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House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

thMr. Speaker, that is not all. This dubious affair comes on top of an already scandalous week for this government: five-star limousines for the mimosa minister and never-ending revelations about the F-35s, not to mention the ongoing investigation of the minister of conflict of interest, and I could go on.

The Ethics Commissioner's office is running out of staff to properly investigate all the Conservative excesses. It feels like a festival of scandals.

When will the Prime Minister put his foot down and bring back a responsible, ethical culture within his government and his cabinet?

EthicsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the member uses the word “dubious”. Here is what is dubious. It is dubious for the member for Winnipeg Centre to make baseless smears against Canadians across this country and then have to apologize. It is the same for the member for Acadie—Bathurst, who made accusations against the Minister of Labour that the Ethics Commissioner slammed.

It is also dubious to accept tens of thousands of dollars of illegal union contributions for its annual general meeting the way the NDP did, and then cover it up and hide it by not even presenting those economic records to Elections Canada so it can investigate it. I look forward to that party providing those records to Elections Canada.

EthicsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives play in a scandal like it is a team sport. Let us look at their 2012 season alone.

The President of the Treasury Board got off to an early start with more Muskoka money mix-ups, with the pinch runner, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, picking up the slack. Then the Minister of National Defence landed in left field in a chopper, no less. The Minister of Industry just keeps striking out.

Why has the Prime Minister not benched any of these minor league ministers?

EthicsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that is interesting. I have a slightly different run of events since January.

The NDP started out with a caucus that was just slightly larger than the one it has today, probably because following its leadership campaign, former patron saint of the NDP, Mr. Broadbent, came out and warned people not to put a given individual into leadership.

We now see some of the reaction to that. We have a couple of members of the NDP who are sitting elsewhere because they are not allowed to express their views. They are not allowed to vote on behalf of their constituents. That is the record I am focusing on, an NDP out of touch with Canadians.

EthicsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative scandal season hit an all-new low this week. The Minister of International Cooperation was called out when her orange juice, limos and five-star hotels caught up with her. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister did not send her back to the benches, where she could learn how to play the game right. Maybe the Prime Minister was too busy striking out on yesterday's history lesson to be the coach his team needs.

Sports fans across the country want to know: when did their government become so bush league?

EthicsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as we have mentioned several times this week, the minister in question has apologized and has repaid all inappropriate expenses.

Our government continues to respect the taxpayers and the taxpayer dollar. We have done that continuously in the past and we will do it in the future. We have reduced travel expenses by all ministers across the board by 15%. As I mentioned in a previous question, hospitality expenses have been reduced by 33%, totalling $18 million from the previous Liberal government.

That is a track record that all taxpayers in Canada should be proud of.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, 150 pages of the 400 page budget implementation bill are devoted to the destruction of 50 years of environmental safeguards. The bill repeals the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, weakens laws protecting species at risk and water, and gives cabinet authority to approve new pipeline projects over the National Energy Board.

Will the Minister of the Environment do the right thing and allow these changes to be separated from the omnibus bill and be publicly scrutinized at appropriate committees?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the right thing. The right thing is not signing on to a grand international agreement and actually seeing greenhouse gas emissions rise under a government's tenure. Our government is taking a balanced approach to economic growth and environmental stewardship, a principle that the opposition parties do not understand.

With regard to the budget implementation bill, it is scrutinized under the finance committee where it belongs. A subcommittee will be struck to do so.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, astonishingly, the Minister of Natural Resources is proud of legislation that will gut environmental protection.

Could the Minister of the Environment explain how slashing 200 positions from Environment Canada, cutting research and monitoring initiatives in air pollution and water quality, and cutting the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency by 43% is protecting the environment? Is he ashamed?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, if my colleague opposite delved into the budget that she is maligning at length, she would note that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act received increased funding this year, yet she voted against it. Maybe she should take a little time to review the budget first.

Our government is the first government in a long time that has actually cared about the environment. When will that member vote to support our government's budgetary measures to support R and D and clean technology, clean water management and our world-class air quality management system?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, funding for the aboriginal justice strategy reached its sunset date on March 31. The Minister of Justice has not said a word yet about new funding for this program. Crime prevention, youth gang strategies and restorative justice programs are at risk in over 600 communities across the country. Organizations are already laying off staff.

Why the silence from the minister on this important program?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Conservative

Robert Goguen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to enhancing the safety and security of aboriginal communities.

Our budget has proposed funding of $11.9 million over one year for the family violence prevention program, which would allow the department of aboriginal affairs to continue to offer current programming at a total budget of $30.4 million. This investment would contribute to the safety and security of ongoing reserve residents, particularly women and children.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, the aboriginal justice strategy was an investment in crime prevention that was working. The Department of Justice's own study showed in communities with these programs, repeat crime was reduced by half. I do not know of any other investment that could show such a return. The minister himself praised this program at committee last month and told MPs to wait for the budget and see what would happen. We have waited, and there is nothing.

When will the minister support real crime prevention that we desperately need in our communities?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Conservative

Robert Goguen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, I guess the member opposite just cannot take yes for an answer.

I would like to remind the House about how the opposition members have been voting lately on justice issues. They voted against mandatory minimum penalties for child sexual offences. They voted against tougher penalties for child kidnapping. They voted against eliminating house arrest for sexual assault. Most recent, they have been unsuccessful in delaying a bill to crack down on human traffickers.

What can we talk about justice from that party?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, we awoke to sad news out of Ukraine today. A series of explosions rocked the town of Dnepropetrovsk. Reports suggest that dozens of people were injured. Terrorism is suspected.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please update the House on this situation and Canada's response?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his long-standing interest in Ukraine.

It is indeed a sad situation, and our thoughts are with the victims and their families. Canada condemns these cowardly acts, without reservation, and supports efforts to bring those responsible to justice swiftly. The investigation must, however, be free and fair of political interference. We are also strongly encouraging the Ukrainian government not to use this unfortunate situation as a pretext to curtail basic freedoms, such as freedoms of expression.

Canada denounces terrorism in all of its forms and stands with those engaged in fighting it.

Air CanadaOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 23, the mayors of Montreal, Winnipeg and Mississauga wrote to the Prime Minister, asking him to bring the parties together to ensure that Air Canada's repair and maintenance centres remain in their cities, in accordance with the Air Canada Public Participation Act.

Is it not shameful that over a month has passed and the mayors of those cities have received no reply, not even an acknowledgement of receipt? Is this because of negligence, arrogance or both?

Air CanadaOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our position on this matter is clear: Air Canada still has its maintenance centres in the cities the member mentioned.

The decision to shutdown Aveos is up to its owners. We are talking about two private, independent corporations.

Our position has been clear from the beginning. Since this matter is before the courts, for Aveos in particular, we have no further comments to make.

National Council of WelfareOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the last budget, the Conservatives announced that subsidies to the National Council of Welfare will end in 2013-14, forcing it to close its doors. Yet, the Council's role is to advise the government on matters pertaining to poverty.

We can imagine that losing this expertise suits the government just fine. However, we truly need the council's research in order to implement more effective measures to fight poverty in Canada.

Will the Conservatives reconsider their decision or will they once again abandon the poor?

National Council of WelfareOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as a government, we continue to take poverty seriously. That is why we are investing in skills and training and support for families in every part of Canada, so they, each and everyone, have the opportunity to participate fully in the economy.

Through our review of the programs that the government offers, we recognized that there was some duplication of effort. That is not an efficient or effective use of taxpayers dollars. Therefore, we are streamlining processes. We are ensuring that the duplication is gone and that taxpayers get the best possible value for their money.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Conservative Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1997 the former Liberal government signed on to the Kyoto protocol, saddling Canada with unachievable job-destroying targets, and proceeded to do nothing for a decade while our greenhouse gas emissions rose by some 30%.

In contrast, our government has committed to working with our international partners on a responsible, realistic plan to achieve real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Could the parliamentary secretary update the House on Canada's progress in achieving our goals under the Copenhagen agreement?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government recently published our country's 2010 inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. While our economy grew by a rate of 3.2% in 2009-10, our greenhouse gas emissions held steady.

In spite of the rhetoric we hear from the NDP and the unfettered growth of greenhouse gas emissions that we saw under the previous Liberal government, our government's balanced approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through our sector by sector regulatory approach that does not shut down wholesale sectors of the economy, as the NDP would have, we are seeing real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Our plan is working.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

April 27th, 2012 / 11:55 a.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, cutting the Internet community access program will leave disadvantaged groups without access to information and government programs.

Just 54% of low-income households have access to the Internet. The Conservatives can afford to pay for $700-a-night hotel rooms, but not all families can afford to pay $50 a month for Internet service.

Does the minister really believe that funding Internet access in libraries and community centres is not necessary?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, the community access program was launched in 1995 and has successfully met its objectives.

Free computers will still be made available, however, through the federal government's computers for schools program, which collects, repairs and refurbishes donated surplus computers from government and private-sector sources and distributes them to schools, public libraries and not-for-profit learning organizations throughout Canada.

For Canadians who have been using a CAP site to access federal government services and are seeking alternatives to these sites, Service Canada offers single-window access to a wide range of Government of Canada programs and services for citizens through more than 600 points of service located across the country.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

Noon

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I note that it is outrageous for the parliamentary secretary to attempt to claim credit for her government's actions for reduced greenhouse gases. It is entirely due to Ontario shutting its coal plants.

Meanwhile, let us compare and contrast. Bill C-36, which we are debating today, is three paragraphs. Bill C-38 is 420 pages of omnibus abuse of parliamentary process, pushing changes to environmental laws which will never go before an environment committee and never go before a fisheries committee.

I ask the Prime Minister to separate out bills that matter to the environment so the appropriate committees can deal with them.