House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-31.

Topics

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has been conspicuously absent from the summit on the future of the forestry sector despite the fact that unions, businesses, the Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife, Claude Béchard, the Minister of Finance, Monique Jérôme-Forget, and environmental groups have unanimously called on the federal government to help the workers, businesses and communities affected by the crisis in the forestry sector.

Will the Prime Minister finally use money from his enormous budget surpluses to provide immediate assistance to the forestry industry?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, when this government came to power, we took action to protect the industry. We recognize the need for further action.

We made a promise in the Speech from the Throne, which the Bloc Québécois rejected. Even so, we are consulting with our partners in the federation and the private sector to ensure the best possible response to this situation.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, acknowledging the forestry crisis in the throne speech is meaningless if the government does nothing about it. The government must take immediate measures, such as bringing back the fund to diversify the forestry economy, granting refundable tax credits to skilled workers who move into resource regions, or implementing a program to support the development of ethanol production from forestry by-products.

With the projected surplus for 2007-08, the Prime Minister has more than enough money to move forward with our proposals. Will he take action?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the past two years, we have started programs to help older workers who have been forced to relocate because of this crisis. We have started programs for communities that have been affected. We have set up tax advantages to help the sector. We have signed an agreement with the United States to get $5 billion back for the sector.

There is still work to do, but in the past 17 years, the Bloc Québécois has not done a thing for the forestry sector, and it will not—

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup.

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

December 13th, 2007 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, at a meeting with his Quebec and provincial counterparts, the Minister of Finance missed another opportunity—after the Speech from the Throne and the economic statement—to announce tangible short-term measures to help the manufacturing and forestry industries, which are in desperate need of assistance. The minister should understand that the tax cuts he keeps talking about are not a solution for businesses that are not generating a profit and therefore not paying taxes. I hope he will understand that once and for all.

Given the expected $11.6 billion surplus, does the minister realize that his failure to act is scandalous, that he must act now and that he has the means to do so?

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

The action by the federal government, Mr. Speaker, has been early and large, particularly compared to the action of other governments. We brought in $1.3 billion in accelerated capital cost allowances and a 100% writeoff of new equipment over two years. That was not done now, that was done last March, and is now a part of the budget bills that have been passed.

In addition, there have been $60 billion of tax reductions in the month of October, over this year and the next five years, including $12 billion, not million, for Quebec.

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, what the minister does not seem to realize is that at the forestry summit all of Quebec has put forward as its very first recommendation that the federal government provide immediate assistance to the forestry industry.

The forestry industry needs an injection of $1 billion from this year's surplus. Will he listen to the unanimous demand of Quebec and help the forestry industry immediately?

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

I am sure the member opposite knows, Mr. Speaker, that our government has already set aside, and this was done before, $72.5 million in the targeted initiative for older workers.

I know the member opposite wants to look at things in a grim way at Christmastime, but Canada's job growth champions today include the province of Quebec. In fact, Quebec now enjoys the highest percentage of adults with jobs ever recorded, at 61%.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the former premier of Quebec, who is now the Conservatives' special advisor in Bali, has publicly admitted that, “Canada has a credibility problem that stems from the fact that it has not delivered the goods in 15 years” because of the Liberals and now the Conservatives.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to get in line with the rest of the world? Why is he refusing to agree to a two degree limit? Why is he rejecting the binding targets the rest of the world wants to adopt?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is the first government in Canada's history that is setting mandatory targets for all Canadian industries.

In the meantime, our position is clear. We want binding targets for everyone, including the world's major emitters.

We intend to continue to fight for a new and effective protocol. Our position on this matter in the Speech from the Throne was quite clear to the opposition.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the problem with these so-called targets that the Prime Minister has established is they allow Canada's emissions to go up when the rest of the world has called on us to reduce the emissions.

The government will not sign on to an international agreement. Why? Because it knows it cannot get the job done here with its own plan. An example is the tar sands. The environment commissioner warned last year that the tar sands development would turn into an effect that would counteract all the other activities that could take place. The government is protecting the tar sands.

Why will the Prime Minister not stand up and say he will rein in the tar sands development so we can meet our targets?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP is completely wrong in his question. The targets of the government require a 20% absolute reduction from now until 2020. That is the position of the government. It is based on the biggest cuts to the biggest polluters. We are one of the few governments in the world that has announced any obligatory targets for industry, and these are some of the toughest targets in the world.

While I am on my feet, Mr. Speaker, if this is the last time I am on my feet this year, I would like to wish you and all members of the House, on both sides, a merry Christmas and a happy 2008.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I am sure the Prime Minister's wishes are reciprocated by all hon. members.

The hon. member for Halifax West.