June 17, 2010

LIB

Rodger Cuzner

Liberal

Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Cape Breton—Canso, Lib.)

I will tell you what the member did, Mr. Speaker. He put $400 million together to clean up the Sydney tar ponds. Then the Tory hacks tried to steal—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Sydney Harbour
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?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Sydney Harbour
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LIB

Rodger Cuzner

Liberal

Mr. Rodger Cuzner

—the minister has been nowhere on this file. There has been no voice on this. Where is it tied up? Either the Prime Minister is not listening or the minister is not speaking. It is one or the other. He did his job; you do yours.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Sydney Harbour
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

I assure the hon. member that I will. The hon. Minister of National Revenue, I believe, is rising to answer this question that may have been directed at me.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Sydney Harbour
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CPC

Keith Ashfield

Conservative

Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I can recommend some real good blood pressure medicine for the hon. member. Who announced the clean up of the Sydney tar ponds? This government did, and we are proud of it.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Sydney Harbour
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CPC

Steven Blaney

Conservative

Mr. Steven Blaney (Lévis—Bellechasse, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the brother and father of 16-year-old Aqsa Parvez pleaded guilty yesterday to murdering her.

Why was she killed? Because she refused to wear a hijab, which her father saw as an act of defiance and women's independence that brought shame on him. That is unacceptable.

Will the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism tell the House our Conservative government's position on honour killings like this one?

Is multiculturalism an excuse for honour killings?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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CPC

Jason Kenney

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question.

No, it is not an excuse. I want to be clear: multiculturalism is never an excuse for such crimes, particularly crimes against women and honour killings.

That is why we included the following in the new citizenship guide, Discover Canada:

In Canada, men and women are equal under the law. Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, “honour killings,” female genital mutilation, or other gender-based violence.

This is something we condemn.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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NDP

Chris Charlton

New Democratic Party

Ms. Chris Charlton (Hamilton Mountain, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadians who opened tax-free savings accounts have now found out that these accounts are anything but tax free. In fact, they have become tax-grab savings accounts.

People are facing huge penalties for over-contributing, because the rules are neither clear nor sensible. People who are simply replacing money they had withdrawn are now having their contributions double-counted, and they are being hit with massive penalties.

Will the government admit that it screwed up, waive the penalties for people who contributed in good faith, and rewrite the rules to prevent this from happening in the future?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Tax-Free Savings Accounts
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CPC

Keith Ashfield

Conservative

Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is nice to hear a reasonable question for a change.

Our government has built on our aggressive tax relief by reducing taxes on savings with the landmark tax-free savings account, the most important personal savings vehicle since RRSPs.

The vast majority of the 4.6 million Canadians who opened a TFSA understood the rules and acted accordingly. Unfortunately, about 70,000 Canadians may have accidentally over-contributed to their TFSAs. We are not looking to unfairly punish those people.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Tax-Free Savings Accounts
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NDP

Tony Martin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Tony Martin (Sault Ste. Marie, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, there are currently at least 3.5 million Canadians living in poverty. This figure is totally unacceptable.

Poverty costs this country $90 billion, an amount that one Conservative senator has called wasteful. This is a loss of potential and a loss of tax revenue.

Yesterday we introduced a bold plan to end poverty in Canada. Will the Prime Minister admit to Canadians that we cannot afford poverty anymore? Will he finally show some leadership and commit to a comprehensive national poverty elimination strategy?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Poverty
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member would have a lot more credibility if he and his party would actually do something to help instead of talk about it.

The facts are that since the previous government, we have seen poverty rates in this country decline. In fact, poverty rates among seniors are at a record low of 4.8%. Among children we are among the lowest in the world.

Our government has taken numerous measures to improve the financial situation of Canadians. Sadly, every single time, they talk about it and vote against it.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Poverty
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BQ

Maria Mourani

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Maria Mourani (Ahuntsic, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, a broad coalition in Quebec is calling for the firearms registry to be maintained. The National Assembly, public health experts, police officers and families of victims of crime all want the control of long guns to continue. However, the Conservatives and part of the NDP caucus want to dismantle the registry. In addition, there is no guarantee that the Liberals will vote in favour of the registry.

Why does this government want to eliminate the long gun registry, a registry that saves lives and is universally supported in Quebec?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Firearms Registry
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CPC

Vic Toews

Conservative

Hon. Vic Toews (Minister of Public Safety, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I cannot speak on behalf of the NDP or the Liberals. I know what commitments 20 of those members made, and they will have to answer for that to their constituents.

Let me make clear one issue: While we support the licensing of people and the registration of prohibited and restricted weapons, we do not support the wasteful long gun registry. There are many effective ways that we could prevent crime, and I look forward to working with the member in that respect.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Firearms Registry
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BQ

Serge Ménard

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Serge Ménard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the National Assembly of Quebec, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, the Association québécoise Plaidoyer-Victimes, the Barreau du Québec, youth centres, the Regroupement des organismes de justice alternative du Québec and many other organizations all condemn the Conservative government's young offenders bill.

Will the government amend its bill to comply with Quebec's rehabilitation model, an approach that for 25 years has given Quebec the lowest youth crime rate in Canada and one of the lowest in North America?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Young Offenders
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CPC

Rob Nicholson

Conservative

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing in the bill that in any way interferes with provincial discretion or the programming of the province of Quebec.

All I say to the hon. member is that he should have a look at the bill, and he will recognize that this is a reasonable, balanced approach that has the support of the Quebec police association, and more important, victims groups right across the province of Quebec. It should have his complete support.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Young Offenders
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LIB

Siobhan Coady

Liberal

Ms. Siobhan Coady (St. John's South—Mount Pearl, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Cape Spear lighthouse is a symbol of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and is an iconic marker of the most easterly point in North America.

The current government has announced plans to sell off or scrap the Cape Spear lighthouse, along with over 1,000 more lighthouses.

At the same time, the government is building a fake lake and a fake landlocked lighthouse for the G8, a loony boondoggle.

I ask the Minister of the Environment responsible for Parks Canada and national historic sites, how could he put a “for sale” sign on Cape Spear lighthouse?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Lighthouses
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CPC

Jim Prentice

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to have a question from the Liberal Party about the environment. I was puzzled about why its members rose today, but upon reflection, it is because this is, in fact, the anniversary of the expansion of the Nahanni National Park sixfold by this Conservative government.

Perhaps that is not the real reason. I think the member rises because this is also the day that the order in council creating the Galapagos of the north, the Gwaii Haanas marine reserve, Canada's first marine national park, was finalized two hours ago.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Lighthouses
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LIB

Judy Foote

Liberal

Ms. Judy Foote (Random—Burin—St. George's, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the current government is using the new Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act to offload historical buildings. The wholesale dumping of lighthouses shows a complete disregard for these iconic structures.

Instead of protecting lighthouses, the government is identifying those it considers surplus and is expecting others to take responsibility for them.

The Conservatives have a bottomless pit of money for a fake lighthouse in Ontario, yet they turn their backs on heritage structures in the maritime provinces.

How much money has the government budgeted to help those who will be forced to take over a lighthouse rather than see it fall into a state of disrepair?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Lighthouses
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CPC

Gail Shea

Conservative

Hon. Gail Shea (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that prior to the new Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act, there was no plan in place to protect heritage lighthouses.

This was a piece of legislation that was supported by all parties. What happened to the Liberal Party? It supported the legislation when it came in.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Lighthouses
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NDP

Olivia Chow

New Democratic Party

Ms. Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, at the height of the tourist season, the U.S. just asked its citizens to avoid Toronto. The Toronto Blue Jays, galleries, theatres, and even VIA Rail have been caged up and shut down. All the major Toronto mayoralty candidates have written to the Prime Minister to ask for help.

Yet thousands of small businesses worried about damages are being told to go jump in that fake lake. The government will not compensate Torontonians for property damage caused by the G20 summit. Why will it not do that?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   G8 and G20 Summits
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June 17, 2010