House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was foreign.

Topics

Equalization Program
Oral Question Period

February 11th, 2005 / 11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday the Minister of National Revenue referred to a province receiving equalization payments as being “mired in the world of have not clamouring for subsidies”.

As Minister of National Revenue, his remarks were totally inappropriate and degrading. Canadians in so-called have not provinces work just as hard as anyone and positive attitudes can be found in any part of Canada. The minister's remarks were insulting and divisive and I call on him to apologize in the House.

Equalization Program
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker--

Equalization Program
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Equalization Program
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The Minister of Finance has risen and the Chair recognized the minister. I know members may not want to hear what the minister has to say, but he is rising to answer and we have to hear the answer. The hon. Minister of Finance has the floor.

Equalization Program
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, Saskatchewan is happily now emerging from a very difficult decade. Equalization has been there to help with several billions of dollars over the course of the last number of years, including $710 million extra this past year.

One of the biggest challenges Saskatchewan has had to deal with, unfortunately, is the legacy of debt inherited from a previous era, but notwithstanding that sad legacy, Saskatchewan has graduated to become one of Canada's most successful provinces.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the snow crab fishery in Cape Breton and eastern Nova Scotia has emerged as the economic engine which drives the economy of many coastal communities. Both the permanent and temporary snow crab fleets in CFA 23 and CFA 24 are waiting anxiously for a report from the independent panel on resource management on a crab sharing plan.

Could the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans tell the House how those talks are progressing and when the fishermen can expect some answers?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my hon. colleague about the importance of the fishery to his region. There has been some debate about how we should reallocate or re-establish the allocation formula for snow crab in that area. That is why I appointed an independent panel to provide me with advice on resolving these issues. I am looking forward to receiving that report in the near future.

Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Wal-Mart's closure of its first unionized store is being characterized as economic terrorism, a blatant attempt to smash organizing activities across the country.

Wal-Mart has forced manufacturers to relocate overseas at the cost of thousands of Canadian jobs and now it has sent a message to its 70,000 Canadian workers telling them that they do not have the right to organize, they do not have the right to collective bargaining, and they do not have the right to decent wages or hours of work.

What is the government going to do to protect Canadian workers from corporate bullies like Wal-Mart?

Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Minister of Labour and Housing

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the hon. member would want to clarify and make clear that this is a provincial jurisdiction and not a federal jurisdiction. Second, though, it is this government that truly believes, under part I of the Canada Labour Code, in collective bargaining. We believe that both workers and employers have an opportunity and obligation to build the best economy, to be fair and equitable to each other and to build a Canadian society that we can all be proud of.

Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, those words do not do us an awful lot of good after the first comment of “it's not my responsibility”.

The fact of the matter is that Wal-Mart is an international corporation. This is affecting Canadians right across the country. In Saskatchewan, for instance, right now Wal-Mart is challenging the laws that protect workers' rights during an organizing drive. This is a constitutional matter in Saskatchewan.

What is the minister going to do to stand up for those workers in Saskatchewan who have a right to have their constitutional rights protected?

Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Minister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the hon. member knows, because he used to be in the legislature himself, that this is a federation and we do have shared jurisdiction. In fact, federal jurisdiction is telecommunications, transportation and air, but with regard to retail business throughout the country, it is provincial jurisdiction that matters. Therefore, he should lobby the labour ministers in those provincial jurisdictions, as I will try to do, to make sure that employers protect employees' rights across this country.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, in just five short days the Kyoto protocol will come into effect. To meet the requirements, Canada will be forced to either slash and burn our economy or pay off foreign countries. The government's only plan so far has been to hire a comic. That is funny because the Liberal plan is a bad joke.

Even government bureaucrats are telling us that we are going to be significantly short of the Kyoto targets. Will the minister tell us if the Kyoto plan is to bankrupt Canadian industry or force a taxpayer revolt?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

To the contrary, Mr. Speaker, I think the Kyoto protocol and what we need to do in order to do our share for this planet in order to decrease greenhouse gas emissions is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our economy, to modernize, to use better technology and to have less waste in Canada. What is a bad joke is the question from my hon. colleague.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to resume the conversation I have been having over the last week or so with the Minister of Natural Resources concerning the cleanup of abandoned uranium mines in northern Saskatchewan, although I must admit it has not been much of a conversation because I have been asking all the questions but the minister has not provided any answers.

The province of Saskatchewan has committed to its share of funding for this cleanup project, but the government and the minister, while they have made many promises, have made absolutely no commitments. Will the minister commit today to the funding of this project or is this just another case of empty promises?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the question is completely unfair. The minister is working very hard on the file. In the last budget we invested $3.5 billion to address contaminated sites.

What is very deplorable is that although the member asks the question, when the finance critic of his party requested what that party needed for this budget, he did not say a word about contaminated sites, not a word about the environment, not a word about national parks, not a word about clean air, and not a word about clean water. Those members do not give a damn.