House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was khadr.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, while I look forward to answering that question, let me just tell the House that I spoke with Premier Williams earlier today regarding the tragic accident that has occurred off Newfoundland. The House will know that one survivor has been brought to St. John's. I can assure the House that intensive search operations continue to be under way for the other passengers of that helicopter.

I know all of us in the chamber want to share our thoughts and prayers with the families who are anxiously awaiting word on their loved ones.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, could I ask the Prime Minister again whether he is prepared to instruct the Conservative senators to vote speedy passage of Bill C-10 so that enhanced EI will be available?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

I am unclear as to why this is amusing.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. I think we have the question. The right hon. Prime Minister may want to answer.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, even the Leader of the Opposition found the humour in that question.

Conservative senators have not been the problem. The problem has been the Liberal Party and the Liberal leader, who were told that every delay in the Senate would delay the delivery of important employment insurance benefits.

I hope the leader of the Liberal Party will use this as a lesson that he would be well-advised, rather than to just be a critic, to act constructively in dealing with this economic crisis.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, how did we get here? There are only two possibilities: either the government did not know that it had backdated EI eligibility in this way, in which case it was incompetent; or the government knew, kept it quiet so the Senate would go away into recess, and then hoped it could play political games on the backs of the unemployed for two weeks.

Which is it, incompetence or heartless political gamesmanship?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the gamesmanship is that the leader of the Liberal Party continues to want to cash in on bad economic news while not offering this country any constructive suggestions. He and his party were playing a game in the Senate with this bill. They should not have done that. I am glad they are not doing it any longer, but I hope they make a vow not to do this kind of thing again.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the TD Bank, the Bank of Montreal and the IMF all say that the Prime Minister's forecasts are incorrect. The government said it would create 190,000 jobs with its stimulus plan. It left that goal out of its progress report. New statistics on job losses will be released tomorrow.

Is the Prime Minister determined to stick with his economic forecasts?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, the government actually may have an economic action plan that it can now put into place. We are happy that the senators have decided to move on.

As the Prime Minister referred to, we had lots of time to get this done. There was lots of time for the opposition to show leadership. Instead of playing games, the Liberals could have directed the Senate immediately to at least read the budget. They would have found that in fact EI extension cannot take place until the bill receives royal assent.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have more bad news today. TD Bank has said the Canadian economy will lose 500,000 jobs this year and that the unemployment rate will be in double digits, 10% by the end of the year and going into the first half of 2010.

Yesterday I asked the finance minister, why he dropped in his quarterly report the commitment in the budget to create or save 190,000 jobs.

Today I ask, did he abandon the 500,000 Canadians who will become unemployed? Does he not care about the 10% of Canadians who will be unemployed this year?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we do care about all Canadians. That is why we have been working so hard on this side of the House to make sure our economic action plan is put in place as soon as possible.

We have spent months communicating and negotiating with the opposition trying to get this through. We had the most broad prebudget consultation talking to Canadians to find out from them what they wanted us to do.

That is where the economic action plan came from. Unfortunately, we did not receive any good suggestions from the leader of the official opposition.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

March 12th, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister created confusion yesterday by linking loan guarantees and subsidies. I would like to think that was a mistake. Loan guarantees are precisely what the forestry industry needs, and they are totally legal. Moreover, In committee today, Guy Chevrette, president of the Quebec Forest Industry Council, commented that the claim that the loan guarantees were illegal was tendentious and intellectually incorrect.

Will the Prime Minister clarify the situation and tell us that the loan guarantees are not subsidies, and are legal under the rules of the WTO, NAFTA and the softwood lumber agreement?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 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, I too would like to quote someone who was at the same committee this morning, Avrim Lazar, President of the Forest Products Association of Canada. During the meeting of the subcommittee, Mr. Lazar said that solutions for the forestry industry needed to reflect the real problem, which is the market. The help the industry needs during this period of crisis is access to credit, work sharing for employment insurance purposes, and assistance for communities, and these are all measures contained in our economic action plan.

He also spoke of helping Canadians to keep their jobs when the market picks up, with new products and new markets, measures that are also included in our economic action plan.