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House of Commons Hansard #69 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was surplus.

Topics

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I have a great deal of empathy for the workers who have lost their jobs.

That being said, we have nothing to learn from the Liberals. Four days before the last election was called, they announced a so-called plan to help the aerospace industry, but the plan was nothing but a political ploy to buy votes and to fool Canadians.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this plan was prepared by an individual who today is one of them.

In the past 10 months, we have seen the government delay hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development investments for the aerospace industry. It even cut $42 million from an assistance program for the industry. The Conservatives are abandoning workers and a sector that is crucial to the economic development of Montreal.

What justification can the minister responsible for Montreal provide for such negligence? When will he finally give a positive response to all these projects currently on his desk?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the previous Liberal government spent 13 years squandering public funds and filling its own election coffers. For 13 years it did nothing for the Montreal aerospace industry.

The time has now come to take action. This government will ensure that there are $13 billion in economic benefits in Canada for the aerospace industry.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

October 25th, 2006 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the course of the next three days, the Quebec first nations socio-economic forum will be held in Mashteuiatsh. A few federal ministers have confirmed their attendance, including the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. However, the Canadian government represents one of only two countries that voted against the United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples when the human rights commission met in June.

Can the Prime Minister really be comfortable sending his Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to co-chair this forum when his government is about to vote against the declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples once again, this time before the United Nations General Assembly?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to send the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to represent the Canadian government, along with his Quebec counterpart and several members of this House.

Our government has some concerns about the declaration mentioned by the Bloc Québécois leader, because several elements of it do not respect the Canadian Constitution. As the Bloc leader knows, this government always respects the Canadian Constitution.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, every party in this House has studied this issue carefully. Three of the four parties agree. Canada has supported this declaration for some time.

This does not concern the Canadian Constitution, since the declaration in no way threatens our Constitution. The Prime Minister should clearly say that what he does not respect is the first nations peoples of Quebec and Canada. That is what his actions show.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, no previous government has signed that agreement. Our government had reservations about certain sections of the agreement. We are working to improve that agreement.

A government must read something like that carefully to determine its position based on the facts. We cannot deal in fiction.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about concrete issues if that is what the Prime Minister wants.

At the Mashteuiatsh forum, aboriginal peoples intend to raise several concerns that they have regarding the future and that relate to health, social and economic issues. In fact, many issues will be discussed at the forum.

Since the federal government intends to be fully represented at the forum, can it assure us that it is not going to Mashteuiatsh empty-handed and that it will make concrete proposals regarding all of the issues?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned yesterday, I am proud to co-chair along with my Quebec counterpart the socio-economic forum that will take place in Mashteuiatsh, Quebec.

I am quite confident that my colleagues and myself can make a significant contribution to the discussions on how to ensure the well-being of aboriginal peoples in Quebec.

Our government is taking concrete action to improve the quality of life for everyone.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Friday morning, in Mashteuiatsh, there will be a very important workshop on housing, which is one of most serious problems facing aboriginal peoples. According to the information that we have, the Minister of Indian Affairs will already have left the conference.

Can the minister assure us that, given the importance of this issue, he will make sure to be present in Mashteuiatsh for that workshop?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I have every intention of going to Mashteuiatsh. I will be there for most of the next several days, along with a number of my colleagues from the province of Quebec.

Contrary to what was taking place under the former government, this government is committed to housing. In the first budget of the Conservative government, a total of $600 million was put forward for housing, $300 million with respect to northern housing, $300 million with respect to off reserve housing.

One of the priority items I have worked on, together with the Assembly of First Nations, relates to the provision of on reserve housing. We are making significant progress.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to free speech, it turns out that the Prime Minister seems to have a double standard: free speech for people he agrees with and gag orders for people that he does not agree with.

The best example is the Wheat Board. So far the government has changed the rules half way through on the election, imposed a gag order and arbitrarily struck thousands of farmers off the voters list.

Will the Prime Minister stop bullying Canadian farmers and commit to the House that there will be a free and fair vote on the Canadian Wheat Board?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, in the upcoming Wheat Board elections, which I think is what the member is referring to, the recommendation I made to the Canadian Wheat Board was exactly consistent with what the Wheat Board's own election panel recommended one year ago in November. It said that actual producers should vote for the directors, not just someone who had a permit book.

We continue to listen to Canadian farmers. They have the right to vote in this upcoming directors election, and we are giving them that right.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is taking away the rights of farmers who leave their fields fallow, who run other crops, who hold their wheat for the next year to get a better price, who have bad rain, who have bad drought. That is what it is doing to the farmers across the country. Killing the Wheat Board will produce serious financial loss for everyday grain producers.

Thank goodness, Gary Doer's government is standing up and is going to hold a referendum. Thank goodness the Government of Saskatchewan is going to take the federal government to court, if need be, to get it to do the right thing.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Will there be a free and fair vote for farmers on the Wheat Board, yes or no?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this party and this government will never be afraid of the voices of western farmers. That is why we represent virtually every rural seat in western Canada.

I know the leader of the NDP and ourselves disagree on marketing choice for western Canadian farmers. However, I think what we hopefully do agree on is, whether people are for or against the Wheat Board or want the Wheat Board the same or changed, that they have a right to know what the Wheat Board is doing.

We put the Wheat Board under access to information in the accountability act. The unelected Liberal Senate took it out. That is a disgrace. The Wheat Board should be subject to access to information.

DecorumOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the foreign affairs minister is well aware of the offensive remark that has placed him in difficulty for the past six days.

Last Thursday, in reference to a comment about a dog, he pointed toward the seat of another hon. member and said, “You already have her”.

This being the minister's first opportunity to do so, will he simply withdraw that remark and offer the House an apology?

DecorumOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, obviously I was travelling abroad, with other members of the House of Commons, on international obligations.

I made no such gesture. I made no derogatory or discriminatory remarks toward any member of the House.

DecorumOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, that the offending remark was made is undeniable, and it cannot be claimed that just because Hansard did not catch it, it never happened.

Members of the House witnessed it. Audio tapes recorded it. The news media have repeatedly confirmed it. Every significant women's organization in the country has condemned it.

The minister might want to look at an editorial in today's Montreal Gazette to assess the damage that he is doing. Would it not be wise to stop the denials, acknowledge this mistake, apologize and avoid doing more harm to himself and his government?

DecorumOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, we looked into this matter and you ruled on it last week. I think all members of the House should respect your ruling. In addition, now the minister has addressed the issue, and that should end it.

DecorumOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, a long list of women's groups agree that the Minister of Foreign Affairs must apologize for the disparaging remark he made in the House last Thursday. His sexist remark, which today he is denying having made, goes beyond decorum. It speaks to a fundamental lack of respect for women.

The minister and the Prime Minister both refuse to apologize. Why are they endorsing such disrespect to Canadian women and to members of Parliament in the House?

DecorumOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the decorum in the House is the responsibility of all members.

With respect to the issue the member has raised, you looked into this matter last week, Mr. Speaker. You ruled on it. All members of the House should respect your ruling. Now the minister himself has addressed the matter, and that should end it.

DecorumOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that women are not a priority for this Conservative minority government. It has abolished programs for women, but it denies having done that. The minister made sexist comments but he is now denying it, in the House.

When will the Conservatives stop denying the reality, and when will the Minister of Foreign Affairs assume his responsibilities, including responsibility for his contemptuous behaviour towards women and this House?

DecorumOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the government is committed to women. In fact, we ask every member in the House to stand with the government and, on behalf of women, work with our justice minister, who will make our streets safer, work with the immigration minister, who will deal with the victims of trafficking, work with the aboriginal affairs minister, who will bring matrimonial property rights to aboriginal women and work with our finance minister, who will reduce taxes for all women.

In fact, this is real action. This is standing up for women.

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, between January 2005 and May 2006, Quebec lost 26,800 manufacturing jobs. The crisis hits not only companies involved in textile, clothing, bicycles and shoes, but also leading edge companies such as Norsk Hydro and Bombardier.

Can the Minister of Industry tell us what his strategy is to stop this massive loss of all these industrial jobs that are disappearing before our very eyes?

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, speaking of Norsk Hydro, I just want to point out to this House that the Mauricie region is fully eligible for the six new tools that we have implemented to help the economic development of the regions. I particularly want to mention to the employees that the opportunities fund set up three or four weeks ago is quite interesting, as is the marketing fund and the community economic diversification initiative.

We will consider any serious case. While the Bloc shouts and does nothing, we have implemented the tools to help the regions.