House of Commons Hansard #125 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, it goes from the sublime to the ridiculous over there.

That member chose, bizarrely, to run for a political party that, when in government, imposed a $1,000 head tax on all new permanent residents to Canada. The previous Liberal government froze settlement funding for 13 years. It drove up the backlog on immigration from a couple hundred thousand files to nearly a million. It did nothing on foreign credential recognition, a record of shame and neglect.

The government cut the right of landing fee in half, tripled settlement funding, has massively reduced the backlog and is taking real action on credential recognition. When it comes to newcomers, this government is taking action.

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the price of prescription drugs is increasing by an average of 10% a year.

The free trade agreement with the European Union would increase the cost of prescriptions by several billion dollars. In Quebec, the price would increase by over $700 million. In Ontario, it would be over $1 billion. Yet one out of four Canadians does not have a drug insurance plan.

Why do the Conservatives want to sign an agreement that will increase these prices?

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does not have her facts straight.

In fact, the Canada-European Union free trade agreement stands to be of great benefit to Canadian consumers, with growth in our economy of some $12 billion a year. In terms of the issue in question, the pharmaceutical issue, this is actually one of many issues still to be negotiated. There is no agreement on it yet.

We can say with sound assurance that this government will only enter an agreement that is in Canada's best interest.

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, we can hardly expect that, considering the Conservative government could not be more out of touch with the needs of Canadians. The Conservative-European free trade deal could cause drug prices to rise by more than $2.5 billion a year. It is a clear failure of leadership on the part of the Conservatives.

New Democrats have repeatedly proposed a realistic pharmacare strategy that would actually save Canadians billions of dollars a year.

When will the current government stop protecting the interests of big pharma and start working with first nations, provinces and territories to come up with an affordable drug strategy?

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, this member could not be much more out of touch, because the fact is that what she is laying on the table is not agreed to. Those are not the terms. They may have been what she read in the headlines somewhere, but if she were to get on top of the facts, she would learn there is no such agreement.

What we are working on with the European Union is an agreement that would result in jobs and economic prosperity for Canadians from coast to coast. We will deal with all of the issues that come to the table, many of which remain to be negotiated, but we will deal with them firmly and in Canada's best interests to deliver the best possible returns for the Canadian economy and Canadian jobs.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government has been delivering for the forestry sector in the province of B.C., with recent support for Cariboo Pulp and Paper in Quesnel, Northwood Pulp Mill in Prince George and Domtar's pulp mill in Kamloops.

We are ensuring that the Canadian economy and resource jobs are there for our resource communities. We are here for B.C. and we are here for Canada.

Would the Minister of Natural Resources tell the House what the government is doing for resource communities in the rest of Canada?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the government's priority is the economy, and we provide support to Quebeckers in all regions of Quebec. That is why, since 2008, we have provided assistance to over 652 forestry companies in Quebec. Take, for example, Domtar and Tembec, in Windsor and Matane, respectively, where over 500 jobs were consolidated. The Conservative government is always working to provide assistance to all sectors of the economy and to people in all regions of Quebec.

Knowledge Economy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, under the previous Liberal government, the knowledge economy was the pride of Quebec. The downhill slide that began under the Conservative government is becoming more pronounced and cuts to research and development are becoming increasingly severe. Last week, Pfizer announced the closure of its research and development centre in Saint-Laurent. That means 150 very real, high-calibre jobs are going to be eliminated. The Conservatives are getting worked up about non-existent jobs related to the F-35s but they are letting real jobs be eliminated.

Is this further proof that Quebec's future does not matter to them?

Knowledge Economy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, our sympathies are with those who are affected by Pfizer's decision. Of course, it was a worldwide decision, affecting many different plants and companies.

I can assure the hon. member that we are still focused on jobs and job creation. We have seen that in the province of Quebec. My colleague, the House leader, informs me that 46% of Quebec companies are intending to hire in the next three months. That is good news for Quebeckers and, of course, good news for Canadians as well.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence chose to establish its new Joint Meteorological Centre in Gagetown. This is the second significant investment for which Bagotville has been overlooked in the past 14 months. These two missed opportunities are even more painful because the Conservatives have still not kept their promise to station 650 new members of the expeditionary squadron in Bagotville.

Can the two Conservative ministers from Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean explain why they are unable to stick up for their region?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Joint Meteorological Centre at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown will have no impact, none, on CFB Bagotville. In fact the weather service being produced at this particular base involves no personnel.

With modern technology, it has now been determined that we will have centralized Canadian Forces weather services at the Joint Meteorological Centre at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. And with respect to Bagotville, we have 400 new Canadian Forces and personnel.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, despite an ongoing 40-year partnership between the Canadian Teachers' Federation and CIDA, the minister rejected CTF's recent application to help train teachers and develop curriculum aboard because of “an unspecified technicality”. This, after 18 months of working with CIDA on the proposal.

Why will the current government not support Canadian teachers who want to share their skills and help countries in the developing world?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, ultimately, we all want the same thing. I know the opposition is attempting to turn this into a purely partisan attack but I certainly give Canadians much more credit than that.

We want to ensure that our aid is efficient, effective and accountable. We want to ensure that the money we put into programs is getting to those who need it the most. We want to ensure that our aid is going to real people on the ground where it can truly make a difference.

Canadian Heritage
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the principle of free speech is one of the cornerstones of our democracy. As we know, last month there were attempts to prevent the movie Iranium, which is critical of Iran's human rights record, from being shown here in Canada. Our government made it clear that we will not bend to threats of violence, especially when they come from the Iranian embassy.

I had the privilege of being present last night when the film played to a sold out crowd at Library and Archives Canada.

Would the Minister of Canadian Heritage please tell the House why he ordered Library and Archives Canada to screen the film?

Canadian Heritage
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the showing and the screening of the documentary Iranium was an important statement by this House of Commons.

I believe Library and Archives Canada made a horrible mistake in cancelling the original screening of that film under threats of violence and under threats and protests from the Iranian embassy.

Our government made a clear statement and a clear decision that the Iranian embassy will not dictate to Canadians anywhere in this country what film they will or will not see. Canadians have a right to watch any movie and to take in any kind of cultural event they want without fear, without any threat of violence and without any intimidation from the Iranian embassy.