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 #10 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was air.

Topics

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the principle responsibility rests with the provinces and the territories. The federal government has an interest and can involve itself when a threat is perceived and reported.

As my colleague knows, Environment Canada is responsible for regulating toxic substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and where required, we will intervene.

International TradeOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, we all know that international trade is a kitchen table issue. It creates jobs and accounts for almost 60% of our annual GDP.

This weekend in Vancouver the NDP members will be discussing many different issues, including trade. We urge them to reject proposals that advocate for a complete withdrawal from our current free trade agreements.

Could the Minister of International Trade explain to the House why we are pursuing such an ambitious free trade agenda and why these socialist proposals are absolutely wrong?

International TradeOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, on May 2, Canadians gave this Conservative government a very clear mandate to build our economy and expand our trade relationships. The member is right: trade is a kitchen table issue. In fact, Canadians intuitively know that trade is critical to our future prosperity and our long-term economic security.

We as the Conservative government are getting things done. Why are the NDP members not?

Child CareOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families are struggling to pay for child care. The Conservatives are insulting Canadians by ignoring this problem. Their policy does not make sense and is unfair.

When will the minister have the courage to admit that her policy has failed Canadian families? When will she get to work on making child care affordable for all Canadians?

Child CareOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we did when we came to office five years ago. We established the universal child care benefit.

This was to help Canadians access the form of child care that they thought was best for their children. We believe in choice for Canadians.

We also provided funding to the provinces to help them create child care spaces in case the parent's choice was for formal daycare. Since then, in using those funds, the provinces have created over 100,000 spaces to help parents raise their children in their choice.

Child CareOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives just do not get it. There is no choice in child care when one gets $100 a month. It is not enough to help families pay for daycare.

The New Democrat plan would create 100,000 new daycare spaces, while still providing families with financial help. The government's plan gives families $3 a day for daycare.

Why is the government ignoring parents who cannot afford daycare services for their children?

Child CareOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we recognize that each family in our country is in different circumstances. In some families the parents work evenings, or they work weekends. Some want to stay home and raise their children themselves. Some do want to use formal daycare. Our universal child care benefit gives parents the choice in that. It recognizes and supports the differences. It supports their right to choose how to raise their children.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi NDP Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, for a number of years now, we have seen a steady increase in the price of gas at the pumps. Far too often, sudden spikes occur just before long weekends and holidays. People know that, contrary to what the major oil companies would have us believe, these price changes are not based on economics, but on pure speculation. Canadians are being squeezed by these big companies.

Can the government ask the Competition Bureau to conduct an investigation into this sector?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, the price of gasoline is a major issue that concerns all Canadians, starting with me. That is why we have asked the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to address the issue of fluctuating prices, so that the industry can better explain to Canadians how and why prices change the way they do.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the industry committee has already studied this. We need action and that is what Canadians deserve right now, not another expensive study.

What we see right now are record profits, record gouging, record windfalls for stock speculators, record profits for oil and gas CEOs and we also see record complacency from the government. Canadians have no choice. They have to drive to work and take care of their families.

The minister does have a choice. Therefore, why is he hiding behind the oil companies instead of going after the gouging? Is he addicted to the tax revenue that is coming in? Why will he not establish an industry ombudsman or at least follow through with the recommendations the committee made last time?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, the opposition cannot have it both ways. The NDP says that it cares about keeping gas prices low, but it opposed our GST cut and wanted to impose a carbon tax on Canadians that would see gas prices skyrocket. This is not responsible. We have a strong mandate from Canadians for economic growth, and this is what we will do.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, the minister of state reflected the government's continued and disgraceful performance of abandoning Canadians in desperate difficulty abroad. Henk Tepper has been in a Lebanese prison for three months, facing extradition to Algeria. Yet the government does nothing, other than, as the minister did yesterday, blame that Canadian farmer.

I ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs to intervene on behalf of the Tepper family. When will he contact his Lebanese counterpart directly and demand Henk Tepper's release?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated to the House, consular services provides all appropriate assistance to Canadians who find themselves in difficulties abroad. This has been done with Mr. Tepper, his family and his lawyer. There have been regular contacts to assist, advise and provide all appropriate assistance.

We cannot demand that another country release one of our citizens, but we will continue to ensure a timely and transparent resolution of this situation.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is irresponsible for the minister to blame the bureaucrats. Where are the ministers, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs?

Mr. Tepper was travelling with Potatoes Canada doing commercial business when he was arrested. This arrest and the minister's inaction and inability to do something has struck fear in other potato exporters doing their jobs abroad.

Why will the government not stand up for this Canadian doing business abroad and why does the Minister of Foreign Affairs refuse to take direct and immediate action, and that is the Minister of Foreign Affairs, not the bureaucrats?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, again, the government has been actively providing consular assistance to Mr. Tepper and support to his family since his arrest. Consular officials regularly visit Mr. Tepper to ensure his health and well-being and are regularly in contact with his lawyer to provide assistance, support, updates on his case. We will continue to engage with senior Lebanese officials to request due process in a timely and transparent handling of his file.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paulina Ayala NDP Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the development of our strategy with countries in the Americas is not limited to supporting companies that do business there. We need agencies that liaise between governments, civil society and experts in order to help us develop a more comprehensive strategy for this continent.

Can the government commit to providing core funding to Canadian agencies such as FOCAL in order to develop a long-term strategy for the Americas?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, as I have advised the House, FOCAL has been given interim financing for a number of years. The funding agreements indicated that it was with the expectation that FOCAL would become self-supporting and have private support for its research.

We are disappointed that the decision that FOCAL had to make did come forward. However, we have the advantage and help of a great deal of research across the country from other bodies and other institutions.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government proclaims loud and clear that it wants to focus on our relations with Latin America, but in the meantime, it is not providing adequate funding to an agency like FOCAL to ensure its viability, even though that agency helps us better understand the issues in the Americas. Effective the end of September, FOCAL will be no more.

How can Canada have an effective strategy for the Americas if it does not support such an important source of expertise?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned before, even after the shift away from core funding, the government continued to provide significant funding to FOCAL for a number of years. Some of it was aimed at assisting the organization to become financially sustainable. That was not possible.

The Government of Canada does believe that arm's-length Canadian research on the Americas is useful in shaping policy. We continue to explore how such research and analysis might be carried out in the future.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians do not think human smugglers should be permitted to exploit vulnerable refugees. Every year thousands of people wait in line for a chance to come to Canada legally, but these criminals extort thousands of dollars in order to help people jump the queue.

Could the minister of immigration please tell the House what our Conservative government is doing to put a stop to all of this?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, last year Canada welcomed the largest number of immigrants in six decades. We welcomed more refugees, resettled through the UN, than any other country in the world per capita. We have the fairest asylum system.

What we will not accept are criminal gangs seeking to abuse this country's generosity and treating Canada like a doormat by facilitating the illegal and dangerous entry of people paying tens of thousands of dollars to smuggling syndicates. That is why later today the government will table our legislation to crack down on human smuggling, to stop those who would seek to abuse this country's immigration laws and undermine public confidence, and to support legitimate immigration and refugees.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday the Minister of the Environment told this House that the oil sands industry contributed 6.5% of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions in the government's report to the United Nations.

The minister's own office has confirmed that his comments were not true.

Will the minister, knowing what he does now, rise, admit his answer was wrong, correct the record, and fully apologize?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is still in the environmental weeds on this question.

As in previous years, our reporting is detailed and in full compliance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and it includes all emissions from the oil gas.

There are three energy categories that contain the oil sands gas: fossil fuel production and refining, mining and oil and gas extraction, and fugitive sources.

In response to queries, Environment Canada reduced a 6.5% estimate of those tonnages, which are in the United Nations report.

HealthOral Questions

June 16th, 2011 / 11:55 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Health Council of Canada is asking all levels of government to work together to strengthen our health care system. During the last session, the government asked the Senate to review the 2004 health accord. The Senate is an undemocratic institution that is not accountable to anyone.

Will the government assign the responsibility of reviewing this important accord to the Standing Committee on Health, which is made up of elected members of Parliament?

HealthOral Questions

Noon

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, it is up to the health committee to determine what projects it wants to review. I have been very open with the health committee. If it wants to review the 2014 accord, it is more than welcome to do so.

There is a statutory requirement, under the health accord, for a committee to review the 2014 accord. I asked the Senate to review that prior to the election. I am open to HESA conducting its own review as well.