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House of Commons Hansard #94 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was drugs.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, with great secrecy and without explanation, the Conservatives are about to announce major reductions in support staff on military bases. Approximately 700 jobs are slated to be eliminated. Families throughout Canada are concerned for their future.

Can the Minister clarify whether or not he intends to get rid of support staff on Canada's military bases?

National DefenceOral Questions

10:40 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, secrecy? Speculation? It is called a budget, and leaked documents and speculation about what will be in the budget are not helpful to the military, the public service, or anyone else.

I am very proud of the fact that our government has made historic investments in the Canadian Forces, over a billion dollars annually. We have invested in infrastructure, personnel, equipment, and in readiness. Guess what? On each and every occasion, the member opposite and his party voted against those investments.

National DefenceOral Questions

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, understandably, military communities across the country are worried about these looming job cuts. Military bases are crucial to the local economy and are often the largest employer in the region. We have been raising this issue for a long time but cannot seem to get a straight answer from the government. Today, so far, is no exception. However, I am ever hopeful.

Will the government finally reassure military communities that it will not cut the jobs of support staff for our troops?

National DefenceOral Questions

10:45 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what I will do is ensure that the member opposite and all members know that we will continue to make investments in the Canadian Forces, as we have been since taking office. Unfortunately, what we can expect from the member opposite, as we have seen throughout his time and his party's time here, are continued votes against every investment we make in the Canadian Forces, whether it be for equipment, whether it be for new bases and infrastructure, whether it be for every means possible to aid and assist our brave men and women in uniform. That is what the member opposite has done. That is what his party has consistently done.

National DefenceOral Questions

10:45 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, a curious thing happened in Washington 10 days ago. The minister came out of his emergency meeting with the same talking points and a renewed commitment to the F-35. The Americans came out of the very same meeting with confirmation that the price of the F-35 was going up, again.

Did the Americans share this news with the minister, or keep him in the dark? If he was advised of the price jump, why is he not telling Canadians? What is the price of the F-35?

National DefenceOral Questions

10:45 a.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Royal Canadian Air Force plays an important role in protecting our sovereignty and defending our interests at home and abroad. Canada's CF-18s are nearing the end of their usable lives. A contract has not been signed for replacement aircraft, and we have set a budget for replacement aircraft and have been clear that we will operate within that budget. We will make sure that our air force has aircraft necessary to do the job we ask of it, regardless of what the member opposite thinks.

Search and RescueOral Questions

10:45 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservatives are spinning their wheels on the F-35, too little is being done about search and rescue. It is three years to the day since the terrible helicopter crash that killed 17 people in the Newfoundland offshore. We know the dangers but the government still does not get it on search and rescue. It has delayed the purchase of search and rescue planes yet again. There is no progress on response times, we have inadequate search and rescue in the north and not enough helicopters to get the job done.

When will the Conservatives finally make search and rescue a real priority in the country?

Search and RescueOral Questions

10:45 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, search and rescue of course is a huge priority for this government, and for all governments. We have 18 million square kilometres of territory to cover. We have made investments. We continue to do so. We made improvements to the protocol recently in response to the tragic incident in Makkovik. We continue to work with all levels of government, as ground search and rescue responsibility rests with provinces and territories. We continue to do all we can to support our SAR techs, who are true heroes, each and every day as they carry out their important duties around this massive country of ours.

JusticeOral Questions

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are rightly concerned about crime. Canadians are constantly demanding from government a justice system that will keep them safe in their streets and communities. Victims of crime need to know that the justice system is there for them when they need it.

Since it was first elected in 2006, the government has been steadfast in its commitment to strengthen Canada's justice system. The safe streets and communities act will crack down on child pornographers, drug dealers, and car thieves. It will ensure that those who commit serious offences receive appropriate sentences that reflect the severity of their crimes.

Could the justice minister please update the House on the status of the safe streets and communities act?

JusticeOral Questions

10:45 a.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to report that despite the usual obstruction and delays by the opposition, the final vote for the safe streets and communities act will take place tonight.

We promised Canadians that we would pass this legislation within the first hundred days of sitting, and that vote is going to take place tonight. We are keeping that promise.

I know the opposition would rather shut down the House, but given that victims' groups, law enforcement agencies, and 6 out of 10 Canadians support these measures, the opposition should welcome this final opportunity to get on board and crack down on violent crime in our country.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

March 12th, 2012 / 10:45 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the federal crown has a legal duty to consult aboriginal peoples and to consider and accommodate any potential impacts of project activities on their rights and title. As early as 2010, officials warned that the northern gateway project to ship raw bitumen could be at risk if the government did not properly consult and assist aboriginal peoples.

Will the government finally respond to the demands by first nations and Métis for direct consultation on the risks that this project poses to their lands, waters and peoples?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

10:45 a.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we take our obligations on the duty to consult very seriously. The northern gateway project is under environmental assessment and environmental review. A part of that review involves aboriginal consultation. That is exactly what this government is committed to and we shall fulfill that duty.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

10:50 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Indeed, Mr. Speaker, the government was also warned several years ago that failure to sufficiently fund first nations' participation could invalidate the pipeline review process. Yet according to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the government has committed less than a quarter of the funds needed. Contrary to what the government claims, it is not foreign interests that could undermine the NEB process but the refusal to recognize the rights and interests of aboriginal peoples.

Will the government commit today to finance full and fair aboriginal participation?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

10:50 a.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, what I can say is that we are funding aboriginal participation in order to fulfill our duty to consult. One can always argue about dollars. The commitment has meant that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent over the last few months and the total commitment is in the millions of dollars.

HealthOral Questions

10:50 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the shutdown in production at the Sandoz plant has plunged the entire country into a serious crisis, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. The whole drug supply system has been shaken. There is an increasing number of shortages. There has even been a shortage in chemotherapy drugs since the fall. Our patients are being deprived of vital treatments. Putting a band-aid on the wound and blaming others is clearly not effective.

When will there be a real strategy to avoid fresh drug shortages?

HealthOral Questions

10:50 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, if you read between the lines, it is clear that the NDP does not understand provincial areas of jurisdiction and wants to encroach on these areas.

This shortage is a result of provincial decisions to have sole source agreements. They sign these agreements, not us.

The Minister of Health is taking steps to help the provinces with this issue. Health Canada is going to assist the provinces and territories to identify alternative companies and fast-track the approval process.

HealthOral Questions

10:50 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, this crisis is getting worse every day and the government's finger pointing is cold comfort to the patients who are paying the price.

Mr. Speaker, you agreed to a debate tonight because you know this is an emergency. Why is the government still in denial? The fact is Canadians are going to have to wait longer and longer for important surgeries and procedures. Instead of empty words, the government needs to take responsibility for anticipating, identifying and managing the shortages of medically essential drugs.

Will the Conservatives stop blaming others and take leadership in solving this crisis?

HealthOral Questions

10:50 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we are taking leadership, but I think the NDP members need to talk with one another, as they do not seem to be on the same page. As a matter of fact, at the health committee last week the NDP member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord filibustered and prevented the committee members from voting on a motion to look at this issue. Perhaps the hon. member opposite could discuss how we as parliamentarians are taking the issue very seriously and suggest that her colleague vote with us next time.

Search and RescueOral Questions

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, the minister from Labrador held a meeting to explain the new protocol for search and rescue and basically said, “There is no need to call us; we'll call you”. However, is that really enough? If we look at the situation, another important question is, why would the rescue centre send orders to helicopters in Goose Bay to do the job when they are not able to fly for mechanical reasons? Bad weather or not, why send out helicopters that just do not work?

Will the minister from Labrador rise in the House and agree that this situation also needs to be looked at?

Search and RescueOral Questions

10:50 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, deliberately or otherwise, the member is confusing the issue. The issue is not, “Come if you can”. The issue is how the Canadian Forces respond to a ground search and rescue request. Weather is a factor, of course, as is availability.

The reality is that we are constantly in a state of deciding where the optimal location is for the Canadian Forces' assets. We are constantly improving. Just last week we had communications between the Canadian Forces and other territory and provincial responsibilities. We will continue to update those efforts constantly.

Service CanadaOral Questions

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, with cuts to search and rescue, the decommissioning of CFB Goose Bay, the failure to secure a Churchill Falls loan guarantee, and cuts to federal jobs, the member for Labrador has been mum on it all. The one and only commitment made by the regional Minister for Newfoundland and Labrador to the people of our province is the promise that seven Service Canada employees working out of Goose Bay will continue to work for Service Canada in Goose Bay even after the office is no longer engaged in processing EI applications.

Can the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs highlight for the House what specifically those seven Service Canada employees will be doing in Goose Bay after EI processing is terminated there?

Service CanadaOral Questions

10:55 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as explained before, we are in the process of modernizing and automating the EI system to serve Canadians better. There will be a—

Service CanadaOral Questions

10:55 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Service CanadaOral Questions

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. Minister of Human Resources has the floor.

Service CanadaOral Questions

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, there will be a consolidation. Right now we have over 120 centres where backroom processing operations are done. We are going to be consolidating those down to 22, because that will be more efficient, more effective and more responsive to the needs of Canadians.