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House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was artists.

Topics

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our government has committed very strongly to improving the quality of public appointments. We are very proud of the appointments we have made so far.

In terms of the public appointments commission that has been referenced by the opposition member, we attempted to establish that. Last I checked, it was the opposition that blocked it from being put into place.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to be convincing when you are not convinced. I would also remind the House that the Prime Minister promised not to appoint any new unelected senators. Yet one of the first things he did after the election was to appoint not one, not two, but three defeated Conservatives to the Senate. By appointing their friends to various positions, the Conservatives are doing exactly the opposite of what they promised Canadians.

Will the Conservatives stop giving their defeated candidates promotions, or will they simply continue this culture of entitlement and giving gifts to their friends?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the NDP's support for an elected Senate. It is a good idea, and I encourage the NDP to support our bill, which, once law, will allow for such appointments.

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, after several damning reports pointing out their mismanagement on important files like military procurement, the Conservatives are now proposing to cut the Office of the Auditor General. Our new AG's first task is to cut 60 jobs.

That is quite a coincidence, just days after the AG's fall report described some government spending as “disturbing”. What does the Conservative government have against being audited?

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:35 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 President of the Treasury Board not only did I take it upon myself to be part of the process that is reviewing 67 government departments and agencies, but I also wrote to various other officials and agencies that could also, on a voluntary basis, contribute to making sure that the government spends within its means. That includes the Speaker of the House and the Auditor General. I think that is fair. I think it is fair that we all work together.

When is the NDP going to join us in coming up with solid, decent proposals to help make sure the government spends within its means?

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, auditors find problems with the government, and that is where it could actually save the money to make sure those 60 jobs stay intact and that the savings are passed on to Canadians.

To quote the Auditor General, some government projects were “so poorly monitored that some producers made business arrangements that undermined the program”.

With these types of conclusions on recent Conservative mismanagement of government programs, why is the government cutting the budget of the major accountability watchdog agency? What is it trying to hide?

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:35 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, nothing could be farther from the truth.

We feel it is important to continue on with a low-tax agenda that creates jobs and opportunity in our economy and to make sure that the government and all of its relevant agencies spend within their means.

The NDP wants to raise taxes. The NDP does not care about jobs for citizens; we do, and we are going to continue, because we have the mandate from the people to do so.

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the government wants to convince us that it has nothing to hide, it will have to give us better answers than that.

We learned recently that nearly 20 annual audits of small boards, agencies and tribunals will be withdrawn from the Auditor General's program. The Auditor General conducts very important, independent audits, like the one that found inappropriate behaviour on the part of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.

Will those budgets also be cut? What is this government trying to achieve with that? Perhaps it is because the government would prefer that no one be able to check its books.

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:35 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, Canada is not immune to the problems that other countries are facing. Canadians gave us a strong mandate to protect and complete Canada's economic recovery.

We are carrying out that agenda, the agenda of the people. It includes lower taxes. It includes focusing on jobs and opportunity. It includes government spending within its means.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's justice minister, Jean-Marc Fournier, has repeatedly asked the government to table studies to support Bill C-10, saying “Frankly, I cannot accept that we are making laws on criminal justice issues...guided by just personal observations”.

When will the government table these studies and recognize that bills have to be based on hard facts?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I pointed out to the Attorney General, we had a look at the Nunn report and received suggestions from there. I went across Canada, every province and every territory, and received input with respect to the Youth Criminal Justice Act. I have consulted with provincial attorneys general.

Most importantly, we consulted with the people of this country with respect to our agenda in this area, and they gave us overwhelming support. I am very grateful for that.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice, as all ministers of justice, has a duty to ensure that all government legislation comports with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, yet Bill C-10 raises serious constitutional concerns, including the risk of cruel and unusual punishment due to prison overcrowding, gross and disproportionate sentences, overly broad and vague offences, and disproportionate effects on already vulnerable people, such as aboriginals.

Will the Minister of Justice commit to tabling before the House a review of the constitutionality of Bill C-10 respecting these concerns and ensure that none of--

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. Minister of Justice.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the provisions in the bill are very reasoned and well proportioned, and they send out the right message. For those people who are in the business of molesting children, there will be jail time. For those people who are part of organized crime, we are sending out the message that if they bring drugs into this country, they are looking at jail time. This complies with the charter and the Canadian Bill of Rights.

We have been given a mandate by the Canadian people to proceed in this direction, and that is exactly what we are going to do.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a simple question on ozone monitoring based entirely on what the Minister of the Environment himself has already said.

In the House he said that his cuts are simply consolidating and streamlining duplicating measurements, but in his own signed order paper answer, hopefully not an unreliable source, he states that: “These measurements complement, but do not duplicate each other”.

Can the minister please clarify for us whether the two measurements that his department uses, ozonesondes and Brewer, are complementary or duplicated?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that my hon. colleague spend less time trying to mine past statements to prove some dire hypothetical outcome. The simple message that my colleague should hear, digest and accept is that Environment Canada will continue to monitor ozone.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, as health ministers meet this week, Canadians are looking for leadership from the federal government, not only on the upcoming 2014 health accord but also on the lack of action from the 2004 accord. It is clear that the government has dropped the ball on health care. Right now, five million Canadians do not have a family doctor.

I ask the Minister of Health: what is she going to do now to meet the commitments of the 2004 health accord?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, of course I do not accept the premise of that question. The minister will have the opportunity to meet with health ministers tomorrow to discuss what we have learned from the 2004 health accord. Our government is committed to a universal and publicly funded health care system and the Canada Health Act. We are committed to continuing the 6% escalator to the provinces and territories.

The upcoming discussions will be about accountability and results for Canadians, because that is what they want, which will include better reporting from the provinces and territories to measure that progress.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families are still waiting for an affordable drug plan and long-term care and want to know why there has been no federal action on the commitments made in 2004. With an aging population, lowering the cost of prescription drugs is more important than ever. The government has had five years to act, but nothing has been done.

How can we expect leadership from the government on the 2014 health accord if it still has not delivered on the promises that were made in 2004?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, again, our government is committed to the Canada Health Act, and we have committed to continue supporting the provinces and territories. We have delivered over 30% more money to the provinces and territories to deliver the services to Canadians, which is provincial jurisdiction, and we are having great conversations with the provinces and territories. These conversations have started two and a half years before the end of the health accord so that we can get started on the next agreements with the provinces, and we are looking forward to that.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, ever since the Conservatives have been in power, they have been turning a blind eye to the pressing needs in the health care system.

Still today, 5 million Canadians do not have a family doctor. Wait times in emergency rooms are getting longer.

With the negotiations on the 2014 health accord starting this week, the Conservatives have an opportunity to work with the provinces and territories to correct this embarrassing situation. This is a critical accord.

What will this government do to guarantee Canadians real, measurable results to improve our public health care system?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we have been working with the provinces and territories and following through with the accord that was signed in 2004. We are taking a proactive approach with the provinces and territories. It is two and a half years before the end of this agreement.

We have continued to support the provinces and territories with the delivery of their health care. We respect their jurisdiction and we are looking forward to their ideas and what they are finding on the front lines so that we can work together, because that is what Canadians want. They want governments to work together for the best health care system in the world for Canadians.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government has not been able to keep its promises on the current health accord. That is not very proactive.

The government promised to be accountable to Canadians on the $40 billion investments in this accord, but eight years later, the situation is far from improved.

Far too many Canadians still have to wait for surgery, others do not have access to home care, and drug insurance coverage is inadequate, to name a few of the problems.

In the negotiations to renew the health accord, will the government show leadership to ensure that Canadians can have the health care they deserve?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the NDP has been in regard to health care for Canadians.

Our government has increased health care transfers to the provinces and territories by over 30% since forming government. If the NDP members were paying attention, they would know we made additional investments in pandemic preparedness, medical and neurological research, food and product safety, wait times, electronic health records and aboriginal health care. Each and every one of these things the NDP voted against.

When are they going to get onside with Canadians so that we can work together to have the best health care system available to communities?

Language of Work in QuebecOral Questions

November 24th, 2011 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently, the media have reported some problematic situations regarding the language of work in several companies in Quebec.

Could the minister responsible for Quebec tell us whether the government intends to take action on this issue, which is so important to Quebeckers?