House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copenhagen.

Topics

Children
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that there is no choice for parents if there are no additional spaces. It is as simple as that.

The economics of it are unquestioned. It is one of the biggest job creators and one of the biggest returns on investment. It is even supported by the Bank of Canada.

We need to invest now to have the smartest, most skilled labour force on the planet but the government cancelled the early learning and child care agreements with the provinces, and the minister knows that. The Conservatives just do not get it. It is also about the early development of a child.

When will the Conservative government invest in children and their future in this country?

Children
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member's earpiece is not working, so I will say it again.

Our government is investing three times more than the previous Liberal government ever did in early learning and child care The big difference between us is that we believe parents know best how to raise their children. We introduced the universal child care benefit so that parents could have a choice in how their children are raised in the early years and they could have the financial freedom to follow that choice, which is something the Liberals opposite never believed in. They said that parents would only spend the money on beer and popcorn. Shame on them.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, AbitibiBowater is presently under bankruptcy protection and is in the process of restructuring. However, during that process, a $1.3 billion pension fund shortfall was discovered. The retirement income of more than 30,000 Canadian families is now at risk.

The management of AbitibiBowater and its partners at CEP have agreed to a plan to overcome this shortfall but it requires government action from both the provincial and the federal governments.

Will the Minister of Finance please agree to meet with the company and union representatives before December 1 to help secure these pensions?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is a very important question because it impacts a lot of Canadians who are concerned about their pensions.

In fact, the federal finance minister has agreed to meet with both parties. The member for Kenora has already met with AbitibiBowater but the Minister of Finance has encouraged the parties to meet with the provincial governments first, because it is their jurisdiction, and then he will sit down and meet with them.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, if Canada had a national pension insurance plan like Britain, Japan, Switzerland, Germany or even the United States have, then the workers and retirees at AbitibiBowater, Nortel, Air Canada and the other companies across Canada with troubled pension plans would not need to worry about losing their pensions.

When can the workers of this country, Canadian workers, expect the government to take real action on pension reform and institute a national pension insurance plan?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I will share with all members of the House that I actually had a meeting in my office this morning with the member. He is working with the government to ensure all Canadians have adequate incomes to retire on. We just wish some of the other parties on the other side would catch up.

We have put in place a retirement income working group, which is the finance ministers of all the provinces and the federal finance minister, that is now studying the matter and will be reporting back. The working group will be coming forward with those results very soon.

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada-Colombia free trade agreement provides a unique opportunity for Canadian exporters to secure duty-free access to a market where their main competitors have none. This kind of advantage is critical for exporters relying on tight margins to survive and grow, but the NDP and the Bloc, with support from the Liberals, have been holding up this important economic bill for more than 33 hours.

Could the minister of state tell the House why we need to stop the delays to get Bill C-23 moving?

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, Canada's deal with Colombia is good for Canadian business but economic opportunities and human rights are not mutually exclusive. We are talking about an agreement that will bind Colombia to tougher labour and environmental standards and improved human rights. More important, we are creating legitimate jobs and opportunities for Colombians looking for alternatives to narco trafficking.

I want to join the Council of Chief Executives and Canadian manufacturers and exporters in urging the opposition parties, all of the opposition parties, to pass Bill C-23 without any further delay.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the port of Canso sits at the heart of the fishing industry in Chedabucto Bay. The Guysborough County Inshore Fisherman's Association reports a recent increase in the amount of illegal fishing activity in the area, along with a spike in the number of transient fleets and recreational boaters. However, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has announced its intention to abandon the current operational centre in Canso. The community has come forward with a number of possible solutions.

Will the parliamentary secretary assure us today that he will have the minister commit, on her part, to ensure that office stays open where it belongs, in the town of Canso?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission
B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the conservation of fisheries resources is our highest priority in DFO. Fisheries officers must be located where they can do their jobs most effectively.

DFO's analysis of its operational requirements has led to a consideration of moving some offices in eastern Nova Scotia to improve their efficiency but no decisions have been made as yet. Consultations are taking place with the community. If the member has some information that he thinks we should consider as we make this decision, we would be happy to receive it.

Lobster Industry
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the transitional measures program for the lobster industry is penalizing harvesters in the Magdalen Islands who shouldered their responsibilities by implementing conservation measures in the past. This week, the minister announced that she had approved applications for compensation from harvesters throughout Atlantic Canada. Yet harvesters in the Magdalen Islands are telling us that the programs do not apply to them and that their requests for assistance have gone unheard.

Can the minister tell us how many lobster harvesters in the Magdalen Islands will receive compensation under this program?

Lobster Industry
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission
B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the program to which my colleague refers, the short-term transitional measures program, was put in place by our government to support lobster dependent harvesters who are most seriously affected by the downturn in the wholesale price due to the global economic recession.

Eligibility criteria were put in place after extensive consultation with all parties and we have been receiving applications since September 22. Over 1,000 applications have been approved, about $5 billion have been disbursed and more applications will be received.

Airline Industry
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week we learned that the transport minister's office has been trying to sabotage efforts to pass Bill C-310, the air passengers' bill of rights. The Conservatives have been working with airline executives to kill the bill, putting their lobbyist friends ahead of Canadians' interests.

The European court of justice in Luxembourg has ruled that passengers are entitled to compensation for flight delays, the same as for cancellations and overbooked flights.

Will the government follow the lead set by the EU and put passengers first? Will it work with us to pass the bill of rights?

Airline Industry
Oral Questions

Noon

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we understand the real concerns with respect to families, small business people and others who use our airlines. When they experience delays, whether it is mechanical, administrative or with regard to weather, we certainly are prepared to work with the industry and with all members of the House.

I know his bill is before committee. As it is currently written, many of us have serious concerns about it, and particularly the effects it would have on rural parts of Canada which have smaller airports that are dependent on airlines.

However, we look forward to the committee hearings, the clause-by-clause discussion, and further debate on this bill.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

November 20th, 2009 / noon

Conservative

Ray Boughen Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. and Canada are each other's largest agricultural trading partners.

In 2008 bilateral agricultural trade totalled approximately $37 billion. However, the country of origin labelling measure created by the United States imposes an unfair and unnecessary cost on our integrated North American supply chains.

Could the Minister of Agriculture inform the House and Canadian farmers on where the government is going next in fighting COOL?