House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was energy.

Topics

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, that was the government’s tame Quebecker speaking. We want to ask him another question. Once again, the federal government is trampling the interests of Quebec. The Liberal government compensated the Maritime provinces with Quebeckers’ money in 1997. Twelve years later, the Conservatives are digging into our pockets to compensate Ontario. In all, Quebeckers will have spent more than $1.3 billion to finance tax reform in the rest of Canada.

Does the minister realize that, regardless of the party in power, there is a double standard toward Quebec?

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, Quebec made a political choice, which was to keep two distinct taxes, the QST and the GST. My colleagues are trying to compare that to harmonization with the federal tax, but it is not the same thing. What will be done in Ontario is not at all like the situation in Quebec. Quebec decided to administer both the QST and the GST and so far has been paid $1.77 billion to do so.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the crisis the in the auto industry persists. Once again today, the Conservative government is piggybacking on American initiatives. The federal government is showing no leadership. For instance, two weeks ago, I proposed that the Prime Minister hold a Canadian automotive summit, to bring together all the major players, the unions and governments, in one place at the same time, in order to come up with some solutions.

Has the government had time to consider that proposal? Will it hold a summit on the crisis in the auto industry, yes or no?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, our current challenge is to take action with the Americans for a North American industry. So far, there has been no viable, long-term action plan, but such a plan is possible in the future. That announcement was made today. We have not had the opportunity to hold a summit, but an action plan is needed.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the failed policies of the government are aggravating the problems in the auto sector in Canada. That is why more investment of the Detroit three now goes to Michigan rather than to Canada. Where are the made in Canada solutions that we should have? Where is the green car strategy for Canada so we can start building the vehicles that Canadians want, that pollute less and cost less?

Will the government at least name a director of recovery for the automobile sector to work with the person named by the Obama administration, so we do not have to rely on the minister to get the job done? He is not doing it.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we are working in concert with American officials. This is a North American auto sector. That is why our announcements in both Washington and Ottawa occurred today.

The hon. member has a track record, as well. When we was a Toronto city councillor, his plan for the auto sector was to ban automobiles from the city of Toronto. I guess we would all be riding bicycles or taking other forms of transportation. How does he explain that to the Canadian auto workers?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday on Fox News, Sunday, the Prime Minister was asked whether Canada was open to renegotiating the environmental and labour elements of the NAFTA agreement. To that, the Prime Minister said, “We're not closed to that”.

Could the government inform the House as to why the Prime Minister would make such a significant policy announcement and reversal on Fox News and not in the Parliament of Canada? What steps will the government take to make this needed change happen? Will it move on this idea finally?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, we have been encouraged by a number of things that have been said. Coming out of the United States. President Obama, following our Prime Minister's lead, has made a clear statement, for instance, with the buy American act to ensure that everything done on that act complies with its trade obligations.

When it comes to NAFTA, the indication has been very clear that there is not an intention to have serious changes made to it. President Obama has indicated his interest in the labour and the environmental accords that are associated with that. The Prime Minister has indicated those accords are strong. We intend to talk to him about that.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us try this again. My question for the Minister of Industry is very simple and I trust crystal clear. Could he tell us whether any loans that may be made to GM Canada by the federal government will be backed by any GM assets? In other words, will the Conservatives require GM Canada to put up any collateral for any loans made to it? If so, what is that collateral?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this chamber would like to know that we have not made any loans to GM Canada to date. We have some strict criteria worked out with the Government of Ontario as well to ensure that Canada's interests are protected as much as possible. This includes the conduct of the executives. It includes ensuring there is as viable long-term plan. We continue to work with GM on those matters.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will try another question.

Can the Minister of Industry tell us if the Conservatives are establishing the same loan conditions for our auto industry as our American neighbours? More specifically, has Canada established the same interest rate and loan repayment schedule as the United States?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, there are some differences. Indeed, two or three months ago, the United Stated decided to accelerate loans to GM and Chrysler. However, I repeat, it is important to have strict conditions in these cases, and GM and Chrysler must be accountable if any money is to be transferred to those companies.

National Defence
Oral Questions

March 30th, 2009 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about a $1.3 billion matter. The former Minister of Defence had this to say on April 12, 2007: “Equipping Canada’s soldiers with the best protection is my top priority. By immediately acquiring stronger and more heavily protected tanks, our soldiers in Afghanistan have the best equipment possible...”

That was two years ago. Are the views of the current Minister of National Defence on protection and immediate procurement the reason why, of the 100 tanks purchased two years ago, 60 are presently in Europe and 40 are sitting idle at the Longue-Pointe base in Montreal?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the government and I are on the same page. Our government and the department always look for the best way to protect equipment and, above all, soldiers in their important day-to-day work. We are continuing to do so. The same goes for the tanks and other equipment. That position is very clear.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, if he wants to protect the equipment, he had better get out the anti-rust paint because 40 tanks have been sitting at Longue-Pointe for two years. Our armed forces cannot use these tanks or train with them because they do not have the equipment.

We have learned that one of the reasons the 60 tanks remain in Europe is that the Conservatives, through a bureaucratic trick, plan on tinkering with the existing budget and ensuring that Germany or Switzerland will obtain the contract for upgrading the tanks.

However, on April 12, 2007, his colleague announced:

“All of the work will be done in Canada”.

Why has the current defence minister changed his mind?