House of Commons Hansard #6 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Culture
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, artists are calling on the government to restore the $2 million that went directly to them through the Trade Routes program. The infrastructure money is nothing but an extension of existing programs.

The minister can go on and on about how his budget is a good thing, but artists like Stanley Péan of the Mouvement pour les arts et les lettres have not reacted kindly. One wonders how the minister would respond to Mr. Péan's description of his budget as a big fat zero.

Culture
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is wrong. This budget contains $276 million in new money for arts, culture and heritage in our country. The Globe and Mail says that the scale of this year's cultural spending far surpasses that in last year's plan. The Canadian Museums Association welcomes the investments in arts and culture. The Just for Laughs Festival is happy. The director of the National Ballet School says they are very happy with the funding the school is receiving and that this government represents them—

Trade
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, in view of the very serious consequences that may occur from the proposed buy American policy, I wonder if we could approach it from a bit of a different perspective.

Could the minister acknowledge that what we have failed to do, or it appears we have failed to do, is coordinate the special nature of the government's stimulus package with our largest trading partner?

In view of the fact that thousands of steelworkers' jobs are at risk, does the government have a plan to coordinate those two stimulus packages?

Trade
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I am glad my hon. colleague and friend has talked about the government's package. Our comprehensive action plan is a sweeping, comprehensive and strategic plan to see Canadians working, to see investment coming in and to see capital moving throughout the country.

As far as coordinating with the U.S. on its stimulus package, in the auto sector the Minister of Industry monitored that very carefully and responded in a proportional way. Even before the bill reached the Senate, we were engaged at the diplomatic level warning the Americans about the dangers of that bill.

Trade
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the Prime Minister's own backyard, Evraz has just announced it will be laying off 400 steelworkers. That is across western Canada. The sharpest cuts will be in Calgary and Camrose.

Again, on behalf of the House, what will the government do so our steelworkers will not lose their jobs?

Trade
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the very reason we have a comprehensive action plan is to see that our economy is stimulated. On the infrastructure side alone, projects that were at one time planned to be spread over seven years are accelerated, many will take place this year. Within the next two years, there will be demands for workers like those in the steel industry.

We are concerned about what is happening in the economy. We have taken steps. That is why the Canadian economy and the banking system is acknowledged as one of the most stable in the world. As the OECD evaluates what countries are in better shape than others, it projects that Canada will weather these storms.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

February 2nd, 2009 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative budget mentions women zero times, not one word about women even though they are most likely to be the ones who will suffer most from the recession: no pay equity, no change to employment insurance eligibility. The government is leaving women out in the cold.

Extending benefits for five weeks does not help the two-thirds of working women who do not even qualify for benefits. Why does the government continue to ignore women at a time when they need the support most?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Minister of State (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the member to take a moment to read the budget because it does in fact mention women. I think it is important that not only have we increased the funding at Status of Women, we have streamlined the funding. We now have two components, the partnership fund and the community fund.

I think the member will be pleased to know that the number of organizations now receiving funding through Status of Women has increased by 69%.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, since last year alone, London has seen a 47% spike in employment insurance claims. To make matters worse, Electro-Motive Diesel just announced 600 more layoffs. Workers are counting on EI, but instead they get insults from an out-of-touch minister.

This is not about paying people to sit at home; it is about ensuring they have a home. The minister's comment about EI being a lucrative incentive to stay at home is insulting to hard-working Canadians who have been thrown out of work through no fault of their own.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, what is really insulting is the NDP's position, as stated by numerous of its caucus members, that people over 50 cannot learn new jobs. I find that extremely offensive. The NDP should apologize for saying that anybody over 50 cannot learn new jobs and should not work. We believe they can, and that is why we are investing in them.

Trade
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, with the global economy in crisis, Canadians are worried that the proposed U.S. stimulus package contains protectionist measures that would close the door on Canadian steel. Thousands of jobs in my community of Hamilton and in other communities across Canada depend on a vibrant Canadian steel industry.

Following the world economic forum in Davos, could the Minister of International Trade tell the House what the Conservative government is doing in response to their protectionist proposals?

Trade
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale for his constant advocacy on behalf of his constituents and also the economy.

We are very concerned that the direction we see in the United States of protectionist activity can be a drag on the world economies as various countries might want to retaliate with this type of measure. That is why even before the bill hit the senate, we were involved, intervening at the diplomatic level, to do what we could to try to convince it to take a look at the negative effects of that bill. We will continue to do that.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday the minister responsible for EI made remarks that showed a total lack of respect for Canadian workers. She said, “We do not want to make it lucrative for them to stay home and get paid for it”.

Is the minister suggesting that some workers would choose to be unemployed and earn just a fraction of their working wage? How out of touch is that? Why does the minister not stop making excuses and stop changing the subject? Why does she not stand up for the unemployed who she is supposed to represent? Why does she not rise in the House and apologize for those comments?

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 it is a real shock to any family when a member gets laid off, particularly through circumstances beyond their control. That is why we are extending benefits in our economic action plan. Above regular benefits, we are adding another five weeks to help these people. We are providing more in terms of work-sharing and expanding it so that people can retain and preserve their jobs.

We are also investing very heavily in helping those who are unfortunate enough to lose their jobs to get the training and the skills so they can get back to work with the jobs of today and tomorrow.

National Battlefields Commission
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the National Battlefields Commission, which is responsible only for the Plains of Abraham and the surrounding area, has decided to mark the 250th anniversary of the events there by re-enacting the battle and holding a masquerade ball.

Will the minister responsible for the National Battlefields Commission demand—for obvious reasons—that it cancel this re-enactment and masquerade ball?