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House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

Postal ServicesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to universal, effective and economically viable postal services for all Canadians. That is why we introduced the Canadian postal service charter and we are protecting all rural post offices from closure.

Canada Post is experiencing changes as the economy changes. Decisions have been made in some urban centres to realign post office hours, times and locations. However, may I say that they are working very hard and Canadians have never had better postal service than they do today.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

March 28th, 2012 / 3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the media is reporting that the Canadian government is requesting that Omar Khadr, convicted murderer and terrorist, be returned to the United States to serve out the rest of his sentence.

Could the Minister of Public Safety please advise the House and all Canadians on the progress of this file?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Omar Ahmed Khadr has pleaded guilty to very serious charges in the United States, including the murder of a medic. At this time, Canada has not received a formal application for transfer. If an application were received, it would be determined in accordance with the law. No decisions have been made at this time.

Let me be clear. Canada has not made a request for Omar Ahmed Khadr to be returned.

IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon NDP Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, first there was trouble at the White Birch mill; now Veyance Technologies, located in Quebec City for 60 years, may move to the U.S. This puts 115 jobs in jeopardy. However, a Quebec firm was interested in buying Veyance Technologies and keeping those jobs in Quebec City. If nothing is done, 115 jobs may be lost and exported to the United States.

Is the government waiting for all the good jobs to move to the United States before taking action, or will it take the lead and keep our jobs here?

IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we recently learned that the union has, fortunately, voted in favour of the company's most recent offer. I can confirm that the transaction can now be reviewed under the Investment Canada Act. There is no cause for speculation about this specific issue for the time being.

Air CanadaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, when Air Canada workers wanted to exercise their constitutional right to strike, the Conservatives did not hesitate to intervene and pass an unfair law. But when Air Canada disregards its legal obligations to keep the maintenance centre for its aircraft in Montreal and this results in the loss of over 2,000 jobs at Aveos, the Minister of Transport hides behind the pretext that this is a private company and washes his hands of the situation.

Rather than playing the role of a Conservative Pontius Pilate, will the minister enforce the law? If not, then he should resign immediately, for heaven's sake.

Air CanadaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member must know that 2,300 maintenance workers are still working for Air Canada. The business relationship between Aveos and Air Canada is in the private domain; it is between the two companies. We have said it many times, and I will say it again: the law is the law and, under that law, we will ensure that Air Canada respects the Air Canada Public Participation Act, as it did initially, and ensure that its overhaul centres remain in Montreal, Mississauga and Winnipeg. Air Canada can choose which company will do that work or whether it will do the work itself.

Statements by MembersPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, during statements by members today, I made a comment that was very inappropriate for the House and I apologize unreservedly for doing so.

Statements by MembersPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I thank the hon. member for that.

Canadian Human Rights CommissionRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I have the honour to lay upon the table the 2011 annual report of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(e), this document is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to three petitions.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Conservative Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in the first part of the 2012 ordinary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe held in Strasbourg, France, January 23-27, 2012.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in relation to its study on the state of organized crime in Canada.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109 the committee requests the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment on the report that was just presented on organized crime.

The New Democrats, since 2009, have been working collaboratively with other parties on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights with the objective of recommending new strategies. There are, in fact, some 699 criminal organizations in Canada, 83% of which are engaged in illegal drugs, such as cocaine, cannabis and synthetic drugs, in that order. We have consistently promoted an effective and balanced approach to combatting organized crime.

In that regard, although we support most of the 35 recommendations in the report, we supported, along with the government, passing Bill C-2, the megatrials bill, in June 2011.

However, we do have some concerns about this report, which is why we have filed a supplementary report suggesting that the government has proven, unfortunately, that, with overreaching bills such as Bill C-10 and Bill C-30, it is putting overreaching ideology ahead of level-headed legislation.

We are opposed to the mandatory minimums proposed in the report and we are concerned about the lawful access provisions that support Bill C-10. We are concerned about the lack of judicial oversight recommended and the unnecessary expansion of powers that are contained in the report.

However, regardless of that, we do support, in general, the report but have filed a dissenting report.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in relation to the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013. The committee has studied the main estimates and reports the same.

Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with DisabilitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities in relation to “A Framework for Success: Practical Recommendations to Further Shorten the Foreign Qualification Recognition Process”.

Public AccountsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in relation to its study of chapter 2 G8 legacy infrastructure fund of the 2011 spring report of the Auditor General of Canada.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109 of the House of Commons the committee requests the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Public AccountsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the official opposition, it behooves me to speak to this particular report and point out a couple of things that the Auditor General said about the G8 legacy fund, the border infrastructure fund. One is that the Auditor General said, “rules were broken” during his investigation of the G8 legacy fund, which was money that was pushed into the border infrastructure fund.

What we heard was Parliament saying one thing about where the money was but the reality of what happened to the money was altogether something else.

Even when some money was moved later on into the estimates, the Auditor General said, “...this is still not clear because it suggests that these projects were somehow related to border infrastructure, which was not the case”. So, even after he had moved it once, he actually moved it again and still could not get it clarified.

More important, perhaps I should quote what the Auditor General said about documentation. One of the things we heard from the minister was that there was no documentation. We found out later on that there was a trail at the municipal level. The Auditor General said, “We did approach the minister's office to request any documentation that was available in the minister's office or in the constituency office to explain how the projects were selected. We received a small amount of documentation which wasn't directly relevant to the question of the project selection and we therefore concluded, as we did in the audit, that it didn't exist”.

We then found out that was not true. There was some sort of trail of documentation and that ended up being what we found out through access to information at the municipal level.

I have been on the public accounts committee since the last Parliament and it is really disappointing that, in this particular case, we did not have the opportunity to interview the Auditor General personally on this particular chapter. Every other chapter we have ever done we have had that opportunity. That was denied the committee in this particular case, which is extremely unfortunate.

One of the recommendations we have, and we have a few, is to go back and revisit that chapter and have the Auditor General present so we can get a fulsome report and fulsome answers to all the questions we still have.

Public AccountsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Restricted by the majority of the committee to being able to file a report or a dissenting report of just two pages in reply to the majority's report of the G8 legacy fund, it is quite regrettable that the Liberal Party of Canada had to file a dissenting report in the matter concerning the management and practices of the Government of Canada with regard to the G8 legacy fund.

Quite frankly, by restricting the dissenting reports to just two pages, I find that a denial of basic rights of members to speak their minds about issues affecting the governance and accountability of Canada.

What I also find very reprehensible, as my colleague just pointed out, the Auditor General, despite past practices of always being called--

Public AccountsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I hate to stop the hon. member but I had recognized him on a point of order and I have not yet heard what his point of order may be. He may not realize it but only the official opposition can provide a dissenting report when reports are tabled. If he has a point of order I would like to hear it so I can rule on it and then we can move on.

Public AccountsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the fact that the Auditor General was not invited to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts should be a matter that this entire Parliament is seized by. It is against convention and against our traditions. Therefore, I request an emergency debate.

Public AccountsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The normal channels for requesting an emergency debate have not been followed, but if the member wants to write me a letter I can certainly look at the question.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 17th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding membership at committees of the House.

If the House gives it consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 17th report later today.

Natural ResourcesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources in relation to the main estimates for 2012-13.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 17th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House earlier today, be concurred in.