House of Commons Hansard #21 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

International Women's Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, March 2 to 8 is International Women's Week, culminating on Sunday, March 8, International Women's Day.

The Conservative Party has a long tradition of supporting women. It was a Conservative prime minister who passed the Canadian Bill of Rights granting all Canadians equality before the law.

We observe International Women's Day 2009 during a global economic crisis and now, more than ever, our country's continued success depends on women's economic security and prosperity.

We have seen great improvements in women's economic status. Women have been starting businesses at twice the rate of men. Women are increasingly represented in a wide range of professions and careers traditionally dominated by men.

Budget 2009 set out a plan to stimulate economic growth and support all Canadians. We are following through on the action plan for women to advance equality for women by improving their economic and social conditions and their participation in democratic life.

I call on all Canadians to join with me in celebrating International Women's Week.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is facing its worst financial crisis, the crown corporation may be obliged to implement major economic measures that, according to its president, Hubert Lacroix, would change the very nature of its service to Canadians.

We are talking about an increase in advertising, more American programming, selling off certain television and radio services and more.

This scenario seriously endangers the crown corporation's mission to safeguard, enrich and strengthen Canada's cultural, political, social and economic structure. Some analysts predict that this catastrophic financial situation could lead to the crown corporation's demise.

What does the Conservative government plan on doing to protect the CBC from this economic disaster? Will the Conservatives' record now have to include the death of an institution that ensures that Canada has a voice?

Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, our government is determined to work to stimulate the economy and help Canadians get through this crisis. Before the crisis even hit, we saw it coming and we created the building Canada fund, the largest infrastructure investment plan in Canada. Furthermore, we freed up additional funding in our economic action plan to be able to act within the next few months, because the situation is urgent.

The Bloc Québécois, on the other hand, voted against all the measures that would help the Quebec economy. In the meantime, the Bloc used taxpayers' money to help finance Le Québécois, a newspaper published by Patrick Bourgeois, a man who has encouraged violence and public disorder to advance his agenda. The Bloc failed the transparency test and must now reimburse taxpayers who deserve better than these flyers promoting intolerance.

When will the Bloc Québécois start working with the government to help the Quebec economy and, more importantly, the workers of Quebec?

East Coast Music Awards
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, for over 20 years the East Coast Music Association has been celebrating the musical culture of Canada's east coast with the East Coast Music Awards. Great talents such as Lennie Gallant, Joel Plaskett, Great Big Sea, Gordie Sampson, Rufus Guinchard and many others have been recognized.

This past weekend the ECMAs were held in Corner Brook, hosted by Jian Ghomeshi and Damhnait Doyle, and featured the talents of Jill Barber, Ron Hynes, Rawlins Cross, Duane Andrews, Mary Barry and many others. The big winner this year was Hey Rosetta! from my own riding of St. John's East. Special recognition was given to the late Dick Nolan for his contribution to the music industry as a performer and pioneer recording artist.

We are all very proud of the talent and artistry of our musicians and songwriters, and the great contribution they make to our culture by providing just plain fabulous entertainment. The ECMAs are also an industry convention with workshops and showcases for emerging artists.

Congratulations to the winners. I thank the East Coast Music Association for its promotion and development of the music industry and for presenting such great talent at the ECMAs.

Seal Hunt
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, in previous Parliaments all parties in this House worked together to combat the campaign of misinformation on the Canadian seal hunt.

Given that the European Parliament will soon vote on a potential ban on seal products, it is important that we parliamentarians continue to stand together in this House to support our sealers. However, we now see that a Liberal senator intends to introduce legislation to ban the seal hunt. Add to that the fact that the Liberal leader's top adviser, Warren Kinsella, has called the seal hunt appalling, we should all be concerned about where exactly the Liberal Party stands on this issue. Is that stand to eliminate the seal hunt in Canada?

Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, now known as “member XXX”, was in Montreal to hand out “old money” that had already been allocated to various cultural organizations. There was no new money included in the $481,104 announced on Friday. The only difference is that the cheque was delivered by limousine instead of by mail truck. That is what is known as riding an old wave of announcements.

The problem is that Canada is now looked down on when it comes to investment in culture, because it is the only country in the G8 that does not help its artists tour abroad.

Is it because he is ashamed of his own government's cuts to culture and its smokescreen announcements that the minister is hiding behind the moniker “member XXX” in his press releases? We would be, to say the least.

Government Accountability
Statements By Members

March 2nd, 2009 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives want a new $3 billion fund with no accountability, no transparency and no oversight. With a deal like that, no wonder the finance minister is already warning us that money will be wasted.

If Canadians want to see real accountability and transparency in stimulus spending, they can go to President Obama's site, www.recovery.gov. There, Americans can see where their money is going, right down to the contractor and the congressional district. As the site indicates, “This is your money. You have a right to know where it's going and how it's being spent.”

Why are the Conservatives not providing that kind of accountability to Canadians for their hard-earned tax dollars?

Carbon Tax
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week in Edmonton the Liberal leader continued his attempts to hide from the Liberal carbon tax. Too bad that the carbon tax was the Liberal leader's idea. He first advocated it as part of his 2006 leadership campaign. He said that we needed to “put a price on carbon” and that we have to burden other Canadians who are able to bear energy costs.

During the 2008 campaign, the now Liberal leader, along with the former NDP premier, defended the Liberal carbon tax plan, saying:

We are in complete agreement with our leader, [the member for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville], regarding the implementation of the Liberal Green Shift plan. Like our leader, we have said clearly and consistently that we believe it will be good for the Canadian economy.

Good for the economy? Canadians clearly voiced their opinion just months ago. Try as he might, the Liberal leader cannot hide from his brainchild, the Liberal carbon tax scheme.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, last September the Prime Minister said, “If we were going to have some kind of crash or recession, we probably would have had it by now”. We now know he said this on the eve of the biggest contraction of the Canadian economy in almost 20 years.

Will the Prime Minister apologize to the thousands of Canadians who have needlessly lost their jobs because of his utter misreading of the Canadian economy?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, everyone will know that the Canadian economy contracted in the fourth quarter. At the same time, they should also know the American economy contracted twice as quickly, the European economy twice as quickly, the Japanese economy four times as quickly.

Our economy remains in a position of relative strength. I would urge the opposition to focus on that and to pass the important measures we have to sustain this economy through these difficult times.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, those international numbers are no consolation for the thousands of Canadians who have lost their jobs because of the government's bad management. It is the Prime Minister, not the opposition, who has caused delay. He delayed when he called an election. He delayed with his disastrous November statement. He delayed when he prorogued Parliament and all this while the Canadian economy was shrinking by $13 billion.

I repeat, will he apologize to all those who have needlessly lost their jobs because of his mismanagement and his delay?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has taken, from the onset of this crisis well over a year ago, important actions ahead of the crisis that have put Canada in a relatively strong position. Admittedly, there are significant difficulties. However, the opposition does not help those things by simply repeating bad economic news without having anything to offer.

There are important measures before this House. Since the opposition has no alternatives to propose, I would encourage it to pass those measures as quickly as possible.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, not so long ago he said there was no crisis at all.

Last September, the Prime Minister said that if we were going to have a collapse or a recession, it would have happened already. Now we know that he made that statement on the eve of the most severe economic downturn in nearly 20 years.

Will the Prime Minister apologize to the thousands of Canadians who have lost their jobs because he failed to see the economic writing on the wall?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the Liberal member is the one who denied the economic crisis, and he should be the one apologizing.

I will remind the hon. member for Markham—Unionville that during Christmas 2007 when I told Canadians there would be a significant slowing of our economy, that member said we were being unrealistically pessimistic.

There are real significant problems confronting us now. The government is acting. I would urge the opposition, which has no alternatives to offer, not a single alternative, to pass our bill.

Research and Development
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning it was reported that screaming erupted in the office of the Minister of State for Science and Technology when he met with the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

While President Obama is adding $10 billion to fund basic research, the Conservative government is chopping $148 million from the three research granting councils.

All of this is very damaging to our economic future. On a day when all of Canada is celebrating the work of our researchers on stem cells, why are the Conservatives telling scientists and teachers to shut up?