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 trade.

Topics

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the party in the House that has attacked Toronto is the Conservative Party. The party that has diminished Canada's role in the world is the Conservative Party.

As part of their G20 billion dollar boondoggle, the Conservatives spent over $300,000 on bug spray. I guess their million dollar fake lake must have attracted a lot of bugs. Perhaps the Conservatives would tell the House who in their government authorized this waste.

How can the Conservatives justify this outrageous waste of tax dollars when so many Canadians are having trouble just making ends meet?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of our accomplishments at the G8 and the G20 summits. Canada is leading in the global economic recovery as well as in international efforts to aid developing countries.

As we have said from the beginning, these were legitimate expenses, the majority of which were for security.

It was good that we were able to highlight the city of Toronto. Of 90 cities around the world, Toronto is now recognized as the most attractive place for employers. That is what our government wants:more jobs in Toronto and more jobs in Canada.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, last week Canadians learned how the Conservatives spent some of the $1.3 billion it cost to hold the G20: $5 million for car rentals; almost $100,000 for snacks; 22,000 bottles of sunscreen. The Conservatives went on a spending spree at a summit the Prime Minister promised would be about controlling spending.

At a time when families are struggling with the high cost of living, how can the government justify spending almost 40 times more on security than the United States did?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as host nation of unprecedented back-to-back G8 and G20 summits, we are proud of their success.

As we have said all along, the majority of these costs for the summit were security related. Approximately 20,000 security personnel were tasked with safeguarding both summits.

In the course of this, we were able to highlight Toronto, to ensure that Toronto received the recognition that it does not get from members opposite. We believe Toronto is an important place for job growth and development.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

What is unprecedented, Mr. Speaker, is the amount of spending.

So far the Conservatives have only revealed about 15% of the total G8 and G20 spending. They are not telling us how they spent the remainder of the $1.3 billion. Canadians have a right to see the rest of the receipts. Last week's documents showed the Minister of Foreign Affairs was refusing to disclose how his department spent its money.

Will the Conservatives demonstrate true accountability and release the full details of what they bought with borrowed taxpayer money?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I have made it very clear that our government is prepared to release the costs of the summits, and we will do so. We have invited the Auditor General to examine all of our expenditures to ensure that those expenditures were appropriate.

Canada was responsible for the safety and security of world leaders, delegates, visitors and Canadians living and working near where the summits took place. We took this responsibility seriously. We are proud of the men and women who ensured their protection.

Census
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is justifying its decision to eliminate the long form census by saying that there is no question of imprisoning those who refuse to respond. However, no one has ever been put in jail and the opposition has already said that it agrees with eliminating the jail sentence.

Does the government's ideological stubbornness not prove that these explanations are nothing but excuses that are simply meant to camouflage its contempt for science?

Census
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have a fair and reasonable approach that aims to strike the right balance between collecting necessary information and respecting Canadians' privacy.

We do not think it is appropriate to force Canadians to provide private, personal information under threat of sanctions.

Census
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the addition of two new questions to the survey, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada is still not satisfied and is asking the courts to intervene because eliminating the long form census will deprive the government of information needed to ensure that the Official Languages Act is respected and federal services are provided in French.

Why is the government not reversing its decision and reinstating the long form census?

Census
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have added two language-related questions to the short form in order to protect both official languages. The leader of the Bloc made another suggestion, which I will read from La Presse: “If citizens do not agree to participate in the census, Ottawa could refuse to grant them a passport or employment insurance benefits.”

That is the Bloc's solution.

International Trade
Oral Questions

September 27th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, UNESCO has adopted the principle of cultural exception, whereby cultural products are excluded from free trade commitments. The Minister of International Trade has not been very reassuring regarding his government's desire to maintain the principle of cultural exception in the Canada-European Union free trade agreement.

Can the government assure us that it is making cultural exceptions a priority, because any compromise in that regard could give the United States the pretext to dispute our cultural protection measures?

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, in this time of economic uncertainty the government is working to open new doors for Canadian businesses and to help create jobs in Canada.

In particular, the comprehensive trade agreement with the European Union has the potential to boost the Canadian economy by $12 billion. The provinces and territories are participating directly in the negotiations in areas that fall in whole or in part under their jurisdiction.

Canada and the EU had a positive and productive fourth round of negotiations in July. Canada will conduct its negotiations at the negotiating table, not in—

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Saint-Maurice—Champlain.

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, within the European Union, internal regulations allow countries to protect their government procurement and exceptions already exist in the areas of security and energy.

Does the government plan to demand that the same exceptions apply to the future free trade agreement between Canada and Europe?

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Again, Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate the hon. member's interest in this subject.

The free trade agreement with the European Union is an extremely important agreement. It is also a modern agreement, a very comprehensive agreement that we have signed with the European Union.

The point is very clear. The provinces and the municipalities are involved in the negotiations. However, we will conduct the negotiations at the negotiating table, not on the floor of Parliament or on the front pages of newspapers or magazines.