House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was insurance.

Topics

Status of Women
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the slogan chosen this year by the Regroupement des centres de femmes du Québec for International Women's Day is “United, mobilized and moving forward”, but unfortunately, in many parts of our society, women's progress is at a standstill and vigilance is still required if we are to maintain our gains.

We are still under-represented in positions of power and we hold only 13% of the positions available in the corporate boardrooms of Canada's largest 500 companies. In 2006, women earned on average $15,000 less than men. In 2008, 58.9% of people working for minimum wage were women.

Internationally, the UN continues to criticize Canada when it comes to respect for women's rights, poverty and violence, especially against women, and aboriginal women in particular.

None of this squares very well with the policies of the Conservative government.

The Bloc Québécois would like to wish all women an International Women's Day full of promise.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, March 8 is International Women's Day.

The majority of the world's poor are women. On average, women earn 40% less than men for the same work.

Throughout the world, the current economic downturn will make things worse for women because the hospitality and retail sectors, which employ primarily women, will be especially affected.

Next week I will be attending a reception held by Black Women's Civic Engagement Network to salute black women in Canada whose leadership, influence and accomplishments have paved the way to success for future generations.

As elected members of a democratic country, we have the moral obligation to achieve true gender equality throughout Canada.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I understand the Liberal leader will be launching a book called True Patriot Love. I would like to know if true patriot love includes having someone who supports the creation of the Bloc Newfoundland and Labrador in the Liberal Party.

Senator Baker is even taking shots at the previous Liberal government, saying the creation of his Bloc is partly the result of Paul Martin's dealings with the province.

Now some of us like to take shots at former prime ministers, but taking shots at Canadian unity cannot be tolerated, but tolerating is exactly what the Liberal leader is doing.

On issue after issue, the Liberal leader is demonstrating a profound lack of leadership. First, he was for a carbon tax, now he claims to be against. First he signed his name to the coalition. Now he claims to be against it.

Will he stand up, show some leadership and actually take a stand on an issue as important as the unity of the country?

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. I invite hon. members who wish to offer their sympathies to the family of former Speaker Gilbert Parent to sign the book of condolences in room 216 until 5 p.m. today.

Government Expenditures
Oral Questions

March 5th, 2009 / 2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in the 2007 budget Parliament approved $4.6 billion in infrastructure investment for this fiscal year ending in a matter of weeks, but we have discovered that less than $1 billion has actually flowed.

If the Prime Minister already has $3 billion approved and ready to go, why has he not invested? Will he get the money out the door or is he just trying to hide the size of his deficit?

Government Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Certainly, Mr. Speaker, the government is not trying to hide the state of the deficit.

The fact of the matter is, as I have said before, these are funds that we want to make available for the new programs that are coming on line. They will come on line over the next three months.

There will be all kinds of announcements across the country. The public will be of course informed as quickly as possible. I know the hon. members opposite want to pass this money and let us go on with making those positive announcements for the Canadian public.

Government Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about money that will lapse if he does not spend it shortly.

There are 1,500 workers in Hamilton who have lost their jobs because the steel works are closing down. I spoke to the mayor of Hamilton this morning and he told me, “The need for speed is critical”. Hamilton has a multi-million dollar water infrastructure project that is ready to go.

The Prime Minister has $3 billion at his disposal. Why can he not give Hamilton the help it needs right now?

Government Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is in the process of approving projects with other levels of government.

As I mentioned before, last year alone we spent three times more on infrastructure than the previous Liberal government. That amount was going to double this year even without the additional funds we are planning to spend. That is why we need passage of those funds.

The hon. member cannot have it both ways. He cannot say spend faster, but please do not let the spending get passed. Get on, pass the spending, let it happen. That is what Canadians want.

Government Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, they have announced the spending, but they have not actually spent the money.

The Prime Minister has more than $3 billion at his disposal. This $3 billion was approved in the 2007 budget and he could be using it at this very moment to invest in infrastructure.

Can he tell us, once again, why he is not using this $3 billion? Is he making Canadians wait so he can hide the size of the deficit?

Government Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we will spend more than just the money announced in past budgets. That is why we are looking for support.

I hate to use this expression, but the Leader of the Opposition really is engaged, on this entire budgetary business, in the biggest exercise of suck and blow I have ever seen in Canadian history.

He really has to make up his mind whether he is going to help us pass it quicker or try to block it. The right thing to do is obviously pass it and let it happen.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Federal Court told the government that it must take all reasonable steps to stop the execution of a Canadian citizen facing the death penalty in Montana. The court said that the government's refusal to support this Canadian citizen was a breach of duty, unlawful and invalid.

Will the Minister of Justice assure Canadians that he will not appeal this ruling and that the Conservative government will finally stop picking and choosing which Canadians to defend and which rights it stands up for?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, before I answer my hon. colleague's question, I would like to remind him of the two young aboriginal men whose lives were brutally cut short by Ronald Allen Smith who marched them into a Montana forest and shot them execution style.

That said, we are currently reviewing the court's decision and it would be inappropriate to comment further.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, tragically, no capital punishment will bring these lives back.

My question is for the Minister of Justice. Will the government, yes or no, comply with the court's decision and uphold, in Montana as in the rest of the world and for all Canadians, the principle that society does not have the right to take away what it did not give, that being life, and which sees the death penalty as vengeance purporting to be justice?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, it would be nice if the opposition members showed as much compassion and concern for the lives of victims and their families as they do for those of criminals.

That said, I repeat, we are currently reviewing the court's decision and it would be inappropriate to comment further.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, women's groups are at the United Nations today, protesting against the government's record on the status of women. They are there to call attention to the fact that the government's pay equity bill, which the Liberals supported, restricts women's right to receive the same pay as men for the same work.

Instead of sending his Minister of State for the Status of Women to boast about a bill everyone condemns, would the Prime Minister not do better to take a step back and introduce real pay equity legislation, modelled on Quebec's legislation?