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House of Commons Hansard #96 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was drugs.

Topics

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, current fisheries policies go well beyond what is required to protect fish and fish habitat. I can give some examples of that.

Last year in Saskatchewan, a long-running country jamboree was nearly cancelled after newly flooded fields were deemed fish habitat by fisheries officials. In Richelieu, the application of rules blocked a farmer from draining his flooded field.

We are looking at the policies, but there has been no decision made.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, those are empty words. Canadians know full well that they cannot count on the Conservatives to protect the environment.

We know that the industry started lobbying the Conservatives in 2006. The government is supposed to protect our fishery, not roll out the red carpet for disastrous mega-projects.

Are the Conservatives going to do their job or are they going to keep giving their lobbyist friends special treatment? When are they finally going to meet the needs of the fishers?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, it is more like empty questions. The member opposite obviously has a crystal ball that I do not have.

What we are looking at is policies. I can tell the member that we have not made any policy changes. We are currently looking at the policies that are in place and how we can improve them to make it better for fish habitat and the fisheries.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us give the minister another chance.

First, the Conservative government smeared B.C.'s first nations, whom it has a duty to properly consult, by calling them radicals and adversaries.

Now we have learned that the government plans to relinquish its role in protecting vital salmon and other fish habitat. This is a cynical attempt to shortcut the northern gateway pipeline approval process at the expense of local communities and the environment.

Will the government commit here and now to drop its plan to gut fish habitat protection?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, these are policies that we are looking at.

There is ample evidence that the policies we have in place are inhibiting the everyday activities of Canadian landowners. We have a responsibility to Canada and the Canadian public to ensure that we protect our habitat. At the same time the policies have to be reasonable and do not infringe on the everyday way of life of Canadians.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, last year purse seiners were unable to catch all of the remaining herring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Now we are hearing that the minister has cut a deal to allow massive corporate mid-water trawlers to fish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Will the government, knowing that these massive corporate trawlers will destroy the species, inform the House and Canadians that it will not allow this type of trawler in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which will destroy the herring species?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, that is an interesting question from the member opposite. Days ago he was criticizing me for listening to fishermen and seeking ideas and input from fishermen.

Obviously, those members probably would not be way down there in the House if they had listened to Canadians and Canadian fishermen.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have transformed a crucial report from the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development into Conservative talking points. The report contains no proof and does not take the points of view of key stakeholders into account. Since no one can support their plan to phase out environmental assessments, they wrote a phony report that supports their case.

When will they stop producing reports based on their fantasy world?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is not true at all.

The standing committee has completed its review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and has made some constructive suggestions for improvements to the act that will allow for continued rigorous protection of the environment while at the same time protecting Canadian jobs and the economy.

Our consideration of legislative change will certainly benefit from the recommendations of the standing committee.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, here is the Conservative plan to study environmental assessments: One, ignore important evidence; two, fail to consult key stakeholders; and three, write a phony report full of holes that serves no one but the Conservatives.

That is not good enough. We are talking about important safeguards here to protect our health, communities and environment. Conservatives are turning environmental assessments into a farce.

Will the Conservatives put off any changes to the Environmental Assessment Act until a credible review can be done?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, if the NDP spent a little less time lobbying against Canadian jobs and a responsibly regulated industry, the member would have a better chance of helping to protect the environment.

The Environmental Assessment Act and the good work of the agency are very much front of mind. We are well aware of where improvements to the act can be made. That said, we do appreciate the recommendations made by the standing committee.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, with the third largest oil reserves in the world, Canada has a historic opportunity to develop these resources to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and economic growth right across our country.

We are an energy superpower with the resources the world needs to fulfill growing global energy demands. Furthermore, we are seen as a reliable as well as an environmentally and socially responsible supplier.

Could the parliamentary secretary please update this House on how we are fighting for our resource sector?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his excellent work on natural resources.

When we go abroad, we defend Canadian interests, not betray them. Today the Minister of Natural Resources is in Kuwait doing excellent work as usual in telling the world that Canada stands ready to supply its oil and energy.

We are a strong stable democracy, we are a reliable trading partner and we are creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across this country. Unlike the opposition, when we travel abroad we support Canadian interests and Canadian workers.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

March 14th, 2012 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I recently returned from South Africa where the leaders of the African National Congress, the legendary anti-Apartheid movement that is now celebrating its centenary, reported to me how they were denied visas to Canada on security grounds and felt it painful if not insulting to have to apply for an exceptional waiver.

My question for the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism is this: What steps will the Government of Canada take to ensure that these anti-Apartheid heroes are not treated as presumed inadmissibles or terrorists with respect to their visa applications to Canada?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I have worked with the member on this matter.

When the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was adopted in 2002, it had very strict provisions for inadmissibility that have long been established in Canadian immigration law and are basically endlessly retrospective. Therefore, anyone who belongs to an organization that may have been inadmissible in the past is still technically inadmissible.

Having said that, we have issued an operational bulletin to our visa officers and CBSA agents indicating that the African National Congress is an organization that has undergone substantial change and, therefore, membership in it should no longer be considered grounds for inadmissibility.

I think we have found a technical solution, but we are also looking at amendments to IRPA to correct this problem of the retrospective inadmissibility provisions of that statute.

Cultural HeritageOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, three years ago, the great actress Rita Lafontaine donated 29 boxes of archives to Library and Archives Canada. Among the treasures was the original version of Michel Tremblay's play, Les Belles-Soeurs, with the author's handwritten notes. This week we learned that it will be another three years before these items are processed. Is this a joke? Incidentally, people still flock to see that masterpiece in Paris, performed by our best actresses.

Can the minister explain this paralysis at Library and Archives Canada? Have they been instructed to ensure there is less interest in Quebec culture?

Cultural HeritageOral Questions

3 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we work with Library and Archives Canada constantly in order to protect our heritage and the artists across Canada who want to get involved in it. We are aware of the situation and discussions are under way.

Air CanadaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, a work stoppage at Air Canada would be damaging to Canada's fragile economy and would strand over a million Canadians this week alone.

Early this morning our government passed back to work legislation to keep Air Canada in the air. As expected, the opposition put the interests of its big union bosses ahead of the Canadian economy and the public interest.

Could the Minister of Transport please update the House on the status of this important piece of legislation?

Air CanadaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we understand that a disruption at Air Canada would damage Canada's fragile economic recovery. That is why earlier this morning the Conservative government put Canadian travellers and the Canadian economy first by passing legislation to keep Air Canada planes flying.

That is why the Conservatives passed legislation earlier this morning to protect travellers and the Canadian economy. The NDP demonstrated once again that the interests of large unions are more important than the interests of Canadians and our economy. This Conservative government will continue to put the interests of Canadians first and protect the Canadian economy.

Air TransportationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud NDP Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's edition of La Facture confirmed what we already know: the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities abandoned the people of Neuville. A news report accurately described the distress of residents and the city's firm opposition to the construction of an airport, regardless of the existence of a signed agreement. If the minister did not see the report, I strongly recommend that he watch it. Maybe then he would better understand the issue. The provinces and municipalities must have a say when it comes to the construction of an airport in their area.

Will the Minister of Transport finally recognize that there are responsibilities that come with his title? Will he finally listen to the people?

Air TransportationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I was a mayor for seven years. What the hon. member just said demonstrates her total lack of knowledge of the role of a municipal council. I have in my hands—and I can table it—a six-page agreement signed on November 1, 2011. When a mayor signs such an agreement, it is because he has received the authorization to do so from his city council. If he has not, then he is in trouble. The mayor signed six pages of notes indicating that the developer wants to build an airport and that it was agreed that the city wants to regulate it operations The hon. member is saying that an agreement is not important, but it is a legal document.

That being said, Transport Canada's role is to regulate the transportation safety aspect of this issue and that is what we are going to do—

Air TransportationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Ahuntsic.

JusticeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, after making comments about the death penalty and inciting inmates to hang themselves, Senator Boisvenu has done it again. He has criticized Quebec's justice minister for not caring about victims. It is clear that this Conservative senator does not understand that rehabilitation and prevention will protect victims. Once again, he has missed an opportunity to keep quiet.

Does the Prime Minister condone his senator's unacceptable remarks? If he does not, will he ask the senator to apologize to Quebec's justice minister?

JusticeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the senator has nothing to apologize for. He has been an outstanding spokesperson for victims in this country.

That said, there is nothing in the bill that would prohibit or in any way restrict Quebec or any other province's ability to rehabilitate and work with young people. We all have a stake in that. However, we all have a stake in going after drug dealers and those who would sexually abuse our children. We all have a stake in that, all 10 provinces, including Quebec.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Doug Horner, Deputy Premier of Alberta and President of Treasury Board and Enterprise.