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House of Commons Hansard #155 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was producers.

Topics

SeniorsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the answer to all those questions is that we will clean up the mess the government created over the last 12 years.

The Prime Minister continues to run around the country threatening to take away an increase in seniors' pensions if an election is called. However the increase to seniors' pensions was contained in Bill C-43 which was passed by the House, by the Senate and supported by all three national parties.

Why is the Prime Minister trying to scare seniors by saying that he will take away the pension increase if an election is called?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Trinity—Spadina Ontario

Liberal

Tony Ianno LiberalMinister of State (Families and Caregivers)

Mr. Speaker, it is pretty curious that the party opposite, which has rarely spoken about our seniors, especially our low income seniors, is all of a sudden, as it is getting ready for the election, trying to score cheap political points at the expense of our low income seniors for whom the government has done a tremendous amount in the last year in ensuring that our low income seniors are given the dignity that they deserve.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

That took a little nerve, Mr. Speaker.

When Justice Gomery looked at the Liberal Party's role in the sponsorship scandal he found dishonesty and a culture of entitlement.

Now, in the same vein, media reports tell us that the Prime Minister was not giving Canadians the real story when he said that soldiers would not get pay raises and seniors would not get benefits if we have an election in the next few days. It just was not true at all.

Instead of trying to scare seniors in nursing homes with blatant misrepresentations, why does the Prime Minister not just admit that the real reason that Liberals do not want to face the voters is that the only vision they have is the culture of entitlement for the Liberal Party?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. gentleman wants to look at the record on senior citizens, this is the party and this is the government that removed the foreign property rule. We raised the RRSP limits. We are increasing the guaranteed income supplement. We are reducing taxes. We are removing 240,000 seniors from the tax rolls altogether. We have rendered the Canada pension plan actuarily sound for 75 years and we have indexed the entire tax system to protect seniors from inflation. That is a record to be proud of.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, nobody was hurt more than seniors by the minister's bungling on income trusts.

Everything the government has been doing lately confirms that Justice Gomery was right about the Liberal Party's culture of entitlement. The Liberals are using the public treasury to make dozens of spending announcements on the eve of an election. They misrepresent the truth about the consequences of having an election and they give an untendered government contract to the Liberal campaign manager to write their election platform.

When will the Liberals admit that they think Canadians have so little self-respect that they will overlook Liberal Party corruption in exchange for more lolly from the public treasury?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I was very interested this morning to watch the reaction of the opposition leaders to the news about the purchase by National Defence of some very important military equipment. They wandered off into a bunch of other subjects and asked where the announcements were on softwood lumber, on agriculture and on other things? In their very own words, they were demanding more.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, after waffling for three and a half years, word was leaked to the media that the Prime Minister will be introducing an aid package for the softwood lumber industry providing $800 million in loan guarantees. However, this represents only 16% of the $5 billion in countervailing and antidumping duties paid by companies over the past three and a half years.

Could the Prime Minister tell us whether the information leaked is founded or not? And if so, will he admit that $800 million in loan guarantees against $5 billion in duties paid is grossly inadequate to help the softwood lumber industry?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we do not comment on leaks. An announcement will be made in due course.

However, I can assure the leader of the Bloc Québécois that we are insisting on the Americans honouring their agreement and doing what they should have done from the beginning. If the Americans are not prepared to do so, we will stand behind our industry as long as necessary.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, they do not comment on leaks, but they orchestrate them. It would be interesting to hear the Prime Minister explain himself in the House. It is one thing to sound angry at the Americans, but actions speak louder than words.

Loan guarantees amounting to 16% of the losses suffered will not cut it. Is the Prime Minister prepared to get serious and grant loan guarantees to allow the companies to cope with the legal proceedings the Americans are slapping on the entire softwood lumber industry? We would like to hear his answer to that question. He should stop playing the angry politician and take action for once.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister just said, we will be there as long as necessary to support the industry against illegal actions by the United States. That is the government's answer.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to preliminary information, this $800 million loan guarantee program appears to be spread over five years, which will greatly reduce the already insufficient impact of the program.

Since forestry companies have already paid out more than $5 billion in duties that are being held in trust, will the government admit that this $800 million in loan guarantees over five years will not provide them with the necessary liquidity to operate properly?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I have a suggestion for the opposition, if it is serious about the problems of the forestry industry and not just engaged in petty politics. I have noted that, in the 38th Parliament, there has been not one opposition day on this issue. There is still one left, which is allocated to the Conservative Party.

The Conservatives have an opposition day on Thursday of this week. Would they like to devote it to the forest industry?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister claimed no member of the Bloc had ever contacted him about the loan guarantees, and this is incorrect. On October 25, my colleague from Montmagny--L'Islet--Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup and I wrote to the Prime Minister calling on him to put loan guarantees in place.

Does the government not understand that, with a loan guarantee program spread over 5 years and covering only 16% of the amounts frozen in trust, it is sending a signal of weakness to the Americans in that it does not support the industry, a signal that clearly shows it can talk the talk but is not ready to walk the walk?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the opposition members have not accepted my invitation, so I guess they are instead engaged in petty politics.

We on this side of the floor are the ones who have worked for months on this. Members representing the Atlantic provinces, northern Ontario, Quebec, western Canada and British Columbia have been working on this for months. We will be making an announcement shortly.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question for the Prime Minister is on softwood. This morning the Prime Minister hauled out his favourite weapon on the issue, the broken record. He simply said ,“It's time for the Bush administration to respect NAFTA”. Then he threatened the United States with saying it again, if it did not. It is clear the Prime Minister's approach is not working.

When will the Prime Minister outline some consequences if the United States continues to show contempt for Canada through the Bush administration's position on softwood?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government already has indicated that an announcement will be made. In terms of that announcement, we will stand behind the communities, we will stand behind the workers, and we will stand behind the industries.

If the Americans give us continued intentions not to honour the free trade agreement, they will find that the Canadian government will stand behind Canadian workers and Canadian industry until such time as this matter is settled in our favour.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is standing so far behind the workers and the communities that he simply cannot be seen. That is the situation today. We see the same thing in the auto sector.

My question is about the news from yesterday. The Oshawa plant will close down. We have had 12 years without an auto strategy. We have had promises every time. We could be building green cars in that plant.

Will the Prime Minister stand up in the House and make a commitment that we will build a new model of vehicles in that Oshawa plant and produce the green cars that Canadians want to buy?

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how much the hon. member knows about producing green cars or any other kind of cars.

I will put this for the hon. member as a question. If we do not have an auto strategy, if we have not succeeded in the automotive industry in the country, why have GM, Ford, Toyota and DaimlerChrysler agreed in the last 12 months to invest over $5 billion in Canada, in Ontario?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

November 22nd, 2005 / 2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, if the Liberal auto strategy was working so well they would not be firing thousands of people.

The government is telling us that it wants to fire Jean Pelletier from VIA Rail. At the same time, the Liberals are informing us that Jean Pelletier has proceedings before the Superior Court of the Province of Quebec and is asking for a huge severance pay. Moreover, because of the Liberal incompetence, he could get retroactive wages totalling $400,000 for the period of 20 months between his first firing and his second one.

Why can the Liberals not fire their bandit friends without giving them money?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, did I hear the word “bandit”?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will take another run at it and perhaps the minister will answer my question this time. Mr. Pelletier is currently suing the federal government and VIA for $3.1 million. The Liberal bungling of his file now lets him claim another $400,000 in back pay and benefits for 20 months because the Liberals did not fire him properly the first time. His potential pay out for this Liberal fumble is $3.5 million, more money than many Canadians will make in their entire lifetime.

Why is it that when everyday Canadians lose their job, they have to rely on EI and their savings? When a Liberal loses his job in disgrace, it is like winning the lottery.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member does not appear to be familiar with legal rules.

Mr. Pelletier is currently instituting proceedings before the Superior Court, but we are a very long way from a ruling. Once a ruling is made, we will see what the court has decided. However, it is neither for the member nor for me to anticipate the outcome of those proceedings.

At this point, no money has been paid to Mr. Pelletier and no money will be paid to him, unless we are forced to do so by the court.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, while almost 4,000 Oshawa workers, up to 25,000 including spinoff jobs, are worrying about how they are going to pay bills, the Minister of Industry said yesterday, “there will not be any pink slips given out by General Motors in Canada”. It gets better. The minister then said to Sun Media that “It's all being somewhat exaggerated” and treated it as a big blip.

The only people who deserve pink slips this Christmas are that minister and that sorry government. When will the minister admit that the Liberal policy failures will contribute to 25,000 pink slips in Oshawa and in Ontario?

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should have the courage to stand in the House and tell his constituents that if the Conservatives were in government today, there would not be $5 billion of investments in the automotive industry in Ontario. Oshawa and the workers in Oshawa would be in serious trouble.

It is because of this government that the auto industry in Canada is the strongest auto industry in North America.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has promised an auto strategy. The government continually fails Canadians. Now we are losing almost 4,000 jobs in GM in Durham, my riding, plus the thousands working in the parts businesses. The minister's response to GM's layoffs was that it was an industry adjustment.

Mr. Speaker, minister, I ask you to speak to my constituents. What will you say to the families in Oshawa and Durham who are facing--