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House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was libyan.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said last week, I spent some time in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2010. At that time, I cut my vacation short to take part in government business. As a result of that trip, we have now confirmed that the military has said publicly that I took part in a previously planned search and rescue demonstration. Government assets are used for government business and that is what happened in this instance.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of leaks to the media indicate that there are major problems at the Department of National Defence.

The departure of a large number of public affairs officers over the past two years due to political interference and micromanagement by the Prime Minister's Office indicates that there is a deep malaise.

Is the mass exodus from DND related to this interference? Does the Minister of National Defence still control his department?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we have had an extremely high tempo of operations in the Canadian Forces over the past number of years, which also applies to the public servants, which is the civilian side of the department. As a result, many of the public affairs practitioners are in very high demand in the private sector and some have chosen to take positions in the private sector. We are grateful for their service.

As to leaks, leaks are usually as reliable as the courage of the individuals who come forward behind them.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week The Globe and Mail used the phrase, “Polish concentration camps” in reference to the Nazi German concentration and extermination camps in occupied Poland.

Brave Polish citizens were the victims of Nazi occupiers and not the perpetrators of their evil crimes.

The reference in the The Globe and Mail article was an insult to thousands of Polish Righteous Among the Nations who risked their lives to save Jewish neighbours.

Could the minister update the House on what our government has done to correct the offensive misconception about the existence of Polish concentration camps?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for raising this important and sensitive matter.

He is absolutely right that it is offensive to the memory of so many Poles who fought the Nazi occupation and invasion and who have been declared Righteous Among the Gentiles to refer to Nazi concentration camps as being Polish ones.

That is why the Government of Canada has supported at UNESCO the official designation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camps in occupied Poland.

Let there be no mistake about this point in history. The Government of Canada certainly asks that all people be sensitive to the legitimate historic concerns of the Polish community in this regard.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's national public broadcaster has been increasingly underfunded under the government's watch. Since 2006, funding for the CBC has dropped to an all-time low.

The government is responsible for the slow silencing of Canada's only national voice. From deceptive propaganda campaigns to petitions circulated by Conservative members for its complete defunding, the government's plans for our public broadcaster are clear.

Will the Conservative government end its anti-Canadian venture and come out in clear support of the CBC and provide true and stable funding for this Canadian institution?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, if that question does not point out how out of touch the NDP members are with taxes and spending, I do not know what does.

The NDP members say that CBC is grossly underfunded, but $1 billion is a lot of money. The CBC is receiving a lot of money from taxpayers. We have ensured that the CBC is accountable to taxpayers by ensuring that access to information applies to the CBC.

However, we also made a commitment to Canadians that we will balance the budget by 2015, and CBC will do its part.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the important achievements of the CBC in its 75-year history have proven its worth. The CBC contributes to Canadians' feeling of belonging. It is an important institution to Canadians from coast to coast.

Will the Conservatives stop attacking the CBC and finally support the only truly national broadcaster?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. We will keep the promise we made to taxpayers to have a balanced budget by 2015. Therefore, we will ask everyone—all departments and all crown corporations—to come up with ways of finding the amounts needed to balance the budget by 2015. The CBC will do its share; that is certain. We are working with the corporation to find these amounts, and it will do its share to achieve a balanced budget by 2015.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has its priorities backward. It claims to be worried about crime, but it is cutting back the Canada Border Service Agency in Windsor itself, one of the busiest border crossings and a favourite route for gun and drug smugglers to go through.

How can this be about saving money when the government diverts millions of dollars of border money and infrastructure money into a G8 slush fund?

When will the Conservatives see reason, put public safety first, rescind these cuts and put Canadians' interests instead of their own interests forward?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian people have given this government a strong mandate to keep our streets safe, and that includes our borders. We are doing that by investing, we are doing that by ensuring that criminals receive minimum times for the crimes they commit.

We ask the NDP to get on board and support our crime measures, which include protecting our borders.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian voters did not give the Conservatives a mandate to cut off the front-line services that protect our streets every single day.

They are also slashing 73 Service Canada jobs in Windsor alone. These folks process employment insurance requests from across the country and just won a national service award.

How does the Conservative member reward them? He actually gave them a pink slip and showed them the door. It is unacceptable.

What we have right now is money in the millions for consultants, pet projects and joyrides in jets, but cutbacks for those who help the unemployed. It is unacceptable and it has to be reversed.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to complete Canada's economic recovery and return to balanced budgets. Improving the way we deliver EI services to Canadians by modernizing is one way in which we will accomplish that goal. There are no Service Canada offices closing and no impact on in-person services offered. At this time it is premature to speculate on any specific impacts to any employees.

Our government is committed to effective and efficient use of taxpayers' hard-earned dollars.

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the last first ministers' meeting on health care was in 2005, a year after the signing of the 2004 health accord. Since then, every report tracking the accord's progress cites lack of federal leadership for failure to achieve important goals.

The provinces, the Canadian Medical Association, the Wait Time Alliance and the Canadian Public Health Association all urge the Prime Minister to convene a first ministers' meeting as soon as possible.

Will the Prime Minister commit here and now to meet with the premiers? What is he waiting for?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, since forming government, we have been supporting the provinces and the territories with the rollout of the present accord, which expires in 2014. We are committed to extending the 6% annual increase in transfer payments to the provinces and the territories while we negotiate the accord, but it is also important that the federal moneys sent to them are also improving the health outcomes of Canadians.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, members on this side of the House have been asking questions of the President of the Treasury Board about the G8 legacy fund for over a year. He has yet to answer one such question.

Will the minister, as part of the government that rode into power on the white horse of accountability and also as a former member of a provincial government that wreaked havoc on Ontario's books, finally stand in his place and explain his actions to Canadians?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I think Canadians would like to concentrate on some good news.

Let us listen to what the best finance minister in the world said: over 600,000 jobs.

Let us see what the best justice minister in the world said. He said we focus on the victims, not on the criminals.

Let us see what the best defence minister said. He said we will invest in the armed forces, which have done an excellent job in Libya, and the best Treasury Board president will bring a balanced budget to this government.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, while the suicide rate in Canada has declined in recent years, in the aboriginal communities it remains tragically high. The most alarming statistic is the rate of suicide among young aboriginals, which is five to six times higher than for other Canadians. They have no recreational activities, no youth centres, no extracurricular programs and no hope.

When will this government finally take action to support young aboriginals and young Canadians?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, too many Canadians have to deal with the anguish of losing a loved one. That is why our government is funding programs that build on the strength of protective factors, such as ensuring family and community support systems are in place.

In budget 2010 our government invested $65 million to implement the national aboriginal youth suicide prevention strategy to assist over 150 community-based projects across Canada.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, sadly, over the weekend a young person living in Cross Lake, Manitoba, took his own life, the second in as many weeks. His community has been asking for federal support for youth programming for a long time. Young people are still waiting.

Instead of talking about out-of-control youth, when will the government stand up and support young people in aboriginal communities so that they can gain control over their lives? When will the government act to put an end to the high suicide rates among Canada's aboriginal people and stand up for Canada's young people?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we have recognized that there are issues with our first nations communities. That is why we entered into a joint action plan with the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. We are working on four major pillars, including education and economic development.

These are ways that we can work with willing partners to boost the health and prosperity of our first nations communities. We are investing in the right areas and we will plan to continue to do so.

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of International Trade signed a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement with Kuwait.

Our government's top priority remains completing the economic recovery. That is why Canadians gave our Conservative government a strong mandate to stay focused on what matters: creating jobs and economic growth.

Could the dynamic and hard-working Minister of International Trade explain to the House how Canadian workers and their families will benefit from the foreign investment promotion and protection agreement?

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, I thank the hon. member for Calgary Northeast for the excellent question and for his hard work to advance our job-creating pro-trade plan.

The agreement he refers to will encourage two-way trade and investment by providing certainty and predictability for investors. This will in turn create jobs and economic growth for Canadian workers and their families. Canadians intuitively understand that expanded trade is key to their long-term prosperity.

We will continue to take measures that broaden and deepen our trading relationships. It is too bad the opposition parties do not agree.

Search and RescueOral Questions

September 26th, 2011 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence continues to insist that his commandeering of a search and rescue helicopter for his personal fishing camp taxi was a logical opportunity for a training mission.

Out of the 30-minute ride that was taken, what new information did the minister receive? Specifically, what was the objective of the mission? What equipment was used? Was there an actual practical demonstration of the technician/victim hoist within the 30-minute ride, which is a principal use of that platform?

Could the minister confirm or deny that his use of this asset was originally turned down by--

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. Minister of National Defence.