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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

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the Minister of Transport will not come to the committee to defend his budget. Why? It is because he is afraid he will have to defend the cutting of $20 million a year from VIA Rail services.

The service plans to cut routes from Halifax to Vancouver, including Toronto, Montreal, London, Kitchener and Niagara Falls. This will start a downward spiral.

Why are the Conservatives cutting the train services that link Canadians from coast to coast to coast?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, VIA Rail is an important part of the fabric of Canada. This government has invested almost $1 billion in VIA Rail. In the last budget, we provided $105 million. This government has invested in VIA Rail.

VIA Rail needs to be nimble enough to be able to deal with different market demands and so on. However, when it comes down to it, this government supports VIA and it is going well. VIA is a great company that helps bring Canadians together. Come and support us.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, we now know that with the Conservatives, the reality always lies in what is left unsaid. For example, the Conservatives never said that they were going to cut VIA Rail services. These service cuts affect corridors like Gaspé—Moncton, Montreal—Halifax and many other lines in western Canada.

Rather than invest in a Canada-wide forward-looking transportation strategy, why does the government take an economic approach that amounts to robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, again, our government is committed to safe, economic and efficient passenger rail systems in Canada. We have invested in VIA Rail to build vital infrastructure, create jobs and improve passenger service. VIA regularly reviews its operations and if changes need to be made, it will make the changes. That is up to VIA.

We will continue to work with VIA to ensure we have very good passenger rail. I encourage everyone in this chamber to take the train this summer.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP has been very clear that it wants to stop all oil sands development and the hundreds of thousands of Canadian jobs that it creates. NDP leaders, including the former NDP environment critic, have called for a moratorium on oil sands development. Other NDP leaders have just called for a massive carbon tax and pricing scheme that would destroy oil sands development and raise prices dramatically for consumers. It is clear these are reckless schemes that would destroy Canada's economy.

With the leader of the NDP finally visiting my beautiful hometown of Fort McMurray, could the Minister of Natural Resources update the House on the latest developments of this situation?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the NDP leader seems to consider himself an expert on the oil sands, even though this is his first visit to the important region. It is unfortunate that he did not first take the time to see the project for himself before he endorsed job-killing policies like shutting down the oil sands by 2030. Had he visited, he would not have perhaps insulted western premiers and advocated unsound and reckless economic policies that pit one region against the other.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is taking rural Canadians for granted. Cuts to regional development programs and vital infrastructure created through the community access program signal rural Canada just is not a priority.

The rural population is aging and fewer Canadians are sticking around rural areas to make a living. In the face of this exodus the most savage cut is to the funding and staffing of the Rural Secretariat, which will go from 92 to 15 staff.

Before we start to see ghost towns, will the government reverse its ill-conceived cuts and show it actually cares about rural Canada?

Government ProgramsOral 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, of course we care about rural Canada because that is who we represent. Our constituents are all rural Canadians. We anticipate their needs, we love what they do and we continue to celebrate it on this side of the House.

We also work in partnership with our provincial and territorial partners when it comes to rural development. We will continue to do that and build from our side, but the job closer to home is where the initiative needs to be, and we respect that.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Tremblay NDP Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives strutted around during the last election campaign shouting out "our region in power" from every rooftop. It was all for show, a sham. Not surprisingly, Quebeckers rejected them. By axing employment insurance, they are not creating any jobs. All they are doing is sabotaging the efforts of the people of Charlevoix, the upper north shore and other regions of Quebec that rely on seasonal industries.

Why do the Conservatives stick with their out-of-touch ideology rather than help people in the regions?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we believe that the best way to help people is to give them a real job. We take pride in the fact that since the beginning of the world recession, over 750,000 jobs have been created here in Canada. That is what is best for people, and that is how to help the regions.

Public SafetyOral Questions

May 31st, 2012 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Parm Gill Conservative Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, terrorism and threats of radical violence are threats to western nations around the world and Canada is no exception. That is why we have taken strong action, such as establishing Canada's first counterterrorism strategy and following through on recommendations from Justice John Major with the Air India action plan. One important part of that was ensuring that there was a base of theoretical knowledge of why people participated in terrorism and how terrorism worked.

Could the Minister of Public Safety please update the House on how our government is doing that through the Kanishka project?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, last year our government announced the Kanishka project, which will invest in research on the issue surrounding terrorism. The Kanishka project is named after the Air India flight 182 plane that was bombed on June 23, 1985. Our government has committed a total of $10 million over five years to the project as a way to honour the memory of the victims.

Yesterday I was proud to announce the first round of projects funded under the program. I look forward to seeing Canada become a world leader on research on the issue surrounding terrorism.

I want to thank the member for his involvement in this project.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the NDP shed light on health problems in first nation communities by going to Attawapiskat, Canadians understood how years of government neglect let the problems get worse. Now that it is time to act, the Conservatives gut funding to organizations that provide health information to these communities, like the National Aboriginal Health Organization.

Public health information is important to first nations that have higher rates of chronic disease. For heaven's sake, why is the government taking away the money needed to ensure better health outcomes for first nations?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I stated before, the members of the National Aboriginal Health Organization wrote me a letter in the fall of last year to wind down the National Aboriginal Health Organization. They requested this, I listened, and that is exactly what we are doing.

ArtifactsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-François Fortin Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, although the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment told us yesterday that the government was willing to enter into discussions with the Gaspé community about returning to the Gaspé items belonging to people expropriated in Forillon, nothing has yet been confirmed. All the same, it is novel to see the government open to dialogue.

But what is the minister waiting for to put a stop to his plan to store artifacts that are part of the history of Quebec and New France far from their place of origin? He should keep them where they currently are, in the care of experts. And what is good for Forillon is also good for Saint-Maurice, for Fort Saint-Louis and for the Quebec Service Centre.

ArtifactsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I responded to my hon. friend some weeks ago, these historical artifacts do belong in the regions and they belong in places where they are available, not only for the public, but for historians and archeologists to study them. At the moment, there are some challenges with regard to storage space and exhibition space.

I reassure my friend that Parks Canada is working to find appropriate locations in the province of Quebec, as close to their natural locations as possible.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I would like to draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Allen Roach, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning for Prince Edward Island.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order, I would like to unequivocally apologize for my loud outburst of laughter during question period upon hearing that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans was relocating jobs from St. John's to his landlocked riding in Fredericton.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, there has been much laughter around the House today. I applaud your efforts at seeking to restore decorum. We will do our best on this side not to provide any material to the government that would allow the disruption of the House of Commons. We are doing our best each and every day.

My question for the government House leader is to understand the calendar for the rest of this week and to look through to Wednesday of next week. Also, I believe the government now has in front of it a unanimous consent motion that it will be moving quite shortly and then a second one to follow.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, we will continue with the NDP's opposition day motion.

Tomorrow, we will finish report stage on Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act. Including second reading, this will be the eighth day of debate on the bill, in addition to many committee meetings. As the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism told the House on Tuesday, this bill must become law by June 29.

On Monday, we will resume the third reading debate on Bill C-25,, the pooled registered pension plans act. Following question period that day, we will mark Her Majesty the Queen's jubilee and pay tribute to her 60 years on the throne. After that special occasion, we will get back to the usual business of the day, debating legislation. Bill C-23, the Canada–Jordan economic growth and prosperity act, will be taken up at report stage and third reading.

Jumping ahead to next Thursday, we will resume debating Bill C-24, the Canada–Panama economic growth and prosperity act, at second reading. I would also call Bill C-25 that day if the debate does not finish on Monday.

Finally, June 5 and 6 shall be the seventh and eighth allotted days, both of which will see the House debate motions from the NDP.

I can confirm notice of a motion for unanimous consent regarding the private member's bill, Bill C-311. This is the bill to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act that the NDP filibustered the other day. I understand the NDP has now agreed that was a mistake and it is willing to allow it to proceed to a vote at this time. Therefore, we anticipate we will be consenting to that motion to undo the damage that the NDP unwisely did when it filibustered the bill previously.

(Bill C-311. On the Order: Private Members' Business)

May 29, 2012—Third reading of Bill C-311, An Act to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (interprovincial importation of wine for personal use)—the Member for Okanagan—Coquihalla.

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors ActOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following very worthwhile and sobering motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Orders or usual practice of this House, the motion for the third reading of Bill C-311, An Act to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (interprovincial importation of wine for personal use), standing on the order of precedence on the order paper, be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred until Wednesday, June 6 at the end of government orders.

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors ActOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors ActOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.