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House of Commons Hansard #173 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was air.

Topics

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, then why not give the information to the PBO? What are the Conservatives hiding that they will not give the information to him?

We have experienced a troubling decline in our economy this month. GDP growth is now down to 2010 levels. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has warned that cuts will reduce our economy by over $20 billion and cost 125,000 jobs.

Why is the Minister of Finance ignoring the warning signs and why is cutting his only plan for the economy?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in fact, the plan for the economy is in the two budget bills, one of which we voted on yesterday and the NDP again voted against economic progress for our country. It voted against the hiring credit for small business in Canada. These are job creating measures.

The NDP members stand in this place and say that they are interested in job creation and growth in the economy, but every time a measure is brought forward, including in the economic action plan 2012, they not only argue against it, they vote against it.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the subject of the Canada-China investment deal, could the Prime Minister explain why one of the terms is different in this agreement from any other agreement that has been negotiated in the past? That is the 15-year notice period, as opposed to 6 months or a year, with respect to the termination of the agreement. Could the Prime Minister explain that?

Also, in order to clear up some of the issues that have been raised, and some of them may in fact not be as real as the people who raise them think they are, would he not agree that a committee hearing would be a very good way to let expert witnesses appear and resolve some of these questions?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, we are achieving, for the first time, long-term protection for Canadian investors in China. That is an important thing for our country. Chinese investors have long been able to expect that there will be lawful procedures in our country. It is important that we get the same gains for Canadians in China. That is why this agreement is important. That is why it has been received virtually 100% favourably by the Canadian investment community and why we are committed to moving forward.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I hope the Prime Minister will agree with me that, while some people oppose the agreement, there are others who simply have some questions and want clear answers, and still others who want some debate and some clarification regarding the situation.

So I will ask the Prime Minister the same question. Why not organize committee meetings where experts could give their testimony and provide us with information?

Does the Prime Minister not think that that is what his predecessor, Mr. Manning, would have done?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is important that Canadian investors have long-term protection in Chinese markets. This agreement will generate unprecedented development for our country. That is why we have universal support from the business community.

It is important that we pursue these objectives and take action. We are here to take action for Canadian investors and that is what we intend to do.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the agreement as it is set out does not give Canada any greater access to the Chinese market than we have now. There are still whole sectors in China that are out of bounds for Canadian investors and Canadian companies. There are still requirements with respect to what Canadian companies can do.

In discussing the Nexen deal publicly, the Prime Minister said that reciprocity was one of the things that the Government of Canada was looking for with respect to this agreement. If that is the case, why would the Prime Minister not agree that, in the words of Justice Brandeis, “sunshine is the best disinfectant”? Why would he not ask himself the question, what would Preston do?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, we have had an important objective, and that has been for the very first time to ensure that there is a legal framework enabling and protecting Canadian investment in China. There has long been that in Canada, given the nature of our system, and any such arrangements in this agreement are reciprocal.

However, it is important. This is a big market and an expanding market. We are ensuring we are creating jobs. We are prepared to act on this side of the House, and that is what we are going to do.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives reduced the number of protected lakes from 32,000 to 97. The Minister of Finance promised that these changes would be studied in committee. A motion was moved, but something happened behind closed doors and the motion no longer exists.

Will the chair of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development add meetings to the agenda to study the monster budget bill?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the list of protected bodies of water is based on the scientific analysis and the knowledge of Transport Canada staff. Data from the Canadian Hydrographic Service, from Statistics Canada on the transportation of goods, historical data and even data from the navigable waters protection program were used.

Here is another statistic: 98% of the projects submitted have never impaired navigation. This statistic shows that changes were needed.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, this is simple. A motion was proposed, we went in camera and the motion never came out again.

When the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters was before the committee about the Navigable Waters Protection Act, it warned that changes to the act could, “dramatically alter the ability of Canadians to continue...using thousands of miles of waterways currently protected under the act”.

My question is for the chair of the environment committee. Will he be scheduling meetings to hear from important expert witnesses like hunters and anglers to hear about this monster budget bill?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the list of protected waterways is based on science and security. Data from the Canadian Hydrographic Service's nautical charts, Statistics Canada's data on freight movement and historical data from the navigable waters protection program were used.

Another statistic is that 98% of applications never pose any threat to navigation. The data shows that changes were needed.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, once again, we have motions dealt with behind closed doors that never see the light of day again.

The Conservatives have stuck changes to Indian Act land designation into this mammoth budget bill. Recommendations were made by a working group that believed that at least some of the 600 bands in Canada would be consulted about these changes. That did not happen, and Conservatives are recklessly hurrying these amendments along.

Will the chair of the aboriginal affairs committee be scheduling meetings to study these amendments to the Indian Act hidden in this budget bill or has the Conservatives' haste made this just impossible?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the committee, myself and my parliamentary secretary have all travelled extensively throughout the country. Everywhere we have gone we have heard of issues with the land designation process such as it takes too long and it is too complex. We have addressed that. We have received congratulations for addressing it.

I do not understand the problem at all because the consultation came to us. We did not have to go out for the consultation.

FisheriesOral Questions

October 31st, 2012 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I hope that they will understand my question better than they did the previous one.

The monster budget bill will have a major impact on fish habitat, and the gutting of the Navigable Waters Protection Act will affect the lives of thousands of fishers across the country.

The government must listen to fishers. Will the chair of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans commit to studying Bill C-45 in committee, or will he break the Minister of Finance's promise?

FisheriesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the question is totally false. Managing navigation does not prevent fishers from doing their jobs, nor does it prevent Fisheries and Oceans from managing its files. This is not about fish; it is about navigation. The NDP is mixing all of the issues up. Maybe they want to scare people because today is Halloween, but they are way off base.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives said that they agreed with the motions, and the motions were moved. Meetings were held in camera and, just like that, the motions no longer existed. The budget implementation bill—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

There is no interpretation at the moment. Is it fixed? It is working now.

The hon. member for Alfred-Pellan.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives said that they agreed with the motions, and the motions were moved. Meetings were held in camera and, just like that, the motions no longer existed. The budget implementation bill, which is supposed to deal exclusively with the economy, also attacks the Customs Act. Therefore, it is imperative that the chair of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security provide for study of Bill C-45. A motion will soon be debated in that regard.

Can the chair of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security assure us that Bill C-45 will be on the committee's agenda?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the government is asking several committees to scrutinize the legislation, but I always find it interesting when the NDP members say, “Do as we say, not as we do”. They complain that this bill is too big, but when the NDP does budget bills in Manitoba, they are omnibus bills. When the Leader of the Opposition was a member of the government in Quebec, it had a budget implementation bill 468 sections long, 383 pages.

The Leader of the Opposition says, “Do as I say, not as I do”.

TransportOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Transport will also soon consider a motion to examine the budget implementation bill. This bill contains transportation-related changes, namely with regard to the Canada Shipping Act. The Standing Committee on Transport must therefore examine these changes.

Will the chair of the Standing Committee on Transport keep the Minister of Finance's promise and put the review of Bill C-45 on the committee meeting agenda?

TransportOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Transport Canada, our department, is pleased to make changes that will save Canada even more money and allow our economy to flourish.

Of course, the committees are managed by parliamentary committees people. What is important is that we are not going to implement a carbon tax that will place an additional $21 billion burden on the shoulders of Canadian taxpayers.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, unlike what happened to my colleagues on the Standing Committee on Environment and various other committees, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration was not allowed to hold an in camera meeting. However the result was the same. The motion that was moved to study the changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act contained in Bill C-45 did not survive the attacks of the members for Richmond Hill, Willowdale and St. Catharines. These Conservative members did not keep the Minister of Finance's promise.

Will the chair of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration correct this mistake and make plans to examine this bill in committee?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, surely the member is not asking me to overrule the decision of the committee. If that is what she is asking me to do, the answer is no. The committee spoke, and that is the answer.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, if we waited for transparency from the government, we would be waiting till the rivers run dry.

The reason the Conservatives are trying to kill any scrutiny of this omnibus bill is that they do not want Canadians to know they are stripping protection from 99.7% of Canada's lakes and rivers, and the remaining 0.3% are in Tory ridings, which brings us to the Muskoka minister.

Will he explain to us why the property values of the uber-rich cottagers in his riding merit protection, while the rest of Canadians are being tossed overboard?