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House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elections.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

As always, Mr. Speaker, that is not true.

Academi has facilities in North Carolina that offer a number of technical ranges that we do not have here in Canada.

We contract facilities for short periods of time as a most cost-effective means of investing in our troops for training, as opposed to building fixed expensive infrastructure here in Canada. We use these technical ranges for specialized skill enhancement, such as defensive driving.

We continue to invest in ensuring that we have the best trained forces in the world.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, if this government truly wanted to do what is best for our troops, it would certainly not do business with the company formerly known as Blackwater. Many other companies can offer specialized training. Many other companies respect the Geneva convention and many other companies are in a better position to promote Canadian values.

Does the government have any idea what the word “integrity” means? Why does it constantly use a company that is charged with war crimes, and why does it award that company untendered contracts?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Yes, Mr. Speaker, once again the Canadian Forces are always investing in the best training, the best equipment and the best support. The member opposite could take a lesson from that.

We always ensure that the Canadian Forces have access to the best training facilities to enhance their abilities. In this case, Academi, the facilities in North Carolina used for this limited purpose, has excellent facilities. These are facilities that we do not have available at certain times of the year in Canada, due to weather conditions and the fixed infrastructure investment necessary.

If the member opposite wants to ask questions about this, she can ask them at committee next week.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that the Conservatives’ expensive prison agenda called for the construction of new double-bunked cells.

The facts are these. Double-bunking increases violence, threatens the safety of guards and allows disease to spread more easily. The Correctional Investigator says it is “unsafe” and is a “violation of human rights”.

Do the Conservatives hope to solve the problem of overcrowding by increasing the number of people in cells? It is their bill, and it is their responsibility to explain the consequences of it to us.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting the NDP are again concerned with the morale of inmates. Double bunking is a common practice used in western countries. We use it as a temporary measure when needed. We want to put the rights of victims ahead of the rights of prisoners. We want our corrections system to actually correct criminal behaviour.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, correctional officers are also at risk of being victims of the Conservatives’ new measures. One third of federal prisons will have double-bunking within three years. That is one in three. This is contrary to the international standards that Canada has undertaken to abide by. Prison workers say that double-bunking is one of the most dangerous things for correctional officers.

Why are the Conservatives promoting these dangerous practices? Working in prisons is already difficult enough.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, double occupancy is a common practice in western countries. It is done in other countries. We will always comply with our UN obligations.

BurmaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Conservative Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has been a strong opponent of repression in Burma. Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs is currently in Burma on his first official visit by a Canadian foreign minister to that country. While there, he officially presented Aung San Suu Kyi with a certificate signifying her honorary citizenship of Canada.

Could the Prime Minister please update all Canadians on the significance of the minister's visit?

BurmaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in 2007, our government was proud to name Aung San Suu Kyi an honorary Canadian citizen. On International Women’s Day, we all salute her long, peaceful and courageous struggle against oppression.

Canada has long supported democratic reforms in Burma. In 2007, our government, indeed all of Parliament, was proud to name Aung San Suu Kyi an honorary Canadian citizen. On International Women's Day we want to salute her long and courageous struggle for democracy and human rights.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, in 2008, when he was president of the Montreal Alouettes, Larry Smith partnered with the David Suzuki Foundation to make the Alouettes a carbon-neutral, environmentally friendly team. Mr. Smith was a strong supporter of the foundation back then. Just yesterday, failed Conservative candidate and Senator Larry Smith lectured the David Suzuki Foundation on its policies. It is funny that he has changed his mind now that he is a member of the Conservative caucus.

My question is for the environment minister. Is there a concerted effort by the Conservative government to go after the Suzuki Foundation and other environmental organizations?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the answer is short and the answer is “no”.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2008, Senator Smith stated that it was necessary to demonstrate the importance we place on the environment in order to protect it, as the David Suzuki Foundation does. Now, he is saying that the David Suzuki Foundation is “promoting American businesses”.

That change was dictated by his Conservative mentors, who want to wage war on environmentalists. They are attacking Canadians who want to do something tangible to protect the environment. Why?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we are all aware of recent media stories that have drawn attention to suggested inappropriate involvement of certain registered charities and political activities. I can assure the House that Canada's tax system has long and clearly prohibited registered charities from participating in partisan activity and limited their political activities.

In order to protect Canadian interests, we have a duty to ensure that these organizations are operating properly and in compliance with Canadian law.

HealthOral Questions

March 8th, 2012 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Sandoz drug shortage is becoming more and more dangerous every day. Canadians waiting for vital surgeries are worried. Canadians in pain are worried. They have no idea when this drug shortage will stop. Yesterday, the minister said she is disappointed. Well, that is just not good enough.

When will the drug shortage stop? When will the medications from the U.S. and Germany arrive? What is the long-term plan to deal with this drug shortage?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, we take the matter very seriously. The NDP members do not. This morning the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord filibustered a motion that would deal with this matter at the Standing Committee on Health.

We are doing our part to provide support to the provinces and territories in accessing alternate sources for their drugs. The member should be talking to the member from the health committee. Perhaps the motion will be supported at committee tomorrow.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are still refusing to explain the impact of this crisis on health. Sandoz was sanctioned because it failed to abide by the rules for ensuring quality. That is why it has had to scale back production.

The only solution from the Minister of Health is to import drugs. The government is doing nothing to avert further shortages or to make sure that the drugs Canadians take are safe.

Are the Conservatives finally going to live up to their responsibilities? Are they going to ensure patient safety, or are they going to assign the job to the American government?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, we have been working around the clock to provide support to the provinces and the territories. We are keenly aware of how important this matter is to patients and their families.

I want to be very clear that the provinces and territories are best placed to determine what drugs are needed in their jurisdictions. It is the provinces and territories that sign the contracts with industry, not us. As a result of their decision to buy from one sole provider, we gave them the list of companies that are already approved to provide—

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Vancouver Centre.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health's mishandling of the drug shortage problem is unacceptable.

For the last year, Liberals have been asking for an investigation and plan to avert shortages and protect patients. The USFDA has a team working with industry to identify and avert these crises. That is what responsible government does.

Instead, Health Canada scrambles to find a band-aid solution to the Sandoz crisis. Global shortages will soon make this impossible. I am getting anxious calls from patients whose pharmacies are unable to fill their prescriptions.

What will the minister do to help them?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, I said earlier that it is the provinces and territories that are in the best place to make the determination in terms of what drugs they need for their jurisdictions. They sign the contract with the provider. They know the terms of that contract, more than we do.

They made the decision to purchase drugs from a sole provider that is not able to provide support. We are now dealing with this challenge. We have provided a list of other companies in Canada, approved to produce those drugs, to assist the provinces and territories to look at other sources to get the drugs they need.

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, clearly the government has failed to protect patients’ health and safety.

In the Sandoz case, the Conservatives gave their facilities the green light only a few weeks before the American FDA cited serious contamination problems, which it had already identified in 2009.

Why are the Conservatives asleep at the switch? Why do we have to depend on the United States to provide us with assurances of quality control?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, again, as I said earlier, we take the matter very seriously. We are doing our part to provide assistance to the provinces and territories. We have identified alternate companies in Canada approved to provide the drugs that the jurisdictions are now dealing with. We will continue to do that. We are on this 24/7.

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner released a report this morning on malfeasance at HRSDC. A manager at a regional centre misused public funds to buy televisions that went to the manager's home, used a departmental car as a personal vehicle and took public resources to support the manager's own fitness business. No one was able to catch this manager for years. The commissioner said that the department is to blame.

Will the minister stand up and take responsibility for this misuse of public funds?

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 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, let us celebrate the good work of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. He is doing his job under legislation that we created. It is comprehensive. It is designed to root out corruption or other bad practices.

We want to protect the good public servants who are doing a good job, but also find the malfeasors and get them out of the system. Let us congratulate the integrity commissioner.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we must remember our responsibilities towards the most vulnerable women.

In Montreal, the number of homeless aboriginal women, especially Inuit women, is increasing at an alarming rate. One of the few resources that helps these women is located in my riding of Laurier—Sainte-Marie, but it will have to close its doors for lack of funding.

When will this government accept its responsibilities towards all women and support the Projets Autochtones du Québec shelter?