House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, a proper resolution is to make sure that the shooting in the Great Lakes is stopped.

We all know that the Liberals sold us out when they allowed a treaty concocted two centuries ago to keep the Great Lakes demilitarized to be violated.

The question is whether the Conservative government is going to put on the table a Canadian position that says there will be no firing of live ammunition in the Great Lakes because of the environmental, safety, tourism, economic and sovereignty consequences.

Will the Prime Minister stand in this place and say that he is going to tell the Americans to shut down the firing in the Great Lakes?

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, obviously the leader of the NDP was not listening and he has taken the usual approach of ready, fire, aim.

I have said that the exercises are not taking place while the consultation is under way. In fact, there will be three public consultations, one taking place in Minneapolis and the others in Detroit and Buffalo. They are currently under way.

In April 2003 both countries agreed to an interpretation of an age-old contract, the Rush Bagot contract. We are pursuing this with the Americans. We have made our views known. We will continue to monitor the situation.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

October 16th, 2006 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the wake of all the “innocent quotes of the week”, the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec absolutely had to get in on the action. After hearing his colleague from the industry department tell us recently that the increase in oil prices was due to environmentalists, the Minister of Labour really lays it on now by saying that sawmills are closing and thousands of workers are losing their jobs and that too is all their fault.

Instead of insulting and blaming environmentalists and singers like Richard Desjardins, who believes like us in sustainable development, now that we know that the Prime Minister says the softwood lumber agreement is inadequate, what is the minister going to do? Will he retract what he said? Will he apologize to Quebeckers for comments more reminiscent of the 1950s?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, the member for Bourassa is never lacking for inflammatory words, always cut and dried and always rude.

We have the reality of the forestry crisis. When environmental standards are implemented hastily and not in consultation with the private sector, companies close. Now it is the unemployed who are paying the price for these decisions. If the Bloc Québécois had done its job when it was time and persuaded the Parti Québécois to negotiate with the companies in order to introduce measures, we would not be—

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Bourassa has the floor.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, our minister piles it on and claims without flinching that the sawmill closures show that we are going in the right direction. He also attributes this state of affairs to the Conservative government’s approach to improving air quality.

Are we to understand that the labour minister is telling us now, in his wisdom, that it is the fault of environmentalists if the sawmills are closing, that ultimately it is good for the environment and this is the approach he prefers?

We are witnessing something unprecedented in the annals of Parliament. We now have two twins in cabinet: the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Minister of Labour and of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, “Loose Cannon”.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, the member for Bourassa just carries on with his insults in the House of Commons. He is incapable of more modulated speech and better behaviour in the House.

That being said, I remind the House of how important it is for parliamentarians to sit down with industry and ensure that when new environmental measures are implemented in the interests of all Canadians, these measures are possible and feasible for the companies so that they can stay afloat and people keep their jobs. Then we have a win-win situation.

I hope that the House will vote this evening in favour of the agreement to settle—

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Beauséjour has the floor.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, since this minority Conservative government sold out the Canadian softwood lumber industry to the Americans, all we have been hearing about is sawmill closures. Thousands of softwood related jobs were lost last week alone. In response, the Minister of Labour blames environmentalists for job losses in the lumber industry.

Does the trade minister also think environmentalists close sawmills, or will he admit that his inaction and the flawed softwood lumber deal are hurting workers and communities who now urgently need federal government help?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member perhaps is trying to suggest that the U.S. housing market has taken a severe downturn because of the softwood lumber agreement, which he knows is patent nonsense.

What he really is saying is he wants to go back to litigation. He wants to go back to spending millions of dollars on lawyers. He wants to go back to higher duties payable to the U.S. treasury. He wants the uncertainty, the job loss and the destruction to companies and communities from continuing the fight on softwood lumber.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the minister probably was on the wrong question.

We have an industry minister who blames environmentalists for high gas prices. We have a labour minister who blames environmentalists for job losses in softwood. We have an environment minister who will also get around to blaming environmentalists for her inaction on climate change.

Instead of passing the buck, will the Minister of International Trade pass the support package that he himself announced last November which will immediately aid softwood communities and workers?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, we do indeed have some excellent ministers in cabinet and I am very proud of them.

If the hon. member wants a support package for the softwood lumber industry, for the forestry industry, he should pass the softwood lumber agreement and get that $5 billion into the hands of the companies so they can build their business.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber agreement is not enough, as the Prime Minister is finally admitting. From the very beginning of the softwood lumber crisis, the Bloc Québécois has suggested that the government take a series of steps to support the industries and forestry workers, but this government, which has been in place for nearly a year, has done nothing.

How can the Minister of Industry deny the necessity of putting in place assistance measures, as the Bloc Québécois is proposing and everyone in Quebec is calling for, when the crisis has reached unprecedented levels? How can the minister justify his refusal to act? The ideas are there. All that is missing is his will.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would remind my hon. colleague that in the budget we tabled, which the Bloc Québécois and our Liberal colleagues voted for unanimously, we clearly demonstrated that we intend to have an assistance program for older workers.

We are going to act, unlike the Bloc Québécois members who, after months of dithering, finally decided to support the softwood lumber agreement after Henri Massé pleaded with them to support it for the workers in Quebec.

We have acted in six months, something that the Bloc Québécois, after 13 years, cannot do here. It will never be able to act for Quebeckers.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government had included a feasibility study in the budget. What is needed today is not feasibility studies, but action.

The Minister of Industry is an advocate of the laissez-faire approach to the economy, and this approach is causing serious harm to the forest industry.

How can the Prime Minister remain passive in the face of the inaction of his industry minister, who is still claiming that refunding duties to the forestry companies is enough and that the government does not have to take any further action? Will the Prime Minister be consistent and ask his minister to act?