House of Commons Hansard #88 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was election.

Topics

Harmonized Sales Tax
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy he asked the question. The Conservatives like regressive taxation, which hits the most disadvantaged the hardest. That is the problem. In the case of Quebec, this has already been done and it is owed money.

According to the Conservative tape, the negotiations with Quebec are moving right along. However, according to the information published yesterday by Jean-Marc Salvet in Le Soleil, they are at a standstill. Although my question is simple, it requires them to press the pause button on their tape recorder.

Will Quebec be getting the $2.6 billion due it because Quebec has already harmonized?

Harmonized Sales Tax
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I recall, the member for Outremont was in fact a member of the government in Quebec that chose to enter into a harmonization with the Government of Canada at the time.

Now he says the Ontario government is wrong to harmonize, the British Columbia government is wrong to harmonize, and Quebec should have full harmonization.

What is this inconsistency? What is this lack of understanding of the process that the provincial governments follow, including the government that he was part of?

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology) threatened to cut funding to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in order to force the organization to withdraw its financial support for a university conference that was deemed too anti-Israel.

Does the minister understand that the council is an organization designed expressly to avoid political interference in grants to scientists?

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, the research council in question has clearly stated that the email is inaccurate.

What is accurate is that this government has put $5.1 billion into science and technology. The Bloc voted against it. What is accurate is that we have increased funding to the SSHRC. The Bloc voted against it. In fact, we just put in $394 million to Quebec universities, colleges and CEGEPs, and the Bloc voted against it.

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time this government has suddenly and illogically intervened in university affairs. I would remind the House that grants for the social sciences and humanities have been diverted to applications more in line with conservative values.

Does the Prime Minister understand that he must change his science policy, beginning with his creationist minister?

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I want to inform the member that under this government we have increased SSHRC funding by 20% in three years. Natural sciences and engineering has increased 21% in three years. The NRC's budget is up 13% in three years. We are doing that because we believe in all kinds of science, from beginning to the end, from basic to discovery.

The member wants to explain to the House why he voted against $1.4 million to CEGEP de Granby for knowledge infrastructure. Why are those members voting against help for scientists and students in their own province?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, while seasonal workers have been going through a crisis for a number of years already, the Conservative government and the NDP are excluding them outright, instead of making them eligible for the 20 additional weeks of EI benefits.

On Monday, here in the House of Commons, the Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism said, while referring to employment insurance, that the extra weeks of benefits would go to those who deserved them.

Does the Prime Minister too find that seasonal workers do not deserve these 20 additional weeks of EI benefits?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we know that many Canadians were affected by this global recession. But here in Canada, we are dealing mostly with people who have worked, who have paid EI premiums and taxes for years, and who have never collected benefits, or hardly ever. It is often these people who have the hardest time finding a new job. That is why they need our help and we are providing that help. I would like to see the Liberals recognize that.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, seasonal workers too have paid premiums and taxes all their lives.

Whether it is seasonal workers in the forestry, tourism, fishing, agriculture, highway or construction sector, whether it is new graduates or mothers going back to work, why do the Conservatives and the NDP not want these people to have access to additional weeks of benefits? Why are the Conservatives saying that these people do not deserve these extra weeks? What do they have against workers? What do they have against the taxpayers of our country?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have already announced and delivered five extra weeks for all workers in Canada, up to a new maximum of 50 weeks per claim.

We have delivered an extra five weeks for all workers across Canada and increased the maximum to 50 weeks per claim. That is a big improvement.

We are also trying to help those who have been hardest hit by this global recession with a hand up while it takes them longer to get back to work. We are there for them, and we wish the Liberals--

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, a fundraiser for the natural resources minister was organized from the president's office of the Toronto Port Authority, and the minister's former executive assistant sent out invitations and collected the names, all on the taxpayer's dime.

Using a public agency for a political fundraiser is an abuse of the public trust. Has Janet MacDonald performed other political activities in the past and does the minister know of this abuse, or is this a standard Conservative fundraising practice?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, government resources, resources of taxpayers, of the agencies, boards and commissions of the government, are not to be used for political fundraising. Such practices are totally inappropriate and totally unacceptable.

Toronto Port Authority
Oral Questions

October 1st, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently the Minister of Transport appointed Robert Poirier to the port authority. Mr. Poirier is a generous Conservative donor who organized yet another fundraiser, this one for the industry minister, at $1,000 a plate.

Other board members include Craig Rix and Jeremy Adams, both former staff of the Harris Conservative government. No wonder Torontonians call it “the pork authority”.

When will the Prime Minister disband the board and return the port and the waterfront to the good people of Toronto?

Toronto Port Authority
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the basis of the member's concern about the Toronto Port Authority is that it operates an airport. She does not want the airport to be there. The people of Toronto and the people of Canada have shown overwhelmingly that they want the airport to be there. This government supports the airport being there. There is an honest difference of opinion on that.

Let me tell members why it is a good thing that airport is there. Not only is it providing support to a lot of commuters in the city of Toronto and across the country, but the airline that operates out of there is buying good Bombardier technology, Bombardier airplanes built right in the city of Toronto, and that is creating a lot of jobs for Canadian auto workers.