House of Commons Hansard #11 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was women.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, no matter what the minister's future decision with respect to Ontario, will he commit to treating Quebec fairly and providing retroactive compensation for harmonizing its sales tax with the federal GST between 1992 and 1994?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to note that the member is also concerned with what is happening in the other provinces. It is interesting and also unusual to note their concern for the collective good because generally they only look out for Quebec and are not concerned with what is fair for the other provinces.

Discussions with Ontario are ongoing and we shall see what happens next.

Food Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, food safety is of the highest concern to Canadians, yet last week the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food defended the fact that a new poultry inspection system reduces the federal inspection agency's role in poultry rejection to the sidelines. In fact, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada is taking the government to court for violating its own meat inspection regulations.

Will the minister now admit that privatization of food inspection is rapidly becoming government policy and Canadians are the losers?

Food Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, the health and safety of Canadians is always a number one priority for our government.

There are three points I would like to bring up. First, this is a pilot program that was originated under the Liberals in 2004. Second, the government will not implement this program unless it is scientifically proven to improve food safety. Third, under this government, Canada has never had more veterinarians doing more inspections.

Food Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, food safety is not an issue for government spin.

Twenty people died as a result of listeriosis. In the United States eight people died because of salmonella in peanuts and some of that food ended up on Canadian store shelves. The Auditor General last week found shortcomings with the inspection agency on inspections at the border.

When is the government going to stop undermining our food inspection system and stop putting political spin on what it is doing? When is it going to take Canadian food safety seriously and do something?

Food Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, as I said, this government is committed to protecting the safety of Canadians. In fact, when the Liberals were in power, they cut funding for food safety and they cut the number of inspectors. Under our Conservative government, we have committed an additional $113 million for food and product safety and we have put more than 200 new inspectors to work.

The Economy
Oral Questions

February 9th, 2009 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada lost 129,000 jobs in January. That is staggering, but we have to look beyond the numbers. Every one of those lost jobs represents a human tragedy.

Recently, in my riding, I met with workers who had invested over 20 years of their lives in the manufacturing sector. They were proud of their work. They had even encouraged their children to pursue the same career. Now, companies are closing and these families have been abandoned. They have nothing left.

How can the government turn its back on these thousands of Canadians and tell them, “Too bad for you, but we have other priorities”?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case. We announced over $900 million for the aerospace industry. Our budget—our economic plan—includes many announcements for small and medium-sized businesses and better access to credit. This is a budget—an economic plan—for our times, for our country, for workers and for jobs.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not understand that every job loss has an impact on a human being, on that person's spouse and on their children.

This weekend, I was talking to Rosa, a resident of my riding and a very brave woman. She just lost her job. She does not know how to tell her children. She does not even know whether she can collect employment insurance. For her and for so many others, life has come crashing down.

What will the government say to Rosa? Will the employment insurance system be there for her, or will the government continue to restrict access to employment insurance just to save money?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we know there are far too many Canadians going through these trying times and losing their jobs in circumstances like that. That is why we are making every effort to speed up how quickly people can claim and receive their EI benefits. It is why we are extending those benefits.

It is also why we are investing in those same Canadians to give them the skills they will need for the jobs of tomorrow so that we will not have to go through this again, and so that they will be able to go to work, make a living, bring food home and put it on the table for their families.

Research and Development
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has a proud history when it comes to space robotics and exploration. Since 1989 the Canadian Space Agency has generated world-class scientific research and development that has benefited this country. Investing in this sector not only allows Canada to remain at the forefront of space research, it also creates valuable economic activity.

In these difficult global economic times, could the Minister of Industry inform this House how the government is supporting Canada's role in space exploration?

Research and Development
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank the member for Kitchener—Waterloo for his question. I know he is working hard for his constituents in this House and in Ottawa.

This morning I had the privilege of visiting the Canadian Space Agency in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, and was honoured to reaffirm our government's support for the CSA. Through our economic action plan, we are investing $110 million for the development of prototypes for space robotics, vehicles and other valuable technologies.

Overall, our economic plan is investing $5.1 billion in science and technology initiatives, demonstrating our commitment to building our competitive advantage. That is what our economic plan is about. That is why this government is on the right track.

Pay equity
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government, with the help of the so-called Liberals, is preparing to take away a woman's right to go to court in order to earn equal pay for equal work. Sections 401 and 402 of the bill would take away the possibility for a woman, or her union, to defend her fundamental rights before the courts.

Can the Prime Minister tell us how the economy will benefit from taking away women's rights?

Pay equity
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we are introducing proactive pay equity legislation that was first introduced in Manitoba in 1986, followed by Ontario and by the province of Quebec. I note that the Ontario legislation was introduced by a Liberal government, supported by the NDP, led by the member for Toronto Centre.

We believe that women should not have to wait for 15 years in order for these complaints to be resolved.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's affirmation concerning Quebec is a pure falsehood.

The bill also proposes to remove environmental safeguards by making it possible to build certain projects without environmental assessments. The government does not seem to understand that if a precious wetland is destroyed, it matters little that the infrastructure that replaces it is worth less than $10 million. It is the value of the ecosystem that matters.

Does the Prime Minister not understand that in addition to bequeathing a financial debt to future generations, he is also leaving them with an environmental deficit that can never be compensated?