House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the question from the Leader of the Opposition is important. However, if you do not mind, I would like to take a minute to say a couple of words about the tragedy yesterday in Virginia.

We have learned that a Canadian was among the victims in Virginia yesterday. I am sure that the thoughts and prayers of everyone in this House are with her and her family.

When we saw the events overnight, it is really almost impossible to comprehend why an individual would take his own life and that of so many others in this way. I think we can all say that our thoughts are with all the victims, their families and the community.

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the official opposition would like to join the government in conveying its condolences to the families affected by this terrible tragedy.

I now give the Prime Minister the opportunity to answer my first question.

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition knows we have a difference of opinion on the efficacy of some of these matters. They may be important things to lawyers, but I look at some of the things this government has done to promote rights in this country, like addressing the historical injustice of the head tax, dealing with victims of hepatitis C and the residential schools legacy.

We brought in measures to protect the rights of women and children from acts of criminality. I think probably most important of all, we have a piece of legislation before the House to protect and extend the most important right of all, the right to vote and the right to vote for the representatives in the Senate of Canada.

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did not answer my question at all.

I repeat: the benefits of the Charter are too valuable to let people undermine it because of negligence or spite. There are too many battles to be fought, too many rights to be won.

Why, then, does the Prime Minister want to take away Canadians' ability to defend their Charter rights? Will he take advantage of the opportunity provided by this day of celebration to reinstate the court challenges program?

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government believes that instead of paying lawyers, we must act to protect citizens' rights. This government and those that preceded it supported the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. All parties in this House supported it. Today, we continue to support it.

This party has a proud history of human rights protection, not just with the charter, but beginning of course with the first legislative act: the Bill of Rights of Mr. Diefenbaker in 1960. It is an important legacy that this party defends.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Prime Minister to show that he is in the tradition of a progressive Conservative.

The Prime Minister must find a way to celebrate the charter, instead of being mute about it. A good way to show that is to say that he will make sure that all Canadians have access to the benefits of the charter, whatever the size of their wallet.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Leader of the Opposition talks about being mute on rights. Where was he when the historic injustice of the Chinese head tax was not fixed? Where was he when the Air-India inquiry was never properly constituted? Where was he when a residential schools agreement was never signed? Where is he when we are trying to pass legislation to protect the rights of women and children from criminals in the country? Where was he when we recently agreed to the United Nations rights on the declaration of the disabled?

The government is acting on rights, unlike the record of that government which did not get the job done.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in some astonishment. I am still waiting to hear the Prime Minister of Canada, in the House, welcome the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as an enhancement of our liberties. I have not heard it.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, obviously the deputy leader of the Liberal Party was not listening to my answer in French when I said precisely that. In fact, not only does this party support the charter, I, as some of us know, have been in court on a number of occasions to actually promote human rights in the country.

I am glad, as a government, that we are able to actually advance some of these rights.

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

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

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, many countries make a point of helping their aerospace industry. When Brian Mulroney was prime minister, he took concrete action to help the aerospace industry, especially in Quebec, where the industry is concentrated. However, there are four representatives from Quebec in cabinet and they cannot even lift a finger to ensure that Quebec receives its fair share of the aerospace contracts.

How can the Prime Minister justify that his Minister of Industry, who comes from Quebec, lowered Quebec's share of the spinoffs for all future contracts to 15% when Boeing had set Quebec's share at 30% for the C-17s?

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have already indicated and I will say again that this government will not tell Boeing who to conduct business with. Why? It is quite simple. The primary goal of this government is to ensure that the Canadian Forces get the better equipment they need at the best possible price.

Telling Boeing who to do business with would not be economically viable. It would increase the cost of military procurement on the backs of Canadian taxpayers. Unlike the Bloc Québécois, this government does not score political points on the backs of Quebeckers.

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government is not telling Boeing what to do, Boeing is telling this government how to spend taxpayers' money. That is the reality.

We are not afraid of standing up for Quebec. In the words of Sue Dabrowski, the general manager of the Quebec Aerospace Association:

The federal government has a responsibility... We must [use the economic spinoffs] to protect the industry in Quebec, exactly as the government did to protect the auto industry in Ontario.

What is the Prime Minister waiting for to stand up and ensure that Quebec receives its fair share?

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised at the Bloc Québécois' criticism. The Bloc Québécois should read its own platform before criticizing our military procurement for our soldiers. If we relied on the Bloc Québécois platform, there would not be any industrial spinoffs for Quebec since the Bloc Québécois is against the procurement of cargo planes. It is a very simple equation: no C-17 planes, no economic spinoffs for Quebec.

The Bloc Québécois is being truly inconsistent on this.

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry keeps saying that Quebec's aerospace industry will be able to hold its own, be competitive and get sub-contracts for Boeing's C-17 aircraft.

How can the minister demonstrate such bad faith knowing that his government gave the contract to Boeing without issuing a call for tenders, and knowing that Boeing's activities compete with Quebec's industry rather than complementing it?

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we decided to do business with Boeing for one simple reason: it is the company that can provide what our military personnel need.

It is important to consider that we want Canadian businesses to keep positioning themselves for the long term in Boeing's supply chain. We want the economic spin-offs to be good and effective for all parts of Canada.

Unlike the Bloc Québécois, we are working in the best interest of Canadians, especially Canadian taxpayers.