House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreement.

Topics

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, by law, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board operates independently and at arm's length from the federal government and the provincial governments across the country. That is something the member opposite has not put on the floor. But it also deals with taxpayers' money, and any compensation for its executives should reflect that reality.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, those managers have wiped out four years of Canadians' contributions to CPP with that loss of $24 billion and yet they are going to haul in bonuses of $7 million this year. That is added to $23 million that those executives took in bonuses over the last couple of years.

It is offensive and public outrage is growing about it. Why? Because the average senior gets $500 a month from that pension plan and yet those guys can raid the bank for millions even when they lose money. It is outrageous--

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Transport.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, just about every pension plan in every corner of the world is facing the reality of the economic downturn that has taken place right across this continent and around the world. Canada's economy is doing demonstrably better than most countries.

Patricia Croft from RBC Asset Management said, “Canada continues to be the envy of the world in regard to our fiscal position, and we can get out of it without having to raise taxes”. That is an important message for Canadians, and it is a very important message for the leader of the Liberal Party, who wants to raise taxes on hardworking middle-class Canadians.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know that the minister cannot get the words “$24 billion lost by these managers” out of his mouth, and he also cannot describe the magnitude of the bonuses, because if he ever said it, he knows Canadians would be upset about it.

It is time Conservatives took some action. This is Canadians' money we are talking about. Month after month, they pay into it. There are seniors living in poverty, and these guys reach out and grab millions. If they are doing such a great job, let them find a job somewhere else.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the leader of the NDP wants to make derogatory comments about people who work in the public service and who work in the benefit of Canadians. What is increasingly clear is that maybe it will be the leader of the NDP who is looking for a job before anyone else in that regard.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said “no recession”. There is one. The Minister of Finance predicted a surplus. Wrong again. Then he said we would have a $34 billion deficit, and it is now over $50 billion.

The government has lost all credibility when managing Canada's financial crisis. Is the Minister of Industry any better at math than the rest of the Conservative bench?

Canadians now have $9.5 billion on the line with GM. Can the industry minister assure Canadians that he will keep his promises, get every penny back and that the deal protects Canada's fair share of jobs and 20% of production?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, of course as every member of the House knows, the automotive sector in Canada is facing difficult times due to the global crisis. The announcement today was the result of a significant amount of work, a significant amount of sacrifice by auto workers in this country, by the CAW and the UAW, by auto executives. The announcement was the result of hard work by governments on both sides of the border and the Ontario government as well. We think we have found the best way forward for our Canadian industry and for Canadian taxpayers.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada will become part owner of both GM and Chrysler, as Canadian taxpayers provide 20% of the rescue package.

The Council of Canadian Academies has recently pointed out that private sector R and D advancement in Canada is low. This is a priceless opportunity for the government to ensure that both GM and Chrysler commit to performing some of their R and D in Canada in proportion to Canada's investment.

Canadians can, and should, contribute to developing the cars of tomorrow. Will the Conservatives seize this opportunity and make it happen?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in terms of the deal that was announced today, there are a couple of important aspects. One is that it maintain the long-term viability of the industry. That was one of the things we said was important in this deal. The other thing is the proportionate share.

Another thing I would point out in answer to the member's question is that there is $1 billion committed to R and D investment in this country as part of this deal.

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's border with the U.S. gets thicker today. For the first time Canadians and Americans will require a passport to travel between our countries. With only a quarter of U.S. citizens holding one, it threatens billions in trade and countless jobs that depend upon spontaneous travel.

The Conservative government did nothing to prevent this.The Conservatives have left it to the provinces to scramble for solutions while for three years their inaction has created the most closed border in generations.

When families get turned away, when businesses close because of reduced travel, when people get laid off, will the government look them in the eye and tell them just how little it has done?

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I have to refresh the hon. member on the history of the western hemisphere travel initiative. It was actually adopted by the Americans, not while the Conservatives were in government but rather while the member's party was in government.

Does the House know how many Liberals went to Washington to make their case to Congress, to make their case to the Senate and the House of Representatives? Zero. Not one. There was not one word. They did not even know it was happening.

When we became government, we achieved a number of extensions on implementation. We managed to get flexibility with an enhanced driver's licence as an alternative travel document. We have done a lot to make it easier for trade to flow across our border.

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, it may come as news, but the minister and the government have been here for three and a half years. In that period of time they have done so little, and maybe they are proud of this, that the former president of the United States, who left office just four months ago, and the former president whose wife is the Secretary of State, said they had no knowledge of these conditions, that it was news to them.

How can Conservatives stand up and say they did anything when our largest trading partner knew nothing about an issue that put thousands of jobs at risk? Why have they failed to defend Canada's interests or even make them aware that our interests exist?

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of Public Safety

Clearly, Mr. Speaker, the awareness of the former presidents matches that of the Liberal Party when these initiatives were being put in place.

However, in our three and a half years, we have obtained successive extensions related to the air provisions. We have obtained two extensions for implementation of the land provisions. We obtained permission for alternative travel documents. We actually did some things to make it better for Canadians. We actually delivered some results.

This past week we delivered a shiprider initiative jointly with the Americans, a joint emergency protocol with the Americans and, as well, an agreement to a joint threat assessment so we will have a common approach to managing our border.

We are delivering real results. The Liberals just ignored the problems and never did anything about them.

Nuclear Waste Management
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, today in Montreal the Nuclear Waste Management Organization begins the Quebec phase of consultations to develop a process for selecting a disposal site for this type of waste. But Quebec, which produces only 3.7% of all the waste, does not want to become Canada's garbage dump. On October 30, 2008, the Quebec National Assembly unanimously called on the federal government to prohibit the burial in Quebec soil of irradiated waste coming from outside Quebec.

Will the government respect this demand?