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House of Commons Hansard #188 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was asbestos.

Topics

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, CFIA continues to confirm that meat sold in Canada is just as safe as meat being exported to other markets, including Japan. That was reinforced this morning. CFIA also continues to ensure that all meat processed in Canada meets Canada's high food safety standards. That is enforceable by law.

We will not apologize for doing our due diligence through CFIA to ensure that food is safe in the country.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the first memo that was sent out by CFIA in 2008 says as follows:

When stationed at this position ensure that non Japan eligible carcasses are not inspected for spinal cord/dura-mater, OCD defects and minor ingesta (Ignore them).

It goes on to say to ignore them.

How can the Prime Minister say that everything is perfectly okay when in fact the memo was changed? It was changed because there is a problem.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, CFIA has confirmed the meat sold in Canada is just as safe as meat exported to other countries. There are strict food safety standards in the country. That is the law and we ensure the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has the resources to enforce those standards. Indeed, we have, as rated internationally, one of the safest food systems in the world.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that the meat recall crisis, I would remind the Prime Minister, was the largest meat recall anywhere in the world ever with respect to what took place. I would like to ask the Prime Minister this. If in fact there was no problem with the original memo, why was the memorandum changed?

I would remind him that the first memo says, “Your first action should be to have the issue dealt with without a line stoppage”. Would the Prime Minister not agree with me that first action of any inspector is to ensure, above and beyond any line stoppage, that in fact the health and safety of Canadians is always the number one priority?

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.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 the professionals at CFIA do. They ensure that the food that is put before Canadian consumers as well as international markets is safe. They continue to do that through due diligence. We, of course, would never apologize for the size and scope of a recall. CFIA does what needs to be done to ensure that Canadian food and export food is safe.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. Does he not think that it is clearly time to look into what happened?

A review must be done and it must be independent. Once again, considering the new memo that was released, there was definitely a problem. The memo was changed because there was a problem. This needs to be resolved through an independent review, which cannot be conducted by the government, but rather by an outside party that is completely independent of the government.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, coming out of the Weatherill report, there was an independent expert panel constructed. It will do an in-depth review—

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has the floor.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

It will complete an in-depth review, Mr. Speaker, and that report will be made public.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the CFIA memo said, and I quote, “Our number 1 priority is to ensure this standard is met with Japan eligible carcasses”.

We have a serious problem when food inspection depends on what country the meat is sold to.

Why is the agency's priority not ensuring the health and safety of Canadians? Why is the meat sold to Canadians lower in quality than what is sold to Japan?

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

That is absolutely not true, Mr. Speaker. CFIA and this government continue to build a robust food safety system. We are putting in place the moneys and the manpower, as well as the regulations that are required to ensure that domestic consumption, as well as export consumption, is safe food.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that the minister has no idea what is going on in his department. He has lost control of his department and refuses to accept the consequences of the budget cuts. It is no surprise that Canadians have lost all confidence in him.

How many recalls and lives at risk will it take for the Prime Minister to tell us whether he approves of how the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is handling this file?

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there are no cuts in our food safety system. If the NDP had its way, the hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of inspectors that we put in place since we formed government would never have happened. That is unfortunate.

We have a food safety system that is rated superior by international adjudicators, by audits from other countries around the world. We continue to build a robust food safety system. We just passed Bill S-11, which will give the CFIA more regulatory powers in a recall situation. We look forward to that.

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, air travellers should be concerned when one out of three airlines is not inspected properly. Transport Canada is short 100 air safety inspectors because of draconian Conservative budget cuts.

At-risk airlines are supposed to be checked once a year, but that is just not done. As the holiday season is approaching, how can Canadians trust the Conservatives to keep them safe when the Auditor General has raised a red flag on air safety inspections?

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the preamble of that question is completely false.

The safety and security of Canadians is a top priority for Transport Canada. We have enough inspectors and resources to do our job. Officials said exactly that in committee.

The number of aviation inspector positions have not been cut, and the proof is in the results. Aviation accidents in Canada decreased by 25% in the last decade. They are the lowest in all times.

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is not reassuring for travellers.

According to Statistics Canada, our goods and services trade deficit has deepened. Our current account deficit has reached almost $19 billion. Our exports fell for a third consecutive quarter, dropping by $3.7 billion.

Can the Conservatives explain why they are closing 12 international trade promotion centres instead of supporting our exporters?

International TradeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that member is simply wrong. Canada's trade deficit narrowed last month and in fact it halved in each of the last two months. The irony is that if the NDP's reckless and irresponsible anti-trade policies were imposed on Canadians, Canada's trade would be zero.

Ever since the NAFTA, the NDP has consistently opposed efforts to increase trade. NDP members have called for protectionism at every turn. Their policies, along with their $21 billion carbon tax, would kill Canadian jobs and undermine our economy.

International TradeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

What a lot of make believe, Mr. Speaker. The fact is Canadian exports are down across the board: agriculture exports, down; fisheries exports, down; forestry exports, down; aerospace and manufacturing exports, down, energy exports, down. Under the Prime Minister, we have gone from a $26 billion dollar trade surplus to a $50 billion current account trade deficit.

When will the Conservatives stop the rhetoric and reverse their cuts to the vital trade services Canadian businesses rely on?

International TradeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that is pretty rich coming from the NDP. That party has opposed virtually every trade agreement this government has ever signed. The hypocrisy is jaw-dropping.

On this side of the House, we believe that trade will drive future economic growth. We are focused on negotiating and promoting the broadest and most ambitious trade agenda Canada has ever seen.

On this side of the House, we will continue to stand up for our businesses, for our exporters and for our investors.

National DefenceOral Questions

November 29th, 2012 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the information released today on the case of Jeffrey Delisle shows that there was a serious failure to enforce mandatory security screening. It also shows that the government was only made aware of Delisle's adventures by the FBI.

The Minister of National Defence has said that our allies have full confidence in our security arrangements, but how can he say that when it was actually one of the allies that first alerted us to what this officer was up to and had been doing for years?

What steps has the minister taken since January to fix this security problem, other than providing these bland assurances?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I can assure you, the member opposite and the House that the Department of National Defence takes the handling of secure, secret information very seriously, as it does all national security matters. I can also tell the House that this is not something that I or anyone else should be discussing on the floor of the House of Commons or publicly.

The member is a lawyer. He would also know that the matter is still before the courts. For that reason, we will not discuss this matter publicly.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the latest information about Jeffrey Delisle indicates that his espionage activities were discovered by the FBI.

However, the Minister of National Defence refuses to accept responsibility for this appalling security breach. National Defence and CSIS did not follow the rules. Delisle's security clearance was supposed to be checked every five years. That did not happen.

Why was the level 3 top secret security clearance of an officer who put the security of our country and our allies at risk not reviewed on schedule?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, the Department of National Defence always takes the necessary precautions to protect national security.

I have just informed the House that these are issues that the department takes very seriously. We take all secure information very seriously. This is a matter that is still before the courts. We continue to constantly review security measures, as the member would know, but we will not discuss them publicly.

Old Port of Montréal CorporationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Ève Péclet NDP La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the Conservatives want to dissolve the Old Port of Montréal Corporation. Dissolving a crown corporation because a handful of people are guilty of mismanagement is like dissolving CIDA because Bev Oda has expensive tastes. Talk about consistency.

Instead of simply fixing the problems and getting rid of the guilty parties, they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The Old Port is an economic engine in Montreal that has very specific needs.

Who will inherit the bill for managing and developing the facilities at the Old Port, the City of Montreal or the Government of Quebec?