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House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, our government is working with our aboriginal partners. Just last week I signed a memorandum to expedite economic development with Chief Robert Louie and Chief Austin Bear of the First Nations Land Management Board and Resource Centre. This will allow additional first nations to manage their land base free from the Indian Act.

In addition, this week, at the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business conference, our government announced further investments supporting economic development. This creates jobs for first nations, Inuit and Métis across Canada.

These are concrete examples of where our government continues—

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.

G8 SummitOral Questions

October 26th, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the hon. member for Parry Sound—Muskoka managed a $50 million slush fund from his constituency office. We know that despite the presence of a number of senior officials, no documents were handed over to the Auditor General, and, surprise, now we find out that he did not act alone. Other ministers joined the party when they were invited to submit infrastructure projects.

Does the government continue to believe that no new facts have surfaced and that the ministers involved in the G8 scandal did nothing wrong?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the former infrastructure minister made these decisions. Each dollar has been accounted for. Not a penny is missing, as Mr. Wiersama, the former Auditor General, has said. He said that he knows what they got for that money. Thirty-two projects were funded and the government announced each one. They can be found on the department's website.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are among friends. We can tell it like it is. Wasting $50 million of taxpayers' money, using government coffers for personal political spending—it all smacks of a great political, financial and ethical scandal.

The Conservatives are saying that they want to implement the Auditor General's recommendations. If one of these recommendations were to have Parliament get to the bottom of this, would the government agree to submit to a full royal commission on the G8 scandal?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, there already has been an inquiry into it. There has been an exhaustive review by the interim Auditor General.

If I could quote a truly great Canadian, “the facts have not changed”. Everyone could take a moment now to recognize that truly great Canadian, the hon. member for Calgary East.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, 139 days and the Muskoka member is still hiding behind the backbenchers and not explaining why he hid the paper trail in his office.

The Auditor General said that he broke the rules and called on Parliament to investigate. That was before we learned about all the other cabinet ministers who were taking his lead and going to the pork buffet as well.

How many other ministers circumvented the rules, took this man's lead and used the taxpayers' Treasury Board as their own personal cash machine?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I clearly could not say this with the same level of eloquence as my colleague for Calgary East, but I will try to explain it for the hon. member, who has heard this answer so many times before. The minister responsible for infrastructure made this decision, all 32 projects were public, every dollar was accounted for and the projects came in under budget. That is the reality.

The reality also is that the member across the way has promised his constituents time and time again to support the elimination of the long gun registry. Will he honour his word, do the right thing and vote for our bill to do just that?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the big game hunter on the backbenches is going to take down this scandal, he is going to have to put a little more ammunition in his pop gun.

The facts are that since the Muskoka minister has to hide behind members like him to answer, I will do him a favour and I will speak for the Muskoka minister. He said “If set up a parallel process where the Auditor General did not know, I would be resigning right now and turning myself in to the local police”.

The question for my good friends on the Conservative backbenches is this. Will someone volunteer, do the right thing, help this verbally challenged minister, put up a hand and call 1-800-Huntsville PD.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member continues to ask the same question, so he will continue to get the same answer.

The reality is that the former minister of infrastructure made this decision. He has taken responsibility for it. The reason we know what these projects are is because they are all published on the Infrastructure Canada website. There are 32 of them. We know where the funds went. We know that it came in under budget. We know every dollar went toward building the projects that have been published.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the chair of the veterans affairs committee. Tomorrow he has scheduled a secret meeting, but we are supposed to be hearing from witnesses in public. Liberals submitted a list of witnesses concerned about the cuts, people and organizations like the ombudsman, the Royal Canadian Legion and many others.

Why is the Conservative chair holding secret meetings? Are the Conservatives plotting to cancel public hearings?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, had the member listened—

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry I was interrupted by the red kindergarten.

Had the member been attentive at the last committee meeting, he would have clearly understood that we are maintaining and investing in our veterans. We are doing that with skilled professionals who are working in our department, in Charlottetown, in our regional office, and with the full support of this government because we support our veterans.

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, firefighters from across Canada were in Ottawa to discuss three vital issues that are as much about the safety of all Canadians as they are about support for our front-line rescuers. Firefighters are asking for a national public safety officer compensation benefit, amending the National Building Code and providing priority access to vaccines.

As firefighters are the first to respond to an emergency and constantly put the well-being of others before their own, will the Minister of Health commit to protecting all Canadians by allowing firefighters priority access to vaccinations in case of pandemic?

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I had a great opportunity yesterday to have this discussion with the member who posed the question this afternoon.

As I stated yesterday, protecting the health and safety of Canadians who are most at risk must be a priority for any government during a pandemic. The chief public health officers in the provinces and territories, who are the medical experts, recommend vaccine priority according to the nature of the pandemic virus and the risk to the population. As well, the provinces and territories delivering health care are also responsible for the rollout of vaccines in their jurisdictions.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a quote of the member for Brant of April 14. He stated, “The Canadian Wheat Board...should be decided upon in terms of its existence by the farmers themselves in a plebiscite or a vote as to whether it should continue with the mandate it was originally given”.

If the member for Brant can understand this basic principle of fairness and democracy, what on earth is wrong with the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food? How can he let the members who are in conflict of interest vote on the future of the Wheat Board when he will not allow the same right to the very prairie farm producers who rely on it for their economic well-being?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

3 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I have a tremendous quote here, too. Let me put this on the record. It states, “when the government is intending to change the legislation, I honestly don't see the grounds for going to court. The government has the right to change the legislation. I don't see the case for taking it to court”.

That was said by the member for Winnipeg Centre.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government's proposed dismantling of the Wheat Board is already having a negative impact on Churchill. Things are already being cleared out of the port. People are being told that shipments will not be coming through. They are worried about losing their jobs and having to uproot their families.

Why is the government creating chaos and uncertainty in communities like Churchill and communities across the Prairies? When will it put aside the interests of big agra and stand up for western Canadians and their communities?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

3 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

What we are trying to do on the government side, Mr. Speaker, is bring clarity and certainty to the grain industry in western Canada. What is not helpful is when the chair of the Wheat Board, Allen Oberg, and his seven friends from across western Canada bring uncertainty to this role. That is the problem that we are having with Churchill. Those guys are implementing a scorched earth policy, trying to prove the inevitable by simply being intransigent to this change that we are trying to bring.

Freedom to western Canadian farmers is priceless.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. My constituents have told me repeatedly that they want to see an end to this measure, which needlessly and unfairly targets law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters. We see the long gun registry as no less than an attack on our way of life.

Could the Minister of Public Safety please update the House on what our government is doing to address this important issue?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the work that he has done on this important file.

On May 2, Canadians gave the government a strong mandate to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry once and for all, and that is exactly what we are doing.

Canadians across the country have called for this measure. For example, Michelle Vardy of the Georgian Bay Women's Outdoors Workshops and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters stated:

As a woman, the long gun registry does not make me feel any safer or more secure. It is wasteful, ineffective and reduces funding to do real things. The 2 billion dollars that have already been spent would have been better used on programs like healthcare--

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for St. Paul's.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, today 25 parliamentarians from all parties are participating in the Canadian Paraplegic Association's fantastic chair-leaders event to experience first-hand the obstacles that people with disabilities face every day.

We understand that after five inaccessible years, the minister responsible for persons with disabilities has finally moved her constituency office. We hope the minister will welcome the opportunity to rise in the House today, advocate for accessibility and reassure the House that her new office on Kent Street in Simcoe is totally accessible.