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House of Commons Hansard #50 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the campaign of terror and violence against the Syrian people must stop. Canada again calls on President al-Assad to step down immediately.

Canada stands with the Syrian people in their efforts to secure freedom and democracy. Our government will continue to work with our allies to bring diplomatic pressure to the Syrian government, including bringing forth stronger economic sanctions.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we need more than just promises and rhetoric.

The sanctions imposed against Syria in October were supposed to send a strong message to the Bashar al-Assad regime, but Suncor, which is working with the Syrian state oil company on a $1.2 billion project, said that its operations were not affected.

Will the government ensure that the new sanctions against Syria will prevent its friends from doing business as usual when millions of civilians are being killed?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada has taken decisive action by imposing sanctions that directly target members of the current Syrian regime and those who provide it with support. We are currently working with our allies to bring diplomatic pressure to bear. We will be bringing forth further stronger economic sanctions.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has taken arrogance and secrecy to a new low. Without letting Canadians know, the Conservatives are throwing half a billion dollars into a new U.S. military satellite. We, in the House, had to find out about this program from the media.

On what grounds does the government feel free to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on military projects, without telling anyone? Would the minister please advise the House and Canadians today what this satellite will be used for?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker , our missions in Afghanistan and Libya have proven that advance secure communications is critical to the success of modern day military operations. The Canadian contribution to this international partnership would guarantee our Canadian Forces the capacity to communicate securely and officially during operations when lives are at stake.

Our investment fits with the Canadian Forces' existing budget and will result in supporting and creating skilled Canadian jobs across the country.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, what Canadians and what we in the House need to know is what forces, and when, are we talking about communicating with?

Canadian families deserve a better explanation for a half billion dollar expenditure than that. They deserve to know, and we all deserve to know, why the Conservatives are pursuing another risky military project shrouded in mystery. How many more boondoggles before the government finally wises up?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, neither is it a secret nor is it a boondoggle. Negotiations on this memorandum of understanding continue. Obviously it is out in the open. The media knows about it. I am surprised the hon. member did not find out otherwise.

We expect the opposition to support giving our men and women in the Canadian Forces the capabilities they require to complete their missions successfully and safely.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, a number of countries have already indicated they no longer want the F-35s, but this government seems determined to procure them.

Some U.S. senators have expressed concern over the cost of these planes, but this government does not even want to tell us how much they will cost. In fact, all we know is that the cost keeps going up as more and more countries withdraw from the program. We also know that these planes are not compatible with the nature of the Canadian landscape and they will not operate well in the Arctic.

The Associate Minister of National Defence said that he has a plan B for the F-35s. Since plan A has failed, can he tell us more about plan B?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not know from what comic book our hon. friend is reading. All reasonable people agree that the Canadian Forces require a fighter that is able to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Let me quote U.S. Secretary of Defence Panetta, last Friday, when he said, “Let me be clear, that the United States is committed to the development of the F-35”.

I witnessed first-hand the aircraft coming off the production line with parts stamped “Made in Canada”.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

November 21st, 2011 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to believe that in 2011 many of our harbours, including Charlottetown's, are still receiving raw sewage. New federal environmental rules force municipalities to treat raw sewage and we welcome that. However, these regulations mean additional costs to communities that are already strained with aging infrastructure.

The government has known for years that these new regulations would force municipalities to spend enormous dollars to fix their treatment plants, but it has yet to come to the table to assist.

Could the minister indicate when he plans to announce an infrastructure plan to clean up Canada's harbours?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let me remind my colleague that our government has invested more than $3 billion in waste water management and waste water infrastructure, and on top of that have increased and made permanent more than $2 billion a year in terms of gas tax refunds aimed at infrastructure.

The Charlottetown share of the infrastructure money from the gas tax rebate will be $3 million annually. Municipalities and the provinces have to do their part to make waste water management their priority.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is unbelievable that, in 2011, raw sewage is still being dumped into Canadian waters. We are pleased to see proposed regulations for the waste water from our towns and villages, but the government has forgotten to provide those towns and villages with the necessary means to comply with those regulations.

The mayor and council of the second largest municipality in Nova Scotia are risking imprisonment because they do not have the means to pay for new sewage treatment plants.

Why has the government not come up with a funding formula for water infrastructure in Canada? Why this shortfall?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I just told my hon. friend's colleague, in fact the municipalities and provinces have to do their part to address waste water management issues.

As I just said, the province of Prince Edward Island will get $15 million in gas tax rebate money this year and $3 million is the fair share for Charlottetown. All of these costs could be easily managed if only municipalities made waste water management a priority.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence just dropped the better end of half a billion dollars on a U.S. military satellite system not listed in any procurement program.

The minister said it was to foil cyber attacks on commercial information, a claim which has since been denied by both military and intelligence experts.

For half a billion dollars, can the House assume that there will be substantial guaranteed industrial regional benefits, and can the House assume that contracts will not be subject to buy American and ITAR provisions?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated earlier, operations in Afghanistan and Libya have proven that advanced secure communications are critical to the success of modern day military operations.

We are doing everything we can to support our men and women in uniform, so that they can carry out their tasks in a safe environment. Communication is a critical aspect of our commitment to those men and women.

AsbestosOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, cracks are starting to appear in the Conservative caucus over the Prime Minister's support of deadly asbestos.

Conservative MPs are willing to risk the wrath of the Prime Minister and go behind his back to meet asbestos experts. Public health officials disagree with the Conservatives' dangerous approach. Scientists and doctors disagree. The Canadian Cancer Society disagrees. Canadians disagree.

When will the government take action to ban deadly asbestos?

AsbestosOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, for over 30 years, the Canadian government has supported the safe use of chrysotile. We are talking about risk management. Recent scientific studies have shown that chrysotile can be used safely when it is used in a regulated and controlled environment.

This government will continue to act in the best interests of Canadians, while promoting the sustainable and safe use of our natural resources.

AsbestosOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister can feed us the same old lines, but that cannot hide the cracks showing in the Conservative ranks.

The Conservatives are wondering the same things as all Canadians. How can the government continue to export asbestos even though the risks are known? Why is the government abandoning workers in regions that produce asbestos?

Will the government present a plan to help these regions make the economic transition?

AsbestosOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are talking here about safe use, which means risk management. Recent scientific studies have shown that chrysotile can be used safely in a controlled environment that is properly regulated, either at the national or international level.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, this week in Bali there is a major conference to discuss protecting the ozone layer. Chances are that Canada will not be able to keep its commitments. Even though scientists have found a huge hole above Canada, cuts are being made to the ozone monitoring program and the minister is refusing to make his intentions clear.

When will the minister present a plan to protect the ozone layer and Canadians?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, again, my colleague asks the hypothetical question with a hypothetical worst outcome. In fact, Environment Canada will continue to monitor ozone. The World Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation Data Centre in Montreal will continue to provide world-class service.

Once again, I make no apologies at all for our government attempting to find the most cost-effective ways to protect the environment.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, when will the government realize that science is real and it cannot actually be spun like a talking point? There is a hole in the ozone over the Arctic, twice the size of Ontario, and action on the ozone is fundamentally necessary right now.

Instead, we learn that senior government officials are signing memos verifying the importance of ozone protection programs in Canada one minute and then justifying Conservative cuts as streamlining and optimization.

When will the government get its act together and realize that streamlining the Department of the Environment hurts all of us?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is quoting a media story which took a particular quote out of context.

As I said, Environment Canada will continue to monitor ozone. Canada has played a leadership role in helping to create and to manage the Montreal protocol which has been very successful over the decades in phasing out nearly all ozone depleting substances. Canada will continue to play a leadership role.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, New York State is threatening to shut down the St. Lawrence Seaway with job killing shipping rules impossible for industry to meet or agencies to enforce. The U.S. and Canada jointly enforce the rules to ensure that ships do not bring in invasive speakers, I mean species.

In his new role, advising the Minister of Transport on ballast water, could the parliamentary secretary please update us on his meetings on Friday in New York? And I meant invasive species.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. member for his excellent work and shame on the Speaker for invading the House in that way.

Last week, we forged an alliance with New York longshoremen workers, industry leaders and state legislators, led by Democratic Senator Diane Savino. We now have a consensus among labour and business against these job killing rules. New York Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said that this policy would result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and would have a disastrous effect on the Great Lakes region, surrounding states and Canada as well.

There are 55,000 Canadian jobs at stake and we will fight for every single one of them.