House of Commons Hansard #2 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was speech.

Topics

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, after a summer away, the best the Liberals can do is come up with stories that have no basis about corrections. However, it is not surprising, because the one thing the Liberal Party knows a lot about is correction.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

October 17th, 2007 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in December 2005, the Prime Minister gave a speech in Quebec City in which he promised to put an end to domineering and paternalistic federalism by monitoring federal spending power. He even condemned some of the previous government's centralizing policies, such as the social union agreement.

When the Prime Minister stated in his Speech from the Throne that he wants to “place formal limits on the use of the federal spending power for new shared-cost programs”, is he not simply rehashing the social union agreement that was decried by the National Assembly?

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has kept its word. For the first time ever, the government will introduce legislation to place formal limits on the use of the federal spending power in areas of exclusive provincial jurisdiction.

Quebec's minister of intergovernmental affairs said that the federal government would try to pass a bill in Parliament to limit federal spending power. That is good news. That is a step in the right direction and it is worth celebrating.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's minister of intergovernmental affairs also said that he would like to see the bill and that he wanted full financial compensation.

Here is an interesting quote: “Any new program will be designed so that non-participating provinces will be compensated, provided they establish equivalent or comparable initiatives.” That was part of Jean Chrétien's 1996 Speech from the Throne, and that is more or less what appears in the most recent Speech from the Throne.

Does the Prime Minister agree that this sounds strangely familiar?

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, none of the previous governments have introduced a bill, with the support of the government of Quebec, to meet the historic demands that the province has articulated over the past four decades.

I hope that the Bloc Québécois will support the Speech from the Throne and the measures described therein because we do not need the Bloc voting against Quebec's interests here.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is true: we have the Conservatives.

In the Speech from the Throne, the government said that it would place limits on the use of the federal spending power for shared-cost programs. There is nothing stopping the government from continuing to encroach on Quebec's jurisdictions by launching programs that are not shared-cost, as it did with the Mental Health Commission.

Will the Prime Minister deny that that is exactly what the Speech from the Throne proposes?

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has already said this, and the Speech from the Throne stated it yesterday: we will table a bill. We are prepared to work with our Bloc colleague on an issue that is so important to the Bloc and to Quebeckers.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the Prime Minister agree with the Quebec intergovernmental affairs minister that eliminating the federal spending power means that Quebec has an unconditional right to opt out with full financial compensation when the federal government encroaches on Quebec's exclusive jurisdictions?

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the Bloc is a separatist party but we are a federalist party and we will work together with the provinces, including Quebec, to ensure that when we do introduce new cost shared programs that we have the support of the majority of the provinces. If one province would like to opt out, as long as it delivers a comparable service to its citizens and we have comparable services across the country we will work with them.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne continues to take this country in the wrong direction.

The Prime Minister has failed to bring back the entire clean air act. He has failed to change direction in the war on Afghanistan and he has failed to even acknowledge the growing prosperity gap that is making life tougher for Canadians, even middle class families.

The NDP will stand united against the Conservative agenda because we know where we stand.

Why has the Prime Minister abandoned fairness for ordinary Canadians?

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows well, the throne speech addressed the very issues that the leader of the NDP just talked about: concerns about poverty, homelessness and some of the rising cost pressures on the middle class.

If the leader of the NDP had not decided several weeks before the throne speech was read that he would oppose it, he would have noticed these things in the throne speech.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that in this speech there were no solutions to the problems facing families today. There is talk of the homeless, but no solutions were offered.

The government refuses to change directions when it comes to this war of aggression in Afghanistan. It refuses to propose an action plan for climate change.

The Prime Minister does not have the right or the mandate to do whatever he likes.

Why did he abandon today's families in this Speech from the Throne?

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first of all, this government has acknowledged these problems, not only in the Speech from the Throne, but also in two budgets. As a matter of fact, we have helped Canadians by lowering taxes and investing in important programs to address poverty and help the middle class.

Once again, if the leader of the NDP had not decided several weeks ago to oppose this throne speech, he would have read it before commenting on it.

Elections Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, to date, the government's Ministers of Public Safety, Foreign Affairs, Transport, Heritage, along with the Prime Minister's parliamentary secretary and 12 other Conservative MPs have been implicated in the in and out money scams.

Will the government inform the House now how much it will cost Canadian taxpayers for Elections Canada to defend itself from the frivolous, Conservative initiated court challenge?

Elections Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I guess the Liberals have not yet decided what they will do on the throne speech and have nothing else to talk about.

Certainly I can tell the member this. What I do know--