House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I do not understand what my colleague is speaking about.

We have a positive initiative undertaken by our government to better serve official language communities. This is going to be led by Bernard Lord, an eminently qualified individual. Canadians are happy to have him on board. I think the opposition should support this positive measure.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Official Languages already met with communities across the country. A 200-page report was written. The work is done. The Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada also did an enormous amount of consultation and will fight to defend our rights in court. Even the Commissioner of Official Languages has to align himself with that federation in order to be heard.

The government is not serious. Instead of creating a delaying mechanism to reward a good Conservative, why will the Prime Minister not implement the recommendations already made?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the work is not done. On official languages, every time we want to call in witnesses from the official language communities to discuss their priorities and their concerns, that member shoots it down because he is stuck on the court challenges program. He cannot move off the court challenges program. We are trying to move ahead for our official language communities.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

December 3rd, 2007 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Zed Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the previous Liberal government renewed $11.5 billion in infrastructure money in its 2005 budget. The government only included $4 billion of that in its 2007 budget. This cut and the government's building Canada fund is an elaborate shell game that should be called re-gifting Canada.

While the finance minister may think that mayors are stupid and whiners, they are not. When will the government come clean and admit that it has abandoned Canada's cities and communities?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Clearly, Mr. Speaker, over the weekend my friend reflected on what he asked as a question on Friday. Unfortunately he did not go all the way.

Once again he is ignoring the work that this government did with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to set up the building Canada fund. The FCM asked for flexible long term financing. That is exactly what we did.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Zed Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, in the 2005 Liberal budget, we announced $11.5 billion for infrastructure. Yet the government's 2007 budget only included $4 billion. That is a $7.5 billion cut.

City councillors were protesting outside Parliament today. All of Canada's mayors want to know one thing: When can they get their money back from the government?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I will not engage in a difference in terms of numbers. We all know that it is $33 billion that we put forward.

Contrary to the Leader of the Opposition who over the weekend compared himself to General Kutuzov, the Russian who burned Moscow, we are building towns in this country.

Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, apparently the minister responsible for regional economic development is not very fond of his limousine. Perhaps it is not comfortable or stylish enough.

Documents obtained through access to information suggest that he much prefers private jets. No line-ups, and plenty of leg room.

Can he tell us why his official limousine is not good enough to get him back to his riding and why Canadians have to pay for his non-stop flights complete with appetizers?

Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
Oral Questions

2:45 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, the minister's actions are in line with the department's policy for small aircraft rental. The minister's job is to visit the regions. That is something the Liberals never did. What bothers my colleague is that the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec is an elected member from a region and that his plane takes off from Bagotville, not Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport.

Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I always had a hard time figuring out what the minister and Paris Hilton have in common. Now I know: they each have their own private jet.

I can understand that, from time to time, the minister might have to fly to make announcements in far-flung regions. My colleagues can calm down now. But it is a little harder to understand why he would use a private plane to go back and forth between Ottawa and his place.

How many times did he fly out to make announcements, and how many of those times did he land in Bagotville, which is right next door to his house?

Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
Oral Questions

2:50 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, the flight logs say Bagotville because the minister got on the plane at Bagotville in order to go to the regions as an EDC representative. In April 2007 alone, the minister went to central Quebec, northern Quebec, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the Lower St. Lawrence, the Eastern Townships, Montérégie, and Laval—Laurentides—Lanaudière. Clearly, this is troubling him deeply.

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister just announced that he will continue the employment insurance benefits pilot project, but we know very well that this is a temporary measure.

To avoid this insecurity among workers every year, could the minister announce today that this measure will finally become permanent?

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member is excited about the announcement that we made. It is very good news.

I have to point out to my friend the point of a pilot project. It is put in place so data can be gathered to make a determination about the future of that type of programming. That is the whole point. I invite my friend to stay tuned and we will gather data over the next 18 months and make a determination based on the facts.

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the only constant with this government is its support of oil companies. There is nothing for older workers who lose their jobs.

Does the government know that when older workers lose their job and have no secondary education, training or experience in another field, it is nearly impossible for them to find another job or retrain? What is being done for these people? When will the minister create a real program to help them?

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I think the real question is, when is the member going to have some faith in the people of Quebec? The fact is, last month it was older workers who were the most successful job seekers in the Canadian job market.

Older workers have tremendous potential. We are arming them with skills so that if they choose, they can retrain and continue to contribute. That is their choice and we support them in it.