March 1, 2011

CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the minister has spoken to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, where, 11 times, she was very clear that she was the one who made the decision with respect to not giving the $7 million grant. She also made it very clear just last month that it was her decision.

I would encourage the member opposite from Vancouver Centre to look at that.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
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LIB

Hedy Fry

Liberal

Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, what kind of lesson are Canadians to draw from this obfuscation, that if ministers do whatever the Prime Minister says, the consequences simply do not matter, that the Prime Minister can break his word on accountability of ministers with impunity?

The Minister of International Cooperation sits behind the Prime Minister dutifully, day after day, and is not allowed to answer.

Is it the Prime Minister's position that women in his cabinet should only be seen and not heard?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
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CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the member wants to talk about integrity. That specific member, who was a minister, wants to talk about misleading the House. That is the member who said, “As we speak, crosses are burning in Prince George”. She has a lot of chutzpah.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
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LIB

Raymonde Folco

Liberal

Ms. Raymonde Folco (Laval—Les Îles, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to add that, at that point, this minister had the ministerial responsibility to resign.

The Minister of International Cooperation is so proud of her decision—which was very courageous as far as her colleague the House leader is concerned—that she continues to remain silent on the issue. She was so brave in making this decision that she wanted to have us believe that it was actually bureaucrats who made it.

Has the Minister of International Cooperation become a woman without a voice who does not have the right to respond to questions in this Parliament?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
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CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the minister said no such thing. What she did say last year before a standing committee of Parliament was that she was the one who made the decision not to provide a $7 million grant to a particular non-governmental organization. This is something she repeated just last month in this place.

The minister has always made the right decisions. The member has always stood up for international causes around the world, whether it is in Haiti, or in Afghanistan or in Africa. She is doing a heck of a good job.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
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LIB

Raymonde Folco

Liberal

Ms. Raymonde Folco (Laval—Les Îles, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we would love to hear her speak in the House now. Day after day, the Minister of International Cooperation remains silent, sitting behind the Prime Minister, leaving the responsibility of defending her decisions to others.

Did she give up the extra $70,000 that comes with her so-called ministerial responsibilities? Is she still part of cabinet? Did she turn in the keys to her limousine?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
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CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, let me tell the member what the Minister of International Cooperation works so hard at. She has worked tremendously hard at rebuilding earthquake-damaged Haiti. She has worked tremendously hard on dealing with the challenges that women in Afghanistan face. The minister has—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

Order, please. The government House leader has the floor. We will have some order.

The hon. government House leader.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
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CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird

Mr. Speaker, the minister has not just played an important role, but this minister has played an instrumental role in the maternal and child initiative brought forward at the last G8. This initiative will save literally millions of lives, and it is because of the great leadership of the Minister of International Cooperation.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
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BQ

Paule Brunelle

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Paule Brunelle (Trois-Rivières, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia have asked the federal government for a $375 million loan guarantee in order to build a power line that would deliver electricity—energy—from the Lower Churchill to the United States. The Conservative government refuses to shut the door on that request, which is unfair to Quebec. I would remind the House that Hydro-Québec was developed without the help of the federal government.

Can the government clearly tell us that it does not intend to directly or indirectly fund this network, which was designed to bypass Quebec?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Electricity
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CPC

Jim Flaherty

Conservative

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, there are two matters relating to the Lower Churchill. One is an application for a loan guarantee, and that is being discussed by officials in the federal government with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The other is a P3 application to PPP Canada Inc. with respect to a proposed transmission connection, and that is being dealt with in the normal way by PPP Canada Inc.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Electricity
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BQ

Paule Brunelle

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Paule Brunelle (Trois-Rivières, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the federal government cannot hide behind PPP Canada. PPP Canada is a creature of the Conservative government that is funded by Parliament. The federal government should not be using money that comes, in part, from Quebeckers to pay for an underwater cable that will create competition for Hydro-Québec.

If Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia want a hydroelectric network, should they not do what Quebec did and pay for it themselves?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Electricity
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CPC

Jim Flaherty

Conservative

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, PPP Canada Inc. deals with applications from all across the country. I am sure the member noticed the announcement the other day in Lachine, Quebec, with respect to the maintenance yard and for the commuter trains in the greater Montreal region: a P3 Canada application, approved by PPP Canada Inc. I did not hear any complaints elsewhere in Canada about that approval.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Electricity
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BQ

Bernard Bigras

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, while Quebec has imposed a moratorium on oil and gas exploration and development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence until 2012, we learn that drilling on the Old Harry site in Newfoundland could begin as early as next year. Quebec is being exposed to risk, especially from an environmental perspective, by this hasty decision by Ottawa and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Will the federal government comply with the National Assembly motion calling for the suspension of existing permits until the results of the environmental assessments are known?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Christian Paradis

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Old Harry site is regulated by the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, a regulator we trust.

The health of the workers and environmental protection are our top priorities. No project will be approved if the regulator thinks those priorities will be compromised.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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BQ

Bernard Bigras

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, Quebec needs to have full jurisdiction over its territory in order to better protect its ecosystems and be master of its domain. The federal government signed an agreement with Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador 25 years ago and should do the same with Quebec to allow it to express its own environmental and energy priorities.

Why is Ottawa refusing to give Quebec the same advantages it gave to Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Christian Paradis

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, negotiations are under way between Quebec and our government. Things are going well. One thing is clear: no project will be approved if our regulators are not convinced that the health of the workers and environmental protection will be ensured. If the Bloc wants to make this a divisive issue, it is free to do so. We will make Canada a global clean energy superpower.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Scott Brison

Liberal

Hon. Scott Brison (Kings—Hants, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the finance committee is trying to investigate the cost of the Conservatives U.S.-style criminal justice agenda, but the Conservatives are taking a page right out of Richard Nixon's playbook and are obstructing that investigation every step of the way.

Last night the House ordered the Conservatives to stop the obstruction. Will the Conservatives respect last night's vote and stop breaking the rules? Will they finally tell Canadians the true cost of their U.S.-style criminal justice agenda?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to inform my friend from Kings—Hants that we tabled in the House last week the information the committee requested.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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March 1, 2011