February 23, 2009

CPC

Lawrence Cannon

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, last year, requests amounted to some 3,500 pages. There is nothing wrong with cost recovery in that context.

We are not against the idea. On the contrary, we agree that the Access to Information Act should enable people to get information, but we also think that it makes sense to try to recover the cost of handling access requests.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Access to Information
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LIB

Kirsty Duncan

Liberal

Ms. Kirsty Duncan (Etobicoke North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, President Obama has earmarked $400 million for climate change research.

In Canada the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, which has financed 160 projects and 24 research networks on climate change, has received nothing from the government over the last four budgets.

Why is the Conservative government shutting out Canada's best and brightest?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Jim Prentice

Conservative

Hon. Jim Prentice (Minister of the Environment, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, only the Liberal Party could find fault with what transpired in our country last week when the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States struck a historic understanding relative to biofuel research, research relating to the smart grid, research relating to energy efficiency, clean engine research, carbon capture and storage, all the most advanced technologies in the world.

Only one party in our country has delayed progress on climate change, and that is the Liberal Party.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Kirsty Duncan

Liberal

Ms. Kirsty Duncan (Etobicoke North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, a new brain drain from Canada has begun.

Andrew Weaver, who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, notes his modelling team recently lost three researchers to Australia. James Drummond, who directs a remote polar lab and whose funding has all but dried up, says that he has already lost a post-doctoral student to the U.S. and fears more will follow.

Climate scientists are leaving Canada because of the government's decision to starve scientific research at odds with its ideology. When will this end?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Jim Prentice

Conservative

Hon. Jim Prentice (Minister of the Environment, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, what has begun is collaboration between our country and the largest economy in the world south of here in relation to research, research on all aspects of energy consumption, energy efficiency, smart grids.

These developments will benefit our country in every respect. It does not matter what form of energy we are speaking of, whether it is hydrocarbons, renewables, hydroelectricity, across the Canadian economy we will be the beneficiary of the remarkable work that happened here last week.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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NDP

Don Davies

New Democratic Party

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the recent gang violence on the streets of the Lower Mainland has shocked British Columbians and the entire country. Yet to date the government has presented no coherent strategy for crime prevention or diverting high-risk youth from gangs. In fact, it has spent more time playing politics than taking action.

New Democrats have supported and will continue to support strategies for getting gangs off the streets and putting criminals behind bars. When will the government present the House with an effective plan to combat gang violence in metro Vancouver and, indeed, across Canada?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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CPC

Peter Van Loan

Conservative

Hon. Peter Van Loan (Minister of Public Safety, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, apparently the hon. member was not there in Vancouver a month ago when I announced five different projects aimed at diverting young people from activity involvement in gangs, vulnerable at-risk youth. We are providing the funding through our national crime prevention strategy, something I might add, numbers in the budget that party votes against all the time.

I do not know why those members are complaining about the lack of funding. When we are taking action to fight crime, they are standing and voting against it.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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NDP

Dawn Black

New Democratic Party

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster—Coquitlam, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, as the mother of two police officers in Vancouver, I find the minister's answers rather insulting and very disappointing.

Our region has the lowest police to population ratio of any metro area in the country. People in B.C. do not want political games; they want effective action to combat criminal gangs. We need more police officers, stronger witness protection, investments for crime prevention that will keep our kids away from gangs. We must make drive-by shootings explicitly an indictable offence.

When will the government finally bring forward a comprehensive strategy—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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LIB
CPC

Peter Van Loan

Conservative

Hon. Peter Van Loan (Minister of Public Safety, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our party committed to deliver over 1,000 new RCMP officers. So far we have delivered over 1,500. We have provided money to the provinces to hire additional police officers. With that, a week and a half ago the province of British Columbia was able to announce that it was doing exactly that. We have delivered on tougher penalties for gun crimes and a range of other measures through our Tackling Violent Crime Act.

There were a bunch of bills in previous Parliaments that those parties across the way did not let pass. We will be bringing forward tougher penalties for drug crimes and other measures. We invite them this time, in this Parliament to support those measures so we can really get tough on crime for a change.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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CPC

Peter Goldring

Conservative

Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton East, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, while past Liberal governments were content with the status quo, this government was not. In budgets 2007 and 2008, the government committed to make our international assistance focused, effective and accountable.

Last April, the Minister of International Cooperation announced Canada would be untying food aid. In September she announced that all aid would be untied.

Could the minister update us on the next steps in the government's aid effectiveness agenda?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Aid
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CPC

Bev Oda

Conservative

Hon. Bev Oda (Minister of International Cooperation, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today Canada is moving forward on another element of its aid effectiveness agenda. We will be increasing our effectiveness efforts in 20 countries, with increased resources focusing our bilateral country programs and improved coherence and coordination.

This does not mean we are abandoning those in need. We will continue to respond to humanitarian crisis around the world.

Today I am also pleased to announce an additional $1.5 million for shelter and protection for Sri Lankan civilians who are victimized by the conflict.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Aid
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LIB

Wayne Easter

Liberal

Hon. Wayne Easter (Malpeque, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, when is the Prime Minister going to realize his office must obey the law? Following the listeriosis crisis, the Prime Minister, after months of delay, has appointed an investigator who has no power to subpoena witnesses or documents and reports to the very minister who is under question.

Now today, we have the spectacle of the PMO and the Privy Council Office refusing to release information concerning the activities of the government during the crisis.

What is the Prime Minister trying to hide? Will the Prime Minister commit today, right now, to release all notes related to the listeriosis crisis, as required by law?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Access to Information
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CPC

Vic Toews

Conservative

Hon. Vic Toews (President of the Treasury Board, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the member is trying to create the impression that decisions about what information to release are driven at the political level. That is in fact absolutely false, and that member knows it.

ATIA requests are never handled by ministers or political staff. The work is done by individuals in the public service. We assume and we expect them to obey the law in every respect.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Access to Information
Permalink
BQ

Paul Crête

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Paul Crête (Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, a British national detained in Guantanamo for four years was released from the prison and repatriated by his government.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs is scheduled to meet with the American secretary of state soon. Why not use that visit to ask that child soldier Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen still detained in Guantanamo, be returned to Canada?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CPC

Lawrence Cannon

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our position remains exactly the same as that already taken by previous governments. We all know that the individual in question has been charged with serious crimes against Americans. In that respect, President Obama has established a procedure. We intend to follow that procedure through to the end.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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NDP

Malcolm Allen

New Democratic Party

Mr. Malcolm Allen (Welland, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, last summer's listeriosis outbreak killed 20 Canadians and made many more sick. During the election, the government promised to get to the bottom of it. However, not only is its their own closed door investigation a sham, we are now learning that the Conservatives are denying Canadians the full scope of the situation by blocking information about the outbreak from being released.

Will the government tell us when the agricultural subcommittee hearings on listeriosis will start, and when will the government tell Canadian families everything it knows about the crisis in order to restore Canadians' confidence in the food supply?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Access to Information
Permalink
CPC

Vic Toews

Conservative

Hon. Vic Toews (President of the Treasury Board, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I answered that question which was asked by the member for Malpeque. I gave a fulsome answer to that member. However, I will repeat it.

The member is trying to create the impression that decisions regarding the information being released are driven at the political level. That is absolutely false. These requests are never handled by ministers or their political staff. That work is done by professional public servants in the public service.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Access to Information
Permalink
CPC

Greg Rickford

Conservative

Mr. Greg Rickford (Kenora, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month Canada's transport, and infrastructure minister and his Ontario provincial counterpart announced more than $1 billion in infrastructure investment to Ontario communities with fewer than 100,000 people. Communities in the great Kenora riding were elated with these investments.

Could the minister inform the House how this funding will affect their communities and has affected the communities in the Kenora riding?

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, in these uncertain economic times, Canadians want us to work together to get things going, to create jobs right across the province.

The Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Liberal MPP Leona Dombrowsky calls the funding that the government announced the most significant infrastructure investment that has been made in rural Ontario probably in the history of the province. The mayor of Timmins said that he applauded the federal and provincial governments for their quick and decisive action.

This government is getting the job done for rural Ontario.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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February 23, 2009