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 #135 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was americans.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, indeed, in today's announcement Canada was shown to have grown for the sixth straight quarter in a row. Indeed, the latest quarter in Canada's economic growth shows that Canada is leading the entire growth of the G7 countries. This is great news for Canadian families.

However, as we have said before, the recovery is fragile and the last thing we want is a $6 billion Liberal increase in taxes that will kill jobs in this country and will slow growth. We do not want to see that happen.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the major oil companies are laughing: they are raking in record profits that show no sign of slowing down, thanks to skyrocketing gas and heating oil prices. In the meantime, here in Canada it is wintertime and seniors who live below the poverty line are having to turn off their heat. The budget is an opportunity to set priorities by making choices.

Will the Conservatives finally understand that it is time to give priority to green and renewable energies and energy-efficient homes? Is this part of their budget priorities or will they continue to help the wealthiest and most polluting corporations at the expense of our seniors who are living in poverty?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, unlike the NDP, we actually recognized a long time ago that heating costs were expensive not only for seniors but for all Canadians. That is why we reduced the GST on all fuels and on all products from 7% to 6% to 5%. That did not go real well for the NDP. It voted against it every time.

We recognize there are challenges with the increased costs of fuel. However, we actually think that the right way to provide support to those people is to reduce their overall tax costs.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is called living on another planet. They increased the GST in regions like Ontario and British Columbia.

Gas prices are rising dramatically and families are feeling the strain. While Conservatives' friends sitting in oil company boardrooms benefit from government handouts, consumers are paying the price. Where is the economic logic in that?

Seniors need help. Pensions are at risk. Millions are without family doctors and energy prices are stretching family budgets to the breaking point.

New Democrats are proposing concrete action to help Canadians now. Will the Conservatives include these practical ideas in their upcoming budget, yes or no?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the only concrete proposals we have seen from the NDP were to increase taxes. That is not what Canadians need right now.

I refer to the answer previously given about the economy growing once again for the sixth quarter in a row. We lead the G7 countries in economic growth. That is not because we are increasing taxes. That is because we are reducing taxes and creating jobs for Canadians. They are back to work and they can afford these great supports we are giving to them.

Oil IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the price of gas is reaching new highs. Yet when the price of crude oil declines on the stock market, the major oil companies tell us that they cannot reduce the price at the pumps right away, because the gas we have in Quebec was purchased a few months ago. But when the price of crude oil increases suddenly, we see immediate increases at the pumps.

Could the minister responsible for the Competition Bureau explain this paradox, which means that consumers always end up getting hosed by the oil companies?

Oil IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is aware, there is a whole process that is independent of government where the Competition Bureau does research and investigates charges of collusion, for instance.

It was tough on the collusion that occurred among Quebec gas stations a couple of years ago. We have actually given the Competition Bureau more powers to do so and I have a fairness at the pumps act before Parliament to make sure there is no chiselling at the gas pumps as well.

Oil IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the Competition Act has no teeth. The Competition Commissioner cannot even launch an investigation of her own accord into fluctuating gas prices. The Bloc Québécois introduced a bill to fix this problem.

Will the Conservative government stop protecting oil companies and support our bill to rein them in?

Oil IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the Competition Bureau has very extensive investigative powers. I tend to find, as a member of Parliament, that when there are price fluctuations, people do bring that to the attention of their MPs and to the Competition Bureau.

I will not stand in this place directing the Competition Bureau to do something. It has the power to do so and we have given it more powers to do so. We have given it the power to add penalties that were not in place before we took office.

Political FinancingOral Questions

February 28th, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 2006 Conservative campaign in Lac-Saint-Louis was among those implicated in the in and out scandal that has led to criminal charges against two of the Prime Minister's Senate cronies and two other Conservative Party operatives.

When it comes to Lac-Saint-Louis, this is how it goes: First, the party re-channels money through an elaborate scheme, then the Prime Minister funds a candidate's campaign through a half-million dollar a year Senate package.

Why does the Prime Minister show such contempt for the people of Lac-Saint-Louis?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I regret that my hon. colleague has misrepresented the nature of this dispute. In fact it is an administrative dispute and not as he has characterized it.

This is in fact a five year old accounting dispute. Fortunately, the Federal Court has already ruled in favour of the Conservative Party and against Elections Canada in this very matter.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 2006 Conservative campaign in Lac-Saint-Louis is a perfect example of the in and out scandal that led to criminal charges against two Conservative senators and two close friends of the Prime Minister.

This is how it goes with the Conservatives in Lac-Saint-Louis: first they re-channel money through a fraudulent scheme, then they appoint someone to the Senate and give him a half-million dollars a year of taxpayers' money for campaigning.

How can the Prime Minister show such contempt for the people of Lac-Saint-Louis?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question contains several errors. I do not have time to correct them all, but I will say that this is an administrative dispute that has been going on for five years. Fortunately, the Federal Court has already ruled in favour of the Conservative Party and against Elections Canada.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, today's G20 report shows that Canadians are still traumatized by what happened and are still looking for answers.

To date no one has stepped forward to claimed responsibility for the massive assault on people's right to free speech and to free assembly. No one has been held accountable.

Only a public inquiry can repair the damage done to our democracy. When will the government call a public inquiry and get to the bottom of what went wrong?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as the member is aware, specific bodies do exist to handle complaints regarding the conduct of the police. As has been said many times before, we encourage anyone who has a complaint to direct their concerns to the appropriate body.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is unbelievable.

When free speech is denied in the only designated free speech zone, when women are aggressively strip-searched in a warehouse, and when an amputee is dragged off without his leg, Canadians know there is something desperately wrong.

People need to trust the government will not simply suspend their civil liberties. An inquiry with participation from the public is the only way to restore this trust.

What does the government have to hide? Why will it not call a public inquiry?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows there are processes in place to deal with police conduct and it would be inappropriate for me to comment any further on disciplinary or criminal matters.

Research and DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government is investing record amounts in science and technology.

We have seen tremendous results over the past five years. However we also know that Canadian businesses need to invest more in research and development as our economy continues to recover from the global recession for hard-working Canadian families to enjoy a higher standard of living.

Can the Minister of Industry update the House on what the government is doing to support innovation and helping business bring new ideas to the marketplace?

Research and DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would be happy to. Indeed, this year alone, the government has been spending $11.7 billion in partnership with academia, with our research institutions and with the private sector to make sure we are second to none when it comes to research and development, when it comes to innovation throughout the world.

Today I was at EMS Technologies in Kanata. It provides advanced satellite communications. It is the best in the world. A lot of what it does is make sure our airplanes are safer and our communications can occur.

That is the kind of leading technology that Canadians are involved in and we are proud to support them.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, five years of Conservative government and Canadians' right to information has been severely eroded.

This is the most secretive government in Canadian history. According to Government Information Quarterly, Canada has gone from first to worst. The Government of Canada misled the OECD, saying a single portal would be ready by the fall of 2010. At committee, the top government information official admitted there is actually no open government policy.

Why is the government dragging its feet? What does it have to hide?

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, right now two departments are involved in what we would call an open portal approach. Included in that are other departments that are proactively publishing their access to information requests.

I can also encourage my hon. friend by telling her that this particular policy will be expanded to other departments. As she sees that move forward, I am hoping that she will embrace that policy.

High Tides in Eastern QuebecOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Bloc Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec government has announced that all individuals, businesses and municipalities that suffered extensive damage as a result of the high tides in eastern Quebec last December will get help from a specific, improved assistance program. Overall, 17 measures will be simplified or improved. We are still waiting for the federal government's contribution.

Will the Conservatives, who have raised expectations considerably in the region, finally deliver the goods and help the disaster victims?

High Tides in Eastern QuebecOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, if my colleague is referring to the storm damage that affected small craft harbours, DFO staff have already done the inspections there. They are putting in place a plan to make the necessary repairs in time for the fishing season for the ones that are most seriously affected.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, a judge appointed by the Conservative government just took women's rights back 20 years. He gave a convicted rapist a slap on the wrist because of what he called the victim's suggestive attire.

We know that over 90% of sexual assaults go unreported because of the lack of confidence women have in the system.

What will the Minister for Status of Women do to restore women's faith in the justice system?

Status of WomenOral Questions

3 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, I was in Winnipeg on Thursday and I made my views very clear. This government does not feel that this kind of message is what victims need to hear. We established long ago in this country that no means no and I hope that any messages like this do not have any impact on any victims coming forward to report sexual abuse or sexual assault in the future.