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House of Commons Hansard #212 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was citizenship.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the track record of the Prime Minister is clear. Where every opportunity has presented itself, he has appointed a senator elected by Canadians: Senator Brown, Senator Unger, and most recently Senator Black, from Alberta. In every case where that has happened we have taken action, and we have taken action with a real plan to reform the Senate to allow Canadians to have a say.

The NDP does not think Canadians are mature enough to have a say in who represents them in the Senate. That is why the NDP does not trust Canadians to do that. That is why NDP members have opposed Senate reform legislation every step of the way. It is time for them to get serious. If they want to see reform, they should support our legislation.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

February 15th, 2013 / 11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, DFO's new rules on muzzling science and restricting the release of information have sent shock waves throughout the country. Now the Conservatives are trying to silence American scientists, as well, on the giant Arctic project in the north.

DFO's new publication procedures are an unprecedented measure of political control of information. This is unacceptable. When will the government learn that muzzling science and information is an absolute shameful action that will cause our country a lot of harm?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:35 a.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, Fisheries and Oceans is a science-based department. Our scientists give thousands of interviews a year and publish hundreds of papers, some of those in partnership with other non-DFO scientists.

We understand that regional officials of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans advised scientists to seek approval before allowing external partners to publish articles that may include government intellectual property. That was done without political direction or the knowledge of the minister.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, for the scientists who are left at DFO after the government's fire sale, morale is at rock bottom. The department is in tatters, and stress and uncertainty are far too common. The timeline to implement the destructive Fisheries Act changes keeps getting pushed back because the staff is simply not equipped to deal with the government's agenda.

Will the government finally learn its lesson and reverse this destructive agenda?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:40 a.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, no, we will not, because the common sense changes we are making to the Fisheries Act allow us to focus on commercial, aboriginal and recreational fishers in a way that the previous government was not able to do, and we are continuing on that path.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. It is all about big business for this particular government.

Let us look at the turbot fishery. Last year, the turbot fishery was overfished by up to 60%. A major culprit, of course, was foreign overfishing. Now we have a situation where sources say that an agreement has been worked out between Ocean Choice International and a Japanese company, allowing it an international quota to be fished inside the 200-mile limit in 3K, which affects the smaller independent fishermen.

Why is the government favouring big business over the smaller independent fishermen in 3K?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:40 a.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, of course, none of that is true.

I would be happy to relay those comments to the minister. However, the member will know that the changes that Canada has made to NAFO, for example, have strengthened our ability to combat overfishing. We are continuing to work in that area and are pleased with the results we have seen.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week, at the ongoing inquest into the tragic death of Ashley Smith, correctional officers testified they were given orders from upper management not to intervene in Ashley's self-harm incidents because “there were too many use of force reports being filed”.

Since Corrections Canada ordered a policy change in July 2001, what has the Minister of Public Safety done to make sure necessary changes have been implemented so incidents like the death of Ashley Smith will never happen again?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question. We are all very concerned and very saddened. We never want to see what happened to Ashley Smith happen again. We are in agreement with that. That is why our government has introduced changes.

Correctional Services Canada has led the way in many of the changes it has made. We have ensured faster mental health screening. We have created a mental health strategy for prisoners. We have extended psychological counselling and we have improved staff training.

Certainly there is more to do and we want to keep working on this together, but we have addressed the problem and we will continue to address this.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives intend to do nothing about tragedies like the case of Ashley Smith.

Major changes need to be made to the RCMP to address the issue of harassment and bullying. Yesterday, the report released by the RCMP public complaints commission confirmed the need for an independent and more transparent process in which members of both the RCMP and the public can have confidence.

Will the minister follow the zero tolerance recommendations of the commission in order to create a healthy working environment that is fair for everyone?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, that hon. member is incorrect. We are all very concerned with what happened to Ashley Smith. It is despicable that she would have just made that comment. We never want to see that happen again.

In regard to the report the member mentioned, the report came out yesterday from the Commission for Public Complaints, the independent commission. We appreciate that report. It is good to note that this report shows there are not systemic harassment issues within the RCMP, but any kind of harassment or bullying would never be tolerated and should not be tolerated within the RCMP.

That is why we call on the opposition to support Bill C-42, which brings greater accountability and a process whereby the RCMP can deal with these kinds of issues.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, on February 11, I asked the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans a question about silencing scientists. He told me, “there has been no change in DFO policy with regard to scientists”. Now we learn that managers at DFO in fact emailed scientists on January 29, warning them to keep their mouths shut unless they had approval from DFO. Muzzling scientists is wrong; so is trying to mislead the House.

I want to ask the minister to do the right thing, let scientists tell the truth to Canadians and apologize to the House.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:40 a.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, as I mentioned earlier, DFO is a science-based department and it engages in science, some of that in partnership with other non-DFO scientists.

What happened in that case is regional officials at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans advised scientists to seek approval before allowing external partners to publish articles that might include government intellectual property. This was done without the minister's knowledge.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative efforts to muzzle scientists are so unacceptable that international scientists are now refusing to work with Canada.

American researchers, who have been working with us in the Arctic since 2003, are now required to agree to bizarre new policies prohibiting them from publishing their research without the minister's approval. They have rightly rejected this form of censorship.

When are the Conservatives going to stop hiding disturbing facts? When will they let the scientific discoveries speak for themselves?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:45 a.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, we are pleased with the fact that DFO is just one of our science-based departments that publishes hundreds of papers and gives thousands of interviews and lectures around the country.

In this case, as I have mentioned, when we partner with external scientists, then we need to ensure what the rules are with respect to the intellectual property that is the property of the crown.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, there is smog of policy misinformation coming from the other side of the House.

After travelling to Washington to push the NDP's job-killing policies, the member for Halifax had the gall to stand in the House and ask what we were doing to reduce emissions and protect the environment. The NDP continues to deny its $21 billion carbon tax, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment update us on the progress our government is making?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, under the Liberals, greenhouse gas emissions rose by 30% and under the NDP, I am fairly certain that unemployment and tax rates would follow the same type of curve.

Today our government will table the federal sustainable development strategy report that shows our government is getting the job done when it comes to balancing environmental policy with economic growth. Air quality in Canada is among the best in the world. Our Great Lakes are on their way to being restored. Greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced.

We are making clear progress on environmental sustainability, while the NDP and Liberals continue to blow hot air.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, three months after the Emerson report on the aerospace industry was released, the Conservatives are still sitting on their hands. Even though the industry is losing steam in Canada, the Conservatives are doing nothing to create a long-term strategy. The fact is that the aerospace industry represents over 150,000 direct and indirect jobs. It has internationally recognized expertise and is a source of pride for our country.

The next budget is approaching. What concrete measures will the Minister of Industry be proposing to comply with the recommendations in the Emerson report and support the aerospace industry?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be more wrong. The reason we commissioned a report by Mr. Emerson was precisely to ensure that Canada could position itself and remain a world leader. Canada ranks fifth among the major aerospace manufacturers. Canada has a favourable tax environment and good support programs, such as SADI.

I urge the NDP, instead, to start working with us and abandon its absurd ideas, like the idea of a $21.5 billion carbon tax. That carbon tax would kill the aerospace industry; it would kill the manufacturing sector in general, and would have serious repercussions for Canadian families.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, sometimes it is hard to find the grain of truth in these replies.

According to the Service Canada guidelines, refusing employment can lead to disqualification from benefits. There are three types of refusal, including not taking advantage of an opportunity for employment. Situations of this type can include a contemplated move to another area or pregnancy.

Can the minister explain why pregnancy can lead to being disqualified from benefits?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, there are several forms of employment insurance. The program includes benefits for new mothers and fathers. Those are the parental benefits. If there are no jobs in a region, employment insurance will be available for the unemployed, as always.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, unemployed people must have access to employment insurance.

The Conservatives are not content to lay waste to employment insurance; they are also leading the charge against workers in seasonal industries. The Service Canada guidelines force these workers to accept any kind of job under any conditions, even if that means they must abandon their seasonal employment. If they refuse, their benefits are cut off. We may be facing regional shortages of specialized workers.

Will the minister finally admit that her reform is an absolute disaster, both for the workers and for our regional economies?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. We want to help full-time workers and seasonal workers find other jobs. However, if there is no work in their field and in their region, employment insurance will be available, as always.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob NDP Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only do the Conservatives want to drag us backwards, not only do they not want to help us, but with employment insurance reform, pregnant women will be encouraged to lie to potential employers for fear of being seen to refuse employment and thus losing their benefits.

The Conservatives not only want to reopen the debate on abortion, they also want women to stay at home, just like in the good old days. That is not just discriminatory, it is despicable.

Can the Conservatives admit, once and for all, that there is nothing good about this reform?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing good about that question, since it contains no facts.

Maternity and parental benefits are still available to workers. What we are doing is helping people find new jobs. They are healthier when they work than when they do not work. However, if there is no work in their field and in their region, employment insurance will be available, as always.