House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industry.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, one would think as a former disc jockey the hon. member would stop sounding like a broken record on the floor of the House.

In fact, one would think that he would listen to what we have said on a daily basis, that we need to respect the independence of a judicial inquiry. Let Justice Gomery do his work and get to the bottom of this issue.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, as a former paint salesman, one would note that this man would know a lot about cover-ups.

We know that this Prime Minister signed off on the unity fund. We understand that is one of the reasons why the Liberals are waffling on this whole issue of getting to the bottom of this and ensuring that the money is paid back.

I want a guarantee from the Prime Minister because $47,000 went to the Liberal Party and to Mr. Chrétien's campaign. I would like his personal assurance that this money will be repaid.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that his attempts to whitewash the good work of Justice Gomery simply will not work.

The Prime Minister has acted decisively and courageously in appointing Justice Gomery, and in setting up the legal inquiry to get to the bottom of this issue. That is what is really important.

I know that the hon. member's experience as a disc jockey has helped shape complex Conservative economy policy. For instance, I am sure he contributed to the great idea to help Nova Scotia with a new equalization plan that would reduce Nova Scotia's equalization share by $6 million per year. That is disc jockey economics.

Clothing and Textile Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of textile plants have closed down recently. Industry representatives denounce the fact that garments manufactured from Canadian textiles cannot enter the U.S. freely, despite NAFTA.

Does the government plan to enter into negotiations with the U.S. authorities with a view to doing away with this practice, which is inconsistent with the spirit of NAFTA and limits access to the U.S. market by garments made of Canadian fabric?

Clothing and Textile Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood
Ontario

Liberal

John McKay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government has in fact been quite active on this file. It has over the last number of years contributed significant sums of money to the adjustment faced by industries and workers.

On December 14, 2004 the minister announced something in the order of $90 million on the partial elimination of tariffs; $50 million additional moneys to the CANtex program for diversification for both the industry and the workers; and a further five-year extension to the duty remission program. Those in and of themselves are substantial build-ons of previous announcements from the years 2002 to 2004.

Clothing and Textile Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Textiles Institute has described these measures as insufficient and incomplete. While the textile and clothing industry is struggling to survive, it is totally incomprehensible that the Canadian government is adding insult to injury by imposing additional taxes on the import of garments manufactured with Canadian textiles.

Why is the Canadian government restricting access to its own market for textiles manufactured here? Why?

Clothing and Textile Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood
Ontario

Liberal

John McKay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said in the previous answer, the file has been very active with the Government of Canada. Indeed, the caucus on this side has represented to the government the concerns of the industry and that has precipitated the previously enunciated programs.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

February 8th, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the difficulties experienced by the unemployed are not just all in their heads, and the recent closures in the textile and apparel industries are unfortunately a perfect example. The reality is that, with such closures, hundreds of older workers close to retirement are facing a bleak future.

Instead of making cosmetic changes to EI, does the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development intend to follow the advice of all the members in the House who are recommending that she implement an older worker assistance program?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, a few months ago, our government already extended existing pilot projects for older workers. In cooperation with the provinces, we have added the necessary funding. I believe that the workers affected by the closure of these mills will receive assistance from the Canadian and Quebec governments.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about pilot projects, as the minister said in her answer. The Prime Minister made a commitment in front of thousands of people during the leaders debate by promising to review the 910-hour EI eligibility rule, which unfairly penalizes young people and women in particular.

Can the Prime Minister tell us when he will follow through on the promises he made during the leaders debate and abolish the 910-hour rule?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, I already answered this same question from the hon. member for Chambly—Borduas last week. My answer remains the same: I am fully aware of what my leader said during the leaders debate; we are currently considering all the possibilities; we hope we will be able to make some decisions in the near future.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, recent leaks to the media reveal that the government is under pressure from the United States to send troops into Iraq to train the local military.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister said that his government refused to send Canadian troops to Iraq two years ago and that decision stands. This, of course, is not in concert with the facts. Canada had and has troops serving in Iraq.

Is the government embarrassed by their presence? Is that why it says one thing and does another?

Why does the Prime Minister refuse to acknowledge our highly respected service men and women serving in Iraq?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was asked yesterday whether we intended to send troops to train in Iraq and he said “absolutely not”. That is exactly the decision of the Government of Canada.

This is an old story. We have always honoured our commitments to our allies for those very small number of officers who are serving with either British or American contingents. They have been there since before the Iraq war. We have always honoured our commitments. We continue to honour our responsibilities to our allies. We are not sending troops to Iraq.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is time to show some pride in our fighting men and women.

The Canadian Forces had and have members serving with allies in Iraq. Some of these members are operating at the highest level of command. The Prime Minister, by trying to hide those facts, is ignoring and even dishonouring these troops.

Why can Canadians not take pride in their performance?

The Prime Minister claims to care about our military and yet he will not acknowledge and honour those who he puts in harm's way. Why not? It is outrageous.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is trying to create a secret de Polichinelle, as we say in French. It is ridiculous. This has been discussed in the House a dozen times and has been the subject matter of many newspaper articles.

We are very proud of our officers who are working with our American friends. We honour our commitments to our allies. We have always honoured our commitments to our allies. It is perfectly consistent with our principal decision that we are not serving in Iraq as a part of an occupying force in Iraq.

The Prime Minister has made it clear that we have no intention of going anywhere near that.