House of Commons Hansard #95 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

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will explain, since he does not understand. We voted against it because we knew they would make an utter mess of things and that Quebec would have to pick up the pieces and make it work. That is why we voted that way.

That said, he should ask why the Bloc Québécois shares this opinion with the Quebec federation of chambers of commerce, the Quebec manufacturers and exporters association, the Conseil des relations internationales de Montréal, the Parti Québécois, and the Government of Quebec. They all denounce this decision. How can the minister of patronage be so out of touch with Quebec's reality?

Regional Economic 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, again I want to remind hon. members that we will continue to support economic organizations, but we are supporting them through one-off projects that will be submitted to us and reviewed. We want to have projects that have a beginning, a middle and an end.

We will no longer be funding operating costs, salaries, pencils and paper, forever. We want to fund one-off projects. We want to help renew recreation, tourism and economic infrastructure in the regions, through projects submitted to us by organizations.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the bad decision made by the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec will be disastrous for a large number of regional high-tech hubs such as the maritime technopole in Rimouski, the Saint-Maurice valley and Chaudière-Appalaches technopoles, and the Lanaudière bio-food development board. Such cuts will cripple these economic development agencies and, in the worst case scenario, they may disappear altogether, which will have a negative impact on all regions in Quebec.

In light of these facts, how can the minister be so intransigent and ignore the Quebec consensus?

Regional Economic 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 Economic Development Agency of Canada has a budget of approximately $200 million per year. The Liberal policy of saying yes to every organization and funding their operating expenses forever has put the department's back to the wall. That is why we are going in another direction. We will support the economic organizations but on the basis of specific projects, namely those with a beginning, middle and end.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, when we debated Bill C-9 in February 2005, the Bloc Québécois had proposed an amendment that would make Quebec the sole authority for its regional development and allow it to recover the money that the federal government spends there. The Conservatives voted against this amendment.

Is the government's ideological intransigence not proof that Quebec must repatriate all these powers?

Regional Economic 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, Quebeckers have had two opportunities to have their say in a referendum on Quebec independence and both times they chose to remain in Canada.

I would remind my colleague that under the Canadian Constitution, economic development is a jurisdiction shared by Quebec and Ottawa. It is our mission to help the economic development of Quebec regions.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Questions

May 14th, 2008 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, summer holidays are just around the corner, and consumers are yet again being gouged at the pumps, while oil companies are making huge profits and benefiting from huge subsidies and tax cuts from the government.

Does the Prime Minister know that gas has reached $1.40 in Montreal? Does he realize that consumers are suffering? His GST cut was swallowed up in no time by the companies, not making any difference for consumers. Does he realize that?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has not given a single subsidy to the oil companies. We have cut taxes for businesses—and also for families and consumers—by reducing the GST.

The NDP should support these benefits for the people.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are hundreds of millions of dollars going right into the pockets of the big oil and gas companies this very year, contrary to what the Prime Minister keeps trying to convince Canadians.

The fact is that whether we are at the pumps or whether we are at the grocery store, our prices are going up. The government has absolutely no plan to help out ordinary Canadians. It has no strategy whatsoever to deal with the rising costs. It has no vision other than just untrammelled development of the tar sands, without any restrictions at all.

So, when it comes down to the gas prices, just whose side is the Prime Minister on anyway?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in budget 2007 the government brought in the elimination of subsidies for the oil sands that the previous government had put into place. The NDP opposed that. The government, in the last year, has cut taxes, raised the basic personal exemption, cut the lowest tax rate, and cut the GST for ordinary consumers and families. The NDP voted against that.

The government has also made clear that it will require carbon capture and storage for future oil sands development. The NDP was against that, too. So, whose side is the NDP on anyway?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the finance minister tried to distance himself from all blame for a $122,000 contract that did not follow Treasury Board guidelines and which his department told him should not be sole-sourced. He blamed his former chief of staff, who has since been promoted to a $200,000 job.

It sounds like the minister said this to his chief of staff, “Hire MacPhie but spare me the details”. Is that what happened?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. I know there is a hue and cry to hear the minister, but I cannot hear with all the noise.

The Minister of the Environment now has the floor. We will have some order.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let me tell members what was said in this place. That member unconditionally and falsely smeared the minister, smeared the minister's wife, and smeared the minister's family. If he can smear and recklessly attack innocent people, he can unconditionally apologize to this House, and apologize to the minister and his family.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the simple fact of the matter is that the finance minister will not answer me because I asked about his financial interests in a school which may have benefited from his budget. That is a perfectly legitimate question. So, will the minister simply rise and tell us why he broke the rules to help Hugh MacPhie?