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

Topics

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by telling the hon. member for Québec that I do not need her permission to put on a Nordiques jersey. We all would love to see the Nordiques return to Quebec City.

That being said, our position has always been very clear: we asked that a substantial contribution from the private sector be included in the financing package, which is not the case at this time. We do not have any programs that would cover this kind of request, and we have no intention of creating one.

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the Quebec City region repeatedly asked for a business plan for the multi-purpose arena. Yet less than one hour after the presentation of a business plan, including a substantial contribution from the private sector, the minister closed the door on the project.

Will the minister finally admit that that condition, like all others, was merely a pretext and that, from the beginning, the Conservatives had no intention of contributing to the funding of the Quebec City arena?

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, from the beginning, we have been asking for complete information, including substantial private sector investments, basically since my discussion with the mayor, shortly before he made the announcement.

As far as we were concerned, it was clear that the project would be funded mainly with public money. Thus, it no longer fit within the framework of any of our programs. That said, we do not have any programs for professional sports and we have no intention of creating such a program.

International CooperationOral Questions

March 3rd, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are being told that the Minister of International Cooperation's refusal to support KAIROS despite the recommendation of officials from her department was a courageous decision. We, too, would like to truly understand her courage.

Can the minister explain to us why the recommendation was erroneous and why she disregarded it? Will she explain exactly how her department erred, or will she continue to demonstrate her contempt for this Parliament?

International CooperationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, our government wants Canada's aid and development efforts to have an impact and make a difference.

With Canada's support and our government's policies, more children will get at least one meal a day; more children will be in school, with trained, qualified teachers; more mothers will be healthier and able to survive giving birth to healthy babies; and more young people will have the needed skills to get a job and earn an income.

International CooperationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's code of conduct requires ministers to appear in the House and answer questions honestly and accurately.

Who in the Prime Minister's Office told the minister to cut KAIROS funding? Who inserted the “not“ in the recommendation line? Why did she blame honourable civil servants? Why does she show such contempt for Parliament by not answering questions properly put to her honestly and accurately?

International CooperationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, we want to ensure that Canadians know how their aid dollars are being spent. That is what we want to answer for Canadians. We want to ensure that our aid is getting into the hands of those who need it most, reducing hunger and preventing disease and death, and for quality education for children and youth. We are delivering results and providing value from Canadian assistance abroad.

Canadians deserve to know what difference their aid dollars are making for these people. Those are the questions we will answer.

Former Public Sertor Integrity CommissionerOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, Christiane Ouimet, the supposed independent officer of Parliament who was there to protect public servants, left her position suddenly only three years into a seven-year term. The appointment of Mrs. Ouimet was approved by a resolution of the Senate and the House of Commons. She could only be removed by a similar resolution or for cause. No resolution was passed in either the House of Commons or the Senate.

Was Mrs. Ouimet fired or forced to resign and what incentive did the government provide to force her departure?

Former Public Sertor Integrity CommissionerOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the appointment of that individual was something that was approved of and taken part in by all parties, including the leaders. We have had some reasonable comment from members opposite that they are in charge of that particular file, as they rightly should be.

Also, I would note that the Auditor General thoroughly reviewed all of the cases that should have been reviewed. We have an interim commissioner in place who is doing a very aggressive review of those files right now.

Former Public Sertor Integrity CommissionerOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, then why did the House not approve her departure? It was our prerogative. The former integrity commissioner, Christiane Ouimet, left her job after completing only the first three years of her seven-year contract. There was no order from the House of Commons or the Senate to authorize her dismissal. This situation leaves us with many unanswered questions.

Did Ms. Ouimet leave her position voluntarily? Was she forced to leave? What were the conditions surrounding her departure? Parliamentarians and especially Canadians have the right to know!

Former Public Sertor Integrity CommissionerOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Ouimet herself decided to leave. According to the information I have, she will now attend a committee meeting to answer questions. That will be the appropriate time for asking questions.

VeteransOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, unlike the Bloc and the coalition, our Conservative government is using the economic action plan to help the regions of Quebec. We are cutting taxes, supporting workers, helping seniors and supporting our small and medium-sized businesses in order to create jobs in every region of Quebec. Our Conservative government is listening to the regions and delivering the goods while the opposition is listening to the leftist urban elite from the Plateau.

Can the Minister of Veterans Affairs tell this House what our government is doing to help our brave soldiers and veterans in every region of Quebec?

VeteransOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member from Lévis—Bellechasse for his excellent work and his concern for veterans.

Our government is listening to the regions of Quebec and to veterans. We introduced Bill C-55 in the House, and it will serve as the enhanced new veterans charter and will help our modern-day veterans, who may come back wounded from Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, the Bloc is still not co-operating as we would like, but we still hope to pass this bill before the upcoming budget.

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, time and again the Conservatives have put the interests of banks ahead of those of ordinary Canadians.

For 11 million Canadians, the CPP is the only pension plan they have. The government clearly knows that the CPP benefits will be seriously inadequate for retirees in the future, but it refuses to do anything about it. New Democrats are proposing a phased-in doubling of the CPP. Our pragmatic proposal is even endorsed by a former actuary of the Canada pension plan.

Will the Conservatives include this practical plan in their upcoming budget?

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for that question, but it raises a larger question. Why do the New Democrats not talk to the partners who actually deal with the Canada pension plan, the provinces?

We have. We have spoken to the provinces. They do not support an increase in the Canada pension plan deductions for employers at this time. That is a critical difference.

We are putting forward an option that all of the provinces have endorsed. It is a pooled registered pension plan and it is for millions of Canadians who now have no option of a pension.

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is well-known that over 300,000 Canadian seniors are living in poverty.

The guaranteed income supplement was supposed to prevent this and ensure a dignified retirement for all Canadians. It is simply no longer doing the job. New Democrats are proposing that the GIS be increased by $700 million. That would lift all seniors out of poverty.

Will the Conservative government include this practical, doable idea in its upcoming budget, yes or no?

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we have taken a number of initiatives to ensure seniors have the help they need when they need it. We will continue to look at ways to improve the situation for seniors.

We have raised the GIS on two separate occasions. We have provided for income-splitting. We have increased the age credit a number of times.

We would ask the NDP members to support us when we put initiatives forward that are of benefit to the senior citizens of this country.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives refuse to admit that the victims of the forestry crisis are still piling up. After the closures of the sawmills in Saint-Fulgence and Petit-Saguenay, Scierie Gauthier is now under the protection of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. Without a real assistance plan, other paper mills and sawmills will have to shut down.

Why does the government still refuse to create an assistance plan for the forestry industry, which would help save many jobs?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I will quote the CEO of Scierie Gauthier, “In the current context of residential construction, forestry work is scarce because of the market.” Even in his own region, people are saying that. If there is someone who does not get it, it is this member. Just yesterday, with the ministers of the Government of Quebec, I announced an additional $8 million for silviculture. That is now $240 million for silviculture.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the automotive industry in Ontario received $10 billion and Quebec forestry workers received a few crumbs. We need a real stimulus plan for the forestry industry. It would include better access to cash, industrial research support, investments in alternative fuels and better support for communities and workers.

Why do the ministers from Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean refuse to fight along with us to ensure that these measures are included in the upcoming budget?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, fortunately we are fighting on the government side. While we are in power, they whine and get no results.

He is comparing apples to oranges. In case he is not aware, we are partners in the automotive industry, and in the forestry industry we are competing with the United States. It is as simple as that. We are examining the issues with the automotive industry. We know very well that we signed an excellent agreement—which the Liberals neglected for six years—to sell our lumber to the Americans and we will continue to do so. We do support the forestry industry.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians are aware of the devastating impact of the collapse of the Atlantic cod fishery, but since the end of the moratorium more than 1,000 fishermen from southern Newfoundland have worked to rebuild the cod stock in area 3PS. However, the stock remains in a critical state.

Last week, DFO announced it would be postponing the annual March 1 conservation closure needed to protect the spawning cod because a few private companies did not catch their quotas. This flies in the face of science and places an entire stock at risk.

Will the minister please reconsider these reckless actions?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the conservation and the recovery of our once proud cod stocks remains a priority for our government. Most areas remain closed to fishing or are opened responsibly to ensure that we do protect the spawning areas. We are also taking action to address the industry's concerns over grey seal predation. We will continue to work with the industry in rebuilding this stock.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, this is a conservation closure. The science is very simple. When the fish spawn, they congregate. When they congregate, they are more easily caught. This could devastate an entire stock of cod, an entire generation.

We have seen the disregard that this government has for science, whether it is the environment or fisheries management. Last year there was a 63% cut in gulf crab because science from 2008 was ignored by the government.

Will this minister come to her senses and go forward with this closure?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the member does not have to tell us on this side of the House how important the fishery is to this country. I just want to point out to this member, being the fisheries critic, that for six months, 183 days, and 74 question periods, this is the first fisheries question he has asked.