House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister champions open federalism, his Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec is sending a clear message with his funding cuts for not for profit organizations. Everyone has criticized the actions of the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec: mayors Régis Labeaume and Gérald Tremblay, the elected members of the National Assembly, the Bloc Québécois, the Quebec manufacturers and exporters association, the Quebec federation of chambers of commerce, and the list goes on.

Does the Prime Minister realize that his cuts to economic development are turning everyone against him? Is that what he calls being open to Quebec?

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is an interesting question from the Bloc, who has long been opposed to the federal government playing any role in economic development programs for the regions of Quebec. Nonetheless, the minister is working to ensure that our programs support real economic development and job creation.

I understand that there are differences in the approach with other levels of government. The Government of Quebec, for example, is free to pursue its own policies in this matter.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister just said he is doing real economic development and that no one in Quebec is doing that. That kind of contempt for Quebec is why every premier of Quebec for decades has asked that economic development in its entirety be handed over to Quebec.

This contempt persists, since the Premier of Quebec, the mayors of Montreal and Quebec City and the president of the Union des municipalités du Québec asked the Prime Minister weeks ago to meet with them and they have not so much as received an acknowledgement of that request.

Has the Prime Minister not revealed his true colours of contempt, contempt and contempt?

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:20 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, 17 years ago today the Bloc Québécois officially came into being. Is it such a sad life to be here as a Bloc Québécois MP for 17 years and do nothing but ask questions, ask questions and ask questions? And when people ask them what they have accomplished, the answer is nothing.

We are getting things done for regional economic development. We will continue to support small and medium sized businesses and organizations through one-off projects.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mayor Labeaume of Quebec City has criticized the Minister of Labour's obtuseness in regard to some major projects that the economic development agency will no longer be funding. The mayor was very clear that the minister does not listen to anyone. The latest cuts will force the National Optics Institute in Quebec City to reconsider a number of research projects that create many high skill jobs. The entire Quebec City region is going to miss out on some major economic benefits.

Does the minister realize that some major projects are being compromised as a result of his laissez-faire ideology? Will he finally listen to reason and restore the funding for these agencies to their previous levels?

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:25 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, let me say something quickly about the National Optics Institute in Quebec City. Before I arrived, it was receiving $5 million a year on a triennial basis, or $15 million over three years. That was increased by $1 million. So then it received $6 million a year for three years, for a total of $18 million. In addition, there was a line in the budget giving it another $15 million over and above what it was already getting. All of this runs until the end of 2010.

If the National Optics Institute wants to focus more on research, it can always turn to the Department of Industry.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, it is not just the mayors of Montreal and Quebec City who are criticizing the labour minister for his stubbornness but other mayors in Quebec as well, including mayors Forest and Marcotte of Rimouski and Mascouche, who want the funding of the not for profit agencies restored. No one in this government takes the economic development of Quebec seriously any more. The parliamentary secretary just answers any old thing, as usual, and the minister does whatever he wants.

Will he finally listen to all the stakeholders in Quebec and restore the funding of these agencies? Will he do it, yes or no?

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:25 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 have just returned from Sherbrooke. Together with the University of Sherbrooke and its applied technology centre, we agreed with Bombardier Recreational Products to put a total of $10 million into a $36-million project to create jobs and make some progress in what is called applied research. Senior officials at the University of Sherbrooke told me, “Minister, that is exactly the kind of assistance we hope to get from your department and we appreciate it because this is a one-time project, and after it, we will be able to get along on our own”.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

June 16th, 2008 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Sarpoza prison break in Kandahar proves that there is a serious problem with the government's policy on the transfer of detainees. For some time now, the NDP has been saying that, given the existing conditions, transferring detainees to Afghan authorities was a mistake. Canada is not complying with its international obligations. Now, in addition to allegations of torture, some 1,000 prisoners have escaped.

What will the government do to fix this problem?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Forces always comply with their legal and international obligations. Yes, a serious incident occurred at the Sarpoza prison. That should be a reminder to the members of the House that the Taliban are a real threat. Our forces, the Afghan government and our allies are working on this incident.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has never been transparent over this issue of the transfer of detainees. For example, the number of detainees being transferred is not being updated. We have no way of knowing how many are being transferred. Proper monitoring is simply not being done when detainees are transferred. There are cases of torture, sexual abuse, corruption, and now we have seen an escape on a major scale.

The NDP has been pushing, along with Amnesty International and others, for the creation of a joint facility to keep Afghan detainees. Will the Prime Minister at least support this idea so that Canada can be sure to meet its obligations under international law?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will ask the NDP to explain the contradiction of wanting us out of Afghanistan but also to build permanent Canadian institutions there.

The reality is, as I just said, there was a very serious security incident at the Sarpoza prison. We are all aware of that. What that should remind everybody in this chamber of is how dangerous some of the prisoners in that prison are, indeed the danger of the Taliban that the local population and our Canadian Forces have to deal with every day. They should bring that appreciation to every member of the House and we should support our Canadian troops.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Taliban broke hundreds of Afghan prisoners out of Sarpoza prison in Kandahar. While the Minister of National Defence was quick to blame our Afghan allies for the setback, he ignored reports from his government by Correctional Service Canada over a year ago. The service clearly told the government that securing the perimeter of the prison itself had to be an urgent priority.

Will the minister confirm that the government knew about these reports and continued to do nothing?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Quite the contrary, Mr. Speaker. As the Prime Minister has just alluded to, the Canadian Forces continue to distinguish themselves each and every day that we are in Afghanistan.

This prison break was a very serious security breach, as everyone knows, as the member is aware. As soon as we heard of this break, Canadian Forces were deployed. They immediately arrived on the scene with efforts to cordon the area. We continue to make every diligent effort to provide security in Afghanistan so reconstruction and development can continue to take place in that war-torn country.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the accountability of our troops is not in question. It is the accountability of the government in knowing about this report.

When the House voted for the Afghan mission, we were promised more accountability, but again the government failed. Although the government knew about the problems facing Sarpoza prison, it did not do anything about it.

How many of these prisoners who broke out and are now at large threatening our troops were originally captured by Canadian Forces personnel in Afghanistan? What is the government doing in conjunction with our allies and with the Afghan authorities to ensure that they are rounded up?