House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was code.

Topics

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:25 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, that criterion is not part of our analysis. All submissions are analyzed on their own merits.

I wish to remind the member that at present organizations that submit projects to this government do so on a three-year basis. If they ask us for $3 million, that means three times $1 million.

We now realize that people systematically seem to believe that once we say Yes it means Yes forever. We must analyze these submissions on merit; we need some room to manoeuvre in order to contribute to the economic development of all the regions of Quebec.

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, let me just go back to the Black & Blue Festival, whose grant was cut. The Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec claims that the grant was cut because this event is successfully established. That is just a pretext and not the real reason.

How can the minister claim that the Black & Blue Festival is successfully established and that is why he decided to cut its grant when the Just for Laughs Festival received $805,000 and the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal received $890,000? It is pretty hard to say that these are not successfully established events.

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:25 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, I would like to remind my hon. colleague that we have many cases to examine: around 1,200 a year. We cannot say yes to all of them.

My priority over the last few months has been to implement six new initiatives to promote economic development in various regions of Quebec, including regions in decline.

This case was examined. We felt that our contribution was not crucial to this event and that it could be held without our $55,000. This festival is now in its 16th year and is well on its way.

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, we see now why the minister was in a rush to squeeze out his regional managers by taking away all their decision-making powers when he took over the department.

Is that not the real reason? The minister squeezed everyone out to make it easier to impose his own values and those of his party, in other words, to choose the events that suit him, period.

Government Programs
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, accountability is very important to this government.

Each one of us, as the minister, is responsible and must answer to Parliament for how we manage our budget, whether for Economic Development Canada or any other department.

A minister in the department made the decision to review the files himself, to take a look at them and find out how things were going. In regard to this case, the money was not crucial to the event being held. We were not wrong, either, because the event is being held in Montreal from October 4 to 10.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

October 4th, 2006 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, evidence is mounting that Afghanistan is the wrong mission for Canada.

On Monday, the U.S. Senate majority leader conceded that this conflict would not end militarily. Today, the United Nations reports an estimated 15,000 families in southern Afghanistan have been uprooted since July. Over one million Afghans are refugees in their own country.

When will the government realize that the George Bush counter-insurgency is not helping Afghans and is not making Canadians safer either?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the President of Afghanistan was here and expressed his support for Canada and for the help that Canadian soldiers, Canadian diplomats and Canadian public servants were giving to his country.

The member also knows full well that the United Nations mandated this mission and it has wide support and participation from members of the United Nations. We will continue to work with the international community to bring prosperity, peace and further development to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister cannot ignore the reality. The region is not becoming more secure. It is becoming less secure. There are not more kids going to school. There are fewer kids going to school. There are not growing numbers of Canadians behind this Liberal-Conservative blunder. There are fewer.

When will the government bring Karzai, the Pakistani military leadership, and combatants, to the same table to hammer out a ceasefire that will finally bring about stability and security in southern Afghanistan? When will it do that?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the real question is why the NDP does not want the international community to succeed in Afghanistan.

More important, this week we learned, sadly, of the deaths of Canadian soldiers serving valiantly in Afghanistan while they were in the process of rebuilding roads in that country for the benefit of the population. Instead of expressing support for our soldiers and sympathy for their loved ones and for those they have lost, why does the NDP get up and ask despicable questions like that?

Literacy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, even Conservative premiers in Atlantic Canada are opposed to the government's crippling cuts to literacy. P.E.I.'s Pat Binns and Newfoundland and Labrador's Danny Williams denounce this regressive decision.

Premier Williams even distanced himself from his federal cousins. He said these callous cuts “show the difference between true right-wing Conservatives and progressive Conservatives”.

Will the President of the Treasury Board show some common sense and reverse this senseless slashing?

Literacy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we will be investing over $80 million in literacy programs. This government is refocusing its energies and its money on programs of a national nature to help literacy at all levels. That is our commitment. We are also investing in workplace skills and in literacy issues for new immigrants, something that party voted against.

Literacy
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the international adult literacy and skills survey indicates that nearly one in two Quebeckers between the ages of 16 and 65 cannot read well enough to function fully in society.

In addition, since Jacques Demers' biography was published, support groups such as Alpha Laval in my riding, Laval—Les Îles, have seen a huge rise in requests for literacy services.

How can the President of the Treasury Board ignore this reality? When will he reinstate funding for these programs?

Literacy
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, by focusing our energies on adult learning and literacy skills, Canadians will have access to the best literacy training available. These will, for a change, be programs that run efficiently and deliver real results for real Canadians.

Literacy
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the meanspirited cuts to literacy will force organizations that help Canadians improve their reading and writing skills to close their doors.

The government refuses to honour the labour market partnership agreement in Ontario which earmarked $1.4 billion for workplace training emphasizing literacy skills.

The President of the Treasury Board used to believe that literacy training was key when he was an Ontario minister. Why has he abandoned Ontario adults now?

Literacy
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we do believe in literacy, which is why we are investing over $80 million and why we put new funds into the settlement funding process for new Canadians. This is money that had been frozen by the previous government for over 10 years.

We put that money in because we are investing in literacy and, by the way, the Liberals voted against it.