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House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us continue on the question of transparency. The Standing Committee on Public Accounts, which is dominated by the Conservatives, did not adopt a motion to study the Auditor General’s past reports. To top it off, that was done behind closed doors.

There are reports that show us the full extent of the mismanagement of public funds by the Conservatives: millions of dollars wasted on helicopters and corruption in the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. Before going behind closed doors, a Conservative member on the committee justified his opposition to this by saying that a lot had changed since the election.

Why will this government not let the Standing Committee on Public Accounts do its job? What does it—

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our government lets committees be master of their own destiny because they are.

What we see from this side, that keeps being voted against by members on the other side, are measures to keep spending under control, to reduce taxes so Canadians have more dollars in their pockets, and measures to ensure our economy continues to grow and create jobs.

That is the focus of this government. We have delivered on accountability and transparency, and now we are delivering on economic growth.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, earlier today the Minister of Agriculture introduced a historic bill in this House. The marketing freedom for grain farmers act would fundamentally transform agriculture on the Prairies by giving farmers the freedom to market their grain when and where they choose, and to what buyer they choose.

Farmers want economic opportunity. Farmers want freedom. Farmers want this legislation to succeed.

Would the Minister of Agriculture tell us what this historic piece of legislation would mean for farmers?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral 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, I want to thank the member for Red Deer for his great work. As a farmer, he knows the value this legislation would deliver, giving marketing freedom to western Canadian farmers. Once passed, this bill would allow prairie farmers to seek their own contracts, the same as their friends and relatives have in Ontario. That is called fairness.

The Canadian Wheat Board would remain a voluntary pool in this piece of legislation, a tremendous option for farmers to use should they decide to. We encourage the opposition to pass this bill swiftly, to send market certainty and the right signals to farmers so they know what to plant next spring.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, back in March the Minister of Agriculture said he would not scrap the Wheat Board unless western farmers were in favour of it. Over the summer, western producers voted and spoke out in favour of the single desk.

Why is the government failing to listen to the voices of western farmers? Why is it so deeply in the pocket of big agra and when will it stop taking the west for granted?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral 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, it is because we take the mandate that western Canadians gave us on May 2 very seriously and we campaigned hard on this issue.

I would like to ask the member for Churchill, is she going to support this bill, since it would do everything for Churchill that was required and what it was asking for?

There would be $5 million each year for the next five years to help with its transition; $4 million to upgrade the port facility for better loading; and an extension of the $4 million package from western diversification.

This is all great news. The mayor of Churchill, Mike Spence, is totally in favour of this. Will that member stand and support this bill?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, we are well aware that the loss of the Canadian Wheat Board is a loss for all of western Canada.

The Canadian Wheat Board gives farmers and people in western and northern Canada prices and rates that the big agri-food businesses cannot equal, particularly during hard economic times. And yet the minister seems to have no problem shutting down one of the most successful Canadian agencies.

When will the Minister stop ignoring the voices of people in the west, of farmers in the west, and when will he stop—

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Canadian Wheat BoardOral 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, as I said, the people of western Canada, including farmers, sent all of us here to ensure we follow through on our campaign commitments to give marketing freedom to western Canadian farmers. They deserve that right. They have earned that privilege. They have shown us, marketing canola globally, marketing pulses and other special crops globally, that they have the expertise.

What they need to do is ensure that the members opposite follow through and get this passed before the end of this calendar year, so that the new entity wheat board would be able to succeed and western Canadian farmers would have the right and the obligation to succeed as well.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

October 18th, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's reaction to the most recent report of the Commissioner of Official Languages will decide the fate of the official languages in this country. The report clearly states that the Minister of Official Languages and the President of the Treasury Board are not complying with the law. All federal institutions must obey the law and respect official language communities when making decisions.

Will the Prime Minister react promptly to the report of the Commissioner of Official Languages?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we will certainly react, as we have done in the past. I would like to quote the report of the Commissioner of Official Languages, which I have here. It says that our government “made it possible to initiate or continue numerous projects aimed at promoting linguistic duality to all Canadians, fostering the economic development of the communities, and improving their situations, especially in the areas of health care, education, immigration and culture.” This report highlights the fact that our government is making unprecedented investments in protecting and celebrating Canada's two official languages.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, vague answers like that do nothing to protect our country's two official languages. The proposals set out in the commissioner's report represent the bare minimum the government should be doing. If the Prime Minister refuses to follow up on the report's proposals, that will prove that he opposes the Official Languages Act.

Is the Prime Minister ready to pass a bill, as called for by the Commissioner of Official Languages? That is in his report.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I will answer in the other official language to avoid any vagueness.

Quoting directly from the report, which states:

The Department [of Canadian Heritage] [has] demonstrate[d] its commitment to the Official Languages Act by providing its services in both official languages at all times, and especially by making full compliance with Part VII of the Act a...priority. Canadian Heritage systematically consults official language communities through working groups and federal councils, and when developing cooperation agreements with provinces and territories. Not only does the Department have a thorough understanding of the needs of official language communities, it also takes these needs into account when designing and implementing programs.

Not vague, it is direct. We are getting the job done.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's crime bill adds longer sentences for drug offences, increases mandatory minimums and cuts conditional sentences.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I would ask hon. members to applaud when he is finished asking the question not during the preamble, so the House can actually hear the substance of the question.

The hon. member for Charlottetown.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, however, even the toughest anti-crime advocates in America say that this strategy is just plain wrong. Even the staunchest Conservative Republicans in Texas are repealing mandatory minimums and increasing drug treatment programs because they slash crimes at a tenth of the cost.

Why is the government ignoring the evidence and wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on a crime strategy that just will not work?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately there was a misleading report on CBC last night. In fact, the bill that we have before Parliament specifically excludes drug treatment courts that are already in existence in Canada.

If Texas and other places are emulating or copying the Canadian experience, that is a beautiful thing and anything we can do to help them, we would be glad to do.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, under the Texas government's new approach of less jail time and more treatment, the rate of prisoners reoffending has dropped by 75%. In contrast, Conservative crime laws are already putting thousands more people into overcrowded jails and 85% cannot get the treatment programs they need, plus funding for treatment has been slashed while security costs soar.

Why is the government fast-tracking a bad bill that even Texans know will deliver more crime, more victims, less justice and spiralling costs?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the member is relying on a misleading CBC report.

The incarceration rate in Texas is proportionately five times higher than in Canada. In fact, the safe streets and communities act includes specific exemptions for drug treatment courts that are already operating across Canada. As the Minister of Justice indicated, if Texas wants to follow our example in respect of the drug treatment courts, I welcome that initiative.

Those members should vote in respect of the bill that we have before the House.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, infectious salmon anemia has been diagnosed in sockeye smolts in the Pacific. This is the same virus that infected and wiped out almost 70% of farmed salmon in Chile.

We do not know the long-term effects on wild salmon or how long this virus has been present in the Pacific waters. What is the government doing to investigate this serious threat to our salmon fishery?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, our government understands the importance of salmon for British Columbia economically, historically and culturally. That is why the Prime Minister established the Cohen Commission of Inquiry in 2009. I encourage the member to support the work of Justice Cohen and the Cohen Commission.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government's silence on fisheries is deafening. Instead of providing answers, there is no communication from the department and scientists remain muzzled. Conservatives are gutting the DFO and cutting funding to fisheries conservation councils. Their policy seems to be “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” and they hope these problems go away. They will not.

When will the minister agree to a full and transparent investigation of this serious issue and threat to our fisheries?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, a strategic review was an opportunity for the department to assess performance of its programs. It also allowed us to ensure that we were responding to the priorities of Canadians. We have the responsibility to spend taxpayer money prudently and where it will do the most good. We must ensure that government programs are efficient, effective and achieving the expected results of Canadians.

DFO is making steady progress in modernizing and improving our program and policy approach to meet the needs of Canadians today and in the future.