House of Commons Hansard #9 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economic.

Topics

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

November 28th, 2008 / 11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, to pad their books and hide the deficit, the Conservatives are sitting on $3 billion in the Building Canada fund.

Instead of putting shovels in the ground and creating jobs, the Conservatives have tangled infrastructure programs into a web of red tape.

In Mississauga, infrastructure projects are ready to go. When will the Conservatives cut the cheques?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca
Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I really appreciate the question from the member because it gives me an opportunity to talk about some of the things the government is doing.

In a time of global economic uncertainty, we on this side of the House understand that it is vital to invest in infrastructure that will create jobs today, tomorrow and in to the future.

The member should listen to the mayor of Toronto who said:

That money is going to ensure thousands of jobs are created and maintained.... It's exactly the right time to build infrastructure because the contracts are going to come in for less because the economy is softening.

We are getting the job done.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, in Mississauga, Conservative red tape is holding back $52 million for the bus rapid transit system; $30 million for downtown revitalization; $20 million for Sheridan College; $10 million for the Burnhamthorpe Library; $8 million for the fire halls; and $4 million for park pathway lighting, and that is just in my riding. Thousands more are stalled across the country.

When will that money start flowing?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca
Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Clearly, Mr. Speaker, the money is already flowing, but this is not about money flowing. This government has made the largest infrastructure investment of all time. What this is about is their entitlements. They want their entitlements.

We on this side of the House are working toward a strong future for Canadians and that is why we have invested so much in infrastructure and why we are moving forward with Building Canada. No matter whether it is Liberal, NDP or Conservative, all mayors across this country recognize that we are getting the job done in infrastructure and we are making the investments necessary.

Forest and Mining Industries
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, instead of attacking the recession, the government's economic statement failed B.C.'s families who work in the forestry and mining sector.

Since January 2007, 34 mills in B.C. alone have closed and 10,000 jobs have disappeared. Our forestry families needed help, they needed economic stimulus, but all they got from the economic update was blatant partisanship: no new jobs, saving no mills and no offer of hope for the future.

Why did the government put its partisan interests ahead of B.C.'s working families?

Forest and Mining Industries
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, if the NDP were ever to make any suggestions, it might suggest that we stabilize the softwood lumber communities. We did that with the softwood lumber agreement. It might suggest that we put money into lumber communities. We did that with a $1 billion community trust. It might suggest that we focus on innovation for the future. We have already done that. It might suggest that we focus on market research and market development. We are already doing that.

We are protecting the economy. We are talking about that today. Members on the other side are only concerned with protecting their own entitlements. We will get the job done for Canadians.

Forest and Mining Industries
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister should visit the communities of Terrace, Burns Lake and Hazelton that have lost mills under his watch. The government has failed B.C.'s forestry communities. It forgets somehow that 62% of Canadians rejected their efforts on the economy, 62% of Canadians rejected the Conservatives' so-called vision for the future of this country.

Conservatives continue to pit the environment versus the natural resources sector. It is time for them to wake up, smell the coffee and get with the program. When will they invest in a green economy for green collar jobs?

Forest and Mining Industries
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, 80% rejected them. We do not need to get any lectures from them about support by Canadians for this government.

Our government has acted to help workers. We are acting to help their families who are facing uncertainty. We have supported the Canadian forest industry by getting that softwood lumber deal done. We have supported the community development trust, which is putting money back into those communities.

Again, this government is working to protect Canadians and working to protect this economy. All we hear from opposition members today is that they are working to protect their entitlements. They should be ashamed of themselves. We will get the job done for Canadians.

Terrorism
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week Canadians have watched with horror the terrible events unfolding in Mumbai, India. These appalling terrorist attacks have killed well over 100 people, with hundreds more injured.

We stand behind the people and the government of India against those who have decided to terrorize the people and violate fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Many Canadians are deeply worried about family and friends in India. Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs update us on the situation in Mumbai and what the government is doing to assist during this extremely difficult period?

Terrorism
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure Canadians and families affected that the Government of Canada continues to deploy every effort to assist Canadians in Mumbai, including assistance in travel documents, replacing documents that might have been taken away, facilitating the departure of those wishing to leave through commercial means and, of course, providing financial assistance to those in need.

We must remain vigilant and that is exactly what we are doing.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, in yesterday's economic update, the Conservative response to the economic crisis was pitiful. One in seven women lives below the poverty line, but instead of helping Canadians, the Conservatives launched an ideological attack. Workers are worried about their jobs, yet there was no mention at all of employment insurance.

Why are the Conservatives launching partisan attacks instead of bringing in measures to help the most vulnerable members of our society?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we have committed $387 million to the homelessness partnership strategy and the assisted housing initiative, which over five years is $1.9 billion. That is more than any other government in history has committed. We also have, in addition to that, programs through targeted initiatives for those who are unemployed, those who want to get re-educated and get skills. We are investing at a time when investment is needed in these areas.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Desnoyers Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and his government decided to attack public servants by taking away their right to strike. Instead of reaching out to workers, they decided to go after their rights. In the hope of imposing their right-wing ideology more easily, they are shamefully going after what thousands of workers have fought hard for decades to achieve: the right to negotiate a collective agreement and the right to strike.

Why does the government want to silence workers, when a settlement was reached with many unionized public service employees, if not to—

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. President of the Treasury Board.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, yes, I was very pleased with the responsible attitude that the union took in terms of coming to a collective agreement with the employer.

I would point out, for the member's information, that in all cases unionized federal public sector employees will have collective agreements at set rates for the annual increases. With the collective agreements in place, there is no requirement for a dispute resolution mechanism such as strike or arbitration.