House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was spam.

Topics

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, six weeks ago, the town of Stanstead asked for a three-month extension to complete the Pat Burns arena. As of today, Stanstead has received no answer.

How can the government continue to threaten communities like Stanstead, saying it will hold back the millions of dollars promised by the Prime Minister himself?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have said repeatedly in the House, since I took over a portfolio that was in excellent shape, that we have been fair and reasonable going into this. We have been helping to re-scope projects. We have been helping to identify other projects that some municipalities want into. We will continue to be fair and reasonable, working with proponents of projects as I identify particular problems along the way.

However, we have six months to go until the March 31 deadline. In the meantime, project after project is coming in. Many times they are coming in below budget and ahead of schedule.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is not an answer. Six weeks ago the town of Stanstead asked for a three month extension to complete the Pat Burns arena. As of today, Stanstead has received no answer.

If funding for the Pat Burns arena, announced by the Prime Minister himself, is in jeopardy, then how can Canadians believe any of the commitments made in today's report?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, nothing is in jeopardy. The important thing is there are six months yet to go before the deadline, so there is lots of time.

We are very interested to hear about particular projects like this. Provincial ministers are busy gathering data from across the country, sharing it with me over the next week or two so we can get a good picture of this.

My department is talking to individual project proponents to ensure that if there are any details out there, any problems out there, we want to know about them. Information like this is in the system. We are well aware of it.

However, there are six months to go. There is nothing in jeopardy. The people there should be very confident that this project will get built.

Census
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians do not understand why this government is attacking the census. Why jeopardize a valuable tool that allows us to make informed decisions? By partially backtracking when faced with the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne, the government is admitting it was wrong. What is more, the solution it is proposing in order to comply with the Official Languages Act is improvised and inadequate.

Why do they want a less useful, more expensive census that plunges us into darkness?

Census
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that is not so. As I already said, we have added two questions to the short form census in order to better protect both official languages.

We have been open. We have been reasonable. We have been honest. We have tried to find a reasonable balance between the coercion that the opposition loves to enforce on Canadians and getting the useful and usable data without having those threats of jail time and massive fines against our fellow Canadian citizens.

That is why we are fair and reasonable.

Census
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, did I hear the Minister of Industry say that he had been honest?

The government should not fight the consensus on this. The census is important for bilingualism, but it is also crucial for the economy.

If the Conservatives go forward, our central bank will have poor data on which to base its policies. This is no way to make Canada work. If the government goes forward, small businesses across the country will lose access to vital data that allows them to plan and grow. We may as well blindfold them.

Is the government willing to jeopardize Canada's economic foundation by refusing—

Census
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Industry.

Census
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear for the record. We still have the mandatory short form census. We still have the mandatory labour force survey, which goes to the economic information that the hon. member thinks is important and is indeed important. That is why it is still mandatory.

However, we do not think it is wise or fair or reasonable to threaten our fellow Canadian citizens with jail time or fines to fill out the 40 page form.

If the hon. member wants to talk about honesty, the one honest thing that has come out on the other side is that his leader is a tax and spend Liberal and he is proud of it.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, today our government gave Canadians an update on the progress we have made in protecting our economy by implementing Canada's economic action plan. Today we released the sixth report to Canadians. Even Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page has praised the thoroughness of reports saying, “It really puts Canada almost at the forefront in fiscal transparency and stimulus”.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance inform parliamentarians on what was reported in this latest update on Canada's economic action plan?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his role in helping the economic action plan to be rolled out.

Today we had more good news that the economic action plan is indeed working. The finance minister shared some facts and figures with us: 97% of the job-creating infrastructure projects are either under way or completed and $22 billion in federal stimulus is being injected into the economy this fiscal year. We have the lowest tax level in 50 years.

More good news is, as I said before, there are $3,000 more in the pocket of a family of four.

Census
Oral Questions

September 27th, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, eliminating the mandatory long form census questionnaire shows that the government is not very concerned with finding solutions to Canadians' problems. Today, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada is in court in an attempt to reinstate the long form. The data collected are necessary to ensure that linguistic minorities receive the services that meet their needs.

When will the government acknowledge that it made a mistake and reinstate the long form questionnaire?

Census
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said, we added two questions to the short form census to better protect the two official languages. We are using a fair and reasonable approach to striking the best balance between collecting necessary data and protecting Canadians' right to privacy. Our government will find the right balance for this and all situations.

Census
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, is this how we are going to get the census back, one court case at a time? Nunavut Tunngavik worries it will be impossible to decide where to best spend scarce housing dollars. The Métis National Council says the mandatory census is the only way the federal government can collect information on Métis.

Without reliable information, first nations, Métis, and Inuit underfunding will just get worse.

Will the government reverse its decision, or does every group in Canada have to protect its rights with individual court cases?

Census
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is not inclined to take my word for it, the member should take the word of the Chief Statistician at Statistics Canada, who said that the voluntary long form survey will provide useful and usable data for most users.

That is why we have a fair balance between our need for this information and our means of collecting it. We will collect these data without forcing upon our fellow Canadians the threats of jail time and massive fines.

The hon. member might be satisfied and happy with that kind of society; we are not.