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House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Gun ControlOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, day after day the minority government ignores the pleas made. It has made a habit of ignoring those groups that do not agree with it and of silencing them.

Yesterday, Jean Charest called on the Conservative government to reflect on all the tragedies that were avoided thanks to the gun registry.

Will the Prime Minister at last choose to represent all the citizens of this country? Will he give up his project to weaken gun control? Will he respect the choice made by Quebeckers?

Gun ControlOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we are at the stage of strengthening and improving the gun control process. Such a tragedy is unacceptable.

This is why we have been in contact with the Quebec minister. We will of course reflect on the comment made by Quebec premier Jean Charest and we will continue to have in place a system that is effective and that will protect all our citizens.

Older WorkersOral Questions

October 18th, 2006 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government made a clear commitment in the throne speech and the budget to introduce income support measures for older workers. It also promised in the budget that it would conduct a feasibility study of assistance measures for workers. But yesterday, the government tabled an assistance plan that includes no income support measures and that once again promises to conduct a feasibility study.

How does the Prime Minister explain that after seven months, his government has studied nothing and delivered nothing and that all he has for older workers is a retraining program with no income support measures?

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I absolutely refuse to accept the criticism from the Bloc Québécois leader.

In cooperation with the provinces, this government has proposed a $100 million plan for older workers. The commitment made in the budget has been honoured. This government has kept its promise. The problem is that the Bloc Québécois will never be able to do anything about this issue.

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister is in power, and he is using that power to help the oil companies. He is doing nothing to help the unemployed. That is the reality.

That is why his assistance plan is being rejected by everyone in Quebec: the CSN, the FTQ and Quebec's minister of employment and social solidarity, who said this morning that the assistance program was “not very realistic”.

How can he act this way with a $13 billion surplus? With the $250 million in tax breaks given annually to the oil companies, we can see who he is serving with his power: his friends, the oil companies. And he is doing nothing for the unemployed. That is what he should be saying. This minister has sold—

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House do not have the same information as the Bloc Québécois does. Our information indicates that the Government of Quebec wants to take advantage of this program and will also take advantage of the program we are setting up for Quebec workers. That is the information we have today.

However, I would like to say that the Bloc Québécois will never be happy with everything this government has done, because we are a government that abides by Canada's constitution, whereas the mission of the Bloc Québécois is to destroy this country.

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the mission of this government is to care for the most unfortunate among us, and yesterday it failed in that task.

Does someone not have to be disconnected from reality to think that a sawmill worker who has spent 40 years of his life in a sawmill is going to be able to get retrained and re-enter the labour market at the age of 59, under a program like the one the government is proposing?

Why does a government decision to give oil companies $250 million call for just two lines in the budget, but it is always impossible to do something for workers?

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, unlike the Bloc Québécois, we have confidence in workers, and in older workers. That is why we have developed a program that meets their needs.

The truth of this is demonstrated by the fact that the Mouvement des aînés du Québec told us today that it is essential that we support workers who are 55 and over, and that is what we are doing. The retirement bell has not yet rung for many older workers in Quebec. These people still want to participate in the economic life of Canada.

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, this minister is completely disconnected from reality. I met the Whirlpool workers in Montmagny during the election campaign, workers who have sent out 25 or 30 or 40 job applications and been told “I am sorry, you are too old”.

How can the government justify having hundreds of millions of dollars for its friends the oil companies, and not have a few million dollars to preserve the dignity of the older workers who have built what we have today?

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Bloc Québécois talks and talks and talks.

When the budget was debated, the Bloc Québécois said that it wanted a program to target and assist older workers in regions of Quebec where there was hardship; that is what we have delivered. What are they telling us now? Obviously the Bloc Québécois will oppose everything done by this government, which advocates open federalism and believes in respecting jurisdictions, because the goal of the Bloc is Quebec's secession.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Prime Minister, just like the Liberals before him, while he was quietly slipping hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of the big oil and gas companies let it slip that, just like the Liberals before him, he is going to break his promise on reducing pollution.

Canadians know that with these so-called intensity based targets, pollution does not go down. It goes up.

It turns out that the Prime Minister has actually produced what he likes to call a made in Canada plan that was really conceived in Washington, a Washington based approach to increase pollution and make the air dirtier right here in Canada.

Will the Prime Minister admit what he is doing?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course I will not admit that.

I would urge the hon. member and leader of the NDP to actually wait and see the government's proposals to see that everything he said is completely wrong and without foundation.

The hon. member likes to talk about money slipping by him. As I recall, that is exactly what happened to the government's budget. It was a good budget and we are proud of it.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again the Prime Minister's solution to pollution is to say to all Canadians “hold your breath”. We will see what happens with that bill tomorrow.

We need some political will. The government’s bill is a stalling tactic. It is a waste of time. It will not reduce pollution, and the Prime Minister knows it. We can take action now to reduce pollution and to combat climate change.

Will we ever hear anything but hot air from the Prime Minister?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the actions taken by this government will reduce pollution. This is the first plan that has been introduced in this Parliament to reduce pollutants in Canada.

The fact that the leader of the NDP is denouncing this bill before seeing it shows that we cannot have any faith in what he says.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, one might think that a minority government would be inclined to show some understanding for linguistic minorities, but that is clearly not the case. After having massacred the court challenges program and stifled the voice of francophone communities, the Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages poured oil on the fire by accusing minorities of living in the past.

Does the minister not understand that the future of our communities is at stake here and it depends on the preservation of our rights?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, it is very important to understand all that I said.

If the hon. member had taken the time to read the transcript, he would have seen that I was referring to our government’s approach, which is to look to the future to ensure that the communities continue to thrive.

If the hon. member wants to look to the past, he should explain to the communities why the Liberals cut $100 million from their budgets between 1993 and 1999.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities declined to meet with the mayors and councillors at the conference of francophone municipalities of New Brunswick, the Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages is trying to stifle the voice of the Acadian communities.

Has she not heard the appeal from the FCFA demanding that the court challenges program be maintained? Has she not read the letter that the SAANB sent to her government asking that the program be preserved?

How does the minister answer all the minority communities across the country that are demanding that the court challenges program be kept?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, this is what our government and I have done in just a few months time.

I have signed education agreements with every province worth more than a billion dollars and agreements for services worth a total of $64 million. I have signed agreements with the communities.

Recently, I joined forces with my colleague the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to announce a plan to encourage francophone immigration. That is what we have done.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, order. I can hardly hear a word the minister is saying. There is continual yelling. She has another 15 seconds. We will have some order. The hon. Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Josée Verner Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have done an awful lot and I had not even finished.

Last week, I announced $660,000 in financial support for the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne to hold a summit of the Canadian Francophonie.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

An hon. member

Resign!

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Bourassa should be more careful. It is getting too noisy.

The hon. member for Newmarket—Aurora has the floor.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Liberal Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment drives a car with a bumper sticker which says, “A woman's place is in the house, the senate and the oval office”. That is a great sentiment if we were all Americans, but it is too bad that she did not advocate for rights and equality for Canadian women within her own cabinet.

In fact, the six women in cabinet sat back, said and did nothing, while equality was dropped as part of this government's mandate.

On the anniversary of Persons Day I ask the minister responsible this question. How does it feel to be the person who eliminated equality as a benchmark for Canadian women?