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House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economy.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would encourage my NDP colleague, as well as my Liberal colleague, to do a little more original research rather than rely on flawed media reports.

As I have said, my deputy minister has rejected that story as a complete mischaracterization of his conversation.

Canadians elected a strong, stable, environmentally responsible Conservative majority government to take care of the environment, and that is exactly what we are doing.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I wish the government were as interested in the environment as it is in stifling dissent.

First the government denied that its cuts were going to have any impact on Canadians and then it went on a witch hunt. It went after whistleblower scientists who revealed the serious health and environmental impacts of these cuts.

When will the minister take a break from hunting down whistleblowers and actually tell us about how these cuts will affect Canadians?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I reject completely the several assumptions in my colleague's question.

Environment Canada makes no apologies at all for finding the most cost-effective ways of protecting both the environment and Canadian jobs.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is important to celebrate what Canadian seniors have done and continue to do for our country. They deserve our gratitude and recognition. That is why the House passed a bill last year to officially establish October 1 as National Seniors Day.

Would the hon. Minister of State for Seniors tell the House what the government has done and continues to do to help seniors?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Richmond B.C.

Conservative

Alice Wong ConservativeMinister of State (Seniors)

Mr. Speaker, on October 1 we will recognize the many contributions seniors have made as leaders in strengthening our families and communities.

Our government has a strong record of action to improve the quality of life of seniors, including additional funding for seniors programs and the largest increase in the GIS in a quarter century.

Together let us recognize the many seniors who give so generously of themselves to make this the best country in the world.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss for Canadian seniors. It affects thousands of people.

The government agency in charge of evaluating drug costs is recommending a drug that costs seniors a staggering $1,500 a month instead of a drug which costs only $7 a month. Experts say these drugs are virtually identical.

Why is the government choosing to drain seniors' pocketbooks?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 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 affordable access to drugs as part of our quality health care system.

We work with the provinces and the territories, which are responsible for deciding which drugs are publicly covered. That is why we have consistently increased transfers to the provinces and territories, by over 30% since we formed government, so that they can continue to meet the health care needs of their residents.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a government agency that is making these recommendations.

Clearly, switching to a cheaper drug would give seniors a much needed break and would save the government around $100 million a year.

I am sure the minister is aware of reports saying that the drug manufacturer is manipulating the supply to favour the costlier drug.

Why does the government continue to allow drug recommendations based on corporate profits and not on what is best for Canadians? Where is the plan for making drugs more affordable?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is the responsibility of the provinces and territories to decide whether or not to provide their residents with a publicly financed drug therapy.

Many jurisdictions already offer catastrophic drug coverage to their residents. We have continued to increase the funding to the provinces and territories. Each jurisdiction will then decide how those dollars are allocated to meet their residents' needs.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, women's rights should not be open for debate, yet members of the government seem to think they are. The Supreme Court of Canada has clearly ruled that access to abortion is a fundamental right.

Either the Prime Minister has lost control of his caucus or his government's new policy is to outlaw abortion and turn back the clock on women's rights. Which is it?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, many individuals across this country and on all sides of the House have passionate feelings about this issue. However, the government has been clear. We will not re-open this question.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the impression today that we have literally gone back 20 years to a time when another Conservative government wanted to again criminalize abortion. This is not the first time that a member of the Conservative caucus has attempted to attack women's rights. This is becoming routine.

Will the Prime Minister put an end to these attempts and guarantee, once and for all, women's right to choose?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we have no intention of reopening this debate.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board refuses every day to answer questions in the House about his actions regarding the G8 legacy fund, but says now that he will appear before a committee. Canadians will be outraged if this is just another ruse to avoid scrutiny.

When the minister does appear before the Conservative-controlled committee, will all of his comments be in a public session? Will he agree to answer questions from all MPs? Will he finally answer for himself and stop using the foreign affairs minister as his mouthpiece?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Yes, yes and yes, Mr. Speaker, although I would be pleased to join the President of the Treasury Board at the committee as well and provide any helpful insight that I might have to offer to members who have questions.

Sri LankaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the last days of the civil war, the Government of Sri Lanka killed thousands of Tamil non-combatant refugees. International and United Nations human rights organizations have condemned the Sri Lankan government's cover-up. The government did nothing when thousands of people were butchered.

Will the Prime Minister take steps today to urge the Commonwealth to revoke Sri Lanka's membership until it holds the perpetrators to account and they are judged in international courts? Will he support calls from the international community for action against the Sri Lankan government?

Sri LankaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I can say that the Prime Minister has spoken out loudly and clearly on this very important issue of human rights. I have certainly relayed the Government of Canada's position to both the high commissioner and directly to my counterpart, the minister of foreign affairs of Sri Lanka, to express our concerns on the lack of accountability for the serious allegations of war crimes, the lack of reconciliation with the Tamil community and with events that have taken place since the end of the civil war.

Canada will continue to speak loudly and clearly on behalf of human rights around the world, especially in Sri Lanka.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government does not seem to have a handle on its own tired talking points. Threatening to pull police off B.C.'s streets is not tough on crime. Issuing ultimatums to take it or leave it will not make our communities safe. Bullying the provinces is not leadership.

Will the minister stop playing games with public safety in British Columbia?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, perhaps what the member could do is start supporting some legislation that protects the people of British Columbia. In fact, in his riding people are concerned about crime.

As for the issue of the B.C. RCMP contract, there have been four years of intensive negotiations. The same fundamental terms and conditions that have been offered to British Columbia other provinces have accepted. Saskatchewan and Alberta have accepted and have said this is a good deal. Now it is up to British Columbia. It can accept the agreement, or it can choose other alternatives.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, all British Columbians are asking for is a fair deal on policing, one with more community input and better accountability. Instead, they are being offered ultimatums again today and a dangerously out-of-touch approach of one size fits all provinces.

While the government insults its opponents with cheap shots and threatens the Government of British Columbia, will the minister instead commit to negotiate in good faith and will the minister commit to stay at the table until a fair deal is reached?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we have been negotiating with the British Columbia government for four years. Other provinces have recognized that the agreement is a fair one. It is certainly cost effective for them, and they have accepted.

After four years of intensive negotiations, I have indicated to the minister in British Columbia to bring forward the matters that she wants brought forward. She has not done that at this point. There is still some time. I am waiting. I have not heard from her.

The time is coming to an end. November 30 is the date by which she must make up her mind on behalf of the people of B.C.

CopyrightOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, strong copyright laws protect jobs and ensure our economy remains strong. Our government's copyright reform is widely supported by consumers, creators and the businesses that drive Canada's economy.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell the House about the copyright modernization act?

CopyrightOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as we said in the campaign and in the throne speech, the focus of our government this fall is on economic growth and ensuring there is job growth as well. That is why we have tabled our copyright reform legislation.

Bill C-11, the copyright modernization act, balances the interests of consumers and creators with the central goal of drawing investment into Canada, protecting jobs and ensuring that we move forward.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce agrees with our bill. It said that this bill “lays the foundation for future economic growth and job creation”. Françoise Bertrand of le Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec said that this bill is “critical to ensuring a competitive and stable business environment in Canada”.

This bill has been tabled and we hope for its adoption. We hope for the opposition's support for Canadian jobs.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

September 29th, 2011 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, a Canadian Forces member receives $13,000 for funeral costs. A veteran receives $3,600. Nineteen months ago we raised this issue. The answer we received was that it was under review.

Last year we asked the minister again to fix this problem. Even though his own officials raised it with him, he told a Senate hearing that it was not the time to talk about the matter. Yesterday we received another non-answer.

Our veterans have done their job. They served and defended Canada. Why will the minister not do his and fix the situation now?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to say that on this side of the House we not only speak for veterans, but we act for veterans.

As I told the member yesterday, this program is managed by the Last Post Fund. It is doing an outstanding job. We fund the Last Post Fund.

We are making sure that every military member who is killed or injured during service, whatever his or her rank, is well served and will be treated with respect until the last moment of his or her life.