House of Commons Hansard #32 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, 10 years ago, our government created the procurement strategy for aboriginal business, which has been a great success. The strategy was renewed in 2001 and in 2003. It is up for review this year. However, according to documents I obtained from his department, the minister is preparing to quietly abolish this measure, without warning, without consultation and without reason. He is sabotaging the very essence of the Kelowna accord.

Will the minister explain why promoting the success of our aboriginal communities is no longer one of the government's priorities?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the procurement strategy for aboriginal business continues to be government policy.

I can assure the member that the inferences he is making about future policy direction are not accurate and as part of our commitment to continue to work with aboriginal Canadians and consult with them, we will continue to deal with that.

The department which I represent, in particular, is a strong proponent of aboriginal businesses, the development of aboriginal initiatives, and the creation of employment for aboriginal Canadians. We are continuing to make progress in that area and I can assure the hon. member that what he suggests is not correct.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

It is too bad the facts, Mr. Speaker, do not actually match the minister's rhetoric.

Treasury Board guidelines continue to require that the government minister do business with aboriginal enterprises and the minister's own website strongly encourages aboriginal businesses across Canada to apply for PSAB contracts.

First we learn that an aboriginal company in Winnipeg is cut off after nine years of successful service. Now, without notice, without consultation and without any reason given, an aboriginal company in my own riding is put at risk, jeopardizing over 100 jobs, $40 million in business, and internal documents confirm our worst suspicions.

Not only has the government thrown out the Kelowna accord but now it is actively undermining successful aboriginal--

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is not correct in his comments. We continue to work with aboriginal Canadians. As I have said, the initiatives that we are pursuing relative to aboriginal employment, searching out where there are major job creation opportunities and where we can create initiatives with aboriginal Canadians on the creation of aboriginally owned businesses, are very clear.

In particular, I would point out for the benefit of the member the socio-economic fund, the $500 million that was announced in the budget, for aboriginal Canadians to create opportunities north of 60.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again this government is being taken to task by 800 scientists who find its lack of commitment to fight greenhouse gases totally irresponsible. They do not understand why the government is not respecting Canada's commitments with regard to the Kyoto protocol.

Does the government intend to drop its dogmatic attitude toward Kyoto and accept the arguments of the 800 scientists who are asking it to respect the Kyoto protocol?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the hon. member is not right. This government is in favour of reducing greenhouse gases. It will not be easy since we inherited a 26% increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the previous government. We will work together with the provinces and industry in order to reduce this type of emission.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of the scientists at the meeting asked, and I quote, “How can an environmental plan that does not respect Kyoto be better than Kyoto? I find this somewhat hard to understand”.

The government claims to want to go above and beyond Kyoto, but it is brushing off Canada's commitments.

Does the government realize that in order to go beyond Kyoto, it absolutely must respect the commitments that have been made, not toss them aside?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what Canadians want in terms of environmental policy are results, not empty words. The previous government did not deliver the goods on reducing greenhouse gases, nor with respect to pollution. This fall, the government will introduce a bill to reduce pollution. We are currently developing a plan—made in Canada—to reduce greenhouse gases.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, we learned that the oil industry was responsible for 30% of all Canadian greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, tar sands extraction is expected to triple over the next decade.

Are we to understand that the reason for the government's unwillingness to meet Canada's Kyoto commitments is the fact that it has chosen to favour big polluters like the oil companies in western Canada over protecting the environment?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, again, we can see an attack by the Bloc Québécois pitting region against region. But the fact is that all Canadians want an effective environmental policy that delivers tangible results. At the same time, we need an energy policy which provides for the energy needs of both industry and the Canadian public. That is why we will continue to have a policy which balances environmental and economic interests.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the public, scientists and parliamentarians agree on the need to meet Canada's Kyoto commitments in order to deal with greenhouse gas emissions. The government is the only one refusing to see the red flag that is being raised.

What will it take for the government to listen to reason and finally decide to fulfill its commitments?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is an obvious fact that the previous government made a commitment to reduce emissions. It missed the targets by 35%. All hon. members know this makes it impossible for this government to reach this target after the colossal failure of the previous government. We are, however, in the process of developing a made in Canada policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and we will reduce emissions.

Foreign Workers
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday it was revealed that up to 60 foreign workers were doing tunnelling work on the new rapid transit line in Vancouver. Most of these workers earn as little as $5 per hour and work nine to ten hours a day, six days a week. The employer brings in these workers from Costa Rica, Colombia and Peru and pays them four to five times less than their Canadian counterparts.

This clearly violates foreign worker criteria that wages and working conditions must be comparable to those of Canadian workers.

Does the minister believe that this exploitation should be tolerated in Canada and, if not, what will he do to stop it?

Foreign Workers
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the issue of temporary foreign workers is a very important one today. About $120 billion in projects in Alberta are being held up for a lack of workers and something like $90 billion worth of projects in B.C. are being held up for a lack of workers. Sometimes there are rubs with these things.

We are continuing to work with Human Resources and Social Development Canada to identify the issues, such as the ones the member has raised, to ensure all workers are treated fairly. It is our commitment to the member that we will find ways to do that.