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House of Commons Hansard #166 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-15.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this member has taken responsibility and has acted in complete transparency and integrity. We have confidence that Elections Canada will get all the answers it needs.

That is in stark contrast to the practices of the NDP, which accepted over $300,000 in illegal union money for five years and refused to come clean until they were caught. That is exactly why we need the new Conservative bill on union financial transparency.

Why will the NDP not stand up and support more transparency in union spending? What more does the NDP have to hide?

Small BusinessOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a period of global economic instability, small businesses across the country continue to face challenges. They need our continued support.

Unfortunately, the only ideas we hear from the NDP involve just that, a $21 billion carbon tax that would be devastating to small businesses. Small businesses simply cannot afford the NDP high-tax agenda.

Can the Minister of State (Finance) please tell Canadians how our economic action plan 2012 will help small businesses?

Small BusinessOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government recognizes the contribution that small businesses make to this economy. We have actually consulted with small businesses, and they have asked us to extend the hiring tax credit that was in last year's budget. That is there for this House to support.

It supports the creation of 536,000 net new jobs. It is a $200 million tax credit to small businesses. I have no idea why the opposition is going to vote against that.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, Conservative bumbling on the national security file has reached new heights in the Delisle case.

It turns out that Australia, Great Britain and the United States all had their secret information compromised by this incredible four-year long leak. The Conservatives still cannot tell our allies what the full scope of the damage is.

Protecting the information coming from our intelligence networks needs to be a real priority, and the government is treating this as a sideshow. Instead of photo ops and attempts at preemptive damage control, when will the Conservatives get serious about cyber security?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated just moments ago, there is nothing more important than national security. The Canadian Forces work closely with other security agencies, including Public Safety, in the country.

The member knows full well that this matter is still before the courts. Surely the most irresponsible thing that we could do would be discussing that national security incident here on the floor of the House of Commons or publicly in any way.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, “enormous consequences” and “astronomical proportions” are the terms being used by security experts in the Jeffrey Delisle cyber espionage scandal.

He has irreversibly damaged our relations with our closest allies. He spied for Russia over a 50-month period. In fact, during that time, he went in and out of an ultra-secure building with a USB device potentially containing top secret information about Five Eyes.

How could the Conservatives have allowed this fiasco to occur under their watch?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member left out that he was caught and prosecuted.

As I mentioned, the reality is that these issues remain of very serious concern. This is why this matter has proceeded through the courts, where it will remain until the matter is brought to sentencing.

I would ask that the member and all members opposite respect that process and allow that conclusion, that sentencing, to occur.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob NDP Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, in my region, problems at the border are a reality that cannot be ignored. Yet the Minister of Public Safety has announced $146 million in cuts to the Canada Border Services Agency. Some 260 jobs will be eliminated. There is already a network of smugglers at work, and several hundred immigrants have been the victims of human trafficking. This is not the time to be making cuts.

Why is the minister not taking this seriously?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I have said on numerous occasions, our government increased front-line officers by 26%, but while we were doing that, that member was voting against Bill C-31, the legislation that provides tools to address exactly the issue the member is now complaining about.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jean Rousseau NDP Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, it is completely absurd and irresponsible for the minister to just bury his head in the sand. If smugglers are at work in Stanstead and human trafficking is a problem, how do we know that drugs and weapons are not also being smuggled in through that border crossing? What is the government hiding? The solution to this problem is not rocket science: the Canada Border Services Agency must be given the resources it needs, period. The problem already exists and now is not the time to be making cuts.

Is the minister willing to work with us to come up with solutions, to come and see the extent of the damage for himself and to work with the community?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we do know that it is not the NDP that is preventing any of that, whether it is drug trafficking, human trafficking or guns. That party voted consistently against all of the measures, including Bill C-31, that this government has taken in order to stop those measures.

The member can go back to his constituents and tell them that he sat down on the job when he should have been standing up and voting with us on Bill C-31.

International TradeOral Questions

October 22nd, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the Canada-China investment agreement is different from all other investment agreements, and in a bad way.

Since 2004, every Canadian government has required a transparency clause, yet in this agreement DFAIT has told us that China can refuse to allow public hearings or the release of documents to the public.

The best interest of Canadians is transparency. Canadians fear the worst. They deserve an explanation. Could the minister tell the House why his government has agreed to this violation of transparency?

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this agreement is designed to protect the interests of Canadian investors, to ensure that they are secured. That is why it has received such strong support from Canadian investors who are looking to see that their investments in China are protected. We know in the past there have been concerns about whether they are properly safeguarded.

We are working to make sure that Canadians' investments and Canadian jobs are protected.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Friday I asked the minister to consent to amending Bill S-11 to include a third-party comprehensive CFIA audit, like the one that was requested by the Weatherill report. The minister said he had a panel “waiting for this type of an issue to move forward on”. The recommendation for an independent comprehensive audit was made three years ago and yet no action was taken. What panel is the minister talking about?

Could the minister confirm that he was not waiting for another outbreak like this to act? Will he tell us who his experts are, otherwise will he finally do the right thing and call in the Auditor General?

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General already has those powers and may do an audit if he sees fit.

Having said that, coming out of the listeria situation and the Weatherill report, an expert panel was put together at that point. All of the CVs of the expert panel are up on the CFIA website. I would point the member in that direction.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, after rechristening the Ottawa River Parkway and the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the government now wants to spend even more taxpayer money to rename a key part of Canadian heritage. The Conservatives want to rename the Trans Canada Trail the Queen's Jubilee Trail. How far will they take this unconditional love? Are they going to change the flag and our country's name while they are at it?

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage explain to us why he wants to change the name of the Trans Canada Trail?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we know that investments in the cultural sector are very important to the Canadian economy. That is why we have made historic investments in this sector.

Unfortunately, every time we make these investments—as we did last week, when we invested $25 billion in the new Canadian Museum of History—we know that the NDP will vote against them.

Perhaps if we had a museum of tax and spend and highlighted such classics as an increase in the GST, increase in taxes for families and the ever-unpopular $21 billion carbon tax, then maybe we would get some support.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very disappointed in my colleague. Frankly, I expected more than another broken record.

The Trans Canada Trail evokes our country's vastness, diversity and beauty. The name says it all: it crosses Canada. It is the same idea as the Trans-Canada Highway. “Trans Canada” represents something concrete. To paraphrase today's guest of honour, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, we love the Queen, but there comes a time when we must define ourselves as a government.

Can the Conservatives set aside their nostalgia for the British Empire and realize that this is the 21st century? Now is the time to move forward, not backward.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, how ironic a question. In the same vein, the member is talking about forgetting about our historic connection to the monarchy.

On this side of the House, we know and understand what Canadians want. They want to talk about the history, the events, the places and the people that have made this country great. Contrast that to the opposition, with separatists sitting in their party making 29 donations to separatist parties. We will never apologize on this side of the House for investing in arts and culture. We will never apologize for doing all of those things and celebrating all of the things that have helped make this the best country in the world in which to live.

I would remind the members why they sit in this place: to defend the best country in the world in which to live and not to talk it down every chance they get.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has acted to ensure that the necessary support is in place to help Canada's men and women in uniform as they transition into civilian life. That is why our government supported the helmets to hard hats initiative, which helps veterans find employment in the construction industry.

Could the Minister of Veterans Affairs tell the House what other steps this Conservative government is taking to assist releasing members of the Canadian Forces?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Prince Albert for his outstanding work with respect to our veterans as we are entering Veterans' Week soon.

Today, I formally asked the Public Service Commission to explore options to give our medically released Canadian Forces members hiring priority in the public service, to assist their transition into civilian life.

I also asked it to take the necessary measures to increase the number of Canadian Forces veterans within Veterans Affairs Canada.

These initiatives will help our men and women in uniform to transition into civilian life. This is still the beginning. There is still more to come for our vets.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, last night the Conservatives delivered the final blow to a decorated veteran. The Conservatives fired Harold Leduc of the Veterans appeal board.

Mr. Leduc was repeatedly harassed by Conservative appointees to the board. They even poked around in his personal medical files, all because he often sided with the veterans, giving them the benefit of the doubt on their appeals.

How can it be that this man and so many other veterans, who actually served their country with dignity, bravery and honour, have been treated so disgracefully by a government consumed by spin and propaganda? Let the spin continue.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that over the course of the summer indeed some tribunal members' mandates came to an end, and I thank them. Indeed, appointments are not for life, and our government will work continually to appoint new qualified candidates to this important board.

As of yesterday, our government has moved to appoint four new highly qualified candidates who all hold military or medical experience. These appointments announced yesterday make the number of board members with medical and police backgrounds the highest in the history of the tribunal.

That is what veterans and veterans' organizations have asked us for and that is what we are delivering.

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the government likes to boast about its trade record, but let us examine the facts. Yes, the facts.

In August, Canada had a $1.3 billion trade deficit, and exports of industrial goods were 13% lower than they were this time last year. There is bad news on the import front as well. Our companies spent almost 4% less on machinery purchases last month.

When will the government take its poor—if not pathetic—record seriously and do something about it?

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is simply wrong and is spreading false information. The reality is that our trade deficit narrowed in August. It did not increase in August.

The irony, however, is that the NDP's recklessness and irresponsible anti-trade agenda, which it would impose upon Canada, would put Canada's trade deficit to zero; not decrease it, but put it to zero.

Ever since the NAFTA, the NDP has opposed trade and it continues to oppose trade. What the NDP members need to do is explain to us how they are going to support trade.

We have an ambitious trade agenda. We look for their support.