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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

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we are referring this to the Supreme Court; that is a sign of our good will. I repeat: it is voluntary.

Let us talk about studies. The study by John Coffee, from Columbia University, also talks about the loss of tens of billions of dollars annually. That is what it costs Canada to have a fragmented approach. Then there is the matter of the 65,000 jobs that may be affected, and that is a point worth debating. I have said it before and I will say it again: this is a voluntary approach and any province that wants to opt out can opt out.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, by making it voluntary, they are showing how ignorant they are.

The Barreau du Québec, the SGF, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Groupe Jean Coutu, the Quebecor group, the Cascades group, the Chambre des notaires du Québec, various chambers of commerce, the Fonds de solidarité and the CSN fund all reject the federal government's plan.

Why are the Conservative members and ministers from Quebec the only ones proposing the financial destruction of Montreal to the benefit of Toronto?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, instead of taking away, we are adding to the security for investors. This is a voluntary system that will be an opt-in if they wish, if Quebec or any other province wishes.

The member listed a whole lot of supporters of his. There is a whole lot of supporters who reiterate that we are the only industrialized country in the world that does not have a common securities regulator. Let me start the list, but I am sure I cannot finish it in 35 seconds. OECD, IMF, Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives--

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Perhaps in the supplementary. The hon. member for Hochelaga.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, he should talk to the Alberta Securities Commission—it is against this.

The government's stubborn insistence on creating a single securities commission in Toronto is an example of predatory federalism. It is bulldozing Quebec. It is depriving a nation of an essential economic and financial tool. By going after the AMF, it is going after Quebec.

How can the Conservative members from Quebec be complicit in such a destructive plan? How can they cut Quebec out like this? What a pathetic bunch they are.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it has been proven by many experts that 13 separate bodies in this country is not efficient. They do not protect investments made by Canadians.

Let me refer to a comment that was made earlier about John Coffee's study at Columbia University: $10 billion a year in savings; 65,000 jobs preserved. The most important thing we are preserving is the safe investment of dollars by Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico should be a lesson to us all.

But have the Conservatives learned anything? That is the question.

BP wells in the gulf were approved because the industry said that the risk of a disaster was negligible. It seems the industry was wrong in this case.

That same industry is giving us the same assurances about drilling in Canada.

Does the government realize that the proposed transfer of environmental assessments to the National Energy Board would be a monumental mistake?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians are horrified with what they are seeing going on in the southern United States.

Let me say to the leader of the New Democratic Party very directly that Canada has strong offshore drilling regulations to prevent what has happened in the United States. Our government will continue to enforce strong environmental and safety standards right across this country.

Canadian regulators will not allow anything unless they are convinced that the environment will be protected. That is our government's bottom line.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Chevron Canada began drilling the deepest oil well ever in Canadian waters. The Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board says that it might have to rethink its standards in light of the disaster in the gulf. That is hardly reassuring.

In the interests of prudence and precaution, is the government willing to participate with the province to reassess the financial capacity to deal with a spill, the ability to respond to a blowout, and the industry's claims regarding the reliability of its technology?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the bottom line is that this government has an important responsibility to stand up and protect the environmental situation in this country, particularly in our far north.

This government accepts that responsibility. We have chosen a very different route than has taken place south of the border in the United States.

I am sure all Canadians and all of us in this House are horrified with what we see going on in the Gulf of Mexico. That is why we are committed to making sure that Canadian regulation is strong so that we can protect our environment for future generations.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Imperial Oil is going around claiming that the likelihood of a spill in the Arctic would be 1:285,000. It says that the risk is manageable. It says that it would have no problem containing any spills. It is really not credible. These are exactly the same things that BP said about its drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Does the government agree that the chances of 1:285,000 of a major ecological disaster in the Arctic Ocean is worth the risk and somehow manageable?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Arctic is one of the most pristine natural environments of anywhere in the world. That is why this government and our Prime Minister have taken many initiatives to support our far north, whether it is quadrupling the size of Nahanni National Park, whether it is establishing a whale sanctuary in Nunavut, or whether it is ensuring that we have responsible environmental legislation.

Just in this session of Parliament alone we passed tougher legislation for our transport sector in the far north, extending powerful Canadian environmental laws another 100 nautical miles.

This government will do everything it takes. We are committed to ensuring that we protect the Arctic. It is a vital ecosystem and this government will not stand for any pollution.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, Friday afternoon the government continued its Conservative culture of deceit by quietly cutting off its support to Toronto's Gay Pride Festival.

Last year the former secretary of state for small business and tourism was stripped of her responsibilities for funding Pride and for appearing in a photo with drag queens. Canadians see this for what it is: blatant discrimination and political pandering among the Conservative right-wing base.

How can the government possibly defend this decision?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth in regard to the hon. member's characterization of things.

This is a two-year stimulus program. In year one of this program, almost 75% of the funding went to events in Canada's largest cities. In year two, we wanted to ensure that the money was spread out to some of the smaller cities so they were able to benefit as well. That means that 19 new events are being funded through this program in smaller urban centres. I think that is a win for all of Canada.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

That argument does not hold water, Mr. Speaker.

Cuts to women's groups, cuts to access to reproductive health abroad, and now cuts to arts and Pride tourism funding. The marquee tourism program is supposed to be about economic stimulus, but what we see here is blatant discrimination and political pandering.

Pride leaves $100 million economic footprint, creates 650 jobs, and generates $18 million in tax revenue. Why does ideology trump economics in this Conservative government?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member fails to talk about is the good news for the dozens of projects across the country that are being funded. These events matter to Canadians in a very diverse way.

In the city of Toronto, of course, there are two events being funded. One is Luminato, which is an excellent new arts and cultural festival that is making a name for itself. We want to ensure it makes an international name for itself.

Similarly, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, after a couple of rough years, is now bouncing back and matters to Canadians from all walks of life. We want it to work as well.

We are proud of our record and this record speaks for itself.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, a female Conservative senator said that women's groups should be quiet or suffer the consequences.

The next day, we got a taste of what those consequences would be: cuts to funding for groups that had received federal government funding for decades.

It is clear that the Prime Minister wants women's groups to be docile and obedient. He also decided to cut funding to gay pride parades.

Which Canadians does this government represent, and which groups will have their funding cut next?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, our government has increased funding for women to its highest level ever. We support projects across Canada, including in Quebec. Those projects include the Centre social d'aide aux immigrants in Montreal. I am also proud to say that we support the Réseau des femmes des Laurentides in Saint-Jérôme. We should focus on improving the lives of women rather than pitting women's groups against one another.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the Conservatives' Canada, nobody is safe from partisanship and intimidation. They target women, climatologists and artists.

To clean up their deficit, they are also targeting festivals and regional development agencies.

Scientists, artists, women's groups and homosexuals have suffered under Conservative ideology, and the regions have suffered because of their incompetence.

Why is the Prime Minister attacking all of these Canadians?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to women's groups in particular, we have raised the funding to the highest levels ever in the history of this country.

We are very proud to be funding organizations like le Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador that will help women improve their economic prosperity.

We are helping the Latin American women's organization that will help high-risk, marginalized 12 to 15-year-old girls of Latin American descent who are facing violence in their lives.

These are the kinds of projects we are proud to fund. I would ask the opposition to stop pitting women's groups against each other and work with us.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

May 10th, 2010 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative members have an interesting concept of justice. Instead of defending the rights of litigants to be heard in the language of their choice, they are defending the rights of unilingual judges to sit as Supreme Court justices. According to the Commissioner of Official Languages, bilingualism is an essential qualification for Supreme Court justices.

In this context, will the Conservatives finally recognize that unilingual candidates are not qualified to serve on the Supreme Court?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, our government is guided by the principles of merit and legal excellence, including regional representation, in the selection and appointment of judges to Canada's Superior and Federal Courts. For once, this should have the support of individuals like the hon. member.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Do not count on it, Mr. Speaker.

The rights of litigants is so fundamental that if there is disparity between the French and the English, an interpretation rule requires that the litigant benefit from the version that is the most favourable and generous to him.

How could unilingual justices effectively carry out their duties if their lack of knowledge of one of the official languages keeps them from making distinctions that the litigant has every right to expect?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

I do not know where the hon. member has been, Mr. Speaker, but in every court, the court strives to ensure that individuals are heard in the language of their choice, that the evidence is heard in the language of their choice before judges who understand them. Again, this is just one more attack on the judiciary of this country and the hon. member should be ashamed of himself.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, after attacking women by challenging the right to abortion and trying to muzzle groups that oppose its regressive ideology, now the Conservative government is continuing its attacks by slashing funding for Toronto's Gay Pride Festival.

In the wake of these new attacks against abortion and gays, how can the government claim that religious fundamentalists have not taken control of the Conservative Party?