House of Commons Hansard #32 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was producers.

Topics

Rogers Communications
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to congratulate Rogers Communications on 50 years of driving Canadian innovation.

It was Ted Rogers' father who invented the world's first batteryless radio. Little could he have imagined the firsts his son would go on to pioneer in the decades ahead.

In the early 1990s, Rogers was the first in North America to launch digital cellular. Not long after that, it was the first to pioneer high-speed home Internet. More recently it was the first in Canada to launch a next-generation LTE wireless network.

Rogers employs more than 30,000 Canadians in high-value jobs and provides almost one in three Canadians with the services Canadians need to connect with the world around them.

Each year Rogers invests billions of dollars in its networks. It is among the top R and D spenders in Canada. It increased its research and development budget through the recent economic downturn.

The New Democrats, the official opposition, offer our congratulations as Rogers celebrates this impressive milestone. We look forward to the future of even more exciting Canadian innovation.

New Democratic Party
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems that a former New Democrat MP is teaching the new NDP MPs in this House the art of obstruction, time-wasting and impertinence, and all with a view to obstructing the democratic process. The most disappointing thing is that this type of tactic is being used by a party that promised to promote decorum in the House of Commons.

The hon. member for Vancouver East used to criticize these tactics in committee, calling them mean-spirited, vindictive and anti-democratic. The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre described this type of strategy in committee as a way of heading toward a constitutional crisis. Their House leader refuses to comment and, with such tactics, we can see why.

The new NDP MPs did not come to Ottawa to play these dirty games. They should rise up against these tactics and help our Conservative government deliver the goods for Canadians.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are ignoring the needs of Prairie farmers by dismantling the Canadian Wheat Board even though that is not what they want. Farmers made it clear: they want to keep the Canadian Wheat Board. But the Conservatives are refusing to listen. They are refusing to accept the results of the referendum on the Canadian Wheat Board.

Why dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board even though that is not what farmers want?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, western farmers have been speaking with a strong voice for a long time.

Western Canadian farmers have long been looking for the freedom to market their grain, just like farmers in Quebec and other parts of eastern Canada have. We are going to give them that freedom.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, here is what the law says:

The Minister shall not cause to be introduced in Parliament a bill that would exclude any kind, type, class or grade of wheat or barley...unless

(a) the Minister has consulted with the board...; and

(b) the producers of the grain have voted in favour of the exclusion or extension....

That is the law of the land. Why will the Prime Minister not respect the law, respect the producers and keep the Canadian Wheat Board in place?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the law of our constitutional system is extremely clear. A previous government cannot bind a future government to its policy. This government received a mandate from western Canadian farmers, who did not vote for that party or anyone over there, to make sure that these people have the freedom that other people in this country have long taken for granted, and we are going to give it to them because that is what they want us to do.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister seems to have forgotten about the law and order government. I just read the law to the Prime Minister. It says that the minister shall not cause to be introduced in Parliament a bill impacting the Wheat Board's mandate unless the producers have voted in favour of these changes. It has not happened.

Why will the Prime Minister not respect our farmers, respect democracy, and respect the law of the land?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this party has for a long time received a strong mandate from western Canadian farmers in a democratic election for the platform on which we are proceeding. That party over there does not speak for those people, does not care about those people, does not represent those people. We do and we are going to act in their interests.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the ink was not even dry on the free trade agreement before the Americans started gunning for the Wheat Board. That is because they know that the Wheat Board is a huge advantage to Canadian farmers. Thirteen times they filed complaints at trade tribunals and 13 times they were defeated because the American trade tribunal knows there is nothing unfair about Canadian farmers acting collectively in their own best interests.

Why is the Conservative government now doing the Americans' dirty work for them?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite should well know, there are some world-class Canadian traders, such as Viterra. The pulse industry and canola industry will now be able to handle those crops working with customers that they have worldwide. The Canadian Wheat Board will survive on a voluntary basis. They will be able to move on grains they are not pooling now. They will be able to broker grains. Everyone will be better off all the way around. Anywhere in the world this has been implemented, farmers have benefited.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, folklore has it that the Canadian beaver will bite off its own testicles when it is threatened and offer them up to its tormentors. I think that is a fitting metaphor for the way our Canadian government reacts to bullying on trade issues, by carving off pieces of our nation and offering them to the Americans.

Whether it is on softwood lumber or now the Canadian Wheat Board, why is our government so willing and eager to unilaterally surrender what little trade advantages we have? Whose side is it on? Why is it selling out Canadian interests?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I think that is a very fitting metaphor because the member for Winnipeg Centre is impotent to stand in the way of farmers getting freedom.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the same subject, with a slightly different tone. In his first answer to the Leader of the Opposition, I heard the Prime Minister clearly state that he was confident that he had the full support of the majority of western farmers.

I will ask him a simple question. If the Prime Minister is so confident that he does have that support, why will he not put this question in a plebiscite? We have had a referendum. Why not have a plebiscite and let the prairie farmers themselves decides what is going to them. Let them--

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The right hon. Prime Minister.