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House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Gatineau.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to keep track of all the government's flip-flopping when it comes to gun control.

First, the government claimed that it would continue to monitor long guns after the register is abolished, but the RCMP says that is false. Now, the RCMP and the minister's office cannot seem to agree on the date they received an important report from the Commissioner of Firearms that demonstrates the efficacy of the registry.

We are simply asking the minister why that information was not disclosed to the members here, to the provinces and to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the report was provided by the RCMP to the Department of Public Safety on December 16. It was then forwarded by the Department of Public Safety to my office on December 20 and we tabled it on the first available tabling date, as I understand it.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the government at least gets high marks for consistency here. It is the second year in a row it has tried to hide a report that shows the public safety value of the long gun registry.

It is not enough that the government is destroying a tool that police use 14,000 times a day and destroying the data that the police and the provinces need to keep our communities safe, but it is also holding back crucial information from the committee that is studying the bill.

Why is the government consistently hiding information from Canadians?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I will overlook the patently false statements made by the member and state that the only embarrassing thing is that the long gun registry, with the support of the NDP, continues to needlessly target law-abiding hunters, farmers and sports shooters rather than criminals.

Canadians have given us a strong mandate to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry once and for all, and that is exactly what we are doing.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are also hearing contradictions from the government on the issue of the RCMP. We deserve to know.

Is the new RCMP commissioner able to meet with whomever he wants? Canadians want to know. Is the RCMP free to communicate about important issues without approval from the minister's office? Canadians want to know.

I hope the government will clarify whether it is interfering with the RCMP?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the protocol has not changed since the days of Anne McLellan. The protocol is an appropriate balance between the independence of the RCMP on law enforcement matters and its accountability to me as minister responsible for the RCMP. This is sensible and practical. Senator Kenny, who wanted the meeting, even acknowledged that the protocol was in fact sensible. However, he said that he would be held back his fellow parliamentarians who lacked his knowledge in policing matters. I tried to stand up for the member of the NDP and say that he should have the same access to the commissioner that the senator wanted.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' answers make no sense. Can the RCMP commissioner speak to whomever he likes, yes or no? Did this policy, meant to control the RCMP, come down from the Prime Minister's Office?

As usual, a lot of questions are being raised by Canadians and they are getting no answers from this government. Since the minister is so sure that these directives will not jeopardize the independence of the RCMP, will he rise in this House and table the new RCMP communications protocols?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the protocol has not changed since the days of Anne McLellan. The commissioner of the RCMP meets with whomever he chooses when he chooses. The protocol, as I have indicated, is an appropriate balance between the independence of the RCMP on law enforcement matters and its accountability to me as the minister responsible for the RCMP in the House. This is sensible and practical. Even the senator who wanted access to the RCMP indicated that the protocol was a very sensible one but he did not think that his colleagues were up—

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for St. Paul's.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, while the government was talking about strengthening the relationship with first nations, government documents revealed that it actually viewed them as adversaries with respect to oil sands and pipelines.

Will the Prime Minister apologize for this shameful position and affirm today that first nations have constitutional rights that must be recognized and respected when it comes to the development of anything on or affecting their traditional lands?

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 are committed to working in partnership with our first nations. We had a successful Crown-first nations gathering last week. We continue to work with our first nations partners.

We have made many announcements that have certainly led to better economic opportunities and jobs for our first nations people.

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the 2004 health accord, federal and provincial governments agreed that funding alone would not save medicare and that they had to work together across jurisdictions to make changes.

When the Prime Minister refused to talk to the premiers and unilaterally imposed a new funding formula, he broke that agreement leaving the premiers to deliver health care as 13 separate programs. Some provinces will need to cut services and Canadians will not have access to the health care they need.

Why has the Prime Minister violated the Canada Health Act? Why has he abandoned the agreements in the health accord?

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, we have announced long-term stable funding arrangements for the provinces and the territories that will see transfers reach historic levels of $40 billion at the end of the decade.

Even the former advisor to the interim leader of the Liberal Party, the NDP strategist, agrees that this is the best offer the provinces and territories could get from the federal government. I will read a quote, “I think it's an extraordinary generous offer. It's more generous than the provinces had any right to expect. If I worked for the provinces, I would stop griping and take the money and get to work reforming the system”.

That is exactly what we are doing.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, for the second time, the Minister of the Environment's strategy to recover threatened Alberta woodland caribou is ignoring the impact on treaty rights.

The Federal Court set aside the original decision by the minister and ordered him to reconsider. The court said that the minister erred in law in failing to take into account first nations' treaty rights and the honour of the Crown.

Why will the minister not respect the Federal Court directive?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is quite correct. Last July, the court asked me to reconsider my original decision. I have reconsidered that decision and find that, on a national basis, the woodland caribou is not at risk.

At the same time, my colleague should remember that in August I presented a national recovery plan with particular focus on those herds in Alberta and Saskatchewan. We are now in the final consultation period and waiting to make a decision on that proposal.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, in fact, the recovery plan posted on the minister's website gives short shrift to the Alberta herd.

The reality is that the minister is obligated to consider the rights of first nations, including the right to harvest on the lands in question.

The constitutionally entrenched treaty rights of the applicants in the Federal Court case are at stake in how the minister handles this matter. This includes the treaty rights of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, the Beaver Lake Cree Nation and the Enoch Cree Nation.

How can the Crown claim that it is resetting its relationship with first nations when it is so blatantly ignoring these clear treaty rights?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government does take the honour of the Crown and the duty to consult very seriously. We have and we are. The plan is very detailed, particularly with the herds across Alberta and in the area of the oil sands, Fort Chipewyan.

As I said earlier, we are consulting with the Province of Alberta, which has the responsibility to implement this recovery plan, and we are continuing our dialogue with first nations.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to keep our streets and communities safe. However, the opposition has opposed us at every turn. These critics incorrectly say our tough sentences for gun crimes would add 4,000 offenders to prisons and would cost a quarter of a billion dollars. The former Liberal public safety critic, Mark Holland, said that new prisoners from these bills would cost tens of billions of dollars.

Could the Minister of Public Safety update the House as to whether these estimated increases are correct?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our legislation focuses on serious repeat or violent offenders. Rather than creating new criminals, we are simply reducing victimization by keeping criminals behind bars for an appropriate amount of time.

The opposition's so-called experts consistently said that our legislation would drastically expand our prison system. They were wrong. In fact, we are 75% below the increase forecasted by departmental officials and many times less than the NDP or Liberal guesses.

We will not hire a single guard or build a single cell, not—

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Scarborough—Guildwood.

National DefenceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, India just held an open and transparent competition for its next generation of fighter jets. Here is what a country gets when it holds an open and transparent competition: one, it gets a state-of-the-art jet to meet its own mission needs; two, it gets the best possible jet at the best possible price; and three, it gets a huge boost to a brand new aerospace industry.

Why is the government so afraid of an open and transparent competition?

National DefenceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there was a very significant competition. However, the rhetoric from the member opposite is irrefutable evidence of his party's hypocrisy.

The Liberals initiated Canada's involvement in the Joint Strike Fighter program in 1997 and in so doing committed $100 million to get it started. Now they have cold feet and want to turn their backs on our men and women in the military and abandon a tool that is critically necessary to the Canadian military.

L'infrastructureOral Questions

January 31st, 2012 / 3 p.m.

NDP

François Pilon NDP Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government is making excuses to go back on its promise to help fund a new arena in Laval. It knew full well in 2009, when it signed that agreement, that the 7,000 seat arena might accommodate a professional hockey team. Now the government is claiming that the project goes against its principles.

Are its principles less solid than the Champlain Bridge? Can the minister explain this about-face?

L'infrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this project was submitted by the Province of Quebec in 2009 and accepted on the basis that the work was to begin on January 1, 2010, and end on December 31, 2011. It is now 2012 and not a single shovel has hit the ground. And we are the ones who are backing out? Commitments have to be kept, including the one to build the arena by December 31, 2011. Quebec will have to resubmit a request for change. For the same project, costs have increased by 30% and the number of seats has increased from 7,000 to 10,000. Let us be serious.