House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government has had two years to come up with a new plan. The House Standing Committee on Official Languages made some excellent recommendations to the minister several months ago. Nevertheless, the government thought it best to hold bogus consultations headed up by a former Conservative premier, consultations that amounted to nothing.

This is about respect. When will we get a new official languages action plan?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as I said, in our Speech from the Throne, we specifically mentioned our commitment to official language minority communities. The Liberals voted against our Speech from the Throne. In our budget, we clearly stated that we would support official language minority communities. The Liberals voted against our budget, so they have no right to say anything about this.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, the opposition members constantly attempt to worry Canadians with their complete lack of confidence in our country's economy.

Liberals especially, with their doom and gloom scenarios, seem to have given up on Canadian ingenuity. They are constantly advocating massive, short term government intervention in the economy that would send the country spiralling into deficit.

We can contrast that with our pre-emptive action to secure Canada's long term prosperity: $200 billion in tax cuts, key investments in Canadians, and debt reduction. That is why our economic fundamentals remain solid.

Could the parliamentary secretary please update this House on our government's record on job creation?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, despite global economic turbulence, Canada's employment picture remains strong. In April, for example, nearly 20,000 new jobs were created. That is 832,000 new jobs since this government came into power. The unemployment rates are at 33 year lows. Opposition MPs seem to be the only ones who are unhappy, but thankfully, most Canadians are not noticing that because they are at work.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to infrastructure, the government seems to confuse infrastructure with heritage. This was made clear this week. Not only was Parliament forced to shut down due to an infrastructure crisis but two water pipes exploded just down the street causing disrupted traffic, lost business and exorbitant emergency repair costs.

The Conservative government has forced cities to choose between using infrastructure money for their operating costs or raising taxes.

Will the minister agree to come for a walk with me down the street to see the effects of the government and previous governments' lack of attention to infrastructure? I am waiting. I am willing. Let us go.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I need not walk down the street to see that. As members know, I have quite a bit of experience from the municipal sector, having walked down the streets in Ottawa, but also in Gatineau on the other side of the river.

This government acted at the very beginning and during the last budget we decided to extend the gas tax that is going to help municipalities from coast to coast to coast to support infrastructure needs in their communities. That is something this government believes in, plus the $33 billion that we put on the table.

Heritage Waterways
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, for thousands of years the Ottawa River has been a source of life and livelihood for people living in this region. The campaign to designate the Ottawa River has been ongoing for five years in order to obtain federal recognition for what is already widely known. A request to designate the Ottawa River as a heritage river went unanswered by the Minister of the Environment. I want to ask the minister, can he confirm whether the initiative is still alive and if he is going to support it?

Heritage Waterways
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I say to my friend from Ottawa Centre: yes and yes.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the natural resources committee has been studying the forest products industry since February. Witnesses have emphasized the need for the Prime Minister to host a national summit on forestry. The Prime Minister's pitiful response is to have the Minister of Natural Resources convene a three hour meeting with a few choice guests with a secret invitation list. This is just one more example of the insult and injury to our forestry industry.

Why will the Prime Minister not commit to hosting a national summit on forestry?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed in the opposition. As he said, we have been working together at committee to put a report together. We thought we had been working in tandem with the opposition. The minister has, as the committee wanted, called a round table of forestry industry across Canada. They will be meeting here next Tuesday to discuss the future of the industry.

We are looking for the opposition to work with us. That is why we invited all the members of the committee to come out to give their input and to hear from other folks about the future of the industry. We look forward to working with them. We wish they would work with us to support the forestry industry across Canada.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, if one calls an invitation to a limited meeting working with people and stating that the session will “build upon the standing committee's study”, here is some news. The committee has not finished its work. So, is the minister, more conservatively, disrespecting? Or is the minister again misleading the forestry industry? Intentionally disrespecting or misleading?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the member knows full well that we respect the forestry industry. That is why we have created a federal mountain pine beetle program. That is why we launched the forestry industry long term competitiveness initiative. That is why we have ended the softwood lumber dispute with the United States. That is why we put the ecoenergy renewable power initiative in place. That is why we accelerated the capital cost allowance for our forestry industry and that is why we have invested $1 billion in the community development trust fund to help out that very industry.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Questions

May 9th, 2008 / 11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the British government has indicated that Canadian students will no longer be eligible for the distinguished Commonwealth scholarships. This is a move that has been called a slap in the face to Canada. Under the government we have seen numerous examples of Canada's declining influence in the world. Now our longest running and closest friend in the world has chosen to shut Canada out.

Canadian scholars want the government to act. What is the minister doing to stand up for Canada's international students? What is the government doing to save the Commonwealth scholarships for Canadian students?

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Blackstrap
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, through “Advantage Canada” we are helping to develop the most well-educated, most flexible and most skilled workforce in the world. We have invested more than 40% through social transfers to provincial governments for post-secondary education. We have also increased funding to the provinces by $39 billion. I believe that we have done more for students than the Liberal government did when it was in power.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, we are not talking about Canadian government spending. We are talking about the spending of another government that always included Canada and specifically the Commonwealth scholarships.

Many of Canada's most influential leaders in industry, public service and education have benefited from these. The government was asleep while Canada was shut out again. How does this happen?

Can the minister tell us when he was made aware of this situation, which will have a dramatic and negative impact on Canadian students and more importantly, what will he do to stand up for Canada and the Commonwealth scholarships for Canadian students?