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House of Commons Hansard #157 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was benefit.

Topics

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Lise St-Denis Liberal Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, regarding the listeriosis crisis, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is claiming that everything is fine and that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is doing an excellent job. Yet the Minister of National Defence is smearing that agency's reputation. Meanwhile, the Minister of Health remains surprisingly silent on the whole matter.

Why have the Minister of Health and the head of the Public Health Agency of Canada not come forward to ensure that Canadians are getting straight answers?

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, Canadian consumers are always a first priority when it comes to food safety, and there are a couple of inconvenient facts that the opposition likes to ignore. The first fact is that we have provided more inspectors to CFIA since 2006, 700 net new inspectors. The second fact it likes to ignore is that we have increased funding for CFIA to the tune of an additional $150 million in our last two budgets alone. The third fact is that we are bringing in the safe food for Canadians act, which would allow an even stronger CFIA to respond more quickly to food safety. The NDP is going to be voting against that.

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food grossly mismanaged this incident. He failed to act immediately after the U.S. warning and allowed the contaminated meat into the public food chain. It is sheer good luck that there were no fatalities. Children, seniors and the immunocompromised still face deadly risk. His assertion that no one died is smug and irresponsible.

I ask the Minister of Health

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, as I have been pointing out to the member's colleagues, the issue is the opposition not supporting what we are doing for CFIA. CFIA has been engaged on this matter since the beginning, but the opposition is not supporting what we are doing for CFIA, which is giving it additional financial resources and additional inspectors to do its job.

I call on the opposition to support CFIA and the important work it is doing for the health and safety of Canadians.

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, telling Canadians to trust the safety food safety system because they say so might reassure Conservatives, but it does not wash with consumers. Contrary to the Prime Minister's assertion that they have now acted on the Weatherill report, he is wrong. It has been four years and we are still waiting for the review of the CFIA requested by the Weatherill report on the listeria crisis.

Will the minister amend his new food safety legislation to request an immediate and overdue review of the CFIA and reviews every five years by independent experts and not a biased minister?

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, once again the member is wrong in what he states. Our government has implemented all 57 recommendations from the Weatherill report, resulting in a stronger, more vigorous food safety system to protect Canadians.

It is not just our government that says we have a strong food safety system. There was a report on OECD countries that recognized that Canada has a superior food safety system. The opposition has to get on board with this.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the clock is ticking and the deadline for the decision on the Nexen takeover is fast approaching. Nevertheless, the Conservatives still have not said anything about the possible benefits of such an agreement. Half of Canada's business leaders oppose this takeover if there is no net benefit. What are the benefits to Canada? No one seems to know, not even the government.

Will the minister do the right thing and consult Canadians?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, obviously, every decision by the government regarding foreign investment is always made in the best interests of Canada. The transaction at issue will be carefully scrutinized. My colleague can read the legislation. Section 20 clearly sets out the six factors to take into account in determining whether there is a net benefit.

In 2007, we issued guidelines regarding foreign state-owned enterprises. In 2009, there were provisions regarding national security and others to clarify how the minister can communicate with the public. It is legislation that continues to evolve with the global climate.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is in the best interests of Canadians to actually hold public consultations.

It is a few days away from the deadline. We are still waiting for the Conservatives to define net benefit, something they have been promising since 2010, and we have seen the consequences of inaction on this when we have watched companies like Vale Inco break their promises with impunity. Canadians deserve better than that.

Will the minister launch public consultations on the impact of a Nexen takeover, and will he listen to Canadians?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, we always act in the best interests of Canadians. What my colleague proposes is to shut down any single form of investment in this country.

We have article 20 in the act. The hon. member can read it. It has the factors taken into account to determine whether a transaction will provide a net benefit or not.

We improved the act. In 2007 we put new guidelines for state-owned enterprises. We also put in new provisions for national security issues, and in 2012, we put more in tools to better communicate with the public, and the NDP always voted against these provisions.

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week the government tabled another deal with China that it refuses to debate.

Already experts are noting that the Canada-China FIPA disproportionately benefits Chinese investors and restricts economic opportunity for Canadian business.

It is a basic question of competence to ensure that these agreements provide for reciprocal benefits for Canadians.

Can the minister explain why he failed to secure equal access for Canadian investors, or were interests sacrificed in order to just get a deal?

International TradeOral Questions

October 2nd, 2012 / 2:45 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the member is quite wrong. This is an agreement that actually improves access for Canadian investors into China and provides protection for their investments.

The treaty will provide stronger protection and create jobs and economic growth right here at home. That is why, since 2006, our government has concluded 12 foreign investment protection agreements and we are actively negotiating with 13 other countries.

Of course, we know that the NDP is anti-trade, and today we find out that they are anti-investment as well.

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am smiling because the day that this government is capable of negotiating an agreement in the interests of all Canadians is the day we will vote in its favour.

Disputes under this new agreement will be settled in secret, unless the parties to the agreement decide otherwise. For example, if Nexen is bought by a Chinese state-owned enterprise, we will never know if it is trying to eliminate an environmental measure.

Why did this government give up transparent arbitration? What are we getting in return for this irresponsible measure?

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, just to be very clear, it is Canada's long-standing policy to permit public access to investor-state dispute settlement proceedings. That will not change under this treaty.

As we do with other investor-state disputes, this treaty also allows Canada to make all documents submitted to arbitration available to the public. In all cases, any awards and decisions of a tribunal will be made public.

It is very clear the NDP is again showing its colours, anti-trade and anti-investment. On this side of the House we will continue to stand up for the interests of Canadians and find new markets for Canadian businesses.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bryan Hayes Conservative Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the war of 1812 was a defining moment in our country's history. It was the fight for Canada and paved the way for Confederation.

British army and navy, English- and French-speaking militia, first nations and Métis allies all joined together to defend our borders.

Without their courage and sacrifice—

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. Order, please. There is far too much noise. The hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie has the floor.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bryan Hayes Conservative Sault Ste. Marie, ON

—Canada, as we know it, would not exist.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages please tell this House what our government is doing to commemorate this important event in our history?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for the question, and equally, I also want to thank the tens of thousands of Canadians from every region of Canada who have participated in events to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

With that in mind, I am also very pleased to rise in the House today to announce that the month of October has been named as the month of commemoration of the heroes in key battles of the War of 1812.

In 2017 we will mark Canada's 150th birthday, and between now and then, we will take every opportunity to highlight those key elements that have shaped Canada into the greatest country in the world to call home.

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not just members' statements that are squandered in the House.

Last week, we learned that Lino Zambito made donations to the Conservative Party, and today we learned that one of the Conservatives' friends lined his own pockets. Robert Abdallah earned a commission of hundreds of thousands of dollars for a contract with the City of Montreal, at taxpayers' expense. Robert Abdallah is the person that the Conservatives' unsuccessfully tried to appoint as the head of the Port of Montreal.

Why were the Conservatives so intent on getting him in somewhere? Is it because he is very good at circumventing the rules and helping his friends?

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Port of Montreal is appointed by the board of directors. The board of directors did not appoint Mr. Abdallah as president.

I asked the hon. member opposite a question. I am not accusing him of anything. He gave more than $3,000 to the Québec solidaire party, which is an openly sovereignist party. I invite him to rise and tell us whether or not he is a federalist and whether or not he supports Canada.

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I normally get a real kick out of the vaudeville routine from Captain Canada over there, but I think we should stay focused on the facts.

We have disturbing testimony from the Montreal inquiry that Robert Abdallah was involved in an elaborate kickback and corruption scheme. We know that high-ranking Conservatives were pushing for him to be appointed to the Port of Montreal. We know that Tony Accurso was also pushing for this man to be appointed to the Port of Montreal.

It is a simple question. Why were key Conservatives looking to have him appointed and what were they expecting to get out of putting this man at the Port of Montreal?

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Port of Montreal is appointed by the board of directors, not by this government. In fact, they decided not to appoint that individual.

It is funny that the NDP members are trying to distract from the real issue, which of course is that they accepted—

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. parliamentary secretary has the floor.