Gerry Rogers Question Period (06.18.2012)

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's Centre.

MS ROGERS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, there is a nationally recognized –

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MS ROGERS: – Supreme Court endorsed harms test which is used to decide if releasing corporate information would harm that corporation. In response to a question on Bill 29 last week, the Minister of Justice said it was not necessary to use that nationally recognized harms test, that government's amended procedure was better. He noted, government's new simpler test was in the interest of the economy and the interest of good business, and now people who want to do business with us have better protection.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MS ROGERS: Mr. Speaker, I ask the Minister of Justice: What about the interests of the people who elected this government?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. F. COLLINS: Mr. Speaker, one of the things that Bill 29 does is in our negotiations with third parties, especially business parties who we are negotiating with for the betterment of the economy of this country, it is necessary. Mr. Cummings recognized this, as did all the other stakeholders. It is necessary to protect certain classes of information.
Mr. Speaker, there is a three-part harms test in the current act. That has been reduced to a one-part harms test because it is going to improve negotiations between this government and third party businesses. Mr. Speaker, it is essential to safeguard that information and part of business.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's Centre.

MS ROGERS: Mr. Speaker, last week the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation issued their new numbers on housing starts and sales. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the average price for a new single home has doubled since 2004 to $350,000, and the price growth has accelerated faster than income factors. The government in its Blue Book promised a home ownership assistance program.

I ask the Premier: What has been done to establish this program, and when will this program be available to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Transportation and Works.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HEDDERSON: Mr. Speaker, when it comes to housing in this Province, obviously our main priority are those who are most vulnerable in society, those who are without homes, those who are coming from vulnerable situations. When it comes to purchasing of houses and that, we did make a commitment, and a commitment that we will in this term move forward with some sort of a program. We are seven months in and we need to do due diligence to make sure that if we are putting money into this that we are doing what we need to do to help people out there, not just simply throw something in just for the sake of it.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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