House of Commons Hansard #17 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Laurier--Sainte-Marie.

The Environment
Oral Questions

February 24th, 2009 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when asked about the reference year for the fight against climate change, the Minister of the Environment has accused the Bloc Québécois of looking back to the past by referring to the year 1990. Yet that year, 1990, is the reference year for the Kyoto objectives, for the European Union, and is also the reference year for President Barack Obama.

Does the Prime Minister realize he is being the odd man out by opposing environmental protection and the economy, especially with intensity targets and using 2006 as the reference year?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said on numerous occasions already, it is not possible to solve the problem of greenhouse gas emissions in the past. It can always be done in the future. There are various ways of measuring greenhouse gas reduction targets. The Americans have proposed targets and outcomes very close to our own. We are in discussions with the U.S. government in order to ensure effective regulations for the North American continent.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister tells us that 1990 is in the past. I would point out to him that so is 2006. That seems pretty obvious. If he opts for 2006 as his reference year, that is because that year gives the advantage to the gas and oil companies at the expense of Quebec manufacturers.

Will the Prime Minister admit that, with that as a target, his party is serving the interests of the oil patch, which has, unlike the Quebec manufacturing sector, done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions since 1990?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are clear on this: all industries, including the gas and oil industry, must be part of the solution as far as climate change and greenhouse gas emissions are concerned.

What we see again from the Bloc is not an environment question. It is just another attempt to divide Quebeckers from Albertans and from people in other parts of the country. It is why nobody seems to want to have a coalition with that party any more.

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the past four weeks, one job in seven in the manufacturing sector has been lost. In spite of his optimistic statements during the election campaign, the Minister of Finance was aware of the situation, because on page 27 of his October 2007 economic statement, he himself referred to the decline of manufacturing.

Does the Prime Minister understand that the current crisis is dealing a direct blow to an industry that has been ailing for years and that his budget is not nearly enough to help overcome this crisis?

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, certainly, there are huge challenges because of the global economic crisis. This government is responding to that crisis with the Minister of Finance's economic action plan. Our plan will facilitate access to credit for businesses, it includes measures to help companies buy new equipment, it reduces taxes for Canadian families and so on. But the Bloc voted against that.

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Québec Forest Industry Council, Guy Chevrette, yesterday condemned the Conservatives' indifference toward the catastrophe in Quebec's forest industry, which has lost 42,000 jobs since 2005. According to Mr. Chevrette, the government must provide loan guarantees to support the industry.

Can the Prime Minister tell us which specific provision of the softwood lumber agreement with the United States prohibits such loans? Otherwise, everyone will know that he has decided to side with the American protectionist lobby.

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, we are very aware of what is happening in the forest industry. Last week, I made another tour of the regions of Quebec, including several regions that rely on forestry. I met with a number of forest industry managers and workers. Our government agrees with them that we must do everything we can not to threaten the softwood lumber agreement with the Americans, who are our main economic partners. Consequently, our government, which is a responsible government, will continue to support the forest industry in keeping with the agreement with our American partners.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is speculation coming out of Washington today that the United States may ask Canada to extend our engagement in Afghanistan beyond 2011, and this on a day when a Department of National Defence report says, and I quote, that a military victory is unlikely.

Will the Prime Minister confirm today, uncategorically, that Canada will honour the 2011 deadline that has been adopted by this House, or does he agree with the leader of the Liberal Party, who believes that we should suggest to Secretary of State Clinton that perhaps we could stay longer?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when President Obama was here, he made clear that he had not made any such request to Canada. I was equally clear that we are acting according to the parliamentary resolution.

I thought President Obama spoke very eloquently about the tremendous contribution that has been made by Canadian troops and Canadians at all levels in the mission to Afghanistan, and it is something that this party and we on this side of the House are extremely proud of.

Omar Khadr
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we too were touched by the words of President Obama about our troops.

Omar Khadr
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Omar Khadr
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

We hear the heckling from across the way, which I think is not really appropriate, I must say, on this serious matter.

Yesterday the American administration, the Obama administration, released its first Guantanamo detainee. He was returned after diplomatic pressure from the British government. That is quite a contrast to what we have seen from our Prime Minister with regard to the child soldier Omar Khadr.

Can the Prime Minister tell us whether he has raised this issue or asked the foreign affairs minister to raise it, and whether we are going to be recommending that he be brought here to face due process?

Omar Khadr
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as we have said on numerous occasions, we have pointed out to the House that Mr. Khadr is charged with very serious crimes, including terrorism and murder. Unlike many of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, he is in fact charged and subject to a legal process.

We know the United States is reviewing that process. In the meantime, of course, we are providing all assistance that we are required to provide to Mr. Khadr.