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House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was affordable.

Topics

Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob NDP Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Madam Speaker, the closure of the Frelighsburg experimental farm is a slap in the face to Quebec fruit farmers. The Eastern Townships region has many apple producers, grape growers and berry producers.

The Government of Quebec has promised to protect the experimental farms and the work done there, but the Conservative government is completely abandoning small-scale farmers and the regions of Quebec.

My question is simple: why are the Conservatives abandoning our farmers once again?

Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Madam Speaker, this government is focused on food safety. This government is focused on our agricultural sector. We have had nothing but success, which farmers all across the country know.

When it comes to different facilities and the recent budget, combining labs and expertise will ensure that this important work is carried out in better-equipped facilities with better resources.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Madam Speaker, recently the House stood for a moment of silence to commemorate the day of mourning for those killed and injured at work. People from all across Canada were shocked to hear about the recent tragedy on Alberta's Highway 63. Our hearts go out to those families who lost loved ones.

All Canadians benefit from the development of our natural resources and they want these industries, above all else, to be safe. The twinning of Highway 63 is needed, and the people in Fort McMurray and Alberta are rightly frustrated.

Is the government willing to offer whatever support is needed to prevent this type of tragedy from ever happening again?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, first of all, I would like to echo my colleague's comments. All the tragedies and all the accidents that take place on our highways are very sad, and we fully support all victims and their families.

Our government has invested in infrastructure and is achieving results. In fact, the average age of a piece of infrastructure in Canada is lower than it has been in the past 30 years.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Madam Speaker, the facts are clear. The number of suicides among Canadian Forces personnel increased from 12 in 2010 to 20 lives lost last year.

An internal report describes the mental health treatment system in crisis. Despite this, the department is slashing, and 60% of the civilian health workers are losing their jobs, including PTSD specialists and suicide prevention specialists. Why?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, all of us in the House have always believed that the death by suicide of even one Canadian Forces member, of even one Canadian, is too many.

However, the member has her facts wrong. The suicide rate within the Canadian Forces remains lower than that in the Canadian population in general. It has not risen, even over the course of 10 years in Afghanistan.

Our support for the mental health of our Canadian Forces has improved dramatically under this government. We have almost doubled the number of professional front-line health care workers, and they will remain in place. We have the highest ratio of professional health care workers to soldiers of any country in NATO.

National DefenceOral Questions

May 4th, 2012 / 11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary has to admit that the demand for mental health services is climbing. Families are being destroyed and lives lost, yet his minister is cutting.

The Minister of National Defence has claimed that the mental health of the members of the Canadian Forces is a priority, yet again the government says one thing and does the opposite.

When will the Minister of National Defence support our troops and reverse these life-threatening cuts?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, the member opposite may be insisting on these unfactual statements because her party has voted against every one of the dramatic improvements that we have made to the care of the mental health of our Canadian Forces members, the care of the ill and injured of the Canadian Forces. We have doubled the number of professionals. We set up 24 integrated centres with our Veterans Affairs colleagues across the country to look after these needs. Those front line services will not be cut. They are stronger than ever and her party voted against them.

TransportOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, 15 years have passed since the Mirabel airport was closed and airport traffic was reassigned to Dorval, yet there is still no fast shuttle between Dorval and the airport.

Yesterday we learned that negotiations with Canadian National and Canadian Pacific, which own the route that the shuttle would use, appear to be stalled. As a result, the bill will be delayed and costs will surely go up.

Will the federal government take the lead and facilitate negotiations?

TransportOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, this is an example of the NDP's centralist approach. They want the federal government to take over local decisions that are within the purview of Montrealers and Quebeckers.

We respect the work that municipalities and provinces do in making local decisions about public transportation. I suggest that the NDP show a little respect for local authorities too.

TransportOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, the difference is that we in the NDP know how to fulfill our responsibilities.

Lands owned by CN and CP are under federal jurisdiction. The government has the power and the responsibility to take action to help the parties reach an agreement. A direct shuttle from the airport to the downtown core would help reduce congestion and greenhouse gases. It would be good for the environment and Montreal's economy.

My question is simple: will the federal government get involved in the negotiations so that the project costs do not go up?

TransportOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, local decisions are—of course—within the purview of municipalities, the airport and the Province of Quebec. We will respect their decision about transportation between the airport and downtown Montreal.

I suggest that the NDP forget about its centralist agenda and respect Montrealers and Quebeckers.

International TradeOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Madam Speaker, the NDP and its activist union supporters continue to promote failed anti-trade policies that stifle economic activity. Yesterday the Canadian Union of Postal Workers condemned Canada's free trade agreement with Colombia, the same agreement the NDP consistently has opposed.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade please share with the House why our strong pro-free trade agenda will create jobs, hope and growth in this economy for Canadians and for our trading partners around the world?

International TradeOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley is right. When it comes to trade, the NDP just does not get it. The member for Burnaby—New Westminster even claims that free trade has cost Canadians dearly. The fact is one in five Canadian jobs is linked to trade.

While the NDP and its special interest friends would go to isolation of silos, Canadians know that our government's pro-trade plan is creating jobs, growth and economic prosperity both here at home and abroad.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to immigration, the Conservative government says that parents are no longer welcome. With regard to the economic immigrants in the backlogs, the minister hits the delete button, thereby affecting tens of thousands of people around the world. He says not to worry, “We're going to give you back your landing fees and your processing fees”.

What about the other costs that those people who had a hope in coming to Canada would have incurred? What is the minister prepared to do for those individuals?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Madam Speaker, I think we can see how seriously the Liberal Party takes immigration. The only time it gives the critic a question is at noon on Friday. We can see that also in the fact that, when the Liberals were in government, they admitted 17,000 parents and grandparents a year. We have increased that by 60%, to 25,000, in order to cut in half the Liberal backlog in family reunification that they left behind.

Speaking of backlogs, the Liberals left behind a backlog of 840,000 people waiting for up to seven and eight years. Yes, we have to take some difficult decisions—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order, please. The hon. member for Beauharnois—Salaberry

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Madam Speaker, first the government withdrew from Kyoto, and now it is attacking environmental protection measures. The craziest part is that they want the Standing Committee on Finance to study changes to environmental assessment. That is just irresponsible.

Bill C-38 will have a direct impact on approval for major oil projects: they will be accelerated to the detriment of the environment.

Why are the Conservatives cutting the budget debate short rather than asking the Standing Committee on the Environment to study the changes?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

Noon

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Madam Speaker, in a survey commissioned by Ipsos Reid, two-thirds of Canadians agreed that it is possible to increase oil and gas production while protecting the environment, at the same time. Balance between protecting the environment and creating economic growth is a principle the NDP is absolutely not conscious of.

With our budget bill this year, we are going to ensure one project, one review: streamlined environmental assessments. We also increased funding to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. I encourage my colleague opposite to read the budget.

Public SafetyOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

Madam Speaker, during an emergency it is important that our first responders are able to communicate with each other. Clear communication channels can often be the difference between a safe resolution to a dangerous situation and the unthinkable. Currently, there are often problems with having dedicated communication channels during an emergency.

Can the hard-working Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety please update the House on what our Conservative government is doing to help give our front-line personnel the tools they need to keep Canadians safe?

Public SafetyOral Questions

Noon

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Richmond Hill for the hard work he has been doing on behalf of his constituents.

Our government has consistently taken strong action for our front-line first responders, to give them the tools they need to keep Canadians safe. I am very pleased that yesterday the Minister of Public Safety announced a dedicated portion of prime 700 MHz bandwidth for use by emergency first responders. Benefits to our front-line workers include the ability to carry large amounts of data at high speeds over long distances and through buildings, and the ability to overcome communications infrastructure failure during emergency peak times. This is good news.

PensionsOral Questions

Noon

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Madam Speaker, I agree that their answers are just a sham.

There are relatively few people with disabilities on the job market, and even fewer of them are physically able to work until they turn 65. Raising the retirement age to 67 for no real economic reason will penalize the most vulnerable members of our society. As the experts tell us, the system is sustainable.

Did the government really give much thought to how later retirement will affect people with disabilities?

PensionsOral Questions

Noon

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Madam Speaker, there will be no reductions to seniors' pensions, and that includes individuals with disabilities.

In order to ensure the sustainability of old age security, we are increasing the eligibility age to 67, and this will begin in 2023. Our government is committed to sustainable social programs and a secure retirement for all Canadians.

In addition, this government is taking decisive action to aid individuals with disabilities, putting in place a special panel to make sure those individuals can be incorporated into the workplace and have meaningful jobs, so they actually are not eligible for OAS because they have meaningful employment, because they have a job.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

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

Madam Speaker, while on the one hand this government blatantly scoffs at our democratic processes—particularly by imposing closure on a bill that is over 400 pages long and will kill the Kyoto protocol, for one thing, and exclude banks from the application of the Quebec consumer protection act, leaving consumers at the mercy of questionable business practices—on the other hand, it is also spending millions of dollars on useless things such as promoting the monarchy and the Queen's jubilee. What an undemocratic regime.

Instead of kissing up to the Queen, why do the Conservatives not show some respect towards Quebec consumers?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

Noon

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Madam Speaker, we are very proud to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the ascension of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to the Throne. This celebration will mark the beginning of five years of celebrations in this county, including commemorating the War of 1812 and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.

It culminates in the 150th celebration of the best country in the world in which to live, this country, and we will do everything in our power to make sure Canadians from all regions of this country can join us in the celebration of not only Her Majesty's 60th anniversary but the 150th celebration of this country.