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 #61 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fair.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. Once again, I will have to ask members to hold off their applause until the member is finished putting the question, not in the middle of it.

The hon. member for Toronto Centre has the floor.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we ask a question on one subject and we get an answer on another.

The question now is for the Prime Minister with respect to Attawapiskat. It is a truly terrifying situation for the people there to have a government whose only response to the situation of urgency and emergency is to send in an auditor. We are hardly surprised that the response to that from the local people living there, the chief and those in charge, would be to say, “Look, we expect respect for our governance. We expect respect for our rights. We expect to be taken seriously”.

How could the Prime Minister, having given the apology that he did, have gotten it so wrong with respect--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would disagree with the hon. member and I guess just about everyone else. I think the hon. member for Toronto Centre is right where he belongs.

In terms of the specific question, this government has made it very clear at every stage that it has been and will continue to respond to the immediate needs of that community. Part of that response is not simply to expend public funds, it is to make sure that, for all Canadians but particularly for the people of that community, help gets to the people who actually need it, and that we are accountable for doing that.

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not only us who are asking questions about the port of Montreal file, both the RCMP and the Quebec provincial police are officially investigating influence pedalling, including Dimitri Soudas, former chief of communications for the Prime Minister.

If we listen to the records, we will hear talk of payoffs to Conservative senators and threats to members of the Montreal ports administration.

Did the Conservatives officially play a role in those nominations and what was it?

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the chair of the Montreal Port Authority is appointed by the board of directors. The board of directors did not appoint Mr. Abdallah, as I said before, as president. The fight is over.

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, it all sounds like a conspiracy between two businessmen to get their man the job in the Port of Montreal. The federal contracts are in fact worth over $12 million. And despite the fact that they did not get their man into that position after some arm-twisting, Mr. Poulin and Mr. Accurso nevertheless got the contract. Two months later, Revenue Canada launched an inquiry.

How are we supposed to believe that these negotiations were conducted freely and without influence peddling?

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the CEO of the Port of Montreal is appointed by the board of directors of the Port of Montreal. The tendering process is run by the Port of Montreal and its board of directors.

By the way, I would like to thank the board of directors of the Port of Montreal for its incredible support with the construction of the new bridge over the St. Lawrence River. While the opposition is trying to make political hay with this, the board of directors is helping us to find solutions so that the public gets something that works.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on September 26 the Minister of National Defence said in this House:

--I took part in a previously planned search and rescue demonstration.

On December 1 he said:

--took part in a search and rescue exercise that we had been trying to arrange for some time.

We all know now that this is just not true. I want to give the minister one final opportunity to do the right thing.

Will the minister now apologize for misleading Canadians and this House?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, I was on personal time on a trip I paid for myself. I was scheduled to be away for four days. I came back after the third day to go back to work. That is what happened.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister's actions are an embarrassment to him, his government, and the Canadian people. His continued misleading of the House and his refusal to apologize in spite of mounting overwhelming evidence, totally contradicting his version of events, is proof that he is no longer fit to hold his high position of public trust.

Therefore, it is more in sorrow than in anger that we demand that this minister either resign or be fired.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I have already answered this question. I left my personal time to go back to work.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

December 6th, 2011 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Attawapiskat continues to deteriorate. This is what 12-year-old Jack Linklater, Jr. sent me this morning. He wrote, “The cold is here. It is going to be -34°. The ice is now in our windows and mould is gaining by my bed. My sister had to stay up all last night to keep the fire going because there are holes in the house”.

This is a humanitarian tragedy. The Red Cross is on the ground and provincial officials are on the ground.

Does the government think that sending in an accountant to take control of the band will actually make this humanitarian tragedy disappear?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Kenora Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to ensuring residents, especially children, have warm, dry, and safe places to sleep.

We urge the band council to be part of the solution. It is clear that significant investments in this community have not resulted in adequate standards of living. Third party management is in place to address these urgent health and safety needs. Preventing the manager from working in the community will only delay urgently needed housing for the residents.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, Attawapiskat is not alone. Today two reserves in northern Quebec declared a state of emergency.

Capital and maintenance costs on reserves are underfunded by $200 million a year. Third party management will not solve these problems. The Alberta Lubicon are under third party management, yet mould still creeps throughout their school. The government's own evaluation concluded third party management was not effective and certainly did not solve the critical problems facing communities like Attawapiskat.

Why are the Conservatives applying this same failed policy for first nations communities in crisis?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Kenora Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our government is working with willing partners to improve the quality of all aboriginal communities from coast to coast to coast.

We have made specific targeted investments in first nations priorities like education, water, waste water infrastructure, and housing under Canada's economic action plan. Right now we are building more than 2,000 new homes and renovating more than 3,000 homes every year on reserves. We are working in collaboration with first nations at the community, regional and national level to these ends.

We will continue to invest in practical innovative solutions to get real results for aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Genest-Jourdain NDP Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, Attawapiskat is not an isolated case. Today, two reserves in northern Quebec declared a state of emergency after having spent 24 hours without electricity in extremely cold temperatures.

An immediate injection of funds is required to meet the demand for 85,000 new social housing units. One hundred and twenty communities have to boil their water. Reserves are chronically underfunded and the shortfall now amounts to $200 million a year.

Third party management is not a solution to these problems, problems that have been ignored by successive Conservative and Liberal governments alike. When will there be an infrastructure plan to help first nations communities in crisis situations?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Kenora Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that member then would be ashamed that his colleagues, in a previous session, voted against the infrastructure that we have been putting into those first nations communities.

We continue to work with willing partners to improve the quality of life for aboriginal people. We have made these significant investments, targeted investments, for first nations priorities, like education, water and housing.

We are working in collaboration with first nations communities at the community level, the regional level and the national level to these ends, and will continue to invest in practical, innovative solutions for these communities.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, 22 years ago today 14 women were killed by a Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic rifle. Soon that rifle could be sold with no safeguards, not even a confirmation of a valid gun licence. The Conservative member for Portage—Lisgar incredibly believes that shopkeepers' income tax forms would replace these safeguards. It is incredible, it is offensive, and it is just not true.

Even as we mourn, the government is going too far, moving ahead with its dangerous and unnecessary plan. Why?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is completely misrepresenting the facts.

Our government believes the best way to tackle violent gun crime is to ensure individuals who commit crimes with firearms are in jail.

The NDP needs to get behind us with these initiatives. I do thank the NDP members from Thunder Bay who supported our initiative to get rid of the long gun registry because it is ineffective in fighting violent gun crime. We need to get behind measures that do not just make people feel safe but actually make them more safe.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was just quoting my colleague across the way. With answers like that, the parliamentary secretary is destroying the legacy of the victims from the Polytechnique, women who paid with their lives for the lack of control over high calibre weapons.

The government is so out of touch that dangerous weapons, like those that killed 14 women 22 years ago, will circulate freely.

The chiefs of police—

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Gatineau has the floor.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, both the chiefs of police and the provinces have told them the same thing. Women and victims say that this bill does not make sense.

What part of this does the government fail to understand?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our government is taking real action to combat violent gun crime. We believe that measures need to be effective. They need to be a good use of resources and they need to target real criminals.

Our legislation that would end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry would not touch the licensing requirements. It would continue to be a crime to purchase a firearm without a licence or to sell a firearm to anyone without a licence.

I do thank the NDP members from Thunder Bay who supported our measures, and believe the long gun registry is wasteful and ineffective. We appreciate their support.