House of Commons Hansard #165 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was terrorism.

Topics

Health of WorkersOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, as if things were not bad enough, there is more. The Conservatives are eliminating the Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission. The commission was necessary to ensure that employers and workers have all the information they need when handling hazardous materials. One of the government's primary responsibilities is to protect the public.

Why are the Conservatives putting the safety of workers at risk?

Health of WorkersOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission's role will continue to be performed by Health Canada and this change will prevent duplication of back office duties and allow the department to focus on its role of protecting the safety of Canadians and serving businesses.

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse NDP Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are once again going after workers by attacking their working conditions. Employees of companies under federal jurisdiction must now wait twice as long before being eligible for pay on statutory holidays, such as Christmas Day. Existing employees could see their benefits reduced. This measure is nothing short of a direct attack on workers and should not be in a budget.

Do they really think that they will help the economy by taking money out of workers' pockets?

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are actually committed to a safe working place. There are changes that will help prevent accidents and injuries and let the employees cope appropriately.

Election SpendingOral Questions

October 19th, 2012 / 11:30 a.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the first time I ran for office in one of the country's biggest ridings, I stayed within the spending limits set out in the Canada Elections Act. However, the Conservatives are so used to not abiding by the Canada Elections Act that the hon. member for Labrador was rewarded with a ministerial appointment.

When will the Conservatives realize that they do not have the right to violate Elections Canada's rules, even if it is the first time a member is running for office?

Election SpendingOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member ran for office, part of her campaign was paid for using illegal union money. Her party illegally accepted over $300,000 in funding that was stolen from workers and put into the NDP coffers.

She should rise in her place and announce that to compensate for this law-breaking, she will support the union financial transparency bill before the House of Commons.

Election SpendingOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be part of a party that actually respects Elections Canada.

It was the Conservatives raided by the RCMP and Conservative senators convicted of breaking spending rules in the in-and-out scandal that the member knows quite well. In the latest example, we have a Conservative minister caught $20,000 over his spending limit.

Lame excuses are piling up. The minister is hiding from the public and refusing to take responsibility. Why do they claim that his official agent was too incompetent to run a campaign, but then was appointed to a plum patronage position overseeing a billion dollar offshore—

Election SpendingOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport.

Election SpendingOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member stands in the House and makes a $20,000 allegation with unproven claims. She is part of a party that accepted almost ten times that amount in illegal union money. That is not an allegation. That is a confession that the party was forced to make after it was caught red-handed accepting that illegal money. It was money that was forcefully taken from workers and it broke the law.

We have a union transparency bill before the House of Commons. I encourage the NDP to show some integrity on this issue and support that bill

EthicsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are disturbing reports from the London Free Press today concerning former member of Parliament and now mayor of London, Joe Fontana. Apparently he used taxpayer money through the House of Commons budget to pay for his son's wedding reception. This included paying for a venue deposit of $1,700 and fees of $18,900.

Could the Conservatives tell us what, if anything, they are doing to get this taxpayer money back?

EthicsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Conservative

Susan Truppe ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, we trust the experienced officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to get to the bottom of this very serious matter and determine whether any taxpayer money was abused by the former senior Liberal cabinet minister.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, finally a question on ethics that the Conservatives are willing to actually answer.

Here is another one, but this time it is on Conservatives and Liberals fighting over their entitlements.

The election for Etobicoke Centre is currently before the Supreme Court in a case that, among other things, involves allegations of voter suppression. Meanwhile, the current member for Etobicoke Centre is getting squeezed onto an election monitoring team.

Do the Conservatives not see that there could be negative views of this in Ukraine?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, for my friend opposite, people are entitled to be innocent until proven guilty.

Let me tell the member opposite that I know the member for Etobicoke Centre and he is a man of great integrity. He is a man who works tremendously hard for his constituents.

We are tremendously proud that he will join members such as in her own caucus, the member for Parkdale—High Park, in observing elections in Ukraine. That is great for Canada and we should all be very proud that such distinguished Canadians are prepared to do that.

Food SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are bombarded with endless self-promoting government ads about a four-year-old program. What Canadians are not seeing is a trusted Public Health voice during the ongoing E. coli outbreak. Once bacteria has entered the food chain, it is clearly a Public Health issue.

Will the government redirect the millions of public dollars it is spending on self-promoting advertising to provide Canadians with the information they need to keep their families safe?

Food SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Public Health was fully involved with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency from the early days of this outbreak. It continues to be engaged, working with our provincial counterparts and giving information back through CFIA as well as to the public. We have had a number of technical briefings that it has taken a fulsome part in and we continue to do that. I am not sure where the member has been.

Food SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are now concerns that it was a retailer's steak tenderizing process responsible for four people getting sick from E. coli. Canadians continue to be confused and worried, but the government refuses to provide a trusted Public Health voice to speak to them directly with the facts.

Will the government accept that an E. coli outbreak is a health issue and allow the Public Health Agency to take the lead on this critical issue for Canadians?

Food SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what it has done. It was Alberta public health that first identified the needling process at the Costco that created this outbreak. It has since shut down the mechanization, the tenderizing of beef, and continues to do that. Alberta public health, working on its initiative in a provincially centred plant, certainly has done its job.

Again, I am not sure where the member has been.

Food SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know that XL is trying to fix its problems, but the CFIA is still unable to properly move forward without having a clear picture of its entire human and other resource needs everywhere, not just at XL, and how best to use them.

For weeks, we have called on the government to request the necessary immediate comprehensive third party CFIA resource audit recommended by the Weatherill report on the listeriosis outbreak.

With Bill S-11 finally before the House, will the minister consent to an amendment that would guarantee an independent audit immediately and then every five years thereafter?

Food SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there are provisions in Bill S-11 that would allow this type of thing to happen. It is not against anything in Bill S-11.

We also have the independent expert panel, which was put together out of the Weatherhill report, that has been waiting for this type of an issue to move forward on. The panel will do an independent audit which will become public.

The Liberals keep gnashing their teeth over the fact that the Auditor General should be called in. He already has those powers.

CRTCOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in delivering its landmark decision on the proposed Bell takeover of Astral Media, the CRTC underscored the vital importance of media diversity in Canada. The reality is that the number of voices in Canada's media market has been shrinking in recent years, impacting consumer choice and competition. As the CRTC put it, this is not in the interests of Canadians.

Does the minister agree that media concentration is a serious concern? Will he stand up for the public interest?

CRTCOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as the member mentioned, the CRTC made a decision yesterday after holding public hearings. The CRTC is an arm's-length agency of the government and, as such, the government has no legal ability to overturn this decision.

CRTCOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, recognition of the problems surrounding media concentration in Quebec and Canada is good news in terms of both the quality of information and the choices offered to consumers.

In the decision it delivered yesterday, the CRTC emphasized the vital importance of media competition and diversity for Canadian consumers. However, Bell is now asking the Conservative cabinet to intervene in this process.

Will the government respect the CRTC's decision against the concentration of media ownership?

CRTCOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the CRTC held public hearings on this. It heard from over 9,000 people. It made its decision yesterday. This is an independent agency of the government and, as such, cabinet has no legal ability to overturn this decision.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, nearly a month ago, the Minister of Foreign Affairs publicly committed to helping Turkey, which opened its borders to nearly 100,000 Syrian refugees. Yesterday, however, Turkey’s chargé d’affaires to Canada revealed that Canada has not yet kept its promise. Winter is fast approaching, which is not good news for the Syrian refugees, whose health is jeopardized by precarious living conditions.

Why is the government not doing anything to respond to such an urgent situation? When will the minister follow through on his promise to Turkey?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to clarify. We have provided substantial assistance. I believe we are number five in providing humanitarian assistance. We have put a lot of those resources into the United Nations World Food Programme and the United Nations refugees program, where the UN is on the ground providing a substantial amount of assistance.

These respected agencies do good work. They are among the best vehicles so we can provide support to our friends in Turkey as they deal with this refugee crisis.