House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was airport.

Topics

Court Challenges Program
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, this is not about politics. Our government and the FCFA reached an out of court settlement that we are very proud of. All parties negotiated in good faith, and we agreed to respect the confidentiality terms.

Court Challenges Program
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is appalling to see how the government has taken linguistic minority communities hostage. Precisely because they are a minority, these communities need stability and predictability, without being subject to partisan threats.

Why is the government using linguistic minority communities for its own narrow political gains?

Court Challenges Program
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, in the throne speech last fall and in the latest budget, our government committed to releasing the second phase of the official languages action plan by the end of spring. As always, we will keep our promise.

Court Challenges Program
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, for years the court challenges program, established by previous Liberal governments, has helped all minority groups to have access to the courts to protect their rights. For example, the program has been very useful for the advancement of women's rights. Given the limited scope of the government's new court challenges pretend program, women's organizations would still be shut out.

Will the government commit to re-establishing a court challenges program to which all minorities would have access?

Court Challenges Program
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the confidentiality conditions governing this agreement will remain in place until further notice.

That being said, we made a clear commitment to women's groups: we announced additional funding for programs—a 76% increase to enable more Canadian women to achieve concrete goals.

Court Challenges Program
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

However, no access to the courts, Mr. Speaker. One of Canada's strengths has been the ability of all minorities to defend their rights. That is why the government should not be able to exclude minority groups from the court challenges program. The Conservative government is sending the message that in its Conservative eyes all minority groups are not equal. They are cherry-picking who can defend their rights and who cannot.

Why will the government not ensure that all Canadians can defend their rights and prevent problems rather than making mistakes and apologizing later?

Court Challenges Program
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned repeatedly, the terms of the agreement are still confidential. When we can make them public, we will.

That being said, our government has done so much for Canadians, whether they belong to minority groups or not. The Liberal Party is proposing a carbon tax that would hit all Canadians, including minorities.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

June 17th, 2008 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, today in a letter, Quebec's minister of economic development spoke out against the disdainful remarks by the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec about not-for-profit organizations. He wrote:

These are disrespectful words and insulting to a great many businesses, economic leaders, and men and women who contribute... to the growth of the Quebec economy.

Is the Prime Minister aware of the level of exasperation among Quebec's elected representatives and economic stakeholders, and will he reverse this bad decision by his minister and restore funding for these bodies?

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:50 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, first of all I would point out to the hon. member that we are going to be continuing to fund organizations of an economic nature, but on a the basis of individual projects with clear timelines. Moreover, this decision provides us with some scope to intervene in all regions of Quebec.

I would remind hon. members that, as a result of the last budget, an additional $1.6 billion went to the Government of Quebec. We share a federalism of openness, and remedying the fiscal imbalance has freed up $242 million more for the Quebec minister.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the bad decision by the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec demonstrates his lack of understanding of the economic dynamic of Quebec. For example, the mandate of the Quebec Film and Television Council is to attract foreign productions here, through ongoing actions, not just one-shot efforts. Its tireless and efficient efforts have resulted in a doubled economic spinoff from film in Quebec between 2006 and 2007. It could end up closing as early as this fall, thanks to the minister's cuts.

Will the Prime Minister reverse this bad decision by his minister and will he restore the funding of the Quebec Film and Television Council in order to avoid its closure?

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:50 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 will say again, we are active in all regions of Quebec. Our budget has remained around the $200 million mark this year. There is even an additional $24 million over two years to enable us to develop the body of infrastructures around the cruise ship industry, which will be of great benefit to Quebec.

I would like to take a few moments to speak about the greater Montreal region. Do the words Ubisoft divertissement Inc. ring a bell with the hon. member? We contributed a repayable amount of $8 million out of a total $18 million project, which created 500 jobs in the greater Montreal region.

Human rights
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, is stepping down at the end of the month. She has already been congratulated by people the world over for her courage and candour, but here, this Conservative government is remaining silent, humiliating Canada in front of the international community.

Is it true that the Prime Minister himself has asked that Canadian representatives say nothing?

Human rights
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Shame on her.

Human rights
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we congratulate the work of Louise Arbour. We very strongly support the United Nations in its pursuit of the protection of human rights and will continue to do so.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the human resources committee heard from UK officials about their fuel poverty strategy. They say new taxes on the domestic use of fuel and power have an unacceptable social impact.

The groups adversely impacted by higher fuel taxes are people living on low incomes, the elderly, rural residents, and young, single women. They cautioned that Canada should look carefully at the winners and losers before pursuing such policies.

Can the Minister of Human Resources tell this House about the impact of a Liberal carbon tax on vulnerable members of Canadian society?