This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #40 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know it is Halloween, but the member does not look dressed up at all, like the beleaguered President of the Treasury Board.

I will go back to the President of the Treasury Board who, on day 144, showed up to work today dressed as the invisible man.

This project did not come in under budget. The government dinged the town for an extra $9 million.

My colleague from foreign affairs keeps saying this was an arm's-length project. There was nothing arm's-length about it: the minister was up to his neck in pork-barrel partisan politics.

Will the minister explain why he was using Treasury Board to get money for a bogus project like this, which had no justification or paper trail? Where is the paper trail?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this project, like the other 31 projects, had a full contribution agreement that was drafted by officials at Treasury Board. This project is a public infrastructure project that will benefit the people of that municipality for many years to come.

We look forward to having the opportunity to answer even more of the member opposite's questions at committee in short order.

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's tourism market share continues to plunge. We have dropped from seventh to fifteenth in international tourism visits.

The government's failed tourism policies are costing Canada's economy and small businesses thousands of jobs and billions of dollars each year. The government's solution is to treat air travel as a cash cow, slap visitor visas on our most dynamic markets and increase EI payroll taxes. The government's so-called “strategy” is a disaster.

When will the government heed the industry's alarm bells and take action?

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the good news announced by my colleague must be seen as a positive. Businesses in the tourism industry make huge contributions to the Canadian economy and to creating jobs. We implemented Canada's federal tourism strategy to better coordinate the government's efforts, to support the tourism industry and to help Canadian tourism businesses become more competitive, seize opportunities and create jobs for Canadians, so yes, we are accomplishing things and are delivering the goods.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

October 31st, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives sent an SOS warning to Canadian fishers when they went after the three vital S's of the fishery: safety, science and service.

They are slashing safety at sea by closing the maritime rescue sub-centres in St. John's and Quebec. They are slashing science by getting rid of the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council. Now they are slashing service by putting fishing licences out of reach for those without access to the Internet.

Will the minister commit to reversing his plan, which will hurt rural fishers who do not have access to broadband Internet, and keep the current licence application system?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her occasional interest in fisheries issues.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, order. The hon. parliamentary secretary.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the House what we are not going to do. We are not going to follow the example of this member's party that made massive arbitrary cuts through the 1990s and even as recently as 2005. It cut $50 million from the science budget.

Our government has a clear vision for a prosperous and viable future of the fishery in Canada. So fearmongering over progressive changes is not the type of—

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst.

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, one must be bilingual in order to hold the position of Auditor General of Canada. It is not just the francophones in this country who demand it; the Canada Gazette does as well. The job posting clearly stated, “Proficiency in both official languages is essential”. The President of the Public Service Commission is right in criticizing this appointment.

Canadians want to know: was the appointment process fair or did the government once again give one of its friends preferential treatment?

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:55 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, that is completely untrue. As we have already said, of course the government looked for bilingual candidates. However, upon completion of a rigorous process, the best-qualified candidate was chosen. Mr. Ferguson has said that he wants to learn French and he is already taking courses.

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I do not understand why the government did not advertise the job again to give all anglophones a chance to apply. This is not the first time that this government has misled Canadians.

How did a unilingual candidate get through the interview process? Was he not asked any questions in French? This is a direct affront to bilingualism.

One has to wonder: did the government or someone in the government suggest that Michael Ferguson apply for the job even though he is not bilingual?

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:55 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 have already said, Mr. Ferguson is a very well-qualified candidate. As we have also already said, he has already started learning French.

I would only add that he is getting rave reviews, including from the former Auditor General, Sheila Fraser, who has indicated her support for his candidacy.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's entrepreneurs are the unsung heroes of the Canadian economy, creating jobs and growth in every region of our country.

Following this month's nomination by Forbes magazine as the best place in the world to do business, will the Minister of Industry please tell the House how our entrepreneurs are leading all G20 countries?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, finally, an excellent question, since Forbes magazine did in fact give Canada high marks. There are others who agree, including Ernst & Young, which has ranked the confidence of Canadian entrepreneurs among the highest in the G20. Another report, this one from the McKinsey firm, says that Canada is the best place of any G20 nation to go into business.

These high marks all show that our government made the right decision by keeping taxes low. We will continue on the same path. We will not increase the tax burden by $10 billion, as the NDP proposed in its campaign platform.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the bill killing the Canadian Wheat Board will be before a legislative committee starting this evening.

While the government cut off discussion, allowing only three days of debate, western grain farmers and Canadians as a whole still have a right to better understand the devastating impact of this legislation.

Will the government allow this committee to travel out west to allow access to the committee and hear from experts and farmers who will be affected by this legislation? Will the government commit to televising the proceedings so Canadians are not left out of this important process?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have not been left out of this important process. It has gone on far longer than the member knows. It went on long before he was ever involved in it.

Our government is committed to passing the marketing freedom for farmers act in a timely and orderly manner to ensure market certainty for farmers. They need market certainty for next year, and we intend to do that as quickly as possible.

This legislative committee is an ideal place to examine the bill and its technical nature.

Northern DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, while Conservatives make cuts to the University of the Arctic, northerners are wondering what happened to the government's commitment to the north.

As Philip, one of many who has emailed me with these concerns, wrote: “How does the Prime Minister's commitment to Arctic sovereignty, issues of sustainable development and expansion of Canadian understanding of, and co-operation with, peoples of the North coincide with his government's slashing of funding for the University of the Arctic?”

Where is their commitment to the north? What is their answer to Philip and other northerners?

Northern DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we have and continue to make important and strategic investments to strengthen the economic prosperity and quality of life of northerners. The Government of Canada continues to support the University of the Arctic; however, we have also advised it that we cannot continue to be the only source of funding for this initiative.

Territorial support is crucial to its long-term sustainability and success in Canada. The territories have indicated they wish to explore other options. We respect this decision.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

David Wilks Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are concerned about crime and gave our Conservative government a strong mandate to keep our streets and communities safe. That is why in the last election we promised to introduce lawful access legislation in due course.

Our approach to this issue has always struck an appropriate balance between police powers needed to protect public safety and the necessity to safeguard the privacy of Canadians. However, there have been exaggerated concerns presented by the opposition.

Could the minister tell the House what our proposed approach to the lawful access legislation will do?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I want to be clear: no legislation proposed by our Conservative government will allow police to unlawfully read emails without a warrant.

As technology evolves, many criminal activities, such as the distribution of child pornography, become much easier. We are proposing measures to bring our laws into the 21st century and provide police with the tools they need to do their job.

Rather than making things easier for child pornographers or organized crime, I call on the NDP to support these balanced measures to protect law-abiding Canadians.

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is calling on the government to stop hiding behind cabinet confidences and to respond to our access to information request by immediately making reports on the safety of the Champlain Bridge available to the public, instead of hiding them from the bridge's users. Every day, 200,000 people cross that bridge, and they have a right to know about its condition.

Will the government finally reveal the information that the cabinet members share freely among themselves, but refuse to share with Canadians?

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, if the NDP was truly worried about the safety of the Champlain Bridge, it should have voted in favour of our budgets that invested in maintenance for the bridge in 2009. We are doing the work needed to ensure the structure's safety. While the NDP's priority is to scare Canadians, we are looking towards the future with the construction of a new bridge over the St. Lawrence. I therefore invite the hon. member to support us when it comes to replacing the old bridge with a new one.

AfghanistanOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-François Fortin Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives misled Quebec regarding the extension of the mission in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister stated last year that there would be minimal risks and that training would take place “on military bases and in classrooms”. Today he said that the mission involves significant risks.

Does this not give us reason to believe that the Prime Minister was not truthful with Quebeckers? Will the government acknowledge that it gave false information about the actual risks and that consequently it must put an end to the military mission?