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House of Commons Hansard #125 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was labour.

Topics

Nuclear SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the shipment of radioactive waste on the St. Lawrence will endanger one of the world's largest freshwater resources as well as millions of shoreline residents.

Does the government not believe that the provinces that have opted for nuclear energy should also manage the waste and keep it in their own province?

Nuclear SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is no surprise that the Bloc Québécois would resort to scare tactics. This is not about nuclear waste, but rather nuclear generators. I have no doubt that the commission's decision was based on protecting the health and safety of Canadians at all times, as well as protecting the environment.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, first the churches and now Canadian teachers have lost their seed of funding. We have also learned that Barrick Gold, Canada's largest and wealthiest gold corporation with a market capitalization of $47 billion, will be the happy beneficiary of a half-million dollar CIDA corporate social responsibility program in Peru.

Why are Canadian taxpayers paying for Barrick's corporate, social and environmental responsibilities while Canadian teachers helping kids are abandoned?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, we understand that agency officials expressed concern with CTF regarding a lack of focus, lack of sustainability and lack of budgetary information. CTF is more than welcome to address these issues and to apply for funding under the new call for proposals.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, after 50 years, what are they going to do, correct spelling mistakes?

The Conservatives are taking foreign aid away from the poorest of the poor and giving it to the wealthiest of the wealthy. However, it only gets worse. CIDA is not only funding a corporate social responsibility for Canadian companies but also healthy foreign companies such as Rio Tinto in Ghana.

Why does the government not let corporations clean up their own social and environmental messes, give the money back to the teachers and the churches, and start funding programs that actually help the poorest of the poor?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, there are two sides to every story.

Our government is bringing real accountability to development funding in order to ensure that taxpayer dollars bring real results. CIDA staff have been working with the Canadian Teachers' Federation for the last six months to help it adapt its program to the funding criteria. We do not write blank cheques.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, for decades, the world has looked to Canada for moral leadership on issues of munitions control and disarmament. While other countries stockpile weapons of mass destruction, Canadian leaders, like Prime Minister Trudeau, Prime Minister Chrétien and Prime Minister Pearson, led the charge against them.

Today, however, we learn that the government has reversed this trend and fired Earl Turcotte, one of Canada's leading arms experts, simply because Washington did not like him defending Canadian interests so vigorously.

How can the government justify firing a renowned Canadian official who was simply trying to defend Canada's long-standing human rights interests and reputation?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that is completely ludicrous. It is not true.

We believe on this side of the House that cluster munitions pose a grave threat to humanity and to civilians, which indeed is a serious obstacle, obviously, to sustainable development.

On this side of the House, I will state very clearly that, no, we are not throwing anybody out of government. The ambassador to Geneva will be the person who will indeed represent Canada's interest at these negotiations and discussions.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

February 7th, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, if it is not true, then why is Mr. Turcotte no longer leading the negotiations?

In 1971 Prime Minister Trudeau spoke out against nuclear weapons at the height of the Cold War. That was leadership. In 1997, Prime Minister Chrétien led the charge to ratify the Ottawa treaty to ban dangerous landmines. That was leadership.

In 2011, the Conservative government fired Mr. Turcotte for working to ban cluster munitions after the Americans complained he was doing too good a job.

Is this leadership? It is laughable.

Why are the Conservatives always prepared to sacrifice our national interests in favour of U.S. interests?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government was very active in the negotiations on the Convention of Cluster Munitions, and was pleased to be among the first countries in the world to sign the convention in the month of December.

I want to reassure the member that it is our ambassador in Geneva who will indeed be leading these discussions.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government introduced legislation to amend the Aeronautics Act to ensure that Canadians can continue to travel over U.S. airspace.

Similar amendments were brought in under the previous Liberal government. Yet now the Liberals and their coalition partners are threatening to kill Bill C-42.

Could the minister remind the House why this straightforward technical amendment is needed?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that hon. members, like me, have many constituents whose travel plans could be negatively impacted without this bill.

Bill C-42 introduces a straightforward technical amendment, without which flights leaving Canada would no longer be able to travel over American airspace.

For our part, we have worked closely with the Americans to ensure this is implemented in a way that recognizes our security interests and the privacy concerns of Canadians.

Now it is up to the Liberal-led coalition to stop playing politics and support this needed bill.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, documents obtained by New Democrats reveal that the Conservative government has spent more than $41 million hiring private security firms in Afghanistan. We have learned that some of these contractors are connected to notorious Afghan warlords.

These warlords have engaged in murder, kidnapping and bribery. They even run their own militia. So much for promoting democracy and the rule of law.

My question is, when will the government finally get these warlords off Canada's payroll?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada employs security firms to protect Canadian staff as well as our facilities in Afghanistan.

Canada adheres to the Montreux Document, and the document clearly establishes the standards through which private security is used.

We signed this International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers and this declaration in the month of November last year.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the government has no guidelines for hiring private security firms. Even NATO has complained that some of our contracts are enriching power brokers, undercutting counter-insurgency efforts and delegitimizing the Afghan government.

Our troops have put their lives on the line to fight lawlessness, yet the government promotes lawlessness by paying money into this corrupt system.

How can the government justify paying racketeers who are undermining the very security of Afghanistan?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, once again, we employ these companies to protect our personnel as well as our facilities. I will remind my hon. colleague that all firms contracted by the government are subject to Afghan law. As I mentioned a couple of moments ago--

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Conservative Pontiac, QC

I know they are laughing, Mr. Speaker. They always do that when we deal with Afghanistan. They always do that when we talk about protecting Canadian assets abroad: people, assets, and the projects we are doing. That is their way. That is not our way.

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications CommissionOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Friday evening, surreptitiously and practically shamefully, the government announced that another friend of Dimitri Soudas has been appointed to the CRTC, even though this criminal lawyer has no experience in regulations or broadcasting. This appointment is especially worrisome considering that this weekend, the Conservative member for Beauce announced that the government will soon be bringing forward a bill to deregulate telecommunications.

Will the minister acknowledge that, with Tom Pentefountas's appointment, the government is trying to take control of the CRTC in order to impose its deregulation ideology?

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications CommissionOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that accusation is completely false and as I just said in response to the NDP member's question, Mr. Pentefountas is qualified. As vice-president of the CRTC, he will do a very good job for Quebec and for Canada.

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications CommissionOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, his greatest asset in telecommunications is knowing the Conservative Party's telephone number by heart.

Now that the government's strong-arm tactics in favour of Globalive have failed, the Conservatives are trying to take control of the CRTC in order to impose their deregulation ideology and give foreign businesses a stranglehold on our telecommunications industry.

Will the government admit that appointing the friends of the Conservative regime is its new strategy to take control of the CRTC?

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications CommissionOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is completely false.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, settlement agencies help newcomers prepare for jobs, care for their families and integrate into Canadian society.

Agencies from across the country are having their budgets slashed by $53 million. While immigration levels remain high, federal funding is being drastically cut.

Why can the government find $50 million for self-promoting billboards but will not promote the wellbeing of newcomers, helping them learn the languages, earn a living, pay taxes and build this country?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member asked the question because it gives me an opportunity to underscore the fact that our government has more than tripled support for settlement and integration services over the levels supported by the Liberal government.

This year we will be investing some $600 million in settlement support for newcomers. When the member for Wascana was the finance minister, it was $109 million.

Shame on the Liberals for their longstanding neglect of newcomers to Canada.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, shame on the minister for taking credit for work that the Liberal government did.

This minister takes credit for funding that was the result of agreements established by the Liberal government. The truth is that the minute this minister got a chance to cut settlement funding, he cut the most vulnerable, those who want language training and a greater understanding of Canadian values.

This is not a reallocation. It is not a celebration. It is an abdication. Why is the minister turning his back on newcomers to Canada?