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House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the trip to China was extraordinarily successful in building a relationship with the largest consumer of energy in the world, a country which, 25 years from now, will represent one-quarter of energy demand globally.

We are going to have an opportunity to sell our resources and exchange investment opportunities in both countries, which will generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions--

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Nickel Belt.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are not listening to the public. They prefer to conspire with oil lobbyists on building new pipelines. Canadians and the first nations do not want new pipelines. Experts have said in committee that this approach was harmful to Canadian refineries, which have lost 10,000 jobs since 1989.

Why give priority to the interests of the major oil companies, but refuse to listen to the concerns of Canadians?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

February 14th, 2012 / 2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it seems the NDP wants to build refineries but does not want to build pipelines, so the oil would presumably just stay there. That is a plan, I guess.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands represent one one-thousandth of global emissions. We should be proud of the fact that greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 30% over the last 10 years.

Canada is doing the right thing and is proceeding responsibly.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was shocked to learn that last year alone, Canada received 5,800 refugee applications not from Africa or Asia, but from the European Union. Almost all of these claims were found to be bogus. These bogus claims cost taxpayers almost $170 million in just one year.

The increasing number of unfounded refugee claims is causing a lot of concern among Canadians, including my constituents in Mississauga East--Cooksville.

Could the minister inform the House of what the government is doing to address this important issue?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, it is peculiar that Canada is receiving more asylum claims from the democratic rights-respecting European Union than from Africa or Asia.

Nearly all of these claims are determined to be unfounded. Over 95% of these claimants withdraw or abandon their own claims. The evidence before us suggests that most of these claimants are taking maximum advantage of generous Canadian social benefits, such as provincial welfare and welfare federal cash transfers. There has been a criminal prosecution into human trafficking and welfare fraud in Hamilton.

We must take action to protect the integrity of Canada's immigration system and to avoid our generosity being--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Sackville--Eastern Shore.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, last year Jennifer Stoddart, the Privacy Commissioner, said department officials at Veterans Affairs broke the law and breached the Privacy Act with respect to Sean Bruyea and other veterans. We were told by the Conservatives that no longer happens, that it cannot happen again.

In the news the other day we found out that the private information of Harold Leduc, a 22 year veteran who serves on the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, was recently scattered throughout the department, denigrating him in front of all of his peers. How the government could do that to veterans is beyond me.

Will the Minister of Veterans Affairs stand in his place, look into the camera, and apologize to Harold Leduc? Will the Prime Minister now call for a judicial inquiry into--

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as a government we care every day of the year for our veterans and we will continue to do so. Any show of disrespect toward our veterans is unacceptable and actually shocking.

As the member knows, the Veterans Review and Appeal Board is an arm's-length organization. When privacy breaches occur, I expect corrective measures to be put in place according to the most stringent policy.

Let me be clear. When the board renders decisions which affect our veterans' lives, fairness and equity are and have to remain the sole criteria.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon NDP Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is shameful. The government has violated the privacy of yet another veteran. Harold Leduc served for over 20 years and is a member of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. Yet this same board allegedly waged a campaign to discredit him by using his confidential medical information. It is unacceptable.

Why are veterans being intimidated in this manner? If the board is really concerned about protecting privacy, it will apologize and conduct an investigation immediately.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we speak and act on behalf of veterans. That being said, any show of disrespect toward our veterans is unacceptable and actually shocking. The Veterans Review and Appeal Board is an arm's-length organization that renders decisions for veterans.

Any time there is a breach of confidentiality, it is important that our action plan be applied, both here and by the board. What is clear to me is that on this side of the House, we support veterans. What is unacceptable is that the New Democrats have filled 13 pages with votes against veterans. On this side of the House, we will stand up for veterans.

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, municipalities are concerned that the secretive Canada–Europe trade deal could threaten local jobs. Toronto's city council weighed in yesterday. It is worried this deal could reduce its ability to promote local Canadian jobs and use public spending for stimulus and to support local small business.

Toronto and other cities are asking the federal government to listen. Will the Conservatives ensure that municipal autonomy is not negotiated away in their back-room trade talks with Europe?

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I reject the premise of the hon. member's question but I will tell him what the CETA with Europe will do. It will offer a 20% boost in bilateral trade between Canada and the European Union. It will add a $12 billion annual boost to Canada's economy. It will result in a $1,000 increase in the average Canadian family income and create almost 80,000 new jobs.

For the life of me, I will never understand why the NDP is against all the good things that trade can bring to this country.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, we agree with good trade deals, just not ones that kill good Canadian jobs.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for York South—Weston has the floor.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Despite what the minister says, the Conservatives are ignoring legitimate municipal concerns and cities like Toronto are not buying it. They do not trust the government to protect their interests and they deserve more respect. Why are the Conservatives tying the hands of cities like Toronto? Why is the government negotiating away their rights and interfering with their ability to freely purchase local goods?

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the municipalities have been fully briefed on the CETA negotiations. They are represented at the table by the provinces and there is nothing new here. There is no outrageous underlying current of evil in this negotiation. These negotiations are good for Canada and will be good for the municipalities, and I totally reject the hon. member's question.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year we celebrate the charter's 30th anniversary, a landmark occasion to demonstrate respect for the Constitution and the rights of all Canadians. Yet the government continues to enact and enhance mandatory minimum penalties even though, as an Ontario judge said yesterday, they may violate the charter's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

In this 30th year of the charter, will the government respect the Canadian and international evidence that mandatory minimums are unfair, injurious, ineffective, unconstitutional and a failed criminal law policy?

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this government respects all of our constitutional documents, including the Canadian Bill of Rights of 1960. That being said, if the hon. member has a problem with mandatory penalties why did he support them as justice minister and why did he support the bill that is currently before the courts?

In 2008, they all jumped to their feet. I know, being a Liberal, he can change his opinion on anything at any moment, but perhaps we could ask why the Liberals supported that if they now have a problem with it.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has never met a fact it will not ignore and recently, in a further leap from evidence-based policy, the Conservative Minister of Justice is asking Canadians to shoot first, ask questions later, possibly in an attempt by the government to justify some of the extra, unnecessary jail cells it is building.

Countless experts, like correctional officers, judges and police officers, are arguing that the Conservative justice agenda is dumb on crime, but everyone knows that firing a shot over someone's head is dangerous and wrong. Will the government please take a step back from inciting violence and vigilantism?

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, that is a complete bunch of nonsense. The bill before Parliament requires everyone to ask reasonably in the circumstances. We clarified the situation when individuals are protecting themselves and their property, and we have come forward with citizen's arrest. They supported that before. What is their problem today?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal funding promised for the Laval arena was to be used to build a sports complex consisting of an arena for large sporting events and two skating rinks for the Laval community. The government had agreed to fund the project and then it backed out. Honestly, it is difficult to understand the government's reasoning.

Will the minister stop hiding behind false pretexts and excuses and finally honour the commitment he made to the people of Laval?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as we have already said, this project was accepted on the basis that the work was to begin on January 1, 2010, and end on December 31, 2011. I do not know who broke their promise, but we certainly kept ours. Since then, we have decided that we will not be investing in sports facilities to be used by professional teams in any sport. The deadline has passed. Had the Province of Quebec wanted to, it could have re-submitted an application, which was not done.