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House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environmental.

Topics

Bloc QuébécoisStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, I really have to wonder what the Bloc Québécois has done for Quebec in the party's 20 years here in the House of Commons, apart from sitting back when it is time to act, and constantly criticizing with nothing to show for it.

With the Conservative government in power, we recognize that the Québécois form a nation within a united Canada. We have concluded an important Canada-Quebec cultural agreement concerning UNESCO and we have made huge investments in Quebec infrastructures. But the Bloc Québécois voted against that. We are also providing farmers with support for supply management, and the list goes on.

On many occasions, Bloc members stay seated when our government proposes important initiatives for workers and families in Quebec.

From the Bloc leader on down through the ranks, the Bloc Québécois is no longer achieving anything for Quebec in Ottawa. It is the Conservatives who are working for Quebeckers.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, a spectacular democratic rally is taking place today on the Hill. Members of associations of police officers, chiefs of police and police boards; female students and graduates of the École Polytechnique; and representatives of shelters for women who are victims of spousal violence are rallying on the Hill to call on members to save the gun registry.

Quebec, its families and its police officers want to save the registry, but the Conservatives from Quebec want to scrap it, against the will of their constituents. This is no doubt because they do not know what they are talking about, just like the member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, who said yesterday that the gun registry and gun control had nothing to do with the killings at the École Polytechnique. The hon. member should take another look at the history of Quebec, and the NDP members should as well.

How can they stand the fact that their party is responsible for scrapping the registry? I urge all members to vote for gun control and safety in our communities.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, last November 12 NDP members of Parliament stood in the House, did the right thing, and voted to scrap the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry at second reading. However, they have another important decision to make.

Bill C-391 is now in front of the public safety committee. I am sure the constituents of those 12 New Democrat MPs would be interested to know that their leader and the NDP justice critic joined the Liberals and the Bloc in trying to force the committee to accept the witness list that was 85% in favour of keeping the registry. Thank goodness they did not get away with it.

We have a message for the NDP: no shifting or sliding when it comes to the committee, no shifting or sliding on scrapping the long gun registry.

The constituents of those 12 New Democrats know that they either vote to keep the long gun registry or vote to scrap it. It is just that simple.

Canadian Red CrossStatements By Members

May 6th, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of World Red Cross Red Crescent Day to pay tribute to Canadian Red Cross volunteers and delegates, delegates like Danielle Levesque, a pediatric nurse originally from the small community of Saint-Joseph-de-Kent in New Brunswick.

She spent many weeks in Port-au-Prince helping the injured or, in many cases, children of injured or deceased parents with her skills in psychological support. When the emergency health needs were met, Danielle took part in a massive vaccination program to stave off disease in many of the tent camps that had formed around Port-au-Prince.

Soon after she returned to Canada from Haiti, another earthquake devastated large parts of Chile. Once again, Danielle packed her bags and headed south to help those in need.

We must support the work of skilled emergency response delegates from across the country like Danielle Levesque. They represent Canada's goodwill and humanity to the world in times of devastating loss by providing relief, dignity and hope for recovery.

EthicsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Liberal chair of the ethics committee showed yet again the ethical bankruptcy of the Liberal Party, when it was revealed that he had a private conversation with the interim Information Commissioner about an ongoing investigation.

Is this how the Liberal Party respects the independent officers of Parliament? All members of the House should believe in respecting due process, all members should believe in respecting the independence of officers of Parliament.

No member of the House should be engaged in a private conversation with a legal authority about an ongoing investigation in the middle of that investigation.

Yet, the member for Mississauga South threw due process and respect for the independent authority of that officer completely out the window by attempting to influence, interfere or direct that independent officer of Parliament.

This is highly inappropriate, grossly unethical, and shows yet again why the Liberal Party cannot be trusted.

Red CrossStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Nicolas Dufour Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we are acknowledging World Red Cross Red Crescent Day, which will be celebrated on May 8.

I would like to take this opportunity to commend the work of some 100,000 volunteers in Quebec's chapter of the Red Cross who, every day, carry out the organization's mission to help people cope with situations that are threatening their survival and safety, their well being and their human dignity.

The Quebec chapter works together with other members of the movement in order to provide assistance during international disasters such as the recent earthquake in Haiti, where the people affected received help and emergency care. A fundraising campaign was organized in the wake of this terrible earthquake. Like the International Red Cross, the Quebec chapter espouses international humanitarian law and values in everything that it does.

My colleagues in the Bloc Québécois join me in commending these people who devote themselves day after day to providing comfort, help and care to people in need here and elsewhere.

VE DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to commemorate the 65th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. This Saturday, we will pay tribute to the 46,000 Canadians who lost their lives liberating the people of Europe.

We will never forget the joy of this day of liberation.

On VE Day we all think with pride and respect of today's Canadian Forces who represent the best of us.

As Churchill said on May 8, 1945, “We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing but let us not forget...the toils and efforts that lie ahead”.

What lay ahead was the rebuilding of a whole continent. Sixty-five years on, Europe is united and at peace, and Canadians can be proud of the part that we played in that achievement.

LobbyingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Liberal leader told reporters that his calendar was open to the public, but his office refused to provide it when asked.

Because of this lack of transparency, Canadians do not know which secret meetings the Liberal lobbyists the OLO is trying to protect. They do not know whose agenda the OLO is pushing. Most important, Canadians do not even know who is really making decisions in the Liberal Party.

The Conservative government brought Canadians the Federal Accountability Act to fix the lax lobbying laws the Liberals relied on to do business with their friends. We want to extend those rules to make all parliamentarians accountable for who they choose to meet with.

Canadians deserve to know that their MPs are representing their interests, not special interests or hidden Liberal agendas.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, survivors of the École Polytechnique tragedy are here today.

Canadian police, police chief and police commission associations are also on the Hill to support the firearms registry. They are all saying that this registry is vital to public safety.

Why are the Conservatives ignoring the victims and police?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I think all Canadians were tremendously moved by what happened many years ago in Montreal. We are all deeply committed to ensuring that the country is safer for Canadian women and, in fact, for all Canadians.

Where there is a reasonable difference of opinion is that we believe the billions of dollars spent on the long gun registry have been a waste and that we can make better criminal justice reform, such as has been implemented by the Minister of Justice in this Parliament, that this House can be proud of.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, just as a point of fact about one of the top 10 myths of the Canadian firearms program. It actually costs $4.1 million a year to operate. It is good value and it keeps Canadians safe.

We stand with the survivors of the École Polytechnique massacre. We stand with the chiefs of police. We stand with the officers. We stand with legitimate gun owners who stand behind the gun registry in order to keep our communities safe.

Why is the government ignoring all of these voices of reason?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I will take the word of the Auditor General who certainly did not call it value for money when more than $1 billion were wasted on the creation of the long gun registry.

We stand with victims and with Canadians. We stand with all of those who want to make our communities safer, which is why we are pursuing an aggressive regime through amendments to the Criminal Code, reforms brought in by the present Minister of Justice.

If the Leader of the Opposition wants to support victims, he should get behind our crime agenda.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the government wants to stand behind victims, it will stand with the victims of École Polytechnique and it will stand for a gun registry.

Why will the government not do the right thing and stand with chiefs of police, with legitimate gun owners who believe that the gun registry is an essential measure of public safety and stand with police officers who know they need a gun registry in order to keep officers safe? Why will the government not listen to these voices of reason?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this government supports reasonable gun control. This government supports reasonable efforts to keep our communities safe.

What we do not support is the billions of dollars that have been wasted on an ineffective gun registry that gave Canadians a false sense of hope that the previous Liberal government was doing something to tackle violent crime. That long gun registry has wasted in excess of $1 billion. We are committed to ending it.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Polytechnique students are in town today. I am sure that the member for Outremont would like to introduce them to his leader, given that the NDP is still waffling on keeping the registry. Will he do it?

However, my question is for the Conservatives' Quebec lieutenant. He knows that the consensus in Quebec is that the registry should be kept. The Liberal Party agrees with that consensus.

Why is he voting against the will of his constituents?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, while we support the licensing of people and the registration of prohibited and restricted weapons, we do not support the wasteful long gun registry. It is time to end the criminalization of our hunters and our outdoor enthusiasts.

What we have seen is the Liberals playing games at committee with witnesses and others. We hope that all Liberal and NDP MPs will put the call of their constituents above the order from the Liberal leader and vote to finally end the wasteful long gun registry.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that the Quebec Conservatives follow their leader like sheep. As for the leader, he follows the pro-gun lobbyists.

What other explanation is there for the comments by the member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup to the effect that the firearms registry has nothing to do with the Polytechnique tragedy?

What do the Conservatives have to say to the Polytechnique graduates who have come to Ottawa today? What do they have to say to police, other than accusing them of belonging to a cult?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, we will always remember the Polytechnique tragedy. However, I would like to correct my colleague's comments about a Quebec consensus. I travel to all regions where there are forests, and where there are forests there are hunters. All of Quebec's hunting associations have asked us to abolish this registry, which is too cumbersome for them. We are fighting criminals, not hunters.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is just one surprise after another with the Conservative government. Yesterday we learned that it slashed funding for at least a dozen women's groups whose opinions on abortion differ from those of the Conservative Party. Today we learned that the government decided to fund religious groups that believe in the imminent return of the Messiah and translate the Bible into African and Asian dialects.

Will the government admit that the decision to finance religious groups or sects is an ideological decision along the same line as the decision to cut funding for pro-choice women's groups?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, this government wants to ensure that when we help women in Canada and women abroad, we will do it responsibly and we will make a difference in their lives. This is why we have taken on responsibility for hard-earned taxpayer dollars to help women, and we will do this so they can see that they can have a better life wherever they may live.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it will really help women to send preachers such as themselves to Africa or to have the Bible translated. What a huge help and so essential. Meanwhile, the government has justified cuts to the Department of Status of Women—it irritates them, does it not?—by saying that it was a financial decision.

How can the government explain that it is spending up to $800,000 on religious groups or sects—because that is what they are—while cutting funding for organizations that are helping women battle poverty on the ground?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is completely incorrect. This government has increased funding for women's groups across Canada to record levels. We are very proud of that. In fact, we are supporting projects in every province and territory in Canada now.

These programs are working so well that we are oversubscribed. In fact, we have more women's groups applying than ever before. All of these groups have merit and are doing great work across the country but we cannot fund everyone. However, I am very proud that 42% of our funding this year will go to groups that are working to end violence against women.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the director of MATCH International, bureaucrats were telling women's groups right up until the last minute that they would get their funding. Now the government claims that the funding was cut because of administrative deficiencies. In fact, this decision, which was made by the minister's office, smacks of ideological revenge, given that the bureaucrats were satisfied with the work of the organizations.

Is the government's decision not more readily explained by its desire to advance its religious and ideological agenda at the expense of women?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I will put the facts on the record. It was CIDA officials, based on an independent evaluation, that deemed the project ineligible due to poor accountability.

This is not about ideology or entitlement. This is about how we best use taxpayer dollars so that we can make a difference in developing countries. We are helping women in developing countries so they can better feed their children, keep them healthy and ensure they have a safe and productive life.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, this terrible decision to cut funding for women's groups was made arbitrarily and based on ideology. The government is pursuing its path and cutting funding for anyone who does not think like it does.

Will the government admit that the lack of warning from bureaucrats to justify these cuts demonstrates that the party's religious base, and that alone, is what has guided its decisions?