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House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

CensusOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, we still have the mandatory census. That has not changed with respect to the short form. With respect to the long form, as we said from the beginning, we want a reasonable approach in which we balance the need for data--and we can get usable and useful data through a long-form questionnaire--with the protection of privacy rights of Canadians.

I want the hon. member to stand in his place and justify why he wishes to threaten his fellow Canadians with jail time and fines rather than doing the reasonable thing.

Hurricane IgorOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, the devastating impacts of hurricane Igor are still being felt by thousands in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Roads are impassable, bridges have collapsed, communities are cut off and running out of food and medical supplies. The Prime Minister is making a quick sweep of the affected areas today, but what is required is a quicker response.

People are saying they will not put up with mere promises like the Prime Minister made during tropical storm Chantal in 2007. What urgent actions can the government report are being taken today and in the days ahead?

Hurricane IgorOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member should know that he had it right. The Prime Minister has responded quickly. In fact, he is there in Newfoundland and Labrador today with the hon. member's premier and Senator Manning. They are touring some of the communities on Burin Peninsula and some of the areas most affected by hurricane Igor.

We are standing in solidarity with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. We will be there to assist in whatever way necessary, whatever way possible. We realize the urgency of the matter. That is why the Prime Minister is there. That is why we are ready to act and to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador in their time of need.

Hurricane IgorOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, maybe the Conservative government did not hear. A 90-year-old stranded without electricity and food said, “If the Prime Minister comes down here, he better take me out of it”.

People are running out of food and medical supplies, and communications are down. This was the worst storm ever to hit the province and an extraordinary response is required. Neighbour is helping neighbour, but where is the federal government?

Communities need food drops and fuel drops. They do not need Prime Minister photo ops.

What is the government doing to help these people in their hour of need?

Hurricane IgorOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would encourage the hon. member to look at this objectively.

We are working with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. We recognize the suffering. We recognize the disaster that has hit the island and that has affected the people of Newfoundland and Labrador in many small communities.

I spoke with the mayor of Bonavista yesterday. I have been in direct contact with the premier. The Prime Minister is there. We have the Canadian Forces ready to deploy. We have taken steps to ensure that the op centre in Newfoundland and Labrador is in direct contact with Joint Task Force Atlantic.

We are there with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Conservative Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, the coalition voted to keep the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. In fact, 20 coalition MPs who had originally voted to scrap the long gun registry bowed under the pressure from their Ottawa bosses and voted to keep it.

My Conservative colleagues and I will continue to work hard to scrap this wasteful and ineffective registry. Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety update this House on our efforts to scrap the long gun registry?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his hard work on this file. I am glad that the member had the courage to stand in this place and represent his constituents.

The voters will remember those 20 coalition MPs who flip-flopped on the issue. This is the furthest we have come to dismantling the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry, and we will continue to work to scrap it.

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, an internal Canadian Food Inspection Audit found that Canada does not have the resources to adequately inspect imported foods entering the country.

Canadians are more and more concerned about what is on their plates, and food imports are growing, so when will the minister give the agency more resources to keep people safe from contaminated foods?

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, our government takes food safety very seriously, and that is why we are continually improving our food inspection practices.

The audit in question was done between 2005 and 2008. Since the audit was completed, CFIA has taken action to improve enforcement, prosecute more offenders, and increase the training of inspectors.

Since taking office, our government has added more than 500 food inspectors. This year alone CFIA's budget has increased by 13%.

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the government has no strategy to ensure that health hazards are not entering Canada.

An audit into the safety of imported foods says that while imports are skyrocketing our food inspection agency is failing to keep Canadian families safe. The government inspects billboards, but there is no action for food safety.

When is the government going to put aside partisan games and shameless vanity, and actually take the health and safety of Canadians seriously?

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, I would like to share a quote that absolutely contradicts what the member is saying, from the OECD report.

That report said, “Canada is one of the best performing countries in 2010 food safety performance world ranking study. Its overall grade was superior”.

As I said, our government takes food safety very seriously. Here are two other initiatives that we have taken. We have established import surveillance teams, which performed 480 border blitzes last year, and we delivered $233 million through the food safety action plan to improve controls on imported food.

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to an internal audit, there are “deficiencies” in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's oversight system when it comes to imported foods. The report mentions “multiple areas of risk” that need to be dealt with using drastic measures.

Can the minister explain why the situation is getting worse despite additional funding for the agency?

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, I just explained the scenario regarding food safety and how seriously our government takes this matter. I also explained some of the initiatives that we have undertaken to improve food safety and I provided a quote from an OECD report.

The last comment I would like to make on this is that despite all of these measures every time we do something positive in the area of food safety that member, his party, and the opposition vote against it.

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government lets foreign food products into the country without making sure they are safe, yet our own agricultural producers and processors face extremely restrictive standards. And we expect them to compete with those products price-wise.

When will the government decide to impose a reciprocal policy? What comes into the country should be of the same quality as what we produce here.

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, for the member's benefit, I will read the quote one more time. It says, “Canada is one of the best performing countries in 2010 food safety performance world ranking study. Its overall grade was superior”.

I have explained, three times now, all the initiatives we have taken. What I expect from the member and his party is support for our initiatives to better serve Canadians and to improve our food safety system.

We have had enough rhetoric.

International TradeOral Questions

September 24th, 2010 / 11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the United States is once again threatening protectionist legislation that will significantly harm Canadian businesses and jobs.

The minister's response? Nothing. First he said that we are just collateral damage in the battles between the United States and China. Then he said that we are hoping it will not get to a vote before the American elections. Then he said that if it does, if it passes, we will probably seek an exemption for Canadian companies.

Who is the minister kidding? Canadian businesses need something done. What action will the minister take and when?

International TradeOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, in these difficult economic times, Canadians can count on our government to oppose protectionism and defend free and open trade on the world stage. That includes our close relationship with the United States.

We are following this bill closely and working to ensure that Canada's concerns are taken into account by the U.S. lawmakers.

It should be made clear that it is far from certain whether this bill will become law, but our government will continue to work closely with the Obama administration on issues like this.

As a result of our relationship, Canada was the only country in the world to be able to get an exemption from the buy American provisions of the U.S. stimulus program.

International TradeOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, first, that heavily touted exemption actually covers only 37 states, so it does not go very far.

Second, the member said that we are “following” this effort. “Following” does not do anything for Canadian businesses and jobs.

I would say that the ambassador in the United States is working hard to pursue this. That is a good thing, because the minister is not.

I would offer that in this circumstance we need a strong, united Canadian front to battle this legislation, which could be very damaging, and we need to do it now.

I am offering my help. Will the minister accept? If so, can we start today?

International TradeOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's offer of assistance. I am sure that the minister will be pleased to hear that as well.

The reality is that Ambassador Doer in the United States is working very closely with the American administration to try to make sure that this bill does not turn into law.

We can depend upon our government and our minister to protect Canadians' interests in the United States or anywhere else in the world.

United NationsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we all want Canada to win a seat at the Security Council, and we commend our diplomats from the Pearson Building to New York for doing a great job.

One of the things we need to see is members from all of the parties in the House helping with this.

Has the government considered working with the opposition to help Canada win a seat at the Security Council? Yes or no.

United NationsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to hear that the NDP is willing to help us win the seat. I am extremely confused with the position of the Bloc and the Liberal Party.

The Bloc leader said that we do not deserve a seat, and yet we get questions from the Bloc critics asking when will we get on the Security Council.

It is the same way with the Liberal Party. Its leader said that we do not deserve a seat and yet all Liberal critics are coming out and saying we must work together to get the seat.

Would someone clarify what is going on on that side? My thanks to the NDP.

United NationsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to his speech to the United Nations, the Prime Minister claims to understand that, “Our interests are all linked together: Climate change to health threats and pandemics, including, of course, the economy”.

However, the Prime Minister is a strange messenger for that message. To be taken seriously, Canada must follow through on her global commitments.

Will the Prime Minister back up his claims by reversing the freeze on our international development, committing to real action on climate change, and signing the UN declaration on indigenous rights?

United NationsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the member is presenting, the fact is that we have doubled our aid to Africa. We have increased our total contribution to the world to $5 billion a year, which is the highest this country has ever given.

Our government is taking leadership because we recognize the responsibility that we have to the world as Canadians. All Canadians are proud of what we are doing.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government, through our economic action plan, has been investing in the people, businesses and communities of southern Ontario and my riding of Kitchener Centre. We are seeing results. Since May 2009 over 200,000 new jobs have been created in Ontario alone.

In order to continue creating jobs and economic growth, we need a skilled workforce and businesses need to innovate. Could the parliamentary secretary please tell us what our government is doing to deliver these results?

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Kitchener Centre for his leadership on economic development issues not only in the Waterloo region, but in all of Canada.

A few moments ago in the Waterloo region, the Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario announced the new graduate enterprise internship. This is an initiative designed to equip graduate students in science and engineering with real world experience through internships at companies throughout southern Ontario. Not only will this help graduates transition into the workforce, it will also provide businesses with greater access to the technical expertise they need to innovate.

Our government is committed to creating jobs and supporting economic growth in southern Ontario.