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House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the minister probably was on the wrong question.

We have an industry minister who blames environmentalists for high gas prices. We have a labour minister who blames environmentalists for job losses in softwood. We have an environment minister who will also get around to blaming environmentalists for her inaction on climate change.

Instead of passing the buck, will the Minister of International Trade pass the support package that he himself announced last November which will immediately aid softwood communities and workers?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, we do indeed have some excellent ministers in cabinet and I am very proud of them.

If the hon. member wants a support package for the softwood lumber industry, for the forestry industry, he should pass the softwood lumber agreement and get that $5 billion into the hands of the companies so they can build their business.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber agreement is not enough, as the Prime Minister is finally admitting. From the very beginning of the softwood lumber crisis, the Bloc Québécois has suggested that the government take a series of steps to support the industries and forestry workers, but this government, which has been in place for nearly a year, has done nothing.

How can the Minister of Industry deny the necessity of putting in place assistance measures, as the Bloc Québécois is proposing and everyone in Quebec is calling for, when the crisis has reached unprecedented levels? How can the minister justify his refusal to act? The ideas are there. All that is missing is his will.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would remind my hon. colleague that in the budget we tabled, which the Bloc Québécois and our Liberal colleagues voted for unanimously, we clearly demonstrated that we intend to have an assistance program for older workers.

We are going to act, unlike the Bloc Québécois members who, after months of dithering, finally decided to support the softwood lumber agreement after Henri Massé pleaded with them to support it for the workers in Quebec.

We have acted in six months, something that the Bloc Québécois, after 13 years, cannot do here. It will never be able to act for Quebeckers.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government had included a feasibility study in the budget. What is needed today is not feasibility studies, but action.

The Minister of Industry is an advocate of the laissez-faire approach to the economy, and this approach is causing serious harm to the forest industry.

How can the Prime Minister remain passive in the face of the inaction of his industry minister, who is still claiming that refunding duties to the forestry companies is enough and that the government does not have to take any further action? Will the Prime Minister be consistent and ask his minister to act?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I have here an article by Yves Boisvert, from the September 8 edition of La Presse, in which the author talks about taking action.

This is what he says about the leader of the Bloc Québécois:

“When you are a party leader in Ottawa, in these troubled times, if you do not have a clear position on one of the most serious issues of the day, [such as the softwood lumber agreement, on which we ask him to take a clear position and to continue to vote in our favour], you are insignificant. And if you have a clear position and do not dare state it, you are a coward.”

I did not say that, it was Yves Boisvert in the September 8 edition of La Presse.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

October 16th, 2006 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, far from becoming clearer, the government's position on the environment is increasingly confused. The minister's latest scheme is to allow the oil industry to simply lower its greenhouse gas emissions intensity, while specific reduction target might be set for the other industries.

How can the government not only reject the Kyoto objectives but also set out to give tax breaks to its big oil friends without providing anything similar for the other industries? How can it explain such a double standard?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would just ask the hon. member to wait for our plan to be released. This government obviously will be treating all sectors equally. We have assured that to industry sectors and Canadians across this country. I would ask him to work with us because the environment is an issue that matters to all Canadians and matters to every party in this House. We have for the first time an opportunity in this chamber to debate and discuss a piece of legislation of this calibre. I would ask him to wait for the legislation and support it.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's nearsighted environmental strategy is to launch another round of consultations with Quebec, the provinces and the industry.

How can the Prime Minister explain that, while glaciers are melting, this government is conducting consultations instead of taking action?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we spent the summer consulting with every province and territory and over 63 industry associations. We will continue to work with all of our stakeholders and environmental groups.

As I said, I would ask the hon. member to wait for the plan to be released and work with us on it.

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, for 60 years the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has helped countless Canadians become homeowners. This valuable organization, which helps Canadians achieve their dreams of owning their own homes, will soon be on the government's chopping block. There are reports that the minority Conservative government is planning to privatize CMHC, continuing the fend for yourself approach which hurts vulnerable Canadians.

Why is the meanspirited Prime Minister so determined to cut programs that help millions of Canadians?

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I have to be honest with the House that it never occurred to us to privatize CMHC. Reports to the contrary are simply untrue, false, erroneous, inaccurate and downright wrong.

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have heard that before, so I do not take that as an answer.

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. We have to be able to hear the question. How is the minister going to be able to answer if we cannot hear the question? The member for York West has the floor. We will have a little more order in the House, please.

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact that the government is even considering such a travesty, regardless of what it says, shows how little it cares about Canadians and building our great country. Even Conservative MPs admit that affordable housing is at a critical stage in their ridings. CMHC helps Canadians enter the housing market and privatization would change an organization that currently benefits so many into one that would benefit a select few.

Home ownership is a dream for many Canadians. Why does the government want to turn it into a nightmare?

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as I said, reports about any privatization of CMHC are unfounded, baseless, and do not even merit discussion because they are not on the agenda.

CMHC will continue to provide over $2 billion in affordable housing assistance that will help 630,000 families right across this country.

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, if what the minister said is right, perhaps she should advise the president of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, who believes that the government is planning to privatize or otherwise dispose of the CMHC.

While still squirrelling away surpluses inherited from the previous Liberal government, why does this government want to turn a government agency accessible to all into a private enterprise that will only benefit its shareholders?

Is this government telling everyone who benefits from the CMHC—

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we are not planning any privatization of CMHC. I repeat, we are not planning any privatization of CMHC.

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine.

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I am sure the hon. member appreciates all the encouragement, but we have to be able to hear the question. It is question period, not shouting time. The hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine.

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government says that it is not planning any privatization of the CMHC. That is great.

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!