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House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was libraries.

Topics

HousingOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the big city mayors met this week and are calling for a national housing strategy, saying that homelessness needs immediate attention, and yet the Conservatives refuse to take a leadership role.

Two single moms, a cancer survivor and a father of four have been forced to take the government to court for a decent place to live.

The mayors want the minister to sit down with the stakeholders and implement a national strategy to deal with this crisis.

Will the government finally wake up to the growing housing problem in this country and support a national housing strategy?

HousingOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, while that member talks about a national housing strategy, we have been out there doing things nationally to ensure that those who are most vulnerable have a roof over their head. In fact, there are over 3,500 projects across the country from province to province. We are taking action while they are talking about the possibility of taking action.

The paradox is that those members voted against all of the measures that we have taken to help those who are homeless.

HousingOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the same old announcements of the same old dollars will not solve Canada's housing crisis.

The minister knows full well that the Conservative government is ready to cut $500 million a year in federal support for existing affordable housing units. The FCM and over 50 major organizations across the country have endorsed Bill C-304 for safe and affordable housing.

Will the government support the bill and sit down with all levels of government to implement a national housing strategy?

HousingOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate the dollars we have been spending for homelessness: $1.9 billion over five years. That is a significant investment.

For others, like seniors, we have invested $400 million. That is an amount that has been opposed by NDP members. They voted against the budget. They voted against these provisions.

There is another $75 million for those who are disabled, $400 million for first nations reserves, and $200 million for the north. That party voted against each and every one of those provisions, and it is talking about a national policy.

Forest FiresOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Attikamek from Wemotaci, Obedjiwan and Manawan are going through some harrowing hours right now because unusually intense forest fires are threatening their communities and have even made it necessary for many of them to be evacuated. We already know that the losses will be heavy.

Can the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development tell us what measures he intends to take to provide help quickly to these thousands of people in distress?

Forest FiresOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we are aware of the situation. Our officials have been working with the first nation and with the province that is primarily responsible for the evacuations that are necessary and for the work that will be done. We will do everything we can to help in this circumstance.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, Kruger announced that it was laying off 440 workers in Trois-Rivières. Even though the forestry industry has to deal with interest rates that can reach 25%, the Conservative government refuses to offer loan guarantees.

How can the government claim that its programs are working, when job losses are piling up in the forestry industry?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:50 a.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, our Conservative government is supporting and will continue to support the key sectors of our economy. The Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec joined Nathalie Normandeau, Deputy Premier of Quebec, Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife and Minister responsible for the Northern Plan, and Serge Simard, Minister for Natural Resources and Wildlife, in announcing $110 million in support measures for 2010-11 to solidify the recovery and to support the transformation of the sector.

Sydney HarbourOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Prime Minister.

Last Thursday in Cape Breton, Sydney celebrated Ports Day. The main topic was the dredging of Sydney harbour, which will be key to Cape Breton's future. What was missing that day was the announcement for federal funding for the dredging.

The extended deadline is today. Will the Prime Minister commit his government to funding the dredging of Sydney harbour so the community has an opportunity to grow and prosper?

Sydney HarbourOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what is not missing are millions of dollars that have been committed to Cape Breton by the government over the last four years, most of which the member voted against; for example, the infrastructure stimulus fund, $175 million to support marine Atlantic revitalization; money through the gas tax; and projects through CAF and RInC.

These are incredible projects for Cape Breton, all of which the member voted against. He is shaking his head. I can hear it rattling from here, but it is a fact.

Sydney HarbourOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, how come this minister, who is responsible for Nova Scotia, does not come across the Causeway enough? He should get down there. He should be there today announcing this much needed money instead of spending his time in the House.

I will continue to fight for the people of Cape Breton. He should be responsible for the people of Nova Scotia. He should get down there and make that announcement so Cape Breton can move ahead.

Sydney HarbourOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's canned rage, but he has been missing in action. When he was a member of the government for 13 years, we heard nothing but stunning silence from this member on the Sydney dredge. It was like crickets when it came to the member raising this issue around the Sydney dredge.

In the meantime, we as a government on the Conservative side have invested millions and millions of dollars.

I get to Cape Breton regularly. I love Cape Breton. I even love Rita's Tea Room.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, next week in Alberta a provincial hearing will begin into an oil sands upgrader in Upgrader Alley. The project will destroy fish habitat and cause acid deposition in the national park, yet despite public requests, no federal environmental assessment has been required and no federal officials are attending the hearing.

How does the minister defend his failure to ensure a review before an irrevocable decision is made to ensure timely and meaningful public participation, and to provide a coordinated environmental assessment, all required by law?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member knows this government is committed to first-class environmental assessment regulations. Her party has been voting against improving environmental assessments. The existing system duplicates assessments. It is expensive and frustrates major projects in the country without enhancing environmental outcomes.

Why would she be opposed to improving environmental assessments?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is why there is a coordinated review, except one of the partners is missing in action.

The government constantly touts its policy of following in the footsteps of the United States on energy and environmental policies and standards. Given this, will the government today commit to upgrade Canadian laws governing oil and gas leases to at least provide the same public rights to scrutinize the process and require environmental assessment as provided in U.S. law, and not in Canadian law? Will it follow the path forged by President Obama to seize that control and responsibility to regulate these risky oil and gas--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member does know that this government is committed to an environmental assessment that is improved. We have a harmonized continental approach with the Obama administration, but she is opposed to that.

Why would she be opposed to what President Calderón said is good Canadian leadership on the environment? Why would she oppose that?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

May 28th, 2010 / 11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the public safety committee heard yesterday from a front line policeman who stated that the long gun registry “represents the largest and most contentious single waste of taxpayers' dollars and that it can do nothing to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms”. Our Conservative government continues to stand with rural Canadians and against the unfair targeting of law-abiding gun owners.

Would the parliamentary secretary please tell the House why NDP and Liberal MPs should listen to their constituents rather than their party whips before voting on Bill C-391?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we do not agree with the Liberal leader's smoke and mirror unconstitutional proposals or that law-abiding gun owners should be criminalized. On this side we stand with rural Canadians, front line police officers like Murray Grismer, and the justice ministers from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Yukon, all of whom remain firmly opposed to the long gun registry.

I urge all NDP and Liberal members who voted for Bill C-391 at second reading to listen to their constituents and not allow their vote to be determined by the Liberal leader.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, as we speak, the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences is hosting a symposium here in Ottawa on water security in Canada.

The government has not renewed the foundation's funding, with the result that the foundation's research into the impact of climate change on water will come to an abrupt stop at the end of the year.

Why does the government seem unable to realize that the foundation's research is vital to the future of water management in Canada and will help the western provinces in particular to better understand the increasingly serious droughts they will be experiencing?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I always find it interesting when a member of the Liberal Party, that for 13 years did nothing on the environment, is now asking questions on the environment, particularly water and particularly that member, who voted against what we are doing with the good funding in our budget to help clean up the mess that the previous Liberal government created.

Our government has a strong comprehensive plan to ensure clean water for all Canadians. We have a good plan and the Liberals need to get on board.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to Marjorie Villefranche of the Maison d'Haïti community centre, some 2,000 family class applications were being processed before the earthquake. Since then, 2,000 to 3,000 new applications have been submitted. According to the department, as of May 15, only 525 visas have been granted since the January 12 earthquake.

Will the minister stop dragging his feet and instruct his department to speed up processing for family class applications?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the last thing this government and this minister have done is foot-dragged on this issue.

We have now taken action on nearly half of pre-earthquake family applicants, which is 1,837 within the family class. We have now completed more than half of the applications, 62% of spousal and 63% of dependent children.

We are working. It is not easy. It is tough. It is hard sliding. But we are doing the job on behalf of the people of this country in Haiti.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the forestry sector has seen more than 70,000 job losses under the current government's watch, the latest at AbitibiBowater in Gatineau.

In this year's budget, the government has offered just $25 million in new money to the $70-billion forestry sector. Coming from northwestern Ontario, how can the government spend $75 million an hour for security at G8 but just $25 million a year to help Canada's forestry sector?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, since coming to power, we have made extraordinary progress in the forestry sector. Our first step was to resolve the softwood lumber crisis by signing an agreement that gave our forestry producers nearly $1 billion. We also made strategic, targeted investments because we know that the main issue is finding markets.

The Forest Products Association of Canada submitted its BioPathways program, and we will be investing $100 million in that program over the next four years to strengthen conventional sawmills and maximize use of bioproducts. That is what I call action and leadership.