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House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Highway SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government should stop backing away from its responsibilities. The fact is that the licence to use the tunnel is given by Transport Canada. Do Montrealers not deserve to know if this tunnel is safe? In New York, hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested to make tunnels safer. Is the government waiting for a fire or disaster before taking action?

Will the government take up its responsibility to protect public safety and act on this issue?

Highway SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, the suggestion made by the NDP member that the government does not take safety seriously is very disappointing. If the member were serious about improving safety, he would work with the government and help us make the investments necessary, as we have done in the budgets of 2009, 2010 and 2011. It is very unfortunate and disingenuous of the NDP to stand and raise this issue when it has voted against the government every time we try to make the situation better.

Aviation SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' reckless hands-off approach to aviation safety is putting Canadians at risk. Crashes in the north have cast a light on the problems with safety inspections. In my region, prairies and north, we are supposed to have 106 operational inspectors but we only have 74. In other regions, over one-third of the inspectors are missing and yet we allow airlines to regulate themselves, with no hands-on federal oversight.

Will the Conservatives take the safety of Canadian families seriously and hire the safety inspectors we need for Canada's aviation industry?

Aviation SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, this government takes the safety of Canadians when flying very seriously. The CBC report, to which the member referred, has its facts wrong. We do not allow airlines to regulate their own compliance with safety regulations. We have a safety management system that is the world standard now. Canada was the leader and we will continue to be the leader in aviation safety.

Again, if the NDP were serious, it would support this government and not scare Canadians about flying. Flying is the safest way of travel and it is partly because this government makes it so.

Aviation SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin NDP Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is simply not enough. The safety management system was supposed to be implemented under the supervision of federal inspectors. However, former aviation inspectors are saying that Transport Canada has lost track of which companies have problems to rectify. Just in northern Canada and the Atlantic provinces, there is a shortfall of 51 inspectors.

When will the Conservatives stop putting Canadians at risk and start hiring the inspectors we need?

Aviation SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the safety of Canadians is an absolute priority for our government. The CBC report the previous hon. member was referring to is full of erroneous information. The Canadian air transportation system is one of the safest in the world. Transport Canada inspectors do at least 10,000 inspections across the country every year to ensure that the airlines are complying with the regulations.

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, the minister's political staff had access to a veteran's personal medical information. Ironically, the minister cannot discuss individual cases, precisely because of privacy protection concerns.

Can the minister explain why and under what circumstances political staff had access to the personal medical information of veterans?

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that protecting the privacy of our veterans is a priority for our government. We have made significant progress in implementing the recommendations made by the Privacy Commissioner. That is why we have implemented a 10-point action plan, including privacy awareness and training for employees, enhanced monitoring of access, strict disciplinary measures, etc.

We are taking measures to ensure that information about our veterans is under the highest security.

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, when a veteran makes a complaint, the response from the Conservatives is to check and access his personal medical information. It is an abuse of power whose clear goal is to threaten anyone who dares question or challenge them.

The minister suggested last week that he had taken steps to protect veterans' privacy. What are those steps and when will he table them?

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I wish the member would listen to the answer.

Any breach of privacy is totally unacceptable. We have put in place an action plan to deal with that issue. The Commissioner of Privacy is pleased with the action plan. It deals with employer awareness and training; access, controls and monitoring; and strict disciplinary measures.

We are supporting our veterans. The member and his party have left our veterans in a decade of darkness.

Federal JudiciaryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, only 8 of the 41 federal judges appointed by the Conservative government this year were women. In 2010, 13 out of 37 appointees were women. However, women have outnumbered men in law faculties for a number of years. In addition, the number of female lawyers in Canada has been rising continually. Canadians want the government and the Prime Minister to show leadership in the area of gender equality.

Why have this government and this Prime Minister given so little importance to equality? Will a benchmark be established for future appointments?

Federal JudiciaryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, no government has been more committed to the promotion of women than this government and I am very proud to be a part of this government.

Perhaps the hon. member has not heard but, when it comes to full-time judges, thanks to our government, women now represent approximately 40% of Canada's judiciary. I was just at the installation of a woman to the Supreme Court of Canada, which makes 5 out of the 11 judges at the federal Court of Appeals women, as are 8 of the 12 judges on the Alberta Court of Appeal and 12 out of the 14 on the B.C. Court of Appeal.

The NDP members should not make politics out of the judiciary. Supporting the judiciary is what they should be doing.

Federal JudiciaryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the government is not telling us is that those numbers are actually just getting worse and worse.

This year, under the Conservative government, less than 20% of judicial appointments are women. That is just not good enough. Talented female lawyers and all Canadian women deserve better.

Provinces and many other countries have moved to a transparent, arm's-length judicial appointment process. The government needs to improve appointment processes and set benchmarks for gender equity.

Why will the Conservative government not act now to ensure equity and equal opportunity for women?

Federal JudiciaryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of this government's record. We continue to make appointments on the basis of merit and legal excellence. I would ask the hon. member to check her figures. The number of women has gone up under this administration at all different levels.

I would ask her to quit playing politics with the judiciary of this country. I say to opposition members to support the judiciary and the measures that have been undertaken by this government. It would be good for the NDP.

APEC SummitOral Questions

November 14th, 2011 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government's top priority remains jobs and the economy. Canada's continuing strong performance in the face of ongoing challenges in the global economy is the envy of the world. With one of the fastest economic growth rates in the G7, low business costs and taxes, the world's soundest banking system and a job creating pro-trade plan, Canada offers many advantages.

Would the hard-working parliamentary secretary please update the House on the recent achievements at the APEC summit?

APEC SummitOral Questions

3 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we continue to strengthen our economic co-operation in the Asia-Pacific region. At the APEC summit, we signed a telecommunications agreement with Mexico and formally expressed our willingness to join the trans-Pacific partnership which represents a potential market of more than 775 million people.

At the same time, we will continue to defend and promote Canada's specific interests and every sector of our economy as part of our job creating pro-trade plan.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, immigrants admitted through the government's live-in caregivers stream say that they have been duped by the immigration minister.

Prior to the May election, the minister touted the program's success and the government's supposed plans to help it grow but now he is clawing back their access to permanent residency and is making it ever harder for new live-in caregivers to come to Canada.

Will the minister stand up for these important immigrants or was his promise to support the live-in caregiver program just another pre-election ploy to grab votes?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I wonder what Ruby Dhalla thinks about this issue.

This government has stood up for vulnerable caregivers in a way that the previous Liberal government was completely inactive. We have, for example, eliminated the requirement for a second medical examination so that when caregivers get sick during their temporary period in Canada they are not penalized. The Liberals never did that. We have moved the cost of recruitment fees, travel and health insurance from the caregivers to the employers. We have created a blacklist so we will deny work permits for caregivers to abusive employers. We have acted to protect vulnerable caregivers in a way the Liberals never did.

Motor Vehicle SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, every year, Canadian cyclists and pedestrians die needlessly when they are sucked under the back wheels of large trucks. Twenty-five years ago in Europe, truck side guards were made mandatory. As a result, cyclists' deaths in Britain were cut by 61%. Having side guards may have saved the life of Jenna Morrison.

What will it take for the minister to act to protect Canadians and make truck side guards mandatory?

Motor Vehicle SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been involved in this type of tragic bicycle or pedestrian incidents. The case last week that the NDP member raised is very tragic. We take all these types of safety matters seriously. We are looking to research to see what can be done in this area.

Having said that, if the provinces feel that side guards are necessary, they are capable of mandating them themselves. I look forward to working with the member and any other member who has an interest in this topic.

TourismOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, we received some great news. Canada's reputation among travellers was recognized as the best in the world by FutureBrand, an international design and branding firm.

Will the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism please tell the House what this government is doing to help keep Canadian tourism at the top?

TourismOral Questions

3 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, because of guys like the member for Leeds—Grenville, we have a new national federal strategy for tourism and it is working. I am very proud of that and very proud of our work with the industry.

With the national tourism strategy, we have ensured that Canada's tourism businesses create jobs and that our country is positively recognized internationally. I am very proud of what we have accomplished and I wish to thank all members for their work in this area.

JusticeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, within the last month, courts on Vancouver Island had to dismiss two serious drunk driving cases due to court delays. B.C. provincial jails, like Wilkinson Road Jail in my riding, are already at more than 200% over capacity, with the result being five riots in the system in the last two years. Now the government's ineffective, high-cost omnibus crime bill would put even more strain on our justice system.

Can the Minister of Justice explain to Canadians why the government is so determined to put corrections officers at even greater risk, and can he explain why he is pressing ahead with Bill C-10 when he should know it will put courts in the position of having to dismiss hundreds of serious criminal cases due to lack of resources?

JusticeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the reason his Manitoba colleagues are supportive of what we are doing is that the particular bill targets those who molest children, the people involved with organized crime and drug traffickers. I suggest that the member go back, spend some time with his constituents and ask them how they feel about these important questions. I am sure that like all Canadians, they will be supportive of what we are doing in this area.

International TradeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister was quite happy to announce that Canada is now trying to officially join the Asia-Pacific free trade talks. What he did not say is that one of the conditions will be abandoning the Quebec agricultural model that has benefited thousands of farmers. Contrary to what the Minister of International Trade said on Saturday, the Prime Minister also stated that everything is negotiable.

My question is simple: what changed between Saturday night and Sunday? Why is the Prime Minister prepared to give up supply management to the detriment of our farmers?