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House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was artists.

Topics

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I believe that our department and this government have made substantial gains in the fisheries. The programs that we are implementing will make the fishery more efficient, more effective, and better for fishers in the industry. Our programs, and those of search and rescue, are fully subscribed and are working well.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to media reports, the government now agrees that Quebec should retain its proportional representation in the House. This is what we Liberals insisted had to be changed from the previous plan. Why does the government now want Ontario to lose five seats and B.C. to lose two, while Alberta gains one?

Could the minister assure us that he will release his bill soon enough for the House to examine it in detail, and will he release the population data which should be the basis for seat allocation?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as this House well knows, our government has made three distinct commitments. First, we have ensured, or have committed to ensure, that the faster-growing provinces, both now and in the future, will see increased seat representation based on the population. Second, we have committed to ensure that our smaller provinces will be protected from losing any seats. Finally, we have committed to ensure fair and proportional representation in the province of Quebec according to its population.

Those are the commitments we have made and those are the commitments we will honour.

JusticeOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that mandatory minimum penalties remove a judge's discretionary power to determine an appropriate sentence based on the crime and the circumstances. Yesterday, the Quebec bar said that it would not allow Parliament to do that to our society.

Will the government stop wasting billions of dollars on an approach that is bound to fail and that will only lead to more crime, less justice and skyrocketing costs?

JusticeOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Conservative

Robert Goguen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian public gave us a mandate to protect them against violent young offenders. That is something new. All the measures in this legislation that aims to protect Canadians will respect the rights of young offenders and of Quebeckers, and will also protect Canadian society against dangerous reoffenders. That is what we were asked to do and that is what we will do. We are asking for the support of the opposition.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives thought they could get away with their anti-democratic attack on western Canadian family farms with no fuss. Funny how people react when the government ignores them.

Protests against the Conservative plan to kill the single desk system by farmers today in Saskatchewan will lead to more next week in the face of the government's false claims that farmers support its ideological plan. Farmers do not support killing small farms and small town economies.

Is the minister now planning to ignore their cries from the farms and streets of the Prairies?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, this legislation would deliver on our government's long-standing commitment to bring marketing choice and freedom to western Canadian farmers. Once passed, the bill would allow prairie farmers to seek their own contracts for grains through the open market. The Wheat Board is going to remain a voluntary pooling option for Canadian farmers.

We hope that the opposition will not drag this out. We know that the chairman of the Wheat Board has said that he wants the opposition to drag it out, which would completely disrupt the markets. That is totally irresponsible. We do not want to see that happen. We hope that the opposition is not going to join with that kind of irresponsibility.

We are looking out for prairie farmers. Would the opposition join with us in doing that?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency confirmed that the agency will face $13 million in cuts next year. That is 43% of its budget gone. That is one-third of its staff gone. The agency's job is to look into potentially harmful policies and projects before they get the green light.

The government has abandoned environmental protection. How can the agency do its job properly with huge cuts to staff and programs?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government is taking concrete action to protect Canada's environment. With regard to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, budget 2007 provided $11 million in additional funding for the agency to take on more responsibilities related to the review of major resource projects.

The agency was one of six departments funded to deliver on a new government mandate to improve the regulatory process for major resource projects. The funding was time limited so that the government could assess at the end of the five years whether it was generating the intended results. We look forward to the findings of this committee.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency plays a crucial role. Investments worth $500 million are planned for natural resource projects, yet this government is strangling the agency that oversees those projects. Now the agency's managers are worried about the amount of work that lies ahead.

Is the government's economic projection false, or does the government prefer to let industry do what it wants without worrying about the environment?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we provided additional funding to this agency in budget 2007. It was a five-year funding process, which we are reviewing right now, and we look forward to the committee's findings.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, EU nations are worried, and with good reason, about the environmental impact of the oil sands. While the minister prefers to do nothing, the gap between greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2020 and the reality is 75%.

Why is the minister not focusing his efforts on reaching those reduction targets instead of attacking the European Union's fuel quality directive?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, our first interest, of course, is in protecting the Canadian economy, Canadian jobs and the environment at the same time. We are committed to working with all levels of government and industry to ensure that the oil sands are developed in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner. It is a strategic resource in our country. Currently, 390,000 jobs are tied to and supported by oil sands development.

I wish the opposition would join with us in supporting Canadian jobs, supporting the Canadian economy and helping us move ahead in the future.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is no surprise that the government is in denial, but the facts are clear. The government has failed to properly understand and regulate the environmental impacts of oil sands development. It has weakened its climate change targets by 90% since 2007 and its inaction has given Canada a black eye on the world stage.

When will the government take climate change seriously at home instead of attacking our allies abroad?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, we are protecting the Canadian economy and the Canadian environment.

One of the things that really concerns me is how the NDP members do not seem to be able to be united on any of these issues. We have heard them contradict each other on the shipbuilding process. We have heard them contradicting each other on the merit of Supreme Court justices. We have heard them contradict each other on marketing freedom for western Canadian farmers. We have heard them contradict each other in terms of the merger with the Liberals.

The opposition does not have credibility on this issue. We will continue to represent Canada. We will continue to build the Canadian economy and we look forward to a bright future.

Air CanadaOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians remain concerned about air services and Air Canada plays a vital role in the Canadian economy. The Minister of Labour has referred this labour dispute to the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

Could the Minister of Labour please provide the House with an update on the status of this matter?

Air CanadaOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, our government remains supportive of free collective bargaining. We have always said that the best deal the parties will get are the ones they find themselves. That is why I am so pleased to announce today to all Canadians that Air Canada and the Canadian Union of Public Employees have negotiated a resolution to avoid a work stoppage and to maintain full service for passengers of Air Canada.

We congratulate both parties for their diligent efforts and their efforts at resolving the labour dispute and avoiding this work stoppage. Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to protect the economic recovery of the country, and that is exactly what we are doing.

G8 SummitOral Questions

October 21st, 2011 / 11:45 a.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has claimed over and over again that the G8 projects came in on budget. However, now we learn that projects in Huntsville came in at over $5 million more than projected. Huntsville will need to raise its taxes to pay its part of the G8 slush fund.

How can the Conservatives say that the project came in on budget?

G8 SummitOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce to members of the House that of the 23,000 projects that this government funded under Canada's economic action plan, we did not pay one cent of money over budget.

G8 SummitOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, no matter how much the government insists that all expenses were justified, the fact remains that the President of the Treasury Board refused to provide all documentation to the Auditor General during her investigation. The three amigos—the minister, the mayor and the hotel manager—recommended projects without providing the necessary documentation.

Will the President of the Treasury Board commit to handing all documentation in his possession over to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts?

G8 SummitOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Infrastructure Canada and the Government of Canada co-operated fully with the good work of the Auditor General.

Throughout her 10 years as Auditor General, Sheila Fraser did an outstanding job fighting for the interests of taxpayers. She came forward with a solid report, which made a good number of observations on how this government could do things better, on how this government could be more open and on how this government could be more transparent to Parliament. This government has accepted every one of her recommendations in this regard.

Northern Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, we are still trying to get a clear picture of what is going on at CanNor.

First, we have an audit that shows that every financial rule in the book was broken. Then, the minister says that it is just a draft and that she is waiting for the final audit before acting. Then, the Prime Minister chimes in saying that all is fixed and there is nothing to worry about. Then, at the start of this week, the head of policy for the agency contradicted the Prime Minister when he told the natural resources committee that it was waiting for the final audit before acting.

Which is it? Has the government fixed the problems or is it still waiting to find out what the problems are?

Northern Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the member opposite should have paid closer attention to the individuals from the north who are supporting our government in establishing a highway between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. Unfortunately, the member from Northwest Territories voted against our government's great initiative.

In regard to CanNor, we have already started to address the issues and to make improvements. Obviously, we accept all of the recommendations and we will address all of the recommendations.

Our government takes any indication of poor financial management by officials very seriously, and we are addressing it.

Northern Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, I do not think that obfuscation and passing the blame will really solve this issue. Here is another problem. According to the agency's head of policy, all decisions are being made by the minister rather than by non-partisan public servants. These are financial decisions. My constituents tell me that the minister's inbox is overflowing with applications waiting for a decision.

While the minister dithers, economic development for the north is being delayed. When will the minister take up her responsibilities and get things going there?

Northern Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, our government is responding to the needs of northerners through the many great initiatives of CanNor. We are processing applications as quickly as possible.

It is unfortunate that the member from Northwest Territories did not support the major investments by our government in establishing a highway between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, which creates jobs for the north and opens up many opportunities for the north.

In terms of the CanNor audit, the audit was publicly released this week. If the member wishes to review that audit, he can go to the website. Our government is addressing all--