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House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was research.

Topics

CopyrightOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely wrong. The government has not kept the promises it made to consumers.

The Canadian Consumer Initiative has stated that the digital lock is:

...a punitive approach that has proven ineffective elsewhere in the world. Consumers' rights may be restricted or even denied by the media companies.

That is what national organizations responsible for consumer rights have said. How can the minister deny the fact that his bill favours neither creators nor consumers?

CopyrightOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is simply not true. This bill is good for both groups.

An organization that my colleague knows well, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, does act in consumers' best interests. According to the chamber, Bill C-32 is an important step toward maintaining a competitive, thriving economy. Bill C-32 is a monumental and essential measure that will go a long way toward maintaining a stable and competitive business environment in Canada.

The only suggestion we have heard from the Bloc Québécois so far was to impose a new $75 tax on iPods. That is not in consumers' best interests.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is no secret that our fighter planes need to be replaced and we know that several companies have expressed an interest in landing this major contract. There is a well established process for this kind of procurement and it begins with a tendering process. But this government cannot seem to follow procedures. It could cost up to $16 billion.

How can we be sure that we get the best aircraft for the best price, and the best spinoffs for our aerospace industry, if the government refuses to call for tenders?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the member opposite that is exactly what we are doing. We are of course, as a government, committed to providing the best possible equipment at the best possible price in a timely fashion to give our men and women in uniform the equipment they need.

What is ironic and what is lost on the member opposite is that in fact, it was his party when in government which, in 2002, entered into this 10-year, $10 billion contract. It is a bit beyond hypocrisy for the member now to suggest that we are not moving in the right direction with respect to replacing the next generation of fighter aircraft.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 27 the Minister of National Defence told the committee of the whole, “the reference to the next generation of fighter aircraft does not preclude a competition, and an open and transparent one”. Was the minister misleading the House?

Does the minister intend to follow well-established procedures, or has he already chosen his $16 billion aircraft without tender, without competition? How will this ensure that we get the best deal for Canada, the best aircraft, as well as the greatest benefits for the aerospace industry?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I only wish we could somehow bottle that feigned indignation and manufactured outrage for a positive purpose.

What we will do of course is comply with rules. We will comply with the best interests of the Canadian Forces, the best interests of Canadian industry.

That is exactly what we are doing. I do not know what the hon. member knows that I do not, but we have not made that decision yet. It is still before cabinet. Perhaps he has a source that I am not familiar with.

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources has finally admitted the truth about absolute liability being limited to $30 million on the east coast and $40 million elsewhere. That is a drop in the bucket if we consider the $3 billion cost of the ongoing gulf disaster. When he boasts about unlimited civil liability, he forgets that it requires proving negligence. That would cost millions and could take decades.

Will the minister take immediate steps to ensure taxpayers are not left holding the bag in the case of a major spill?

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is sad to see my colleague trying to scare Canadians. We know that the Canadian offshore drilling system is one of the most solid, rigorous systems in the world. It is a strict system and offshore drilling companies must have an emergency response plan and contingency plans approved by regulatory authorities before any drilling will be authorized. No drilling projects will be approved unless and until the regulators are convinced that all workers are safe and the environment is protected.

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, U.S. regulators gave the same assurances before the gulf blowout. The minister needs to accept his responsibilities, close the loophole and protect Canadians. After all, why should a fisherman have to go up against a whole team of corporate lawyers using every legal manoeuvre and delaying tactic in the book?

When will the minister bring in a bill to make oil companies 100% liable in the case of a major spill?

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we have a strong regulator, which has a solid track record for the last 50 years. The National Energy Board enforces world-class standards for oil and gas rigs in the Canadian offshore. The equipment and operator training must meet these strict standards. Offshore companies must have an emergency response plan and backup contingency plans approved by the responsible regulator before any authorization to drill is issued.

Therefore, he should stop speaking about loopholes. That is totally untrue and no project will go on unless we are convinced that the safety of the waters and the protection of the environment is ensured.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

June 14th, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the Liberal leader says that he is embarrassed that Canada is hosting the G8 and G20 summits, others recognize the benefits of bringing the world to Canada, particularly the economic benefits. Businesses of all sizes will benefit greatly from Canada's global leadership.

Could the Minister of Transport please tell us about the upside of Canada hosting the G8 and G20?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is proud to be hosting the world in the great region of Muskoka and the great city of Toronto. According to Tourism Toronto, it says that this summit will be a huge boost for the local economy. Terry Mundell, the president and CEO of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association, says:

In terms of bookings, this is the single largest event we've held in probably a decade. This is our economic stimulus package. It is a huge, huge economic boost.

In addition to the 3,500 media outlets that will be in Toronto and Muskoka to tell the story of our great country, we will see some great benefits and we are very proud of that.

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, a majority of Canadians do not have workplace pensions and one in three retire with no savings at all. Right now, today, one-quarter million seniors are living in poverty. Close to two million more are living on the edge of poverty. Seniors' poverty is the immediate problem.

When will the government address this crisis and increase the GIS?

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Finance minister, I can assure the House we are seeking to work co-operatively with our provincial and territorial partners to further strengthen Canada's retirement income system. We share the concerns of Canadians about their retirement security. I understand, from a note I have received from the Minister of Finance, that some progress has been made and we seek to move on that progress at the earliest opportunity.

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, yes, we are pleased that the finance minister finally has agreed with New Democrats and now recognizes the crisis facing Canadians. However, the government's plan to increase the CPP is just part of the road map that we laid out in our motion last June. We also called for an increase to the GIS to end seniors' poverty immediately.

Instead of playing with the edges of this crisis, will the government implement the full NDP retirement security plan?

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, maybe it was just the bell ringing from the South African trumpets, but I may have misheard what the member was saying about our position.

The fact is we have already done much for seniors. We have required companies to fully fund pension benefits. On plan termination, we are giving pensioners more negotiation powers. We are modernizing the investment rules of pensioners. This government is on the side of pensioners.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the government is proceeding with consultations on the next agricultural policy framework, criticism is already being levelled at its programs. The AgriStability program put in place by the Conservatives is a carbon copy of the former income stabilization program. According to the UPA, the AgriStability program is a failure because it does not take production costs into account.

Will the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food correct this situation and ensure that AgriStability truly supports income?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, in talking to groups across our great country and working with our provincial and territorial colleagues, we came out with a new set of programming that was far better than CAISP. We continue to work toward changes within the parameters of those programs as well as holding discussions on the next suite of programs for the following five years. We will work with the industry to get that job done.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business deems AgriStability to be an expensive, complex and unpredictable program. In its report, AgriStability or Aggravation, the CFIB identifies a number of problems such as poor customer service, complex and large volumes of paperwork, timeliness issues and predictability.

Does the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food intend to change the program so that it truly meets farmers' needs?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we do not work arbitrarily in this situation. We would no more stomp all over the province of Quebec in doing this than we would over any other province or territory.

We will continue to work with them in the best interests of producers.

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has decided that the law does not apply to his director of communications. He has Dimitri Soudas doing all of his lying, finger-pointing and manipulating, yet he would have us believe that Mr. Soudas is too fragile to appear before the committee. Yet he appeared to be in fine form when he was attacking Steven Guilbeault's reputation in Copenhagen.

One would think we were in the Soviet Union. Since when does the Prime Minister have the right to place his friends above the law, which applies to everyone here and to all Canadians?

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as a government, we have already announced that we intend to continue respecting the tradition of ministerial responsibility. This system has been in place for hundreds of years: since the beginning of the parliamentary system and throughout its evolution, going back to its British origins. We will respect this tradition and that decision is final.

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the fact is the Prime Minister pays Dimitri Soudas over $150,000 to bully the press, to tell cabinet ministers what they can and cannot say and to announce policy, like the closing down of Parliament. Mr. Soudas has more responsibility than many ministers, yet he is flouting accountability and the law by ignoring the subpoena from committee. Has Mr. Soudas entered the Conservative witness protection program?

Will the Prime Minister instruct his team's spokesman to obey the law, to respect the summons and to appear before committee?

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this gives me an opportunity to highlight the good work of Mr. Dimitri Soudas in building friendships between members of Parliament and members of the media with a soccer game that will be coming up between both sides. There will be a healthy rivalry, but it will be a friendly one. We will build upon the excellent relationship that we have always had with members of the media.

The member for Malpeque may play soccer. If he does not put the ball in his own net, maybe he will take a moment to explain why he broke his promise on the gun registry.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the Prime Minister has invited leaders from several countries to attend special outreach meetings at the G8. Inviting Haiti is worthwhile, but the choice of other countries shows the Prime Minister's misplaced priorities.

The Prime Minister has ignored countries struggling with poverty. He has ignored countries that will pay the price in climate change. Instead he has chosen leaders who share his Conservative ideology, like the president of Colombia, who is on his way out.

Is this really a meeting of the G8 or is this just a meeting of the campus Conservative club?