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House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

I will talk about freedoms, Mr. Speaker. Henk Tepper is now back home and safe, but questions still remain. His family and lawyers spoke to the media yesterday and they have nothing good to say about the government's efforts in this case. The Tepper family does not seem to think that the government did anything at all.

The minister keeps talking about quiet diplomacy. What does it mean?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, we are very sorry that the Tepper family has the perception that the Government of Canada did not help to secure Mr. Tepper's release. That is most certainly not the case. The Government of Canada made dozens of representations to Lebanese officials in support of Mr. Tepper's application to be released and we are very glad to see that he is back home safely in Canada.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, what the minister is being asked is to explain to us why the government is refusing to tell the Tepper family the truth.

For over a year, the family lived with the worry of their family member being in prison and their government telling them nothing about what was being done to bring him home.

Is that how this government protects the rights of Canadians who are detained abroad? Will they finally explain to us what role they played in Henk Tepper's release? The Teppers are entitled to know the truth.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that our government made dozens of representations to Lebanese officials concerning Mr. Tepper's situation. Both the Minister of Foreign Affairs and I liaised with our Lebanese counterparts at the highest levels on several occasions. Official diplomacy supported work on the legal front and we are very happy to say that Mr. Tepper is back home with is family.

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, after falsely promising to protect seniors' pensions, the Prime Minister has jammed his hands deep into the pockets of tomorrow's seniors. This is typical Conservative dishonesty of saying one thing and doing something completely different. Worse, he has done it at a time when he himself is preparing to cash in on a special taxpayer funded retirement bonus with nine times the OAS.

Could the minister please explain the hypocrisy in attacking OAS pensions but leaving the PM's golden parachute untouched?

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are trying to ensure that we are fair to future generations by ensuring there is an old age security system for them and we are trying to be fair to taxpayers who will finally see all members of Parliament y receive a pension that is in line with private sector expectations, to which they are contributing an equal share to the taxpayers. That is the fairness that taxpayers deserve and that is what we will be delivering.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government continues its ideological assault on anyone who does not share its narrow views. Having de-funded the Mennonite Central Committee, Development and Peace, CCIC, KAIROS and other organizations critical of the government, today it went a step further and killed Rights & Democracy. Having spent six years destabilizing and poisoning this once proud organization, the Conservatives have taken yet another step diminishing Canada's role on the international stage.

When will the Conservative government end its ideological witch hunt of people who do good work but have the audacity to speak truth to power?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the promotion of freedom, human rights and democracy around the world is an important priority of the Canadian government. Our ambassadors and foreign service officers do this in every corner of the world each and every day. We think there have been a number of problems at this agency going back a number of years. It is time to turn the page and move forward. We will continue to do all of these things but they will be done inside my department by the hard-working men and women at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud NDP Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday in Neuville, 600 people protested against the proposed airport and the loophole in federal legislation that allows a developer to build an airport anywhere in the country without having to comply with provincial and municipal laws.

The minister constantly tells us that the airline industry is a federal jurisdiction. Therefore, it is up to the federal minister to amend the federal legislation in order to close this loophole and ensure that provincial and municipal laws are complied with.

Will the minister finally hear the people's message and promise to amend the legislation?

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I will reiterate that the role of the federal transport minister is to ensure the development of a safe airline industry. We will not intervene in this matter, and any regulatory change made after the fact will change absolutely nothing.

As for the letter we received from the Government of Quebec, we are reviewing the options. It was interesting to learn yesterday, from the developer's press release, that there have been seven meetings with the mayor and municipal councillors. I find it hard to believe that the community wants no part of this when there have been seven meetings and the mayor and the town council have submitted seven possible scenarios involving seven different plots of land.

Signed agreements must be honoured.

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud NDP Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, continually hearing the same empty responses from the minister only proves to me that he does not know his portfolio. For months now, the NDP has been trying to make the minister understand that the provinces and municipalities should have a say in the location of an airport in their area. A glimmer of hope emerged on Saturday. Apparently, the minister finally agreed to meet with the mayor of Neuville.

Time is running out. Can the minister tell us when he plans to meet with Mayor Gaudreau?

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member should check with the person who told her that, because I have received no such information.

There are several sensitive files concerning airports across the country, and our role is to promote aviation safety everywhere, since it is extremely important. In this particular instance, the facility has not yet been completed. Once it has, Transport Canada will ensure that all safety rules are obeyed, and we will continue to support developers who follow the rules.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is listening to Canada's veterans. We are providing them with the hassle-free service that they have asked for. We are cutting red tape and making changes so that our veterans, including the veterans in Cold Lake and all over Canada, receive the benefits and services they deserve in a more timely manner.

Could the parliamentary secretary comment on the changes that our government is making to the reimbursement process for the most popular program under the veterans independence program?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mississauga—Brampton South Ontario

Conservative

Eve Adams ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Westlock—St. Paul for his great work in advocating for his residents.

Earlier today in Halifax, the Minister of Veterans Affairs announced significant changes to the veterans independence program. No longer will our veterans and their families need to submit receipts for housekeeping and yard work services. Instead, each year we will provide them with two payments upfront that they can then use for snow removal, yard work services or housekeeping services. This will remove millions of transactions between veterans and the bureaucracy and provide our veterans and their families with a hassle-free service. This is yet another way our Conservative government--

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Halifax West.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, after spending 27 months in a Spanish prison waiting for a chance to clear his name, Philip Halliday was recently able to have a visit from his family. Although his wife and sons were glad to finally see him, they were appalled by his physical condition. He suffers from liver and kidney problems and requires medical attention.

The minister was quick to claim credit for the return of Hank Tepper to New Brunswick. Will she now finally take action to bring Philip Halliday home to his family in Digby?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, we are paying very close attention to Mr. Halliday's case. We know how difficult this situation is for him and his family. I have contacted the Spanish minister of foreign affairs to advocate on Mr. Halliday's behalf. Our ambassador in Spain is engaged with local authorities as well. Our government is also in contact with prison officials to ensure that Mr. Halliday's medical needs are being met.

The Government of Canada cannot exempt Canadians from legal processes nor interfere in the judicial proceedings in other countries. However, we will continue to press for a timely and transparent trial for Mr. Halliday.

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, since February 15, the drug shortage has deprived Canadians of essential care. This morning, in committee, representatives from Health Canada stated that the drug approval process falls under federal jurisdiction. Yet, the Conservatives completely neglect this issue. The Conservatives have asked the provinces to diversify their supply sources.

How are they supposed to do this when they are given but one choice? If nothing is done, doctors will still have their hands tied, the shortage will continue and patients will again be the ones to suffer.

Does the minister have a credible plan instead of passing the buck to the provinces and industry?

HealthOral Questions

April 3rd, 2012 / 2:55 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as we have said all along, the shortage results from a decision by the provinces and territories to sole source drug contracts. Our role is to ensure that the drugs are safe before they enter the market. We are working around the clock to address this issue by identifying new suppliers for the provinces and territories, fast-tracking approvals and providing access to the national emergency stockpile system.

Going forward, we are encouraging the provinces and the territories to ensure that the decision of one drug maker will not seriously disrupt our—

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Ottawa—Orléans.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on jobs, growth and Canada's long-term prosperity.

In the next phase of our economic action plan, our government must have a plan to help the arts and culture.

In the next phase of our economic action plan, our government must have a plan for the economy that includes arts and culture.

Could the hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages please tell this House how our steadfast support for the arts and culture will help keep our economy on track?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Ottawa—Orléans for his fantastic work in support of the arts. We believe that a strong economy will lead to a strong arts sector and budget 2012 speaks to that, as did our previous budgets.

Eric Dubeau, co-president of the Canadian Arts Coalition, said, “This budget is encouraging for the arts and culture community. We feel the government has heard us regarding the importance of arts and culture for the economy and the creation of jobs”.

Simon Brault, president of Culture Montréal and the vice-chair of the Canada Council for the Arts said, “This budget is a clear signal of support for the arts. Canadians are incredibly proud of our artists and what they create in this...”—

Arts and CultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for British Columbia Southern Interior.

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, for years, genetically engineered animals have been propped up as another solution to what ails the agriculture industry. The developers of GE animals have been happy to sell an idea, take their subsidy but never really develop a business case.

After 13 years in the development stage, Ontario Pork has decided to drop the enviropig program. Farmers do not want this pig and the public has no appetite for this meat.

At a time when the government is cutting inspection staff at CFIA and when farmers and agricultural employers are struggling, will the government finally stop accepting requests to approve GM fish and food animals?

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to explain to the gentleman across that Canadian food is safe. There are rigorous scientific protocols that must be met on anything to do with genetic modification and, of course, the enviropig passed all of those. With the proponent backing out from the deal, those animals will be euthanized and we will continue to move on.