January 30, 2009

CPC

Shelly Glover

Conservative

Mrs. Shelly Glover (Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this government has consistently demonstrated its commitment to advancing the equality of women.

Our government increased the budget of the women's program by 42%. This is the highest level of funding ever. No other government has shown this kind of support for Canadian women in the history of our country.

This government has done more than make announcements. Unlike previous governments, we are taking action.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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LIB

Anita Neville

Liberal

Hon. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, that was the wrong answer sheet. I would like the question answered.

The report's observations spoke to the ongoing poverty of women, lack of adequate child care, lack of legal aid, inadequate housing, and the desperate conditions of aboriginal women.

Canada has fallen to 83rd on the UN gender disparity index, near the bottom, all because of a lack of leadership from the Conservative government.

When will the government take this matter seriously? When will it stand up for the rights of Canadian women? The budget again failed Canadian women.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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CPC

Shelly Glover

Conservative

Mrs. Shelly Glover (Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure why the member thinks my answer sheets match hers.

The original 1976 mandate of Status of Women Canada remains unchanged, and I quote, “to coordinate policy with respect to the status of women and administer related programs”. The mandate of the women's program was revised to include equality of women and participation in democratic life. The mandate of the women's program is to advance the equality of women across Canada. It is a mandate that this government takes very seriously.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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NDP

Jean Crowder

New Democratic Party

Ms. Jean Crowder (Nanaimo—Cowichan, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to first nations, the Conservative government gives with one hand and takes with the other.

Every year infrastructure money is moved to pay for emergencies or underfunded social programs. In the estimates tabled yesterday, the minister is moving thousands of dollars from infrastructure to pay for increased education costs.

First nations cannot have any confidence that the same game will not be played with funds announced in the budget.

Why can the government not get it right and keep its funding commitments to first nations?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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CPC

John Duncan

Conservative

Mr. John Duncan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, budget 2009 invests an additional $1.4 billion over three years for aboriginal priority spending. There is new money for housing, for water, for all of those priorities on reserves. I simply do not understand where the member is coming from.

The members of the NDP have already made up their minds that they are not going to support this good budget.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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NDP

Jean Crowder

New Democratic Party

Ms. Jean Crowder (Nanaimo—Cowichan, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the budget also wasted another opportunity to bring education funding for first nations up to the same standards that other Canadians enjoy.

Because the government is stuck in the middle of a funding review, first nations students across the country are left wondering if they will be able to get post-secondary schooling.

Will the minister guarantee today that this review does not mean that there are more hoops for students to jump through and will he guarantee that the post-secondary student support program will remain a grants based program?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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CPC

John Duncan

Conservative

Mr. John Duncan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the government's commitment to improving first nations education and working in partnership with the province and first nations communities is clear.

The review we are doing was announced as part of budget 2008 and is to ensure that we are spending our money effectively to achieve the best possible results for aboriginal university and college students.

Whatever the concern, we have taken action. We will continue to take action. We are doing what is best for aboriginal students.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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CPC

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon

Conservative

Mrs. Tilly O'Neill-Gordon (Miramichi, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as everyone knows, I am a retired teacher. One of the most important moments of each day was watching my students rise every morning for the singing of O Canada. Seeing our future generations show pride in their country means a lot to me.

I was very saddened to hear that the principal of a New Brunswick school has banned the singing of O Canada because he apparently believes it is not inclusive enough.

Will the government comment on this disrespectful and ill-informed decision to ban O Canada?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Anthem
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CPC

Keith Ashfield

Conservative

Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as one of my colleagues stated earlier today, this is political correctness run wild. Canada is an inclusive country and we take tremendous pride in our national anthem. It is a song that is sung from coast to coast and it unites us as Canadians.

This government urges the principal to reverse his decision and bring back O Canada to his school.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Anthem
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LIB

Mark Eyking

Liberal

Hon. Mark Eyking (Sydney—Victoria, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Northside Civic Centre Society in my riding is waiting for action on an application it sent in for the construction of a new rink. The application has been sitting on a minister's desk since last spring. The community has raised its share of the money and has the site ready for construction.

Why do the people of Northside have to suffer so the federal Nova Scotia minister can cook the books?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member said it has been on the minister's desk since early last year. I have only been the minister for two months.

I can indicate to the member opposite that we would be very pleased to look into his project and give it fair consideration.

The good news is our budget. We have a new program called RInC, and it sounds as though this project just might be eligible.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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BQ

Mario Laframboise

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the people of Shannon were quite rightly furious when they found out that the federal government has known, since 1978, about the presence of TCE in their groundwater. They had been drinking water that the federal government knew was contaminated for 22 years. Ottawa completely abdicated its responsibilities. Not only did it fail to protect the people, but, through its inaction and negligence, it also condemned them.

In light of this troubling information, does the Minister of National Defence believe that his government should make amends for the damage sustained by the people, starting with an immediate payout of the $13 million in additional funding needed to complete work on the water system so that the people of Shannon can have uncontaminated drinking water? That is their right.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Laurie Hawn

Conservative

Mr. Laurie Hawn (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the minister is working with all of the stakeholders, including the municipality of Shannon, the City of Quebec, the Province of Quebec, Health Canada, Environment Canada, and the residents of Shannon. We believe that the best way to proceed is through the courts, not in the public arena.

It would be inappropriate for me to comment further on the matter at this time.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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NDP

Wayne Marston

New Democratic Party

Mr. Wayne Marston (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, clearly times have changed. A new day has dawned in the United States. The disgrace that was Guantanamo Bay will soon close, and military tribunals so devastating to fundamental human rights have been suspended.

The reputation of Canada must not be linked to such a disgraceful legacy. I ask the Prime Minister, when will the government relent and accept that Omar Khadr truly was a child soldier, do the right thing and bring Omar Khadr home?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Omar Khadr
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CPC

Lawrence Cannon

Conservative

Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as we have had the opportunity of mentioning it this week in the House, the Government of Canada's position has not changed. It is exactly the same position as was stated by the previous government.

This individual has been accused of very serious charges, including murder, terrorism and attempted murder. The new government of the United States, the new administration, has determined another course of action. We will wait and see until such time as decisions are made in that regard.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Omar Khadr
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CPC

Nina Grewal

Conservative

Mrs. Nina Grewal (Fleetwood—Port Kells, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, many newcomers to our great country continue to have difficulty finding the job that best suits their education and qualifications because their credentials are not fully recognized here in Canada.

Our Conservative government is committed to working with the provinces to make the recognition of foreign credentials a priority. Can the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism please tell this House how budget 2009 builds on this commitment?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Credentials
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CPC

Jason Kenney

Conservative

Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this is a very important issue for new Canadians and our entire economy. That is why our government created the foreign credentials referral office and the Canadian immigration integration project overseas which, for the first time ever, is providing a head start for newcomers in the process of credential recognition before they even arrive in Canada.

It is why the Prime Minister met his platform commitment to raise this issue with the first ministers, recently developing a national action plan for credential recognition. It is also why we introduced $50 million in additional investments to accelerate credential recognition, working with the provinces and the professional agencies. We are delivering for new Canadians.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Credentials
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LIB

Michelle Simson

Liberal

Mrs. Michelle Simson (Scarborough Southwest, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, will the government follow the example set by President Obama on pay equity legislation, or does the government believe Canadian women should have to get a U.S. green card to receive equal pay for work of equal value?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Pay Equity
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CPC

Andrew Saxton

Conservative

Mr. Andrew Saxton (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the time is right to move forward with a more modern and collaborative approach to ensuring equitable wages. This is a natural extension of the employer's duty to bargain in good faith and a union's duty of fair representation to its members. I might add that this is building on the work already done in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.

This government is committed to the principle of equal pay for equal work, and we will proceed in that direction. Equality delayed is equality denied.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Pay Equity
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BQ

France Bonsant

Bloc Québécois

Ms. France Bonsant (Compton—Stanstead, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, recent events in Chalk River raise some serious concerns about the safety of the NRU reactor, which, despite being over 50 years old, is still producing 70% of the global supply of medical isotopes.

Can the Minister of Natural Resources, who says she cares about the health and safety of the public, tell us whether she has a supply plan in place in case of a sudden shut-down, and can she make it available so that we need not relive the drama of December 2007?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Nuclear Energy
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January 30, 2009