House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Steel Industry
Oral Questions

December 12th, 2011 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government welcomes foreign investment that benefits Canada. It helps the Canadian economy grow and it creates jobs. At the same time, when undertakings are secured as part of a foreign investment, we expect compliance.

In 2009, our government went to court to ensure U.S. Steel would meet commitments it made under the Investment Canada Act when it purchased Stelco. In the time since, the government has worked hard to maintain jobs in a vibrant steel industry in Hamilton and Ontario.

Could the Minister of Industry give the House an update on this important issue?

Steel Industry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, our top priorities are jobs and the economy. Today I am announcing that the government and U.S. Steel have come to an agreement that ends the court proceedings.

Under this enhanced agreement, U.S. Steel has committed to continue operations in Canada until 2015, $50 million in capital investments above its original undertaking of $200 million and a contribution of $3 million toward community programs in Hamilton and Nanticoke.

When it comes to foreign investment and a company makes an undertaking, we will ensure it is respected.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, late on Friday the secretive Conservative government suddenly announced a new Afghan detainee transfer agreement with the United States.

Canadians expect a lot more transparency on these issues, and they want a few simple questions answered. Could the minister confirm that no Canadian captured detainees remain in the custody of the Afghan national directorate of security, and if so, when did the transfer occur?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it was a big secret. I announced it right here in the House of Commons. Before I did that, I talked to the hon. member and offered her a full briefing which she, to her credit, took on Friday afternoon.

With the Canadian Forces combat mandate ending in Afghanistan, we have moved to a new system that builds on the two previous agreements. We are working with the Obama administration to ensure that we meet all of our international obligations.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

First, Mr. Speaker, I would repeat, could the minister confirm that no Canadian captured detainees remain in the custody of the Afghan national directorate of security?

Second, why was this agreement reached now, when we have known for seven years that abuse is common in Afghan prisons?

A report published in October by the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan documents the torture and abuse suffered by detainees in Afghan prisons. What—

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member is out of time.

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have a robust monitoring system. A Canadian official will be on the ground in Afghanistan to ensure that all of our international obligations are met.

I am pleased to report to the member opposite that there has not been a single corroborated allegation against any detainee transferred by the Canadian Forces. We will continue to do our very best to ensure that both outside of Kandahar and at Parwan.

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government is completely out of touch with the reality facing Canadians. At a time when taxpayers are tightening their belts, certain Conservative ministers are using jets and rescue helicopters as their own personal taxi. It is completely irresponsible. As we know, this is not the first time that the Minister of National Defence has used search and rescue aircraft for personal reasons.

Will the minister finally shed some light on what really happened and tell us how much it cost taxpayers for him to be picked up from his fishing trip on July 9, 2010? How much did it cost?

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said in this House many times, I left time off to go back to work. Before leaving Gander, I took part in a search and rescue demonstration that has been confirmed by retired Cormorant squadron leader and pilot, Major Stephen Reid, who stated that the participation in this training exercise was viewed as a win-win situation.

As I said, I took part in this demonstration, and then as requested, I went on to complete further government business.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Claude Patry Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, 150 workers from my riding were told this morning that they are losing their jobs. The shutting down of paper machine number six at Resolute Forest Products in Kénogami was supposed to be temporary, but as of this morning, it is now permanent. We are still waiting to hear what the government plans to do to retrain these workers. With the current wait times for EI claims, there is no way they will receive their benefits in time for the holidays.

Can the government finally tell us how it plans to help the workers of Kénogami?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we want to help the people who lost their jobs because of this shut down, especially at this time of year, with Christmas just around the corner. That is why Service Canada is working with the provinces and territories to provide unemployed workers with information on the various benefits they have access to in order to help them and their families, especially at this time of year. We also want to help them get back to work. That is why we are providing training programs, in partnership with the provinces and territories.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has said no to sponsoring parents and grandparents. It has put on a two-year freeze, something which we oppose.

The expectation of the super visa, on the other hand, was high, and it is turning into a super disappointment. Individuals are finding it too difficult to get the health care coverage necessary to get the super visa.

Will the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism make the necessary modifications to enable the hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals to get their parents and grandparents to--

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member is out of time. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

St. Catharines
Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question and the exuberance with which it has been placed.

The super visa program for parents and grandparents from around the world who want to visit their children and grandchildren here in Canada was just undertaken on December 1. We have just begun the program. This is going to allow parents and grandparents to come to this country, visit their children and grandchildren, and enjoy quality time here with them.

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, in this, the last week, I would like to point out that we have never seen so many ministers refuse to answer questions, read notes robotically, and slip out the back door after every question period.

I want the Minister of National Defence to go through the front door and explain himself to the media, to the press, instead of hiding the way he does when it comes to the F-35s or his use of rescue helicopters.