House of Commons Hansard #50 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was arctic.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, while this government is continuing to work towards a North American plan to reduce greenhouse gases with the United States, the Liberal Party, in Vancouver, celebrated the return of the green shift's carbon tax. It is back. Yes, it is true, the carbon tax is back.

Can the Minister of the Environment remind Canadians why they completely rejected this plan only seven months ago?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the rotating Liberal environmental plan of taxes, tiddlywink bills and incremental excrementalism has stopped again on taxes.

It is hard to believe, but the Liberal Party wants to impose a carbon tax on Canadians. This will damage investments, kill jobs, and raise prices.

Canadians have a government with a real environment plan, working with our allies internationally and also continentally. We will get the job done.

We will leave taxes and tiddlywinks to the Liberals.

AbitibiBowater
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, last week I asked the Minister of Finance to take action to help seniors who were being kicked off their AbitibiBowater pensions. Eight hundred people are affected, some as old as 94.

He shrugged off their plight, saying they should take it up with the provincial government. That was both callous and wrong.

Federal legislation regulates bankruptcy and insolvency rules, and right now, employees are at the end of the line to get what they are owed in severance and retirement payments.

Will the minister now take action to change the rules to protect employees' benefits, or will he continue to side with the bankers and lenders at the expense of ordinary people?

AbitibiBowater
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the point I made with the member last week was about pensions, that the majority of pensions in this country are subject to provincial regulation, which is the case in AbitibiBowater.

It has gone to court. There is a bankruptcy proceeding going on. I see that the judge today ruled in favour of the union with respect to certain collective agreements and the fact that they must be respected.

That is the role of the courts, applying the bankruptcy laws of Canada.

Business Development Bank of Canada
Oral Questions

May 4th, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Sun says today that another group of government employees is costing us a lot of money. Outrageous salaries, questionable bonuses and a mysterious allocation system mean that executives of the Business Development Bank of Canada earn more than the Prime Minister. The bank says that it has to pay these mandarins that much to keep them, but it refuses to reveal the exact figures.

How can the government tolerate such abuses when people are losing their pensions and 60% of people who lose their jobs do not even qualify for employment insurance?

Business Development Bank of Canada
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member may have heard, of course the BDC has to roughly match private sector banks in terms of its remuneration. It has to match Treasury Board standards. The BDC continues and will continue to play an important role in assisting small and medium-sized enterprises with their loans. They oversee over $3 billion in loans right now.

We will certainly always review to make sure that it is consistent with Treasury Board guidelines.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

For too long, the wharves in eastern Quebec have been in such a state of disrepair that, during violent storms, fishers cannot dock and, for their own safety, are forced to wait out the storm in open waters. This situation has also affected the safety of the ferry service between Rimouski and Forestville.

After a 12-year wait, will the government acknowledge that it is high time to take action and invest in the reconstruction of the Rimouski wharf?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, our government did recognize the need for improvements to small craft harbours. That is why our economic action plan has set out an additional $200 million to make improvements to small craft harbours across the country.

I am not quite sure if Rimouski is on that list, but I will only be too happy to check.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the government adopt phase 2 of the Bloc's assistance plan, which recommends immediate action by investing $300 million in small craft harbours and renovation of its wharves?

That is another means of supporting the economy of regions in dire need of assistance.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, we are supporting the industry by upgrading a number of harbours across the country.

As I said to the hon. member, I am not sure if Rimouski is among those. I do not ever recall hearing from that member that there was a problem with Rimouski. However, we will definitely look into that.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Pavel Kulisek is still in prison in Mexico, and the minister of state is still blaming and berating others for his government's failure to help Mr. Kulisek. His family and friends feel abandoned by the government.

Why is it that the minister appears to favour interests on a commercial basis with other countries over human and consular rights? When are we going to get some action from the minister on a Canadian wrongly accused?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the members of the House that we are actively monitoring this case. We are liaising with the Mexican authorities to express Canada's interest in this case, and in his case, obviously, to seek at the same time the assurances that Mr. Kulisek's right to due process is respected.

As we know, consular officials regularly visit him. As a matter of fact, our ambassador to Mexico has done so on at least two occasions over the course of the last month.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister intervening for the minister of state, but we would like to get a clear answer.

First that minister blamed a journalist and then blamed Mr. Kulisek's lawyer. Last week, when asked repeatedly which aspects of this case had been misrepresented to the public by W-FIVE, the minister could not come up with one single example, not one.

Now that he has run out of other people to blame, will the minister sit down, look at the evidence, and finally come to the defence of a Canadian who has been so clearly and wrongly imprisoned? More important, when is Ron Burgundy going to stand up for Canadians wrongly accused in Mexico?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are actually standing up for this Canadian. As I mentioned before, consular officials have been there, and the ambassador has gone there. My parliamentary secretary has actually been there and visited with this individual and has spoken with him. We are on this file and we are following it actively.

Canadian Flag Pins
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the role of a minister of the Crown is to take responsibility for the contracts and the decisions of his department. However, for a week, we have had this minister running through the spectacle of dodging a simple question as to why a Canadian company was frozen out of a contract and the maple leaf was then outsourced to China.

First he blamed the gift shop. Then he blamed the WTO and he blamed the Speaker. It is like he is running through Tory Rolodex of excuses.

Here is the question: If he is not willing to take responsibility for his department, why does he not step aside and let someone else do it?