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 opposition.

Topics

Economic and Fiscal Update
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks before Christmas, 120 workers at Bow Group in Granby will be laid off indefinitely. Some 40 workers will also be affected by the permanent shut down of Sonoco. The entire manufacturing sector in the Montérégie region, and especially its thousands of workers, is threatened by the current economic meltdown.

Rather than bringing forward a comprehensive plan to help these families and the hundreds of workers who are worried sick about losing their jobs, the Conservative government presents them with an ideological statement completely devoid of any measures to address the crisis. This government does not intend to do anything to stimulate the economy and breathe life into it.

Furthermore, even as it chooses to suffocate the economy in spite of the serious difficulties affecting industry, this government still finds ways to increase military spending.

The Bloc Québécois will speak out, loud and clear, regarding our opposition to the laissez-faire economics of this ultraconservative, backward-thinking government.

Canada-Colombia Trade Agreement
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government's latest ideological push is to sign a so-called free trade agreement with Colombia; this, despite very clear directions from the Standing Committee on International Trade, despite major concerns from human rights organizations, despite a compelling case made by labour activists, peasants, farmers, indigenous peoples, churches, journalists and all those working to stop the appalling death toll in Colombia.

Over 2,000 Colombian trade unionists have been murdered over the last 17 years by the paramilitary and the military. The death rate has accelerated this year, with over 40 Colombian activists killed for the crime of trying to organize fair working conditions for their co-workers and their families.

Even though the Uribe government has a very slick public relations machine, its ties with paramilitary organizations have been extensively documented.

The NDP will stand four-square against this repudiation of Canadian values and against the Prime Minister providing a reward for the Uribe government's ongoing human rights violations.

Political Party Funding
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Dona Cadman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, at a time when Canadian families are worried about the financial future during the current global economic crisis, our Conservative government delivered an economic update that gave Canadians an outlook on our fiscal situation, along with key measures to assist pensioners, manufacturers and many more. Instead of working co-operatively with our government, what are the opposition politicians concerned about? Protecting their entitlements.

While Canadians are tightening their belts, greedy Liberal, Bloc and NDP MPs refuse to. They are threatening to plunge Canada into another election to protect their bloated subsidies. Let us be clear. When we need co-operation most, opposition parties do not care about protecting the Canadian economy. They care about protecting their own narrow interests of their political parties.

The opposition parties should be ashamed of their greed, ashamed of their ignorance of the plight of Canadians, and ashamed of their arrogance.

North Bay Jack Garland Airport
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, the North Bay Jack Garland Airport is currently one of only 15 airports in Canada which boasts a 10,000 foot runway and it is used as an official alternate landing site for instances when flights are unable to land in Toronto or Montreal.

Runway 08/26 is nearing the end of its lifespan and requires resurfacing. Rather than resurfacing, Transport Canada wants to reduce the runway to 6,500 feet. It is worth noting that according to current estimates, the cost of reducing the runway length from 10,000 feet to 6,500 feet is significantly more expensive than maintaining the current length.

The importance of maintaining the runway cannot be overstated. Not only does it provide for a safe, reliable alternate landing site, but it also provides endless potential for economic growth throughout Nipissing—Timiskaming.

The new Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities must review this matter carefully and pledge his support for the resurfacing of the full 10,000 foot runway at North Bay Jack Garland Airport.

Political Party Funding
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year our Conservative government introduced a major pre-emptive fiscal stimulus with significant tax cuts, such as lowering the GST, along with reducing personal and business taxes. These tax cuts, along with previous tax reductions we have made, mean that Canadians will pay $31 billion less in taxes, or almost 2% of GDP.

These forward looking tax cuts are allowing Canadian families in the current period of global economic crisis to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. These are tax cuts the opposition voted against. The opposition is taking pride in showing it does not care about the needs and struggles of Canadian families and, again, it is showing that today.

While Canadians are facing difficult decisions and are being forced to tighten their belts, the opposition members care about only one thing: protecting their entitlements. Liberal, Bloc and NDP MPs are arrogantly demanding that families and seniors struggling on fixed incomes keep on bankrolling bloated perks for political parties.

It is time the opposition showed some respect for the needs of Canadian families.

Mourad Kharoune
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Quebec, environmental protection and economic development go hand in hand, as demonstrated by the work of talented scientists who are finding innovative ways to improve our industrial processes.

I rise here today to commend the renewable energy and climate change research team at the École de technologie supérieure, led by Mourad Kharoune. With the support of two businesses, Matériaux Excell in Contrecoeur and Multiserv in Sorel-Tracy, they have perfected a process to capture the greenhouse gases emitted in steel production.

This process, which could also be used in aluminum smelters, can neutralize 15% of greenhouse gas emissions while costing only a tenth of existing technologies. Thus, it would allow businesses to improve their environmental record. And with a little more investment, this promising process could capture up to 40% of greenhouse gases.

Bravo, Professor Kharoune. The Bloc Québécois is proud of Quebec's innovative spirit.

The Economy
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister delivered an economic update that underlines the fact that we have acted to aggressively bolster our economy before other countries such as the United States and the U.K. have acted.

First, we have already launched a long-term $33 billion infrastructure plan, meaning federal funding for infrastructure in 2009-10 will be more than double that in 2006-07, stimulating economic activity and helping provinces ramp up their own spending. Second, we have already made dramatic, permanent and sustainable tax cuts, tax cuts providing $31 billion in tax relief, roughly 2% of GDP, next year alone.

Together, those two measures alone represent a fiscal stimulus unmatched by any advanced economy internationally, a significant stimulus helping sustain the economy in a period of global economic slowdown.

Compare that to the opposition stimulus approach, which would impose a huge energy tax on all Canadian families, raise taxes on business and, stunningly, protect taxpayer funded perks for political parties. The greed, the arrogance, the ignorance of the Bloc, NDP and Liberal--

The Economy
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe.

Atlantic Salmon
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, the stock of Atlantic salmon in Bay of Fundy rivers has dropped radically in the last decade. This is in spite of the fact that they were placed on the species at risk list. What is missing is a meaningful recovery plan and adequate government resources dedicated to the implementation thereof.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has held a number of public consultations, yet it still has not come up with a plan to protect Atlantic salmon.

I hope this government will devote the same resources to protecting Atlantic salmon as to protecting Pacific salmon. One type of salmon does not deserve more protection than the other.

My childhood friend, fishing buddy, hockey and football teammate, Bill Taylor, and the Atlantic Salmon Federation, which he heads, have raised awareness and money to put what should be government initiatives in place.

The government should not back out of protecting one of Canada's most precious natural resources. The government cannot back out of doing its job.

Economic and Fiscal Statement
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Finance presented a prudent, reasonable, responsible economic statement. It includes measures for seniors and help for manufacturers, and it ensures sustainable growth of public sector salaries. But the opposition does not seem interested in these important measures. It is only interested in one thing: living off Canadian taxpayers.

We do not share that vision. We believe that taxpayers' money should stay in taxpayers' pockets. If the opposition does not support this government, it is for one reason only: its own self-interest.

I hope the opposition will start showing some concern for our families, our businesses and our workers and will support the important measures we are introducing. Otherwise, their decision will hurt only hard-working Canadians.

Violence against Women
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, 500,000 women were raped during the Rwandan genocide, 64,000 in Sierra Leone, 40,000 in Bosnia, 4,500 in less than 6 months in a single province of the Congo, and hundreds a day in Darfur.

Around the world, violence against women has become a meditated act of war. The weapons used in modern warfare are no longer limited to land mines, cluster bombs or AK-47s. Rape is now a primary weapon of war. These military tactics are used to shame and demoralize women, and control populations. Major General Patrick Cammaert said, “It is now more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in modern conflict”.

This must end. Canada can do something by uniting in defiance to end this crime against humanity by implementing UN resolutions 1325 and 1820. Stop rape now.

Political Party Funding
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservative government has been continually working to protect the Canadian economy from the current global economic storm, the opposition cartel of the separatist Bloc, the socialist NDP, and the tax and spend Liberals are plotting behind closed doors to protect their political perks.

The opposition cartel is showing its true greed and ignorance to the plight of families by putting the self-interests of their political parties first, threatening another election to protect a scheme to funnel public funds to themselves.

Canadians should be, and are, outraged. This jaw-dropping display of greed when we least need it is shameful. I urge Canadians to write, call or fax all Liberal, NDP and Bloc MPs to express their outrage, today.

Economic and Fiscal Statement
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, “the worst, most inept government in the industrialized world”, “blatantly obvious partisan tactics”. To put it mildly, analysts are not a loss for words this morning to express their indignation at the economic statement delivered by this government, which is blinded by its ultra-conservative ideology.

In these tough economic times, many observers agree that the worst possible thing the government could do is reduce its spending, much less take advantage of the current crisis to ram its Reform agenda down people's throats.

The government is attacking workers, attacking women, attacking companies, attacking the regions and attacking Quebec.

Even though the government said it was willing to cooperate, it still has not woken up to the fact that 78% of voters in Quebec rejected the Conservative ideology on October 14. The Bloc Québécois will take a stand against this ideological statement.

Thailand
Statements By Members

November 28th, 2008 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday one of my constituents contacted me to express concern about a relative who was currently in Thailand and who was unable to leave the country due to the closing down of the country's international airports.

Thailand is currently experiencing unrest, and there is concern that this unrest could escalate into something more serious, particularly if the military intervenes.

At the present time foreign visitors, including Canadians, have been instructed to remain at their hotels until further notice. I know that the friends and relatives of all Canadians currently in Thailand are concerned about the fate of their loved ones.

I would therefore urge the government to reassure them that their security and well-being is uppermost in its mind, and that every possible consular service available is being provided to them. I would also hope that contingency plans are being seriously considered, should it become necessary to evacuate Canadians at some point.

Finally, we need some information from the government in terms of the number of Canadians there, and reassurance that Canada will work with the global community to end--

Thailand
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.