House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industry.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I want to first express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of Master Corporal Vernelli, Corporal Crooks, Trooper Bouthillier and Trooper Hayes who were returned to Canada today after making the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan.

The comments expressed by so-called comedians on Fox News are disgraceful, ignorant and insulting to the Canadian Forces members, our diplomats and the development workers who have died in Afghanistan and others who have been injured. Canadians and others who know of Canada's efforts are not laughing.

Canadian troops have been consistently praised by allied commanders and political leaders for their courage, dedication and professionalism on the battlefield. I would hope these people recognize their remarks were wrong and would move to apologize to families and friends.

Le Réveil Newspaper
Oral Questions

March 23rd, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, after Quebecor initiated its 14th lockout in 14 years, the Minister of National Revenue promised last week that he and his department would no longer advertise in Le Réveil, a newspaper in the Saguenay, as a gesture of solidarity with the employees. The NDP applauded this initiative but, unfortunately, the minister was rapped on the knuckles by the Prime Minister's office.

Rather than rebuking him, why is the Prime Minister not supporting the minister's proposal? Why support Quebecor's tactics by advertising in the Journal de Montréal and Le Réveil? Does the Prime Minister enjoy seeing families down and out?

Le Réveil Newspaper
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Le Réveil is definitely an important weekly newspaper in our region. It employed many people and therefore union representatives asked to meet with their MP and naturally I agreed to meet them. They are very worried. In a recession, it is possible that major players in this sector may consider moving to major centres, to the detriment of the regions.

Having said that, they asked what I could do in terms of advertising. I checked and it was not possible to stop the advertising. This matter will be settled around a negotiating table and the employees have my sympathy in the current situation.

The Conservative Government
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, more Conservative skeletons are emerging from the closet: the minister of culture is incapable of identifying prominent Quebeckers and Canadians in the fields of arts and culture; the member for Yorkton—Melville is planning to attend a meeting where Beretta semi-automatics are being given as door prizes; and, worst of all, the Minister of State (Science and Technology) does not believe in evolution even though it is at the heart of modern biology.

Can the minister—who likened evolution to the change from running shoes to high heels—explain his theory?

The Conservative Government
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, once again, the New Democratic Party is piping up with its big ideas. From its perspective, the problem is always give, give, give. When labour conflicts arise, the government must try to remain neutral, but we are nevertheless concerned with what happens to people going through hard times because of a lockout or other labour action.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to $1 billion in equalization, the Conservative government has been stalling the settlement of various files worth an additional $5 billion for the Quebec government: Hydro-Québec's revenues for equalization, infrastructure programs, health care, post-secondary education, social programs and the ice storm, just to name a few.

When will the Conservative government stop ignoring Quebec and transfer the $6 billion it owes to Quebec?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:45 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, as usual, our government has put in place a number of measures to spur the development of the province of Quebec, and we will continue to do so. Once again last week, I had the honour to visit many areas of Quebec. I was able to see for myself just how much our measures are being welcomed by the people of Quebec. I understand that this might not please my colleagues across the floor, but we are doing the work we were elected to do.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec should not have to beg for this $6 billion. That money belongs to Quebeckers and is sitting idle in Ottawa. That money is not a gift; it is owed to Quebec. Like so many other nations, Quebec is struggling to balance its budget.

In this time of economic crisis, can the government promise here today that it will transfer the money owing to Quebec, thereby helping to stimulate its economy?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question. Transfers to Quebec will not be reduced. Under our government, federal funding to Quebec has increased by 37% and will continue to increase. Equalization now represents 13.4% of Quebec's provincial revenues, up from only 8.6% in 2005-06.

Oil and Gas Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Suncor announced a takeover of Petro-Canada that has significant implications for the supply and price of fuel and other things. The government demonstrated its lack of concern for high energy prices by scrapping the Office of Petroleum Price Information, thereby destroying any chance of transparency in the energy market.

What action is the government now prepared to undertake to ensure this merger will not lead to a further concentration of the refinery sector and even higher prices for Canadians for home heating fuel and at the pumps?

Oil and Gas Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right to raise issues of competitiveness. He will know that the government's economic action plan is promoting a competitive marketplace by ensuring Canadian business is in fact competitive.

In transactions like these, he will also know that the Competition Bureau will take the appropriate steps to scrutinize the transaction under the Competition Act. If it finds a reason for the government to need to protect the interests of Canadian consumers, we will of course be there and will do that very vigorously.

Oil and Gas Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am hoping the hon. minister could tap her colleague, next door to her, on the shoulder because her department, Natural Resources Canada, has indicated that “Refinery utilization rates close to 100 per cent, along with growth in demand...have created a need for significant additions to refinery capacity in Canada”, not less.

What assurances is the government now seeking to ensure that this merger will not lead to a further reduction in refinery capacity, a process that I think all colleagues will agree has led Canadians and consumers to having to pay dearly at the pumps and to keep themselves warm in difficult times?

Oil and Gas Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, first, those are precisely the issues that the Competition Bureau will be examining under law. Our government, in the economic action plan, wants to make sure that our economy is highly competitive and productive.

As the Competition Bureau does its work, the government will be informed. The government will take each and every necessary step to ensure that the interests of Canadian consumers and their needs are fully protected.

Campaign Advertising
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, suspicions have been raised about five previously unheard of third party organizations that bought advertising endorsing the Minister of Sport in the 2008 campaign.

Four of these groups shared a financial agent and an office address, an address at the office of the 2006 B.C. Conservative election co-chair, who is a current member of the minister's riding executive. One group bought signs from the co-campaign manager of the minister's 2008 campaign.

Can the minister explain why these organizations seem to have such direct ties to his campaign team?

Campaign Advertising
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, in the last campaign and in every election campaign, this Conservative government always follows the rules and the regulations, absolutely. Any allegations by the NDP are, of course, made up.