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House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have done a lot to help students earn their bachelor's degree or other type of degree. We introduced a program to provide grants that do not need to be paid back, to help students complete their post-secondary studies. The Bloc and the Liberals did not support this plan. We have also given a great deal of money to universities and colleges to build buildings where students can study. We are doing a lot for students.

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Bloc Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois has expressed what it would like to see in the budget to correct the inequalities experienced by Quebec. I remind members that the Government of Quebec is still calling for over $800 million for post-secondary education. The upcoming budget is the perfect opportunity for the Minister of Finance to show that quality education is important to him.

Does he plan on restoring post-secondary education transfers to Quebec and the provinces to 1994 indexed levels?

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are doing a lot to help students. We introduced the Canada student grants program, a program that now helps 280,000 students. That is more than 150,000 than with the Liberals' program. We have expanded the summer jobs program for students to help them study.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation presented its strategic plan for the next five years. The CBC promised to provide more productions with Canadian content, a greater presence in the regions and better service for linguistic communities.

It is doing its job. Now, will the Conservatives do theirs and ensure that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has the funding it needs for all five years, or will they simply tell the CBC to look after its own affairs?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I am always confused when Liberal members stand and act like they are defending the CBC when, in reality, that is the party that cut more money and more jobs from the CBC than any party in history. That is its record. It might be a sad and sorry history but that is the truth.

The CBC unveiled its five-year plan and it will be coming before the heritage committee in just over a week to talk about it. I look forward to that presentation.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, that comes from the guy who wants to privatize the CBC.

One thing is clear: all they have done over the past few years is try to bring down the CBC. When the CBC needed a loan, they slammed the door on it. When the corporation said it was going to have to eliminate 800 jobs, the Conservatives said, “too bad”. Now they have a chance to redeem themselves. The CBC has come up with an excellent plan for the next five years.

Can the Conservatives promise that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will have funding for each of those five years?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is remarkable. The Conservative government, our party, campaigned to maintain or increase funding for the CBC and we have done that each and every year. We have kept our word regarding the CBC and it knows it can count on us.

Do members know what artists and creators cannot count on? They cannot count on the support of the Liberal Party. Bill C-32, the balanced copyright legislation, is before the committee and the Liberals will not allow the committee to meet enough to get that bill through this House. It is a shame and a disgrace.

Government AdvertisingOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, we now know that the Conservatives spent half a million dollars in less than a year for campaign-style backdrops for ministerial announcements. They spent almost $27,000 on a Tory blue backdrop for their response to the earthquake in Haiti. Incredibly, that is 55 times the average income of a Haitian.

What will the government not do? What taxpayer dollars will they not waste for purely partisan electoral purposes?

Government AdvertisingOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, it is the responsibility of this government to communicate important programs and services to Canadians. Advertising is a key way for the government to reach a large number of Canadians on important issues. The Ethics Commissioner has said that an MP's role is to inform constituents about government initiatives and programs, and that is what we have been doing. We are fulfilling our responsibility to inform Canadians about important programs and initiatives.

Government AdvertisingOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is also spending $6.5 million taxpayer dollars on a new campaign advertising five-year-old tax measures dating back to 2006. These ads, timed to coincide with Conservative Party ads, will actually cost more than some of the tax measures that are being advertised.

Even the Conservative-friendly Canadian Taxpayers Federation describes this advertising as “government electioneering at taxpayer expense”.

Why does the government cheat Canadian taxpayers for electoral gain?

Government AdvertisingOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, as I said, it is the responsibility of the government to communicate important programs and services to Canadians. I should point out that our advertising budget is in fact spent on advertising, unlike the previous Liberal government that spent its money on paying off its friends.

Airport SecurityOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Dona Cadman Conservative Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government takes aviation security seriously and we are determined to keep travellers safe and secure from terrorism but we also want CATSA to be as respectful, efficient and effective as possible during the screening process.

Yesterday, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities announced changes to airport screening that will increase convenience for the travelling public while maintaining high levels of security.

Will the minister please explain how Canada's screening procedures will now follow more closely the international procedures?

Airport SecurityOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague's question allows me to explain to the House just how we are standardizing our standards at our international airports with our international partners right across the world, including the United States, and how we will do it in a more efficient way.

We will reduce the hassle, we will be much smarter and we will have better security. This is all about being family friendly and ensuring that we target those people who are more serious threats and the items that are more serious threats, all the while ensuring that passenger comfort and quicker lines are achieved.

HealthOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the infestation of bedbugs is becoming a national public health crisis in our country. We can just imagine the horror of putting our kids to bed every night knowing full well they will be eaten alive by bloodsucking parasites and we can do nothing to stop it.

The United States has struck a well-funded bedbug task force headed by the Centers for Disease Control. It has hosted two national conferences already. The government does have a role to play in the bedrooms of the nation.

Why is our government not doing anything to protect Canadians from this national scourge of bedbugs in our Canadian cities?

HealthOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I find it interesting that the NDP would ask a question about bloodsucking parasites.

However, we do understand that these pests do cause stress when found in the home and that is why the minister has instructed Health Canada to work with the pest control industry to ensure it receives the department's full support as a federal regulator. Health Canada has also created a working group to facilitate the application process for new pesticides that could help control bedbugs.

The provinces and territories are best placed to support Canadians as they respond to infestations in their homes. I acknowledge the recent progress made in certain jurisdictions.

HealthOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I was not calling the Conservatives bloodsucking parasites. That job is already taken.

International experts say that we are on the threshold of a global bedbug pandemic, a plague of near biblical proportions. We spent billions of dollars on the H1N1 non-event, a sop to the drug companies. How about a national bedbug strategy and some research and development money so we can find a cure and a fix and give some hope to all those Canadians who are suffering tonight from this terrible national public health crisis?

HealthOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, with all the situations going on in the world, it is interesting that the NDP would like to focus on bed bugs.

We have taken a leadership role. We recognize that this is a public health concern and the department is acting appropriately. We look forward to the progress it achieves in this very important health initiative.

Government SpendingOral Questions

February 4th, 2011 / 11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, while they were flooding the media with dishonest political attacks ads against the opposition parties, the Conservatives were also using public funds to promote government programs that will end in less than two months.

When will the Conservatives stop using government resources for partisan purposes?

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, as I said, it is the responsibility of government to communicate important programs and services to Canadians. Advertising is a key way for the government to reach a large number of Canadians on important issues.

We are fulfilling our responsibility to inform Canadians about important programs and initiatives.

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the programs are scheduled to end in less than two months. Now that they have taken control of the Senate, an archaic, unelected and undemocratic institution, the Conservatives are using it to do their dirty work. After using it to shoot down bills passed by the elected members, the Conservatives are now using the Senate to get around the House of Commons' rules on mail-outs.

Will the Prime Minister call his caucus to order and require that public funds in the Senate not be used to finance the Conservatives' vicious political attacks?

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we are working hard to create jobs, hope and opportunity. We have taken many measures to rein in spending at the Board of Internal Economy.

If the member opposite has any advice or counsel for the other place, I would encourage him to take it there.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the cuts to the aid and development community just keep on coming. The latest target for the Conservatives are teachers, learning and education.

The Canadian Teachers' Federation runs a program to help improve teaching and learning throughout the developing world. It has had its funding cut completely, without warning and without reason.

How can the Conservatives justify cutting a 50-year partnership?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the department turned down the project because there were problems with the application. The Canadian Teachers' Federation has been told what those problems are and has been asked to resubmit a new proposal.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the CTF trains teachers from all over the world. It helps kids learn and pulls families out of poverty. By every measure and evaluation, including CIDA itself, it does excellent and essential work.

The Prime Minister seems to be able to find $2 million for press clippings. Why can he not find $2 million for the dedicated work that these teachers do? Why in heavens name would anybody cut such a valuable program?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, the department turned down this project because there were holes in the application. The Canadian Teachers' Federation has been told how it can fix these problems and has been encouraged to reapply.