House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was development.

Topics

Garment Industry
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, when I was first elected in 1997, there were 43 garment manufacturers in my riding. They employed some 7,000 skilled craftspeople. These were good jobs: union jobs with pensions, benefits and dental plans.

Since then, established companies in this industry have suffered terribly. Major established companies such as Gemini, Western Glove and Nygard are dropping like flies, one by one yielding to insurmountable forces with virtually no assistance from the federal government.

The government has abandoned the garment industry. I cannot understand why.

It is almost impossible any more to find anything that is made in Canada. When China was allowed into the WTO, Canada could have put quotas on imports so our domestic employers would have a fighting chance. The government did nothing.

Duty remission orders now are sunsetting, from 50% to 25% to zero in 2010. If the government cares about the garment industry at all, it needs to extend the duty remission orders to 2016, and at 100%, not 50%.

The government has failed to act in any meaningful way. The duty remission orders are one last chance so that these employers can keep hiring Canadians to make clothes in Canada that we can all be proud of.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister said the apology to Indian residential school survivors marked “a positive step in forging a new relationship between aboriginal peoples and other Canadians”.

This new relationship must lead to greater opportunity for the current generation of first nations children.

Recently I met with Chief Flett of St. Theresa Point and Chief Colon of Oxford House in the Churchill riding. They spoke of their longstanding struggle to attain cooperation and funding for new schools.

Provinces and territories benefit from transfer payments for such provisions, but not first nations. These schools face severe overcrowding in their classrooms, deteriorating buildings and widespread mould. As well, the school in Oxford House is situated on contaminated soil.

First nations students across Manitoba's north are determined to learn, advance their education and achieve the same hopes and dreams as all other Canadians.

Income Tax Act
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, a majority of members of this House voted in favour of Bill C-207 at third reading. The members for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean and Jonquière—Alma ignored the message from Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean and its representatives. It is deplorable that these two elected representatives and their colleagues from Quebec chose to blindly follow their party's right-wing ideology, the laissez-faire ideology the Conservatives are known for.

Yesterday, we saw proof of these members' impotence as they put their party ahead of the regions of Quebec that are in economic difficulty.

The Conservative government must now accept the verdict of the House. It has a moral obligation not to impede the bill's progress toward royal assent.

I want to thank all the people, municipalities, youth organizations and student associations who fought with me against the Conservative ideology.

Conservative Party of Canada
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been a bad couple of weeks for the Conservative Party of Canada. Conservative donors must be wondering if they are getting value for the money they are funnelling into the party's Ottawa office.

Last week was highlighted by a disastrous attempt to distract from its current scandal by drawing Canadians' attention back to the Cadman affair.

Hundreds of thousands of Conservative dollars are being spent on big city lawyers' fees for affidavits which point out that Conservative operatives offered Chuck Cadman a bribe for his vote.

Thousands of dollars are being spent on audio experts, only to have them confirm that those are the Prime Minister's unaltered words on that tape where he talks about “financial considerations” for Chuck.

This week brought back the Conservatives' ad campaign, in which the Prime Minister is represented by a talking grease spot. Unfortunately, the oily campaign will never see the light of day because even the big gasoline companies do not want to be associated with the Conservative government.

Yes, Conservative donors are receiving excellent returns on their investment. Or are they?

Tax Freedom Day
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have great news to share with Canadians. Tax Freedom Day, the day when Canadians have paid off the total tax bill imposed on them by government, is tomorrow, June 14, four days earlier than last year and 11 days earlier than the last full year of the former tax and spend Liberal regime.

Our Conservative government is cutting taxes in every way we can. As promised, we cut the GST from 7% to 6% to 5%. We have reduced the overall tax burden to the lowest point in almost 50 years. Almost $200 billion in tax cuts means that Canadians are keeping more of their money.

Tax Freedom Day is fantastic news for almost everyone in Canada except the Liberal leader and his party, whose carbon tax trick and planned GST hike push Tax Freedom Day closer to December.

This government will not let that happen.

Department of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

June 13th, 2008 / 11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a simple question for the government. I would like to ask why the Minister of Public Works, Michael Fortier, demanded the resignation of his assistant, Bernard Côté?

Department of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:15 a.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, questions were raised Tuesday with regard to Mr. Côté's actions. Minister Fortier himself immediately asked him to provide an explanation. Mr. Côté then submitted his resignation, which the minister accepted.

I would also like to add that the Liberal Leader in the Senate, Senator Hervieux-Payette, told the Senate on Wednesday: “I thank the minister for his diligence in this matter.”

We did our job.

Department of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I did not really get an answer from the parliamentary secretary. He did not outline for us what happened to persuade Mr. Côté to take this decision.

I would like to ask the following question. Why are the activities of Mr. Côté a matter of public interest whereas those of the member for Beauce and Ms. Couillard are considered a private matter?

How does he explain this clear contradiction in the government's position?

Department of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.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, there is no contradiction whatsoever.

Mr. Côté did not recuse himself from a conversation with somebody on a government file. Mr. Côté was confronted with questions about his behaviour by Minister Fortier. Mr. Côté offered his resignation. He immediately resigned. This government takes its responsibility on accountability very seriously. Mr. Côté no longer works for the federal government.

Department of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is engaged in a systematic obfuscation of a series of issues that are clearly important. The answer it always gives us is that the Department of Foreign Affairs is reviewing the only matter that is of public interest.

Let me ask this of the parliamentary secretary or whoever else will answer the question. How can an administrative review by the Department of Foreign Affairs possibly include the following questions: the questions of conflict within the Department of Public Works and Government Services involving people on the minister's staff and Madam Couillard; Madam Couillard's application to the Department of Transport; and issues of security and organized crime and the Government of Canada?

How can a tiny little administrative review--

Department of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Department of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. government House leader.

Department of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.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 Liberal member for Vancouver South made it clear how the Liberals view this issue and why they are for holding a legislative inquiry when he said, speaking of Madam Couillard, “Who else does she have relationships with? I'd like to know”.

The member for Toronto Centre is right. That will not be covered by the foreign affairs inquiry because that is not really a matter of public interest.

We are worried about the issue that does matter in this regard. That is the question of documents that were left in an unsecured place. That is the one legitimate question of national security that is concerned.

Department of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP refused to tell the public safety committee whether it advised the Privy Council Office about Julie Couillard, but the Privy Council felt no such compunction. Why the double standard?

The government's whole defence in this matter is a pure fabrication of convenience.

Why does the government continue to insist in the case of the ex-foreign affairs minister that it is a private matter while a similar private matter was sufficient for Mr. Côté to be unceremoniously fired by the unelected Mr. Fortier?

Department of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.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 issue with regard to Mr. Côté was a question of having been lobbied on an issue, having a relationship with someone on that issue and not having recused himself. That is very different from any other issues that arise here and that is why his resignation was tendered and accepted.

We know the real issues that the opposition wants to pursue. The member for Vancouver South, the Liberal member who just spoke, said it quite clearly and he said it many times. He wants to know about Madam Couillard: “Who else does she have relationships with? I'd like to know”. Those are his words because that is how he defines this issue. That is why he thinks there should be a legislative inquiry.

With the greatest of respect, we do not think that is a proper subject for a legislative inquiry.