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House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Again, Mr. Speaker, as usual, the hon. member has it wrong. The questions were drafted by an independent individual, a Dr. Johnston.

There have been a number of recommendations and the government will be reviewing those recommendations in due course.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week, the public safety committee will start clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-391 to scrap the wasteful long gun registry.

Front line police officers from across the country, as well as four key provincial attorneys general and justice ministers have all been clear. They oppose keeping the wasteful and inefficient long gun registry, and yet Liberal and NDP members continue to ignore these voices.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Public Safety tell the House why the Liberals and the NDP should avoid political games and support this bill?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his hard work and dedication to ending this wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

At committee we have heard real police officers with real front line experience and they agree. The registry is not reliable and does not protect police officers.

I call upon the Liberals and NDP, especially those who voted for Bill C-391 at second reading, to listen to their constituents, not the Liberal leader, and keep Bill C-391 as is.

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, last weekend, British Petroleum announced that its latest plan has failed. Thousands of gallons of oil continue to spew into the ocean unabated and the disaster in the gulf only gets worse.

The fact is that a similar or worse catastrophe could easily happen here. In this country, experts report that after years of deregulation, Canada actually has even weaker environmental laws than those governing the offshore in the U.S.

Will the minister finally take action to close this industry loophole, stop listening to his friends in the oil lobby and get on with the job of protecting Canadians?

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians are appalled and horrified by what they are seeing in the gulf but my friend overstates the case. He is fully aware that no licences have been issued for drilling in Canada's north, none whatsoever in terms of deep drilling.

He is also fully aware that the National Energy Board is undertaking a very serious review of the environmental standards and public safety standards that will apply to all such future wells.

Canadians can be confident in how this matter is being dealt with.

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, soon after the spill, President Obama announced a six month freeze on new drilling and a massive investigation into what exactly what wrong.

Meanwhile, the Conservative government continues to pretend that it was just an isolated accident that cannot happen here. However, the government's own regulator testified that a spill could happen in Canadian waters with the only difference being that it would be worse under our conditions.

Will the minister pull his head out of the tar sands long enough to realize that his agenda of gutting environmental protection and letting industry self-regulate is leading us to catastrophe?

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, listening to my colleague, one would almost think that he is hoping for a catastrophe so that he can make some political hay. That is not how it works. As we have said from the beginning, no authorization has been issued for offshore drilling in the Beaufort Sea or arctic waters and no project will begin unless the government is convinced that the environment and the health and safety of workers will be protected.

That being said, we are pleased that President Obama has announced a six-month freeze on assessments because it means that they have come to the same point as us: the National Energy Board will review the entire process and the public will be invited to participate.

FisheriesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the visit by the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to the Gaspé, the Quebec government called for emergency measures to mitigate the 63% decrease in the snow crab quota in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Quebec fisheries minister is calling for more flexibility in the EI system to support fishers, fishers' helpers and factory workers who have been affected by the crab crisis.

Will the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development take action?

FisheriesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is always unfortunate to have to reduce the catch rates in the fisheries, but our priority must be to protect the resource. I think that we must take a cautious approach with an issue like this. We must also think about the future, and according to experts, by 2012, the stocks should be replenished. Also, we are in negotiations with the Government of Quebec to find ways to mitigate the impact this has had on everyone involved.

FisheriesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is responsible for the current crab crisis, because it mismanaged the resource. Now it must step up and help the 1,000 workers in eastern Quebec who have been affected by this crisis.

Does the government plan on guaranteeing these workers and their families a minimum income by providing financial assistance or by making adjustments to the number of hours required, so that they can qualify for employment insurance?

FisheriesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we obviously sympathize with the workers affected. I think my colleague is well aware that the higher the unemployment rate in a region, the fewer the hours of work required to be eligible for assistance.

I remind members that we have invested $1.5 billion in training for workers. We have made it much easier for the Government of Quebec to do what it needs to do to provide training so that workers who are experiencing difficulties can find another profession. Quebec also has ways of helping these people—

FisheriesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the Chalk River facility closed, the isotope shortage has been getting worse by the day, to the point where sick people are being deprived of essential care. One solution to this shortage would be to get isotopes from Israel though a Health Canada approved company called Lantheus.

Why does the Minister of Health refuse to try this very obvious solution, which would save lives?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as the member is well aware, this is a global issue. The supply of medical isotopes will never completely diminish but there is a global shortage.

In our commitment to the health and safety of Canadians, we are coping and will continue to work very closely with the provinces, the territories and the medical community to ensure that patients do receive the care they need.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, there was no answer there.

Last week, the supply of medical isotopes was at 10% of normal, which means that cancer patients must wait even longer for tests.

Despite this ongoing crisis, the government has rejected a plan to have additional isotopes supplied by Israel.

Why has the government turned its back on thousands of cancer patients and their families telling them to fend for themselves? Why, more than a year after this crisis started, has it failed to secure a stable supply of isotopes?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, Canadians can take comfort in the fact that their government decided to address the problem in order to strengthen the supply chain.

First of all, the top priority of the government and AECL is getting the NRU reactor up and running. That is our top priority. We must also look at the medium and long terms. We voted to invest $35 million in research to develop cyclotron accelerators. Some $10 million has been invested in clinical trials and $3 million to ensure the best possible coordination in the supply chain. That is action. That is what we have—

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Hamilton Mountain.

Bill C-9Oral Questions

May 31st, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government buried major policy changes in the budget hoping to ram them through unnoticed with the rest of its agenda.

This American-style approach is bad for democracy and goes against the transparency the government pretends is so important to it.

The Liberals are no better. They are all talk and no action when it comes to opposing Bill C-9.

We are calling upon both parties to do the right thing for Canadians by pulling these sections out of the budget. If the government really believes that these changes have public support, then it can reintroduce them as stand-alone bills if it must.

Bill C-9Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I believe it has been almost three months now that we have been debating this bill in the House of Commons and at committee. The all party House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance has studied it, heard from dozens of witnesses and there were no amendments. It passed in fact in the House.

There are some very critical and important components in this. We wish the opposition would recognize that Canadians want this moved forward and need it moved forward. The opposition should stop opposing everything good.

Bill C-9Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the sweeping policy changes the Conservatives and Liberals are forcing through are ill-conceived and bad for Canada.

At a time when the entire southern coast of the U.S. is at risk from a major oil disaster, why would the government gut environmental protection for new energy projects in Canada? Why are the Conservatives so keen to have a fire sale of AECL, a valuable and internationally recognized nuclear research agency?

If the Liberals and Conservatives are so sure these policies would wash with Canadians, why are they hiding them in an 880 page budget bill?

Bill C-9Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised the hon. member and her party would be opposed to the changes that have been put forward relative to environmental assessments. They have been called upon by all of the premiers in this country every year for the past 10 years. The smart regulator has called for these changes. In fact, the Commissioner of Environmental Sustainability, who reports to this House, has called for precisely these changes. They would increase the authority of the Minister of the Environment and of CEAA to streamline the process to make it more effective and more responsive to Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks the beginning of Environment Week, a week championed by our Conservative forefather Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, who was born in my riding of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound in Neustadt. Even back then, Conservative governments realized the importance of protecting the environment.

Would the Minister of the Environment please tell the House how this government is continuing the Conservative tradition of environmental stewardship?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Canadians can be proud of the actions of this government relative to the environment.

In the last three years our Conservative government has negotiated the Copenhagen accord, harmonized our targets with the United States, introduced tailpipe emission standards for passenger cars, light trucks and now regulations for heavy duty trucks, established biofuel content regulations for diesel and gasoline, introduced historic national waste water standards for sewage and expanded our national parks by 30%. That is our Conservative legacy.

Mr. Diefenbaker and my colleague can be proud of our larger parks, cleaner water and lower emissions.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, by condemning African women to having illegal abortions, the Conservatives are isolating Canada on the international stage and going against the advice of the other G8 countries, the scientific community and CIDA, not to mention the wishes of the vast majority of Canadians.

Exactly whose interests will they represent at the G8 summit? Why are they trying to delegitimize women's right to choose?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I am proud this government recognizes that when we can do something, we do it and we act. That is why we are going to be addressing the health of mothers.

A limited number of interventions can prevent most maternal and newborn deaths and these are tools that we know. They are cost effective and they are evidence-based.

By increasing prenatal care, antenatal care, by having a skilled health assistant at the birthing process, by having more antibiotics, micronutrients, all of these things will decrease mortality and improve—