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House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was prorogation.

Topics

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

An hon. member

Voluntary.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Conservative Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Yes, it will be a voluntary system. You have listened closely. It is a voluntary system. That is correct. Voluntary means voluntary, nothing else.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government turned its back on the Quebec forestry sector in favour of the auto sector, which is concentrated in Ontario. Although it gave $10 billion to the auto sector, it gave only $170 million to the entire forestry sector.

Faced with such an imbalance, how can this government keep claiming that it defends the interests of Quebec, when it helps Ontario and not Quebec?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:25 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, how can the member make so many false claims in one question?

We helped the forestry industry in Quebec and in the rest of the country. I remind the member that the loans given to the auto sector have almost all been repaid, and the companies continue to pay them back. We will continue to support the forestry industry in Quebec, while others will just talk, as in the fable we heard earlier.

Today we heard yet more bad news about the market. The price of softwood lumber has gone down, but we will continue to support this industry. The market has been the problem from the beginning.

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, first, I have to give three thanks. I thank the families who called for an inquiry into the Air India tragedy so that no other Canadian families would have to suffer what they suffered through, I thank the government for calling the inquiry and I thank Justice Major for his very important report.

I am hopeful, and perhaps the Prime Minister can give us an indication here, that he will be grabbing hold of the initiative offered by Justice Major to provide some coordination to our national security services to pull things together because there has been this attitude of complacency that he noted. I think it is an urgent matter that needs to be taken care of quickly. I would simply encourage the Prime Minister to do so.

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the leader of the NDP for his kind words and also for his support for this inquiry dating back to when we were in opposition. I have noted Justice Major's recommendations and his critique. I think I was very clear on the nature of that critique earlier today.

Steps have been taken through the creation of the position of the national security advisor to provide greater coordination to our security apparatus. We have seen that pay off to some extent in cases like the Toronto 18. Clearly, more needs to be done and we will be acting on that.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, on another matter, from an organization standpoint the G8 summit is becoming more and more of a fiasco.

The United States has announced that it does not want Americans to visit Toronto during the G8. This will harm businesses in our community. Small- and medium-sized businesses and other businesses that suffer losses will need help from the federal government. The management of this project is questionable at best, especially when small- and medium-sized businesses are not being put first and will suffer losses because of this summit.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, the Government of Canada is not legally bound to pay compensation for losses suffered as a result of international meetings held in Canada. However, the policy in place is fair and has been effective in the past. It is the same policy that was in place for the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City and the summit in Kananaskis before that. The assessment of all claims will be made in close co-operation with Audit Services Canada.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, world leaders are piling on the Conservative government when it comes to keeping the environment off the G20 agenda. The national health initiative turned sour because the government reopened the debate on abortion.

Most recently, we had the UN special advisor, Jeffrey Sachs, slamming our Prime Minister and saying that Canada was failing to live up to the tradition of Lester Pearson by falling far short of his target for international aid.

How can the Prime Minister explain such a blow to Canada's reputation?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first, Canada's initiative on maternal and child health has been widely welcomed by all of our G8 partners and, indeed, the wider international community. As I have indicated before, it is traditional to have some discussion of climate change at these conferences, but not in a way that interferes with the role of the United Nations process.

As for development assistance, Canada is the first country in the world to have met all its international aid commitments, to have reached all of the goals set by the G8, the first one to do that across the entire world.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's refusal to fund access to safe abortion where legal is not just unethical and paternalistic, it also flies in the face of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, including government members, who yesterday recommended that access to safe abortion be funded by Canada at the G8.

Will the Conservative government adopt the committee's recommendations and end its shameful denial of legal rights of mothers abroad?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I know the opposition wants to reopen this debate, but Canadians want us to focus on saving the lives of women and children. I am proud the members on the Status of Women committee from the Conservative Party are supporting a minority report that clearly states that witnesses urged the members of the committee to focus on helping women and children and to stop playing political games. Those witnesses are right. The members on this side of the House are correct, and I will be happy to table the report after question period.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives claim they are helping women and children, yet they are ignoring the advice of experts.

Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, said that the Conservatives' refusal to fund safe abortions was “disappointing and far from accountable”.

The Conservatives finally relented and added the environment to the G8 and G20 agendas.

Will they listen to the international community and the majority of Canadians, and reconsider their regressive plan for maternal health?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:35 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 international community supports our plan to save the lives of women and children. In fact, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave praise to Canada. She said:

We commend the Canadian government for focusing attention on this issue by offering a flagship initiative on maternal and child health at the upcoming G8 meeting.

The international community supports us, international aid agencies support us, the G8 supports us, Hillary Clinton supports us. I wish the opposition would support us.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, Prairie farmers are facing their worst spring seeding situation in history. It is too wet and too cold and 30% of the crop is not yet in the ground and what is in, is being flooded out. The provincial governments say that they are willing to cost share a disaster program but they need specific information from the federal government by the first week in July.

Exactly how much new funding is the agriculture minister asking from the Treasury Board to top up existing programs and will farmers have clear answers by the first week in July?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to report that I have working in close contact with industry in Saskatchewan as well as the minister of agriculture in Saskatchewan, Bob Bjornerud. We have putting our numbers together. We have been doing our assessments. We have extended the time frame on crop insurance. I know the crop reports that come on June 25 will be very helpful in moving forward.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, just like the Minister of Agriculture fails farmers, the Minister of Transport fails them even worse. He allows the railways to gouge farmers with excessive freight rates. A study released yesterday shows farmers are overcharged by the railways on an average $200 million per year. That is $17,000 to $32,000 per farm, ripped off by the railways, condoned by the minister.

Why no costing review and why does the Minister of Transport allow the railways to gouge farmers?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the only thing more hypocritical than the member for Malpeque standing on this issue is the Wheat Board buying into this crazy logic. Certainly farmers are involved when it comes to transportation. They rely on the Wheat Board to set the best price for them. The Wheat Board constantly brags it is doing that, now it is crying that it is not able to do it. Someone has the figures wrong.

We are not hearing any concerns from canola and pulse growers, we are hearing concerns from Wheat Board growers because they cannot value add. They are forced to do buybacks, which costs them far more than this supposed increase in freight.

I know the minister from Alberta in charge of transport is doing a great job on this review and it will be good news for farmers.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the issue of fighting climate change illustrates the Conservatives' bias in favour of Canadian oil companies to the detriment of Quebec's green economy. By refusing to implement an effective plan to fight greenhouse gas emissions, the federal government is protecting the oil sands but damaging Quebec's economy, which would benefit from having a carbon exchange in Montreal.

When will the Conservative government realize how much harm it is causing to Quebec and its economy by refusing to address climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the opposition is attacking the government while respected international organizations are applauding our efforts. For instance, the March 2010 Pew report ranked Canada sixth for investment in green energy. In April 2010, the International Energy Agency congratulated Canada on its commitment to increase its clean electricity production. Yesterday, the same agency recognized the major efforts Canada is making to develop carbon storage.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has signed an agreement with Newfoundland and Nova Scotia regarding mining the seabed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Government of Quebec has been calling for a similar agreement for 12 years. The government's stubbornness is preventing Quebec from making decisions under its own environmental assessment system, which is one of the best in the world.

Why is the government refusing to give Quebec the same advantages it is giving to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 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, Quebec is continuing its evaluation of the opportunity presented by the hydrocarbon potential in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and adjacent onshore. The federal government is ready to work with the province of Quebec as we are with provinces all across the country to ensure the responsible and sustainable development of our natural resources across Canada.

Quebec NationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, this House recognized the Quebec nation but stubbornly refuses to give expression to that recognition. To strengthen its identity and protect its national culture, the needs of Quebec include having Bill 101 apply to enterprises under federal jurisdiction, a telecommunications and broadcasting commission of its own and an exemption from the multiculturalism act.

Is the refusal of the Canadian parties to adopt our bills on these matters not proof that Canadian nation building is done at the expense of Quebec?

Quebec NationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we have a good understanding of the Bloc Québécois' policies. It is just not in the interest of Quebeckers or Canada. Our government has programs, investments and laws that protect the identity of Quebeckers and also the national unity of Canada.

CopyrightOral Questions

June 17th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, groups of Quebec's artists, creators, authors, publishers and even consumers are opposed to Bill C-32 on copyright because the bill ignores the consensus of the Quebec cultural community concerning the remuneration of artists through levies on digital audio recorders and through making Internet service providers more accountable.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages admit that everyone in Quebec is opposed to his copyright vision, which benefits neither creators nor consumers?