House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Equalization Payments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I am sure the member opposite knows, transfers are not being cut. In fact, the transfers this year from the Government of Canada to the provinces will be in excess of $50 billion.

Equalization itself has grown more than 50% since 2003-04. These are major transfers to the provinces. Unlike the official opposition, we will not reduce transfers for health care. We will not reduce transfers for the CST for colleges and universities. We will not fight this recession on the backs of the provinces, universities—

Equalization Payments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Honoré-Mercier.

Equalization Payments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister takes action, he must always keep social peace and national unity in mind. He must never, for personal gain, provoke conflict with the provinces or pit one province against another.

By going back on his word, the Prime Minister did not live up to our expectations of him. The Premier of Newfoundland is talking about a slap in the face while the Premier of Quebec is talking about unilateral federalism.

I want to understand. Insulting premiers, going back on his word and going after certain provinces, is that his idea of open federalism?

Equalization Payments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I commend to the member opposite the section on equalization in the budget. It is at page 189 and the subsequent pages. He should look at the chart on page 35 and look at the remarkable increases in equalization payments and transfers to the provinces.

This is a wonderful book. It is a great read in the evenings. I commend it to the member opposite. He will be edified by reading it.

Genome Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite what the Minister of State just said, the Conservative budget says nothing about the government's intentions regarding Genome Canada.

I have here a CP wire story that came out at noon today reporting that Genome Canada has announced to its European partners that, for lack of federal funding, it must withdraw from some of this year's projects. The question is simple. Will the government continue to fund Genome Canada this year and in years to come, yes or no?

Genome Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, as I have already mentioned, Genome Canada has two five year contracts. It is in year three of those five year contracts. It is receiving $106 million this year and $108 million next year. In fact, it has the funding to carry it through to March 2013. The member needs to get his facts correct.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, since 1978, the federal government has known that the water table that provides water to the residents of Shannon is contaminated with TCE, and it has not done the right thing. This is an unspeakable scandal, and the federal government must answer for its negligence and take responsibility immediately.

Will the Minister of National Defence acknowledge his responsibility and offer the aggrieved citizens fair financial compensation?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the department continues to work with the city of Quebec, the community of Shannon, the province of Quebec and various federal departments.

This problem does go back to the year 2000. We understand there are obligations that will be met. Valcartier is continuing to provide potable water to the community as we speak. Upwards of $19 million have been spent with respect to this issue. We continue to work to address this issue and the presence of TCE in the water in the region.

The Budget
Oral Questions

January 29th, 2009 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, with Liberal support, the Conservatives' budget will exacerbate social inequalities by attacking women's rights and making pay equity a negotiable right. It comes as no surprise that the only time women are mentioned in the budget is in the preliminary note in the French version, which states that the use of the masculine gender includes both women and men.

How can the minister explain this setback for women's rights? Does he think that his ideology is more important than rights?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, what I do not understand from the member is why she believes that women will have to wait 15 years in order to resolve pay equity complaints.

It has been clear from a task force that the Liberals put forward in 2004 that there needs to be a proactive system of resolving pay equity complaints.

The government is committed to that. We simply do not believe that women should have to wait 15 years in order to have these complaints resolved.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Desnoyers Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, in this Liberal-supported budget, the Conservative government has announced that it will introduce legislation to ensure the predictability of federal public sector compensation during this difficult economic period.

Does this mean that the government intends to tear up the collective agreements it signed with its employees and force them to accept new, non-negotiated salary conditions?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, many of the public sector unions realize the difficult situation that Canada is in as a result of the global recession. I believe the unions have taken a responsible attitude toward their collective agreements and the settlements they have entered into with the Government of Canada.

Nuclear Energy
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to nuclear safety, public confidence in the government is dwindling day by day. The government did not tell the public about two leaks at the Chalk River facility. We are tired of asking for reports.

Can the minister tell the public, today, why the cause of the radioactive leaks remains unknown?

Nuclear Energy
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I am very concerned about the issue raised in the media regarding the Chalk River facility. This Conservative government always has the health and safety of Canadians as its priority concern.

Indeed, today, the CNSC, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, has assured me that there is no leak into the Ottawa River, but I still asked for a report from the officials in my department, as well as the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, to get to the bottom of this.

Nuclear Energy
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, if the government is concerned about the health and safety of Canadians, it has a strange way of showing it: keeping the public in the dark about radioactive spills, dodging responsibility and serving up non-answers. Such behaviour only adds to the mistrust of Canadians for the government.

Why do reporters appear to know more about this nuclear safety breech than the department, the minister and, apparently, the Prime Minister?