House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was infrastructure.

Topics

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite should be careful because that high horse he is riding on is not leading a parade, it is headed to the glue factory.

As for the Wheat Board, if it does not get out of its intransigence and start to listen to producers, it will not survive the changes that producers are driving. We are firmly on the side of farmers out there in western Canada. They are looking for changes and we will deliver them.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is disconnected with reality.

The Conservative government has used every dirty trick in the book to kill the Wheat Board. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said yesterday that the board will “survive until after the election...then all bets are off”.

That is a clear direct threat. No more camouflage and no more pretenses. A Conservative government means the Wheat Board is dead.

Why is the corrupt Conservative government flouting the will of 70% of western farmers?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that 62% of western Canadian barley producers voted for change. They want something different. What is being offered by the Wheat Board? Anchored in the past, busy naval gazing, completely isolated and insulated by its own demise, it will not get out of the way and allow producers access to that burgeoning, booming U.S. market.

Wheat Board officials have shut down the futures for next fall. They will not market the product and yet they will not allow producers to market the product. They are going to cut their own throats on this issue. They have to learn. And, the correct quote is, “lead, follow, or get...out of the way”.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Questions

February 14th, 2008 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, students across Canada do not know whether to laugh or cry when they hear the government claim to support education. An $80 tax credit is not support.

The Conservatives have not renewed the millennium scholarship. They collect student loans from families of the dead and they ignore the needs of the most vulnerable Canadians. They promise everything but deliver nothing.

When will the minister finally commit to reinvesting in needs based grants like the millennium scholarship? When will the government stand up for our students?

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, it is ironic that the member would ask this question, because he did not stand up for students when it came to voting for our budget, something that would put $800 million back into post-secondary education to help universities and colleges after the government that he was part of cut funding for schools by $25 billion.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, that minister's smiling face should be in the dictionary beside the word “hypocrisy”. He himself called for deeper cuts back in the 1990s. Now he talks about increased funding and students know it is a hoax.

Specifically, will he renew the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation? Or will he gut this great Liberal initiative? Worse, will he try to rebrand it in a shade of blue, reduce the funding and hack it to pieces like he did with the summer jobs program?

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, generally speaking, if it is a Liberal initiative, it has no guts.

I want to assure the member that this government did commit to review the Canada student loans program and student financing in general. The results of that will be known in the budget, which is coming up on February 26. We all look forward to hearing the results.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Bloc Québécois requested an emergency debate on the crisis facing pork and beef producers. We would like to have heard the minister speak, but instead we heard his Conservative colleagues take turns denying that there is a crisis in this industry. But the Quebec agriculture, fisheries and food minister recently met with his federal counterpart to ask him to take action quickly to help the pork and beef industries.

Does the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food acknowledge that these industries are in crisis, and does he finally plan to do something about it?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we have been fully involved with the livestock sector across this great country for the last number of months. We have been working with the sector, which advised us to work with programs that are not countervailable and to work within existing frameworks to get the money out faster.

We have done that. I have had those discussions with Laurent Lessard of Quebec. I explained to him that there is some $320 million available to the pork sector in Quebec through the ASRA program. I know there are some problems with delivery through that program, but that is something the member might want to take up with his colleagues in Quebec.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister says that he has been working on this for months, which is how long the producers have been in dire straits.

Christian Lacasse, the president of the Union des producteurs agricoles, has said that the situation is very serious and that the federal government needs to free up some money. There is no getting around it.

Will the minister heed this plea and implement the six recommendations in the unanimous report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food concerning the crisis in the livestock industry? This is urgent.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we have taken action and I have outlined some of those to follow. We have made available unprecedented amounts of money to the livestock sector. That money is flowing out to it. We are looking at other avenues that we can work on.

We have made the 2008 targeted advances available early. That is unprecedented. We are working for the best interests of the livestock sector.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, tobacco farmers are in desperate straits. Some are losing their farms. Some have fallen so deep into despair that they have taken their own lives.

Last week in committee I asked the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food what his government was going to do to assist tobacco producers. The minister claimed that he would take action sooner rather than later.

So I ask the minister today, what action and what does he mean by sooner rather than later? How many more lives must be destroyed before the government takes action?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth.

There must be an election coming. The opposition members are finally starting to talk about agriculture.

We have met with the affected groups. There are numbers of them. Every one of them seems to have the magic answer. As the member well knows, this is not a new file. This has been ongoing for some 25 years. A couple of governments have taken a run at this, including his own for 13 years prior to our stint here in government. The member knows that we are moving on this file and that we will get the job done. He should stay tuned.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, taking action in the fight against climate change is certainly something that Canadians want to see from their government, but we know that Canadians also want a share in that fight and in those actions. Sadly, the previous government did not understand that.

Can the environment minister tell us if our government is doing anything to help communities fight climate change and air pollution?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the member for Simcoe North that finally the government is beginning to act, something that had never happened in the 10 long years since Kyoto was signed, with more money for public transit and a tax credit for commuters to encourage them to use public transit, also something that has never happened before.

Now we are going to do something remarkable. We are actually bringing in mandatory emission standards for automobiles, not weak voluntary measures but real mandatory measures, something that will help deliver real results in fighting climate change. This government is acting and getting the job done.