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House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was changes.

Topics

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not complicated. We want to know how many $16 orange juice tales there are, how many $3,000 limousines, and how many deluxe hotel rooms. That is what we want to know.

In fact, it is clear: there is nothing too good for Conservative ministers, as long as the taxpayers are paying. How much was she reimbursed for before she changed her mind, in response to the scandal? We do not know; her lips are sealed. But enough; there really is a limit.

Will the minister finally tell the truth, or is she going to keep quiet and make like she is made of stone, or in her case marble, like her favourite bathrooms?

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is not complicated.

The minister has already answered the question. All incremental costs that should not have been expensed, including car service, have been repaid. Only appropriate expenses have been paid by the government.

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, if someone in the private sector repeatedly covered up their documents and misrepresented their spending, they would get fired or their employer would call the cops.

However, when it is the Minister of International Cooperation who does it, she becomes just another Teflon Tory. She was caught hiding outrageous limo expenses. She has been caught and had to pay back for her rock star trip to London. Now we find she has been changing the travel claims for her latest round of trips.

Canadians play by the rules, but the government seems to think it is above them. Here is a simple question: what is the minister trying to hide this time?

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister has answered this question many times, and I think I have answered it many times.

The fact is that all incremental costs that should not have been expensed have been repaid, including the car service in London. Only appropriate expenses have been paid by the government.

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, a couple of weeks ago, a $3,000 limo ride in London was perfectly appropriate, and then the government got caught. He did not answer the question, which was why the minister was changing her travel claims again.

This is not just about the minister who has become a serial offender of the public trust; this is about the Prime Minister who promised Canadians that he would clean up Ottawa. Instead, he has allowed the minister to misrepresent spending, he has allowed her to hide the paper trail and he has allowed her to mislead Parliament. It is a question of why the Prime Minister decides there is one set of rules for him and his buddies and another set of rules for everyone else.

Why is there no accountability when it comes to that minister?

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we have been quite clear.

We want to see tax dollars respected, and that is why ministers on this side of the House spend far less on travel than predecessor Liberal governments spent, and that is why, in this case, only appropriate expenses have been paid for by the government.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, last year the Prime Minister and the President of the United States launched the beyond the border action plan, which will strengthen our economy by moving goods to and from the United States in a much more efficient manner.

As part of that action plan, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities announced today that both governments have agreed to mutual co-operation and recognition of air cargo security in both countries.

Can the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities please update the House on this important initiative?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the security of Canada's air cargo system is key to our economic development.

Now air cargo shipped on passenger planes between Canada and the U.S. will be screened only once for transportation security reasons. Canadians and business owners will see a reduction of delays and economic costs caused by both countries screening the same cargo twice.

By working with the United States to find these efficiencies, our Conservative government is getting the job done with the beyond the border plan, because this Prime Minister signed it with the President of the U.S.A.

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the community located next to the Platosa silver mine in Mexico—operated by Exellon Resources, a Canadian company—and the workers have many concerns about the company's behaviour. They appealed to the corporate social responsibility counsellor, but she was unable to do anything because the company refused to take part in the investigation. They therefore had to turn to the OECD.

When are the Conservatives going to review Canada's strategy in this area and adopt stricter standards?

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that the overwhelming majority of Canadian companies are world leaders in responsible mining practices. They employ hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers who support countless families.

The corporate social responsibility counsellor's review process is a common sense approach that enjoys broad support. The CSR counsellor helps Canadian companies uphold their social and environmental responsibilities when operating abroad. The hon. member already knows that.

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, let me disagree on that.

The fact is that there is a critical need for a reform of corporate social responsibility.

In recent weeks, we have also heard from delegations from Peru, Guatemala, Colombia and Honduras on possible violations of human rights and environmental standards by Canadian mining companies.

When will this government establish a system that truly protects human rights and the reputation of Canadian companies?

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I reject the premise of the member's question.

Our government is helping developing countries better manage their natural resources through the new Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development. Specific incidents are investigated and prosecuted by local authorities.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the world has been shocked and horrified by the violence engulfing Syria. In Hula, over 100 civilians were massacred this past weekend, including 49 children.

We must find an end to this conflict, and countries like Russia can play a pivotal role. The British Foreign Secretary visited Moscow this week to urge the Russians to exert their influence to help save lives and end the conflict.

What specific actions will the Minister of Foreign Affairs take to reach out to his Russian colleague?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I wholeheartedly agree with my colleague from Ottawa Centre. Obviously we abhor the violence going on in Syria.

I did spend some time on the phone with British Foreign Secretary William Hague to discuss his recent visit to Russia. Last night I met the Russian ambassador at a social event and indicated that I would be keen to get together with him in short order to discuss the situation in Syria.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Ève Péclet NDP La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, right now, a tragedy is unfolding, one that has gone on for too long. Thirteen new bodies were found yesterday in eastern Syria. Since the beginning of this conflict, there have been over 10,000 victims and hundreds of thousands of refugees. Because it has no seat on the Security Council and too often shows no international leadership, Canada is on the sidelines watching this disaster.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us what diplomatic efforts he has made to urge Russia to support a ceasefire?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is regrettable that the member opposite is taking a partisan approach to this issue.

Canada has been actively involved with the broader Friends of Syria group. The French government invited Canada to participate in the smaller working group of that initiative. We are working closely with our allies to coordinate sanctions and coordinate efforts at the United Nations to try to end the violence. We will continue to do that.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

What about the Security Council?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Oh, Mr. Speaker, the member for Ottawa Centre is finally speaking in the House. It has only been a year.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

May 31st, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, when welders are laid off from a pipeline in northern Alberta because of weather, it is not their fault. When substitute teachers in Toronto have no work between classes, it is not their fault. When hotel and fish plant workers in Cape Breton are laid off at the end of the season, it is not their fault. These employees and their employers have paid into the EI system and contribute greatly to our economy.

Why is the Prime Minister calling them repeat offenders and destroying their livelihoods?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, EI, as members know, is a federal program that is designed to help provide financial support to people when they look for a job, when it is not their fault, but it is a temporary mechanism to provide them with support while they look for another job.

We are ensuring that people understand those responsibilities better and provide them with help to find those new jobs. We are also making it worthwhile for those people who have difficulty finding a job to work part-time. We are going to let them keep some of that money for the first time.

We are there for Canadians, and when they cannot find a job, EI will be there for them.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's assault on all things important continues, but it is the most recent actions by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans that is the most disturbing.

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians were shocked to learn that the minister was looting 20 jobs from the St. John's DFO office and moving them to his own riding where no DFO office presently exists. It is a move that will cost Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars.

Does the minister not understand that the misuse of power is inappropriate and will he commit to keep those jobs in St. John's?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, this should not come as a surprise to the other side by now, but our government is committed to finding efficiencies that are moderate and balanced. That is what we have done in this case. There are currently six centres that handle administrative matters—

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and for the Asia-Pacific Gateway has the floor.

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will start again. As I have said, we are about finding efficiencies that are moderate and balanced. I think that is what taxpayers expect of us.

There are currently six centres that do financial matters on behalf of DFO. We are consolidating those into one so that it can all be done in one place. We think that is a more efficient way to do it and I think most Canadians would agree.