House of Commons Hansard #94 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Regional Economic 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, I would like to point out that only a few weeks ago, we made a point of asking the organization to release the list of all of the organizations it had brought to Montreal, and the answer was that it was confidential. We gave Montréal International $66 million over 10 years.

There are all sorts of organizations in all sorts of regions that have needs, for example to renovate ecotourism infrastructures or for one-time projects, and we want to be able to support them. If the Liberals had done their job properly, if the minister had signed the files, he would have seen that if he kept paying operating expenses indefinitely he was heading straight for a wall.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Garth Turner Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Finance was speaking to his Bay Street buddies yesterday, it was another bleak day for auto workers in Windsor. They join 112,000 who have lost their good manufacturing jobs in just a year, victims of an overinflated dollar, bad economic policies and a minister who does not care.

This is 1,400 families, 1,400 mortgages and 1,400 Canadians. How can he justify doing nothing?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has done a great deal to help working people. That is why we have had over three-quarters of a million new jobs created since he became finance minister in this country.

We are concerned about those job losses and will continue to work with them.

However, there is one job loss that is outstanding. That is the job loss of the member for Halton, who promised that if he ever crossed the floor he would surrender his seat to a byelection to have the voters pass judgment on him. Apparently he is afraid of that judgment, because he still will not take the risk of losing that job.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Garth Turner Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not afraid to stand on my feet, unlike the Minister of Finance.

However, here is a very interesting statistic. The average family in Canada makes $60,000. The average speech writer for the Minister of Finance makes $300,000. The average auto worker needs to be efficient and skilled in order to keep his job. The average speech writer just needs to be a Tory.

We know the Minister of Finance will stick his neck out for his favourite people. What is he actually going to do for Canadians who work?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about Canadians who work. A set of Canadians who understand what it is to work are Conservative members of Parliament because, guess what, they show up for work, unlike the Liberal caucus, even yesterday.

In fact, I can take a look at this. The average Liberal leader shows up for work on votes 43% of the time. The average Liberal MP shows up for votes 64% of the time. Apparently they do not know what it is to show up for work, let alone work.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. Members will want to be careful about referring to the presence or absence of members. It is out of order to refer to the absence of members. Saying members are present for a certain percentage of the time can lead to all kinds of perils for all kinds of members.

The hon. member for Abbotsford.

China
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have watched with horror the destruction caused by the recent earthquake in China. The massive loss of life is truly staggering. Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs expand further on what action Canada can take to assist during this very difficult period?

China
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all Canadians I want to reiterate our condolences for the tragic loss of life as a result of the earthquake in China.

Earlier today I spoke with the Chinese chargé d'affaires to express our sympathies. I also expressed Canada's willingness to help in any way necessary, including a meaningful humanitarian assistance package. We stand here in this House for the Chinese people.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

May 13th, 2008 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, 60,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in Canada this year alone. Yesterday General Motors announced the closing of a transmission plant. Fourteen hundred more workers are going to lose their jobs.

The auto industry needs help. GM closed the transmission plant because the technology is on its way out, yet the plant is not getting a replacement because a new and modern factory is not going to happen. Why? Because the Conservatives have no auto policy and it is cheaper to open a third world factory than it is to retool a Canadian plant.

Does the Minister of Industry even care about the 1,400 people thrown out of their jobs yesterday or their families?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we certainly care about the workers in the auto industry. It is very clear that we have an auto strategy which we have been working on, after many years in this country of not having one.

In 2007 the Canadian economy created more than 355,000 jobs. This year we are off to strong start. We have created more than 117,000 jobs.

There will continue to be adjustments in the auto sector. We will continue to work with the industry. We will continue to have a strong assembly industry focused on innovation and working with government to have assembly plants that are cutting edge.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, those families need jobs. They do not need adjustments.

Let me quote:

I find it breathtaking that the party members think the only thing the economy needs, and...the auto industry needs, is a 2% reduction in the GST and happiness will follow...the auto industry would collapse under a Conservative government.

Who said that? The current Minister of International Trade did, back in 2005, so I have a question for the minister. Who are we supposed to believe? That flip-flopping minister who went over to the Conservatives or the Conservative minister who says nothing is wrong right now?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, no one has ever suggested that the automotive industry in North America does not face challenging circumstances, particularly as demand softens in the United States.

The point is that on all of the essential elements to be successful at automobile assembly, whether it is North American integration of safety standards and fuel standards or an automotive innovation fund of $250 million that this Minister of Finance put in place in this budget, and on which we are working with industry participants, on all of these indicators, we have an auto policy that is working, and in the long term this industry will be a strong and healthy one.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives face a scandal, they make a glib promise to investigate. Then they are surprised when people do not forget and expect them to follow through.

More than two months have passed now since the Prime Minister told us the NAFTA-gate affair was being investigated by the Clerk of the Privy Council. Has the clerk indicated when the Prime Minister can expect his report on the NAFTA leak?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, as I advised the House earlier, the Clerk of the Privy Council is investigating this matter and seeking to get to the bottom of it. It is a very important matter, important for Canada, important for all Canadians because of the importance of our relationship with the United States and NAFTA for our economy.

NAFTA has proven to be a very beneficial agreement. It is an agreement that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of new jobs for Canadians. It has helped increased Canadian prosperity. It has done the same in the United States. This is why it is important we keep that relationship strong.