House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farm.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case. Our government is currently working with the Obama administration on a plan with the same underlying principles as those of the United States. We share the same economic and environmental space as the United States and we will continue to work with them.

The Bloc should abandon its partisanship and work with the government.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a new study reveals that Canada could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020, if only there were a will to do so. The situation is especially interesting since it could be achieved through proven techniques without having to resort to carbon capture and sequestration, a technology that has yet to prove itself.

Does the Minister of the Environment plan to use that report as an opportunity to finally announce a real shift in the fight against climate change?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, here is a real shift. The Bloc member no longer has the necessary credibility to talk about technologies and the oil sands, since he was given the opportunity to see the oil sands development project in Alberta for himself but refuses to go.

I do not think Quebeckers want to have a representative who forms his opinions in his living room.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will stay in this House this week because I want to be here for the unveiling of the environment commissioner's report tomorrow, which will form a judgment on this government's attitude towards the Kyoto protocol. That is why we are staying here.

If the government wants to be taken seriously about the fight against climate change, why does it refuse to follow the Bloc's proposal and implement dynamic measures to develop biofuels like cellulosic ethanol? This would be beneficial not only for the forestry regions, but also for the fight against climate change. That is the reality.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case. The Bloc Québécois must do its homework. We have a strategy to reduce greenhouse gases. We have a strategy for this issue. For instance, we have adopted stricter targets, like the Americans. That is why we have established a mechanism for dialogue with the U.S. on clean energy, green energy, hydro and other issues.

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

May 11th, 2009 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Sri Lankan civil war is rapidly becoming a bloodbath. This weekend, indiscriminate bombing has killed hundreds, perhaps even thousands of civilians, a hundred of them children, by reports we are hearing.

Canada's 300,000 Tamils are calling, writing, appealing and are in the streets asking for our government to help.

We simply cannot stand by and watch this slaughter continue. Will the Prime Minister or his senior government officials agree to meet with respected leaders of the Tamil community to discuss the crisis, and will he be in touch with the President of Sri Lanka to call a halt to the bloodbath?

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, first let me commend the leader of the NDP for the help he gave in defusing the situation in the demonstrations yesterday in Toronto.

We will continue to have discussions. Many of the government members have met with the Tamil community. We share their concerns. We will continue to dialogue with them. We will have meetings with any Tamil community representative who is not part of a terrorist organization.

We are working to enhance the ability for members of the government at a senior level to meet with this community.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that response.

On another topic, in January the government promised to invest $4 billion in infrastructure, but all it did was announce old projects from the 2006 budget. The cities and provinces are ready to get going on new projects, but they are still waiting for the money. However, unemployed workers and their families are especially in need of help at this critical time.

Will the Prime Minister and his government promise to take money from their coffers now, by means of a gas tax transfer, to create jobs this summer?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Yellowhead
Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Minister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, we are working very closely with our provincial counterparts and municipalities right across this country to make sure that we get the dollars out the door. We want to make sure that we employ people, not like the Liberals who will raise taxes and destroy that opportunity.

We are working very closely with them to make sure that we get the money out the door. That is actually what we will do.

We have a significant amount started. A number of projects right across this country have actually been announced, but more than that, we are just revving up the engine. Stay tuned. We are about to roll it out very fast.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, with responses like that, it is no surprise, then, that the OECD has named Canada as one of the countries that is not getting out of the recession, while others are turning a corner.

The government has missed the boat on the creation of employment through a stimulus program this summer. It has missed the summer construction season.

Will the Conservatives at least do something to save the fall construction season by transferring the rest of the funds directly to the municipalities, using the gas tax formula that is there, and put people back to work?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Yellowhead
Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Minister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. We are actually getting projects out the door right now. In fact, I can tell the House that in Edmonton, just a very short time ago, we announced a $100 million project. Shovels were in the ground within two weeks. That is what is happening right now. We are employing people. That is just one example of many right across this country and it is actually happening.

We will not miss this construction season. We will get the shovels in the ground and Canadians working and meet the challenges of today.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development must be lost somewhere in the twilight zone.

When asked to improve access to EI benefits in regions like B.C. where access requirements are among the toughest, she continues to mislead by referring to the added five weeks of benefits, which might as well be 500 weeks to those who cannot get access.

Does the minister not understand that, in a recession, her rigid qualification rules just do not work?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the facts. The facts are that accessibility and benefits have gone up in EI in every region in British Columbia in the last few months.

Wherever people are in B.C., it is easier to access EI and they can get it for a longer period. Yes, we added five weeks of additional regular benefits because that is what Canadians asked for. The increase in benefits in some places is as much as 11 weeks. Eleven minus five is six. That is still an increase apart from the extra five weeks we introduced. We are delivering for those who need our help.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is just not acceptable. My province is hemorrhaging jobs, with 25,000 lost in the forestry sector alone. In my province, a gentleman from Campbell River, who lost his job two weeks before the new standards came in, cannot get EI.

Would the minister finally do the right thing and enact the single standard we are asking for, which is a 360 hour EI eligibility? Will she do the right thing and do this for our workers who have lost their jobs in B.C. and across Canada?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are making every effort to help those who have been unfortunate enough to lose their jobs, which is why people in Vancouver can get seven weeks of benefits more than they could a year ago. They can get those weeks easier as well.

We are also going beyond that. We are expanding training opportunities for all who are unfortunate enough to lose their jobs, not just those who are on EI but those who have been out of the workplace for a long time. We want to help them get the skills they need for the jobs of the future so they can continue to look after their families over the long term.