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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

Research and DevelopmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 2, Canadians voted to give our government a strong mandate to continue our support for economic growth and job creation through innovation, research and development.

Would the parliamentary secretary for FedDev Ontario update the House on the results of our government's support for research in southern Ontario?

Research and DevelopmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me begin by thanking the hon. member from Barrie for his excellent work as chair of the all party caucus on juvenile diabetes.

On Monday, the minister of state for FedDev Ontario joined with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in launching the Canadian Clinical Trial Network. This network will test new technologies and treatments, such as an artificial pancreas, to help Canadians suffering with diabetes.

This is a difficult disease with which many families are struggling. We want them to know this government is on their side and that we are going to work hard to develop the research to help them move forward.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to believe that the Conservative government is denying a region of young hockey players a place to play, and northern Cape Breton is just that region.

It is not that the people of the area have not stepped up to the plate with their share but because the Conservative government refuses to help them. The government was approached two years ago.

The Conservative government spent over $50 million for fake lakes, but it cannot help this community with an ice surface. The ministers for ACOA and infrastructure and defence should be ashamed of themselves. Why have they not helped this community?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Conservative

Bernard Valcourt ConservativeMinister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member obviously referred to a specific project. He would know that hundreds of projects have been approved under the economic action plan for Atlantic Canada and that Cape Breton, just like Nova Scotia and all the Atlantic provinces, has been well served.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government's right-wing ideological agenda for the Canadian Wheat Board threatens to put an end to Canada's only deep water Arctic seaport, the port of Churchill, 90% of whose traffic comes from the Canadian Wheat Board. Killing the Wheat Board would be devastating for farmers and northerners in Churchill, along the bay line and across the north. So much for the government's commitment to the Arctic.

Why are the Conservatives abandoning farmers and northerners? Why do they not stand up for the people of the Prairies and save the Canadian Wheat Board and the port of Churchill?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

3 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote that member from yesterday in her own press conference, where she said:

—the Port of Churchill is an alternative for farmers, an alternative that often allows farmers to save money, given the shorter distance...and the lower cost of using the Port itself.

Is that not a reason why farmers would use the port if they had the opportunity?

We are going to continue to move ahead, giving western Canadian farmers the same freedoms that other farmers have across this country, the freedom to market their own products, the freedom to take advantage of the opportunities that they have.

Betty FoxOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was with great sadness that Canadians learned of the death of Betty Fox last week. She was a great Canadian and will be deeply missed.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell us more about the extraordinary life of Betty Fox?

Betty FoxOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, sadly, next week marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Terry Fox. Sadly again, Canada lost Betty Fox last week.

After she lost her son 30 years ago, Betty did not walk away with a broken heart. She reinvested herself in Canada. She helped create the Terry Fox Research Foundation. She helped create the Terry Fox Run. Through the incredible efforts of a beautiful woman in every sense of the word, these foundations have raised over $600 million to fight cancer around the world.

We have set up a book of remembrance outside the House chamber in the lobby for all members of Parliament to sign to express their wishes and their solidarity as members of Parliament.

On behalf of all Canadians we send our deepest regrets to the Fox family for their loss and thank them for a beautiful woman who shared her life with Canada and did amazing things for all of us.

LighthousesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is alarming to discover that land attached to heritage lighthouses may be severed and sold off. Groups interested in preserving these structures see the land as integral to their plans.

The value of these lighthouses goes beyond the physical structures themselves, and the land is very much a part of these heritage sites. If we want to preserve and promote these sites, the land and lighthouses must remain unified.

Will the government commit to protecting Canada's heritage sites and reverse its plans to sell off this land?

LighthousesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we recognize the important role that lighthouses have played in our development as a nation. They are structures of great historical importance in the communities where they are located.

In keeping with the recommendations in the report, my officials will continue to work closely with Parks Canada in the implementation of the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act.

Shale GasOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers are worried about shale gas development and, rightly so, are calling for greater transparency regarding the potential impact of extraction methods.

The federal government is ignoring their calls. Instead, it is giving oil and gas companies carte blanche, given that, unlike other industries, those companies do not have to report the pollutants they discharge.

Does the Minister of the Environment realize that this double standard, which favours oil and gas companies more and more, is preventing citizens from getting essential information, and will he commit to removing that exemption immediately?

Shale GasOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I have to reject the premise of that question because our government is not ignoring this issue.

That is why we are working with the provinces to comment on environmental assessments. That is why we are working with the five Canadian provinces that are about to conduct reviews, as I said earlier, regarding the practices and chemical use in the development of this resource.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of our distinguished former colleague and former leader of the opposition, the hon. John Reynolds.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear! Hear!

Access to Information and PrivacyRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I have the honour to lay upon the table the annual reports on the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act of the Information Commissioner of Canada for the year 2010-2011.

These documents are deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Canadian Forces Provost MarshalRoutine Proceedings

June 22nd, 2011 / 3:05 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the pleasure to table, in both official languages, copies of the 2010 annual report of the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal.

Documents Regarding Afghan DetaineesRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am tabling, on behalf of the government, information relating to Canadian-transferred Taliban prisoners reviewed as part of the ad hoc committee process of the last Parliament.

This information includes the report of the panel of arbiters on its work, on its methodology, as well as 362 documents, totalling over 4,000 pages, which the committee deemed a priority.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the panel of judges and the committee members for their work.

Given the high volume and the importance of providing these documents quickly to Parliament and to the public, I am seeking unanimous consent to table untranslated documents. I note that this would be consistent with the approach used in the last Parliament.

Documents Regarding Afghan DetaineesRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. member have the unanimous--

On a point of order, the hon. member for Outremont.

Documents Regarding Afghan DetaineesRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, you and I both know that your primary duty is to defend the Constitution and the rights of this House. One of the constitutional documents governing us is the Official Languages Act. The minister was referring to what happened in an ad hoc manner last year at the beginning of the process—he had an excuse, people wanted to know as quickly as possible—but that is not the case today. There is no possible excuse.

Earlier I was listening to the Minister of Justice, who is responsible for defending our rights, answer a question from one of my colleagues, the hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst. He said that they had examined thousands of documents. There was absolutely nothing stopping them from having the documents translated as they went along. It is even more unacceptable to hear the minister claim the high cost of translation as an excuse.

Since when do our constitutional rights depend on the high cost to the government? This is a totally unacceptable situation and they are denying it. Look at the situation we are being put in. The media were duly notified that these documents were going to be tabled. We did not take part in this totally improper, bogus process and now we are being asked today, given the high cost of translation, to accept the tabling of these documents in English only. I was responsible for supervising the translation of Manitoba's laws and regulations following a Supreme Court ruling in 1985. The high cost of translation was one of the arguments put forward in the Supreme Court, but the Supreme Court immediately rejected it. It is unacceptable. The cost of translation cannot be used as an argument. This government, which has the gall to claim to respect rights, is tabling thousands of pages—which it could have had translated along the way—and saying that the cost of translation is too high. To the Conservatives, our rights cost too much and they will not respect them.

Before giving our answer, I have one question. The minister speaks of 362 priority documents totalling 4,218 pages. He also says that these documents contain a report. Has the report been translated, yes or no?

Documents Regarding Afghan DetaineesRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has nothing to do with the high cost of translation. The government was in the midst of saying very clearly that this information, which several members worked on, will be tabled in the House as soon as possible. We want to be transparent. Some documents are in English, while others are in French. It is not a matter of official languages. Before I rose to speak, I was asked to talk about this policy, and I heard the NDP had already said yes. If that is not the case, we can hear another opinion.

Documents Regarding Afghan DetaineesRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. It seems very clear there is a request for unanimous consent. It is up to the House to give consent or not.

I will allow the hon. member for Outremont one more point but then we should decide the question.

Documents Regarding Afghan DetaineesRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, first I will read back for my hon. friend, in the language of Shakespeare so he will understand it, what he said in this House a few minutes ago. He said, “Given the high cost of translation”. That is verbatim of what he just said to this House. That is his reason for not respecting the Constitution of Canada and the Official Languages Act.

He also referred to, and I will quote him verbatim, “including the report of the panel of arbiters”.

Our answer to the request for unanimous consent will be a function as to whether that report of the panel of arbiters has been translated. There can be no excuse for that. Has that been translated? Is that in both languages? If it is, the minister will have our agreement despite our extreme misgivings and our finding it inadmissible that a government would not respect the Constitution. However, because so many expectations have been placed on this, we will agree to it. However, if it has not been translated, the answer is no.

Documents Regarding Afghan DetaineesRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will read what I said for my friend, who I know to be a reasonable person. I said, “Given the high volume and the importance of providing these quickly to Parliament and to the public, I am seeking unanimous consent to table untranslated documents”.

At no time did I speak to the price. The member opposite pretended to quote me in the speech I just made. It is right there.

I can confirm to the hon. member that the report of the panel of arbiters dated June 15 was in both official languages.

Documents Regarding Afghan DetaineesRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I do not think there needs to be a debate about other aspects of it. The minister has asked for unanimous consent to table the documents. I do not see any other points of order that can be raised.

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table the documents?

Documents Regarding Afghan DetaineesRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.