House of Commons Hansard #84 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elections.

Topics

Ontario Economy
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Industry

Frankly, Mr. Speaker, the Liberal rhetoric does not match their record if one looks at the auto industry in particular. In the time in which the Liberal Party was in office, there were plant closures. At the General Motors plant at Sainte-Thérèse, over 1,000 jobs were lost. At the Chrysler Corporation plant in Windsor, over 1,200 jobs were lost. At the Ford plant, the Ontario truck plant in Oakville, over 1,400 jobs were lost.

The former Liberal government never addressed the issues of competitiveness. We are doing that. Whether it is infrastructure, fuel harmonization or safety standards, all of these issues are being dealt with.

Ontario Economy
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, that was not much of an answer for the workers who were just laid off.

The current Minister of Finance ran huge deficits and pretended to have balanced budgets while closing hospitals, schools and firing water inspectors. With a $13 billion federal surplus, the minister still cut funding for child care, women's equality, literacy services, the court challenges program and more.

Now that he has pushed the federal government to the edge of a deliberate deficit and has promised to cut more, what is next? Who will be the next victims?

Ontario Economy
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is wrong in her facts. When I was the minister of finance in Ontario, the budget was balanced, as even the premier admitted, but what was not balanced was the 1990s, when health care, education and social services in the provinces were reduced.

Why? Because of the Liberal government in Ottawa trying to balance the budget on the backs of the weakest people in our society, on the backs of our hospitals, our nurses, our teachers and our social workers in the province of Ontario and other provinces.

Broadcasting Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, we now know that Remstar intends to eliminate its news service. However, TQS has a general interest television broadcasting licence, which requires the network to broadcast the news. We also know that Remstar wants to have the licence changed so that it can be exempt from this requirement.

Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages realize that removing news programming from a general interest television broadcaster is a major change?

Broadcasting Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to repeat what I have been saying since last week. Remstar will have to submit its licence to the CRTC. The CRTC will hold hearings and all stakeholders will have an opportunity to express their views.

Broadcasting Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is such an important issue that Quebec's National Assembly has unanimously requested that the federal government take immediate action on this file. The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, who told the House that the CRTQ issue had been wrapped up, had received a letter dated April 9 from the Government of Quebec calling for negotiations for a broadcasting and telecommunications agreement.

Instead of telling us how sad she is, which is what she has been doing lately, will the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages accept her responsibilities and tell us if she received the letter and if she will conduct such negotiations with Quebec?

Broadcasting Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to clarify that the letter in question arrived by courier early in the evening of April 24.

That being said, the member is asking the minister to intervene in the CRTC process. Allow me to refresh her memory, because the Bloc leader forgot to do so when he authorized the question. In 1994, when a former Liberal minister, Michel Dupuy, tried to intervene with the CRTC, Lucien Bouchard rose and said this: “A minister who fails to respect the autonomy of a judicial or quasi-judicial body must relinquish his post.” That is what the member—

Broadcasting Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert.

Bill 101 and the Canada Labour Code
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Labour was talking nonsense about the objectives of Bill C-482. Here is how he interpreted those objectives: “—wants the federal government to interfere in a provincial jurisdiction by applying Bill 101 across Canada.” Yet all the Bloc is asking for is an amendment to the Canada Labour Code, which comes under federal jurisdiction, so that Bill 101 applies to all workers in Quebec.

Has the minister at least read this bill, yes or no?

Bill 101 and the Canada Labour Code
Oral Questions

2:40 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, once again, we see the impotence of the Bloc Québécois, which sees all sorts of problems where there are none.

I have some new statistics from the Office québécois de la langue française. The Bloc ignored these figures, which are for 2006-07. Of the 3,789 complaints received between April 2006 and March 2007, only one—I repeat, one—comes under federal jurisdiction. I am talking about one complaint in 3,789.

Bill 101 and the Canada Labour Code
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this stands to reason, because Bill 101 does not apply to federally regulated companies. The minister does not understand. The people who work in federally regulated companies understand that they are not subject to Bill 101, so they file very few complaints. Since 2000, fewer than 150 complaints have been filed, but they have all been rejected, precisely because these companies are not subject to Bill 101.

Now that I have explained that to him and he understands, will the minister—

Bill 101 and the Canada Labour Code
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Labour.

Bill 101 and the Canada Labour Code
Oral Questions

2:40 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, I am going to quote the statistics again. The Office québécois de la langue française receives language-related complaints, which it categorizes. Some of those complaints pertain to the federal charter. Of the 3,789 complaints the Office québécois de la langue française received about the use of French, only one concerns the federal charter.

Regional Development
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, not a single day goes by without hearing of a plant closing and the loss of hundreds of jobs.

What is the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec doing in the meantime? He is renovating the airport in his riding to accommodate his flying limousine, but he is doing nothing for the airport in Trois-Rivières and nothing for Saint-Hubert.

What did he do for Crocs and AGC in Quebec City? Nothing. What did he do for Golden Brand in Montreal? Nothing. What did he do for Beaulieu Canada in Wickham? Nothing. What will he do for all these unemployed people? Will he move them to his own riding?

Regional Development
Oral Questions

2:45 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, to promote economic development in Quebec, we have an annual budget of roughly $200 million. With that money, we have to focus on the regions in greatest difficulty. We have started implementing our strategic plan for 2008-11 in order to support the regions in greatest difficulty. Soon we will have the opportunity to implement the second phase of this strategic development plan to support the regions.

I do not know how many times the hon. member has been to the Gaspésie, the North Shore or anywhere else. He does not know that the regions are more than just Montreal.