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House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industry.

Topics

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we understand that it is a complex issue. I am not sure that everybody in the business of protectionism, particularly on the U.S. side, would agree that loan guarantees are not countervailable. There are many issues, allegations of subsidies, allegations of dumping, that should not have a duty applied to them, but they do. We have to move forward with great care. We will pick the best option for our Canadian softwood lumber industry.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the loan guarantees are allowed under NAFTA and the WTO. The Canadian government's position is far from clear, obviously. The Americans are very much aware of the Canadian government's weakness and lack of resolve in the softwood lumber issue.

The Prime Minister does a lot of fist-waving but does not do anything. Does he realize that his refusal to help the companies with loan guarantees is a sign that the Canadian government's' strategy is far from clear and that its position is all the weaker.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, if there is a source of weakness in the Canadian position, it is the members opposite trying to divide Canada, trying to divide Canadians, and trying to divide one region from another instead of standing unified with the Prime Minister who has brought Canada to a better position on softwood lumber than we have been in our history.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, no one is trying to pit one region against another. No one is trying to weaken Canada's position. On the contrary: loan guarantees are the solution. We have been saying that all along and the government refuses to get it.

I will merely ask this of the government: How can it think that our U.S. neighbours can understand Canada's position and strategy when it cannot even provide a satisfactory explanation of them here in the House of Commons?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we are looking at options for how we will support the softwood lumber industry going forward. Loan guarantees is one option. There are other options. We will pick the best option for our softwood lumber industry.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's taxpayer-funded surplus will exceed $30 billion over the next three years. Meanwhile, gas and heating costs have shot up, inflation is spiking--

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

They are applauding the overtaxation of $30 billion. Inflation is spiking, interest rates are rising, manufacturing jobs are disappearing and worker take-home pay has not gone up in 12 years.

The government is very good at ensuring that money gets to its friends and that its friends get their entitlements. When will workers get to keep more of their own money? When will they get their entitlement?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the opposition knows, the government has cut taxes in every budget since we balanced the books in 1997. That tally now exceeds $100 billion. We will continue in that trend when we know that it is secure and safe to do so. Over that same period of time, Canada's unemployment rate, compared to when the Conservatives were in office, has dropped from 11.2% to 6.7%, the lowest level in 30 years. The unemployment gap between Canada and the United States has dropped from 3.8% to--

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for York--Simcoe.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, it seems that as drug crime is on the rise, grow ops and crystal meth spread, and gun murders escalate, the government has lost any ability to keep our streets and communities safe.

The Toronto Board of Health is supporting the Liberal government's direction to encourage drug use. The board is now proposing to hand out crack pipes and potentially set up municipally run crack houses. Residents are understandably upset at this proposal to promote the drug culture in their neighbourhoods.

How does the government propose to respond? Or will it be the same response as on gun crimes: stand dithering on the sidelines?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we respond in the way that the community would expect us to respond, which is to protect the safety of the community, to protect the security of citizens, and to have drug treatment courts, which have proven to be a model and are used internationally. We respond by having a law enforcement strategy in cooperation with the provinces and the municipalities, which is a model for federalism and combating drugs.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

John Reynolds Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 1974 the federal Liberal government signed a 71-year lease with the Squamish First Nation and promised to build the Pacific Environmental Centre. The annual rent for that unoccupied land now exceeds $6 million. The rent over the last 30 years on this now toxic property approaches $100 million. This is more Liberal waste, incompetence and another terrible burden on Canadian taxpayers.

My question is for the environment minister. Why are the Liberals continuing to pay rent on this vacant land?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, a contract was signed in the 1970s. It will have to be honoured until 2045. The fact is that the site is contaminated. We discovered that in the 1990s. We have started to decontaminate the site and we are working with the first nations to create a good plan to develop it.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

John Reynolds Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, they bought the site in the 1970s and they discovered it is toxic in the 1990s. It took 20 years to discover that. The cost to the taxpayers on this land by the end of the lease is going to exceed $1 billion; $1 billion for a piece of empty land. The government never learns. It will never admit to making a mistake and it is compounding a mistake it made over 30 years ago.

When will the Liberals take some action to plug this hole and save the Canadian taxpayers $1 billion?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member understood when he was saying that the Government of Canada, this Liberal government, acted very quickly since it discovered the contamination in the 1990s. We have started to decontaminate it.

As Minister of the Environment, I want to continue the decontamination. I want to have something done with this site that will be productive for the community. I hope he will help with that instead of giving false numbers that may worry everyone.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister of Public Works, as part of budget 2005, produced a sweeping strategy to improve federal procurement. On the whole, the vision is timely. It should improve management and save money, but some are concerned about the impacts these changes will have on small business. Some 65% of Canadian jobs and 75% of job growth comes from small business.

Could the minister explain to the House how his new small business office will assure that small businesses fully participate in federal government procurements?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we are making it easier for Canada's small business community to do business with the Government of Canada. I am pleased to announce that our office of small and medium enterprises is working closely with the small business community to streamline and simplify the government procurement process.

We are tearing down the barriers between government procurement and Canada's small business community because we want Canada's small business community to be a partner in progress with Public Works and the Government of Canada to get the best possible value for the Canadian taxpayer.

HealthOral Questions

October 25th, 2005 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have just returned from Kashechewan where a humanitarian tragedy is unfolding. Health Canada did nothing to protect this community from eight years of contaminated water. Health Canada did nothing to help federal nurses who had to haul river water in buckets to their clinic. And now, in the aftermath of the E. coli outbreak, this defenceless community is facing threats from hepatitis A and hepatitis B.

My question is for the health minister. What will it take to have him stand in the House and finally say that yes, there is an emergency on the James Bay coast?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House that the government takes this situation very seriously and the Minister of Health specifically is very concerned with this issue. Today he has representatives on site evaluating the situation in the community. They will be making recommendations to him and to the government as to the best ways to proceed.

TourismOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, seriousness means a commitment from the government on the James Bay right now. That is the seriousness of that issue that has to be fulfilled.

I want to talk about another issue right now that Liberals have waited on. It is the western hemisphere initiative that is going to require Canadians and Americans to have passports to move between our countries. This is going to have devastating impacts on the economy and also tourism in Canada.

I want to ask the Prime Minister, why has he been silent in this case when Governor George Pataki has spoken out, Governor Bush has spoken out in Florida, as well as Hillary Clinton and the President? Other Canadian representatives have also spoken out on this issue. Why has the Prime Minister taken a vacation on our tourism industry?

TourismOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, let me reassure the hon. member that we have been discussing this issue with our American counterparts from the moment Congress indicated that it wanted such a legislated response in relation to biometric secure identity documents.

In fact, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has taken this matter up with the secretary of state. I have talked to my colleague, Michael Chertoff, about this. Our officials are working with U.S. officials in the department of homeland security. Clearly, we want a solution that works for both sides of the border. We have indicated our deep concern, as have others, with this initiative if it is to go ahead.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have been horrified by Kashechewan. They are appalled that this government could spend $2.5 billion and yet fail to provide aboriginal Canadians with safe drinking water.

The focus now is Gull Bay, Ontario, where the department three years ago spent $5 million on a new water treatment plant, designed by an out of town consultant, and paid for by the out of town government. The plant does not work. It will never work because the minister's department forgot to secure the necessary provincial approvals to operate it.

When will the Prime Minister take action and provide our first nations with safe drinking water?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can describe this in whatever way he wants. The reality is that as soon as the community and the province that inspects the water treatment facility come to terms, we will be able to operate it.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it sounds as though no one is responsible at the department of unlimited spending and diminished expectations.

Yesterday the Prime Minister admitted that the living conditions at Kashechewan were abhorrent. They are so abhorrent that his action plan is to have a meeting sometime with the minister. That is it, a meeting. The government spends $2.5 billion, 12 years pass, and it offers a meeting.

Canadians have served in the Third World providing water purification units. Why have we abandoned aboriginal Canadians?