House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was products.

Topics

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister is showing an absolutely incredible lack of respect.

Raymond Bachand, the Quebec minister of economic development, innovation and export, has accused his federal counterpart of contempt in cutting funding to non-profit economic development organizations.

Instead of ignoring what Quebec is asking for, will the minister agree to transfer all the money to Quebec so that it can have all the tools it needs for its own economic development?

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, the short answer is no. Regional economic development is a shared jurisdiction.

The Government of Canada has an annual envelope of roughly $200 million, while the Government of Quebec's Department of Economic Development, Innovation and Export has an envelope of $800 million, which is four times as much as we have.

If Minister Bachand wants to cover the recurring operating costs of the organizations forever, he has everything he needs to do so. It is up to him.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, GM workers in Oshawa are simply trying to save their jobs. I was with them this week to show my support, but where was the government? Not with the workers, in any case. Indeed, this government, like the previous government, is ignoring the issues facing workers. It has no strategy to transform the industry, no plan to preserve jobs and no desire to build environmentally-friendly and hybrid cars here.

Why is this government abandoning the GM employees and workers in Oshawa? Why?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 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, this government is very determined to see success in the auto sector, including at GM. We have instituted a number of policies, including tax cuts, a cut in the GST that make it easier for people to purchase cars, tax cuts for their income that has helped them in that regard and the accelerated capital cost allowance to help auto manufacturers.

I would say that the policy within Canada is working. Auto sales were 103,000 in January. In February sales went up to 111,000, March 150,000, April 175,000, and May 184,000. The problem is in exports to the United States and in this regard, we are going to work with GM to try to find ways to solve that.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, tell those numbers to the 10,800 people who have lost their jobs in Oshawa just in the last two years.

Behind every one of those job losses is a family, like Bobby's family. I drove in her truck around the facility the other day. She has worked in that plant for 27 years. We are getting hooting and cat calling from the government members here. They do not give a damn about people like Bobby and the working families who have been building this country for years. Let the Conservatives keep up their heckling.

I am asking the government when it is going to take some action for these workers and start to put a plan in place--

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. I would urge restraint, again, in the language of all hon. members. It is unnecessary, I think, to use words like that. The hon. government House leader.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, the government has had a plan in place and in large part thanks to the hard work of the member for Oshawa, who has been pressing from the start the importance of a click in the auto industry to be able to compete with changing times.

He is one of the reasons why we have a $250 million auto innovation fund to help make our auto industry more competitive as it faces changing times, as the markets in the United States go a little bit soft.

We have done what we can to keep the Canadian markets strong. We are doing what we can, through our auto innovation fund, through the national research council, and through others to help them compete, and we will continue work with GM to make--

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the apology to be delivered on Wednesday to the victims of Indian residential schools, we have made the point repeatedly that it is not sufficient for aboriginal leaders, elders and survivors to sit in the galleries or stand outside on this historic occasion. They must be invited to join members of Parliament on the floor of the House to receive the apology in person.

Last week, the government's response to this suggestion was essentially no, but that appears to have changed. Will the government confirm that aboriginal people will indeed be seated on the floor of the chamber, and specifically, who has been invited?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, of course, we are committed, as I have said many times, to have a very meaningful and respectful apology.

It will be on Wednesday and I would ask the hon. member to show some respect for the occasion, which will be a historic moment.

It will be an occasion where representatives of survivor groups will be here on the floor of the House of Commons along with the leaders of the five national aboriginal organizations.

We look forward to that event and to the subsequent ceremonies that will take place in the Railway and Reading rooms. This will be a very nice occasion.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, this event should indeed be one of historic proportions, an integral part of reconciliation between the Government of Canada and aboriginal peoples. Both sides need to have a voice.

Will Canada's aboriginal leaders have the opportunity to respond to the apology, also right here on the floor, where their responses will be officially preserved in the Hansard of the House of Commons?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, we are looking forward to this occasion, the apology here on the floor of the House of Commons.

There will be occasion, of course, for the Prime Minister to present that apology, as promised in the throne speech. The opposition leaders will have a chance to respond to that.

There will be other parts of the ceremony, including other speeches, other ceremonies, gift exchanges, and other things that are also important that will take place here in the House of Commons, in the adjoining room following the actual apology here in the House of Commons.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, details of the plan for Wednesday, the day of the residential school apology, are gradually now trickling out.

Aboriginal leaders and survivors should have been fully consulted every step of the way. By now they should be aware of the text of the apology, and we know that is not the case.

In order to properly prepare a response, will national aboriginal leaders have an opportunity to view the text no later than tomorrow, a day prior to the statement of apology in the House of Commons?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to hear there is concern about the text of the apology.

We have done extensive consultations. The Prime Minister has met with various members of survivor groups and former students. I have done the same thing. We have had submissions from national and regional organizations, and survivor groups from across the country.

All this has helped us put together what I think will be a very good apology, very complete, and it will be one of those moments when all Canadians and all parliamentarians will be very proud to be here for that moment.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

However, Mr. Speaker, will they see the text ahead of time?

The statement of apology should be a historic event. It must be done right. In order to truly have national impact, the apology must include present and former national leaders in addition to the aboriginal representatives.

As a true gesture of respect and reconciliation to the survivors and their families, has the government extended an official invitation to the apology to the Governor General, to all former Canadian prime ministers, to members of the Senate, and to members of the Supreme Court?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the apology will be here in the House of Commons. It will be very meaningful and respectful. There will be representatives here in the House of Commons to represent the 100,000 former students who are waiting to hear this apology.

We will have representatives here, both the oldest living survivor and the youngest one. We will have representatives from different organizations, both Métis, Inuit and first nations. It is going to be a great occasion.

First nations and the aboriginal people know what is going on here. They know they are going to get what the government promised in the throne speech, a respectful apology.