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House of Commons Hansard #60 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was organs.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the partnership also provides loads of funds to the Syrian regime.

The United Nations has confirmed that over 4,000 people have been killed since March and over 14,000 are being detained, according to estimates. It is time this government took serious action and increased pressure on the Assad regime.

Will the government follow the European Union's lead and increase sanctions against Syria, including the state-owned oil company?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me make it very clear, Canada stands with the Syrian people in their efforts to secure freedom and democracy. We have targeted sanctions against the regime of President Assad. We will continue to do that. We have sent a very strong message to the government of President Assad that his reign of terror is unacceptable to Canadians.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the growing number of allegations of sexual harassment in the RCMP is very disturbing. This weekend yet another constable came forward with allegations of near daily lewd comments and discrimination. Her case was so bad she had to quit the force.

The very integrity of the RCMP is at stake. Yet, the government is sitting on its hands. Why will it not stand up to protect these women? How does it plan on getting the harassment out of the RCMP?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely concerned about these types of reports. That is why, in consultation with Commissioner Paulson, the new RCMP commissioner, I have asked the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP to investigate allegations of systemic failures to deal appropriately with sexual harassment on the force.

It is imperative that all members of the RCMP be free to face the daily and expected challenges of a day's work without harassment and without fear of mistreatment by co-workers and superiors.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, we really hope this produces results, because this is not the first time we have heard that.

We are now hearing from another RCMP officer who is complaining about suffering sexual harassment almost daily. She says she was the victim of obscene remarks and discrimination that have no place in the RCMP. The growing list of similar allegations is another blow to the RCMP's reputation.

Does this government plan to turn a blind eye to these women's reports of systematic harassment on the part of high-ranking RCMP officials? Will it stand up to defend these women and do more than just call an inquiry? The facts exist; it is time to act.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, again, I thank the member for bringing this matter to my attention. Of course, this is something that had been raised with us previously and that is why we took the exceptional step, in consultation with the new commissioner, to ask the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP to investigate allegations of systemic failures to deal appropriately with sexual harassment on the force.

JusticeOral Questions

December 5th, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are concerned about crime, which is one reason why they gave our government a strong mandate to keep our streets and communities safe.

Canadians lose confidence in the justice system when offenders who commit sexual crimes against children receive sentences which do not reflect the severity of the crime. This is also true of drug dealers who sell drugs to children or who bring dangerous drugs like heroin, cocaine or crystal meth into Canada. We hear from front line experts, like police and victims, that we need tougher sentences for people who are engaged in this kind of activity.

Could the Minister of Justice please inform the House about the latest steps he has taken to help keep our streets and communities safe?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank the hon. member for all the hard work he does on justice issues.

I am pleased to inform the House that all members will have the opportunity this evening to support the safe streets and communities act when it comes up for a vote. This important legislation cracks down on pedophiles, drug dealers, drug producers, arsonists, and the most serious violent and repeat young offenders.

I was speaking earlier today with Dale McFee from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. He told me that this bill is fully supported by his organization and by police across Canada. It should be supported by everybody in the House as well.

Aviation SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, 16 years ago the Transportation Safety Board of Canada recommended that all planes large and small install the terrain warning system. This system provides the pilots of planes, that are about to crash, with early warning so that they have time to react.

In 13 years, the Liberals did nothing. For six years, three Conservative ministers did nothing. Why does the minister take so long to act on this warning system when lives are at stake?

Aviation SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government is strongly committed to strengthening aviation safety for Canadians. The new proposed regulations will significantly reduce the risk of airplane crashes on land and water.

Aviation SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, studies show that the terrain warning system prevents close to 100% of accidents. The U.S. and EU required all planes to have this warning system years ago. Since 1997, 35 planes were flown into the ground leading to the death of 100 people and 46 serious injuries. Many of these lives could have been saved.

These warning system regulations were on the minister's desk since August. What will happen in the next five years before these regulations are enforced?

Aviation SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, like I said before, our government is strongly committed to strengthening aviation safety for Canadians. The Transportation Safety Board recommends the use and carrying of terrain awareness equipment, and we agree. That is why we will continue in this way and it will save lives. We will always continue to do what is necessary to improve aviation safety.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is trying to remove important safeguards that keep genetically modified crops separate from non-GMO crops. If the government has its way, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will no longer test food and seeds that contain low level concentrations of GMOs, but even small traces of GMOs can compromise our trade with Europe and Asia.

Why will the government not tell Canadians the truth about their food, and why is it willing to put our trade with our partners at risk?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

From that question, Mr. Speaker, I can only understand the member for Welland has this completely backwards. We are trying to protect our food, make sure that there are no trade actions taken when there is a low level presence, less than 1%. That is the right thing to do to enhance our trade and keep product moving.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Rousseau NDP Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is always the same lack of transparency whether we are dealing with Attawapiskat, the Kyoto protocol or GMOs. Judging by these answers, Canadians' health is obviously not a priority for this government.

Allowing goods that contain even a low level presence of GMOs into the country without the authorization of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency could destroy organic farming, which is booming and creating jobs. But this government is so eager to please the agri-food giants that it is eliminating all controls without listening to expert advice or considering the consequences.

Why does this government continue to act in secret, in the interests of its big business friends, rather than protecting the health of consumers?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 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 nothing secret about doing consultations with industry. We are continuing to discuss with industry the best way to move forward on low level presence. Of course, globally, everyone was at zero. With the efficacy of scientific testing, it has gone beyond that now. Zero is no longer zero.

There is a global movement to move toward 1%, which of course will not hurt organics. It is actually there to protect organics to make sure we all ship in the same containers and we all ship on the same ocean-going freight. It is a matter of making sure that organics are protected when there is a crossover like that.

We are doing the right thing. We are consulting with everybody who is involved and we will gazette the answers in due course.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government prides itself on promoting democracy around the world. Since 19--

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I have asked several times now that members hold off on their applause until after the question has been put.

The hon. member for Scarborough—Agincourt.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, since 1999 Canada's efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo have included peacekeepers and millions of dollars in aid for rehabilitation and health care. Yet, when it came to the recent election in the DRC, Canada sent six international observers, despite requests from the community to send more.

Why did the government abandon Canada's investment in the people of Congo during their recent election?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canada is very proud to always be involved in election observation where required and when asked to participate. In fact, we sent the maximum number of Canadians allowed by the EU commission. The election observers joined 46 long-term and 72 other observers as part of the EU mission. We are proud of Canada's participation.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has negotiated the perimeter security deal with the United States under a dark cloak of secrecy, and the Privacy Commissioner has expressed concerns, especially given the fact that both countries have very different privacy regimes. For example, in the United States, there is no independent body mandated to investigate privacy concerns with respect to the government handling of data.

Why did the government not consult Canadians on a deal that compromises their privacy? If the government is redefining our continental union, should Canadians not have had the opportunity to comment?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we consulted Canadians extensively as we worked with the U.S.A. to develop this action plan. When we have more to announce we will do that, but I assure the member that the privacy of Canadians is very important to all of us. The United States will not end up with more information than there is already accessible.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, Saturday was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. One Canadian in seven lives with a functional limitation. However, instead of presenting a real action plan to help these people integrate into the job market, the government has simply stopped tracking them. This is a dishonest practice that does not help the situation.

Instead of doing more for people with disabilities, why is this government refusing to adopt a tangible action plan?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are doing. In fact, we have created the disability savings plan. More than 46,000 plans have been set up. We have provided accessibility funds to make more than 600 buildings throughout Canada, such as community centres, more accessible. We have also improved the accessibility of federal offices and buildings. Unfortunately, the NDP voted against our efforts.