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House of Commons Hansard #154 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was property.

Topics

Saint-François Forestry CooperativeStatements By Members

November 21st, 2005 / 2:15 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Saint-François Forestry Cooperative of Windsor on its recent achievement. It was given the award of excellence, agricultural or forestry sector, at the 12th environmental awards gala of the Eastern townships environmental foundation.

This well-deserved honour recognizes its environmental activities, in particular integrating wildlife management and environmental protection with conventional forestry practices.

The cooperative successfully exploits forest resources while respecting the need to maintain biodiversity and existing ecological processes. Their environmental commitment is a tribute to the vitality of the community.

Congratulations, and best wishes for continued success in our community.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, high ranking officials at Health Canada have mishandled tens of millions of dollars in public funds in their dealings with the Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation.

A former assistant deputy minister of Health Canada, Paul Cochrane, was recently found guilty of fraud and income tax evasion. Last week, a Health Canada director, Patrick Nottingham, was convicted of influence peddling and fraud. One received a fine and served three months of a total one and a half year jail sentence. The other received a two year house arrest. So much for the Liberal promise to severely punish anyone responsible for abusing public funds.

No doubt it makes the government look better for someone else to take the fall but this is not about Liberal image. It is about government officials who put their own greed ahead of a first nations community desperately in need of government support for health programs for its people. It is about a Liberal government that is so steeped in a culture of entitlement, so ethically bankrupt that it cannot see, let alone judge, its own criminal behaviour.

Never has the need been greater for an independent inquiry.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadian auto workers woke up today to find out that General Motors is cutting thousands of jobs and closing plants in this country. In March of this year, the government poured $200 million into General Motors, assuring us all that it would lead to job increases.

Did the Prime Minister, when he made his $200 million deal with General Motors, get assurances that it would not cut jobs in Canada?

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the Beacon project was in fact a fundamentally important investment made by the government. This is why the GM complex in Oshawa will continue to receive massive investments of over $400 million.

GM announced just last week that it was putting investments in Oshawa of more than $400 million in addition to the Beacon project. The Beacon project is a fundamental reason why there will not be any pink slips given out by General Motors in Canada.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I guess that is a no.

On another matter, a few days before an election is to be called, the Prime Minister prefers to criticize the leader of the Parti Québécois rather than work with the federalist Premier of Quebec. He is trying to pass himself off as the champion of federalism by citing the Clarity Act.

How can a party that has acted illegally for years now claim to be the guardian of the law in Quebec?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Conservative Party will immediately tell us whether he supports the statement by the new leader of the Parti Québécois, who does not respect the rule of law in this country. In a democracy, we must follow the rule of law and the decisions of the Supreme Court. Is the leader of the Conservative Party telling us that he agrees with unilateral secession? If so, he will pay the price with the voters.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, what I know is that a party that broke every single law in Quebec has no credibility saying it will enforce the law.

On another subject, the Prime Minister is going around the country saying that if there is an election, he will take away increases to seniors pensions, he will take away pay raises for our armed forces and public servants, and he will take away infrastructure money for cities.

Will the Prime Minister simply admit that Parliament has already passed legislation on these matters and people will get these benefits whether the Liberal Party wants them to have them or not?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, first, what is absolutely clear is that the opposition party is causing a premature election.

Second, the opposition is causing a premature election in the face of Canadians. Two-thirds of Canadians have in fact said that they would prefer a spring election.

Third, it is the opposition parties that are leaving important work left undone in this Parliament. This is work that Canadians want to see continued. The opposition will have to take 100% of that responsibility.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, we all understand why the Liberals are afraid of an election. Justice Gomery was so right. Canadians cannot trust what the Liberals are saying.

The Prime Minister is telling Canadians that if we were to have an election now, seniors would not get their GIS increase. The Prime Minister knows better. The GIS increase was part of the first of his three budgets in the last eight months. That budget passed long ago. The Prime Minister knows that nothing can stop it from being paid out on schedule.

Either the Prime Minister has sunk to the point where he is trying to scare seniors into voting for him or he would cancel their GIS increase if re-elected. Which is it?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Trinity—Spadina Ontario

Liberal

Tony Ianno LiberalMinister of State (Families and Caregivers)

Mr. Speaker, unlike the opposite party, this party and this government truly believes in seniors and what they have done for us.

With the increase in the guaranteed income supplement, after nine years of Conservative rule, we will see an increase for our low income seniors of $433 when fully implemented. The heating rebate that will not be passed by this Parliament right now if it things go as planned is for the most vulnerable in our society to receiver $125 starting in January or February. So there is a lot more that we are doing for---

SeniorsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, 12 years of inaction speaks more loudly than the protests from that member.

Justice Gomery was completely right. We just cannot trust what they are saying over there. The Liberals will say anything to stay in power. They are saying that people will not get their heating rebate.

Liberals members know that in the 2001 election the government was unable to get its heating rebate legislation passed, so it used special warrants to get these rebates through.

Is the government saying to low income Canadians that it will refuse to use special warrants to pass the heating rebate legislation that Canadians need this winter?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Trinity—Spadina Ontario

Liberal

Tony Ianno LiberalMinister of State (Families and Caregivers)

Mr. Speaker, that party voted against the budget that gave the seniors the increase. That party voted against the budget that voted for a seniors secretariat, for an increase in new horizons, for rent supplements in housing, and for affordable housing for our low income seniors.

This government talks the talk and actually walks the walk to ensure that our low income seniors and the most vulnerable in our society receive all that is due to them after all they have done to build this great country.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois recently met with representatives of the Quebec softwood lumber industry. They are united in calling for loan guarantees to help them get through this interminable crisis.

Since implementing such an aid measure does not require passing legislation, the Prime Minister can act immediately, election or not.

Will the Prime Minister finally put his money where his mouth is and grant the loan guarantees the softwood lumber industry so desperately needs?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalMinister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, as far as I am concerned, that party has no credibility when it comes to regional development.

Voting against a bill that would have enabled us to intervene does nothing for their credibility. Voting against a budget that would have protected regional development—as that party did—does nothing for their credibility.

We are working diligently and intelligently on this highly complex issue with the full intention of helping our people, but not with the grandstanding approach the Bloc members would like.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows how much credibility the Liberals have in Quebec.

That said, if the Liberals want a little more credibility, perhaps the minister could start by answering the questions.

I am asking him about loan guarantees for the softwood lumber industry. All the companies are asking for that. I met with representatives from the major companies on Friday. They are asking for the same thing the Bloc has been for years. The unions are asking for the same thing.

Could the minister give a clear answer, without grandstanding, to this one very specific question only: will they grant loan guarantees this week? The question is clear.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the loan guarantee idea did not come from the Bloc. It has been on the back burner for months and months and it is an option the government is considering.

It is a very big problem. We have consulted the industry, the associations and Liberal MPs. No Bloc MP has approached me. I think this is petty politics.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Boulianne Bloc Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government had promised $20 million to the forestry associations to cover legal fees incurred defending their position in the softwood lumber crisis. The associations are in need of a commitment if they are to convince their bankers of the government's intentions.

Could the government make a commitment today to write a letter immediately to the forestry associations confirming its intention to provide this assistance?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we have, of course, promised $20 million to the forestry industries to help them meet their legal fees, and we will keep that promise.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Boulianne Bloc Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, the forestry industry has been left to its own devices since the conflict began. Already, $400 million in legal fees have been expended by the industry's companies and associations in order to gain recognition of their rights.

Does the government not feel it is necessary to assume immediate responsibility for those costs?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Bush administration keeps up its attack on Canadian softwood jobs and industries, yet there is absolutely no movement whatsoever. We do not have any of the $5 billion. Jobs are disappearing from northern Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and beyond.

Why does Canada get no respect from the Bush administration? Why are we shipping so much oil and getting so little respect? Can the Prime Minister explain that?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we have made it very clear in this House and elsewhere that number one, the NAFTA has to be respected. After all, we are a rules-based trading nation. The world depends on respect for the rules, be it the WTO or be it the NAFTA. We insist on it.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, some insistence.

We continue to get absolutely zero respect from the administration and no wonder. The Prime Minister refuses to do anything to insist on it. In fact, it is worse. He is engaged and the government is engaged in discussions with the Americans on how to expand NAFTA, so that we can build a stronger American economy built on cheap Mexican labour and cheap Canadian oil. No wonder the President does not listen to the Prime Minister. He is doing everything that President Bush wants.

When are we going to withdraw from talks to expand NAFTA?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, first of all, at the APEC meetings the Prime Minister made it very clear that the world was watching the American administration and whether or not it was living up to the NAFTA. He made a very strong statement.

Second, it is absolutely critical that we have a trading relationship with the biggest economy in the world that is based on rules. We are always ready to make those rules even better.

The hon. member has to remember that fully 96% of our trade with the United States is dispute-free. We want to make it 100% and we want to make that trade even better.