, “I sat within one foot of the gentleman and I did not hear any such remark”. This is what the member for Wascana said. If he was sitting right next to the member, and today the member accepted that he said that, then why did he mislead the House by saying, “I sat within one foot of the gentleman and I did not hear any such remark”?

Therefore, I suggest to the member for Wascana that as a member of Parliament, there is a public service health service under which he is entitled to $1,000 for a hearing aid, which he should get.

Comments by Member for Toronto CentrePoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the hon. gentleman was making a specific, concrete offer of a contribution to a hearing aid.

Indeed what I said last week was that I sit one foot away from the hon. gentleman from Toronto Centre and I did not hear him make that remark. If he has now clarified the record, I should pay much closer attention to the hon. member for Toronto Centre. We would all be edified by his golden words.

Comments by Member for Toronto CentrePoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I think it is entirely understandable that some hon. members do not hear remarks from the person sitting beside them. I can imagine the earaches they must develop listening to some of the comments that come from some members who yell repeatedly during debates in this House. I have mentioned it to a few of the colleagues sitting on either side in the last while, but we will not get into that now.

The hon. government House leader is rising on a point of order.

Comments by Member for Toronto CentrePoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, with all due seriousness about this particular subject, it is important that all members, before they rise to their feet in defence of a colleague, at least know what was said before they say they did not hear something.

Comments by Member for Toronto CentrePoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

That would be interesting. I do not think the House has always operated that way.

ImmigrationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed by Canadians from both sides of the national capital region calling on the government to be more flexible in determining who can be included in the family class.

More specifically, they are asking the government to establish a special immigration measure enabling Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor members of their families who have been personally and directly affected by the Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010, no matter what their ages.

Corporate Social ResponsibilityPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today of tabling two petitions.

The first petition is signed by 30 people from Kitchener-Waterloo and the surrounding area.

The petitioners are calling on the government to create effective laws regarding corporate social responsibility.

Criminal CodePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is signed by 723 people from all across Canada.

The petitioners are calling on the Canadian government to enable prosecution of those who encourage or counsel someone to commit suicide, by updating the Criminal Code to reflect the new realities of 21st century broadband access.

Employment InsurancePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.

The first petition is signed by dozens of Manitobans and calls for equal employment insurance benefits for adoptive parents.

Canadians realize that adoption is important in a compassionate and just society. They realize that the current EI program provides adoptive parents with 35 weeks of paid leave, followed by a further 15 weeks of unpaid leave. A biological mother is given both the first 35 weeks and the latter 15 weeks as paid leave. We know that adoptions are expensive, lengthy and stressful for the adoptive parents and their families. Recent studies have shown the additional 15 weeks of paid leave would help parents to support their adopted children and help them through a very difficult period.

The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to support Bill C-413, tabled by the MP for Burnaby—New Westminster, which would amend the Employment Insurance Act and the Canada Labour Code to ensure that an adoptive parent is entitled to the same number of weeks of paid leave as a biological mother of a newborn child.