House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for York Centre has the floor.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary is a thinking person. He knows that he has to try to answer every day. He must have asked himself these very same questions.

It is not just what the Cadman family said. They described the scene; what Mr. Cadman's reaction to the offer had been; how he was angry and offended; how the family was shocked; how Mrs. Cadman considered it a bribe. All their stories are consistent. There was no misunderstanding or mishearing.

Why would Mr. Cadman lie to his wife and family? Why would they lie to us?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the member for York Centre is admitting the fact that Dona Cadman last week said that she believes and trusts the Prime Minister of Canada. He can leave that part out all he wants.

If the member for York Centre really believes in his story, if he really believes in all this anger and bravado that he is throwing at this government, I would like to juxtapose that with the fact that we really appreciated his support on the confidence vote last night on the government's environment agenda.

With all the sitting that those members have been doing on that side of the House of Commons, they must have some awful saddle sores.

Regional Development
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the government is helping the oil industry in the west, nothing is being done for Quebec. Two years ago, the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec spoke of a sort of Marshall plan to revitalize the regions.

If we look at the evolution of his budget, his plan is more regressive than progressive. The agency's budget was $439 million in 2005-06, when the Conservatives arrived, and the budget for 2008-09 is $287 million, or barely half of that.

How can the minister talk about developing the regions of Quebec when he is cutting their funding?

Regional Development
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should take a better look at the figures. At Canada Economic Development, we have a roughly $200 million annual envelope to support the economic development of the 14 regions of Quebec.

In addition to that, we have money allocated to MRIF, the municipal rural infrastructure fund, among others.

For example, for the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, $46 million has been granted to Canada Economic Development for the festivities and to meet the needs of Quebec City for these festivities.

Regional Development
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we want is for Quebec to have full power to develop its own regions. And until then, Quebec has the right to have its fair share.

In western Canada, where the economy is booming, the government is planning a $16 million increase in the economic development budget for 2008-09, while in Quebec, which has been hit by the forestry and manufacturing crisis, the government is cutting $107 million.

Does the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec think he is still representing the interests of Quebec well when his own government is focusing on the west and its rich oil companies?

Regional Development
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, with the $200 million we have at Canada Economic Development, we have to accomplish our department's mission to help the most vulnerable regions and the regions with shrinking populations.

A large part of the $200 million budget envelope is injected into a number of regions in Quebec. For example, when we saved the train in the Gaspésie, $20 million from our envelope went to the Gaspé, and the Bloc Québécois did not even lift a finger. That is what we did to save the train in the Gaspé.

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the manufacturing and forestry industries are in crisis and the only assistance provided by the government is a $1 billion plan that gives $216 million to Quebec over three years. However, when it comes to helping polluting industries in western Canada, the government is exceedingly generous. By way of evidence, I cite the $240 million pilot project provided in the budget for carbon capture and storage.

My question is a simple one. Will the minister improve his assistance plan by March 31?

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we are giving money to all the provinces to reduce greenhouse gases. Nothing like this was ever done by the previous government. For Quebec, the amount is $350 million. It is more than what the Bloc and the Government of Quebec asked for. We are acting. We are helping our colleagues in Quebec City to reduce greenhouse gases. We have come up with real results for Canada, for the first time in its history.

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has no problem finding funds in causes dear to it. The fact that there is a cost overrun with the mission in Afghanistan of $1 billion this fiscal year does not seem to pose a financial problem for the government.

Given the ease with which the government can find an additional $1 billion for the military sector, why can it not respond to the pressing needs of the manufacturing and forestry sectors from the $10.2 billion surplus in the current year?

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, Quebec is receiving $217 million of the billion dollars put in trust for community development in Quebec regions. An agreement was duly signed by our two levels of government. Furthermore, the department I head, Canada Economic Development, is helping the manufacturing sector. We are helping business in the sector wishing to expand or start up. Our records show that some 560 projects have been accepted in the manufacturing sector, for a total of 11,000 jobs saved and 4,000 created.

Municipal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the OPP has evidence to suggest the environment minister met with Larry O'Brien to discuss the possibility of bribing Terry Kilrea with a federal appointment. The OPP, on tape, confirmed that it would be forwarding this file to the RCMP to investigate the minister's involvement. The next day it flipped. Why?

In a letter to my office, the minister's chief of staff now admits that he made several phone calls to the OPP in the hours before that reverse decision. Who authorized these calls? Who okayed calls to the police on the eve of a minister being investigated?

Municipal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, we see the tinfoil hats getting a little tight again over there.

On December 14, the commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, one of the most respected senior police officers in the country, Julian Fantino, issued a release saying:

The Ontario Provincial Police's investigation of - and subsequent charges against - an elected Ottawa official was not influenced in any way by federal officials. The OPP does not permit the media or politics to influence how it undertakes investigations. Any suggestion that the OPP was influenced by anyone or anything...of this investigation is nonsense.

That is what the OPP said.

Municipal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, does the OPP know about these phone calls? Because the government can distort facts, it can bully, it can push forward and abuse the courts with frivolous lawsuits, but it will not stop us from asking questions and getting the truth.

On December 11, the OPP confirmed several times, on tape, that it was about to forward the file to the RCMP, then suddenly, after the minister's chief of staff made calls, that changed. He claims in his letter to the OPP that he had “no plans to forward this file to the RCMP”.

Who is lying, the police or the minister's chief of staff?

Municipal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, once again, the chief of the conspiracy theory brigade opposite is suggesting that the commissioner and the members of the Ontario Provincial Police are not telling the truth. Here is what Commissioner Fantino said:

Any suggestion that the OPP was influenced by anyone or anything except the pursuit of the facts in any part of this investigation is nonsense.

The member owes an apology to Commissioner Fantino and the good men and women of the Ontario Provincial Police for calling into question their integrity.