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

Topics

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, each of the provinces across the country chooses its own energy mix. We have worked well with every province. We look forward to working with the provinces in the future in terms of their energy development and energy efficiency programs.

We are very thankful, and I think they are as well, to have a government that can work with the provinces rather than one with which they always fight.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, with the world's attention focused on the oil spill off Louisiana, Canadians are alarmed to hear that oil companies are planning to drill in the Arctic waters. This summer drilling is set to begin off Davis Strait, adjacent to Canadian waters. It is an area known for its high concentration of icebergs. An oil spill from a ship or rig in the ice causes its own unique set of problems with which the Conservative government has not dealt.

Will the minister commit to table, before the House rises for the summer, its plan to deal with an unfortunate but potentially disastrous oil spill in the Arctic from a ship or drilling rig?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the member knows he is performing mischief here, because he knows full well there are no current authorizations to drill in the Beaufort Sea, so I am not sure what he is talking about.

He also knows full well that the National Energy Board is currently reviewing its policy, and that policy will involve public hearings. If he had been paying attention at all, he would have heard the chairman of the National Energy Board say he expects that review to take some time and he will try to make it as complete as possible.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, that shows that the parliamentary secretary knows absolutely nothing about what he is talking about, because the drilling is in the Davis Strait, right beside Greenland near Canadian waters.

Time and time again the Liberals have asked the government to invest in technology to clean up oil spills under ice. The government has refused to do it. We are still putting out licences. Perhaps a parliamentary secretary who actually knows what is going on could stand up and answer the question about how the government is going to protect pristine Arctic waters.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, apparently the member opposite does not even known where the border is between Canada and Greenland.

No one has made the north more of a priority than the Prime Minister. No one has protected the north more than the Prime Minister. This environment is pristine, beautiful and isolated and we will protect it.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the manufacturing crisis is far from over. Just as the economy is starting to get back on its feet, Conservatives are cutting the legs from underneath workers. While they hand out massive tax cuts to their CEO friends, they are turning their backs on everyone else in Canada.

At this tenuous time, why is the government cutting funding to Industry Canada's regional development agencies that help Canadians in high unemployment areas? Why is there another attack on workers? Is it just because the Conservatives have to do it out of ideology?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the hon. member is talking about. He does not know what he is talking about. I know my file, actually.

The hon. member seems to know a lot about rural Ontario. This is the same week that he is increasing the pressure on his members to support the long gun registry and talking about forcing judges to be bilingual.

That hon. member knows nothing about rural Ontario. That hon. member wants to tax rural Ontario and rural Canada into oblivion. We are not going to do that.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the economy might be doing better on paper, but actual people are still hurting, and the recession is not over in Atlantic Canada, where over 15% of workers are unemployed in Newfoundland and Labrador alone. The activities and businesses supported by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency are vital to helping our region get back on solid ground.

ACOA promotes innovation and economic development, so why are the Conservatives attacking it? It is the wrong decision at the wrong time. Is it because the Prime Minister himself still thinks there is a culture of defeat there?

Why is the government once again turning its back on Atlantic Canada?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about the investments we are making in Newfoundland and Labrador. They are significant.

The community adjustment fund has 50 projects worth $19.5 million; the RInC program has 39 projects worth $7.4 million; the 233 projects under the innovative communities fund are worth $71 million. The list goes on and on, and the member voted against our stimulus funds.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the member for Ajax—Pickering bullied his way to ensuring that the sponsor of Bill C-391 could speak for only 10 minutes in committee.

First the Liberal leader whipped the vote and then his members tried to block witnesses at the committee. Now they treat an elected MP with contempt.

Why does the member for Ajax—Pickering not want the sponsor to speak to her bill? Is he afraid of the facts or the debate?

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety update the House on this important issue?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Brant for that question.

While we support the licensing of gun owners and registration of prohibited and restricted weapons, we do not support the wasteful long gun registry.

At committee yesterday, the member for Ajax—Pickering and the Liberals challenged their own motion so that the sponsor of the bill could speak for only 10 minutes. Instead of allowing the committee to hear the facts, the Liberals continued to play political games.

We hope all Liberal MPs put the calls of their constituents above the order of the Liberal leader and vote to finally end this wasteful long gun registry.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency was boasting in the media that he was going to personally ensure that no budget cuts would be made to ACOA.

What happened this week? The minister announced major cuts to programs related to economic development.

We all know that the Conservatives do not like economic development agencies and they are proving it once again today. Remember when the Prime Minister described us as having a “culture of defeat”?

When will the Conservatives stop attacking the people of Atlantic Canada?

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

A lot of fanfare there, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to tell the House what we are doing for Atlantic Canada through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, a terrific program. We have invested a huge amount of dollars in the member's own part of New Brunswick. Our government continues to work with our counterparts in New Brunswick and the municipalities.

Since 2006 our government alone has invested $105 million in the northern region of the province, leveraging more than $158 million in additional investments in this region.

We will not forget Atlantic Canada. We are working hard for Atlantic Canada.

HaitiOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, more than three months after the earthquake, parents of Haitian origin are struggling to obtain visas for their biological children, who are still sleeping in the streets in Haiti. The government promised to implement emergency family reunification measures.

Why do biological children not have access to the same expedited process as Haitian children who are being adopted by parents here?

HaitiOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question.

The process for adoption of Haitian children is wrapping up. Accordingly, from an administrative point of view, it will become easier to fast-track the sponsorship applications submitted by their parents here in Canada.

As far as other family sponsorship cases involving children are concerned, we are making considerable headway. Several hundred cases have been processed since the earthquake. Nonetheless, our mission in Port-au-Prince is operating under difficult conditions and our officials are working as fast as they can.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to set the record straight in this House once and for all. I demand some respect. I am not a token Quebecker. I was democratically elected and the Bloc Québécois in no way represents me.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on the same point of order.

During the course of question period, the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, in the course of his questions, stood and named the Quebec members of Parliament as token Quebeckers.

Let me say that as an Albertan I find that offensive. There are no token Quebeckers, no token Albertans and no token anyone in this House.

As a member of the caucus of the Conservative Party, I have stood and I have watched the Quebec members of Parliament represent their constituents, their province and their country. They have come representing them on Canada's economic action plan. They have seen increases to the equalization. They have seen increases in the health transfers. They have seen increases in social transfers.

They are representing their province and their country. I find this type of question offensive.

Mr. Speaker I think, if we are ever going to deal with decorum in this House, it is important that you stand and make a ruling that this is just unacceptable.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, in response to the last two interventions, I would first say to the hon. member for Crowfoot that the translation for the word “token” was never used by our colleague from Marc-Aurèle-Fortin. He used the expression “Québécois de service”. This is further proof that if the Conservatives would agree to appointing bilingual judges to the Supreme Court, it could avoid the kind of misunderstandings that we just saw here.

Second, I would like to respond to the hon. member for Beauport—Limoilou by saying that the expression “Québécois de service” was repeated just last week by the hon. member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, who said he is proud to be a “token Quebecker”. So it can be used intentionally and there should be no problem.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, as you know, I was a member of the bar and I was very active in the Canadian Bar Association, among others, even though I am a sovereignist. When I returned, I often joked that I was the token sovereignist within the Canadian Bar Association. It really makes me chuckle when some people think this is an insult. Can we compare this to someone saying that we support pedophilia and that we think only of defending the rights of violent repeat offenders? We can compare those two insults. This reminds me of the gospel in which there is a beam obstructing their view and they do not move it out of the way to see the straw in the other person's eye. I already learned about and appreciated that straw when I was a lawyer and active in the Canadian Bar Association as a token sovereignist.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I know for certain that the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin does not believe what he just said. He knows that it is insulting to call someone a token Quebecker and that such insults have no place in this House. As much as I disagree with my Conservative colleagues' position and share the indignation of my colleagues on this side of the House, I would like everyone here to act respectfully and understand that all Quebeckers in this House stand up for what they believe, whether they believe in a united Canada or an independent Quebec.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time I have talked about this in the House. I think that we need to respect one another even if we do not share the same ideas. The people we represent do not like what they see on television.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, in short, I think that it is clear from the remarks we have just heard that this is a political issue that should be debated in the House. Some Conservative and Liberal members may feel that “token Quebecker” is an insult, but MPs use plenty of other expressions in the House against the Bloc Québécois and Quebec sovereignists that we find insulting. We do not stand up every time that happens. Perhaps our rear ends are not quite as sensitive as theirs.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I think the Chair has heard sufficient on this matter for the time being. I will look into the expressions used and come back to the House in due course.

Clearly, there is some disagreement, and if it cannot be resolved, I invite the members who object to the use of certain terms in the House to raise the matter before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. The committee may make a recommendation to the House that would enable me to enforce certain rules more strictly. Issues like this always fall within the committee's purview.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to five petitions

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

May 5th, 2010 / 3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian Delegation of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association respecting its bilateral visits to Gaborone, Botswana, and Lusaka, Zambia, from February 14 to February 19.