House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Supply Management
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc leader is mistaken. There has been no change in Canada’s position at the current talks in Geneva. Quite the contrary, we are working in the interests of the entire Canadian agricultural industry to secure access to foreign markets and also protect the important supply management system.

Supply Management
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the day after the unanimous vote on the Bloc motion reaffirming the members’ desire to defend supply management at the WTO, the Canadian negotiator in Geneva stated that he did not feel bound by the vote.

Apparently, instead of the government imposing its view of things, it is the negotiator who is imposing his line of thinking on the government.

In order to dispel all uncertainty, what is the government waiting for to make the nature of the mandate it gave to the negotiator public?

Supply Management
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we cannot discuss our negotiating tactics and strategies in public day after day, but one thing is clear: Canada must remain at the negotiating table in the best interests of our agricultural industry as a whole, which includes the supply managed sectors, and orient it toward exports.

It is important for our negotiator to be at the table. That is the reality.

Supply Management
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, with what we just heard today and yesterday in committee, what is clear and public is that supply management is in danger. This government’s approach is becoming ever more obvious.

In the environment, it is abandoning Quebec in favour of the western oil companies. In agriculture, it is abandoning supply management to satisfy the interests of western farmers.

How does the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food intend to explain to Quebec farmers that he is abandoning supply management to make it easier for western farmers to sell their wheat?

Supply Management
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, obviously the member has not been to my riding. There is one big industry in my riding and that is supply management. We are not neglecting supply management. It is very important to the government.

However, at the negotiations, when the votes go 148 to 1 against us, we can abandon and leave it or we can get in there and fight for the interests on behalf of supply management. We are in there fighting on behalf of the interests of supply management and the rest of the export industry as well.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the UN published a report condemning Canada's neglect of its unemployed workers. The report indicates that two out of three unemployed persons cannot receive EI when they need it. Those most affected by this are women and youth. This Sunday, a pilot project to improve the situation for unemployed people in regions with high unemployment will end.

The Liberals had a tendency to abandon the unemployed, but will this government do the same or will it extend this important program?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. We are committed to ensuring that the EI system continues to serve Canadians quickly and well. Of course, the Canadian government is in favour of an effective program that supports all unemployed workers.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, if one is an unemployed worker wondering whether the program will continue as of Sunday, I do not think that person has an answer from the government. What we are looking for is a clear answer.

Perhaps the member should spend some time in the regions of the country that are suffering high unemployment or he can even take a look at the situation in Toronto. We have a report from the Toronto City Summit Alliance saying that only 22% of the people who pay into employment insurance are able to get help when they need it. That is one in five. No wonder we see poverty rising in our cities and across the country.

In a country as rich as Canada, which can give billions to oil companies, why can we not help out the unemployed the way we should? How is the member going to explain that?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is not difficult to explain that Canada has an extraordinarily generous system of employment insurance that assists workers in transition, people who have lost their jobs. I would ask the leader of the NDP to stand by for perhaps some very interesting news later on.

Passports
Oral Questions

May 31st, 2006 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, on the issue of the border with the United States, this government has abandoned Canadians. The Maritimes depend on American and Acadian tourism. American families have to spend more than $500—the price of passports—to enter Canada. Americans will avoid the Maritimes, and our tourism industry will suffer further. Canadian exporters who must travel to the United States have the same problem.

Why is this government abandoning Canadian communities on the passport issue?

Passports
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our Prime Minister made this issue a priority in Cancun, and he continues to make it a priority. Just since the initial visit, we have reached an agreement with the Americans to determine the documents that will work for Canadians. As well, in the U.S. Senate, we have seen an amendment to the American bill, thanks to the efforts of our Prime Minister, our officials and our MPs who made this issue a priority.

Passports
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, this answer will not pay the bills for businesses in border communities.

The tourism industry in my province has been hit very hard by 9/11 and the rise in the Canadian dollar. It is the same for U.S. states. American governors are reacting but not our Prime Minister.

Will our government not represent us on this vital question or do we have to depend on U.S. governors to defend our interests? This is bush league leadership. Once again, the Prime Minister shows himself to be a shrub, a little bush.

Passports
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, insults like that created a lot of problems for the Liberal regime.

We have worked with the Americans, with the chambers of commerce, with the governors and now with the premiers of other provinces. We have solutions, and we have already received confirmation from the United States that we have a program that will work and that will produce solutions.

Passports
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Blair Wilson West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government is clearly abandoning Canadians. First, it abandons the voters of Vancouver Kingsway. Then it abandons our forestry workers. Now it is abandoning our tourism industry and threatening the very economic viability of our Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Western premiers are demanding that the U.S. passport law be delayed. The only thing the Prime Minister is telling Canadians is to “just get used to it”.

My question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. When will the government come to the aid of premiers? When will it stop working for George Bush and start working for Canadians?

Passports
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, instead of hysterics I would think they would come forward with some positive ideas, as we have proposed.

Here is a quick chronology. Since the Prime Minister went to Cancun and made this the priority, we have an agreement with American officials in terms of alternative documents being acceptable from Canadians. We never had that before. We have seen an amendment now passed in the Senate that asks for this whole issue to be deferred.

We have made some great advancements. We have worked with governors and with chambers of commerce.

This issue is in the process of being resolved, but not because of any help from former Liberals or present Liberals. They have given no help on this.