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House of Commons Hansard #168 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservatives.

Topics

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada figures indicate that bilingualism is on the decline in Canada. The Conservatives are certainly not setting a good example when they appoint a unilingual anglophone auditor general or Supreme Court judge.

One solution would be to support the economic development of official language minority communities, rather than telling people to move to find a job elsewhere. The government also needs to support provincial governments, like the NDP government in Manitoba, which is building new francophone high schools.

Do the Conservatives realize that, by eliminating programs, they are only exacerbating the situation?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, our government supports Canada's linguistic duality. We have kept our promise. We are providing unprecedented support to Canadian families with our road map and a $1.1 billion plan, the most money ever invested in linguistic duality in Canada.

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian consumers deserve to be treated fairly and with complete transparency, but when it comes to prepaid credit cards, all too often consumers are unaware of the hidden fees and expiry dates. Our government has already taken strong action to protect Canadians. Building on that record, we are now looking to address business practices that may be unclear to consumers, and in some cases plainly unfair. Could the Minister of Finance please inform the House of how today's announcement of the new regulations for prepaid credit cards will help to protect Canadian consumers?

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government is firmly committed to protecting Canadian consumers, unlike the NDP that actually voted against this consumer protection measure.

Building on our government's already strong record of consumer protection, today's announcement will do three things: require prepaid credit cards to clearly display their fees upfront, prohibit maintenance fees being charged on the card for at least a year and ensure that consumers' prepaid funds never expire. These changes will help ensure that Canadians get the full value of their hard-earned dollars when using a prepaid credit card.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are continuing their attacks on Canadian heritage lakes and rivers.

By weakening the Navigable Waters Protection Act and thus eliminating protections for our lakes and rivers, all through measures hidden in a second massive budget implementation bill, the Conservatives are allowing the development of infrastructure that could harm these same waterways without requiring that environmental assessments be conducted first.

How many lakes and rivers will be laid to waste and how many environmental assessments will be set aside because of Bill C-45?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Navigable Waters Protection Act has always been about navigation, not the environment. This has been the case since it was introduced in 1882. This is nothing new. There is not a word about the environment in the actual act. My colleague is referring to another act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, which was amended last spring. She need only reread that amended legislation.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have excluded from protection many northern rivers which northerners rely on for navigation, such as the Nahanni River, the Liard River, most of the Yukon River, the Bear River and even the Slave River, which drains 80% of the water leaving Alberta and has been used for barging for more than 100 years. It is now excluded from protection. This could be opened up for a major power dam.

Is it the government's intent to remove any controls and development on the Slave and these other rivers?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Navigable Waters Protection Act has always been about navigation, not environment. This has been the case since 1882. There is not a word about the environment in the actual act. My colleague is referring to another act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, which was amended last spring.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, hosting the 2025 expo could have meant billions in economic activity for the city of Toronto, but thanks to the government, we will never know. The Conservatives just cancelled Canada's membership with the Bureau international des expositions, scuttling Toronto's bid for the expo in 2025 and killing any other Canadian city's chance at hosting an expo in the future.

Why is the government undermining efforts to promote Canadian cities and culture to the world?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is quite clear that these international expositions no longer leave the lasting legacy of job creation and economic growth. Therefore, the investment that would be required of hard-working Canadian taxpayers to support such a project would not be prudent at this time. Instead, the Minister of State (Sport) has been rolling out a $500 million investment in the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, and the Minister of the Environment has undertaken a $130 million new national park in the city of Toronto. This is the only government to realize its $500 million investment in the waterfront.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, these guys clearly do not get the GTA. Toronto's unemployment rate—

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Davenport has the floor.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

They laugh, Mr. Speaker, while Toronto's unemployment rate sits well above the national average. The infrastructure in the city is crumbling, and hosting an expo could have meant more jobs, better public transit and other economic spinoffs for Canada's largest city, but now we will never know.

The Conservatives have no problem wasting taxpayers' money, millions of dollars on self-promoting propaganda, but for a fraction of the cost they could help promote Canadian cities. Why are they not doing that?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

I just said, Mr. Speaker, that hosting an international exposition in 2025 is not going to create jobs and opportunity and a lasting legacy in the city of Toronto that is needed today.

Instead, we have incredible members, like the members for Don Valley East and Don Valley West who are working hard for infrastructure, the members for Willowdale and York Centre who are talking about transit. We have the member for Scarborough Centre who has brought important crime legislation to the House. We have the member for Pickering—Scarborough East who has also worked very hard on the Rouge Park, and we have the members for Etobicoke Centre and Etobicoke—Lakeshore who are fighting every single day for jobs and investment in the city of Toronto. That is what we are doing.

Food SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians deserve to know how the E. coli outbreak happened and why the CFIA fell down on the job, so the government ordered a review of CFIA, conducted by CFIA. It is ludicrous to ask any agency to review its own performance. Reviews must be done by an independent panel. If the government had done the independent review and audit recommended after the listeriosis crisis, it might have avoided this catastrophe.

Will it now do the right thing and appoint an independent investigation?

Food SafetyOral Questions

3 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. The CFIA will include its own audit of internal practices, lessons learned and best procedures moving forward, but on top of that, an expert panel was constructed out of the Weatherill report. The CVs of those learned people, those top-notch Canadians, are up on the CFIA website, if the member would care to have a look. Having said that, they will do an in-depth analysis and that review will become public.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

October 24th, 2012 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Petronas decision on foreign investment was a total bungle, and no information was provided.

For months the government brushed aside Liberals' questions on foreign investment and said that everything was fine, that the rules were clear, that there was a net benefit, but actually its system is in total shambles.

We now see reports that the government is finally seeing the light and will come out with the review in the public interest rather than fumbling around in the dark.

Would the government confirm this, and will these rules be made public so that the Canadian public can finally have the transparency they expect from their elected government?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I must remind the House that the previous Liberal government never turned down any single deal.

On our side of the House, we put in place new rules and new guidelines back in 2007 regarding state-owned enterprises. We also put in provisions on national security issues.

As I said, I was not satisfied that the proposed deal would bring a net benefit for Canada. That is why we said the company has 30 days from the decision to make additional representations.

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the weekend, the Minister of Finance spoke to the Globe and Mail about the CMHC. He said: “I think in the next five or ten years the government needs to look at getting out of some businesses that we’re in that we don’t need to be in”.

However, yesterday the minister was forced by the PMO to get up and retract only part of those comments. Will he reject privatizing CMHC now and in the future?

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said in the House yesterday, and in fact as I said in the Globe and Mail, there are no plans presently to privatize the CMHC.

Our government is focused on the economic action plan, the budget implementation bills, including action to improve oversight of CMHC. This is particularly with respect to the securitization function of CMHC concerning residential mortgages, a function that has expanded dramatically in recent years, and we are exercising more oversight now through the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is not closing the door. Does that mean that he is going to change his mind tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in two years? We do not know. Yet the comments the minister made on the weekend were clear. The Conservatives want to privatize the CMHC. Why create a Canadian version of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the worst housing finance system that ever existed?

The minister can continue to say “presently”, but if he has no plans to do so now, then can he tell us exactly when he intends to privatize the CMHC?

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there are no plans to privatize the CMHC at the present time. There are plans, which the NDP voted against, to exercise more oversight over the securitization functions of CMHC.

This is very important for Canadian taxpayers and Canadian fiscal stability, and it is regrettable that the NDP, the official opposition, cannot understand that function with respect to residential mortgages of the CMHC and support the oversight measures taken by the government.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great dismay that I rise in the House today to report that since Tuesday evening, southern Israel has suffered from a barrage of rocket attacks perpetrated by the Hamas military wing, deliberately targeting innocent civilians, women and children. Reportedly 77 long-range rockets or mortar shells have been fired, wounding civilians, destroying property and closing schools.

Would the Minister of Foreign Affairs please comment on this provocative act.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge the strong leadership and hard work of the member for York Centre on this important issue.

Canada is absolutely horrified by the large number of rockets targeting civilians, men, women and children, in southern Israel. The terrorist group Hamas is in control of Gaza, and Canada holds it responsible for these outrageous actions.

We stand with the people of Israel. We stand with the Jewish people in their constant battle against terrorism, now and in the future. This is absolutely deplorable.