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House of Commons Hansard #218 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

VeteransOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, first, I certainly join the member opposite in expressing his condolences for the lost life. We certainly share his sentiments in that regard.

With regard to Mr. Caissie, I thank my colleague for his notice on this question. He should know that I did contact Daniel Caron, the head of Library and Archives Canada, who is looking into this matter. Hopefully Mr. Caissie will get his information by the end of the day today. We will look into why false information was sent, because clearly is something that should never happen.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, last July the European Parliament rejected the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement over serious concerns about the regressive changes it would impose on intellectual property in the digital age. Yet on Friday, the Conservatives introduced a bill in the House that would pave the way for the ACTA without question.

Canadians have concerns about goods being seized or destroyed without any oversight by the courts.

Will the minister now be clear with Canadians? Are the Conservatives planning to ratify ACTA, yes or no?

International TradeOral Questions

March 4th, 2013 / 2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are very happy to have introduced an anti-counterfeiting bill in the House. Counterfeiting is a growing problem in Canada.

Counterfeiting deceives Canadians and is linked to security-related issues. So it was our duty to modernize the legislation to ensure that we can end counterfeiting, so that Canadians are not deceived, and to provide better security.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of countries have rejected this unacceptable agreement. The anti-counterfeiting trade agreement—ACTA—was drafted behind closed doors and would incriminate the daily users of cultural content. This agreement will turn our border officers into instant copyright experts, without the adequate legal support.

Canada must seriously study the problem of counterfeiting. However, the failure of Bill C-30 means that Canadians do not have faith in this Conservative government.

Is Bill C-56 not simply a way to support ACTA through the back door?

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear: Bill C-56 is a way to support and protect Canadian families.

Counterfeiting is a growing problem that must be stopped. Counterfeiting deceives Canadians and poses risks to the safety of Canadians. We must ensure that the legislation is updated and appropriate in order to equip the authorities with effective tools to fight counterfeiting, which is exactly what was introduced on Friday. If the NDP is responsible, I hope they will support us.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, in 2005 the Liberal government allocated some $69 million to reduce processing times for citizenship applications. Today, under the Conservative government, the processing time has increased and waiting times are over four, five, six years and beyond. Now there is a record high of over 300,000 residents waiting for their citizenship applications to be processed.

The Conservative record is a disgrace. When will the minister finally focus on his job and take concrete actions to decrease the processing times for citizenship applications?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, Canadians should actually proud that there is such a high demand for Canadian citizenship. After all, who would not want to be a citizen of the greatest country in the world.

Part of the increase in wait times has resulted from the fact that our government has maintained and sustained the highest levels of immigration in Canadian history. We welcome approximately 30,000 more newcomers each year than that administration did when it was government.

We will not take any lessons from the Liberals on how to manage an immigration system. They left wait times, whichever category anyone wants to pick, a lot longer than it ever should have been, and we are fixing it.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, 2013 is a crucial year for Canada and the arctic. We will be making an important submission under the law of the sea for extended jurisdiction of the continental shelf. However, Canadians have heard nothing from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of the Environment and even the Minister for the Arctic Council.

With deadlines looming, when will Conservatives present to Canadians the details of their plan, or do they want to continue to keep Canadians in the dark?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Conservative

Bernard Valcourt ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the fact is, when we are concerned about the north and the arctic, is that no government in the history of our country has ever done as much for the arctic and northern Canada.

Right today, we have in front of the House a bill which I encourage all members to pass. That will create jobs and new opportunities in the arctic and northern Canada.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend a ship ran aground in English Bay near Vancouver. If the Kitsilano base were still open, the Coast Guard could have responded in a matter of minutes, but instead the response time from Sea Island was over half an hour.

British Columbians are concerned about the closure of Vancouver's only Coast Guard station, but the Conservative government is not listening. When are the Conservatives going to acknowledge they are putting lives at risk? When will the Conservatives reopen the Kitsilano Coast Guard station?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is totally wrong, again. The incident in question actually had a response of 11 minutes by SAR in Vancouver, an excellent service that is impeccable.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, the fact is we were lucky no one was hurt this weekend. The situation is only going to get worse this summer when our coast is full of kids learning to sail, families on vacation and more marine traffic.

Sea Island took 31 minutes, not 11 minutes, to respond in English Bay. If this accident had occurred in Burrard Inlet, it would have taken an hour or more.

When is the government going to stop ignoring the police, the fire chief, British Columbians and reverse this reckless and dangerous move?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, again, the member opposite is totally incorrect. The response time by the Royal Canadian Marine SAR was 11 minutes. It took 35 minutes for Sea Island to respond, but SAR was on location in 11 minutes.

In another incident that took place today, the response time was 10 minutes.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, the mining sector is a critical sector of Canada's economy, creating jobs and economic growth from coast to coast to coast.

Yesterday I was proud to join over 40 of my Conservative colleagues at the PDAC conference in Toronto to hear about the over 200 active mines in Canada, producing more than 60 minerals and metals, which help fund social programs from health care to education. Last year, over $7.1 billion was paid to governments across Canada in royalties and taxes.

Could the parliamentary secretary explain to the House what our government is doing to support this important sector?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Westlock—St. Paul for his ongoing work with the mining sector.

Today the Minister of Natural Resources is speaking to the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference about Canada's open, transparent and efficient environment for mining investment. The PDAC conference is the largest in the world and it showcases Canada's international strength in mining.

Through our responsible resource development initiative, low corporate taxes and red tape reduction initiatives, our government is creating jobs and economic growth across Canada in mining communities.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, in last year's budget, the government said that it would sell off the federal tree farm, which has been operating with great success at Indian Head, Saskatchewan for 111 years.

Many people believe the decision to get rid of it is wrong. At the very least, the former employees of the tree farm, the community and the rural municipality of Indian Head and the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan are asking the government to suspend any sell-off plans for at least one year to allow a local producer-based alternative to be developed.

Will the government give them that time?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, PFRA was established in the 1930s to take care of environmental issues at that time. It has done a good job over the years, but for the most part, those initiatives have been taken care of and corrected. There actually is no need for the continuation of the tree farm in western Canada.

The government looks forward to turning it over to private interests, if private interests are in favour of taking it over.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the National Gallery is being forced to pay for the Conservatives' new Canadian Museum of History. While millions of dollars are being invested in changing the name of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, 29 positions are being cut at the National Gallery. These 29 jobs will be lost in the library, in information technology and in graphic design. Because the roof is leaking, the gallery has to cut staff in charge of the website and information technology.

Instead of investing millions to change the role of the most popular museum in the country, why will the minister not invest in existing museum infrastructure, which needs immediate attention?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, it is not true. In our budget of last year, our government made a number of decisions with regard to culture.

When it comes to all of our national museums, we did not cut a dime from any one of them, including the National Gallery. For him to suggest in the House that they are having challenges because of the government is not true. In fact, this is what the press release from the National Gallery said:

Visitors to the Gallery...will see no diminishment in the services delivered...

This decision was not made by the government. It was made internally.

We have made decisions as a government to increase funding for all of our national museums, to create two new national museums at Pier 21 and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

We are proud of our record, and the Canadian Museum of History will be a great success.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Conservative Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, our government has demonstrated an unprecedented commitment toward Canada's north and to northerners for seven consecutive years.

Just this past weekend, over 40 Conservative MPs, led by the member for Westlock—St. Paul, visited the PDAC convention in Toronto. The mining industry serves to increase opportunity to aboriginal Canadians as it is currently the the largest private sector employer of this important group.

The Mining Association of Canada estimates that potential developments in the north could draw more than $8 billion in investment and create more than 4,000 jobs in the next decade.

Could the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development please update the House on further steps we are taking to unlock the economic potential of Canada's north.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Conservative

Bernard Valcourt ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, as I referred to earlier, we have introduced the northern jobs and growth act, which will create jobs in mining, oil, gas, transportation and other business sectors in the north, and indeed across all of Canada.

I would like to quote Jane Groenewegen, a member of the legislative assembly of the Northwest Territories, who says this about the act, “good on the federal government for finally figuring out a way to streamline this and let's get on with business”. We agree with her. Let us get on with business. Let us pass this act.

Canada PostOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin NDP Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' reorganization of Canada Post is not working. More and more sorting centres and post offices are closing, while hours of operation are constantly being reduced. But that is not all. After having a labour contract imposed on them, employees are being forced to work 10 to 12 hours a day. Some workers are on the brink of exhaustion and others simply want to resign.

How much longer will the Conservatives allow working conditions to deteriorate? When will they finally decide to do something about the situation? And they better not say it is not their fault, because they were the first to jump on it when special legislation was introduced.

Canada PostOral Questions

3 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post is a crown corporation and is at arm's-length from government. It makes its own decisions on operations and so on. However, we have imposed on Canada Post a moratorium on the closure of rural post offices, and we are working hard to ensure that Canada Post has a sustainable future.

Members of that party have done everything to undermine the mail service in the country. They should be ashamed.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, every day, more and more people are mobilizing against the EI reform. The federal government's contempt for the representatives from the regions has only fueled the fire.

Today, representatives of workers and unemployed workers announced the creation of a Quebec coalition against employment insurance reform. This coalition feels that Ottawa is refusing to consider the disastrous consequences that this reform will have for Quebec's economy.

Will the minister come down from her ivory tower and look at the adverse effects that her new reform and measures will have, and cancel the reform?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of the employment insurance system that is there to provide financial support to people who have lost their job while they are looking for a new one.

I can assure you that EI benefits will be there for people who cannot find another job, as always.