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House of Commons Hansard #49 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was air.

Topics

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister would accept a modicum of the government's responsibility for what has taken place. The Conservatives changed their minds about the sites. They changed their minds about who would be invited. It has been improvisation with respect to the agenda. Nothing has stayed constant, and nothing has stayed true.

I wonder if the minister would accept that there is at least a degree of incompetence, a degree of a haphazard approach, to the planning for these summits. It explains why there is such a high cost and such a cost overrun.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Canada is honoured to host the world's most influential leaders at the G8 and G20 summits this June. They are major events. Hosting these summits requires complex security planning to ensure that we are prepared. The priority for all these events is the importance of the security and safety of Canadians, participants, and visitors. I understand that the member does not understand the issue of security, but we are committed to ensuring that these two summits are secure.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, white collar crime is a serious problem that needs to be addressed with real action. The Bloc Québécois has suggested ways of combatting this sort of crime, but the Conservative government is using the victims of Earl Jones to try to make a case for its proposed Canada-wide securities commission. Such a commission would not have made a difference to the victims of Earl Jones, though, and the government knows it.

Will the Prime Minister admit that all he is trying to do in creating this Canada-wide commission is deprive Quebec of a vital economic development tool?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, quite the contrary. I know the Government of Quebec disagrees with this proposal, and that is why participation in this commission is voluntary. There are 10 provinces and territories that want to take part. The Bloc should respect the wishes of the other provinces. It was Joey Davis of the Earl Jones victims committee who said he supported the idea of a single national securities regulator to save financial organizations. That is his position.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister knows that what he just said is totally false. What is more, the Minister of Finance acknowledged at a press conference that the federal government had full powers to protect investors under the Criminal Code. So what the Prime Minister is saying is pretext, and he knows it.

Will he admit that his proposed Canada-wide commission is designed to do Montreal out of what it has for Toronto's benefit and encroach on Quebec's jurisdictions, with the blessing of all his token Quebeckers?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, obviously, as an Albertan, I do not have a vested interest in seeing this sector centralized in Toronto. The finance minister's proposal is meant to decentralize this sector. That is its intent. The provinces and territories that have jurisdiction over this area can take part in this commission. Like the Earl Jones victims committee, the Bloc Québécois should respect those who do not share its views.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec and the provinces have exclusive jurisdiction over securities regulation. The federal government's plan will destroy Quebec's responsibilities with respect to property, civil rights and jurisdictions.

The government's hostile takeover has been rejected by the National Assembly and by economic, financial and business circles in Quebec.

Why is the Conservative government grasping this economic lever and showing contempt for the Constitution and the people of Quebec? Why is it grasping control like that?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, in the spirit of open federalism, we respect provincial jurisdictions. That is why participation in this commission is voluntary. Provinces who wish to participate have the choice to do so. We have legal opinions about that. We are referring the matter to the Supreme Court to ensure that everything this government does is in line with the Canadian Constitution.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, calling the new securities commission in Toronto voluntary is a trick. The former president of the Montreal stock exchange thinks that this fragmented system will lead to endless bickering. However, the Minister of Finance is telling Quebec and the other dissenting provinces to pipe down and get in line.

How can Conservative members and ministers from Quebec work with a party that preys on, plunders, destroys and steals Quebec sovereignty? How?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is quite simple; the Conservative federalists are true federalists who respect not only the jurisdictions of Quebec, but also the jurisdictions of the other provinces. The 10 provinces and the territories will participate and are entitled to do so.

Maternal HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have quadrupled G8 security costs, which are now approximately $1 billion. We could do a lot with $1 billion. For example, the maternal health initiative could benefit from it, but their plan is incomplete.

Why is the Prime Minister insisting on excluding abortion from any maternal health initiative despite warnings from scientists, their own civil servants and NGOs? Why?

Maternal HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government's decision respects the will and the votes of this House. Our position is clear: the Canadian public does not want to debate this. We are here and our program exists to save the lives of mothers and children.

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, for years the NDP has been calling for an end to the tax breaks to the big oil and gas companies because we know that they encourage more pollution. The Conservatives, like the Liberals before them, have left many of these tax breaks in place. We are talking about billions of dollars in tax credits that are not justified. They are really a huge gift to the oil industry, which is the biggest polluter and one of the most profitable industries on the planet.

The G20 is getting ready to move on this. Could the Prime Minister tell us the timetable for the removal of the tax subsidies to the big oil companies and the oil patch?

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think I already answered that question. In fact, that question was answered several years ago when we brought in the scheduled elimination of many of those subsidies created by the previous Liberal government, but guess what? The NDP joined with the Liberals and voted against the elimination of those tax breaks.

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has just admitted that all of the subsidies have not been eliminated. That is precisely the point. There are subsidies still on the books.

When are we going to eliminate the subsidies that are still on the books? Big oil continues to pollute. Those companies are getting away with leaving health consequences to first nations which they never have to pay for and climate change emissions which they never have to pay for. All of this amounts to a subsidy. What is the timetable for removing all the remaining subsidies to big oil?

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a world leader in the elimination of these subsidies. Compared to other countries, we have virtually none. I am not sure what specific subsidies the leader of the NDP is talking about, but I am sure of one thing. Whatever we propose to eliminate, the NDP will join with the Liberals and their coalition partners and oppose their elimination.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I asked the Prime Minister to stand up and tell us, in both official languages, that women are free to choose and that he will never allow a bill to pass if it restricts that right.

He refused to answer and delegated his minister of international patriarchy to provide a series of evasive responses.

On behalf of Canadian women, I would like to repeat my request of the Prime Minister. I would like him to stand up and answer my question in both official languages.

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, as the Prime Minister indicated this week, this government has no intention or interest in opening up this debate.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is still not an answer. Will he oppose any attempt to restrict women's right to choose, yes or no?

Yesterday, we learned that, her own department's advice notwithstanding, the minister of international patriarchy was planning to interfere in African women's medical decisions. This proves that the government is guided solely by ideology, not by the scientific data on maternal health.

How can the minister sleep at night knowing that she will be forcing African women to get back-alley abortions?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I know that this government supports the wishes of Canadians. We want to reduce the 40% of deaths of newborns that occur within one month of their birth. We want to reduce the 30% of children who are most affected by malnutrition, who are born with and will grow up to have mental deficiencies, blindness and stunting. We know we can reduce the one-third of children who will die of pneumonia and diarrhea before the age of five.

That is what Canadians want our G8 initiative to be about, saving the lives of mothers and children.

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources said that there are currently no authorizations to drill in the Beaufort Sea. Yesterday the minister gave an even worse answer saying there are no permits for drilling in the Beaufort or the Arctic.

Boundaries do not stop oil spills. Shell Oil has a lease to drill in the Beaufort. A Scottish company has a licence to drill this summer off Greenland. Ocean currents endanger Canadian waters.

For the third time in question period I ask, why does the Conservative government have no plan to deal with foreign oil spills in the Beaufort Sea and Davis Strait when they drift into Canadian waters?

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I want to make it clear that Canada has issued no permits to drill in the Beaufort Sea and that no projects will be undertaken unless and until the government is convinced that worker safety and the environment will be protected. My colleague should be happy that this government is taking the lead in negotiations on Arctic development. This will ensure that our neighbouring countries have high standards for oil drilling. That is why we are in talks with Greenland, whose regulations are similar to Canada's.

One thing is clear: Canada has the highest standards in the world.

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, my third time asking and the third answer with no Canadian plan for a cleanup.

Reacting to oil spills like the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the Prime Minister said that there are relief wells, but relief wells in the gulf will not be ready until August, five months too late. Is that all the protection the Conservative government offers Canadians, five months of oil spilled into our pristine waters? Is that the best it can do?

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, if my colleague is so concerned about what is going on down there, he should talk to the American authorities about the Gulf of Mexico. I am telling him what is going on here in Canada. We have the highest standards in the world. The National Energy Board requires companies to file emergency preparedness and response plans and to use the best available technology. No drilling permits have been issued for the Arctic or for the Beaufort Sea, and no projects will be undertaken unless and until the government is convinced that the environment and worker health and safety will be protected. That is a pretty clear plan.

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

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

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the issue of torture of Afghan detainees, you ruled as Speaker that:

The Senate and House of Commons have the right...to summon and compel the attendance of all persons, within the limits of their jurisdiction, as witnesses, and to order them to bring with them such papers and records as may be required for the purpose of an inquiry.

Yet less than a month later, the government is again trying to restrict committees' power of inquiry by gagging ministers' political staff.

Is the government aware that it is once again running the risk of being found in contempt of Parliament?