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House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, this government has made and continues to make massive investments in science. We have invested $30 million to refit laboratories and science vessels, millions of dollars to complete ocean mapping for Canada's UNCLOS submission and $10 million to support emerging commercial fishing in the Arctic. Additionally, in Canada's 2012 budget there is another $30 million to support fishery science.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

May 29th, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, to make matters worse, the Conservatives are eliminating the Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research, so last week, the Conservatives put one million hectares of our Arctic waters up for sale for oil and gas exploration, and this week, they are giving pink slips to the people who give us expert advice on how to deal with oil spills.

Is the minister planning to base something as important as Canada's energy policy on a whim or a hunch, or is he happy just to do whatever his oil lobbyist friends suggest?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we announced over $20 million for the Beaufort regional environmental assessment process. That process is now ongoing to set benchmarks for future activities that may occur in the north, in the Arctic. Yes, indeed, we put out some exploration licences. There was take-up. This is good for the north; this is good for economic activity; this is part of our jobs and economic prosperity agenda.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives’ irresponsible cuts go even further than that. They are also scuttling Environment Canada’s group for monitoring smokestacks and thereby eliminating our ability to measure industrial emissions. This interferes with our efforts to control pollution and, in addition, jeopardizes the health of the entire population of Canada.

Does the minister understand that slashing the monitoring of polluting emissions does not reduce atmospheric emissions?

Why is the minister taking an axe to the important scientific work done by his department and closing his eyes to industrial pollution?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question, but it misrepresents and exaggerates what she is talking about.

Information that is relevant to our government's development of industrial smoke stack emissions regulation is available through a variety of sources, including the provinces and industry itself. Environment Canada will continue to work with other jurisdictions and with other expert bodies to ensure high standards to protect human health and the environment.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government's ideological approach to budget cuts harms Canadians. A program that helps low-income Canadians access the Internet at libraries is gone; inspectors who ensure our food is safe to eat, gone; scientists who protect our oceans and environment, gone; the Coast Guard station in Kitsilano and search and rescue centres in St. John's and Quebec City, all gone.

Why is the government intent on making budget cuts that defy common sense and endanger lives?

The BudgetOral 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, I can assure the hon. member that we have made some moderate decisions that are designed to get the budget back into balance in the medium term. This is part of our long-term jobs and growth strategy that the Minister of Finance ably put forward in budget 2012. That is what we are focused on. We are focused on jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast; we are focused on economic growth that can be shared by all Canadians; and we will continue to focus on that because that is the mandate the Canadian people gave to us.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, for some reason, the government is reluctant to fix a glaring problem with registered disability savings plans. To qualify for such a plan, people have to be seriously disabled right now, but those suffering a debilitating disease like MS, for example, which will result in serious disability at some future point but not right now, cannot get a registered disability savings plan. In other words, they cannot save now while they are still able to do so.

For the third time, why will the government not fix this obvious problem?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the registered disability savings plan was brought in by the government several years ago. I am interested in the member opposite's question. It is unfortunate that he voted against the plan when we brought it before the House of Commons.

There are some provisions in the budget this year, and I hope that the hon. member will look at the budget bill that is before the House now that addresses some of the revisions that the consultation we had in the past year indicated ought to be made to the registered disability savings plan. I hope the member will read it and then vote for the amendments.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities delivered a groundbreaking report today showing the Conservative government takes a lot more tax dollars out of municipalities, cities and towns than it puts in.

To paraphrase a former city mayor from Toronto, “Where is the money? Show us our money”. Municipalities have difficulty fixing their crumbling bridges and have problems dealing with policing costs and building affordable housing.

Will the Conservative government replace the build Canada fund by the fall of 2014 so that municipalities can deal with—

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, never in the history of this country has a government invested as much as this government to support municipalities throughout the country.

We implemented the rebate of the excise tax on gasoline. Not only have we continued to rebate it, but we have now incorporated this in legislation.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. There is far too much cross dialogue going on. The hon. Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has the floor.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, municipalities in Canada do not have a more committed partner than our Conservative government, with $33 billion through the building Canada fund. This fund will expire in 2014. That is why the new plan we are working on will be ready for 2014.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a lot of talk but little comfort to Canadians who are stuck in traffic gridlocks and who have to boil water before they drink it. These are direct results of Conservative government neglect of cities and communities. To make matters worse, the green infrastructure fund has been cut.

The municipalities need to know by the fall of next year whether there will be a permanent program. They need to know whether the gas tax will be indexed so that it will be protected from the ravages of inflation.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are working with all our partners throughout the country. This afternoon, right after, we will continue to have discussions with provincial ministers about the new infrastructure plan.

We are already at work to deliver. What is very difficult to understand is that the NDP voted against everything we set up for municipalities. I will be with them at the FCM. I will remind them what the party voted against.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the men and women of the Canadian Forces are amongst the best soldiers in the world. Their service to our great nation is very much appreciated.

For some in uniform, the service and sacrifices they make will stay with them for the rest of their lives in a form of physical or mental disability.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, order. The hon. member for Etobicoke Centre has the floor. We will have a little order.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, could the minister please update this House on the status of long-term disability pension payments to injured veterans?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Etobicoke Centre for his work on this file and his long service in the Canadian Forces himself.

This morning I had the opportunity to speak with Dennis Manuge, who was part of the class action. I informed him of our government's decision not to appeal the recent ruling regarding the long-term disability insurance plan.

We sought the court's clarification. We agreed with the decision. We will act expeditiously to ensure that these benefits are provided to our veterans and our current members who need it as soon as possible. We will extend this approach, as well, to the earnings loss benefit program, as well as two other relevant programs in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

We care for our veterans. This is the right thing to do.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on April 23, RCMP Commissioner Paulson begged the status of women committee to update the 25-year-old disciplinary rule that ties his hands and allows officers convicted of sexual harassment to go free. Unfortunately, government committee members offered lip service and deaf ears, as my motion to address the problem did not pass. This inaction has now forced the commissioner to appeal directly to Canadian people.

Victims are tired of being swept under the rug and want to know when the so-called minister of law and order is finally going to do his job, stop talking and start doing, and take some serious action on behalf of the thousands of victims out there in Canada.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, those are amazing comments coming from a member who sat in a caucus that shut down the depot in Regina and stopped the training of RCMP officers.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

We absolutely did not.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. Minister of Public Safety has the floor.