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House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Auditor General's ReportOral Questions

2:25 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 the government has indicated in its response, the Auditor General has brought forward some helpful recommendations and we have accepted them. In fact, we are already working on implementing a number of these.

However, the facts are the same. We have been helping to ensure that our economy is moving away from the recession and toward complete recovery. We have nearly 600,00 net new jobs in this economy as a result of our activities and our actions.

On the other side of the chamber, they continue to demand higher taxes that are job killers. We want them to come on our side and say that they agree with jobs—

Auditor General's ReportOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, is the President of the Treasury Board not supposed to stay quiet when the Auditor General's report comes out?

Even though the Conservatives deny it, too many Canadians are out of work. Today we learned that during the last round of infrastructure funding, the Conservatives were not even tracking how many jobs were being created.

What criteria did the government use to determine which projects to fund? How can we trust it to tackle the infrastructure deficit and put Canadians back to work?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, at the request of the opposition we have delivered a series of reports following up on the economic action plan. To keep Canadians informed, there will be one more final public report on the delivery and economic impact of the economic action plan which will build on the five previous reports.

One fact is clear: there are 600,000 net new jobs in Canada since the end of the recession. The economic action plan was the stimulus for that.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the Auditor General revealed that Health Canada can take more than two years to evaluate safety issues associated with the use of prescription drugs. The report also highlights that Health Canada is falling short on conflict of interest rules. This is completely unacceptable when so many new drugs are available and Canadians need adequate, timely and transparent information.

Drug safety is important to all Canadians. Exactly how does the government and the minister plan to reduce the delays that are happening? We have not heard anything specific from the minister today. I ask her to tell the House how she plans to reduce these delays.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I stated earlier, my department is implementing the advice of the Auditor General. The Auditor General was very clear in his statements today that there were no cases of conflict of interest; however, we do agree that additional conflict of interest rules should apply to those who review drugs.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, we still have not been given an answer. Once again, the government has missed the boat.

The Auditor General said that Health Canada does not have a uniform mechanism for monitoring clinical trials of prescription drugs for the most vulnerable, such as children. Other countries receive industry data on adverse drug reactions in children. However, the Conservatives have not bothered with this requirement, which would protect Canadians' health. That is irresponsible.

When will the Minister of Health require pharmaceutical companies to disclose this vital information to protect children who depend on these drugs?

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, again, I agree with the Auditor General's recommendations on the department in strengthening its approach to clinical trials. New procedures are being put in place to improve transparency, and to better monitor clinical trials and adverse reaction reports.

To strengthen the pharmaceutical drug program, a new IT system has also been put in place to help better identify potential safety concerns. The audit is from 2009-10, so we have acted on a number of the recommendations already.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Auditor General repeated what the NDP has been condemning at National Defence, namely that the department is broken. Decisions are made without having the necessary information on long-term costs, there is no proper follow-up on overall maintenance and repairs, and major contracts are awarded to a limited number of suppliers.

Is the government going to continue to have its head in the clouds, ignore the facts and keep telling us that everything is fine?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we appreciate and thank the Auditor General for his work. The department has accepted his recommendations and is already addressing each concern. A comprehensive plan is in place with activities under way, and our government has committed to providing our brave men and women in uniform the equipment and support necessary to do their jobs safely and effectively.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, three elections promising fiscal responsibility followed by six years of fiscal mismanagement and the government continues to miss opportunities to save money and improve accountability. The Auditor General said there is a gap between the money needed for military maintenance and what is available.

Does the Auditor General's discovery of mismanagement come as a complete surprise to the minister, or can he explain to Canadians why his department is failing to give our soldiers properly maintained military equipment?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, we appreciate and thank the Auditor General for his work. Many of the recommendations have already been implemented. We are working actively on all of these issues and have been for quite some time. We intend to continue to ensure that our men and women receive the best equipment necessary to do their jobs and do so keeping in mind taxpayers' concerns about all spending.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2005 when talking about the CAIS program, the Prime Minister said, “It is complicated. It requires an army of accountants--”. He promised to fix it, but AgriStability changed nothing. It is just as complicated and even more expensive for farmers.

The Auditor General reported today that some farmers are waiting up to two years for payment. When will the government fix this broken program and make it work for all Canadian farmers?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

What the member opposite should recognize, Mr. Speaker, is that the vast majority of the AgriStability program is delivered at the provincial level. What we do is transfer moneys when there are bills presented from the provinces. If he has a problem, he should probably take it up with his counterparts in Ontario.

Tobacco IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

That is the off-load of the day, I think, Mr. Speaker.

The AG reported that the tobacco transition program failed because it was rushed out the door and had loopholes as big as a combine. By 2010 the number of tobacco farmers had doubled. There were $300 million spent to reduce tobacco production and yet it did the exact opposite.

When will the government stop mismanaging important agricultural files and what has it done to get to the bottom of this fiasco?

Tobacco IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we welcome the input from the Auditor General on this particular valuable program for farmers in Ontario. The member opposite should know one does not combine tobacco. That is why New Democrats have no real good farm programs. They get it all mixed up and completely turned around.

Again, what we did was come to the aid of the tobacco growers in Ontario. We kept them fluid. We allowed them to transition into other programs and the province has taken over the responsibility of licensing tobacco production.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General today reported that immigration officials are not adequately managing health and safety risks regarding visas. He said that officials lack the right tools and training, and decisions are rarely reviewed. Health screening has not changed in 50 years and one key manual was last updated in 1999. The audit concluded that we need a better strategy to protect the health and safety of Canadians. CIC has to get with the times.

Will the minister finally implement the quality management system recommended over 11 years ago?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I am truly delighted to hear the NDP, for the very first time, raise a concern about security and health screening in the immigration system. I would like to congratulate the member for Vancouver Kingsway for his concern about this, which I share and which is why our government has made significant investments in improving security screening.

We accept all of the Auditor General's recommendations. We think they are very constructive and, in fact, my department is already working with our security partners and the Public Health Agency to put those measures in place.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

November 22nd, 2011 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, as one committed for some time to expanded sanctions on the Iranian regime, particularly in the financial and energy sectors, I am pleased that the government has now acted. However, as the government knows, the Iranian Islamic revolutionary guard corps has emerged as the epicentre of the nuclear weaponization program of international terrorism from Argentina to Afghanistan and massive domestic repression.

Will the government list the Iranian Islamic revolutionary guard corps as a terrorist entity under Canadian law as unanimously recommended also by the foreign affairs committee, which tabled its report in the House?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our latest expansion of sanctions against Iran prohibit almost all financial transactions with the Iranian government. They add individuals and entities to the list of designated persons and expand the list of prohibited goods. We are taking aggressive action to cover the known leadership of the Iranian Islamic revolutionary guard corps and block virtually all transactions with Iran, including those with the central bank.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada already has an expensive advanced Satcom system. Therefore, I have a $.5 billion question for the minister.

Now that he has had 24 hours to find the right briefing notes, can he tell us whether the industrial benefits of Canada's participation in the U.S. military's Satcom network will be subject to ITAR and buy American? For his and our edification, can he tell the House the meaning and significance of the ITAR provisions in the context of this contract?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not know if sarcasm will advance the legitimacy of what we are doing in this government.

Operations in Afghanistan and Libya have proven that an advanced secure exchange of information is critical to the success of modern military operations. The Canadian contribution to this international partnership will guarantee our Canadian Forces access to high capacity military communications for the future.

Our investment fits with the Canadian Forces existing budget and 100% of its value will be invested in creating skilled Canadian jobs across the country.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's minister of justice came to Ottawa today, sincerely hoping that the federal Minister of Justice would be willing to listen to what he had to say about Bill C-10, dealing with criminal justice. Instead, he got a slap in the face.

Is the government listening? Does it realize that it is jeopardizing Quebec's approach to rehabilitation for young offenders? This government is disrespectful. Is it prepared to be reasonable?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am always glad to welcome my colleagues from across the country. When the minister of justice from Quebec asked for a meeting on Monday or Tuesday, I was pleased to accommodate him.

I pointed out to the minister, as I have pointed out to the House on a number of occasions, that there is absolutely nothing in Bill C-10 that would in any way compromise or prohibit the province from reaching out and helping to rehabilitate young people. The bill concentrates on a small group of out of control young people who are a danger to themselves and to the public, and this is why it should have the support of all members of Parliament.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, Canada's Information Commissioner has warned the government that its bill to scrap the long gun registry and delete millions of records would violate the letter and the spirit of the Library and Archives of Canada Act. This irresponsible and illegal move would get rid of records of not only shotguns and rifles but also semi-automatic and assault rifles.

The association representing Canadian archivists wrote the Minister of Public Safety telling him that destroying records for political expediency and ignoring existing legislation sets a very dangerous precedent.

Why are the Conservatives willing to break the law by destroying millions of records?