June 8, 2010

LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

Hon. Geoff Regan (Halifax West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized the principle that polluters should pay for damages they cause.

As a result of the gulf disaster, BP's costs are already close to $2 billion. However, on Canada's east coast, deposits are only $30 million and there is no strict liability. This could leave Canadian taxpayers exposed to billions in liabilities.

Why has the minister failed to take any action to protect taxpayers and ensure that oil companies assume 100% of the cleanup costs and damages?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Oil and Gas Industry
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CPC

Christian Paradis

Conservative

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Natural Resources, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we have a solid liability regime here in Canada. There is absolute liability, and companies must provide guarantees. Every project is subject to very thorough assessment by an independent agency, the National Energy Board. On the east coast, it is the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.

One thing is certain: there will be no drilling projects unless and until these independent agencies are convinced that the environment and the health and safety of workers will be protected.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Oil and Gas Industry
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LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

Hon. Geoff Regan (Halifax West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, with the lame responses we keep hearing from the minister, it is no wonder Canadians have no confidence in the government's competence to deal with a major spill. The minister keeps repeating that companies file safety and environmental plans. Maybe the minister should check how well that worked with BP in the gulf.

We need a plan to protect Canadians, not a minister who will not accept his responsibilities. The government relaxed the regulations last year. Why does it no longer require backup plans for relief wells?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Oil and Gas Industry
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CPC

Christian Paradis

Conservative

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Natural Resources, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, my colleague should look at the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act, because that is exactly how the law works; it is not like what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico.

Members must look at the facts and look at what the National Energy Board has done to improve our regulations, which are already solid. The offshore petroleum board, in the east, implemented special measures on May 20, 2010. That is action. Yes, there are emergency plans and backup plans that can be submitted by companies and operators in case of disaster. The regulations are already quite strict. No project will operate until—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Oil and Gas Industry
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LIB
LIB

Alexandra Mendes

Liberal

Mrs. Alexandra Mendes (Brossard—La Prairie, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Montreal's petrochemical industry supports thousands of jobs. Closing the Shell refinery puts 500 direct jobs at risk in the eastern part of the island, yet the Prime Minister and his band of Quebec bashers do nothing. Some 500 families are in trouble and this does not even bother the Conservatives. After all, they have already rejected Quebec.

Do the Conservatives at least plan to respect the general boycott on Shell this Friday?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Shell Canada
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CPC

Christian Paradis

Conservative

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Natural Resources, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we have been extremely active on this file. We are following the matter very closely. Like everyone else, we hope Shell will find a buyer to save the refinery. We feel for the workers and what they are going through, and negotiations are still ongoing. We will follow this matter closely.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Shell Canada
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LIB

Alexandra Mendes

Liberal

Mrs. Alexandra Mendes (Brossard—La Prairie, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I guess the answer to the boycott is no.

The Conservative government has made a point of disregarding Quebec's values and interests when it comes to maternal health, the gun registry, French in the Supreme Court and the environment. It has done nothing about job losses in the petrochemical industry, just as it did nothing to help the forestry industry.

What has the Conservative government done to protect the interests of Quebec workers?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Quebec Workers
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CPC

Christian Paradis

Conservative

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Natural Resources, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, the union itself said that we were very active on this file.

The member wants to talk about the forestry sector. Her party, the Liberal Party, was the one that objected to the softwood lumber agreement that brought no less than $1 billion back to sawmills in this country and will ensure legal stability for years to come.

She says that we do not care about jobs, but she is the one who should be ashamed.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Quebec Workers
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CPC

Scott Armstrong

Conservative

Mr. Scott Armstrong (Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, in the 2008 election campaign, our Conservative Party promised that if re-elected we would crack down on crooked immigration consultants. We repeated that promise in the throne speech.

Would the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism please inform this House on steps the Conservative government is taking to protect those who dream of immigrating to Canada from crooked immigration consultants?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Immigration
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CPC

Jason Kenney

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, every year, thousands of would-be immigrants and visitors to Canada are exploited by unethical, crooked immigration consultants who sometimes take thousands of dollars from people, exploiting their dream of coming to Canada, and return no services or, even worse, counsel people to commit fraud that hurts their chances of coming to Canada.

This government is taking action. We have introduced today Bill C-35, an act to crack down on crooked consultants and make it a crime, punishable with up to two years in prison, for people to act as consultants if they are not properly registered. We are also taking other measures to ensure a proper accounting of these--

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Immigration
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LIB
NDP

Charlie Angus

New Democratic Party

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the price tag for the Mad Hatter of Muskoka's private shindig keeps rising. We are now moving on to $2 billion for a four day event. There is the gazebo, the Olympic hockey rink and the boat that will not float. Now the government is telling us that the fake lake will promote Canada on the international stage. We go from ShamWow to scamwow. The Conservative government is abusing the public purse for its personal ego projects.

Will the Prime Minister take the flippers off the Muskoka maniac, pull him out of the fake lake and send him packing to the backbenches?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   G8 and G20 Summits
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CPC

Lawrence Cannon

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we ask for equal opportunity to showcase Canada and to showcase Ontario. We are using part of the budget to promote Canada and to ensure we do the marketing. Over 3,000 media and other officials, as well as heads of government and their delegations, will be here.

We want to seize this opportunity to ensure we tell everybody what Canada stands for, which is a very strong country that wants to attract investment here. That is what we are doing.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   G8 and G20 Summits
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NDP

Charlie Angus

New Democratic Party

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I have reserves in my riding that are so poor they do not have schools or playground equipment and I see a minister who is blowing through taxpayer money like he has won the pork-barrel lottery. This is a question of professional integrity.

The Prime Minister promised accountability and trust, so either he did not know what was happening under his watch or he totally supports this misuse of money.

Is the Prime Minister willing to take action or is he going to continue to act like Captain Bligh on steamship Tony's ship of fools?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   G8 and G20 Summits
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CPC

Lawrence Cannon

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am not the only one who talks about promoting Canada. I will quote Tim West, who is chairman of the board of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, who said, “Previous governments have staged tourism setups, so this not a new concept. From my perspective, we have way too much to gain with the G8 and G20 in Ontario and to minimize this tourism opportunity would be a mistake”.

Every time we have tried to do something for Ontario, they voted against it.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   G8 and G20 Summits
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BQ

Francine Lalonde

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Francine Lalonde (La Pointe-de-l'Île, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, when asked about the attack by the Israeli army on a humanitarian aid flotilla, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that his government would not support a biased process. We completely agree. That is why we think, as does the international community, that the countries involved must not be both judge and judged in this inquiry.

Will the minister admit that the only way to ensure a credible and impartial process is to have an independent international inquiry?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CPC

Lawrence Cannon

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying yesterday, Canada has called for and obviously supports an impartial, credible and transparent inquiry. Canada is convinced that Israel's inquiry into this tragic incident will be impartial, credible and transparent.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
Permalink
BQ

Francine Lalonde

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Francine Lalonde (La Pointe-de-l'Île, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, but will it be international? That is twice now that the government has refused to answer.

Will the government demand that the two UN Security Council resolutions—1850 and 1860—on humanitarian aid to Gaza be respected by Israel?

How can Canada hope to sit on the UN Security Council when it is unable to clearly support resolutions that are adopted there?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CPC

Lawrence Cannon

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we remain concerned about the Gaza situation and the provision of humanitarian aid to meet the basic needs of the people. Canada understands Israel's legitimate concerns about security and terrorist threats against its people. The Gaza Strip, I remind the House, is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist organization, and Israel has every right to defend itself.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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June 8, 2010