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House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the National Assembly of Quebec unanimously condemned the appointment of a unilingual Auditor General. The disrespect shown to francophones in Quebec and throughout Canada is even greater because this government's own requirement was that candidates be bilingual. Quebeckers and Canadians are wondering how a unilingual candidate could have been appointed, given that bilingualism was one of the prerequisites.

What were the real criteria used to choose the new auditor general?

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, as we said, Mr. Ferguson will learn French and he was the most qualified candidate.

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the idea that in this country there is not one bilingual anglophone or one bilingual francophone capable of doing the job is an insult.

The Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne is also outraged by the appointment of an Auditor General who does not speak French. This decision was made barely one week after a unilingual judge was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. The message that this government is sending to francophones in this country is clear: they are not part of the equation.

Are we to understand that the government is giving up on Canada's linguistic duality?

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

That is completely untrue, Mr. Speaker. This government in the previous Parliament led the way with a brand new initiative for linguistic duality in this country. We are very proud of that report. We are proud to have initiated that and to implement that report.

Mr. Ferguson is the most qualified candidate, and we have said that he is already learning French. He will do an excellent job. We encourage members on the opposite side to support him as well.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Kyle Seeback Conservative Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians living in our fastest growing provinces and cities have become significantly under-represented due to population growth and an out-of-date seat allocation formula.

Under the current rules, a majority of Canadians will not only remain but becoming increasingly under-represented. This representation gap must be addressed.

Could the Minister of State for Democratic Reform update the House on the steps our government is taking to provide fair representation to Canadians?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, today I introduced Bill C-20, the fair representation act. The bill would deliver a principled and reasonable update to our seat allocation formula, providing fair representation for Canadians living in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. It delivers on our commitment to maintain the seat counts of smaller provinces and ensure that Quebec is proportionately represented.

Canadians rightly expect fair and principled representation in their democratic institutions. The fair representation act would deliver on this expectation.

I strongly encourage the opposition to work with us in passing this principled and reasonable legislation.

Infrastructure FundingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, Edmontonians are stunned and angered at the government's sudden eleventh-hour backtracking from the new Royal Alberta Museum.

With no explanation, the government again pulled the rug out from under Alberta's capital city to the tune of $92 million. The project is shovel ready. Millions have already been spent by the province and city.

Would the Conservatives explain why they left Edmonton out in the cold again?

Infrastructure FundingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that no funding has been withdrawn from this project by the federal government. We committed $30 million to this project. It was announced the day the project was announced. We are still committed to that funding. We have not withdrawn any funding from this project.

Infrastructure FundingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the $30 million was promised by the previous government.

The Minister of Public Works expressed concern that a provincial Alberta minister went public on her decision to withdraw support for this important project. She called him a rookie.

The Conservative government committed money to Alberta under the building Canada fund.

Do any other Edmonton MPs share my concern? Will any of them stand up for Edmonton and demand this funding be restored?

Infrastructure FundingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the funding that the member is speaking of was never allocated. Our commitment was for $30 million and it stands. We are not withdrawing those funds from the project. We cannot withdraw funds that we have never given.

I will explain for the member that out of the $30 million, the Government of Alberta has only accessed $10 million, so there is still $20 million there for it to access immediately should it be needed for the project today.

MuseumsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government brags about its efforts to acknowledge the War of 1812, but in the meantime, our museums and our history are in jeopardy. The Canadian Museum of Civilization had to lay off a number of its historical interpreters as well as support staff because of the government's cuts.

When will this government realize that our museums are integral to culture?

MuseumsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the facts. In the global economic crisis, which began in 2008, Canada—our government—was the only government in the G8 to make one key decision: it did not cut or maintain its investment in culture, but increased it. That is our heritage. We have made investments and will continue to make the targeted and significant investments our culture needs.

MuseumsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, maintaining services with fewer resources is another fine contradiction of this government. Our museums are the lastest victims of these major cuts. They are the guardians of our collective history, in addition to being a significant driver for the tourism industry and our economy in general. The Conservatives are in the process of putting our cultural reputation at risk.

When will this government stop making cuts to arts and culture?

MuseumsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, in both questions, my hon. colleague mentioned the issue of museums. Our government is the first government in Canadian history to create a national museum outside of the national capital at Pier 21 in Halifax. We also created the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. We passed the legislation. We provided the funding for it. The Liberals talked about it, but we delivered.

When it comes to museums, we have offered more support for small museums than ever before. We are the government that is delivering for culture in a fiscally responsible way that serves the interests of both culture and everyday taxpayers.

They promised the Canadian Museum of Human Rights; we delivered it. They are all talk; we acted.

Canadian Air and Space MuseumOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last September, a crown corporation evicted the Canadian Air and Space Museum. While the volunteer-run museum showed its good faith and developed a viable plan to meet its financial obligations, the reason stated for eviction was for non-payment of rent. However, other tenants who were evicted at the same time were told that hey had to go so that Downsview Park could implement its vision.

Would the Minister of Public Works and Government Services tell us what this vision is that will lead to the closure of a museum that has proudly preserved Canada's aviation history?

Canadian Air and Space MuseumOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as I said in a similar question from a member of the NDP on this very subject, even though it is called the Canadian Air and Space Museum, the fact is that it is a private museum with a private collection. It is not owned by the Government of Canada. By the way, this is an organization that had a fundraising campaign that was not nearly as successful as it had hoped it would be. It has not had the number of visitors it had hoped it would have.

However, I have instructed Mark O’Neill, the president of the Museum of Civilization, to reach out to this museum to talk and work with it about the collection it has and see if there is something we can do to preserve the collection.

The decision made by Downsview is an independent decision that was made in the best interests of taxpayers. I am sorry the Liberals do not agree with that.

Canadian Air and Space MuseumOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are huge areas of open space that house this museum. Downsview Park has chosen to destroy these heritage buildings, which once was home to de Havilland Canada, in order to build a hockey rink.

If the government truly cares about heritage and military history, as the minister is indicating, then what is he doing to save, not only the artifacts, but also these historic buildings that are important to the people of Toronto and to all Canadians?

Canadian Air and Space MuseumOral 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 certainly recognize the importance of the collection, which is why I have taken the action I have described in the first question. I do not doubt my hon. colleague's sincerity. What I do disagree with though is the this or that proposal.

We can have strong, fantastic, brilliant national museums that protect our heritage, and we are doing that. At the same time, however, Downsview Park has a responsibility to do what is in the best interests of taxpayers, and that is what it is doing.

If the idea is that we cannot have a sports complex, new rinks or support sports and at the same time protect the collection of this museum, I think we can do both. I think we will do both, and we will do so responsibly for taxpayers.

G8 SummitOral Questions

October 27th, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Muskoka minister said that if he were caught setting up a parallel process that kept the Auditor General in the dark that he would turn himself over to the cops.

Local mayors were told that all projects would be vetted by civil servants, but he broke that promise and set up a parallel process run by the three amigos: the mayor, the hotel manager and the minister. He then hid the documents in the office, which meant that the Auditor General was left in the dark.

When will he do the right thing and check himself into the old crowbar hotel?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the facts have not changed. As a great Canadian once said, “the facts have not changed”. They have not changed since yesterday and they will not change tomorrow. The minister of infrastructure made the decision. The Auditor General has thoroughly reviewed it. We know where every dollar went.

Now, while the facts have not changed, that member's position has changed. He has broken his promise. By standing up and talking about broken promises today, he now appoints himself the House's high priest of hypocrisy. Why does he not stand in his place and apologize for breaking his word to his constituents?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am hurt because I think we all know what we are really dealing with here, which is the wasteful, inefficient and ineffective President of the Treasury Board.

After 140 days of dodging the facts, the facts have indeed not changed, because the infrastructure minister did not choose the projects. He rubber-stamped the list that was handed to him by the Muskoka maverick. The reason he cannot get up now is that if he stands up, he is busted for explaining why his fingerprints are all over the file.

Will he stop hiding behind the backbench, get up and be accountable to Canadians?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the former minister of infrastructure has been clear. He approved all of the projects, 32 of them. We know what they are. If the hon. member would like to go to the website for Infrastructure Canada, he could review those projects himself. Every dollar is now accounted for. The projects came in either on or under budget.

That cannot be said about the $2 billion Liberal long gun registry, against which that member fought for years in his effort to be re-elected in his riding.

Will he now be consistent with the position that he has always taken and announce that he will vote for scrapping the long gun registry?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, in many parts of the world, the rights, the safety and even the lives of girls and women are threatened by violence that has its source in perverse and distorted notions of honour.

Regrettably, Canada has not been immune from such abuses.

Therefore, I ask the Minister for Status of Women to advise the House as to what the government is doing in response to this domestic threat.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, honour-motivated crimes are nothing more than cruel acts of violence. Over a year ago, I called on community and religious leaders to outright condemn these acts of violence.

I also asked women and girls who experienced this violence and intimidation to please speak out. We have held round tables, we have done outreach, and it has resulted in the funding of a project by the Indo-Canadian Women's Association, called the “Elimination of Harmful Cultural Practices”. This initiative will empower girls and women and engage community organizations, the legal community and law enforcement to better respond to the issues of abusive cultural practices.

Our government continues to ask girls who are intimidated by this kind of violence to please speak out.

Infrastructure FundingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the Prime Minister is once again giving the people of Edmonton the back of his hand.

First, there was the broken promise on the portrait gallery, then the Conservatives denied funding for the Edmonton folk music festival and then they failed to back Edmonton's bid to host the World Expo.

The Conservatives have no trouble finding 50 million bucks to build gazebos in Muskoka, but when it comes to funding Edmonton's Royal Alberta Museum, it appears they are weaseling out of their previous commitment.

Why does the government continue to show such disrespect for the capital of the province of Alberta?