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House of Commons Hansard #146 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-12.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that Carson never left the Prime Minister's inner circle and the money is still flowing.

This is a man who was given $15 million of taxpayers' money to orchestrate the green washing of the oil sands with government and big oil. At the table were senior members of the government along with industry executives.

Everyone knew that this man was still connected to the Prime Minister, that he had the blessing of the Prime Minister, and that he had the confidence of the Prime Minister.

How can the government be trusted when it puts so much faith in someone with such an obviously broken moral compass?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is this government which brought in the Federal Accountability Act that established this five-year ban because we believe it is important that Canadians who want to serve in government come with the best interests of Canadians and not to enrich themselves.

When information was brought to our attention, we immediately referred them to the relevant authorities. We are going to let them conduct an investigation and if anyone has broken the law, he or she should face the full force of the consequence of that same law.

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services told us that the Davie shipyard had until July to prove its solvency. That is not true. The request for proposals was changed along the way. Davie has to be solvent in May. The Conservatives are taking away precious weeks for Davie to restructure itself.

How can the hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse be complicit with a government that changes the rules midstream in order to disqualify the shipyard in Lévis?

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the solvency requirement has never been changed in any part of the process. The requirement to be solvent was well known by all shipyards across the country from the very beginning of the RFP process and it is standard that all government contracting requires that a company must be solvent in order to be awarded a contract.

I can also assure the hon. member that KPMG was brought in as an independent party to validate the financial requirements. As well, we asked an independent fairness monitor to endorse this process and it has said that this is a fair, open and transparent process.

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, when it came time to rescue GM from bankruptcy, the Conservative government did not hesitate to free up billions of dollars to acquire shares in the company in order to save jobs in Ontario. In contrast, when it comes to rescuing the shipyard in Lévis, the Conservative government is doing everything it can to sabotage that shipyard by imposing solvency conditions and by changing the request for proposals in order to exclude the Davie shipyard from the contract.

Why does the Conservative government not value jobs in Quebec as much as jobs in Ontario?

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear. The solvency requirement was not changed at any point during this process. The requirement to be solvent is a standard practice for all government contracting. Companies must be solvent in order to be awarded a contract.

I would remind the hon. member and all members of the House that it was this government last year that supported this particular company with a $270 million loan through EDC to support this shipyard when it was in a very difficult time.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

March 22nd, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism's attempt to turn his ministry into a political arm of the Conservative Party is out of control. Yesterday his fired staffer admitted that bureaucrats were forced to prepare fundraising letters for the Conservative Party and this is in addition to using government letterhead, as well as a government-issued cell phone as the RSVP line.

The Prime Minister called in the RCMP to investigate Bruce Carson. When will the Prime Minister put a stop to the abuse in the immigration minister's office?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, you would think that an opposition member could read a committee transcript and actually develop a factual question. Apparently, she failed.

Bureaucrats were not involved in any respect in the matter for which my former political staff member took responsibility by submitting his resignation, which I accepted, and also informed you and the Ethics Commissioner about, Mr. Speaker. He gave very fulsome testimony before the relevant committee yesterday. He regretted, of course, the administrative error that was made in the office. Corrective action was taken.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is the minister that is failing.

We already know that the minister had the audacity to bring Parminder Gill, an unelected Conservative candidate in Brampton—Springdale, to India in 2009 as part of an official Government of Canada delegation, but now we have learned that while he was in India, Mr. Gill made immigration policy announcements on behalf of the federal government. Back in Canada, Mr. Gill was set up to be the go-to guy for permits and visas.

We are all wondering, what are the terms and conditions to qualify for a visa which Mr. Gill would issue?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, all complete utter rubbish. The individual in question was not part of an official Government of Canada delegation, period. The person in question has never made announcements on behalf of the government in question. I am the individual responsible for exercising the authority of the minister under IRPA to exempt people from the temporary visa requirement and I should point out that last year I issued a third fewer permits than my Liberal predecessor.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, access to drinking water should not be a privilege for Canadians. We do not live in a third world country. We have plenty of water. Yet, many people living in first nations communities do not have access to safe drinking water. Illegal lobbying and influence peddling by a notorious fraudster like Bruce Carson is scandalous. However, what is worse is the absence of water filtration systems for aboriginal people.

Could the minister explain why, after all this time, so many first nations communities are still without access to safe drinking water?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, this government has taken strong action on water since coming into government in 2006. After 13 long years of neglect, we have invested strong resources into upgrading water and waste water systems across the country, and the member knows it.

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently sat on a panel on health care organized by the seniors health advisory committee in my riding. Leaders from different health organizations, including the Local Health Integration Network, the Sault Area Hospital, and the Red Cross all agreed that more assisted housing was the most important need in our region. In the estimates, we see support for this program coming to an end.

Matthews Memorial Hospital and the Finnish Resthome Association have projects ready to go. Will the government renew this important initiative?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we believe that health care is an incredibly important priority, particularly when it comes to those in first nations, and those in northern Ontario and northern Canada. We have made an unprecedented commitment to health care, and we would be very pleased to look into the matter that the member raised.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is the proud defender of all Quebeckers in all regions. Unlike the member from the Plateau and his political party that is out of touch with reality, we take the concerns of all Quebeckers in all Quebec regions to heart.

Could my colleague, the minister responsible for the Quebec City region, inform the House of the recent measures implemented in the Quebec City region by our government?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his excellent question. In fact, our government has supported all regions of Quebec, and especially the Quebec City region, since 2006. On March 11, we announced a major investment in the National Optics Institute. Last week, accompanied by the Prime Minister, we announced a major investment in the Quebec City airport. Unlike the Bloc, which has no track record, we continue to add to our record while reducing taxes.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, March 20 was the International Day of La Francophonie. However, the Conservatives have clearly abandoned the francophones of this country. When they appeared before the Standing Committee on Official Languages, Service Canada officials confirmed that the Atlantic region was now designated as a unilingual anglophone region.

Can the minister explain what she is doing with the 450,000 francophones living in the Atlantic region? What will they have to do to be respected?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House that the Atlantic region has not been designated as a unilingual region by Service Canada. That is not the case at all. There has been no change in the bilingual services provided by our offices. All Canadians still have access to services in the official language of their choice, in every office of the country.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Impératif français, which is a group from the Outaouais region dedicated to the promotion of the French language, was told in a letter written in English only that it would not get a subsidy from Canadian Heritage. Incidentally, I should point out that the letter was sent by the Montreal regional office.

Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage find it normal that his Montreal office is unable to write a letter in French to a francophone organization from the Outaouais? Could it be that, at Canadian Heritage, Quebec would also have been designated as a unilingual English zone, without being aware of it?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, indeed a letter was sent. An administrative mistake was made.

My department processes thousands of applications every single year, for everything from Canada Day events to support for artists, to events all across the country. Yes, accidentally, one letter out of thousands sent to applicants was sent to somebody in one of the two official languages and not both. For this one error on this one application out of thousands, I give my sincerest apologies.

G20 SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative G20 photo ops cost Toronto businesses tens of millions of dollars. Just the restaurant industry alone lost $84 million in sales. These businesses desperately need to be compensated. First, the Conservatives mired them in red tape and then stiffed them with a complicated system that is neither fair nor transparent. Downtown Toronto businesses desperately need compensation. They are fed up.

To get the compensation they deserve, do they need to hire a Conservative insider like Bruce Carson?

G20 SummitOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I take note of the member's question. There is a formula in place and a process in place for compensating those who made claims. If a claim is made, it will be properly considered in accordance with those guidelines.

Research and DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dona Cadman Conservative Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, every year, nearly one million people die from malaria. It is especially serious in Africa, where one in five childhood deaths is due to the effects of the disease.

Would the minister of state inform the House how our government's investments in research and development are contributing to the fight against malaria and supporting Canada's maternal, newborn and child health initiatives?

Research and DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, our government is very committed to improving the health of women and children in developing countries.

I would like to congratulate the NRC scientists in Saskatoon, who have discovered a way to produce a treatment for malaria that is safe and affordable and will help save the lives of millions of women and children in Africa.

This new malaria treatment represents a major development in the fight against this disease. I congratulate our Canadian scientists. It will strengthen Canada's position as a world leader in health research and provide a reliable and affordable treatment.

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Independent

Helena Guergis Independent Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I continue to advocate for family-friendly policies like income splitting. Research shows that income splitting can have a positive impact on families, providing tax savings and increased birthrates as more parents have the freedom to choose whether to go to work or stay at home with their children.

Research predicts that family income splitting could address growing concerns over labour shortages and rising social program costs.

There is still time before the budget is tabled this afternoon. Would the finance minister please consider this very important family-friendly tax policy?