House of Commons Hansard #84 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Prime Minister's Cabinet
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it was the Liberal Party that smeared, maligned and said the most outrageous things about one of the members in question. Now, of course, it is the great defender.

We have many strong women who serve in this government. I neglected to mention the great contribution of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the phenomenal work of the Minister of Health and, of course, the great Minister of International Cooperation who has done a fantastic job over the last two months.

Census
Oral Questions

October 21st, 2010 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government operates under a cloak of secrecy.

Day in and day out, more backroom deals and more dark secrets are revealed, whether it is staff interfering with access to information or abolishing the long form census or secret winks and handshakes to obtain government contracts.

Why does the Conservative government not open up the doors and windows of democracy for all Canadians? When will the government implement the Liberal plan to reinstate the long form census, offer full access to information and adopt a principle of open government?

Census
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are always open and truthful to the Canadian public. With respect to the long form census, there has been a robust debate about that issue.

In fact, we have taken a fair and reasonable position, seeking to balance the user's inclination to want more and more data, and we want to ensure they get useful and usable data, but at the same time we want to balance that off with the fair and reasonable requests of some Canadians who do not want to see their government coercing them with threats of jail time or fines to reveal very personal information.

I think our positions are fair and reasonable.

Census
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we celebrated the first world statistics day.

However, Canadian statisticians spent the day in mourning. Recent months have been difficult for the best statistical agency in the world after losing its best source of information and its chief statistician.

It is all part of this government's hidden and obscure plan to misinform Canadians, to base policies on ideology, and to keep citizens in the dark.

How can the Prime Minister justify choosing ignorance and lack of transparency over openness and respect for facts?

Census
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said, it is important to strike a balance between the need for information and the rights of Canadians so that the government does not use power against its citizens.

We have a fair and balanced position. We think it is reasonable and right to have that balanced position. I encourage the hon. member to be in agreement with the Liberal member for Richmond Hill who had that position four and a half years ago.

Oil and Gas Exploration
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the National Assembly of Quebec has adopted a motion calling for a moratorium on oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence until 2012 so that the environmental and safety risks can be assessed. The best way for Quebec to protect itself is to have an agreement on the St. Lawrence seabed.

Will the Minister of Natural Resources promise to enter into such an agreement this fall, which is what the Government of Quebec has been calling for?

Oil and Gas Exploration
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is a bit behind the times. We have always promised to develop our natural resources in a responsible manner, in co-operation with the provinces. Now, Quebec has said it wants an agreement like the Canada—Newfoundland and Canada—Nova Scotia agreements.

Discussions are proceeding, as the minister has said repeatedly, and talks are under way.

Oil and Gas Exploration
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the safety of gas development in the St. Lawrence is uncertain. While Quebec has imposed a moratorium, Newfoundland is going full steam ahead.

Will the government admit that federalism is bad for Quebeckers, because if Quebec were a sovereign nation, it could take legal action in international court to require that Newfoundland comply with a moratorium so that the environmental risks associated with gas exploration could be assessed?

Oil and Gas Exploration
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois, which has always been dismissive of fossil fuels, is suddenly interested in this form of energy.

Why the sudden interest in developing this form of energy? Because the Bloc members see the potential for divisiveness and want to pick a fight with Newfoundland, once again, to serve their own purposes, their own cause and their own ideology, which most Quebeckers do not want to hear about anymore.

I repeat, talks are under way with Quebec, and we are going to take a positive approach. If Quebec wants an agreement, we will negotiate in good faith.

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Trade made some very disturbing comments about the negotiations with the European Union. He said he was not terribly concerned about Latvian culture threatening Canadian culture. How shameful.

The Government of Quebec has always maintained a clear stance on cultural exemption: culture is not merchandise.

Since the federal government is speaking on behalf of Quebec in the negotiations with the European Union, will it defend the interests of Quebec's cultural community and demand a cultural exemption?

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, our free trade negotiations with the European Union offer significant opportunities for all Canadians. Everyone understands that we are trying to obtain the same cultural exemption that we ask for in all our trade agreements. We are convinced that the 27 member states of the European Union will also be seeking their own cultural exemptions.

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to government contracts issued by Quebec and the municipalities, we need to demand the same rules and exemptions that govern all EU members.

Will the Minister of International Trade ensure that the same provisions that exist within the European Union also apply to the future free trade agreement between Canada and Europe?

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, for the first time in Canadian history, the provinces and territories are at the negotiating table to conclude a free trade agreement with the European Union. They have the power to defend their access to government contracts. We are proud to be working with the provinces and territories towards a free trade agreement that will create jobs for all Canadians, including Quebeckers.

Canadian Council on Learning
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to choose ignorance over information. The changes to the long form census were the culmination of a series of ideological attacks on evidence gathering, like the decision to kill the Canadian Council on Learning. At a time when Canadians face demographic challenges that can only be solved by investing in education, the government cancelled the very agency that was producing the road map to a more educated Canada.

Why did the Conservative government abandon an organization that provides such critical information and leadership to Canadians?

Canadian Council on Learning
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Council on Learning was provided with one-time funding of $85 million in 2004. It has always been clear that this funding would expire after five years. In fact, the funding was extended for one year.

We are committed to value for taxpayer dollars and understand the need for stronger learning and labour market information systems, and that is where the government is proceeding.