This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

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

AsbestosOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, for more than 30 years, the Government of Canada has been promoting the safe, controlled use of chrysotile both here and abroad. All of the scientific studies have shown that chrysotile can be used safely in a controlled environment.

AsbestosOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' broken record will not create any jobs tomorrow morning. By passively watching the industry slowly die —just as people are dying of respiratory illnesses in India and other developing countries—the government has turned its back on asbestos workers and an entire region's economy. Asbestos production has stopped and workers are finding themselves without jobs and without a transition program.

Is this government so pro-cancer that it cannot recognize that it is making the wrong choices by trying to make people believe that there is still a future for this industry?

AsbestosOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, all the scientific studies have shown that chrysotile can be used safely in a controlled environment. We on this side of the House have nothing to learn from the party on the other side, whose members do not even know what is going on in Quebec's economic regions.

SeniorsOral Questions

November 25th, 2011 / 11:45 a.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is failing Canadian seniors. It consistently refuses to put in place measures that would allow our seniors to age with dignity. On pensions, it offers retirement roulette. On GIS, the government offers little. On affordable housing and health care, the government offers absolutely nothing.

Why does the government refuse to defend the dignity of Canadian seniors?

SeniorsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the opposite is what is true. In fact, it is our government that increased the earnings exemption for the GIS from $500 to $3,500. It was our government that brought in pension income splitting to help seniors lower their taxes so they would have more money to spend. It was our government that invested $400 million in affordable housing under the economic action plan just for seniors.

The list goes on and on, but we only have a short period of time. I suggest, though, that the NDP, instead of railing against it, should actually have supported some of these measures.

SeniorsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to have a dialogue on the current needs of seniors, but this government is changing the subject to avoid answering the question, which is worrisome. I guess the minister does not realize that not every senior is going to have a pension as cushy as his.

FADOQ, the largest seniors' organization in Quebec, personally told me that many seniors simply do not have access to the services they need. FADOQ is disappointed by this government's false promises, as are we.

How can seniors trust this government if the only thing it can offer is feigned indignation and empty promises?

SeniorsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have done a lot for our seniors, those who built this great and wonderful country. Unfortunately, the New Democratic Party has opposed every one of our efforts to help seniors. For example, yesterday, an NDP MP insulted every senior in Canada. That is unacceptable.

TaxationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, the government has fought 752 ground fishers in court over the last five years over millions of dollars that are owed in back taxes to the fishers. After the government lost the court case, it has reluctantly agreed to settle. The problem is there are over 1,400 other fishers involved in the same program who are owed millions of dollars in back taxes.

Will the government commit right now to pay back every single tax dollar that is owed to the ground fishers?

TaxationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, service to all Canadians is important, and we have acted immediately after the court decision. We created a dedicated team to review each of the fishers' requests, and our expectation is that reassessments will begin to be issued in the coming weeks.

I would, however, like to point out that the member for Cardigan was at the cabinet table, and was really a member when the previous Liberal government came up with a poorly worded policy that led to confusion and a decade of unfortunate legal battles.

TaxationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but the parliamentary secretary is wrong. It is the Conservative government that has fought fishers in court for five years--

TaxationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

TaxationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Cardigan has the floor.

TaxationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

They hate to hear this, Mr. Speaker, but when the government lost the court case this year, the minister waited to the very last possible day before telling the fishers she would not appeal the case, fighting them tooth and nail to the last drop.

Now there are over 1,400 other fishers in this program who have not received this money. Will the government assure the fishers today that they will be paid the millions of dollars owed to them, along with the 752 who have won the court case after five years?

TaxationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, again, it is unfortunate that the Conservative government is having to clean up the Liberal mess on this issue.

However, I do want to reassure the House, because it is very important for the fishers, that a dedicated team has been set up to review each of the fishers' requests. Our expectation is that the reassessment will begin to be issued in the upcoming weeks.

HealthOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives promised there would be no cuts to the Public Health Agency of Canada, but now they have said there will be new criteria and a new application process for HIV-AIDS funding. The clock is ticking, yet the Conservatives still have not said what those criteria are, or even how to apply.

HIV-AIDS community organizations are now concerned they will have to close their doors and cut community services before they can even submit applications. Why are the Conservatives putting HIV-AIDS community services at risk?

HealthOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I want the member to know that I disagree with him. I am very proud of the work this government has accomplished in helping combat HIV-AIDS not only in Canada but in the world. The Canadian HIV vaccine initiative, for example, CHVI, led by our government along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, highlights Canada's world-class HIV and vaccine research expertise. This initiative will help our government advance the science for the development of a safe and effective HIV vaccine. In addition, last year alone our government provided $42 million in HIV-AIDS research funding through CIHR.

HealthOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin NDP Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, HIV-AIDS organizations rely on this funding to offer help to Canadians. These organizations have already waited much longer than usual to get confirmation from the government that their funding would indeed be renewed.

Is this another example of the government's mismanagement, like all the other examples the Auditor General raised this week? Does this government plan to withdraw funding from HIV-AIDS organizations or not?

HealthOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I suppose the member did not hear my answer. Our government has taken a leadership role and has made unprecedented investments into research for people who have HIV and AIDS. The sad thing about it is each and every time we do that, NDP members stand in the House and vote against it. That is the sad state of affairs that this party has to deal with. We are committed to helping people who need help in our country and around the world with HIV and AIDS.

Marine Atlantic Inc.Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Conservative Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Marine Atlantic Inc. offers commercial and passenger ferry services between the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. This is a vital service to those people living on Canada's eastern coast.

On November 28 at one minute after midnight, Marine Atlantic Inc. and the National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers Union of Canada, Local 4285, will acquire the legal right to strike or lock out. Can the Minister of Labour provide an update to the House on the situation with Marine Atlantic Inc.?

Marine Atlantic Inc.Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Indeed, Mr. Speaker, Canadians have given our government a strong mandate to focus on the economy and to make sure that we do what we can to help Canada's recovery.

In the case of Marine Atlantic, we are referring the matter to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board for its ruling on whether any activities need to be maintained because the ceasing of the activities would pose an immediate and serious danger to the public health and safety for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. I made that referral today.

UkraineOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, as we recall the Holodomor genocide in Ukraine nearly 80 years ago, we are also concerned about the fragile state of Ukrainian democracy today. Interference in the legal system is used to stifle free political activity and now some mysterious illness seems to have befallen the leader of the opposition.

Will the Canadian government press Ukrainian authorities to allow Ms. Tymoshenko independent medical treatment? Will Canada offer to provide that treatment if necessary and will Ukraine be warned that anything untoward happening to Ms. Tymoshenko would severely affect relations with Canada?

UkraineOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to say to the member for Wascana that is probably the best question we have had all day. I completely agree with him that we are tremendously concerned about the political prosecution of the former leader of the opposition there. We are tremendously concerned about her well-being. I will certainly endeavour to follow up to ensure that Canada speaks strongly, that she get the medical care that she needs. If necessary, we would certainly be prepared to offer her support here in Canada.

Lapierre IslandOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère NDP Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, Environment Canada determined that the real market value of Île Lapierre was $14 million. A year earlier, the value of the island was estimated at $400,000. This island is essentially a dump. It has no ecological value. All of the officials who have worked on this file have said that it has no value. Yet businessman Alfonso Argento received $14 million in tax credits for this island. Fourteen million dollars for him, and $15 million for 85,000 volunteer firefighters. It is clear that the Conservative Party's friends are more important than volunteer firefighters.

Lapierre IslandOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, I did hear something about tax credits for volunteer firefighters, and that gives me the opportunity to remind all members in the House that it was only this side of the House that actually voted for that measure the other night. The NDP, and in fact all of the opposition, voted against it.

There are a lot of things wrong in the world. What we can do is help Canadians right now. We have offered Canadians incentives to get people back to work and tax credits to help them, but every time we do, those members vote against it.

TradeOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government's international focus continues to be deepening our trade relationships. Increased trade creates economic growth and jobs here in Canada. With one in five Canadian jobs generated by trade, this is a no-brainer. Despite these clear benefits, the NDP continues to lobby against the creation of Canadian jobs.

Could the parliamentary secretary please explain to the House how the NDP views trade?