House of Commons Hansard #66 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was young.

Topics

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is exactly why a reactor should not be shut down without a reason, but in this case, there are serious safety concerns.

As I have said, when other reactors have been shut down around the world, Canada has increased its production to help manage that situation. We are working with our international partners and working with the medical community to manage this particular problem. There will be challenges, but steps are being taken to deal with those challenges.

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the point is that international suppliers cannot increase production. That is the core of the problem.

The government has known for 18 months that there are problems at Chalk River. It knows that there are no alternative sources of medical isotopes.

When will the government tell patients the truth, which is that there are no more isotopes?

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are clear on the facts. There is a huge challenge here, and that is why a reactor is not shut down without a reason. In this case, that reason has to do with public safety.

As we have done in the past, we are working with the other isotope producers and the medical community to manage this situation in the best way possible.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

June 2nd, 2009 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, thousands of employees and employers in the forestry sector are currently demonstrating their dissatisfaction with the Conservatives' laissez-faire attitude, and for good reason. We support them.

Plants are closing one after the other all over the country. It is happening in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and New Brunswick. Companies like AbitibiBowater and Fraser Papers are in danger. If the industry does not get loan guarantees, it will disappear.

The Prime Minister must follow through on the industry's demands. Otherwise, can he explain why he is willing to let our forestry industry die without loan guarantees?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that this government undertook an unprecedented level of consultation with the forest industry, with the workers and with the communities in developing our economic action plan.

The result was more focus on marketing and innovation, as the forest industry had indicated it would like to have. We have delivered on that. We have delivered to the communities in terms of help for those communities that are most in strife because of the downturn in the economy.

Not only that, we have put $7.8 billion into programs within the economic action plan that will spur on the domestic supply.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that in two years over 55,000 forestry workers have lost their jobs. Dozens of mills in B.C., Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and elsewhere have closed, many of them permanently.

The workers with jobs are left to fear for their security, pension and future. There is no plan to offset lucrative foreign tax credits for black liquor, no plan to help communities affected by mill closures, no plan for pensions and no loan guarantees to protect what is left of our industry.

The Conservatives just do not care about the national forest industry, the workers or their families. Why?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the more important list is the list of accomplishments of this Conservative government: $1 billion in a community adjustment fund to help forestry communities; $1 billion in a community development fund to help forestry communities; $170 million to help the forestry sector with innovation and marketing; $35 million for renewable energy technologies such as biomass and biofuels; more money in terms of helping with respect to earthquake rebuilding projects; $127.5 million for forest industry long-term competitiveness initiatives; $8.3 billion in Canadian skills--

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government gave the auto sector $10 billion in aid, which adds up to over $650,000 per job. Nobody knows the details of the aid package, or even whether any guarantees were required. In contrast, the government gave just $270 million to the forestry industry, which is the equivalent of $1,000 per job. That is way out of proportion.

How can the government give that much money per job to the auto industry, which is concentrated in Ontario, and a mere pittance to the forestry industry, which is concentrated in Quebec?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the forestry industry is active across Canada. The sector is going through very hard times, but it is still an important sector. It is in trouble because U.S. demand went down dramatically.

We are working to fix the problem. Over the past three years, through tax cuts and Export Development Canada programs and services, we have given the sector nearly $50 billion, and we will keep looking at ways to help the industry.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister justified helping the auto sector by saying that demand had plummeted and that it affects thousands of indirect jobs, and that is true, but that is what is happening in the forestry industry too. The forestry industry is also critical to the survival of entire regions, and the industry's problems affect thousands of indirect jobs. What is good for the auto sector should also be good for the forestry industry.

Can the Prime Minister explain why he has given so little financial help to the forestry industry?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we have given that sector a lot of help. We have given tens of billions of dollars, not only through tax cuts, but also through programs for affected communities and workers, including agreements with the provinces on the industry and on worker training, not to mention loan guarantees underwritten by EDC and the BDC.

The question is, why did the Bloc Québécois vote against all of these programs for communities that rely on that sector?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said yesterday, to justify the enormous sums of money being paid out to help the auto industry, that there would be job losses in the six figures. Well, we have already lost 50,000 jobs in the forestry industry, half of them in Quebec, and we are still waiting for a real assistance plan.

By the Prime Minister’s reasoning, what is he waiting for to help the forestry industry—the number of jobs lost to go even higher?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the forestry industry is having very hard times because of the uncertainty that characterizes that market. That is one reason why our government has created the Canada-Quebec committee to prepare appropriate responses to the crisis in the forestry economy.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the recent document filed by Canada on May 15 in the case between Canada and softwood lumber producers in the United States, the government’s lawyers argue, at page 11, that the loan guarantees given to forestry companies do not violate the softwood lumber agreement. However, the Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) says the opposite.

So who is telling the truth, the Minister of International Trade or the Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)?