House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, most of the workers who are losing their jobs these days are older workers. Training programs do not respond to their needs. What they need is a program to make the transition between the end of their employment and retirement.

Instead of limiting its assistance to training alone, does the minister intend to set up a real assistance program for older workers to facilitate the transition toward retirement after they lose their job?

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, we are very aware of this difficulty faced by older workers when they are laid off, especially after working for many years in a manufacturing sector, and have a hard time re-entering the labour force. That is why we have had and still have, in partnership with the provincial governments, projects to help us find the best way to assist these workers. These projects are available right now.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. The POWA is the responsibility of the federal government. An older worker who loses his job a few years before his retirement may not necessarily need training. POWA demonstrated its usefulness in 1995. To lose one's job a few years short of retirement is as hard on workers today as it was in 1995.

Does the minister believe that the POWA is no longer useful? If not, does she intend to revive it immediately?

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 intend to continue working with my provincial counterparts, who are also responsible for certain programs. We are not talking only about manpower training. We are also talking about active measures for these people. Some want to stay in the labour market; those need to be able to adjust to new realities. It is in that context that we are pursuing projects with the provinces.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

February 9th, 2005 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, what Jean Chrétien and this Liberal Party have not figured out about sponsorship is that taking money from taxpayers and giving it to friends in the Liberal Party is not national unity. It is a national disgrace.

Montreal has lost the aquatic games and taxpayers are on the hook for $16 million with nothing to show for it, except lots of unanswered questions about how it was spent by the Prime Minister's fundraising friend Serge Savard.

When will the Liberals learn that supporting companies run by their friends is not the best way to attract important events to Canadian cities?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, Canada Economic Development did indeed have a contract with ISM. That contract was later renewed. Canada Economic Development bases its work not on the individuals who manage the business, but on the specific objectives of that business and the results achieved. We are now reviewing the results achieved by ISM and we will make a decision accordingly.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Montrealers are sad and worried. The Liberals involved in the Internationaux du Sports de Montréal have vanished, like imposters.

Will the Minister of Transport order an inquiry on the use of the $16 million poured into Serge Savard's empty pool?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, Canada Economic Development only pays a company or an organization such as ISM when bills are submitted. This means that all the amounts paid met the terms of the contract signed.

In the case of ISM, the answer is very clear. The contract ended in December and we rejected a request to extend it. We are reviewing ISM's file. Should ISM submit a claim later on, our assessment will be based on our findings as to whether or not the objectives were achieved.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services is hiding behind WTO trade agreements as his excuse for selling off the Canadian flag. However, China is only an observer to the agreement on government procurement and, therefore, we are not bound by its terms when dealing with China.

Why does the minister still claim that he is bound by this agreement? Is it because he is too lazy to read the agreement? Maybe it is too complicated or maybe it has too many words.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his constructive, non-partisan question.

I would like to quote today from William Watson, an economist at McGill University, who said:

The public works minister followed with another sensible argument: We're a trading nation and if we want to sell our goods in other countries, we have to be open to buying theirs.

Further, Professor Watson said, “If we don't buy from the Chinese, the Chinese may not buy from us”. If every country adopted that attitude, where would we be? How much wheat could Canadians eat? How many Bombardier Challengers or Nortel switches or Chevy Impalas could we buy? Far fewer than we produce today.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, first the Prime Minister sells his flag to Barbados and now the public works minister has sold the Canadian flag to China. Of course, this is a minister whose own mother was once quoted as saying he would do anything to earn a little extra money.

Is it the policy of the Liberals or just this minister to sell off Canada to the lowest bidder?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, my dear--

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services has the floor. We do not need everyone to pretend he is his mother.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, my dear, sweet, 76 year-old mother would be delighted to think that she was brought up here on the floor of the House of Commons. In fact, she is very proud that all her children worked very hard to better themselves and do whatever they could, even as little children, working hard to do their best to get ahead and to help this country get ahead.

Beyond that, I will tell him one thing I would not do to earn a little money. I would not have a staff member pretend he was me on a radio show while I was selling coffee in my coffee shop.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, could the government please update the House on the status of the search and rescue operation now underway in the Baltic Sea for Canadian Forces Leading Seaman Robert Leblanc?