House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was communities.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I would prefer to talk about the $1.2 billion that we have promised to spend until 2011. Let us not cut it back to 2009. We know that reconstruction will last beyond 2009. That is a given.

These people and the democratically elected government of Afghanistan have asked for our help. We must help them.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

April 20th, 2007 / 11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the Minister of Public Safety announced his intention to proceed with a review of the operations of Canada's correctional system. To conduct the review, he has appointed Ontario's former solicitor general, Rob Sampson, who was behind the first privatization of a Canadian prison.

Does the government not realize that by appointing this person to review the correctional system, it is introducing a bias to both the process and the conclusions of the inquiry?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Oxford
Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, this new government is committed to ensuring a fair and effective corrections system with a priority to protect Canadians. That is why, as promised, we are undertaking a review of our corrections system.

Mr. Sampson, the former minister of corrections for the Ontario government, will chair the panel and will be joined by four others. The terms of reference clearly exclude the consideration of the introduction of privately run penitentiaries.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, should we interpret the Minister of Public Safety's selection as an indicator of his true intention, which is to do the same thing with Canada's correctional system, that is, privatize it?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Oxford
Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I suspect that the member did not clearly understand what I said.

In addition to Mr. Sampson, members of that panel are: Serge Gascon; Ian Glen, Q.C.; Chief Clarence Louie, Oliver, B.C.; and Sharon Rosenfeldt.

More specifically in answer to his question, the terms of reference clearly exclude the consideration of the introduction of privately run penitentiaries.

Finance
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, representatives from major Canadian banks appeared before the Standing Committee on Finance. I asked them if they were willing to make available their figures on their costs, prices and profit margins on ATM transactions. My question was met with a long, ominous silence.

Does the Minister of Finance agree with the Bloc Québécois that, unless they are provided with these figures, parliamentarians will not be able to do their jobs properly?

Finance
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the member has a problem with the banks, he had better talk to the banks. The fact of the matter is that this government has engaged in constructive dialogue with the banks on the subject of ATMs and the fees.

The banks have been very responsive. They have in fact guaranteed ATM access in colleges and universities. They have unveiled new accounts with lower or no fees for seniors and students. They have improved access for the disabled.

We are very pleased with that response. We believe it will benefit Canadians. That is the important thing.

Finance
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of doing advertising for the banks, the minister should consider this: the members will have to determine whether Parliament should legislate ATM fees. To make that determination, members of Parliament will need the cost, price and profit margin figures associated with these transactions.

Does the Minister of Finance intend to amend the Competition Act to require banks to submit figures to the Commissioner of Competition, thereby putting an end to the voluntary approach once and for all?

Finance
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that we have made sure that competition and choice work for Canadians with respect to banking fees of ATMs. I encourage consumers to compare packages and services offered by the major banks by visiting the website of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, where they will see information that will be helpful to them.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister on an issue that I hope he will take very seriously. Thousands of jobs have been lost, local economies devastated, and forestry workers and their families are running out of time and options.

The Leader of the Opposition has shown leadership. He has called for a national forestry summit to bring stakeholders together, to work together, and to address this crisis together.

Will the Prime Minister stand up for our forest communities and workers by calling for a national forestry summit now? We need the Prime Minister to take leadership on this urgent crisis.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I might remind this House that we have the opportunity, and we actually had the opportunity yesterday, to meet with the Americans and discuss this.

The only reason that we can actually sit down and have a conversation about this is because of the softwood lumber agreement that was put together by this government. If we did not have that in place, we would be back in litigation. I know that is where the Liberals would like to take us, to tear up that agreement and go back to litigation. What does that do for our industry?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, forestry workers need answers now. We are witnessing the rapid decline of the Conservative softwood lumber deal with the U.S. The seven year deal is actually probably a seven month deal. Export charges now exceed the previous U.S. duties. No wonder the forest industry is worse off now than before this ill-fated deal was signed.

With thousands of jobs lost, an industry in crisis and a trade deal that the U.S. is abandoning before the ink is dry, will the Prime Minister call for a national forestry summit now? My leader has. Why not the Prime Minister?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, we will take that under advisement, but let me tell the member that we are hearing support from all of the provinces that supported that agreement. They are working with their local industries. There are more people employed than there would have been under a Liberal-suggested softwood lumber agreement that never did take place, with 20 years of litigation.

We have industry that is employed. We have an agreement that is in place. We have a consultation that is taking place.

The Budget
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, now that independent economists have finally been allowed to see all the budget information from the finance department, they too are coming to some very negative conclusions for Nova Scotia.

An economics professor at Acadia University has concluded that this budget will cost the province $1 billion. This is not the rosy picture the government had painted. This broken promise will have real effects in Nova Scotia for years to come.

The Prime Minister has deliberately and purposely broken his promise to Nova Scotia. What negotiations are under way now with Premier MacDonald to fix this broken trust?

The Budget
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, of course the member is deliberately wrong. He knows very well that the government fully and completely honoured the Atlantic accord with Nova Scotia and will continue to honour that accord, by the way, until the expiry of the agreement.

There is a new formula for equalization that in fact enriches Nova Scotia even more. We have allowed the province to opt into that new system at its choice and still go back to the accord next year. The member knows we have been more than fair and have kept every promise we have made to Nova Scotia.