House of Commons Hansard #6 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economy.

Topics

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we want real, accountable, solid business plans before we spend taxpayers' money. On that side, it is all about ready, fire, aim. That is not good enough for the people of this country or the taxpayers of this country. We are going to act in the best interests of the taxpayers and in the best interests of the people of Canada. That is what we were elected to do.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the OECD predicts a significant increase in unemployment in Canada—because of the economic crisis brought on by bad decisions made by senior financial executives who received enormous bonuses—the victims of the crisis do not understand why they have to wait two weeks before they receive a single penny of employment insurance.

Eliminating the wait period would not cost the government very much. Will the Minister of Finance commit to eliminating it in his economic statement?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, of course we want to ensure that all the necessary supports are in place for our unemployed workers when, unfortunately, they must be laid off. Let there be no doubt about that.

It is insurance, and as with any insurance, there is always a wait period, because of course there must be confirmation that they are being laid off for longer than just a week or two. This is necessary to ensure the integrity of the system.

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the targeted initiative for older workers does not meet the needs of those who cannot be reclassified. They need an income support program to help them bridge the gap to retirement.

If the Minister of Finance can give $2.8 billion in tax breaks to oil companies, why can he not give older workers who have been laid off a program that will cost $45 million per year?

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have already acknowledged that older workers face special challenges. That is why we introduced the targeted initiative for older workers.

The program was very successful: last year, most of the workers rehired in the Quebec labour market were older workers. We have much more to do, but we have taken the first step.

Social Housing
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, decent, affordable housing is getting harder and harder to find. We are on the brink of an economic crisis that will make things even worse, yet the throne speech offers no solutions to this Canada-wide problem.

Will the government do as the Bloc Québécois has suggested and announce investments in the construction and renovation of social and affordable housing, a move that would create jobs and meet urgent needs?

Social Housing
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the member and the Bloc Québécois for their suggestions. We asked for suggestions, and we will consider them.

However, I want to point out that our government is providing support to the homeless. We are now spending more money on the homeless and on affordable housing than any previous government.

Renovation Industry
Oral Questions

November 25th, 2008 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, to revive the renovation industry in these tough times and to promote energy savings, the government should create a fund to provide financial support for individuals who renovate their homes to improve energy efficiency.

Does the government plan on following up on this Bloc Québécois proposal, which meets economic and environmental objectives, by announcing the creation of such a fund in its next economic statement?

Renovation Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, once again, I would like to thank the Bloc Québécois for its suggestions. I am happy that there is an atmosphere of cooperation here, in the House. We will consider all the suggestions that are proposed.

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' inaction in the face of the economic crisis is not just hurting assembly plants in Ontario, because auto parts manufacturers in Quebec are also cutting jobs. Sooner or later, the crisis will spread to other key sectors of our economy.

Do the Conservatives think that companies like Bombardier, Héroux-Devtek Inc. and Pratt & Whitney will be magically spared? When will they introduce a plan to secure the future of the aerospace industry? Before it is too late?

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have supported the aeronautics industry. Our government has announced a special program for the aeronautics industry. It is also mentioned in the Speech from the Throne.

We have announced programs that are specific to the aeronautics industry and we will continue to support them.

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, no country can have a prosperous aerospace industry without government support. The current crisis could hit the aerospace industry if the Conservatives are not proactive.

Do the Conservatives know how many highly skilled workers depend on the aerospace industry for their living? When will the Conservatives take action to preserve these workers' livelihood?

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have taken action. We have invested several million dollars in the strategic initiative. To date, Lockheed Martin has announced more than $600 million in spending in Quebec. We have supported the industry, and the results bode well for the future of the industry too.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the finance minister declared that he would not artificially create a surplus, but then he went on to contradict himself by stating that in fact he would fabricate a surplus by selling what he described as non-core federal assets.

Could the minister define what he means by non-core assets and could he give the House a specific example of one?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect the government to be fiscally responsible. Therefore, we created the expenditure management system. We are looking at every expenditure, every program, every initiative of the Government of Canada and the Government of Canada's agencies. We started that work last year.

We are going to add to that work a review of corporate assets of the Government of Canada with the same test, that is, does the asset or program still fulfill a need for the people of Canada or does it not? That is simply responsible government that Canadians expect of their government.