House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we know the Liberals like to badmouth Canada's economy. They like to talk it down but we do not do that.

What we did was we looked last fall at the slowdown that was to come in the economy. We provided a stimulus in the economy that amounted to 1.4% of the GDP. The result of that sort of thing, that sort of action in advance, was that last month there were 19,200 new jobs in Canada, despite the economic slowdown in the United States.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister keeps trying to make us think that the economy is running along perfectly well. But what does he have to say to the workers in Windsor today?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am going to say what I say to the people who live in my own constituency. I actually know a lot of auto workers, which I doubt the member opposite does. Of course we are concerned with job losses but the reality is that the auto industry is going through a significant restructuring in Canada.

What we can do is help that industry come out of its restructuring stronger and technologically sophisticated, which is why we have the automotive innovation fund in budget 2008 of $250 million and why we have the accelerated capital cost allowance. This government takes action, it does not just talk.

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the matter involving the Minister of Foreign Affairs, everyone agrees that issues of security are of public interest. Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former intelligence officer, said that women “have been caught acting on behalf of organized crime, infiltrating various levels of government.”

According to Julian Sher, a journalist who has written a number of books on biker gangs, organized crime can wait up to 5 or 10 years before taking revenge on someone who has a price on their head.

Will the Prime Minister admit that his Minister of Foreign Affairs lacked judgment when he failed to inform the government of his girlfriend's murky past?

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Leader of the Bloc Québécois asked a question about the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City. He asked about the Minister of Foreign Affairs's relationships. Who knows, maybe tomorrow he will turn to the tabloids for his information, but again, this is a strictly private matter involving the individual concerned and we have no further comment on this.

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, can the Prime Minister explain to us why, on August 14, 2007, journalists were unable to find out the identity of the Minister of Foreign Affairs's girlfriend?

Did the Prime Minister know about her shady past and decide to turn a blind eye and support his minister at all cost?

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Bloc Québécois can play the town gossip if he wants, but the issue remains the same: this is a private matter. As far as we are concerned, this is a private matter. I would like to remind the Leader of the Bloc Québécois that he was invited to join the Privy Council a few years ago, but he turned it down. That position would have allowed him to discuss matters of national security, but he refused.

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety claims that there is no need to run security clearances on federal ministers' spouses. Yet in-depth security checks are done on spouses of senior public servants, of journalists who accompany ministers abroad, and even on people who work as kitchen help in tax centres.

Don't ministers—at least those who take their jobs seriously—regularly bring files home with them, some of which contain state secrets? How can it be that this kind of thing is not taken seriously for ministers, particularly for one like the Minister of Foreign Affairs?

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thought that the Bloc Québécois would start things off today by asking questions about the economy and its extraordinary performance as it continues to create new jobs month after month.

However, the Bloc Québécois seems to think it best to ask yet more questions about a person's private life. We are well aware that the RCMP plays a role. The RCMP has a responsibility with respect to members of cabinet and national security. That is the RCMP's role.

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party is developing quite a reputation for not investigating things. During one of their fundraising activities, the Minister of Foreign Affairs posed for a photo with Michael Chamas, who was arrested in Switzerland in 2007 with 2 million euros, and was then arrested at the end of March in connection with operation Cancun drug and arms raids. This individual was also the subject of a Canada Revenue Agency investigation for unpaid taxes. Yet this man was not just a guest at the fundraiser; he was one of the speakers the Conservatives had invited.

Is that not proof of their carelessness, which has placed ministers in dangerous situations and put them at the mercy of organized crime, which, I would note, has had far more victims in Canada and Quebec than terrorism?

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I was photographed with that individual during a public event. There is nothing wrong with a politician being photographed with people when asked. As a matter of fact, former Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien was also photographed with the individual in question.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Questions

May 12th, 2008 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Ottawa Citizen has reported that one in twenty pumps is not correctly calibrated and that consumers are paying the price. In addition to shortchanging people at the pumps, the big oil companies are not even giving people the gas they paid for. At $1.30 a litre, every cent counts.

When will this government create an ombudsman position to protect consumers from the big oil companies?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we will not be creating the position of ombudsman, but I did meet with the president of Measurement Canada this morning and I gave him instructions.

First, I have ordered increased enforcement over the course of the summer and additional inspections.

Second, I have instructed regulatory changes to be prepared. These will increase the onus on gas retailers. Fines will be increased from $1,000 per occurrence to $10,000 per occurrence.

In addition, there will be even higher fines for aggravated circumstances.

Finally, I will be writing to all Canadian gas retailers asking them for their cooperation. We will get the job done.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, why did it take freedom of information to get this information out to the newspapers? The government has known about this for months.

The fact is that the government stands on the side of the big oil and gas companies and gives them subsidies and tax cuts. It will never stand up for the consumer until it is forced to do it by the front pages of the newspapers. It is trying to prevent those very newspapers and members of Parliament from finding out what is going on here.

It is not just at the pump that people are being ripped off. It is also when they pay for their flights to go on family trips, when they pay for groceries and when they heat their homes.

The government does not stand with the middle class. Why will it not create an ombudsman, really get tough on enforcement and start doing its job?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I had a sense there for a moment that in a roundabout sort of way my hon. friend was trying to compliment us on a good job. I do not know if he ever got to that.

Surely the NDP is in favour of increasing the enforcement over the course of the summer to protect consumers. Surely the NDP is in favour of increasing the fine from $1,000 per occurrence to a modern standard of $10,000 per occurrence. Surely the NDP would favour additional fines for aggravated circumstances.

What is the problem that my friend has with this policy?