This page is in the midst of a redesign. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was inequality.

Topics

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, during the election and in the House the Conservative government has said that it is not going to reopen the abortion debate, but that is exactly what it is doing in this very House.

While other members have done this in the past, the Prime Minister has done something to stop it. This is not the case this time. He is saying one thing in the House while through the back door he is rolling back Canadian women's rights.

Will the Prime Minister stand in the House right now and tell his party that a woman's right to choose in Canada in 2012 is not up for negotiation?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government's position has been very clear. Unlike the NDP, we do not muzzle our members as that party now does.

The bill will be debated as all private members' bills are debated.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, about the long delayed rail service review, will the government introduce a new law this spring to require railways to conclude enforceable level of service agreements with all their shippers? In every case, without any tiers or categories among the shippers, will all agreements include six mandatory elements: services and obligations, communication rules, performance standards, performance metrics, consequences for non-performance, and dispute settlement mechanisms?

Will we get this law this spring, yes or no?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to introducing legislation that would provide shippers with a service agreement template and dispute resolution guidelines.

I would like to thank Mr. Dinning for all the work that he and his team did on facilitating the review.

People have been waiting for a long time. They waited 13 years for the Liberals to do something. We are delivering.

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, earlier today in question period we heard the government House leader claim that the Minister of International Cooperation had repaid all inappropriate expenses.

I have a simple question. Could the government House leader tell us if he believes that wasting $1,000 a day on a chauffeur driven limo when a free shuttle was available is an appropriate expense, yes or no?

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have been clear and the minister has answered on this and has apologized. Inappropriate expenses were paid.

As I have said, our approach is always to respect taxpayers' dollars and ensure that travel is undertaken at a reasonable cost. A reasonable cost to us is one that is significantly lower than that under the Liberals, and that is what we have been doing.

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, we need to put this question to the Minister of International Cooperation. I asked her a straightforward question. Will she pay back $3,000 in frivolous limousine expenses? She refused to answer. I am giving her a second chance because I was disturbed by the government House leader who said that she is only on the hook for appropriate costs.

Will the minister pay that money back, or does the Prime Minister believe that her luxury lifestyle overseas is perfectly appropriate for Canadian taxpayers to foot the bill? Will she pay, yes or no?

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I think I have answered this question numerous times.

The minister has repaid the inappropriate costs. I think that is what the public would expect and what the opposition would expect, and I do not think she would be asked to repay costs that were appropriate.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Francine Raynault NDP Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the Conservatives, Quebec is a little bit like Atlantis: a mysterious country that they know nothing about.

The announced closure of the Canada Economic Development offices in Laval and Montérégie show that the regional mission is being abandoned. The agency's mission is to support communities and SMEs in order to help them to participate in the economy.

The government boasts that the economy is its priority, but this decision is ill-advised. Will the government reverse this decision?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, to remind the hon. member of the spirit of Quebec, last week I was in Rouyn-Noranda and Victoriaville to make a series of announcements. My fellow ministers were also in other parts of Quebec. There is no Canada Economic Development office in Rouyn-Noranda or in Victoriaville, but that did not stop us from making the announcements.

We are streamlining administrative processes. This will not change the services that will be provided to the agency's clients. We will continue to do our job throughout Quebec, as we have been doing so well for the past several years.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government's top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

Today our government made an important announcement on improving the temporary foreign worker program. When Canadian businesses have made every effort to hire Canadians and cannot find the workers they need, it is important that they may be able to access temporary foreign workers in a very timely manner.

Could the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism update the House on how we are reducing red tape when it comes to temporary foreign workers?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

First, Mr. Speaker, let me thank the hardworking and diligent member of Parliament, the member for Edmonton—Leduc, the best chairman of finance we have ever had in this place.

Let me say that today the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development announced a streamlined process for labour market opinions to ensure that where Canadians are not applying for work that must be done in our economy, employers will more quickly and readily be able to access qualified temporary foreign workers. Under the new accelerated labour market opinion for trusted employers, they will be able to get an LMO in ten days, to keep the--

EmploymentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EmploymentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this issue is not complicated. I will ask the Prime Minister to respond to it.

The apology from the Minister of International Cooperation and her payback only came eight months after it was discovered and made public.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister, who is responsible for these standards: is $1,000 a day appropriate for a limousine for a minister in London when such a cost was clearly not necessary or required for the job, or is it not appropriate?

Why will the Prime Minister of Canada not answer that simple question?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has already answered this question, as has the minister, as have I, and it is that the minister has repaid all inappropriate funds.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

April 25th, 2012 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have always had a hard time when it comes to balancing the relationship with China. We remember that in 2009, the government made international headlines when it gave the duck to the Dalai Lama.

We understand that we must have a professional relationship with the Chinese, but that does not mean ducking a meeting with the Dalai Lama.

The question is this: will the Prime Minister accept the invitation to the Dalai Lama, sit down and meet with him this weekend?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, this government has very carefully balanced our relationship.

We have important economic and diplomatic relationships with China. At the same time, we do express our concerns on human rights and democracy in that country.

Of course the Dalai Lama, as I recently told Chinese officials, is an honorary Canadian citizen of this country, respected by all parties in the House. I do in fact meet with him, and that is the position.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, last week we learned of yet another disturbing political prosecution in Ukraine when a former defence minister, Valeriy Ivashchenko, was sentenced to five years in prison.

Yesterday, we received even more troubling news from Ukraine. There were reports that former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was injured while being forcibly removed from her prison cell.

This is yet another example of mistreatment that Mrs. Tymoshenko has faced at the hands of the Ukrainian authorities. The situation of Mrs. Tymoshenko and other political prisoners in Ukraine is deeply concerning.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please update this House on the state of affairs in Ukraine?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question. I know that he is so well respected that even members of the third party want to thank him for his hard work on Ukrainian relations.

We are deeply concerned with the latest reports from Ukraine on Ms. Tymoshenko's situation. We call on Ukrainian authorities to ensure that she receives the medical treatment that is required. As usual, Canada stands ready to provide medical support if she requests it.

We also call on the Ukrainian government to take the necessary steps to strengthen their democratic institutions and respect the rights of all of its citizens.

HomelessnessOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the homelessness partnering strategy agreement is clear: Quebec chooses its own priorities. The office of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development refused to give a subsidy to RAPSIM, even though the subsidy was approved by all the necessary committees. The agreement has been in place for 12 years and this is the first time it has been ignored.

Can the minister explain this attack against a network that is leading the way in the fight against homelessness in Montreal?

HomelessnessOral Questions

3 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, housing is an important step toward self-sufficiency and helping vulnerable Canadians contribute to their community and to the economy.

We have had a substantive homelessness partnership strategy funded through to 2014. This government is focused on making sure that low-income families are well supported and that they have a roof over their heads so that they can contribute to their community and to the economy. I encourage the NDP in the future to support our initiatives to make sure that those homeless people find a home and have a roof over their heads.

Government SubsidiesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, “With curves like that, Alizée doesn't need a set to get a man's attention, she just has to show up. She's a real little devil.” That is the kind of commentary found in a magazine funded by the government, with our taxes, at the same time as the government is eliminating subsidies to the NFB and the Women's Health Contribution Program.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages change the criteria so that subsidies are no longer handed out to dubious magazines?

Government SubsidiesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the program referred to by my colleague provides funding to publishers and not to specific publications. The government does not make the decisions. Officials make decisions about funding according to program criteria and conditions. The process is carried out at arm's length from the government.

Government SubsidiesPoint of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the unanimous consent of the House, I would like to table this document that we helped pay for to the tune of $191,000. I would like to table it to ensure that all members of the House, including my female colleagues, are aware of it and of the fact that the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, who claims to have had nothing to do with it and who does not seem to want to change the regulation—even though he could—has decided to indirectly support something so unacceptable.

It is fine for a document like this to exist, but I do not think that we should have paid for it. I would like to table this document with the unanimous consent of the House.