House of Commons Hansard #155 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was producers.

Topics

Government Policies
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I was very interested this morning to watch the reaction of the opposition leaders to the news about the purchase by National Defence of some very important military equipment. They wandered off into a bunch of other subjects and asked where the announcements were on softwood lumber, on agriculture and on other things? In their very own words, they were demanding more.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, after waffling for three and a half years, word was leaked to the media that the Prime Minister will be introducing an aid package for the softwood lumber industry providing $800 million in loan guarantees. However, this represents only 16% of the $5 billion in countervailing and antidumping duties paid by companies over the past three and a half years.

Could the Prime Minister tell us whether the information leaked is founded or not? And if so, will he admit that $800 million in loan guarantees against $5 billion in duties paid is grossly inadequate to help the softwood lumber industry?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we do not comment on leaks. An announcement will be made in due course.

However, I can assure the leader of the Bloc Québécois that we are insisting on the Americans honouring their agreement and doing what they should have done from the beginning. If the Americans are not prepared to do so, we will stand behind our industry as long as necessary.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, they do not comment on leaks, but they orchestrate them. It would be interesting to hear the Prime Minister explain himself in the House. It is one thing to sound angry at the Americans, but actions speak louder than words.

Loan guarantees amounting to 16% of the losses suffered will not cut it. Is the Prime Minister prepared to get serious and grant loan guarantees to allow the companies to cope with the legal proceedings the Americans are slapping on the entire softwood lumber industry? We would like to hear his answer to that question. He should stop playing the angry politician and take action for once.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister just said, we will be there as long as necessary to support the industry against illegal actions by the United States. That is the government's answer.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to preliminary information, this $800 million loan guarantee program appears to be spread over five years, which will greatly reduce the already insufficient impact of the program.

Since forestry companies have already paid out more than $5 billion in duties that are being held in trust, will the government admit that this $800 million in loan guarantees over five years will not provide them with the necessary liquidity to operate properly?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I have a suggestion for the opposition, if it is serious about the problems of the forestry industry and not just engaged in petty politics. I have noted that, in the 38th Parliament, there has been not one opposition day on this issue. There is still one left, which is allocated to the Conservative Party.

The Conservatives have an opposition day on Thursday of this week. Would they like to devote it to the forest industry?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister claimed no member of the Bloc had ever contacted him about the loan guarantees, and this is incorrect. On October 25, my colleague from Montmagny--L'Islet--Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup and I wrote to the Prime Minister calling on him to put loan guarantees in place.

Does the government not understand that, with a loan guarantee program spread over 5 years and covering only 16% of the amounts frozen in trust, it is sending a signal of weakness to the Americans in that it does not support the industry, a signal that clearly shows it can talk the talk but is not ready to walk the walk?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the opposition members have not accepted my invitation, so I guess they are instead engaged in petty politics.

We on this side of the floor are the ones who have worked for months on this. Members representing the Atlantic provinces, northern Ontario, Quebec, western Canada and British Columbia have been working on this for months. We will be making an announcement shortly.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question for the Prime Minister is on softwood. This morning the Prime Minister hauled out his favourite weapon on the issue, the broken record. He simply said ,“It's time for the Bush administration to respect NAFTA”. Then he threatened the United States with saying it again, if it did not. It is clear the Prime Minister's approach is not working.

When will the Prime Minister outline some consequences if the United States continues to show contempt for Canada through the Bush administration's position on softwood?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government already has indicated that an announcement will be made. In terms of that announcement, we will stand behind the communities, we will stand behind the workers, and we will stand behind the industries.

If the Americans give us continued intentions not to honour the free trade agreement, they will find that the Canadian government will stand behind Canadian workers and Canadian industry until such time as this matter is settled in our favour.

Automobile Industry
Oral Questions

November 22nd, 2005 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is standing so far behind the workers and the communities that he simply cannot be seen. That is the situation today. We see the same thing in the auto sector.

My question is about the news from yesterday. The Oshawa plant will close down. We have had 12 years without an auto strategy. We have had promises every time. We could be building green cars in that plant.

Will the Prime Minister stand up in the House and make a commitment that we will build a new model of vehicles in that Oshawa plant and produce the green cars that Canadians want to buy?

Automobile Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how much the hon. member knows about producing green cars or any other kind of cars.

I will put this for the hon. member as a question. If we do not have an auto strategy, if we have not succeeded in the automotive industry in the country, why have GM, Ford, Toyota and DaimlerChrysler agreed in the last 12 months to invest over $5 billion in Canada, in Ontario?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, if the Liberal auto strategy was working so well they would not be firing thousands of people.

The government is telling us that it wants to fire Jean Pelletier from VIA Rail. At the same time, the Liberals are informing us that Jean Pelletier has proceedings before the Superior Court of the Province of Quebec and is asking for a huge severance pay. Moreover, because of the Liberal incompetence, he could get retroactive wages totalling $400,000 for the period of 20 months between his first firing and his second one.

Why can the Liberals not fire their bandit friends without giving them money?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, did I hear the word “bandit”?