House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was officers.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the latest OECD figures predict that Canada will have the strongest economic growth of the G7 countries. In times of recession, the growth rate is low, but it still puts us ahead of the other G7 nations. This is thanks to this government's economic action plan and infrastructure plans and because we refuse to raise taxes, unlike the Liberal leader.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last year, the government did not spend the $2 billion this Parliament had approved for infrastructure. This year, the government is making the same mistake again.

The mayor of Sherbrooke, Jean Perrault, says he is worried, because summer and fall 2009 are fast approaching and no projects have been approved yet.

Why are this government and this Prime Minister refusing to invest the infrastructure money this Parliament approved?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, this government increased infrastructure funding three times before adopting the economic action plan. We will be carrying out many projects across the country in the coming year.

All the details will be in the report we will table in this House in a few weeks.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I await that report with interest, but the fact is in 2007, $2 billion in infrastructure spending was not spent at all. This year's infrastructure spending is delayed. We have already missed the start of the summer construction season. Mayors in municipalities across the country are waiting for the investment.

How long will Canadians have to wait for the stimulus they were promised and the jobs that come with it?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are working with our partners, the provinces and municipalities across the country. We are identifying projects all across the country. Those projects will get going in this fiscal year.

I know the Leader of the Opposition will be delighted to see that spending. All those projects will do a lot more for the economy than the carbon tax, the increased GST, the increased EI payroll taxes and all the taxes that the Liberal Party wants.

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians with family members in Sri Lanka are desperately worried about their safety. Today we learned that a hospital was shelled, victimizing hundreds, and that hundreds more cannot be rescued from the war zone by the Red Cross.

What action will the government take to ensure the safe evacuation of the affected population and the delivery of much needed aid?

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the government is very concerned about the impact on the civilians in Sri Lanka. We know families and friends of many Canadian Tamils are being affected. That is why we are calling for a ceasefire so humanitarian aid can have access and can be delivered to those who are facing such a devastating situation.

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michelle Simson Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend in Sri Lanka, artillery fire reportedly killed nearly 400 civilians and wounded 1,100 more. Tamil Canadians in my riding, with family members in the war zone, are desperately concerned about their safety. They want the government to do everything possible to stop this slaughter.

Will the immigration minister fast-track family class applications for those trying to escape the violence and join their families in Canada?

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, we all share the terrible anxiety of Canadians of Tamil origin who see what is happening in Sri Lanka. That is why our government is not only increasing aid but calling for a ceasefire. Also, our immigration officials at our Colombo mission are expediting the processing of family class reunification applications for Sri Lankan nationals.

There are some logistical difficulties because it is difficult for people to come from the affected areas to Colombo for interviews, but our officials are doing everything they possibly can to expedite the processing of these applications.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, as Quebec prepares to create a carbon exchange, we learn from a document obtained through access to information that the lack of any federal legislation on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions has harmful economic effects on the natural resource sector. The lack of any guidelines hampers research and development investments in the area of renewable green energies.

Will the Prime Minister wake up at last and put in place some real and absolute greenhouse gas emission targets? This is an economic issue too.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has already indicated on a number of occasions its intention to do exactly what the Leader of the Bloc Québécois has called for, but since the visit by President Obama it is clear that we are working along with the U.S. government in setting targets and creating a regulatory system for greenhouse gas emissions for the economy of the entire continent.

I feel that will be the best solution.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is wrong. The Prime Minister is not referring to absolute reduction targets, but rather to intensity targets. They are not at all the same. Not at all the same, and he knows that very well , but he keeps on changing reality.

He is the one who spoke of a socialist plot when discussing the 2002 Kyoto protocol. Recently he has even appointed people to a research council who deny this scientific reality,and one person who has spoken out against Kyoto.

Will he put an end to this I don't care attitude, which essentially backs the oil and gas sector at the expense of the manufacturing and forestry sectors, when these have made efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is always interesting to see the Bloc Québécois leader again attacking Alberta and Ontario in asking a question about the environment. That is part of the Bloc's very nature. It does not seek solutions, it simply seeks to pit Canadians against each other.

As for us, we are working with the provincial governments and the U.S. government to reach some real solutions for our planet.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister should listen to the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development, who is highly critical of the government’s attempts to fight greenhouse gases.

The reductions in greenhouse gas emissions forecasted in his climate change plan are being overestimated. Canada is not complying with the provisions that require it to make real reductions in greenhouse gases. In short, the government is taking refuge in all kinds of excuses.

How can the minister still say that only small changes are needed to his plan when we have proof today that it is nothing more than a masquerade designed to protect the oil companies?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. Contrary to the Bloc Québécois and the Liberals, we have clear objectives and a clear strategy for fighting climate change. They are to help protect the environment and promote economic prosperity, readjust our priorities from time to time, regularly and with a view to the long term, and develop and implement green technologies.

The Bloc should support our efforts and stop being so partisan about this.