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House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cyberbullying.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, apparently, Canada granted permission to the U.S. National Security Agency to spy on G20 leaders in Canada during the G20 summit three years.

This espionage, including spying on some of the presidents and prime ministers of Canada's closest allies, could only have been authorized by our Prime Minister.

Why would the Prime Minister let a foreign agency set up shop on Canadian soil to spy on our closest allies? What does this mean for Canadian sovereignty?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, Canadian sovereignty has never been stronger than under this government.

While we do not comment on specific foreign intelligence activities or capabilities, CSEC must abide by Canadian law. It is prohibited from targeting Canadians. Furthermore, it cannot ask international partners to act in a way that circumvents Canadian laws.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative spin on this issue is just not good enough. Spying during the G20 makes one wonder if there were other reasons for those extensive expenditures. Was the fake lake so expensive because it had miniature submarines and underwater cameras? Were the number of gazebos so expensive because they were hot wired to the NSA? Security of this nature has to go right up to the top. The Prime Minister has to be involved right up to his eyeballs.

Would the Prime Minister come clean and tell Canadians why he provided access and facilitated this illegal activity?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you about CSEC. I should point out for the House that all of its activities are reviewed by an independent commissioner and I can report that for the last 16 years, and, indeed, under Liberal administration, the commissioner has indicated that CSEC complies with all Canadian laws.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago, Cliffs Natural Resources announced it was suspending its operations in the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario indefinitely. Thousands of jobs are at stake, and the economic development of many communities in northern Ontario depends on the outcome. However, the Prime Minister does not seem to be interested in the consequences of the decision made by Cliffs Natural Resources.

Why are Conservatives once again neglecting development and jobs in northern Ontario?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I can certainly assure the House that this government understands that business decisions are made and sometimes business decisions are unmade. However, we as a government have been very supportive of the Ring of Fire. We understand Noront is still there and still actively developing its proposals. We have been there for training. We have been there for the dialogue with first nations communities in the area, as well as the other communities. We will continue to be helpful in the future as well.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board, appointed to lead the federal government's response to the Ring of Fire, is now missing in action. He once said that this project would “improve the quality of life for thousands”, but when the first sign of uncertainty arrives, the Conservatives simply shrug and blame the province.

Why have the Conservatives walked away from the Ring of Fire?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I actually did not do any of that. I simply indicated that businesses in the country make, from time to time, business decisions and sometimes they reverse those decisions due to market conditions. Regardless of that, we have great faith in the Ring of Fire certainly as a concept of development that will produce tens of thousands of jobs for the local communities throughout the province and throughout the country.

We have been supportive in terms of our role and responsibility when it comes to training, when it comes to the dialogue with the first nations and other communities and we will continue to be so.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to ensuring that our children are safe from online predators and from online exploitation. We have delivered on our commitment to ensure children are better protected against bullying, including cyberbullying, by introducing legislation to make the non-consensual distribution of intimate images a Criminal Code offence. This legislation will also modernize the Criminal Code to give police the tools they need to investigate this new offence.

I would like to ask the Minister of Justice if his department consulted with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner before he proposed this legislation.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hard-working member for Wetaskiwin for his work on the committee.

Yes, indeed, officials from the Department of Justice did meet with the Privacy Commissioner, at which time the report for cyberbullying between the federal, provincial and territorial governments was discussed. The report made a recommendation to modernize the Criminal Code and, in fact, Privacy Commissioner Stoddart had this to say:

I think it stands to reason that in order to literally police the Internet, you do need these powers. And if you want to be effective against cyberbullying, I would understand you do need extraordinary powers, so it doesn’t seem to me inappropriate.

We have done our homework. This is a good bill that will help improve public safety online, especially for Canadian children.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday at the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, officials confirmed that, even after the minister's directive, crude oil from the Bakken oil patch—the same source as the oil in the Lac-Mégantic tragedy—is being transported without testing and without the appropriate classification. It is beyond comprehension. Even Enbridge is saying that this oil is particularly dangerous.

For the second time this week, what has to happen for the minister to take rail safety in Canada seriously?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have made it absolutely clear to the industry, through a protective direction, that we expect this crude oil will be labelled appropriately when it comes through Canada. If there is information out there that people are not doing what we put in our protective direction, we expect them to let Transport Canada or the authorities know so we can prosecute accordingly.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, only 9% of Alberta children are aboriginal, yet since 1999 they account for a staggering 75% of children dying in care. Increasingly higher rates of child deaths are occurring in first nations-run agencies. The reason given is that these federally funded agencies receive substantially less money than provincial agencies. An Alberta judge recommended Alberta ask the feds to end this disparity.

For the sake of the children, will the government finally grant the money needed to provide comparable care?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Conservative

Bernard Valcourt ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the member raises an important question indeed. She should know that we are working with the provinces and with first nations agencies to deliver child services on reserve. We have an enhanced delivery program that is being implemented in six provinces where 68% of first nations kids are protected. We will continue to work with our partners to ensure these children throughout Canada get the same level of protection as other Canadians.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, our government has made reasonable changes to EI to help better connect unemployed Canadians with available jobs in their local area that match their skills. However, there has been a campaign of fear from members of the opposition and it has been spearheaded by the member for Acadie—Bathurst, who has continually been saying that because of these changes people are suffering and the numbers talk.

Could the Minister of Employment and Social Development update the House on the facts and what those numbers actually say?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism

Mr. Speaker, the opposition members have been fearmongering regarding our efforts to better connect the unemployed with available jobs.

The member for Acadie—Bathurst in particular is grandstanding when he says that these changes mean the end of employment insurance for seasonal workers. His fearmongering is completely irresponsible.

In reality, the facts are clear. Almost no employment insurance claims have been rejected because of the changes we brought in. Over 99% of claims have not been affected by the changes. Employment insurance will continue to be there for those who need it.

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives like to create media events around the War of 1812, but they should also invest in its heritage.

The Grenville Canal, which was built in reaction to that war, was so far gone that it had to be closed. That canal is an important historic site in my region.

Can the government commit to restoring the Grenville Canal?

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question.

I would also like to say that the War of 1812 was a turning point in our country's history. That battle for Canada paved the way for Confederation.

To answer the second part of her question, we will take all her requests under advisement.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the report of the Commission nationale d'examen sur l'assurance-emploi is clear.

The changes made to the program are not minor, as the minister claims, and the disastrous consequences of the reform have now been credibly documented by Quebec, not the minister.

The program no longer meets Quebeckers' needs and is hurting Quebec's economy.

The minister's responses show disrespect for all the stakeholders in all regions of Quebec who took the time to assess the actual impact of the reform.

Will the minister respond favourably to the report and enter into an administrative agreement with Quebec to give it responsibility for managing employment insurance, as Quebec has requested?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is again spouting rhetoric about this matter.

Let us be clear. Quebeckers receive $4 billion in employment insurance benefits, but contribute $3.2 billion in premiums. That is a surplus of $800 million for unemployed Quebec workers.

Furthermore, our efforts to better connect unemployed workers with jobs have strengthened the labour market for companies that work year-round. In addition, because of the improvements we have made, less than 1% of employment insurance applicants do not qualify for benefits.

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 Ken Cheveldayoff, Minister of Environment to the Province of Saskatchewan.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands is rising on a point of order.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

November 28th, 2013 / 3:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order relating to rule number 37, which governs our conduct during oral questions. In particular, the only questions that are referred to at any point in the rules for the period we have just experienced, that being question period, are “Questions on matters of urgency may, at the time...be addressed orally to Ministers of the Crown...”.

I can find no provision that allows representatives of the governing party to throw questions at members of the opposition.

The parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister evaded questions continually in the House today and instead turned around and put questions to the leader of the official opposition and also told the member for Halifax West that he should ask questions of the member for Kings—Hants.

I would submit to you that this is not a point of debate. I think it is objectionable, under our rules, to put questions to opposition members as a guise for evading the questions that are put properly to members of the governing party.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as you know, it is not the practice of you, under the rules, to regulate the quality of the answers or even the quality of questions. However, it is a long-time rhetorical device. In many cases, the best answer to a question is a question that poses and illustrates that the difficulty is with the question we have been posed and its inconsistencies.

Mr. Speaker, as you know, it is well beyond your jurisdiction to get into assessing the quality of the various answers.