(Context: June 5, 2012 – Business of Supply – Opposition Motion—Scientific and Social Science Expertise)
That, in the opinion of the House, Canadian scientific and social science expertise is of great value and, therefore, the House calls on the Government to end its muzzling of scientists; to reverse the cuts to research programs at Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Library and Archives Canada, National Research Council Canada, Statistics Canada, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; and to cancel the closures of the National Council of Welfare and the First Nations Statistical Institute.
Bruce Hyer: Madam Speaker, there are many Canadians who do not understand the difference between science and technology. There are profound differences. I have no doubt that our government and the minister understand and support technology but I wonder if they really understand and support science.
I have a broad question for the minister. Does he really believe in science and the implications of scientific inquiry? I have a more specific question that will put a fine point on it. There is a vast bunch of science out there that says that life was created on this planet three to four billion years ago, and there are other theories. Does the minister believe that life was created on this planet through evolution three to four billion years ago or does he subscribe to a different theory?
Hon. Gary Goodyear: Madam Speaker, what I would recommend to the hon. member is that when he tightens that towel around his neck at nighttime that he not do it for more than 20 seconds. It actually ends up causing cerebral anoxia that leaves permanent brain damage.
What I can say is that we obviously support basic research all the way through to applied research. In fact, we are looking at particle accelerators that can create the next generation of medical isotopes. We are working on the CERN project, which is the Large Hadron Collider where we are trying to smash together protons. In Canada, we are investing in i basic research for the pipeline of the future and applying it so that we can create jobs today.
The question is this: Will that member support this budget or reject it like he always has?
Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, this relates to unparliamentary language that was used yesterday. It was not as colourful, perhaps, as that used by the hon. member for St. John’s South—Mount Pearl, but I found it quite disturbing.
It was an exchange between the hon. member for Thunder Bay—Superior North and the hon. Minister of State for Science and Technology during the debate on the NDP opposition motion.
Mr. Speaker, you may want to look at it in Hansard. The hon. Minister of State for Science and Technology said, according to Hansard:
Madam Speaker, what I would recommend to the hon. member is that when he tightens that towel around his neck at nighttime that he not do it for more than 20 seconds. It actually ends up causing cerebral anoxia that leaves permanent brain damage.
I thought the towel comment was so odd. I could not figure it out. I made the mistake of asking someone what it meant. Then I was even more disturbed, because it apparently refers to deviant sexual practices.
I think that is completely outrageous. I ask that the hon. Minister of State for Science and Technology, a member of cabinet, should not use such language.
Hon. Gary Goodyear: Mr. Speaker, I clearly meant no such thing. I am certainly sorry that the member has the range to think I meant that.
I meant that the question seemed to suggest that the hon. member actually had brain damage and should be careful.
However, I withdraw the comments quite sincerely. I meant no such thing.
The Speaker: I appreciate the withdrawal of that comment as well.