House of Commons Hansard #39 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was grain.

Topics

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 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, we have put a number of measures in place. Like my colleagues here in this House, you are well aware that the problems facing the forestry industry have to do with the market, no matter what anyone says. Members may want to use the men and women who work in the forestry industry to score political points, but unfortunately, companies are selling fewer products than before, at lower prices than before, and they are losing money.

Those are the facts. Members may want to score political points using the regions when they never go there. As for me, I go back home every weekend. We will continue to support these industries and these companies in the forestry sector.

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, as La Presse's editorial writer, André Pratte, correctly pointed out, “The Minister of Finance...should reread the budget he tabled last year. That budget invited provinces that had not yet harmonized their sales taxes to go ahead and do it. The budget named the errant provinces and, surprise, surprise—Quebec was not one of them”.

Will the government acknowledge that Quebec's sales tax is harmonized with the GST and that Quebec should therefore be compensated?

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we listened to what the finance minister, Ms. Jérôme-Forget, said. We are keeping a close eye on the situation. As I said, we will begin good-faith negotiations if Ms. Jérôme-Forget follows up on what she said.

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would strongly suggest that the Minister of Finance and all of the members opposite reread what the Minister of Finance said two years ago.

Yesterday, Quebec's finance minister wrote to her federal counterpart to say that Quebec agrees to changing the details that the Conservatives say prevent them from compensating Quebec. Quebec is ready to negotiate, but it takes two to tango.

Will the government commit to negotiating compensation for Quebec similar to that for Ontario in good faith?

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the answer has not changed. We repeated it over and over yesterday. Ms. Jérôme-Forget said that changes would have to be made to make Quebec's situation more like Ontario's. We are keeping a close eye on things, and we will engage in good-faith negotiations if things go that way.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

April 2nd, 2009 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Karzai government has passed a retrograde piece of legislation that oppresses 50% of the population, specifically, women. Although this bill directly attacks only Shiite women, as we all know, in a country that accuses rape victims of adultery, the rights of all Afghan women are in peril. The Minister of International Trade has said that passing this law will have serious repercussions.

Can he tell us what those repercussions will be?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are very concerned about this situation and about laws in Afghanistan. It is very worrisome. The government of Afghanistan must fulfill its international obligations and protect human rights, especially women's rights, and we are calling on it to do so. We will insist that it do so.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, expressing one's serious concerns is not enough. Other steps could be taken. First, the government must firmly and clearly denounce this Afghan law at the NATO meeting. In addition, the government simply has to take the millions of dollars that Canada would have spent on future plans with the Karzai government to support the Afghan people, and transfer that money to NGOs that could help people directly.

Does the minister not believe that non-governmental organizations are in a much better position to help women than a government that allows them to be oppressed?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, first of all, it is important to point out that the NATO meeting has not yet begun. However, every chance we get, with our foreign affairs ministers and our prime ministers, we are very clear. We insist that the government of Afghanistan protect human rights, and protect and support women's rights. We will continue to insist.

Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the jobs of tomorrow.

Venture capital is critical in financing private sector research and in Canada it is drying up. The Business Development Bank of Canada warns that we could lose hundreds of innovative small companies in their infancy. To quote a senior VP: “It breaks my heart because if we let go of these technology companies, once this recession is over you will have lost all this [new] technology, you will have lost a decade”.

What are the Conservatives doing about this? Do they know that they are saying no to the jobs of tomorrow?

Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, quite the opposite. In fact, in our economic action plan, we included a $3 billion increase to the capital of the BDC. Venture capital funding is and will be part of that funding.

I can assure the hon. member and members of this House that we believe in venture capital. We believe it is important for our marketplace to have a space for venture capital and we will be supportive of the BDC in this regard.

Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a result of the economic crisis, we all know that venture capital is drying up and many small Canadian companies that are producing cutting edge technology are in danger of dying. Ballard Power Systems is a British Columbia company. It is a world leader in fuel cell technology. It is shedding 39 jobs; 8% of its work force.

I have a question for the minister. Would the government assist this and other companies in this great country to actually continue to create and protect the jobs of tomorrow?

Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have some great Canadian companies doing some great work in many different sectors, including new fuel technology, and we want to support that. That is what the ecoEnergy retrofit is all about. That includes our green plans that my colleague, the Minister of Environment, is pursuing as well.

Certainly, if Ballard wishes to speak to me, and I had a very good discussion with them a couple of months ago, if Ballard has have some projects that the Government of Canada can be helpful with, then we are all ears.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the North American auto industry is one of the most integrated in the world with over $150 billion in cross-border trade annually. Logically then, the Conservatives should be working with the Americans on an integrated solution. Yet, the Minister of Industry was completely caught off guard when President Obama announced numerous initiatives to shore up consumer confidence.

With so many jobs on the line, why is government out of the loop?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in fact, it is quite the opposite. As President Obama said himself to the people of the United States of America in his live televised address on Monday, he is working with Canadians. He saluted Canadians. That means the Canadian government. It is because we have a consistent cogent position on the auto sector. It does not mean the Liberals, who say one thing at one end of the country and another thing at the other end of the country.