House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was lanka.

Topics

Forestry Industry
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week we witnessed a sorry sight. The member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean professed to one and all that the government's hands were tied by the softwood lumber agreement, preventing it from supporting the forestry industry. The member raised the ire of the industry and also of forestry workers in his riding who cannot believe his lack of commitment.

What citizens need to know is that the government does have the right and the ability to take action, for example, by providing loan guarantees to the forestry industry, a measure proposed by the Bloc Québécois a long time ago.

Faced with the forestry crisis that has deeply affected his riding, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean,and all of Quebec, the member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean preferred once more to ignore it. He has abandoned the workers and families that he had promised to help, choosing instead to spout his party's ideology.

Black History Month
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, February is a special month for me. Black History Month allows us to celebrate Canada's accomplishments and recognize the remaining challenges.

I was 16 years old when Hon. Lincoln Alexander became the very first black Canadian elected to the House.

I am grateful, beyond measure, that my own daughter witnessed my election in 1997 as the first ever black Quebec MP and that she, at 16, also witnessed the election of the very first black President of the United States.

We still have a long way to go. Right now I am the only black MP sitting in the House. However, it is the capacity of democracies like Canada's to effect fundamental change based upon the belief in equality that brought me to this chamber and my daughter to a world where she, and not the colour of her skin, will choose her future.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, since 2003, cattle producers in my riding have been unable to export to Jordan as a result of a ban imposed because of BSE.

Yesterday the Canadian government re-secured full access to the Jordanian market for Canadian beef and cattle exports. As a result of this announcement, the value of Canadian beef exports to Jordan will increase.

This news, along with a similar deal with Hong Kong and the signing of several free trade agreements, is proof positive that the government is delivering for livestock producers.

Last month the agriculture minister announced the creation of a market access secretariat to better coordinate government initiatives with producers and industry to aggressively pursue new markets.

As the Prime Minister said yesterday, in regard to the U.S. COOL, “This is the government...that recently got changes to the country of origin labelling”.

In these times of global economic turmoil, the Conservative government is reducing trade barriers, opening new markets for Canadian exporters and standing up for Canadian producers.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

February 4th, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a year ago the Minister of Finance refused any direct support for the auto sector, saying they would not get into the business of picking winners and losers. While the Government of Ontario was trying to keep auto plants open, the minister criticized it for “old-fashioned thinking” and “Band-Aid fixes”.

Because the government allowed ideology to get in the way of action, we now need surgery and not Band-Aids. What does the government and the Prime Minister propose to do to stop the bleed in the auto sector?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the House will know that the difficulties of the auto sector are not just in Canada. They are continent-wide and, in fact, worldwide. Particularly the Detroit Three companies face major challenges.

That is why I have joined with Premier McGuinty and we are working in collaboration with the government of the United States to facilitate the restructuring of this industry, which is going to have to happen, to ensure in the process that we keep our share of this vital industry in this country.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is too late. The auto sector crisis affects workers not only in Ontario, but also in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. It is a national crisis.

All last year, the government refused to take action. Why did the government sit on its hands? Does it believe that the demise of this sector is inevitable, but does not dare say that?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are working in collaboration with the Ontario government and the American administration to restructure this industry, which is so very important for the Canadian economy. I would invite the opposition to work with us for the benefit of this industry and the entire Canadian economy.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, all last fall the government sat by, waiting for the Americans to put together their package. By waiting so long, it may have caused Canadian auto workers their jobs.

What specific measures is the government taking in Washington to ensure that Canada does not lose product mandates, production jobs and assembly line capacity when the U.S. government and U.S. industry finalize the rescue package for their industry?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is a completely integrated continental industry. We cannot fix this problem ourselves. That is why we have acted in full collaboration not just with the government of Ontario here, but with the American administration. Our officials are in touch with their counterparts in treasury and in the U.S. government each and every day. I would be happy to provide the Leader of the Opposition with briefs on that, if he so desires.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is speculation that General Motors may pull out of Canada entirely.

While the industry has struggled to meet his February 20 deadline, the Minister of Industry has been idling. The Detroit Three are working hard. The auto workers are at the table. The U.S. government is on the ball. While Canadian communities remain desperate to retain auto sector jobs, the minister is the flat tire slowing down progress.

When exactly did the minister actually meet with his American counterpart to ensure our Canadian jobs would be protected?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this government has been working, as the Prime Minister indicated, with officials in the United States as well as with the Government of Ontario. We have a strict set of conditions that mirror what the Americans are also looking at for the industry to restructure that industry and to preserve our 20% production capacity.

The hon. member asked me to meet with my American counterpart. When President Obama appoints that counterpart, I will meet with that person.

Child Care
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have just heard that the city of Toronto has announced that it is being forced to cut over 6,000 child care spaces, almost one-quarter of all the subsidized spaces in Toronto, due to a shortfall in federal funding. We fear this may be just the beginning.

How can the Prime Minister claim that his government is helping the most vulnerable when he imposes these short-sighted cuts on Canadian families?

Child Care
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has her facts entirely wrong. There have been no cuts to child care funding. In fact, through the Canada social transfer, the funding for child care to the provinces this year will be going up 3%.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec), the government was unable to offer the forestry industry loan guarantees because doing so would have contravened the softwood lumber agreement. Guy Chevrette, president of the Quebec Forest Industry Council, does not understand why what is good for the automotive industry is not good for the forest industry, and he thinks that the real problem is lack of political will.

Will the Prime Minister tell his Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) that giving loan guarantees to businesses in the forest industry would in no way contravene the softwood lumber agreement?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the leader of the Bloc knows, the Forest Products Association of Canada supported this budget. Instead of spreading his propaganda about the budget, the Bloc leader should take his own MPs to task for having circulated propaganda promoting terrorist organizations.