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House of Commons Hansard #33 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was grain.

Topics

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the strategic review was an opportunity for the department to assess the performance of its programs. It also allowed us to ensure that we are responding to the priorities of Canadians. DFO is making steady progress in modernizing and improving our program and policy approaches to meet the needs of Canadians today and in the future.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary NDP St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, we know the government prefers to make decisions based on ideology rather than science, statistics or facts, but the Conservatives' cuts to DFO have gone too far. Cutting the science branch means making decisions with nothing to back them up. Cutting the resource conservation councils means fishermen have no say. Cutting search and rescue means lives are actually put at risk.

Can the minister explain exactly what will be left, what he will be in charge of once he is finished scuttling his department?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there was a multitude of questions from the member opposite.

We will have a more efficient, more effective department which will deal with the needs of fishers on the east coast, the west coast and in northern Canada.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, fishermen from the Pacific coast all the way to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland—including the Gaspé and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine—are worried. Their livelihood, their way of life and their safety are being jeopardized by the cuts to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The government is making cuts to research, management and rescue without thinking about the consequences.

Why has the government abandoned fishermen?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the contrary is the truth. The government has demonstrated a strong commitment to science at Fisheries and Oceans since 2006, including $30 million to upgrade 13 laboratories at sites across the country, and $36 million to construct three new science vessels. This government has been focused on marine science. We have invested $14 million to complete mapping and data collection in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans for Canada's submission to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and $9.7 million in science to support emerging commercial fishing--

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is clearly disconnected from the reality of fishers. We even wonder whether the government is still interested in the future of the fishery. If it is, then why abolish the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council? Canadians rely on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to make decisions based on science, as well as on those who know best: the fishers themselves.

How can the government manage the fisheries without any expert advice? Is it throwing in the towel?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the FRCC and the PFRCC have historically served an important role. Activities, however, have been replaced with other approaches, such as industry participation in stock assessments and the development of integrated fisheries management plans through advisory committees. In fact, council members are quoted as saying that there will not be a huge gap created.

Fisheries and oceansOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, after the discovery of infectious salmon anemia in two wild sockeye smolts, U.S. federal agencies are preparing an emergency research effort into this threat of their wild, hatchery and farmed salmon. This is the single most feared virus in the fish industry. The U.S. recognizes the urgent need to protect its coastal economy and jobs, but the Canadian government is mute. Does it not understand the scale of this new threat? When will the minister tell Canadians exactly what emergency action he will take?

Fisheries and oceansOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, stringent federal regulations are in place to protect Canada's aquatic species from disease. Infectious salmon anemia, ISA, has never been found in B.C. aquaculture salmon. Fisheries and Oceans Canada in the Pacific region has been testing wild sockeye salmon for ISA. In fact, 300 samples tested this year have all tested negative.

At this time the reported finding the member refers to is far from conclusive. Fisheries and Oceans Canada will conduct testing in the national ISA reference laboratory.

VeteransOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are shortchanging our brave veterans by cutting more than $200 million from their budget.

Today at committee the Liberals fought back and won a small victory for the vets. Our motion to study these massive cuts passed because Conservative members did not show up to the veterans affairs committee on time today to defeat it.

Would the minister commit to appear at committee and explain why he is cutting support to our veterans, and will he be on time?

VeteransOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our veterans have been winning massively for six years with the Conservative government.

If the member wants to get the number right, $500 million times six gives $3 billion to our veterans and $2 billion with the new veterans charter. If the member wants to help our veterans, he must sit up in his chair when we are improving budget initiatives for our veterans.

We are on the side of veterans.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is killing the Canadian Wheat Board. This is going to destroy family farms. It is going to hurt rural communities.

Let me quote The Economist:

Smaller producers, faced with mounting marketing costs, will inevitably have to sell their farms to bigger rivals or agribusiness companies. Eventually, this should lead to consolidation and fewer, bigger farms—making Canada a more competitive wheat producer, but devastating small prairie towns, whose economies depend on individual farmers with disposable income.

Why is the Prime Minister causing so much damage to our--

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Agriculture.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the predictions of The Economist will only come true if we maintain the status quo.

That is why we are moving to marketing freedom for western Canadian farmers, so that they can start developing processing right there in those small rural communities and develop a broader base and a better business plan. That will return more money to them and keep those smaller farms and communities alive and vibrant.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, barely finished butchering the Canadian Wheat Board, the Conservatives have already set their sights on supply management.

Yesterday, the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands said, “We want to provide the same freedom for farmers right across the country”. Who other can he be referring to than the supply managed agriculture sectors in Canada? Conservatives keep musing about the demise of supply management. The final pleas from family farms across the west fell on deaf ears.

Could the minister forecast when his attack on dairy, egg and poultry farms across the rest of Canada will begin?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. There needs to be a lot more order during the questions and answers. I can barely hear the question. I will allow the hon. minister to answer, but we need more order.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

You are right, Mr. Speaker, it was loud, but it was not clear.

This government is well respected by the supply management sector as we reciprocate and respect it for the great job it is doing. We are the only party that listed supply management support in our last campaign platform. We brought it forward in our throne speech. Those members voted against it. What a bunch of hypocrites.

Canada PostOral Questions

October 20th, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of State for Transport avoided the question yesterday when asked about cuts to Canada Post in Quebec. Perhaps if I ask the question in English, he might understand the question better. Cuts elsewhere were between 4% and 8%. In Quebec, it chose to cut an alarming 53%.

What is the minister doing to stop these unfair and unbalanced cuts that target just one province?

Canada PostOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, what I say is true in English and true in French.

All permanent jobs at Canada Post are protected. Our government is committed to ensuring high quality mail service to all Canadians and businesses. Operating decisions at Canada Post are made by Canada Post.

I hope this member will appreciate Canada Post and not get into mudslinging. It is beneath him really.

Canada PostOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's vague answers show us at least one thing: he has no argument to justify the unfair treatment of Quebec. Postal service is essential across the country. There is no justification for treating a province this way. I repeat: the cuts in Quebec are 53%. Elsewhere in the country the cuts range between 4% and 8%.

Does the minister not think that every province is entitled to the same service from Canada Post?

Canada PostOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member when he says postal services are essential to Canada. That is why I was very concerned when his party, last spring, went to all sorts of effort to prevent Canada Post from allowing Canadians to receive the mail. The member and his party created a historic filibuster to support their big union bosses to prevent Canadians from getting the mail.

Really, Canada Post is essential. I wish the hon. member would help ensure that Canada Post and all Canadians can reach their full potential.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is continuing his attack on Atlantic Canadian families. First he made cuts to search and rescue, then to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Yesterday we learned that the axe will fall on the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. Atlantic Canadian families count on ACOA.

Why is this government punishing the Atlantic region?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Conservative

Bernard Valcourt ConservativeMinister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency announced that 42 positions would be eliminated, but small businesses and communities in the Atlantic will not be the least bit affected in terms of the programs and services they receive. It will have no impact on them, nor on the extraordinary opportunity announced yesterday that will see thousands of jobs created in the Atlantic region and across Canada through our naval strategy.