House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was development.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

February 26th, 2008 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has relied on Ontario to be the economic engine of our country, but reckless tax cuts from the government for the oil and gas sector are driving up our dollar.

With forestry being hit hard in the north and the manufacturing sector in crisis, hundreds of thousands of hard-working Ontarians are losing their jobs. Wal-Mart McJobs are no substitute. For how much longer will the Conservative government turn its back on Canada's largest province?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, certainly we are very concerned. This government is terribly concerned with the loss of jobs in any community. We hate to see any province that appears to be disadvantaged.

However, we would encourage Ontario to step forward and take the advantage that has been offered to it in the $33 billion in infrastructure that was offered all across this country. Most of the provinces have signed on to that agreement. That would help all of the constituents in Ontario.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, privatizing our public infrastructure is not the way to go.

Ontario is on the verge of being a have not province. Over and over, Ontario is ignored or even hurt by Conservative economics. Ontarians get $5,000 less in employment insurance than those in other provinces. There is no strategy to buy Ontario-made products. Ontario's cultural sector is forced to beg for resources. When will the Conservative government start treating Ontario families with some respect?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I have to correct the member. She is absolutely wrong when she talks about employment insurance. The fact is, according to Statistics Canada, not political spinners, 75% of people in Ontario who pay into employment insurance are eligible for benefits.

I can tell the member that it is absolutely no answer to ensure that people get more benefits by remaining unemployed for longer. We are not going to go there. We are making sure that the people of Ontario have training so they can step into that red hot job market. We are acting.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Brenda Martin, an innocent Canadian, has been languishing in a Mexican prison for two years. The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Trade recently made a quick trip to Mexico, where she apparently met with those responsible for this matter. However, the minister confirmed that she was unable to visit Brenda, but that she did have the time to meet with Canadian expatriates at a reception in Guadalajara, located just 20 minutes from the prison.

Could the minister explain how she found time to attend the social gathering but could not make time to visit this innocent individual, Brenda Martin?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, pretty much everything that the member said with respect to Ms. Martin's case is wrong, so let us be clear. I have worked very hard, as has this government, on behalf of Ms. Martin.

There are 13 Canadians in Mexican prisons, so when I was in Mexico meeting with its foreign minister, its human rights commissioner and its attorney general, there were other cases that had to be talked about, because each and every Canadian is just as important to us as the next one. The hon. member might want to consider that.

Also, if I could point this out to him, with respect to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and in accordance with international practice, Canada cannot intervene in the justice system of another country. Those are his words.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister's ineptitude on this case is such that she has been reduced to scurrying out of Canadian Tire stores to avoid TV cameras tracking her down for a long requested interview.

Why is the minister unable to provide Brenda Martin with any concrete information on her supposedly high-level efforts to gain her freedom? Why is the minister refusing to take Brenda's phone calls? Why did the minister abandon Brenda Martin for some consulate canapés and Perrier when she was just a few minutes away and could have gone over there?

Why is she not standing up for innocent Canadians? Why the ineptitude on that side of the House?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are really growing tired of that member's ambulance-chasing tactics. He stood in my shoes and he knows exactly what I can and cannot say with specific details of cases and what has been done for a constituent. It is the privacy law. He has been quoted saying it himself many times.

With respect to Ms. Martin, we have worked very hard and we will continue, because she is a very important Canadian to us. I can tell the hon. member that I did of course speak with the foreign minister, the attorney general and a total of 16 senior officials in discussing her case and those of the other 13 Canadians in Mexico.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government refused to explain why it prohibits funding for women's groups that do advocacy work while it pays the Conference of Defence Associations $500,000 for defence advocacy.

What does the government have against women's groups that advocate for equality? If the Conservatives believe in equality for all women, why not start by eliminating this double standard?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauport—Limoilou
Québec

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, our government supports practical projects that improve women's living conditions and promote equality for all Canadian women.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that women's groups doing critical advocacy work to advance equality in this country have been cut off from federal government funding.

The government cut the court challenges program and also shut down the Law Commission in an effort to silence voices of dissent, but there is money for lobby groups that agree with the government. Canadian women would like to know why the government endorses such a shameful double standard.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauport—Limoilou
Québec

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat that our government works on behalf of all Canadian women and not just for one group or another. All women across Canada have the right to be listened to and heard by this government.

TV5
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in response to a question I asked him about TV5, the Parliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage said that a meeting had been held between representatives of the partnering governments and that TV5 was an important tool in promoting the culture and values of international francophonie. We know that.

What we want to know is the Government of Canada's position on the situation. Will it let France alone determine the future of TV5?

TV5
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia
B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Parliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the partnering governments of TV5 have highlighted the importance of TV5Monde in promoting the culture and values of international Francophonie and it must remain a Francophonie project.

Canada will continue its discussions in collaboration with all the partnering governments, including the Quebec government, in order to encourage consensus on this file.

TV5
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec has come out in favour of the survival and autonomy of TV5, as have Switzerland and Belgium. What we need now is for Canada to take the same firm stand.

Has France been informed that Canada wants to maintain the multilateral nature of this important tool for la Francophonie?