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Results: 1 - 15 of 385
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2011-03-25 10:26 [p.9248]
Mr. Speaker, it is with some sadness that we are all involved in this debate today. It is a historic moment that a government of Canada is being found in contempt not just of Parliament but of the Canadian people.
All members come here in an effort to represent constituents back home. There is a list of concerns and serious allegations, some of them being founded by the public prosecutor charging four Conservatives and two may likely go to jail, cancelling the long form census, and firing independent government officers and agents.
Members are meant to hold government to account. It concerns me that just last night an email was leaked from the Minister of Industry who instructed his Senate colleagues to kill the generic bill for drugs to Africa. That is very similar to how the government instructed its people in the Senate to kill the climate change accountability act introduced by the leader of the NDP.
A government is being found in contempt, which has never happened before. There have been bad governments, lying governments, and contemptuous governments in this country before, but the present government has achieved this low bar of ethics and morality. How is it we find ourselves in this position and what must we all do collectively to never allow this to happen again?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2011-03-24 13:59 [p.9197]
Madam Speaker, the government has cancelled and closed the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences. For a number of scientists studying climate across Quebec and the north, it is very important. Does the member think that is a terrible loss to Canada?
View Christiane Gagnon Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christiane Gagnon Profile
2011-03-24 13:59 [p.9197]
Madam Speaker, this is a very important issue that the Bloc Québécois takes quite seriously. It is our hope that the Conservative Party will really put its heart into this rather than simply continuing to put a spin on the situation, as is its wont. Any action that the Conservatives have taken to help the underprivileged amounts to peanuts. All they are offering is crumbs. I hope that the public will understand the issues at stake in the election campaign, including the democratic deficit. The Conservatives are also trying to gain the favour of the most fragile groups in society, which is dangerous.
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2011-03-23 18:40 [p.9162]
Mr. Speaker, I am here to talk about the environment.
One of the most difficult and disappointing parts of being a member of Parliament is to see what the current Conservative government has done in presenting a piecemeal, ad hoc, visionless approach, which has taken us backwards on climate change.
Compare that to where Canada was five years ago under a Liberal government. We were poised to have a comprehensive regulatory approach. We were poised to have a price on carbon. Businesses were on board. Funding was in place for programs to help citizens reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. That has all been blown away by the Conservative government's approach.
Clearly, putting a price on carbon allows businesses to plan. It is efficient and the most effective way to go. However, the government has just tabled a budget where almost half of the funding for the clean air agenda is about regulations.
Supposedly the government wants to cut red tape, but instead it has added red tape and wrapped it around the business community. It is as though the government is replacing the windshield wipers and waxing the car when the transmission and the engine are shot and the trunk is full of cement blocks. That is the Conservative government on climate change.
The Liberal Party has a vision in which Canada would accept its responsibility to reduce carbon pollution that is in line with other developed countries with a 1990 baseline. We would create a cap and trade system that would be verifiable and binding with hard caps leading to absolute reductions. Then the market could do the work and bring greenhouse gases down in the most efficient and effective way.
A Liberal government would make the most significant investments in clean energy and energy efficiency in our nation's history. We would become leaders and could export those technologies to other parts of the world.
Unfortunately, the Conservative government has rested its plan on obstructing and trying to undermine the actions that other countries have taken, while rubbing the wax on its car and trying to show it off as action on climate change. It has been disappointing and undermines the efforts that companies want to make.
Today is the 22nd anniversary of an environmental event, which is the running aground of the Exxon Valdez in Alaska 22 years ago today.
I want to mention another piecemeal, ad hoc, visionless, backward approach, and that is the government's approach on the oceans. The government has disabled and discarded the long-term moratorium defending our oceans from supertankers.
On the contrary, a Liberal government would take a position of global leadership in protecting our shared ocean heritage and vital coastal communities and their jobs so these kinds of ecological disasters would never harm our shores.
The government is in contempt of Parliament, it has contempt for Canadians and it has contempt for the environment. No wonder parliamentarians can no longer express confidence in the government.
View Christiane Gagnon Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christiane Gagnon Profile
2011-03-10 10:48 [p.8875]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak on this opposition day as my party's democratic reform critic. This motion was made necessary because of the actions the Conservatives have taken since they came into power in 2006.
My colleague from Joliette spoke a lot about the saga involving the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and also the actions of the Conservative Party, in particular the government, with respect to financing for that party, which established a scheme to obtain more money to pay for their advertising. I will come back to this later.
I would like to go over a few examples, because these are not just recent examples. Since they were elected in 2006, the Conservatives have interfered with democracy by manipulating principles as they see fit or even completely disregarding them. This is very worrisome because it creates precedents and we can dare not imagine would what happen with a majority government.
I would like to quote columnist Manon Cornellier, who wrote in the newspaper Le Devoir on September 29, 2010:
[Citizens] are kept in the dark and deprived of fundamental information, which means they are no longer as capable of exercising their primary democratic right of judging the government.
Democracy is always exercised better and more intelligently in a context of transparency, rigour and credible information.
I quoted this columnist because I want to remind the government why it is not currently a majority government and why there is an opposition. The opposition is here to shed light on government decisions and to hold the government accountable to the public.
For example, when I go back to the Quebec City area, many people who voted for me or my colleague in Louis-Hébert say they elected us because they do not want this to be a majority government and do not want its ideology imposed on Quebeckers. That is why the Bloc Québécois is so strong all over Quebec. The government is especially abusive in how it treats democracy here in the House. Today we are debating the reasons why the Conservatives are criticized so much, so often provoke stormy debates, and make a mockery of the opposition’s right to express its views and hold the government to account.
The Conservatives do not want to be accountable to anyone and do not hesitate to resorts to all kinds of tricks, even going so far as to break the most elementary rules by which they should abide in respectable country that is supposed to be democratic. They do not care a fig about democracy and shrink from nothing when it comes to promoting their partisan interests and imposing their reactionary ideology. There are many recent examples, and our motion mentions some of them.
I would like to refresh the memories of certain colleagues, and also of the people watching us, by reviewing a few more examples that are not mentioned in the motion put forward by my colleague from Joliette. For several years now, the Shannon citizens’ coalition and its lawyers have tried repeatedly to obtain documents from the Department of National Defence on the contamination of ground water. However, the government has been delaying the release of documents sought under the Access to Information Act, has been obstructive,and has simply failed to disclose the documents in question.
Last November 25, we managed—because opposition members are in the majority here in the House—to adopt an order to produce the documents. The documents deal with reports analyzing the water supply system at the Valcartier base since 1970. I asked the minister a question because he had promised to table the documents. He said right here in the House, before all the members, that he would table them. So what did he do? Nothing. The government and the Department of National Defence are still hiding behind the class action suit that is now before the courts. But when I asked him,he said it was already headed for the courts. Did he show good faith? No, he misled the House and all citizens about his real intentions.
A similar situation arose regarding the disclosure of documents about the transfer of prisoners in Afghanistan. The government was refusing to release the documents and that is why it prorogued Parliament in December 2009. You had given a ruling, Mr. Speaker, in April 2010 that ordered the government to release the documents, which were not a threat to national security. So what happened?
One year later, a committee has examined the issue but no documents have been made public. If that is not obstruction, I wonder what it is. The government is delaying telling the truth to citizens. It is also delaying bills. It deemed it appropriate to have a majority of senators in the other place to block bills passed by the House. The Senate absolutely refuses to look at all the bills and come to a decision.
The Conservatives seem to have a hard time understanding and applying the basic principles of democracy. One of these principles calls for a separation of powers between the public and political administrations. Yet, how many times have the Conservatives interfered in the public administration since they took office? How many times have they muzzled senior public servants who did not share their views, or did not want to implement a partisan decision? KAIROS, to which the hon. member for Trois-Rivières referred earlier, is one example. The list of victims is a long one, but I will mention a few.
Linda Keen, former head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, was fired during the scandal related to the downtime of the Chalk River reactors. Munir Sheikh, the Chief Statistician of Statistics Canada, resigned because he did not support abolishing the mandatory long form census. Rémy Beauregard, whose management of Rights and Democracy was criticized, died of a heart attack after a stormy and tumultuous meeting. Marty Cheliak, former head of the Canadian firearms program, was let go because he was about to table a report supporting gun control. There is also Patrick Stogran, the former Veterans Ombudsman, whose mandate was not renewed because he dared criticize the government's treatment of veterans.
All these individuals were fired or their mandate was not renewed because the government was not pleased. The Senate has blocked legislation such as Bill C-311, which was supported by the Bloc Québécois and a majority of elected members in this House. This bill, dealing with our responsibility regarding global climate change, was contrary to the government's vision on the environment. They rejected it without even looking at it. The Conservatives set a precedent that had not been seen since 1930. They show a blatant disrespect for democratic institutions.
I could list numerous other bills that have been blocked, including the one requiring that Supreme Court judges be bilingual. The Conservatives bought time by constantly stalling the study of the bill until they had a majority in the Senate. The Prime Minister promised to change the rules of the game so that government would be more transparent. But what he has done is worse than what the Liberals did and, in some ways, he has gone even further than they did. The Conservatives' actions of late, coupled with the fact that Conservative senators are getting away with spending money from the Senate budget to promote their partisan ideology, lead us to believe that there is some confusion between the resources of a political party and the resources of the government or the House of Commons.
Taxpayers' money was used for partisan purposes and electioneering. They are always telling the House that public money needs to be respected and that the government is careful about how it spends public money. But what did they do? They used a scam to pay for ads and took $200,000 from taxpayers. They exceeded their election campaign spending limit.
Today we are going to “highlight” everything they have done since they came to power. We will demonstrate that this government is not transparent and that the Prime Minister has not kept his election promises. People wanted to see the Conservatives in power so that there would be more transparency. But that is not what we are seeing these days.
View Bernard Bigras Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, while a new study shows that the ice cap in the far north is melting because of climate change, researchers from Sherbrooke are getting ready to dismantle the PEARL atmospheric observatory in Nunavut. These researchers are still waiting to find out whether funding for the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences will be renewed.
What is the government waiting for to confirm that funding for climate change research will be renewed?
View Peter Kent Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Kent Profile
2011-03-09 14:40 [p.8830]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question. I can only tell him to be patient and wait until the budget is brought down on March 22.
View Bernard Bigras Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, instead of wasting $1 million distributing weather alert equipment to our schools for the sake of raising its profile, the federal government should instead be renewing funding for the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences and ensuring that the PEARL atmospheric observatory can continue its work.
Instead of handing out useless gadgets, why does the federal government not provide better funding to scientific research into climate change?
View Peter Kent Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Kent Profile
2011-03-09 14:41 [p.8830]
Mr. Speaker, the program funded by the National Search and Rescue Secretariat to send weather radio receivers to schools and guide and scout camps, was created following the devastating tornadoes that hit southern Ontario in 2008.
The weather radio receiver allows school authorities to be instantly alerted when severe weather threatens. Weather radio is the only system like this in Canada. Why does the Bloc take issue with school children having—
View Bernard Bigras Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, members of Climate Action Network Canada, a coalition of over 75 organizations in Quebec and Canada, are on Parliament Hill demanding that the Conservative government introduce a credible plan to combat climate change. The Conservative government must stop hiding behind countries that are dragging their feet and make oil companies do their part.
When will this government present a real plan for reducing greenhouse gases?
View Peter Kent Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Kent Profile
2011-02-08 14:39 [p.7873]
Mr. Speaker, we have a plan and the plan is working.
We have a plan to meet our target of a 17% reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions--
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View Peter Milliken Profile
Lib. (ON)
Order, please. Everyone wants to hear the Minister of the Environment's response. There is too much noise.
The hon. Minister for the Environment has the floor.
View Peter Kent Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Kent Profile
2011-02-08 14:39 [p.7873]
Mr. Speaker, as I said, we have a plan and our plan is working.
We will continue to regulate sector by sector to achieve our climate change and greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. We started with the two largest greenhouse gas emitters in the transportation sector and in the coal-fired electricity sector. We will proceed with other large emitters.
View Bernard Bigras Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, if the minster's plan is working, then why is Canada the country that is most threatening to the planet? That is the reality. Like the Bloc Québécois, Climate Action Network Canada is asking the federal government to use the upcoming budget to put an end to tax breaks for dirty fuel and implement policies for reducing our dependence on oil.
Why does the Conservative government continue to subsidize the oil industry and the oil sands rather than investing in clean energy alternatives?
View Peter Kent Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Kent Profile
2011-02-08 14:40 [p.7873]
Mr. Speaker, our gas emitting friends on the other side of the House should be aware that all Canadians are proud of the Canadian oil sands as a natural resource. It is well-regulated and responsibly administered in an environmentally-sensitive and sustainable manner.
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