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House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judge.

Topics

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada was once a leader in terms of Internet access, but it has been moving backward for a few years now. The CRTC's decision to allow usage-based Internet billing will send Canada back to the digital stone age.

Will the minister show some leadership and ask the CRTC to review this decision in order to protect consumers?

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member: this is a very important issue for consumers, for small and medium-sized businesses and for our society's innovators. I will look at this issue as soon as possible.

I will be considering this issue very quickly. I would agree with the hon. member that some very serious issues have been raised.

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, here is the problem. Canada used to be a world leader when it came to Internet access and speed, but under the Tories we have become a digital backwater. It is their record on cellphones, on cable and on the Internet that we get higher prices and less access, more restrictions and less choice.

The CRTC decision was clearly aimed at squeezing out the small ISP competitors, but families have been getting squeezed for months and months.

Will the minister send clear instructions to the CRTC that the caps must come off, not just off the small competitors out there but also off every family, business and consumer in Canada so we can make full use of the innovation agenda, the Internet?

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raises a very important issue and that is why, in our policy-making on this side of the House, we have been for the consumer, for the small businessperson, for the entrepreneur, for the innovator and for the creator. That is what we have done on this side of the House.

What does the hon. member do on the other side of the House? He raises the issue and the spectre of an iPod tax. That is how he protects consumers.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the European Union recently decided to freeze the assets of the family of former Tunisian dictator Ben Ali. That was a wise decision, given that the family unscrupulously amassed wealth on the backs of the Tunisian people for decades.

Does the government intend to follow the European Union's example and freeze the Canadian assets of the former Tunisian dictator's family, or will it give the dictator enough time to safely tuck these assets away in a tax haven?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying yesterday, the Government of Canada is working closely with the Tunisian government to ensure that all options for freezing the assets of the former Tunisian regime are considered. Several options are currently on the table, and as soon as we receive confirmation we will move forward.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the opposition parties have spoken out against the decision by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to renew the terms of Jacques Gauthier and Elliot Tepper, two board members who have wreaked havoc at Rights & Democracy.

Does the minister realize that as long as these Conservative appointees sit on the board of Rights & Democracy, it will be impossible for the agency to function?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Rights & Democracy is an independent organization funded by the government and mandated to promote human rights. We have been able to provide this organization with new leadership. We would like the opposition to join us in fully supporting this new leadership so that it can continue the excellent work it does on foreign relations.

Senate AppointmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the 2006 election, the Prime Minister promised over and over that he would never appoint unelected senators. Today, with his 38th appointment, his abuse of public funds has reached new heights by swearing in Larry Smith as a senator for no other reason than to bankroll his election campaign. He is not even joining cabinet.

Given that Mr. Smith has ungratefully called this arrangement “a dramatic, catastrophic pay cut”, why will the Prime Minister not just rescind the appointment?

Senate AppointmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reflect on the curious case of Bernie Boudreau who, in 1999, was appointed to the Senate by the then prime minister, Jean Chrétien, with the intention to run. Not only was he appointed to the Senate but he was appointed to cabinet.

The Liberals are very fond of revisionist history but before they start throwing stones they should reflect on their own history.

Senate AppointmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the 2006 election campaign, the Prime Minister promised, swore up and down and kept saying that he would never, ever appoint unelected senators. The Prime Minister appointed Larry Smith to the Senate just to bankroll his next election campaign. He is not even in cabinet, contrary to what my colleague would have us believe.

Poor Mr. Smith. As he pointed out, he will have to make do with a paltry senator's salary.

Will the Prime Minister get his hands out of taxpayers' pockets and tell Mr. Smith to finance his campaign himself?

Senate AppointmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the Liberal member has Senate appointment envy.

The Conservative Party has appointed outstanding Canadians to the Senate. Because they happen to be Conservative does not make them unqualified to be in the Senate, unlike what the Liberal member is suggesting. The Liberal Party has in the past appointed members to the Senate and to cabinet in order for them to run in the next federal election.

If those members were serious about democratic reform, they would support our Senate reform agenda.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, northern Ontario's forestry industry continues to bleed up to 1,000 jobs a month under the Conservative government. Over five years the black liquor subsidy in the U.S. has shovelled more than $12 billion directly into the pockets of American mill operators. Now a new subsidy has taken its place and is set to last another 13 years.

Staggering job losses are devastating small rural communities throughout northern Ontario. The government has failed to defend our forestry sector. Why is it refusing to negotiate an end to these unfair U.S. subsidies?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the government is making unprecedented investments to support the renewal of Canada's forestry sector. In fact, in the last two years our government has put more resources towards Canada's forestry sector than the previous government spent in five years.

Our economic action plan funding has created real results, with more than 13,500 more jobs in the forestry sector, a 600% increase of softwood lumber exports to China and new and innovative plans like the one I was happy to announce in Windsor and Quebec.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 2006 the Conservatives hung out the “mission accomplished” banner after signing the softwood lumber agreement, yet Canada's softwood industry has been under assault ever since. The sellout has cost Canadians over $125 million in penalties and thousands of jobs. The latest attack has been hundreds of millions of dollars more against B.C. forestry communities.

When the sellout was signed, Canada had more than one-third of the U.S. market. Now it has around one-quarter. It expires in two years. Is the government planning to renew the agreement and continue the sellout of our softwood lumber communities, or will it stand up for Canadian softwood communities right across this country?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we are very pleased with the progress of the softwood lumber agreement. In fact, we just recently had a decision where the U.S. contested some programs in Quebec and Ontario and the arbitration ruled that 97% of those American claims were rejected.

I do not know about the member, but when I was a lawyer, any client I had who won 97% of the cases was pretty darn happy. That is because of the softwood lumber agreement, which is providing stability, jobs and certainty for our Canadian industry.

The Economy of Quebec's RegionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservative government is focusing on the economy—the real priority of Quebeckers and Canadians—and is continuing to address crime and illegal immigration, the leader of the Bloc Québécois is giving in to pressure from his Plateau Mont-Royal friends and is entering into election mode before having even read the budget.

Could the Minister of Natural Resources tell the House what the Conservative government has done for the economy of Quebec's regions?

The Economy of Quebec's RegionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government, under the leadership of this Prime Minister, is defending the values and interests of all the regions of Quebec. We firmly believe that Quebeckers in the regions should have the same opportunities as those in large cities. That is why we are investing in the forestry industry, the mining industry, the aerospace industry and infrastructure projects across Quebec.

The Bloc's opposition will not keep our Conservative government from generating economic opportunities for families all across Quebec.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party give billions of dollars of corporate tax breaks, they have decided to stop financing programs that help keep kids out of gangs. This prevents crimes from happening. If the government were serious about preventing crimes from happening, it would invest in these types of programs.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Why is the government not committed to fighting crime by getting tough on what causes crime?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I know the member opposite likes to talk about crime prevention measures, unlike his colleague from Winnipeg South Centre who consistently votes against those measures.

Our Conservative government has created the national crime prevention strategy and the youth gang prevention fund. I hope the members opposite will stop the double-talk and talking out of both sides of their mouths and get serious about supporting these programs rather than joining their coalition partners to force a needless and opportunistic election. If that member is really interested, let him support it.

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the proliferation of telecommunications antennas and the cavalier attitude of certain telecommunications carriers are frustrating some cities and towns. That is certainly true in Châteauguay. For two years now, we have been trying to stop Rogers from installing a tower just 35 metres from residences.

Does the government agree that Industry Canada should respect the wishes of residents at all times before allowing the construction of any telecommunications towers?

Telecommunications IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, there is a process of public consultation with municipalities that all providers must go through. We do not pass any opinion about where the right tower should be. We leave that to the local municipality in consultation with the provider. That is what should be done throughout the country.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week gay rights activist David Kato was murdered in his own home. He was one of 100 Ugandan GLBTT activists targeted by a hateful newspaper campaign inciting vigilantes to “hang them”.

How has Canada responded? Has the Minister of Foreign Affairs called in the Ugandan high commissioner to express our outrage? Have Canada's diplomats in Kampala called for respect for human rights and protection for gay, lesbian, bi and trans Ugandans?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as a government, we have called upon the Ugandan government to conduct a thorough investigation into the death and to increase the human rights protection of all Ugandans.

Members will recall we passed a unanimous motion in the House and have been very forceful in our determination to ensure that we do protects the rights of all these individuals.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

February 1st, 2011 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last November an academic from Australia came to Port Hope to conduct a drive-by smear of our community. She raised irrational fears and, incredibly, suggested that everybody pack up and leave town. Her comments are attempting to undo all of the good work of local officials to show that Port Hope is a safe, thriving and proud community. Everyone knows that Health Canada has conducted eight health studies in Port Hope in the past 20 years.

Could the minister tell us what the government is doing for Port Hope and why everyone in the House should stand up in support of Port Hope?