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House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was defence.

Topics

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is absolutely right in pointing out the challenges that Canadian producers are facing. The government understands that and so do all governments. That is why in the first six months of this year $3.3 billion have gone to Canadian producers. It is why the CAIS program has paid $2.1 billion to Canadian producers. It is why we had specific programming to deal with BSE and the impact on producers.

Quite frankly, the government cares about producers and it demonstrates that everyday. There have been large contributions to assist them in meeting what are significant challenges.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, he is the only person in Canada who actually believes that.

Heavy rains have hurt much of Saskatchewan over the last few months and many farmers have seen the value of their crops destroyed. After a bad drought one year, a killer frost the next and now the excessive rainfall, many producers' CAIS margins are well below normal.

The five year Olympic average for CAIS margins means that after just a couple of bad years, a farmer is unlikely to receive a payout from CAIS, so those who need it most do not get the help they need. The minister must listen to Saskatchewan farmers on this. Will he change the averaging system or will he continue to ignore producers?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, the government does not ignore producers. Let us talk about the CAIS program for a second.

Producers suggested that they did not believe the deposit system made any sense. In the budget of the Minister of Finance, we eliminated the deposit. Producers said to us that they needed to have the money come in a more timely manner. What did we change? We changed the advance program so the money would. We were not covering negative margins. Producers suggested that we should cover negative margins. We made that change. Producers said that there ought to be a different way to do negative margin. We listened to producers and did it.

The reality is the government does listen to producers and responds to their needs.

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of State for Families and Caregivers.

Tomorrow is the International Day of Older Persons and like all parliamentarians we all know the important contributions that seniors have made to our country. My riding of Davenport has a sizeable and growing number of seniors.

Would the minister provide an update on the direction of the government's efforts on behalf of seniors?

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Trinity—Spadina Ontario

Liberal

Tony Ianno LiberalMinister of State (Families and Caregivers)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his great concern regarding our seniors who helped build this great nation of ours. As we know, tomorrow is the United Nations' celebration of older persons. It is a year of great celebration, considering what they have done in our country and around the world.

In Canada we are developing our national action plan for seniors, with a $2.7 billion increase in GIS, a seniors' secretariat, a new horizons program, affordable housing measures and rent supplements. We continue to do this to ensure that our seniors live with the dignity they deserve.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, school boards in Quebec and Ontario, including one that covers my riding of Cambridge, took the Liberal government to court to prove that they should be exempt from GST and the cost of transporting our children. The courts agreed and a final settlement was reached, but then the Minister of Finance retroactively changed the law, and now refuses to respect the courts.

When will the minister stop manipulating the law to suit government greed and start putting children ahead of surpluses?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we always try to make the tax rules of our country as fair and equitable as they can possibly be. I can assure the hon. gentleman that the well-being of children, preschool, in school and through post-secondary education, is a very high priority in which the government invests billions every year, paid for by the tax revenue that is raised from all our various sources.

Copyright ActOral Question Period

September 30th, 2005 / 11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, the education of the students in my riding of Kildonan--St. Paul and across Canada is at risk in this new school year because the government has avoided putting an educational amendment into the copyright law, Bill C-60. Schools cannot afford this added cost of paying for otherwise free materials from the Internet.

Will the government support an amendment to the legislation?

Copyright ActOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, on June 20, we introduced Bill C-60 to amend the Copyright Act as promised. The bill will help clarify the scope of copyright, and it makes it possible for Canada to join other countries.

We are taking this issue very seriously. We want to have material available to students, but we also want to protect the rights of those who are giving that material. We are taking this issue and putting it aside because it needs some discussion and clarification.

Highway InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has made a commitment, with the Government of Quebec, to assume half the costs of widening highway 175. When the Minister of Transport was in the region this past August, he said that the additional costs would come from a number of federal programs. Now that same Minister of Transport is reneging on his commitment and refusing to assume 50% of the total costs of widening highway 175.

Does the minister intend to honour his commitment and recognize the 50-50 principle as stated?

Highway InfrastructureOral Question Period

Noon

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member took the time to read the agreement signed by the Prime Minister and the premier on May 7, 2004, he would know that Canada and Quebec agree that their respective contributions to the project would be 50% of eligible costs, up to a maximum of $262.5 million each, for phase one of the project. That is exactly what was in the agreement signed by the two of them.

For subsequent phases, we are going to negotiate with the Quebec minister of transport. Within a subsequent phase of the infrastructure program, we will—

Highway InfrastructureOral Question Period

Noon

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Louis.

Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada.

The Sayabec community in the Lower St. Lawrence is reeling from the announced restructuring of the Uniboard plant and the loss of 200 jobs.

What does the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada intend to do to help this region?

Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

Noon

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, the Uniboard plant did in fact announce the loss of 214 jobs in that region. This is very significant and most regrettable.

This is a problem that goes beyond just lumber. It is an industrial problem. The company produces particleboard for building furniture. The Chinese competition has affected this entire market.

My offices are already active on two fronts. First, in the short term, we are supporting local employees by trying to place them in other companies in the region. Our second plan of attack is much broader. It consists in trying to see whether we could support a regional and trans-regional initiative for producing other products with these same resources.

House of Commons CalenderOral Question Period

Noon

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

Pursuant to Standing Order 28(2)( b ), I have the honour to lay upon the table the House of Commons calendar for the year 2006.

Certificates of NominationRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table two certificates of nomination.

I am sure the first one should bring joy and happiness to all members of the House. Under Standing Order 111.1(1), I am tabling today a certificate of nomination of Audrey Elizabeth O'Brien to be Clerk of the House of Commons.

Certificates of NominationRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Certificates of NominationRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, with the reaction of members in the House perhaps we could proceed immediately to a motion to approve the nomination instead of it going to a committee, but we will leave that for another day.

I am also tabling a certificate of nomination with respect to a position on the Canadian Dairy Commission. This will be referred to the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my constituents, I am pleased to table a petition in the House which draws the attention of the House to the fact that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has locked out 5,500 of its employees since August 15.

The petition calls upon the government to take immediate action to end this lockout. I respectfully ask that the government do so as quickly as possible.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a petition on behalf of my constituents.

The petitioners draw the attention of the House to the fact that the community access program, CAP, is in the last year of its existence. The CAP initiative has greatly increased the number of Canadians able to take advantage of the social and economic benefits of computers and the Internet. The absence of CAP will be a step backwards in the Canadian government's ongoing goal to improve the quality of life for Canadian citizens and will contribute to increasing the current digital divide in many Canadian communities.

Therefore the petitioners request that Parliament refrain from ending the community access program.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present two petitions today. The first petition is from residents of east Vancouver and other parts of Vancouver who are very concerned about the lack of affordable housing.

The petitioners call upon the federal government to make a major investment by dedicating 1% of the next federal budget to affordable housing and also reinvesting CHMC's surpluses, estimated at $667 million, into social housing and ensuring that federal funds allocated to British Columbia for housing are not diverted and there is accountability for these funds.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, my second petition is from residents who are very concerned about the lack of accountability in our employment insurance program and the fact that there is a $47 billion surplus that has grown.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to change the rules so that when people have 360 hours they will qualify for entry level EI benefits anywhere in Canada, and that the benefit rate would be at 60% of normal earnings, with an increase in the maximum benefit duration to 50 weeks.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting five petitions, two of which are asking to have the unionized employees of the CBC presented with a fair collective agreement in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am also presenting a petition with regard to autism. The petitioners ask that the government amend the Canada Health Act and corresponding regulations to include therapies for children with autism.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the next set of petitions I am presenting asks the government to support the Vietnamese community in its growing network of faith and community groups to recognize the last group of Vietnamese boat people as refugees under the country of asylum class.