House of Commons Hansard #16 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was smugglers.

Topics

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

September 20th, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the buy American provisions and the United States country of origin labelling provisions have been found by the WTO to discriminate against Canadian livestock exports.

Without question, this protectionist action has cost the Canadian livestock industry billions of dollars.

Just when will the government stand up for Canadians against U.S. protectionism? Is the minister now prepared to serve notice to the U.S. and demand compensation for Canada's livestock industry?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I do not know if the member for Malpeque slept through the whole country of origin labelling WTO challenge that we had or not.

That panel has released an interim report that was very favourable to Canada. The Americans are now negotiating with us in good faith on a way forward. We are hopeful that we can settle this very quickly and continue to move on.

I hope the member stays awake for the good result we will have.

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, with Canada close to another recession, one would think the government would have better things to do than tamper with the rights of working people, but that is just what it is doing.

Air Canada says that it is close to a deal. The union says that it is close to a deal. Both sides know it is better for business if a collective agreement is reached around the bargaining table.

If the government is so worried about the economy, why will it not leave Canadian workers alone and start focusing on the economy?

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, exactly what we are doing is focusing on the economy, as the hon. member pointed out. We introduced the notice of our intention for back to work legislation if the two parties are unable to reach a deal, as the member pointed out. I am very optimistic that they are close to a deal and I hope that I will have something more to say later on today.

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, employees have the right to negotiate their collective agreement. They have the right to use pressure tactics. It is called a right for a reason. Threatening workers with special legislation takes their rights away. The economy is not just big business profits; it is also workers' salaries and pensions.

Will the minister stop interfering in the Air Canada negotiations and, instead, encourage the parties to negotiate an agreement that will be acceptable to them both?

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, it is very true that the best deal the parties can get is one that they conclude themselves, which is why our officials are still at the table sincerely trying to help the two parties find their way to a deal or to a process to a deal.

The reason that we introduced the notice of back to work legislation yesterday was to protect the economy and to protect the Canadian travelling public, of which 65,000 people could be stranded on the first day of a strike.

We are always considering the needs of the Canadian economy but, most important, the Canadian public as well.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, today, the IMF again reminded the world that the global economy remains turbulent. Now more than ever our government has to stay focused on what matters, the economy.

While our government is focused on just that through our low tax plan for jobs and growth, the NDPs' plan would hike taxes on job-creating businesses by $10 billion a year, killing jobs at the worst possible moment. That is the wrong plan for the economy and for Canadian jobs.

Could the Minister of Finance outline why we need to stay the course on our plan?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Calgary Centre for that brilliant question about the news that we had just today from the IMF.

Our Conservative government is focused on what matters to Canadians, which is economic growth, of course, and the creation of jobs.

The IMF today forecasted Canada would have the strongest economic growth in the G7 over the course of the next two years.

We are faced with turbulence from abroad, of course. We are faced with a serious situation with respect to sovereign debt in several European countries and the banking consequences of that, particularly with European banks. We are faced with turbulence from outside.

However, as the IMF said today, we have relatively healthy economic fundamentals here in--

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I will have to stop the minister again.

The hon. member for St. Paul's.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Walk 4 Justice concluded its cross-country journey to raise awareness of the hundreds of aboriginal mothers, aunties, daughters and sisters who are missing or have been murdered.

The government has failed to provide justice for the victims, healing for the families or an end to the violence.

If the government wants to be tough on crime, then it should call a public inquiry. If it wants to prevent violence against women, then it should call a public inquiry.

How many more aboriginal women need to die before the government takes this issue as the serious crisis that it is?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, we take this issue very seriously. The fact is that no government in the history of this country has stood up for the rights of victims more than this government.

When it comes to aboriginal women in particular, we have been working with law enforcement agencies across the country. As the member knows, the RCMP now has a new Centre for Missing Persons. Law enforcement databases have been updated to investigate missing and murdered aboriginal women specifically. We are also boosting victims' services across the country, particularly in aboriginal communities.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Wheat Board is the largest and most successful grain marketing company in the world. We do not dismantle a $6 billion a year corporation without significant closing costs that KPMG has actually set at $500 million.

In this era of high deficits, how can the Conservatives defend borrowing $500 million they do not have just to indulge the foolish free market flight of fancy of a feckless Minister of Agriculture?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, getting past the political hackery, the reality is that Canadians gave us a strong mandate on May 2. We continue to move forward on an issue on which we campaigned long and hard in some six elections in which I have been involved.

However, I will quote someone who said, “When the government is intending to change legislation, I honestly do not see the grounds for going to court. The government has the right to change legislation”.

Do members know who said that? It was the member for Winnipeg Centre.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the U.S. administration proposed the inclusion of buy American provisions as part of their draft infrastructure funding proposal.

Our government moved quickly on the matter, raising concerns with the American administration to defend Canadian workers and businesses.

This is what the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses had to say:

Open bilateral trading arrangements are vital to SMEs on both sides of the border. CFIB is pleased to see the Canadian government moving quickly on this matter....

Would the hard-working Minister of International Trade explain why the government is raising such strong concerns with the proposed legislation?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Abbotsford
B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Kelowna—Lake Country for his hard work on the international trade committee. He is doing great work there.

I have raised our concerns regarding the draft buy American provisions with Ambassador Jacobson, as well as with Ambassador Kirk, and we have triggered formal consultations on the matter. I reminded the ambassadors that, if enacted, the proposed restrictions would send a negative signal to governments around the world that trade restrictions are an acceptable policy choice. They are not.

Our government will continue to advocate opportunities for Canadian workers and businesses alike through free and open trade.