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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

Public Health AgencyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Health has the floor.

Public Health AgencyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Conservative Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, on a daily basis, the Public Health Agency has been dealing with the public as well as the provinces and the territories in providing support on this matter.

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, a month after the government finally notified Canadians that meat from XL Foods was contaminated with E. coli, we still do not have answers to reassure Canadian consumers.

XL Foods' failure to follow safety standards and the government's failure to police the industry and protect and communicate with consumers keeps compounding the harm to our ranchers and egg industry.

The minister called for science, not politics, in dealing with the outbreak. Will he take his own advice, admit there were not enough resources to protect our food safety and finally order the third party comprehensive resource audit CFIA badly needs?

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we have done exactly that. After a decade of Liberal cuts, we have continued to build a robust food safety system. We are adding manpower. We are adding budgetary availability to it at every turn.

We continue to have technical briefings. We were having them almost daily throughout the middle of this issue. I am not sure why members opposite did not take advantage of a technical briefing we offered them. Instead, they decided to have a political emergency debate rather than find out the actual issues.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, we asked if Kevin MacAdam continued to draw down a six-figure salary at ACOA, and political interference or not, the fact remains that the Public Service Commission ordered his position terminated for improprieties.

We want to know if Mr. MacAdam continues to collect thousands of dollars in additional living expenses and if he is continuing his full-time French language training.

If the minister will finally answer those questions, will he also answer another one? Who will be paying the legal costs for MacAdam's court challenges to the Public Service Commission? Will it be the government or Mr. MacAdam?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Public Service Commissioner reported on this issue. He found problems with the way that the public service ran its hiring practice. That is no secret. Everybody in the House knows that. However, the commissioner did not find any political interference by ministers or political staff.

I realize the opposition would make this a political issue but it is not a political issue. The Public Service Commission has clearly stated that. In the meantime, this matter is before the courts.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, official languages are pretty far down the Conservative government's list of priorities.

In his most recent report, the Commissioner of Official Languages again pointed out problems at Air Canada, Parks Canada and Elections Canada.

The Official Languages Act has been around for 43 years. Both linguistic communities have had equal rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for the past 30 years.

Why do the Conservatives accept these setbacks for Canada's official languages?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, there are no setbacks. There are actually real successes. That is what the Commissioner of Official Languages said.

I have his report, which reads:

The Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future [which is our government's plan] recognizes the importance of increasing the level of bilingualism among young Canadians...

These programs are working. There are success stories, and we are continuing with our program, our policies and our investments to protect, promote and celebrate Canada's two official languages.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the programs are working, but the Commissioner is asking that they be put in place.

Does the government want examples of the setbacks? A year ago, the Minister of Industry announced the creation of a committee on the French language. Where is this committee? The government appointed a unilingual anglophone to the position of auditor general and is closing the only bilingual Canadian search and rescue centre, which is located in Quebec City. If that is the government's commitment to the official languages, I am not impressed.

If the minister is so concerned about official languages, why is he allowing his government to dismantle so many bilingual institutions one after the other?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is truly ridiculous.

The government's programs, investments and policies have resulted in real successes for francophone communities outside Quebec and for bilingualism across Canada. We are making investments and establishing programs as never before, and our approach has resulted in real successes for all of Canada.

In each region of the country, there are real programs with real successes and we will continue in that direction for both official languages of Canada.

Small BusinessOral Questions

October 16th, 2012 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week we are celebrating Small Business Week.

Ironically, we have just learned that Industry Canada wants to make terrible changes to the small business loan program. Small businesses and taxpayers will once again be the biggest losers as a result of an ill-advised Conservative decision.

Over the next 10 years, taxpayers and borrowers can expect to face additional costs of $41 million and $233 million respectively. The only winners will be the banks, which will be better off by $141 million.

How can the minister justify this particularly ill-timed announcement this week?

Small BusinessOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, we consulted widely and changes will be made to reduce red tape, reduce the amount of fraud and increase the amount of finances that are available to our small businesses in Canada so they can grow, hire more people and improve our economy. What we will not do is impose a $21 billion carbon tax that will hurt seniors, hurt students and kill small businesses.

Small BusinessOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not complicated. We are talking about access to credit for small businesses. That is what we are talking about. Can the members opposite talk about this?

According to Pierre Cléroux, the BDC's chief economist, very small businesses are the ones that have the most difficulty accessing credit. The recent Conservative announcements have not provided any reassurance. Industry Canada claims that the new plan will increase access to loans, but the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is of the opinion that the new regulations will decrease the number of loan applications.

Will the minister commit to implementing a program that will truly guarantee much-needed credit support for small businesses?

Small BusinessOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are doing. In fact, this government is committed to creating an environment that will help businesses grow.

I know the NDP is against businesses in general. However, we are ensuring that businesses have better access to the finances they need to grow their business, hire more Canadians and improve our economy. What they do not want and we will not do is impose a $21 billion carbon tax. That will kill jobs and hurt businesses. Increasing taxes will make it harder for businesses to get a loan.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, for years, families in the north have demanded a better alternative to the old food mail program.

Our government responded to these calls by putting in place nutrition north Canada, which is focused on bringing healthier, more nutritious foods to the north at a lower price to consumers.

I wonder if the minister could update this House on whether families in the north have seen lower prices for food as a result of these changes.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to report that the nutrition north program is doing exactly that.

In some northern communities, we have seen individual prices for things like milk drop as much as 37%. Northerners have asked for changes to the eligible product list so that the subsidy can go directly toward perishable food items, such as fresh bread, vegetables, meat and milk.

Northerners have asked for better food choices at more affordable prices and that is what we are delivering.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the following is what the Prime Minister said in a speech on May 29, 2008, in London, England. He said:

I should mention that while our plan will effectively establish a price on carbon of $65 a tonne, growing to that rate over the next decade, our Government has opted not to apply carbon taxes.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. Members are to hold off on their applause until the person posing the question is finished. The hon. member for Halifax has the floor and we do not need any more interruptions.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, why does the Prime Minister want to put a tax on everything?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for highlighting the difference between our approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the NDP's desire to put a carbon tax on everything.

The green shift of the Liberal Party only proposed $15 billion worth of carbon taxes and the NDP members want $20 billion worth of carbon taxes, something the economy cannot take and something Canadians will never accept.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, there seems to be some confusion among the Conservatives.

In the past, the Prime Minister expressed his intention to establish the price of carbon at $65 a tonne. Now, he is changing his story. For the Conservatives, a price on carbon is a tax on carbon.

Do the Conservatives now deny that the Prime Minister said that a price on carbon was not a carbon tax?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the quotation from the member, it is clear that the government would not impose a tax on carbon. It is quite the opposite.

The difference is simply this. No plan ever proposed by this government has involved raising revenue and taking money from Canadian consumers.

They have in their platform, right in black and white in their financial tables, a $20 billion hit on Canadian consumers and households, something this government will never do.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, they asked.

It seems that the Conservatives are caught in a vicious cycle here. They are either claiming that the Prime Minister never gave a speech that one can find on the PMO website, or that a price on carbon is not a tax on carbon.

Is there anyone over on that side who will stand up and defend the Prime Minister on his position that a carbon tax is not the same as a price on carbon?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!