House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was interest.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The right hon. Prime Minister has the floor. We have to be able to hear the response.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Harper Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the simple reality is this. The reason the Liberal Party has supported the government's economic plan and allowed it to pass this spring is that more Liberals support this plan than support the carbon taxes of their own leader.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Finance deceived Canadians about the real state of the Canadian economy. He was economical with the truth.

He cited a report from the OECD to support his claim that everything is rosy. What he failed to quote was the prediction in that report that the Conservative government will have deficits in 2008 and 2009.

Why can the Minister of Finance not tell the truth to Canadians about these deficits? They deserve the truth.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would have thought that someone who taught at Harvard would have learned to read reports before he speaks of them.

If he actually read the report, he would see that it refers to all governments in Canada with respect to the risk of deficit, and it refers to a different accounting system, that of cash accounting as opposed to full accrual accounting.

This government will not run a deficit. I cannot speak for the provincial governments.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the minister that I actually did read the report and that it did predict deficits. Not only does the OECD clearly indicate the risk of a deficit, it also predicts higher unemployment rates in 2009 and thereafter.

Will the Minister of Finance admit that his bad policies have led Canada to the brink of a deficit?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said, it would have been better if the member had actually read the report. There is a difference between “government” and “governments”, between singular and plural. I am sure the member will read that report soon and he can raise it next week after members have a opportunity to read it.

The Liberals can badmouth the economy in Canada and they can badmouth hard-working Canadians, but they should at least get their facts right, even the Leader of the Opposition. There were 100,000 net new jobs in the past year in Ontario alone; 120,000 new jobs nationally in the first four months of this year.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

June 5th, 2008 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's Minister of Economic Development, Raymond Bachand, has accused his federal counterpart of showing contempt by putting an end to funding for non-profit economic development organizations such as Pôle Québec Chaudière-Appalaches. According to Mr. Bachand, Mr. [name of Minister of Labour] is destroying how Quebec approaches economic development, which is weakening Quebec.

How can the Prime Minister claim to be listening to Quebec when his Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec is going against what Quebeckers want by dismantling their economic development model?

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, this same Bloc Québécois member voted against the creation of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. This same member has said that regional economic development in Ottawa was a waste of time and energy. This same member regularly rises in this House to ask that we respect the provinces' jurisdictions.

Will this same member do what I expect him to do and also ask the Government of Quebec to respect the federal government's jurisdiction over regional economic development?

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, “this same member” will say the same thing as Jean Lesage, Daniel Johnson senior and junior, Jacques Parizeau, René Lévesque and Robert Bourassa: Quebec should have full control over economic development. That is what all the premiers of Quebec have said. Mr. Bachand said, and I quote: “He is a throwback to the days of Duplessis, who used to say to industrialists, 'Come to my office and I'll write you a cheque'—”

Is he not the true minister of patronage? The only first minister who inspires him is Duplessis.

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, where have this member and his party been for more than two years? We have introduced six new tools to support regional economic development. Recently, we also announced the 2008-2011 strategic plan, under which we will invest $212 million over three years to support regional economic diversification in Quebec, and we have targeted the hardest hit regions. We have also put in place tools for all the regions of Quebec.

Yes, we will continue to provide organizations with support, but for one-off projects.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec is being disrespectful to people in the non-profit sector when he says that their funding requests are to cover the cost of paper and pencils. People who care about Quebec non-profit organizations, people like Pierre Boivin of the Montreal Canadiens, Daniel Lamarre of the Cirque du Soleil, and the president of Ubisoft, are investing in the sector. The minister does not understand anything about Quebec's economic structure and is doing his level best to mess it up.

Will the minister come back down to earth and restore funding for non-profit organizations?

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, when organizations started coming to the department with requests for perpetual funding to cover operating expenses, salaries and other such expenses, they were mistaken. No department, no government, could possibly support that.

If the Government of Quebec believes that these organizations are important, it is free to make decisions like that because this is a matter of shared jurisdiction. It can decide to pay for operating costs. Its budget is four times bigger than ours. It has $800 million and we have $200 million.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, since the days of Jean Lesage, Quebec governments have demanded complete control over regional development, but the federal government has always refused. The minister is saying that the federal government has its own policies, and that it is just too bad if they are not in line with Quebec's development strategy.

Is the minister telling us that municipalities, the business sector, the community sector, and regional conferences of elected officials—in other words, everyone in Quebec—are all wrong and that Ottawa knows best?

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, once again, the Bloc Québécois is trying to mislead people. Economic Development Canada is not responsible for community development. We are responsible for economic development.

We will continue to support economic organizations with one-time projects—projects that have a beginning, a middle and an end. Every organization we help gets two years—almost two and a half years—to get itself off the ground. We are being very civilized about this and we are helping diversify regional economies in Quebec.