House of Commons Hansard #16 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was arctic.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we do not agree with that suggestion. We have a plan to reduce greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020. These targets are more rigorous than the targets proposed by Mr. Obama, the President of the United States.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is telling us that he completely disagrees with President Obama. Here is the reality. When we talk about dialogue, it means that both parties have something to say. But that is not the case for Canada in this area. Canada has no known position.

Can the government tell us its position on using 1990 as the reference year and on establishing absolute targets?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member dwells in the past in terms of 1990.

This is a government that is going forward, working on a plan that has been developed with the new administration in the United States. This is a plan that will lead the world in terms of the development of new energy research and clean energy technology. We are working on a dialogue with President Obama and his government that will provide leadership to the world in dealing with this problem, something that has never happened before in our country.

Poverty
Oral Questions

February 23rd, 2009 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister met with the Secretary General of the United Nations this morning. Numerous UN reports show that poverty in Canada is on the rise, especially among children, women and aboriginal people. Our record on housing, education, health care and the environment is also suffering. Canada's international ranking is plummeting.

Can the government tell us what the Prime Minister had to say about these problems this morning at the UN?

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, we were very pleased the other day to make our presentation before the United Nations. We dealt candidly and openly with every kind of issue, from aboriginal issues to housing issues and so on. It was a pleasure to talk not only about what we have done, in our case, for aboriginal people, with inclusion under the Canadian Human Rights Act for aboriginals living on reserve, for example, but also to talk about some of the new initiatives.

In my ministry, there is $1.4 billion in aboriginal-related funding, because we realize there has been a gap which needs to be addressed. We are moving ahead.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, leadership on the world stage really has to start with leadership here at home. What we have seen is that the Government of Canada has been criticized frequently and successively by UN reports for its record on poverty, on women, on the environment, on human rights. Taser deaths were singled out by Italy. Norway pointed to the scale and character of violence against aboriginal women. The United Kingdom added that Canada had to give the highest priority to fundamental inequalities between aboriginal people and the rest of Canadians by settling land claims, among other measures.

Could the government tell us what progress, if any, has been registered with the UN in the Prime Minister's meetings--

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Indian Affairs.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I can talk specifically about some progress on specific claims settlements in British Columbia, my home province, where last year we settled 31 land claims. That is a record number. In a typical year under the previous administration it might have settled seven or eight. This is 31 settlements.

We also urge the member at the far end of the hall here to help us pass the matrimonial real property rights bill, which would finally give aboriginal women and children the property rights they deserve and which every other Canadian takes for granted.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the lack of leadership from the government has Canada's auto industry stalled, and it is time we saw action. The restructuring plans that were tabled on Friday present a very bleak picture. Jobs are at risk. Pensions are at risk as well.

Why will the government not take action to protect auto workers' pensions and ensure the long-term viability of the industry, in fact, to make our industry the centrepiece of a green economic recovery for Canada? That is what should be going on.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, even though he keeps voting against our government's agenda for the economic action plan, we are working with the Ontario government and with the Obama administration to bring our auto sector into the 21st century, a greener auto sector and a sector that is more efficient, more effective.

Of course, we cannot do this alone. It means that the executives in the auto sector have to be part of the solution. It means that the workers and the unions have to be part of the solution as well. Together we can make a difference for this sector.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the crisis in Canada's auto sector is going deeper. Sales are down 23% over one year, 15% in December alone. Production is cut in half. Some 250 to 300 dealerships are at risk of closing their doors, all good jobs lost. Banks are not lending money to buy cars.

The government promised to step in months ago. We need action now. It cannot wait. When is the government going to deliver on its commitments for access to financing so people can buy or lease cars?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as soon as the opposition passes the budget implementation bill.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that answer is wrong. The minister was fed details of the plan submitted by the auto industry weeks before last Friday's formal submission. There was no new information given to the minister that would justify delaying his promise to provide guaranteed financing so people could buy or lease cars. The offer made last December is not and need not be part of the budget implementation bill. His delays are killing the industry.

I ask the minister again, when will he fulfill his promise to auto retailers and consumers?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the member would know if he has reviewed the budget provisions, we are creating the extraordinary financing framework which would create a credit facility of up to $200 billion. This is very important to address what is the number one issue not only in Canada but elsewhere in the G7 and the G20, which is access to credit. We need to get on with the job of creating the framework, and I encourage the member opposite to support that process.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, for the first time since Confederation, the government is considering running a budget deficit without Parliament's approval. The government has obtained the power to borrow on behalf of crown corporations. This power should not be used to run up the national debt by $34 billion without the approval of the House.

Will the minister restore the principle that Parliament must approve deficits?