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House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Kenora Ontario

Conservative

Greg Rickford ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the House that we are doing a lot more than the Kelowna accord could ever have hoped to achieved.

I know, because I was living in those first nations communities throughout the nineties. The members opposite do not have a record on this matter.

Our government works with first nations to deliver real results for their priorities. We have invested heavily in first nations schools, water and waste water infrastructure, health and housing. We did this all in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations and other first nations communities and their leadership.

We have a plan and we will continue to invest in practical solutions with real results.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, under the guise of the government taking action, words are all we hear.

The Conservatives have had six years. They killed the Kelowna accord. There are children who do not even have running water. In the province of Manitoba there is a need for thousands and thousands of additional housing units.

The government has failed our aboriginal people. It has failed the first nations of this country. When will it start dealing with the issues that are facing the aboriginal people of Canada? When will we see a plan to replace the Kelowna accord?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Kenora Ontario

Conservative

Greg Rickford ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, whether we are talking about the joint action plan that we embraced and embarked on with the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations; a federal economic development framework for first nations; the water and waste water infrastructure program, which is focusing on capacity; or the reporting, monitoring and maintenance of critical infrastructure, we are prioritizing and objectivizing the critical infrastructure needs in this regard.

Legislation, as the Auditor General pointed out, was necessary to support these kinds of initiatives.

We are getting the job done--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Bourassa.

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the “guise” or “stupidity of the day” category, Service Canada decided that in Quebec, to avoid any criticism, it would remove all Christmas decorations. Imagine the Guy-Favreau Complex without Christmas decorations. It is time to turn the judgment switch back on.

Since the Prime Minister likes to lay wreaths everywhere, will he agree to put up some Christmas wreaths as well? What is he going to do about this decision? It is shameful!

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that there is no national directive on Christmas decorations.

In fact, what we do have at the HRSD head office is massive trees and well decorated wreaths. They brighten up the place and brighten up our spirits. As far as the Prime Minister, perhaps the hon. member missed it last night, but he wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

JusticeOral Questions

December 2nd, 2011 / 11:35 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, what shocked Canadians this week was to see the Conservatives rush through their uncosted, ineffective crime bill. They shut down debate and now they are introducing their own 11th hour amendments to fix flaws in the bill.

Provinces, police, municipalities, crime experts and the legal community have all sounded the alarm, and now even the government is admitting that the bill is flawed.

Why has the government left it to the unelected Senate to patch up its failed bill?

JusticeOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this is an outstanding piece of legislation, a bill that sends out the right message to those individuals who bring drugs into Canada, to organized crime, to drug traffickers and to people who are in the grow op business for the purpose of trafficking. It also sends out a message to all those individuals who get involved with child pornography or molesting children that this will not be tolerated and that there will be serious consequences.

We went to the Canadian people on this and I am again very grateful to Canadians for all the support they have given us on this issue.

JusticeOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not know why, but I sense that the Minister of Justice is going to hold many press conferences in the coming weeks.

I know this government does not care about numbers that do not support its ideology. If it did care, it would realize that 93% of Canadians feel safe in their communities. Still, it is moving forward with its ill-advised bill on law and order, even though the costs are unknown and the legislation is flawed by the government's own admission.

Why will the Conservatives not stop scaring people and start working with the opposition, to find a more balanced approach regarding the justice system?

JusticeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Conservative

Robert Goguen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, first, our approach is obviously a very balanced one.

Since we are talking about numbers today, and even though we do not govern based on statistics, I want to mention a Léger Marketing poll that was conducted in recent weeks. It shows that over 80% of Quebeckers support a more repressive justice system, with stiffer sentences. Another survey by the same firm shows that one out of every two people living in large urban centres, which means half of all Quebeckers, do not feel safe.

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Djaouida Sellah NDP Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, with its poor negotiating skills, the Conservative government is going to be holding the short end of the stick in the European Union free trade agreement. Canadians already pay a lot for their medicines and will have to pay almost $3 billion more to have access to them. This will put $3 billion more in the pockets of pharmaceutical companies without us obtaining anything in return.

Does this government realize that medicines are not a luxury but a necessity for sick people?

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the member that contrary to what she has suggested, this government always protects and advances Canada's interests during international negotiations. We will only enter into agreements that benefit Canadians in the long run. I want to also assure the member that we continue to consult broadly with Canadians.

This agreement still has a long way to go to be completed. I would ask that member not to prejudge the process, not to prejudge the outcome, and to work with us to build economic growth and jobs in Canada.

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Djaouida Sellah NDP Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government's wait-and-see attitude is deplorable. Canada has the fourth highest drug costs and with these EU free trade negotiations may go to the top of the list.

In this period of economic uncertainty do we really want to further burden the sick?

Will the Minister of Health defend the interests of Canadians and ensure that they do not end up paying the price of the EU free trade agreement?

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, again, I want to assure the House and the member that this Conservative government does not sign any agreements unless they are in the best interests of Canadians.

The benefits of a CIDA agreement are significant. A study indicated that we could expect a 20% increase in bilateral trade between the European Union and Canada, an increase of 80,000 new jobs, a $1,000 increase in the average family's income, and a $12 billion increase in our GDP.

It is only this Conservative government that will actually stand up.

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Butt Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the people of Windsor understand that less trade equals fewer jobs and more trade equals more jobs.

While we are working to increase trade and remove barriers at the border, the member for Windsor West is fearmongering and opposing our efforts to create jobs and opportunities for Canadians. That member does not get it.

Could the Minister of International Trade explain to the NDP why our government is increasing trade and removing barriers, and why this is good for workers in Windsor and the families they support?

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Mississauga—Streetsville for his hard work on behalf of his constituents and the province of Ontario.

The member understands that removing barriers at the border will create jobs and economic growth. But it does beg the question of why the NDP member for Windsor West and the NDP trade critic are blocking our initiative to keep goods moving across Canada's largest trade corridor. It simply drives home the fact that the NDP is not yet ready for prime time.

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, that is still quite a bad answer.

Today is December 2. It is snowing. It is beautiful. Children are happy. Walking through the corridors of Parliament this morning, I saw a lot of fir trees. There were little ones, medium-sized ones, big ones, with balls and lights and the whole thing. But my problem this morning is not that there are so many little trees here, it is that in Quebec, in the offices of Service Canada, there are none. They cannot have them thanks to a brilliant directive they have received.

Why do the Conservatives want to rob Service Canada employees of the magic of Christmas? What do they have against celebrating Christmas?

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we like Christmas, of course, and there is no national directive at Service Canada about Christmas decorations. In fact, there are decorations in the department’s offices in Gatineau.

We have wonderful Christmas decorations over there. They brighten our spirits. They brighten the place up. We like Christmas.

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

Merry Christmas!

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I never thought I would hear Merry Christmas used as a heckle.

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if there are no national directives, there is a very clear Quebec directive in any case.

It is not just the employees who are deprived of the magic of Christmas in their workplace. The Conservatives also want to deprive hundreds of members of the public of these annual festivities.

By banning any decorations in public areas and in workspaces accessible to clientele”, they are taking away the little joy that sometimes accompanies the too long hours spent waiting in Service Canada offices because there is not enough staff.

One question is bothering me. Did the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development ask the Minister of Justice to include last-minute amendments in Bill C-10 to impose minimum sentences on everyone who dares to celebrate the Christmas holiday?

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have a very long tradition of celebrating Christmas in Canada. Just last night, when the lights on the Parliament buildings were turned on, the Prime Minister of Canada wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

War of 1812 CelebrationsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages showed once again that this government is incapable of keeping its spending in check.

Celebrations for the War of 1812 will now cost three times more than planned. One would think it was the President of the Treasury Board drafting the budget.

Could the minister explain what happened between mid-October and December 1 to triple the costs?

War of 1812 CelebrationsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, let me just begin by saying that I will be celebrating my second annual Christmas concert in my riding with local talent. I hope the hon. member might have a chance to come and take a look at some of the spectacular Christmas talent that we have.

With respect to that story, of course the story he is referring to is false. We will be celebrating and commemorating the War of 1812 because it is an extraordinarily important event in Canadian history. The cost is $28 million over four years. I hope that the hon. member and the NDP will join with us in celebrating all the things that we have to be proud of as a country.

War of 1812 CelebrationsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, then I guess he needs to speak to his minister. In less than two months costs have already more than tripled.

What is the final price tag going to be for Canadian families? Canadians deserve to know the real costs, not “around $70 million”. That is simply unacceptable.

Why, in a time of economic crisis and with 19,000 more jobs lost, does the government believe that spending $12 million on military re-enactment is appropriate?