House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region recently said that under the Investment Canada Act, Rio Tinto Alcan will soon be subject to a review and will have to prove that it is honouring the conditions and commitments it undertook towards the government.

The minister is suggesting that his government imposed conditions on Rio Tinto's acquisition of Alcan. If that is the case, can the Minister of Industry tell us what those conditions were?

Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, Rio Tinto's proposal to acquire Alcan was approved based on its plans and commitments, which demonstrated that Canada was likely to benefit. My representatives have been in contact with the company to oversee the application of those plans and commitments, and they will continue to do so. I believe Rio Tinto will honour its commitments.

Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government missed out on an excellent opportunity to demand guarantees from Rio Tinto regarding employment and processing activities in the region, and simply contented itself with Alcan's original commitments.

Can the minister tell us the truth once and for all, and acknowledge that he made a serious mistake by not imposing any conditions on Rio Tinto?

Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. Rio Tinto made commitments with an action plan and probable benefits for Canada. I will do my job and protect Canadian jobs.

Culture
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the documents supporting the cuts in funding for culture will not be made public by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages on the grounds that they are cabinet discussion documents and thus classified as secret. That is pretty weak. Either the documents do not exist or their conclusions do not suit the government.

Either way, is the refusal to make these documents public not proof that there was no basis for these cuts?

Culture
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, yesterday before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage I explained each decision taken by our government. I spoke about each of them in detail. Our government wants to meet the needs of our artists. If a program like Trade Routes costs $5 million and provides only $2 billion in benefits, it is not an effective exchange for artists or taxpayers. We are investing $2.3 billion for artists, and the Bloc is opposing it.

Culture
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, there was no in depth analysis yesterday, despite what the minister is saying. If he did his analyzing that way, we can understand why he reaches such hare brained conclusions. This government unveiled the budget at every forum before presenting it to the House. To say it is secret and he cannot provide it because it was a matter of cabinet discussions is pretty weak.

Will the minister acknowledge that the real reason for his refusal to reinstate funding has more to do with a desire for vengeance on artists and on Quebec, given his party's defeat there in the most recent election?

Culture
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, here is a clear analysis for all Canadians, Quebeckers and my colleague's constituents. In this budget, there is more money for festivals, theatres, libraries, small museums, the national arts training program, dance, music, art, drama and Canadians' access to magazines and community newspapers. There is more money for the Canadian television fund, restoration of historic sites and the Quebec City armoury.

That is a clear analysis. It is in the budget, which the Bloc opposes.

Culture
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, when he appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, the minister took advantage of the opportunity to throw some numbers around that do not hold water. He said that the budget included $276 million for new investments in culture, which is not true. Even if we were to humour him by accepting that number, then compared it to the money invested in stimulating the economy, we would see that only eight-tenths of one per cent of that amount is going to culture—not even one per cent.

Is that what he calls investing in our priorities?

Culture
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Again, Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Honoré-Mercier conveniently forgets that under this Conservative government we have increased funding for arts and culture every single year we have been in power. Of course he ignores that fact.

We have increased funding again for arts and culture in this budget. We have new money for festivals, new money for libraries, new money for museums, new money across the board, more money for cultural spaces. There is more money for Canadians for arts and culture under our government than under any government in Canadian history.

Of course, we are going to continue this approach because we believe in arts and culture, even if the Liberal Party is ignorant of the facts.

Culture
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in that same committee hearing, I asked the Minister of Canadian Heritage a very simple question to which he partially responded, but a full answer is required, so I will ask him again. Can he guarantee to the House and to all Canadians that his government will never again use its power to censor culture in our country?

Culture
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we did not do it before, so of course we will not be doing it again.

With regard to arts and culture, our government has supported Canadian heritage and supported important institutions that are important to the future of this country, important to the quality of life of Canadians. For example, there is more money for institutions like the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Ontario Museum, all these fantastic institutions that improve the quality of life of Canadians.

We are making these investments that are important to Canadians. We are going to continue to do it because it is what Canadians elected us to do.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Government of the United States is discussing with a number of its allies the question of what to do with those who are currently prisoners in Guantanamo.

I would like to ask the minister whether or not Canada is participating in these discussions and whether or not discussions about Guantanamo will be held between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States when he comes next week.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon we will have the possibility of going into more depth on that. With regard to his first question, the answer is no. On his second question, I believe that the agenda that is going to be discussed between the President of the United States and the Prime Minister is still under discussion, and stay tuned.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Khadr's situation is primarily a Canadian issue. I would like to put my question to the minister again.

Will he acknowledge that it would be better to guarantee guidance and supervision to bring Mr. Khadr back, instead of having a situation where we do not know exactly what will happen in the U.S. courts? Why not take advantage of the situation and negotiate directly with the Americans to ensure Mr. Khadr's return to Canada?