House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tobacco.

Topics

Gasoline Prices
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, as the leader of the NDP well knows, those subsidies were phased out at the beginning of budget 2007, except that he actually voted to keep them.

The reality, of course, is that in the United States as well as in Canada oil prices are set in international markets. They are not set by governments, with the exception of the taxes that governments do impose.

I would just point out that the NDP and others have to stop contradicting themselves. They cannot demand cheap oil and at the same time demand that we get off oil. Our government is making sure that we put in place policies to make the transition to a non-oil economy in the future.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

June 10th, 2008 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is reneging on its federal obligation to support regional economic development in Quebec.

Why is he cutting funding to not-for-profit organizations that have contributed so much to Quebec's development?

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, if the Liberal Party had managed economic development funds properly when it was in power, we would not be in this position today. That party allowed organizations to keep coming back to our department, thinking that all they had to do was ask the government, and they would receive.

We will continue to support the same organizations, but we will be supporting one-time projects with a beginning, a middle and an end. We will not be funding organizations indefinitely.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is so typical of a government that never accepts responsibility and always tries to offload it onto the previous government. That is not acceptable.

The Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec was at the helm when half his budget was cut. Is that not the real reason the Conservative cabinet cut economic partnerships that had proven their worth?

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, that is not true. I have about the same level of funding as I had last year to support economic development in the regions of Quebec.

What kind of projects do we plan to support in the future? We plan to support Refuge Pageau, in Abitibi—Témiscamingue, a specific project with a beginning, a middle and an end; the Véloroute des Bleuets in Saguenay; the Trois-Rivières airport; the Alma airport; the Baie-Comeau transshipment facility; and the acquisition of a submarine in Rimouski, which will attract tourists to the region. These are all specific projects that will create jobs and continue to support economic activity in the regions.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is fine with the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec if his budget is cut in half. As long as he can continue to hand out goodies in his own riding, nothing bothers him—and he sure does hand out a lot of goodies.

He has already spent 20% of his budget in his own riding even though it represents just 4% of all Quebeckers. He has cut funding to Montreal International, PÔLE Québec Chaudière-Appalaches and others. Why? Is it simply to pay for more roads in his riding?

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 wonder if those watching think it is reasonable for this department to cover the costs of economic organizations forever, when our mission is to support the economic development of the regions. These economic organizations have taken all the room to manoeuvre out of our department.

I am freeing up money that will stay in the same regions but will support one-off projects, whether for small to medium sized businesses or for economic organizations. It will support one-off projects.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, when we ask him about these stupid ideological cuts, the minister tells us that it is not just him, but cabinet that made the decision. He caved. And where was the so-called political lieutenant for Quebec when the economic development of Quebec stopped being a priority for cabinet? Where was the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages when the interests of Quebec were being ignored?

And if the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec does not make any decisions in his own department, if he bends to the will of his colleagues and does not defend the regions, then what exactly are we paying him for?

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, a few weeks ago, we gave $1.25 million to the Montreal Grand Prix for a one-off project to help set up a state of the art press centre meeting today's needs.

Our department will continue to support the economic development of the regions of Quebec. We will help small- and medium-sized businesses buy equipment and so forth and create jobs in the regions. We will also provide organizations—I am still talking about economic organizations here—with support for one-off projects, projects that have a start, a middle and an end.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, we just learned this morning that Julie Couillard spared no effort to get access to Conservative ministers. In just a few short days, she managed to meet two. Experts have told us that this is how criminal organizations infiltrate political circles.

Considering Julie Couillard's shady past, and also considering the fact that she was known to the RCMP, was there not a blatant disregard for public safety?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:35 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, I understand that members opposite have been back to the hairdresser to get new material.

The minister received no representations from Madam Couillard on behalf of Kevlar. However, I am sure that will not stop the other parties from continuing their exercise at the legislative committee.

We have chosen a different approach. We are having a responsible review of this matter. It will be dealt with by Foreign Affairs, which will be reporting back to us on its findings.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, Julie Couillard attended a very private fundraising cocktail for the Conservative association in the riding of Châteauguay—Saint-Constant. In order to gain access, she turned to André Turcot, the president of the association, who knew her very well. Her name had been floating around in September as a potential Conservative candidate.

How does the Prime Minister expect us to believe that although the RCMP, a local Conservative Party organizer and the former minister of foreign affairs knew about this woman's shady past, he knew nothing?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:35 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 said, I am sure that at the legislative committee those members will spend a lot of time on the interesting backgrounds of individuals and their private lives. We are focused on the public policy issues. That is why the Department of Foreign Affairs will be dealing with any issues arising from this in its review.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, directors of organizations that work with young offenders oppose the federal law undermining the rehabilitation of young offenders. Daniel Côté, from Centre jeunesse de Québec, says that the law does not take into account young people's personal needs and particular circumstances. Linda Keating, from another youth centre, criticizes the changes in the law's criteria that will not allow the right action at the right time.

With the rate of youth crime now lower in Quebec than in the rest of Canada, does the Minister of Justice realize that the current law is undermining the rehabilitation of young offenders?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Fundy Royal
New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

In fact, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice has kicked off a Youth Criminal Justice Act review by meeting with his provincial and territorial counterparts. Their experience in the administration of the Youth Criminal Justice Act is invaluable. We will be working with all stakeholders to improve the act.