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House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was french.

Topics

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government announced very quietly the establishment of an advisory committee to determine whether it is possible to work in French in federally regulated businesses in Quebec. We do not know who will sit on this committee, which businesses will be targeted, what timeframe will be set and, more importantly, whether the committee's report will be released. The New Democratic Party did its homework and has already drafted a bill on this issue.

Why waste time, instead of simply supporting our initiative?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to French, we will not take lessons from the NDP. It is important to promote French and also English. We are a bilingual country and I am proud to be a Canadian.

As regards the legislation, our government always passes laws that are based on facts. We will see what is going on in Quebec before supporting any bill.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is nice rhetoric. The government is really dragging its feet, improvising and trying to create a distraction. If setting up a committee were such a good idea, the government would have done it during the previous session, when the hon. member for Outremont introduced a similar bill.

This government is constantly showing a lack of respect for francophones in Quebec and across Canada. We know that some federally regulated private companies in Quebec, such as National Bank and Air Canada to name only two, do not care about French in the workplace.

The NDP is proposing concrete measures. Will the government stop trying to save face and work with us to settle this issue?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, the committee will look at the facts and then report to Canadians. The most important thing for us is that we live in a bilingual country and we must promote the two official languages of that country. This is what we are going to do.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, this nice rhetoric is fine, but there is no need to redo the job 10 times. The issue of French in federally regulated private businesses was reviewed in depth a long time ago. This is evidenced by the fact that, today, the NDP is introducing a bill on this issue and it will be debated this afternoon.

Will the government support us in our efforts to quickly pass this legislation? Does it prefer to waste time and taxpayers' money by setting up another committee?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed to hear the opposition member talk about wasting time. Taking a close look at an issue before making a decision is not wasting parliamentarians' time.

InfrastructureOral Questions

November 25th, 2011 / 11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, without a plan and without rules, documents reveal that the government has been spending millions on border infrastructure projects in Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic inappropriately.

In Atlantic Canada, the government has been promising such a strategy, the Atlantic gateway strategy, since 2007. It was not until March 2011 that the government finalized and posted these rules and only after a quarter of a billion dollars had already been spent.

Transport Canada's departmental performance report reveals what the minister will not, that the gate to the Atlantic gateway is now closed. The funds are all gone.

How does the minister explain this mismanagement--

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. We continue to work on the Atlantic gateway strategy.

For the edification of the member opposite, he should recognize that St. John's, Newfoundland, is in a perfect position to become the gateway to the northern part of Canada. There is great potential not just for an Atlantic Canadian gateway but for a northern gateway for Newfoundland, which we will continue to work on with our colleagues from Atlantic Canada.

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, during question period yesterday, when the government was asked what it planned on doing to resolve the problem with prescription drug shortages, it responded that it was prepared to look at regulations if no other methods were effective.

My question is simple: can the minister tell the House what regulations the government is considering imposing to resolve this worrisome problem?

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, again, I disagree with the premise of the question.

Our government is taking a leadership role in the world. The minister has spoken to the drug companies, and I am pleased to report to the House that the companies have responded positively to her request. Information about the drug shortages will soon be available on public websites, giving patients and medical doctors the information they need to make the proper decisions.

Final details are still being worked out, but I am very encouraged to see how the industry has responded to these concerns.

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the question was about regulations and how those were going to change.

In 2004 the health accord created innovative solutions to the real problems facing the health care system, including a national pharmaceutical strategy to make sure that prescription drugs were safe and available for everyone who needed them.

However, the Conservatives killed this plan which, as the Auditor General pointed out this week, has prevented many life-saving drugs from reaching the market while keeping many unsafe drugs on pharmacy shelves.

As negotiations on the next health accord begin, will the government admit its error and bring forward a plan to ensure that Canadians have a safe, affordable supply—

HealthOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health.

HealthOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, first of all, Canadians can be assured that we have one of the safest drug supply systems in the world.

The member brought up the Auditor General. We actually agree with the Auditor General's findings. Work is already under way to address the concerns of the Auditor General. For example, we have already taken steps to ensure that drug reviews are done in a thorough and timely manner.

The health and safety of Canadians is a priority for our government. It is obvious that a better process needs to be put in place to ensure that the products on the market are safe, efficient and reliable for all Canadians. We are committed to that.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, last year when Canadians heard that CIDA would be streamlining the application process for developing programs, they expected improvement.

It turns out that for Conservatives, streamlining just means delaying. Fifty groups have waited for over three months to hear whether they are getting the funding. Critical programs in developing countries are being cut.

Why is the minister putting these important development projects at risk?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the government is committed to assistance that is effective, focused and accountable.

We ensure each project is an effective use of taxpayers' dollars. The amount of time to review proposals varies, depending on the overall number of applications and the size, complexity and risks associated with each proposal.

The proposals are under consideration. I cannot comment further until the due diligence and evaluation process is completed.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, these people are trying to help the world's poorest, and all they get from the government is doublespeak and off-base attacks.

CIDA was four months past its own deadline, waiting for a media event, to announce the Muskoka initiative funding. The International Aboriginal Youth Internships were timed so the minister could announce them on a particular day.

Why is the minister more interested in flashy press conferences than actually getting the job done?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, no organization is entitled to receive taxpayers' dollars indefinitely.

Our responsibility is to Canadian taxpayers. It requires us to ensure that the official development assistance is more effective, more focused and more accountable.

The proposals are under consideration, and I will not speculate on when the due diligence and evaluation process will be completed.

Government ExpendituresOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Treasury Board appeared before the government operations committee yesterday to explain holes in the government's spending estimates. As we have come to expect from that minister, we received a lot of runarounds, but few answers.

However, the minister did confirm that Conservatives are throwing away $20 million on private sector slashing experts and threatening to shut down entire programs.

My questions is the following. Which programs and services that Canadian families rely on are on the chopping block of their private consultants?

Government ExpendituresOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, Canada is not immune to the problems facing other countries. Reckless spending and out of control debt are key causes of problems in other countries today.

Canadians gave us a strong mandate to protect and complete Canada's economic recovery. Our government has a plan to keep taxes low, focus on jobs for Canadians, and growing the economy.

Government ExpendituresOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government should put its rhetoric aside and think about the families who need government services. Departments are announcing huge cuts without telling us where they will be made. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Infrastructure Canada, Industry Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have all announced cuts, but they are not saying where the millions will be cut.

Before wasting $20 million on private contracts, will the government ensure that it understands what is going on in its own departments?

Government ExpendituresOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, under our government, Canada has created nearly 600,000 new jobs. Canadians gave us a strong mandate to protect and complete Canada's economic recovery. While the opposition is calling for higher taxes that would kill jobs and hurt the economy, our government has a plan to keep taxes low, focus on jobs for Canadians, and growing the economy.

Reckless spending and out of control debt are the key problems facing other countries today and we do not intend to follow that path.

Dairy IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the Supreme Court prevented Saputo and Kraft Canada from challenging the cheese compositional standards that our government brought in a few years ago. This will ensure that processors continue to use real Canadian milk in the production of Canadian cheese.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture please update the House on what this decision means for consumers and supply managed farmers in the dairy sector?

Dairy IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, in 2008 our government introduced a cheese compositional standard to ensure that real Canadian milk was used in the production of Canadian cheese. This decision by the Supreme Court is beneficial to both consumers and Canadian dairy farmers because it ensures that our world-class cheese continues to be made with world-class milk.

This is yet another example of how our government stands up both for consumers and our supply managed farmers. It demonstrates clearly that we put farmers first.

AsbestosOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the jig is up for the asbestos industry. After spending hundreds of millions of dollars subsidizing this industry and trying to block international efforts to curb its use, the last remaining asbestos mine is finally on the ropes.

Instead of shovelling even more corporate welfare into this deadly and dying industry, why do the Conservatives not use that money for economic development in the region to help those people transition out of this deadly and dying industry into an industry with a future?