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

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, clearly, the RCMP is taking the Conservatives' attempts to bribe Chuck Cadman seriously. Tom Flanagan's book clearly shows that John Reynolds and the current Minister of Natural Resources played a key role in the attempts to convince Mr. Cadman to change his vote.

Has the RCMP questioned either of these two people?

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, we will see if the fourth time is the charm. The member asked this question twice yesterday and his colleague just asked it again.

This is not APEC in 1997, when it was the Liberals who were accused of interfering in an RCMP investigation. The RCMP operates independently of the government. Whoever it may be questioning is up to the RCMP. I think my colleague can understand that. He is a lawyer. I believe he passed the bar somewhere. He should know that if the RCMP is questioning people, it is probably a good idea to keep the list of people it is questioning private. If he has questions about who the RCMP is questioning he ought to direct them to the RCMP.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, nobody is asking the parliamentary secretary whether the RCMP should be interfered with. What we are asking is whether privy councillors and ministers have been questioned by the RCMP.

An appointment to the Privy Council used to be accompanied by a background check. When the Prime Minister decided to appoint John Reynolds to the Privy Council, did the government disclose to the RCMP his involvement in this sordid Cadman affair? Is John Reynolds cooperating with the RCMP now in its investigation into this Conservative corruption?

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

The central question here, Mr. Speaker, we have answered. As they say, “There is no there there”.

The accusations by the Liberals on this matter are entirely false. We have been very clear about what we offered to Chuck Cadman, which was his rejoining of the Conservative caucus to vote against the Liberals. They have asked about in and out: we wanted Chuck Cadman in so we could throw the corrupt Liberals out.

Manufacturing Sector
Oral Questions

May 13th, 2008 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is deluding himself if he thinks Canada's economy is not operating at two different speeds. He boasts that 19,000 jobs were created last month, but he claims not to know that during that same month 19,000 jobs were lost in Quebec, a province whose exports will decrease by 4.5% this year.

Instead of burying his head in the sand, will the minister immediately implement an assistance plan for the manufacturing sector, as the Bloc Québécois has been asking him to do for months now?

Manufacturing Sector
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the unemployment rate is at a 33 year low in Canada. There are more people working in Canada than ever before in the history of the country. There is more labour mobility in Canada than ever before in the history of the country.

Our economic fundamentals are solid. We have low interest and low inflation. We have a balanced budget. We are paying down debt. We are reducing taxes. All of it is great for the economy of Canada and Quebec.

Manufacturing Sector
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the minister that Quebec has lost 19,000 jobs. In reality, the nearly $15 billion in tax cuts made by the Conservatives in 2007 have not helped the sectors in difficulty. Instead, they have widened the gap between the provinces and unfairly favoured the oil companies to the detriment of Quebec's manufacturing sector.

Will the government accept the facts and introduce targeted measures to help the manufacturing sector, measures such as refundable tax credits for research and development, as the entire manufacturing sector has been asking it for?

Manufacturing Sector
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

As the hon. member knows, Mr. Speaker, there are substantial initiatives. In particular, the aeronautics sector in the province of Quebec benefits tremendously from the research and development grants from the Government of Canada. This is a strong sector of the Quebec economy and a strong part of the Canadian economy. It is the future economy type of industry in Canada, where there is high tech, research and innovation.

I am sure the hon. member is proud of the efforts by the current government to make sure that industry grows in Quebec.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the Supreme Court is hearing from unions arguing that the federal government diverted the $54 billion surplus from the employment insurance fund, money that was contributed exclusively by employees and employers.

The Conservatives have admitted to taking that money out of the fund, so will the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development submit a plan to reimburse the fund as quickly as possible instead of hiding behind the judges?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to helping those who are temporarily out of work. We reduced employment insurance contributions and increased benefit payments. In addition, we created a separate account for the employment insurance fund to ensure that workers' money will never again be used as a cash cow.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, speaking on behalf of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, Michel Bédard, former chief actuary for the employment insurance fund, warned that the $2 billion reserve fund was not enough and could cause problems for the system should a recession occur. He recommended a business-cycle-based plan to reimburse the fund to ensure the system's longevity.

Is that not enough proof that we need a plan to reimburse the fund?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, what the fund cannot withstand is the Liberal government taking $50 billion out of it.

The fact is that this government has set aside a fund, put it at arm's length and put $2 billion in it to ensure that we have a cushion in case there is a shortfall of premiums.

That is $2 billion more than exists today. All benefits are backstopped by the Government of Canada. There is no danger in regard to what the member says. The real danger is ravenous Liberal governments that want to take all that money for themselves instead of sending it to workers.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec should be happy, since he has been given concrete examples with concrete, measurable results in terms of jobs created, jobs consolidated and investments made.

However, the minister shuts himself off in his bubble, using logic that he alone understands. He is probably the only person who thinks it is a good idea to stop the funding for Montréal International and PÔLE Québec Chaudière-Appalaches, no matter how successful they are.

So I ask him: is he going to come and explain his absurd and unacceptable decisions to a committee of this House?

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 remind you that we are continuing to support the non-profit organizations, what are referred to as economic development organizations, when they submit one-time projects that have a beginning, a middle and an end.

On the question of operating expenses, wages, paper and pencils, that is over. The organizations now have two years to prepare a transition plan that will enable them to operate under their own steam.

However, if they have one-time projects, they will still be considered, like any other project, and we will support them.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister was presented with precise figures relating to jobs created and consolidated in Montreal and the greater Quebec City region, figures that reflect the success of non-profit organizations like Montréal International and PÔLE Québec Chaudière-Appalaches. These are organizations that can bring together all the economic actors in a region to coordinate their activities. These organizations know how to attract investment and jobs to our regions.

Why end the funding for these organizations, whose only sin is that they do their job well?