House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was afghanistan.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, in terms of accountability, these Conservatives ignore the Auditor General's advice and refuse to tell Canadians, even in the broadest terms, how they propose to spend $3 billion of taxpayers' money. Then they boycott the Parliamentary Budget Officer and tell Canadians they will only get the information that the Conservatives want them to get.

Given that this probationary Prime Minister used to dress himself up as God's gift to accountability, is there no limit to his double standard?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, is there no limit to that member's indignity? He is standing ferociously, criticizing something for which he voted in favour. He voted in favour of the $3 billion. Apparently, he did not know that happened already.

Now he is standing up to criticize that very expenditure. We, on this side of the House, have passed the economic action plan to help us get through these difficult times by lowering taxes, creating jobs, building roads, bridges, hockey arenas, and other important projects.

We are getting the job done. He should study those results in the library.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, since 2001 the CBC has received a $60 million fund dedicated to Canadian programming. As of today, we still do not know if the CBC will get this funding for the next fiscal year. There is no confirmation from the government, so we should be worried.

If the answer is no, more people will lose their jobs. Will the government tell the CBC today, right now, if it will get that funding, or will it just say, “We don't care. Let more Canadians lose their jobs”?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we have already communicated to the CBC that it will be receiving its full allocation, a record amount from this Conservative government.

Let us look at the Liberal record for losing jobs at the CBC. When the Liberals ran for office, they said, “Finally, a Liberal government will be committed to stable multiyear financing for...the CBC”.

Then what happened next--

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The Minister of Canadian Heritage has the floor.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

That is what they promised, Mr. Speaker, and that is how they applauded during the campaign, but what did they do in government? They cut the CBC by $414 million. They cut 4,000 jobs at the CBC.

So they talk a good game on the CBC. They cut them by $400 million and cut 4,000 jobs. Shame on them.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government refused to loan money to the CBC, and now 800 people are losing their jobs. That number could increase significantly if the CBC does not sell $125 million worth of assets. However, selling assets requires government authorization.

Will the government say yes, or will it just close that door and say, “to hell with Canadian content, to hell with the regions, to hell with francophones, and to hell with the CBC“?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, where was this member's passion for the CBC when it was the Liberals cutting the CBC by $400 million? Where was this Liberal member and his passion when the Liberals cut the CBC by 4,000 jobs?

We have increased funding for the CBC. They cut it.

Not only that, here is what one person said:

I see our efforts as a struggle against the...assumption by existing public broadcasters, including CBC, that their audiences are fools who can't think for themselves.

Who said that? The leader of the Liberal Party.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Kevin Page, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, declared that the federal deficit will be much greater than the government anticipated. He also indicated that the government's recovery plan is inadequate given the deepening of the economic crisis.

Will the Prime Minister remove his rose-coloured glasses and face the economic reality by providing financial assistance to sectors that he has completely ignored to date, such as the manufacturing and forestry industries, as well as the cultural sector, including the CBC?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Don Drummond, the economist at the Toronto-Dominion Bank, said the other day that to its credit in January 2009 the government did not believe the average of private sector forecasts and revised the forecast down.

That is indeed what we did in the budget on January 27. We are going to get different views from different economists at different times about the economy. We are comfortable with the reality which the Liberals opposite supported, that we assumed growth at a lower rate than the average of the economists in January.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

March 26th, 2009 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has aggravated the crisis with his ideologically driven decision not to help the CBC, resulting in the direct loss of 800 jobs, not to mention the fact that every job lost at the CBC represents three jobs lost in private production companies. All that our public broadcaster was asking for was a simple cash advance.

Will thePrime Minister admit that he made an ideological decision with grave economic consequences?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is untrue and Hubert Lacroix himself, the CBC president, said today in Montreal that jobs would have been lost even if the government had loaned the CBC $125 million. That is not a solution to the problems at the CBC.

All the public and private broadcasters have seen their advertising revenues decline. It is a real problem for them. All that the government can do is increase its investment, and that is what we have done: an unprecedented $1.1 billion for the CBC this year.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to the current downturn in its advertising revenues, the CBC has actually seen a decline in its budget in real terms over the last 20 years, regardless of what the minister says. The refusal by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages to be flexible will result in the loss, both directly and indirectly, of 3,200 jobs in the television industry, according to the president and CEO of the CBC, Hubert Lacroix.

Does the minister realize that in times of economic crisis, we need a government that creates jobs and not one that causes them to be lost?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, does she realize that what she is telling the House is totally false? Hubert Lacroix, the president and CEO of the CBC, said today in Montreal that even if there had been an additional grant of $125 million, jobs still would have been lost. That is what he said in his speech.

If she is in favour of the CBC, which is an important institution to Canadians and Quebeckers, she should vote for our budget, which provides $1.1 billion for the CBC, an amount that is totally unprecedented in Canadian history.