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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

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, any squandering of public money is unacceptable. The foolish spending on the G8 quite simply should not have happened. To quote someone who is well known in Canadian politics, “I can only hope that it is the last volume in a...spree of waste and wild spending....” Who said that? It was the former President of the Treasury Board and current Minister of Foreign Affairs.

When will the Conservatives start showing some accountability to Canadians?

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my friend from Hull—Aylmer for going back and reading various quotes I made as president of Treasury Board. I do hope other members of her caucus will reflect on some of those great speeches and comments.

This is what the government did. We spent money fixing up an airport in North Bay. We spent money fixing up a provincial highway in southern Ontario. We built a community centre. Those are all good public infrastructure projects that will benefit people in these municipalities for many years to come.

The Auditor General has come forward with some good advice and some good observations, and the government accepts all that good advice and will do better in the future.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are demanding to know why the government is continuing to push the reckless northern gateway pipeline project. It is not only a significant danger to the environment and the economy, but B.C.'s mayors, first nations and businesses are all lined up against it.

Now we learn that the government's own officials at Natural Resources Canada have told the Conservative government that there is already enough capacity in the pipeline system for exports.

Will the natural resources minister from Toronto finally stand in his place and tell the people of British Columbia why he is willing to put our way of life and our environment at risk for his friends in the oil sector?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment has referred the northern gateway pipeline project to a joint review panel, which is the highest level of scrutiny possible.

This review is an open process where any interested party, including aboriginal groups, can express their views. We are committed to ensuring that any project is environmentally sustainable.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot continue to hide behind the joint review panel while spending millions to push the project.

From the beginning, the people of British Columbia have said that the risks far outweigh the benefits, not only from the pipeline but from the hundreds of oil tankers that would be operating off our coast.

Why will the government not just say no to Enbridge and ban oil tankers off our B.C. coast?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the National Energy Board is a strong independent regulator that ensures pipeline safety. It is mandated to ensure the safety and the security of pipelines from when they are first proposed until they are abandoned.

Unlike the opposition member, I do not believe that decisions should be influenced by cheap politics.

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

June 16th, 2011 / 11:35 a.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is too modest, at least about his role in the HST. He proposed raising taxes for people in B.C. on just about everything they buy and would not take no for an answer. However, in the House the minister refuses to take responsibility and passes the blame on to the province.

Why will the minister not finally take some responsibility for the fiasco that is called HST in B.C.?

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, our finance minister is always willing to take responsibility for the economy, which is the strongest in the G7. However, he should not have to take responsibility for something that is provincial jurisdiction.

The hon. member should understand that those are provincial decisions and that they are made on behalf of the provincial government.

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is not much of an endorsement for the tax that the minister worked so hard to impose on the people of British Columbia.

As we speak, there is a referendum to undo the work the minister has done. British Columbians are wondering why he is so shy about his role.

Does the finance minister not have anything to say to the people of B.C. as they cast ballots to pass judgment on his tax?

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, that is the choice of the provincial government. My understanding is that there is a referendum and no one should be interfering in that referendum. The people of British Columbia will choose. They elected a government that chose that. That is their decision and their decision alone.

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, British Columbians feel betrayed by federal Conservatives and B.C. Liberals imposing the HST on B.C. We have seen how it has hurt small businesses across B.C. and ordinary B.C. families.

The HST agreement allows B.C. to withdraw after some time without any financial penalty.

Will the Conservatives force B.C. to pay back the $1.6 billion bribe? Will they further penalize British Columbians for rejecting the HST? Or, will they accept the will of B.C. voters?

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, I encourage all those who are allowed to participate in the referendum to participate in it. That is democracy.

That choice was the provincial government's choice in British Columbia, just like it was in Ontario and in other provinces.

I encourage everyone to participate in that.

Search and RescueOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, not only are experts in search and rescue saying that closing the Maritime rescue centre is the wrong thing to do in St. John's and Quebec City, but so are sea captains.

Captain Charles Domineux, the captain of the ferry that sails between Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and Newfoundland and Labrador, is furious at the government's actions. He states, “I would have thought that in the wake of the tragic crash of the Cougar helicopter at sea in Newfoundland that claimed 17 lives, the last thing the government would do is diminish safety and put even more lives at risk”.

In the face of this expert opinion, why is the government still prepared to put the lives of people in danger?

Search and RescueOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, when we formed government in 2006, Coast Guard officials told us that the Coast Guard was in significant need of investment. We promptly invested $1.4 billion in fleet renewal and new ships. We listened.

When Coast Guard officials proposed moving the Terry Fox and the Louis S. St-Laurent to Newfoundland and Labrador for operational reasons, again we listened.

We listened then and we listen now as we move to consolidate services that maintain safety and response times, unlike the Liberal government that left ships tied up at dock with no fuel.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has invested billions of dollars in the National Research Council to develop the technologies we need to be competitive in the 21st century.

The government has announced that it wants to trim the fat. Now it wants to cut 20% from the budget of the NRC, which employs people who could turn these technologies into jobs for Canadians.

Does the government believe that investing in technologies for the future is pointless?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our government's number one priority is the economy. That is why we have increased overall the NRC's budget by 17% to support research, to help businesses and to help the economy.

On top of that funding, we provided temporary two year stimulus funding to the NRC under the economic action plan. As everybody should know, that ended on March 31.

G8 SummitOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister said that the G8 report contains, and I quote, “...some interesting recommendations and observations.”

The Auditor General called what he found “very unusual and troubling”.

Does the Prime Minister really believe that the misuse of $50 million is just “interesting”?

G8 SummitOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in fact, it was not $50 million. It was about 10% or 20% less than that.

The Auditor General made some observations and recommendations to this government and to Parliament on how we could have greater transparency and openness. We have fully accepted those recommendations.

While I am on my feet, let me thank Sheila Fraser for the outstanding job she has done for Canadians over the past 10 years.

AsbestosOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, every day, work is underway in the House of Commons to decontaminate members' offices that contain asbestos. The offices are being decontaminated because asbestos is carcinogenic and harmful to human health.

Could the member for Mégantic—L'Érable, who is so proud of chrysotile, tell this House whether he wants the asbestos in his colleagues's offices to be replaced with chrysotile, which is allegedly less carcinogenic, or would he rather continue to export his hypocrisy to third-world countries?

AsbestosOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to clear some things up. For 30 years, Canada has been promoting the safe and controlled use of chrysotile nationally and internationally, and all recent scientific journals report that chrysotile can be used safely in a controlled environment. That is not at all what the member on the other side of the House is talking about.

AsbestosOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, Conservative support for the asbestos industry is indefensible. Quebeckers and communities alike want their miners to be safe and do not want to be global exporters of asbestos into the developing world.

Unions, doctors and even Health Canada agree asbestos causes cancer. When will the minister stand up for what is right and agree to put chrysotile asbestos on the UN's list of hazardous materials?

AsbestosOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has been promoting the safe use of chrysotile nationally and internationally for 30 years. Scientific journals report that chrysotile can be used safely in a controlled environment.

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, companies are becoming increasingly interested in unconventional energy sources such as shale gas. However, the public knows very little about how shale gas is extracted. For example, hydraulic fracturing is very controversial and has not been thoroughly studied.

Can the Minister of the Environment tell us if he has any studies on this and what its environmental impact is?

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, hydraulic fracturing is a rather old technique in terms of conventional oil production, but it is relatively new with regard to shale gas. Provincial and federal governments share in the responsibility of regulating the oil and gas sector. The regulation of shale gas is mainly a provincial and territorial responsibility, except on federal lands. Research is being conducted.

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, fracturing uses massive amounts of water mixed with very toxic chemicals. Yet the government does not require that companies disclose the nature of the products used. The mixture that is injected into the ground can contaminate the groundwater and waterways.

Will the federal government finally require companies to report what they are putting into our soil, as the Americans have done?