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House of Commons Hansard #97 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, changes in the military's emergency protocol after the tragedy of Makkovik is some acknowledgement that there are problems within Canada's search and rescue system. Indeed, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Newfoundland and Labrador's representative in the federal cabinet, has said there are problems “Right from ground search and rescue, the RCMP, the province, the national defence, all the different elements that are involved in the search and rescue”.

Does the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs stand by his call for an inquiry into every aspect of search and rescue and if not, why not?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the improvements that the hon. member has referred to are just part of a package of ongoing efforts to improve both communications, availability of assets, but it is a coordinated approach. It involves provinces and territories, which have primary responsibility for ground search and rescue, and ensuring that we have greater ability to communicate with one another, particularly in remote parts of our country.

Eighteen million square kilometres of territory is the responsibility of search and rescue. We work hard every day. We have members of our SAR tech community performing daily heroics and assistance to Canadians in need. We will continue to back them all the way.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday at the fisheries committee, when asked whether he planned to eliminate fish habitat protection from the Fisheries Act, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans could not answer. “Who knows” he said, “I don't know for sure”. Without habitat protection, new megapipelines could go ahead without environmental review and though the changes may be buried in the budget two weeks from today, the minister knows nothing.

Has the minister ever been consulted, or is it PMO that is calling the shots?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, obviously the member opposite did not read the transcript. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is very clear that the current habitat policies go well beyond what is necessary to protect fish and fish habitat, and at the jeopardy of Canadians. For example, in 1993 a farmer in Quebec was fined $1,000 for dewatering of his field that had gone through a flood because there were a couple of fish in it. He had to buy a permit for fishing in the last flood because he would have been subject to a $100,000 fine otherwise.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, we know that these references to these plans are false. Documents show that the government plans to change the fishery and set us back several decades.

The Conservatives want to get rid of environmental rules in order to push through their pipeline and supertanker schemes as quickly as possible.

Lobbyists have been consulted, but not Canadians. The Conservatives want to make changes in the budget in an underhanded way.

Will the minister finally confirm that in the next budget, section 35 of the Fisheries Act will be changed?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated yesterday in the House and at committee, there have been no decisions made. However, I might reference the member opposite to the flooded out farmer who needed a permit to remove fish. They are not false comments. The Abbotsford Times, on September 16, 2003, said that the B.C. government had long complained about DFO enforcement policies that made it impossible to clear drainage ditches or clogged streams that threatened to overflow and flood properties. This is nothing new, just ask average Canadians.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives broke their election promise and cancelled the eco-energy home retrofit program, thousands of Canadian jobs were lost. Sustainable Housing, a firm in Wolfville, laid off half its workers. However, if the program is brought back, Sustainable Housing will hire new college graduates to grow its business.

With Canada facing a youth jobs crisis, will the Minister of Finance use this budget to bring back the eco-energy home retrofit program and create green jobs for young Canadians?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 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, we have the bizarre opposition side, which voted against the program three times, begging us to bring it back.

It has been successfully creating jobs across the country. Our government was clear that this program would end after 250,000 registrations were in. It has been fully subscribed. We expect to be close to the budget amount of $400 million. We will continue to work with Canadians to support our clean energy sector.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in committee, the President of the Treasury Board was unable to tell us exactly when Canadians will be given the details regarding spending cuts. We do not know if they will be revealed this spring, in the fall or even if the strategic review is complete.

After spending $90,000 a day on consultants, can the minister tell Canadians when the cuts will happen?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, what the member said is completely false. I invite my hon. colleague to wait for the budget.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Conservatives killed an NDP proposal for the popular eco-energy retrofit program. It did not matter that a quarter of a million Canadians used the program to save money and energy, or that the industry and environmental experts wanted to make the program permanent or that the government's own numbers proved it was a success.

Why are the Conservatives so eager to kill a program that is good for the environment and job creation? Why are Canadians being ignored?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 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, what kind of gall is that? That program would never have existed if the NDP had decided on it. It voted against it three times.

Our government has been a strong supporter of energy efficiency. Our eco-energy homes program has saved Canadians on their energy bills across the country. We budgeted $400 million for that program this year. It has been fully subscribed. We will continue to work with Canadians on clean energy projects.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, we voted against the budget because it did not get the job done.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government ProgramsOral Questions

March 15th, 2012 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

What we understand is that the Conservatives have once again turned their backs on families. The average family saves $700 a year for a $2,000 investment thanks to the eco-energy retrofit program. The program was so successful that it generated more money than it cost.

Are the Conservatives so out of touch with reality that they would eliminate a program that works so well? Why not make this program permanent?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 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, it was a pleasure at the beginning of question period to hear the leader of the NDP support so much of our budget program last year. It has been exciting to hear the Liberals and now the NDP step forward and talk about what great programs and projects we brought forward for Canadians. We look forward to them enthusiastically supporting our budget when it is presented as well.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Conservative Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks a grim anniversary. One year ago today Syrian forces cracked down mercilessly on a peaceful protest in the city of Daraa. In the year since, in towns and cities across the country, there have been escalating crackdowns, more violence and ever more mounting casualty counts.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please tell the House what Canada has done, and is doing, in response to this crisis in Syria?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada has been on the forefront of the international effort to isolate the Assad regime in Syria. The events of the past year are absolutely tragic, abhorrent. We condemn them in the strongest of terms.

We have been very clear that President Assad must go. We are working with our allies to exhaust every diplomatic means and we are examining ways to address the humanitarian crisis that, regrettably, is worsening by the day.

Canada has stood and will continue to stand with the Syrian people. They will realize for themselves a better future and Canada will support them very significantly in that regard.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, backsliding on democracy in Ukraine is getting worse. Yulia Tymoshenko has been denied medical care and a twisted judicial system has been used to jail another political figure, Yuri Lutsenko.

Will the Canadian government do three things: one, provide the 1,500 observers requested to oversee Ukrainian elections this fall; two, reset CIDA's focus on democratic development; and, three, fund Radio Canada International to resume broadcasting in Ukraine? Will these three things be in the budget in two weeks?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada has been very involved in Ukraine and in the efforts to provide medical assistance to the former leader. We also believe strongly that we can help by participating in the election with election observers and we were committed to do that. In fact, earlier this week, when I appeared before a committee, I spoke very directly to the issue that the member for Wascana spoke to. The government has no plans to raise the budget of the CBC.

International Co-operationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, out of the $142 million in subsidies given to development projects on December 23, 2011, only 11.6% went to organizations in Quebec. What is more, the Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale, the largest network of development NGOs in Quebec, has asked to meet with the minister a number of times, but she always refuses.

What did the NGOs of Quebec ever do to deserve such contempt from the Conservatives?

International Co-operationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as I told the member at committee yesterday, we are fortunate to have many reputable NGO communities working around the world, founded in Quebec and based in Quebec.

Our government is not about organizations. Our government is about finding the best organizations to deliver the results we want to see in developing countries. We want to ensure that we are maximizing our aid dollars and we will pick the best organizations to do so.

We are fortunate to have French-speaking NGOs so that we can make them available in the global effort.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, our government remains fully committed to moving forward with the Lower Churchill hydro-electric generation project.

Today's release of the environmental assessment response represents another important milestone. Not only will this project bring important economic benefits all over Atlantic Canada, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it will also reaffirm Canada's role as a reliable energy source.

Would the regional minister for Newfoundland and Labrador update this House on today's important announcement in regard to the Lower Churchill project?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Labrador Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Peter Penashue ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to announce, on behalf of the Minister of Natural Resources, that we are moving forward with the Lower Churchill environmental assessment process. We are keeping on course with this project that will bring countless economic benefits to my province, to Nova Scotia and to the rest of the country.

Our government has once again delivered on its commitment to protect Canada's long-term economic prosperity.