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House of Commons Hansard #162 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was omnibus.

Topics

Pas de la rue Seniors' OrganizationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Montreal organization PAS de la rue launched a campaign to raise awareness about seniors' vulnerability. This organization was founded 15 years ago and welcomes, supports and encourages people 55 and over who are homeless or living in great poverty.

A number of factors contribute to their vulnerability: all too often they do not have enough income to meet their basic needs, there is a lack of social housing, the job market for older workers is precarious, and ageism is becoming more prevalent. The federal government has the power to address these factors.

Tomorrow, we will begin debating a bill introduced by the member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot to ensure that all Canadians have safe, adequate, accessible and affordable housing. The bill presents an excellent opportunity to address one of the most urgent problems affecting homeless single seniors.

I am proud to add my voice to that of PAS de la rue, which maintains that it is time to change the discourse about homeless seniors and the place of seniors in our society.

Oil and Gas IndustryStatements By Members

October 16th, 2012 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, the last couple of months we have heard a lot of rhetoric about pipelines in Canada. I think it is important to focus on a few facts.

There are 72,000 kilometres of pipeline currently in our country, and 99.996% of crude oil and petroleum was transported safely. Pipelines are an efficient and environmentally friendly method for transportation of this important resource. For example, in my constituency alone, it would take 1,400 trucks per day to transport the amount of oil that flows through our local pipeline. This pipeline supplies much of the gasoline consumed in British Columbia.

Our commitment to diversifying our markets to create jobs and opportunities for Canadians across this country is critical for our long-term prosperity.

Our Conservative government proudly supports the development of our energy sector in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. It is time to move forward to having the safest pipeline system in the world.

International Programming ContestStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, during national science and technology week, I would like to highlight an outstanding achievement by a resident in my riding of Richmond Hill.

Twenty-year-old Tyson Andre is a gifted computer engineering student attending the University of Waterloo. Tyson, along with teammates, Benoit Maurin and Anton Raichuk, won a bronze medal at the 2012 Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest world finals in Warsaw, Poland.

This prestigious contest involves the cream of the crop of the world's top computer science and engineering students. An incredible 30,000 participants from 2,200 universities and 85 countries took part this year. To reach the finals, the Waterloo team had placed first in North America at the University of Chicago Invitational Programming Contest, defeating the likes of Harvard, Stanford and Princeton.

These are tremendous accomplishments and honours for Canada, and I invite all members to join me in congratulating Tyson, Benoit and Anton on a job very well done.

World Food DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is World Food Day, a day to increase awareness of food problems throughout the world and to strengthen solidarity in the fight against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

Still today, 868 million people go hungry and 19 million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition. That is a huge number. Here in Canada, close to 900,000 Canadians use a food bank every month.

In Berthier—Maskinongé, the food banks are having trouble keeping up with the increasing demand. What is worse, they are also having a hard time maintaining these services. They cannot even afford to pay for the basics, such as refrigerator trucks or a larger fridge, and they do not have enough money to pay the salaries of the core members of their team.

Let us take the time today to think about what we can do now to eliminate hunger in Canada and throughout the world.

Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I stand in the House today to condemn the actions of two members of the opposition. On October 8, the members for Burnaby—New Westminster and Vancouver Kingsway co-sponsored an event in support of an infamous KGB veteran residing illegally in Canada.

Mikhail Lennikov is a captain in the Soviet Union's secret police, an organization that suppressed millions during one of history's darkest periods. He entered Canada illegally. His asylum claim was rejected by the Immigration and Refugee Board and his appeal was rejected by a Federal Court judge. Despite a deportation order, he continues to remain in Canada by living in a church basement proclaiming a right to sanctuary that simply does not exist in Canadian law.

By celebrating this KGB agent, an illegal immigrant, these two members of the opposition are making a mockery of not only the suffering of millions, including members of my own family, but of the rule of law in Canada. Why will the NDP not stand up for Canada's laws?

Laval Seniors' Week 2012Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

José Nunez-Melo NDP Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the slogan chosen by about 60 stakeholders from all types of seniors' organizations for the 23rd edition of Laval Seniors' Week is: “Take the time”.

This year, a myriad of cultural and physical activities, concerts, lectures, contests and social gatherings will be held around Île Jésus from Wednesday, October 17 to Sunday, October 28.

Organizations such as Appui de Laval, Association des personnes aphasiques de Laval, Association pour aînés résidant à Laval, Centre de bénévolat et moisson Laval, DIRA-Laval, Maison des grands-parents de Laval, Place des aînés de Laval, Société Alzheimer Laval and Table régionale de concertation des aînés de Laval will all be participating.

I encourage everyone to take part in the 23rd edition of Laval Seniors' Week and let us not forget to “take the time”.

Small BusinessStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is proud to stand with Canada's great small businesses during Small Business Week.

Our small business owners employ millions of Canadians and are the backbone of Canada's economy. We are proud of these small businesses, which bring important products and services to their local communities.

One thing that would threaten to undo the success of our small business owners is the NDP leader's job-killing carbon tax. The NDP leader's job-killing $21 billion carbon tax would increase the price of everything, including gas, groceries and hydro.

That is not the way to support entrepreneurs and that is why on this side of the House we will continue to fight it.

SyriaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, the foreign affairs committee met this morning to discuss the alarming and horrific situation in Syria. I was reminded that the international community intervened and invoked the Responsibility to Protect doctrine to protect civilians in Libya. However, the international community has not intervened, despite the recurrent criminality in Syria, and has chosen even to ignore the R2P doctrine, let alone its obligations.

Admittedly, as witnesses testified this morning, the Friends of Syria have effectively replaced the Security Council. It should now undertake, with Canada and its leadership, a series of necessary protective measures. R2P does not necessarily mean military action. It allows us to establish humanitarian corridors to deliver necessary humanitarian relief. It allows us to establish safe zones to assist internally displaced persons. It allows us to organize the patchwork militias into a coherent democratic opposition and it allows us to protect against weapons of mass destruction, such as the chemical weapons in Syria.

Loss of time means loss of lives. The time to act is now and it is long past. Every day more Syrians die, not because of the actions we have taken but because of the actions we have not taken.

Carbon TaxStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, my constituents in Winnipeg South Centre are worried about the NDP's plan to impose a carbon tax that would kill jobs and increase the price of gas and nearly everything else. More specifically, they are worried that the NDP is refusing to admit that it plans on imposing such a tax.

Here are the facts. Page 12 of the NDP's election platform states that “[The NDP] will put a price on carbon through a cap-and-trade system”. Page 3 of a policy document from the leader of the NDP states that the NDP wants to “use revenue generated by a cap and trade system”.

My constituents have every reason to be concerned. Fortunately, they elected our government, which will stay focused on jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for future generations.

Member for Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-ChaudièreStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud NDP Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of the fall, the hon. member for Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière has made two members' statements. Neither one was on his riding. Not one.

He could have taken the opportunity to tell us about the upcoming opening of the cogeneration plant in Saint-Patrice-de-Beaurivage, in his riding. This project is good for the environment and good for economic development.

He also could have told us how proud he is of the upcoming, first-ever Journée Entreprendre ici Lotbinière, which will contribute to the growth of the entrepreneurial culture and the economic development of Lotbinière. But no, instead he told made-up stories about the NDP at the expense of his constituents.

He had a choice. He could have acknowledged the accomplishments of his constituents and the organizations in his riding or simply read the latest talking points written by the Prime Minister's puppets. He chose to turn his back on his constituents, the people who elected him.

It will be up to him to explain to the people of his riding why they do not deserve any recognition from their member of Parliament.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Parm Gill Conservative Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the constituents of my riding of Brampton—Springdale are worried about what the NDP carbon tax would cost them and their families.

The NDP promised a new $21 billion carbon tax on page 4 of its election platform. My constituents know that this NDP carbon tax would raise the price of gas, groceries and even locally grown food.

The NDP leader's own policy manifest stated on page 3 that he would implement the new carbon tax to “generate billions of dollars in new revenue”. This kind of sweeping tax would have national implications and it would also mean that my constituents would have to pay more for everything.

The NDP needs to realize that its $21 billion carbon tax plan would hurt all Canadians.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, for 43 days now, the Minister of Agriculture has not been doing his job, so much so that the Public Health Agency of Canada has had to take charge. The agency has done more in the past few days to inform Canadians of the state of the tainted meat crisis than the minster has done in a month and a half. Really, the Minister of Agriculture has become redundant.

When will he step aside and let someone responsible take his place?

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said several times, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for dealing with this situation.

It is very clear that the safety of our food is the CFIA's priority and that this plant will not reopen until the CFIA is able to confirm what is happening.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the Minister of Agriculture is still refusing to take responsibility, will the Minister of Health step in? The Conservatives have been creating confusion about the duration of the recall and the number of Canadians who have been infected for 43 days now.

We want to know whether the delay in recalling the meat exposed more Canadians to tainted beef. Can the Conservatives explain why Canadians became ill from eating beef after September 13?

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for dealing with this situation. Once this incident is concluded, all the facts and the situation will be reviewed.

The CFIA is doing its job.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, for weeks the minister has either been missing in action or avoiding answering questions. He has ignored his responsibility to the lab coats when he gets pointed questions. He blames the company when contaminated meat makes it into the food chain. He refuses to give details about his department to anyone who asks.

If the minister is not capable of being accountable, why will he not step aside? Why will he not resign?

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is not the minister who does food inspection; it is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that does food inspection.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's first objective is to ensure Canadian food is safe. That is why it has taken a number of steps, including and up to shutting down the plant, which will not be reopened until the food is safe.

All these matters are following the practices the government put in place, subject to review when this incident is concluded.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, in November 2010, the Minister of National Defence told the House, “there will be no combat role for our military in Kandahar past July 2011”. The Prime Minister said that military activity would be limited to guarding the embassy at Kabul.

We now know Canadian soldiers have been sent to combat operations in Kandahar. Yesterday in the House the Minister of National Defence referred to the mission as “professional development”. Are there any other combat operations disguised as professional development about which the minister would like to inform the House?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

No, Mr. Speaker.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, it could be none, or none he is prepared to admit.

The minister said that no Canadian Forces members would be involved in combat operations, but on the weekend a CF spokesperson said that members were “permitted to be in Kandahar province and to serve in combat roles”.

Why did the minister mislead the House in 2010? Why can we not trust the minister and the Prime Minister at their word? Why will Conservatives not respect the motion passed by this House of Commons?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, to be clear, Canada's combat role in Afghanistan, in Kandahar, has ended.

With respect to a small number of Canadian Forces members who are on exchanges with NATO allies, this in fact has been a long-standing practice of the Canadian Forces. It is a long-standing practice of which the member is well aware. This is in the spirit of the motions before Parliament. This is very much about Canada continuing its long-standing commitment to work with our allies in Afghanistan and around the world.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister just told the House that the Minister of Agriculture was not responsible for inspecting food. Presumably, the Minister of Agriculture is responsible for telling the truth to the House of Commons. He told the House three weeks ago that there was no tainted meat on store shelves. He has been completely discredited with respect to that statement.

I have a simple question for the Prime Minister. Why will he not enforce ministerial responsibility, the principle that ministers are responsible to the House and to the people of Canada for the jobs they have? The Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Health are responsible for protecting the health of Canadians. When are they going to take that—

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The right hon. Prime Minister.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what I said was it was not politicians who did food inspection. It is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The government has provided resources to that organization, which has taken in this incident a number of progressive steps to deal with this problem at the factory, up to and including the shutting down of the factory.

The government's priority, as is the CFIA's priority, will be to ensure that factory is not reopened until such time as it operates safely.

Government LegislationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is unable to enforce the most basic principles of ministerial accountability. Let us see how he does with respect to his own words and his own statements.

When the House was debating the question of omnibus bills in the past, the member for Calgary Southwest said, “the subject matter of the bill is so diverse that a single vote on the content would put members in conflict with their own principles”. He then went on to say, “We can agree with some of the measures but oppose others. How do we express our views and the views of our constituents when the matters are so diverse?”

Why does the Prime Minister not agree with those words today?