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House of Commons Hansard #78 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was balance.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, after reports of a serious security breach in the defence department, Jeffrey Delisle was arrested.

As a result, Conservative sources told the media that four Russian diplomats were being expelled from Canada. But the Russian ambassador is now telling the media that no one was expelled, and there is an agreement to keep this quiet.

With our international credibility on the line, will the government confirm that Russian diplomats were not in fact expelled?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as this matter relates to national security, I have no further comment.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was the Conservatives who fed this story to the media and claimed that Russian diplomats were being expelled.

This is the biggest intelligence breach in recent Canadian history. The Russian ambassador is saying that he will make Canada look “very red-faced”.

Would the government confirm whether these Russians were expelled, or was this story about the expulsions just a smokescreen to distract attention from this massive security failure?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, this matter relates to national security so I have no further comment.

Goverment AppointmentsOral Questions

February 10th, 2012 / 11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, morale within the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation is not good. A minimum of 44 pink slips are about to be handed out, with more on the way.

Professionals, hired on merit and who contributed so much to the agencies' performance, are being shown the door, all while failed Conservative hacks, like Cecil Clarke, walk into guaranteed jobs worth $135,000 a year.

Would the government acknowledge that morale at ACOA and ECBC is being hurt by the patronage scandal that it created?

Goverment AppointmentsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Conservative

Bernard Valcourt ConservativeMinister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, the member refers to a staffing decision made, not by ACOA and not by this government, but by a local economic development organization. The Cape Breton County Economic Development Agency is responsible for its own hiring. I am not expected, I am sure, to answer for it.

Goverment AppointmentsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, a failed candidate, Cecil Clarke, is getting $135,000 a year guaranteed. It is like a mini-Senate seat, is it not?

Cecil Clarke, Kevin MacAdam and a dozen or more others get “freedom 45” as ACOA and ECBC show the door to dozens of their own employees. All of these employees won competitions on merit and contributed to the professionalism of those organizations and they are getting the pink slips.

Would the government acknowledge that the budget cuts, the patronage scandal and the internal morale issues are hurting these--

Goverment AppointmentsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of State for ACOA.

Goverment AppointmentsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Conservative

Bernard Valcourt ConservativeMinister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, again, I do not know what he is getting excited about. The hiring by local development organizations is their responsibility.

As for the other hiring he is talking about, the member refers to a staffing decision that was made according to the Public Service Act. It was an open competition, open to all Canadians, and a person won the job. I am sorry but that is the Public Service Commission's doing.

Flooding in MontérégieOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi NDP Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, victims of the flooding that occurred in the Richelieu valley last summer are at the end of their rope and are asking today for authorization to launch a class action suit against the Canadian and Quebec governments. They are taking this extreme measure because they feel abandoned by this government.

What justification could this government have for ignoring these Canadian families? And will it take action to avoid having the Richelieu victims waste their time and money in the courts?

Flooding in MontérégieOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our hearts go out to the victims of flooding throughout Canada, not only in Quebec but in my home province of Manitoba, in my home riding in Manitoba.

Our government is supporting victims of flooding through several programs. We have also committed to helping the provinces with mitigation efforts. We are listening to the provinces, we are working together and we are supporting them.

Flooding in MontérégieOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi NDP Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is all well and good for the parliamentary secretary to talk about Manitoba, but the fact remains that this government is facing a $200 million lawsuit. Successive governments, both Liberal and Conservative, did not keep their promises to build infrastructure.

Will the government finally keep the promises made in 1937 to build infrastructure that will protect people living along the river?

Flooding in MontérégieOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, once again, as my colleague was saying, we empathize with the families affected by this flooding. I visited the area with the Prime Minister. I was there twice and what happened is terrible. That is why we are working hard, together with the provinces, to ensure that all available programs will be offered to the victims at the appropriate time.

As my colleague also said, there are disaster mitigation programs that the provinces and federal government are constantly working on and we will continue in that direction.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Conservative Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada remains tremendously concerned about reports from Ukraine regarding the deteriorating health of Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister of Ukraine.

In November, the Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated that Canada was willing to provide medical assistance to Ms. Tymoshenko.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs please update the House on Canada's response to this situation?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are very pleased to announce that the government's intervention has paved the way for three Canadian doctors to participate in the International Medical Commission to independently assess the health of the former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko. While this is a welcome development, we hope that all outstanding issues can be resolved expeditiously to allow these doctors access to Ms. Tymoshenko and to ensure that her health, diagnosis and treatment remain the primary focus of all involved.

JusticeOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice.

Does he not realize that encouraging and condoning Canadians to take up arms against so-called threats to their property rather than calling the police is, in fact, vigilantism? Does he not realize that getting off a few shots creates more victims and escalates the potential for even greater tragedy? Does he also endorse road rage and his Senate colleague's proposal to leave a little extra rope in the Senate for a little self-administered justice?

Is he the Minister of Justice or is he the minister of shoot now and ask questions later?

JusticeOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Conservative

Robert Goguen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to putting real criminals behind bars. Bill C-26 provides a framework for innocent Canadians to protect themselves in instances where the first line of defence, the RCMP and police, are not able to respond.

In dealing with matters of reasonable circumstances, basically we will rely upon the courts and the prosecutors to determine how Canadians are able to protect themselves, thanks to this enhanced act.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are ignoring northern Ontario. The four-laning of Highway 69 linking Toronto to Sudbury has been stalled for over 18 months waiting for the result of a federal environmental assessment. This project is vital to Sudbury and northern Ontario. It will improve safety, a particular concern after more tragic fatal accidents over the Christmas period.

Environmental assessments are important and must be done but when will Conservatives make completing this assessment a priority and stop ignoring northern Ontario?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would remind my colleague opposite that his party continually votes against any budgetary measures to assess any part of this country.

With regard to environmental assessment processes, our government takes those very seriously. They are rigorous processes and we are committed to ensuring the integrity of them and the timeliness of them. I would ask my colleague opposite to support that principle in other major projects, including our energy sector.

International TradeOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, our government is strengthening Canada's trading relationships around the world. With one in five Canadian jobs generated by trade, we know that expanding trade agreements and signing new ones is a key part of our government's low tax, pro-trade plan for jobs and economic growth. When we help Canadian businesses expand and succeed in priority markets around the world, it creates jobs and grows the economy.

Would the parliamentary secretary tell the House about another accomplishment for our pro-trade plan?

International TradeOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, today, the hard-working Minister of International Trade announced that the second round of talks to expand Canada's free trade agreement with Costa Rica was successfully concluded. An expanded free trade agreement with Costa Rica will enhance access for small and medium size businesses, which means jobs for Canadian workers and their families. This is further proof that our job creating, pro-trade plan is on track and delivering results.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, Toronto has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and housing prices are skyrocketing. More and more families are finding it harder to buy or rent a home in Toronto.

The Conservatives are out of touch with Toronto but New Democrats know that we need a jobs creation plan and more affordable housing.

Are the Conservatives planning another do nothing budget that fails to get the job done for all places holy and decent like the great city of Toronto?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, finally a question on the economy. I am happy to respond to that, especially because of the fact that our last two budgets actually focused on jobs and the economy. Both of those budgets were opposed by the NDP that claimed to come late to the show in actually talking about jobs.

However, we will be bringing forward a budget in the very near future and that also will focus on jobs and the economy because that is important. That is what Canadians want to talk about, which is why we will continue on that plan.

TaxationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, clearly, the Conservatives are not prepared to require the Governor General to obey the same rules as everyone else. The Bloc Québécois's idea to subject the Governor General to the Income Tax Act seems very complicated to the Minister of Industry, who feels this should be done only in consultation with the Queen's representative himself. Yet, did the Conservatives consult seniors before proposing pension reform? Did they consult Quebec before depriving it of the data in the firearms registry? Did they consult taxpayers before spending millions of dollars to celebrate the Queen?

My question is simple: does the Minister of Finance intend to make the Governor General subject to the Income Tax Act like everyone else?

TaxationOral Questions

Noon

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has a tendency to want to complicate simple matters. I stated yesterday, on behalf of the government, that we are prepared to review the rules; however, this must be done in co-operation with the Governor General. The government does not have complete authority in this regard. The Governor General is an institution, and this matter must be addressed in co-operation with him. My response could not be clearer.