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

Topics

Small BusinessOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, we all know that small businesses fulfill a crucial economic role in our country. They are on the front lines of economic activity by dealing directly with Canadians, both as employees and as customers.

The Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism knows this all too well, since he comes from one of the most entrepreneurial regions of our country, Beauce.

I would ask the minister to inform us about what this government has done to ensure that small businesses in Canada pay less tax and create jobs and wealth in this country.

Small BusinessOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, as you know, it is our government that reduced taxes on small businesses.

Also it is the NDP that voted against our budget. The NDP record on the economy is nothing to be proud of. Just remember what happened in Ontario and B.C.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, trade agreements can benefit a country when it negotiates a good agreement. However, this government has abandoned Canadians with its bad agreements. The cost of patented drugs in Canada is the fourth highest in the world. But the European agreement offers nothing to improve the quality of our health care. It only increases our drug costs.

Will this government stand up for Canadians and work on improving the agreement?

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, a trade agreement with the European Union would increase trade dramatically. This would create new jobs, prosperity and ensures our long-term prosperity as a country.

We will continue to consult closely with all of our stakeholders with respect to these issues in our negotiations. I can assure members that the one thing we will not do is sign an agreement that is not in the best interests of Canadians.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the point is that trade deals can be good for our country, but they have to be done well.

Unfortunately, this--

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I am sure the hon. member appreciates the encouragement, but I will allow him to finish his question. Order, please.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the point is, the government continues to negotiate flawed deals. The point is that the average price of patented medicines in Canada is already the fourth most expensive in the world. This deal does nothing but increase those costs.

My question for the government is, will it stand up for Canadian families and work with the EU to fix this deal?

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for that question, but it is pretty rich for the New Democrats to now suggest that they are the great defenders of free trade. They have not supported one free trade agreement that Canada has ever signed, from NAFTA, to Costa Rica, Israel, Panama, Chile, Peru. It does not matter what the agreement is, they oppose it.

We are standing up for Canadians. Why will they not?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon NDP Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, closing the Quebec City maritime search and rescue centre could have serious consequences. Every summer, there are between 1,000 and 1,500 distress calls on the St. Lawrence River. This government plans to centralize all operations in Nova Scotia, which will not be able to provide reliable service in French.

How can this government claim to keep all Canadians safe when its actions are jeopardizing safety?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated many times in answering questions, safety will not be compromised in any way. Bilingual services will be offered, as always.

I would ask the member opposite if New Democrats doubt the words of Lieutenant-Colonel Blakeley, who said last week, “We've just reached a point where technology allows us to do everything out of the three main joint rescue communication centres” , or does she doubt the words of the deputy commissioner of the Coast Guard, who said, “The people doing the on-water responses are the same people going to the same locations they have always gone to. Their ability to respond isn't affected by—”

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for St. John's East.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, this Saturday I will join in a rally in St. John's to protest the closure of the Marine Rescue Sub-Centre. The people of my province know how vital this centre is to the safety of those in peril at sea, but the government will not listen to them. Instead, the minister belittles the work of the rescue centre by referring to it as a call centre.

When will the Prime Minister apologize for these insulting remarks and finally reverse this irresponsible decision?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member opposite's question, but the point of the matter is that the current levels of service provided by the Canadian Coast Guard and the safety response and bilingualism will not be affected. Mariners in distress will continue to be served by the same people, the same lifeboats, the same ships, the same Coast Guard, the same helicopters. All of the same people are in place. This will have no impact on the service provided to our mariners and their safety.

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

In Europe, Mr. Speaker, it is compulsory for negotiators of the Canada-EU trade agreement to keep parliament informed and obtain consent on all stages of negotiations. Yet here all we get is secrecy from the government.

The current position would have Canada adopt EU intellectual property standards, forcing higher drug costs on Canadians, $2.8 billion in fact. Last fall, the negotiator admitted that there was no critical internal analysis done. What is the minister's specific position on the costs of drugs as it relates to the agreement—

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of International Trade.

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the European-Canada free trade negotiations are going to lead to a boost in trade for Canada in the order of $12 billion per year. We are talking about a dramatic increase in trade between our respective countries.

With respect to the negotiations that are ongoing, there are many aspects of that agreement that still have to be negotiated. I wish the member would not prejudge the outcome of those negotiations. We are standing up for Canadians. We will only sign an agreement that is in the best interests of Canadians.

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I am not sure how the hon. member for Malpeque heard the answer because his colleagues certainly were not allowing him to listen to the response.

The hon. member for Vancouver Centre I hope will have better luck.

HealthOral Questions

June 22nd, 2011 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Wait Time Alliance reported yesterday that Canadians are waiting far too long for emergency hospital beds. One in six acute-care beds are occupied by a patient needing home or long-term care. Just one of those beds blocks four patients an hour in emergency rooms.

The 2004 accord promised a home care strategy. Seven years later there is none. The Health Council of Canada cites lack of federal leadership, not funding, as the problem. When will the Prime Minister show leadership, call a first ministers meeting and implement a home care strategy?

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes the importance of timely access to health care and is working to support the provinces and territories in their efforts to reduce wait times in the targeted areas across the country.

We have increased transfers by 6% a year, and 33% since we formed government. At the same time, we invested $1 billion to support the provinces and the territories in reducing their wait times in targeted areas. The provinces and territories continue to roll out those priorities.

Shale GasOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday a petition was presented calling on the government to disclose which chemicals are used in the shale gas industry. Studies commissioned by the U.S. Congress have shown that fracturing fluid can contain up to 650 toxic chemicals.

Will the government listen to Quebeckers and Canadians and force companies to disclose which chemicals we are dealing with?

Shale GasOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the regulation of shale gas production is mainly a provincial-territorial responsibility, except on federal lands.

Federally, jurisdiction over shale gas development falls under the mandate of several departments, agencies and boards. Environment Canada officials have been given the opportunity to comment on provincial and territorial environmental assessments.

We have been and will continue to monitor ongoing studies that relate to shale gas.

Shale GasOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week the minister told us that research was being conducted on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. Last year, the former minister told us that shale gas regulations were “a work in progress”, even though drilling had already started.

The drilling is happening, we have yet to see the promised regulations and we do not know what chemicals are being pushed into the ground. Instead of taking a page from Talisman Terry the Fracosaurus, will the minister actually act on behalf of concerned Canadians?

Shale GasOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am sure industry enjoys being called names like that in the House of Commons.

Our government does stand for environmental sustainability balanced with economic growth. That is why, at the moment, there are five Canadian provinces that are about to conduct reviews regarding the practices and chemicals used in the development of this resource. That is also why Environment Canada continues to monitor ongoing studies related to shale gas production.