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House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, blaming the Liberals is easy, but it is not an answer. The minister bragged that he could finally apply the recommendations made in 2000. Why did they wait so long?

Border officers do not know whether or how their system is working. Their training has been reduced to the minimum and they do not have access to the basic tools. Most decisions are not reviewed and basic mandatory examinations are not always done.

When will the minister accept responsibility for his mistakes?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we have accepted the Auditor General's recommendations and have taken the necessary action. We are working with the relevant agencies.

That said, when it comes to immigration security screening, our government is moving forward with a biometric program to identify foreigners who could pose a threat to Canada. Unfortunately, the NDP is opposed to this initiative that would protect Canada. It is even opposed to our bill to reduce the immigration backlog we inherited from the Liberals.

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, reports today say that the government is moving to allow more foreign ownership in our telecommunications industry. The Telecommunications Act states that one of its very purposes is to promote the ownership and control of Canadian carriers by Canadians.

When is the government going to stop making foreign corporations its priority and instead put Canadian consumers first?

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my colleagues that no decisions with regard to the upcoming spectrum auctions and foreign investment have been made yet.

For the benefit of the member across the way, let me reiterate that in budget 2011 our government committed to an examination of foreign investment rules in the telecom sector. Our aim is to create better choices and lower costs for consumers. When we make decisions on how best to meet these targets, we will announce them directly and clearly.

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the government is saying that increased competition will lower prices, but international experience shows that the correlation between the number of competitors and price levels is very weak, especially in the telecommunications sector.

Telecommunications are part of Canada's strategic infrastructure and this government is prepared to hand part of it over to foreign interests based on uncertain expectations in terms of pricing.

Instead of threatening the domestic ownership of such crucial infrastructure, why does the government not directly help protect consumers from industry abuses, as Quebec did with cell phone contracts?

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, for the benefit of the member opposite, I would like to reiterate that, in the 2011 budget, we committed to studying the rules surrounding foreign investment in the telecommunications sector. The goal is to offer consumers more choices and lower prices. When a decision is made, one that fulfills these objectives, we will make a direct, clear announcement.

Allow me to say that, unlike the members opposite, we will not propose a tax hike of $10 billion. That would kill the economy. That would drastically increase costs and there would be no more jobs in Canada.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives cut off debate on the Canadian Wheat Board in the House twice and they tied the committee's hands behind its back. They tried and failed to pre-emptively cut off debate in the Senate. They ignored the farmer vote. They are deaf to farmers' voices. They have taken their clout away, and now $200 million of their hard-earned dollars and put our national food sovereignty in jeopardy.

Could the minister tell the House if he gave a second thought to how he is disfiguring western provinces and rural life with his ideological steamroller?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

3 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there is a reason why we cut off debate when that is all we get. That is the quality of debate.

We have three of the provinces affected by the Canadian Wheat Board area onside with us. They are looking forward to rural development. We have already seen announcements in small town western Canada that will add development and value-added to Wheat Board crops.

We are on the right track. We are balanced and buoyed by the farmers in the Wheat Board area, and by the provinces affected as well.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment has twice denigrated reporters when his position is challenged. But clearly the real problem is the news reader across the way.

I have the briefing note which says there is no duplication in Canada's ozone monitoring networks, which means they cannot be optimized and streamlined, only cut. Answers to an order paper question, signed by the minister, also say there is no duplication.

Will the government finally admit there will be cuts to the ozone program?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I reject all of the assumptions of my hon. colleague yet once again.

I would also, again, suggest that she use more reliable research than that to which she has made a practice of using.

Environment Canada will--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The member for Etobicoke North has asked the question. The minister has the floor.

The hon. Minister of the Environment.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, once again, Environment Canada will continue to monitor ozone. The World Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation Data Centre will continue to deliver world-class services.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the National Energy Board, oil sands production is expected to triple by 2035. Canada's 21st century economy cannot be based on the oil sands alone. Compared to other G20 countries, Canada ranks near the bottom in terms of clean energy investment. Instead of seizing the opportunity to be among the best, this government is simply twiddling its thumbs.

Will the government get out of the sandbox and follow the example set by the rest of the world?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my hon. colleague on the good news of future prosperity driven by the development of the oil sands. I would remind her that Environment Canada administers and enforces any number of acts and regulations which impose requirements on the oil sands. We conduct inspections and participate in environmental assessments. In July, I brought in a new monitoring program for water, air and biodiversity.

The government is balancing jobs and protecting the environment.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the world is watching Canada's oil sands and it does not like what it is seeing. The European Union is considering penalizing Canadian oil and the U.S. just backed down on Keystone, in part because of our total lack of action on climate.

We live here. It is Canadian land, air and water at stake. Our major trading partners are speaking up, but our government remains silent.

Why is the government not worried about the health, safety and prosperity of all Canadians?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the NDP members keep talking about the environment. Do they not understand that building--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

As I have asked on previous occasions, could members please hold their applause until the minister is finished answering. I think that would allow for a better flow for question period.

The hon. Minister of Natural Resources.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Oliver Conservative Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, does the NDP not understand that building Keystone would reduce U.S. imports of Venezuelan heavy crude, which is comparable in GHG emissions to oil sands. Blocking Keystone would not reduce emissions, but it would kill Canadian job prospects.

Why is the NDP favouring Venezuelan jobs over Canadians jobs?

InfrastructureOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Lawrence Toet Conservative Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week the Auditor General released a second report that gives our government strong marks for the delivery of Canada's economic action plan. During the global economic recession, Infrastructure Canada played a key role in stimulating our economy to create jobs for Canadians right across the country.

Can the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities please inform the House about the Auditor General's findings as to how Infrastructure Canada administered the infrastructure stimulus fund under the economic action plan?

InfrastructureOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. We are proud of the fact that the Auditor General confirmed that Infrastructure Canada delivered the infrastructure stimulus program effectively. The employees of Infrastructure Canada and development agencies across the country did an enormous amount of work. Under very tight deadlines, they worked diligently and professionally to oversee the completion of thousands of projects across the country, and we owe them our thanks. Congratulations to the entire team.

HealthOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Auditor General pointed out failures in Health Canada's drug review system that the government had pledged to fix back in 2007. Because of the government's failure to act, Canadians wait years to find out, if they find out at all, whether their drug is safe and effective. Because of government's failure, the health of every Canadian has been put at risk.

Why was this process not fixed five years ago? Why should Canadians believe that the minister will fix the process now when the government has known about it for so long?

HealthOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our government agrees with the Auditor General's recommendations and findings.

Work is already under way to address the recommendations outlined. My department is making improvements on how Health Canada responds to reports concerning products that are on the market.

Again, the health and safety of Canadians is a priority for our government. We are putting the processes in place to ensure that the products on the market are safe, efficient and reliable for all Canadians.

Public SafetyOral Questions

November 23rd, 2011 / 3:05 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago, the chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee was forced to resign because of questionable financial transactions. We have learned that another committee member, the former Quebec health minister, Philippe Couillard, is also serving as an advisor to the Government of Saudi Arabia.

Can the Minister of Public Safety explain how the organization responsible for overseeing CSIS will ensure that its committee members are truly independent and free of conflict of interest?