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

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada, the Department of National Defence in conjunction with the Department of Public Works as well as Industry Canada are working at an accelerated pace to secure this important information on unmanned aerial devices as well as Chinook helicopters. We have already well begun the procurement process.

We hope, in keeping with the recommendations of the Manley report, to have that equipment soon. I can assure the House that this process is well under way.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know for a fact that neither contract has been signed. We also know that there is no agreement in place to obtain the helicopters' unmanned drones for our soldiers in Afghanistan.

Leadership requires honesty. The Prime Minister is failing Canadians.

Why did the Prime Minister tell Canadians that the helicopters and drones were already on order when he knew this was not true? When will Canadians get the simple truth from the government?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, here is the simple truth. We have budgeted for these items. We have budgeted for UAVs. We have budgeted for the necessary helicopters. As I said, the procurement process is well under way.

Here is the other simple truth. The party opposite when in government starved our military. We saw our military rusting out and caving in. We saw members leaving because of the neglect and the absolute ignoring of their needs by the party opposite when it was in government. That is the simple truth.

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

January 29th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Premier of Quebec demanded increased assistance for the manufacturing and forestry sectors. I quote: “—this federal payment should be introduced into Parliament immediately and not be subject to the approval of a federal budget”.

Following his economic statement, the Minister of Finance did not wait until the next budget to try to pass his tax measures. Since there is nothing to stop the government from taking immediate action, especially considering the $11.6 billion surplus expected this year, what is the Minister of Finance waiting for to introduce a bill to immediately implement a better assistance plan, which the manufacturing and forestry sectors so desperately need?

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member asked a question about a community development trust. The government has no reason to delay granting this money.

However, we are currently in the process of signing agreements with the provinces. With those signatures, the conclusion of those agreements and the support—I hope—of all parties of the House, we will be able to move forward.

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, during his announcement, the Prime Minister made unacceptable links between that announcement and the budget vote.

Does he now reject that position? Will he have more sympathy from now on for the tens of thousands of workers in the regions hardest hit by the crises in the manufacturing and forestry sectors? Will he introduce this improved assistance plan proposed by the Bloc Québécois without further delay? The government must not wait until budget time to free up the money that the regions need immediately.

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, quite simply, the Bloc Québécois was asking for this assistance for this sector. The government fulfilled its obligations set out in the throne speech to provide this assistance.

The only decision still left up to the Bloc is whether to support or oppose this assistance. I hope it will support it.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, today Statistics Canada reported that manufacturers themselves plan to cut back their production and increase layoffs in the next three months. The crisis is worsening and thousands of workers will lose their jobs.

The government has a number of options, including modernizing the employment insurance program and creating a special $1.5 billion reserve to counter the anticipated recession.

Does the government intend to follow up on these suggestions and improve the existing employment insurance scheme?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I think every member in the House is concerned for the well-being of workers who are facing layoffs around this country, but the good news is that overwhelmingly the economy is extraordinarily strong. Jobs are being created.

That said, we did commit in the budget to improving the governance and management of the EI account. I point out that last year we spent $4.4 billion through employment insurance in Quebec. We have supplemented that with all kinds of new training arrangements, with $3 billion in new training arrangements across the country and $800 million a year more in support for post-secondary education so people can get skills.

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

There is a problem that education and retraining will never be able to handle: the case of older workers, with little education and for whom existing programs are of no use. In recent months, the tabling of a report has been delayed at least twice. These older workers have been waiting long enough.

Will the minister take responsibility and establish a real income support program for older workers, commonly known as POWA?

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I am shocked at how little faith the member has in the people of Quebec. The truth is that these training arrangements are put in place so that people who do not necessarily have the skills can get the skills and step into other jobs or other sectors.

The good news is that this is exactly what they are doing. In Quebec they are enjoying extraordinary success. Older workers made up more than 50% of all the successful job applicants in the last year. I say to the member that he should have some faith in the people of Quebec. This government does.

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has the AECL fiasco backward. The Conservatives fired the nuclear safety regulator for doing her job and protected the minister for failing to do his job.

Now the Minister of Natural Resources wants the nuclear safety regulator to have the commercial success of the companies he or she is regulating trump nuclear safety, so I have a question for the minister. In his fantasyland, who is responsible for nuclear safety: is it the minister, or is it the Prime Minister?

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I want to stress that all of my actions were completely within my authority, in concert with officials in my department, to resolve this issue. The facts are that the former president did not want to use her executive powers to resolve this, and ultimately put people's lives at risk.

Ultimately we had to bring a bill before Parliament, which every single member in the House supported, to ensure that Canadians did not need to die. That was not something the government was prepared to accept.

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are still waiting for that minister to drop his rehearsed line and answer the serious questions.

Last night on television, Brian McGee, who is a senior official at AECL, said, “I'm accountable and responsible for this”. It is a breath of fresh air that the minister can learn from.

Now AECL is admitting responsibility. The minister himself said that in a phone conversation with the regulator on December 5. When will the government practise true accountability rather than seek scapegoats?

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Again, Mr. Speaker, the facts are very clear in this situation. We had to act. The former president had a number of options available to her to resolve this issue. She chose not to act. Those facts were clear.

This matter was brought before Parliament and ultimately it took this Parliament, every party and every single member, to support Bill C-38 so that the reactor could resume operations and Canadians' lives did not need to be put at risk unnecessarily. This government acted and did what it had to do.