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House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary NDP St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, last night, the Prime Minister spoke with the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and, despite objections from everyone, except, it would seem, the hon. member from Labrador, the Prime Minister confirmed that he has no intention of reversing the decision to close the search and rescue centre in St. John's.

This so-called decision reduction measure will reportedly save $1 million a year.

Could the Prime Minister tell us exactly what price he is putting on the safety of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians?

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, as I have indicated on more than several occasions, this decision in no way will compromise the safety of mariners whatsoever.

I must say that we have invested heavily in Coast Guard resources in Newfoundland and Labrador with a 33% increase in personnel alone and the deployment of two icebreakers to Newfoundland. We are very proud of the investments that we have made.

Canada PostOral Questions

June 23rd, 2011 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, hard-working Canadians across the country are calling for an immediate restoration of mail services.

I have heard from many of my constituents who are strongly supportive of the government's clear and decisive action to proceed with back to work legislation and bring an end to this unfortunate work stoppage.

Could the Minister of Labour please update the House on the status of this important bill?

Canada PostOral Questions

3 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his unique input and insight into the matters regarding labour issues here in our caucus.

The government received a very strong mandate from Canadians with respect to ensuring that we had an economic recovery. The parties at the table were unable to reach a deal among themselves toward a resolution. As such, we have introduced this legislation.

That is why I am calling on all members to support and join me on the quick passage of this very important piece of legislation to get--

Canada PostOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Windsor West.

Windsor-Detroit Border CrossingOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, a year ago, the then minister of transport said that the Windsor-Detroit border crossing could no longer wait, that it had to move forward. The minister acknowledged the importance of this infrastructure and also acknowledged that it was actually one of the most historic opportunities to build infrastructure for the prosperity of our country.

However, now it hangs in the balance. It will cost thousands of jobs, affect the viability of our economy and put one of our most important trading partners at risk.

I want to know why the Minister of Transport has not addressed this issue. Why has he not publicly backstopped the problems in Michigan and ensured that the time, money and effort to solve this problem do not go to waste?

Windsor-Detroit Border CrossingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this is still a very important issue for us. We are working with our American partners on this issue and with MPs in the area. It is a very serious issue and we will manage it as such. Hopefully the member will help us and we will be in a better position in the future.

AsbestosOral Questions

3 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to share with all members an excerpt from an international newspaper about what happened yesterday in Geneva.

As opponents to listing chrysotile became sparse, the elephant was left with nowhere to hide. Tempers flared as Canada confirmed it would not join any consensus on listing chrysotile.

When will, in the name of God, the government change its mind? I ask you in the name of your friend Chuck Strahl. Twenty-four hours remain. Change your position.

AsbestosOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I would remind the hon. member to address her comments through the Chair and not directly to colleagues.

The hon. Minister of Industry.

AsbestosOral Questions

3 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, for more than 30 years, the Government of Canada has promoted the safe use of chrysotile, which can be used safely in a controlled environment. Today, the International Trade Union Movement for Chrysotile, which represents hundreds of thousands of workers, came out in support of this position because it believes that chrysotile can be used safely. That is the position reflected in the convention.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the Right Honourable John Turner, 17th Prime Minister of Canada.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I would also draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the Premier of British Columbia and two ministers: the Honourable Christy Clark, Premier; the Honourable Barry Penner, Attorney General; and the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Canadian Forces CeremonyPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning around 10:30, I happened to be in the foyer of the Centre Block and I saw a wonderful ceremony whereby three ministers of the government, surrounded by about 20 Conservative colleagues, were honouring our armed forces on behalf of Parliament and transferring a flag to, I believe, a chief warrant officer. There were a couple of other members of the armed forces as well.

I am also a very proud member of the armed forces. The Liberal Party also believes in honouring our men and women. I would like to know why we were not notified and invited to this ceremony.

Canadian Forces CeremonyPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Unfortunately, question period is over. The hon. member had a chance to ask that question during question period. It is not a point of order. Perhaps it is a matter he can ask the minister.

1997 Postal Mediation CostsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, this morning, in my remarks, I indicated in the question aspect of my debate that the cost of the 1997 mediation arising from the legislation at the time was in the millions. I was asked for further clarification and I have that now.

The cost of the mediation arbitration process in 1997 was $2,321,952.65. Each party was charged half. In this case, the employer paid its half. However, litigation had to be resorted to by the Government of Canada in order to obtain a decision rendered in 2004 to recover the monies from the union.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, this would normally be the end of the current session. As we know, the Parliament of Canada can do as it pleases. Last Thursday, we sat as though it were a Friday. Tomorrow, Friday, we will sit as though it were still Thursday. In fact, this could end up being the first-ever week of four Thursdays.

The government has mastered the art of this type of transformation. It can turn losers into winners. If someone loses in an election and is not chosen to create legislation in the House, they can always be appointed to the Senate and sit as a parliamentarian. During question period, the Conservatives spoke about the importance of respecting the Quebec nation. Yet tomorrow is Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day and they still want us to sit.

With all of these contradictions—in particular, the fact that they decided that the best way to monitor public spending is to fire those who monitor public spending and that they locked out workers and are now blaming the workers for not working—are there any more surprises like this in store for us this summer?

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the comments from the member for Outremont. He did speak of respect. I hope he will take a look at his comments, have in mind Standing Order 18, and reflect upon how his comments fit into Standing Order 18.

Since today is the last scheduled sitting of the House before members return to their constituencies for the summer, my answer will be relatively brief.

When this bill is passed, the House will adjourn until September 19.

As for the business of the House upon our return in September, I will advise my counterparts of the government's plans closer to that time.

In case this is the last time I am on my feet this summer, let me thank the staff of the House and the clerks at the table for their support and their usual kind assistance, in addition to the pages, who I acknowledged fully yesterday.

Finally, I thank all hon. members for the very productive sitting we have had this month. A great deal has been accomplished in just about 12 sitting days. I hope they will all have happy and productive summers with their constituents.

Documents Regarding Afghan DetaineesPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the House leader why he did not invite me to the technical briefing yesterday when he communicated to me about Afghan detainees?

Documents Regarding Afghan DetaineesPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

That is not quite a point of order, but I see the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs is rising to respond. I will allow that.

Documents Regarding Afghan DetaineesPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am told that he and his party were invited to a briefing held yesterday by senior officials responsible for the transfer of Taliban prisoners.

I am told invites were in the opposition lobby. One member of the opposition did attend the briefing, the member for Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia. We had an ambassador there who was familiar with the file. We had members from the Canadian Forces to provide detailed briefings for the members.

Regrettably only one member did attend.

Documents Regarding Afghan DetaineesPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

If there are any further questions, I encourage members to take that up with the minister. It is not a point of order.

The House resumed consideration of the motion, and of the motion that this question be now put.

Resumption and Continuation of Postal Services LegislationGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to represent my government in its support of Bill C-6, An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of postal services.

This legislation, once enacted, will bring an end to the work stoppage at Canada Post. The labour dispute between Canada Post and CUPW relates to the renewal of collective agreements covering some 50,000 workers, including plant and retail employees, letter carriers and mail service couriers.

It is always better when two parties can reach a collective agreement at the bargaining table without the need for Parliament's intervention. The best solution in any labour dispute is one where the parties resolve differences on their own.

The Minister of Labour has been clear and has, at every occasion, encouraged both parties to reach an agreement on their own. In this case, however, the parties are too far apart, and that is too bad. The last thing we want to see is the situation deteriorate and see business—