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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

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Norsk Hydro example is a terrible one, but more than that, the Minister and the Conservative government are defending laissez-faire economics whereby the market regulates itself. But some players practice what is called social dumping. That is why the WTO allows safeguards to be implemented, as Europe and the United States have done in the clothing and textile industry.

Why does Canada refuse to follow their example when jobs are being lost and market rules are being flouted? The entire manufacturing sector is affected.

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we believe strongly in creating a fiscal environment that is favourable to all companies in Canada and that is what we did in our last budget. We made over $20 billion in tax cuts that apply to companies and to Canadians. This will leave more money in the pockets of the companies, more money for modernization and more money for competing with the best companies in the world. That is what we did and that is what the Bloc Québécois will never be able to do, since it is eternally in opposition.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, the closure of the Norsk Hydro plant in Bécancour is affecting hundreds of workers in my riding and depriving them of high level salaries.

Although there is no obvious way to help the company's workers, the mayor of Bécancour, the Government of Quebec, the labour federations and other stakeholders are looking at solutions that would involve the company's skilled workers.

My question is very simple: does the government plan to play a tangible role in re-opening the plant, and will it partner with these dynamic people who want what is best for the company?

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 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, I want to remind my colleague again that my priority as Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec was to put in place new tools, easily accessible tools, that entrepreneurs would have no great difficulty using.

In the past month, we have put in place six new tools to help regions in difficulty and regions with declining populations.

Two programs come to mind in this case: the capital fund for business succession, which provides access to fairly substantial funding, because Desjardins Venture Capital is partnering with us in this sort of project, and CEDI-Vitality. There are other measures as well.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is no secret that China can produce magnesium very cheaply, because it does not respect the environment, has no health and safety measures and does not respect workers' fundamental rights. In short, China practises what is commonly known as social dumping.

Does the government plan to adopt new measures to prevent other companies from suffering the same fate as Norsk Hydro?

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 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, our role is not to start up businesses, but to put in place tools to help entrepreneurs or people who want to start up or expand businesses.

That is why, in recent months, since I became minister, I have tried to introduce new tools. That is what we have done. There are six in all, and regions with declining populations have full access to these tools, which are designed to support employees and entrepreneurs in this sort of situation.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, to salvage her clean air disaster, the Minister of the Environment has been misquoting the Canadian Lung Association. What the lung association really said was that it:

--has serious concerns that the proposed approach under the Clean Air Act will not reduce emissions of greenhouse gases quickly enough to lessen the health effects of climate change.

Misleading the House like this shows the minister's utter disrespect for Parliament.

Why did the Minister of the Environment misrepresent the real position of the Lung Association?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the hon. member likes to pull things out of the Lung Association's press release. It has said, in fact, that it is in favour of the clean air act to regulate indoor air because it is one of the largest health risks associated with lung cancer for non-smokers. It is concerned about some of the health impacts of climate change. We are working with it and many other organizations to address these issues.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not just the Lung Association that the minister is misrepresenting. Yesterday she claimed that the Federation of Canadian Municipalities supported the clean air act. Again, that is not accurate. Not once in the FCM press release is there any mention of the clean air act. In fact, the FCM said, after the minister tabled her flawed act, “We don’t need to wait for new legislation to begin working in partnership”.

The House cannot accept this kind of continual misrepresentation on the part of the minister. Will she apologize for repeatedly misleading the House?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to repeat exactly what I said, which was the opposition should listen to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that said:

Recent announcements signal that the present federal government is prepared to take a leadership role and develop an environmental plan capable of delivering tangible results.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minority Conservative government is showing blatant contempt toward farmers.

Earlier this month the Prime Minister, whose disdain for the Canadian Wheat Board is legendary, slapped the Wheat Board with a gag order, preventing it from advocating for its single desk selling. When he was president of the National Citizens Coalition, the Prime Minister said, “gag laws are unconstitutional and unenforceable”.

Is the Prime Minister not doing today what he found so distasteful not that long ago?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:45 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, of course there is no such thing. The directors of the Wheat Board are speaking out, as they should and as they are allowed to. Farmers across the country are talking to me and to others about what they think the future of the Wheat Board should look like.

However, that is not the real question. The big question today is why the unelected Senate voted to remove the right of farmers to access information and to access the Canadian Wheat Board. I do not know which is worse, the fact that the Liberals do not think farmers should know what is going on or the fact that farmers lost their right to know by an unelected Senate.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, I know it is hard to believe but the government is showing even more contempt for farmers. Western producers have been demanding a plebiscite. The Canadian Wheat Board clearly states that a vote should be held. Both Manitoba and Saskatchewan have indicated that they would hold a vote if the federal government fails to fulfill its responsibilities.

When will the government do the democratic and lawful thing and put the question to a vote by farmers?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:45 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, the hon. member is presupposing that he knows what is in the task force report, which should be delivered shortly. When that task force report is tabled with me I will make it public. It will aid in the discussion and in the debate that is already taking place on the Prairies. However, again, that is not the issue.

The issue is this. Why do the Liberals not want western Canadian farmers to know what is going on at the Wheat Board? Why did the unelected Senate take the right of farmers to know away? What is wrong? What are they afraid of?

JusticeOral Questions

October 25th, 2006 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, my constituents in St. Catharines are distressed with a justice system put in place by the former Liberal government that does not appear to give our government the tools to keep Canada from becoming a dumping ground for dangerous offenders and people who commit crimes in other countries.

Could the Minister of Public Safety give this House an update on what is being done to rectify this situation and protect all Canadians?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we do not want to become a dumping ground for pedophiles from the United States.

We do not want to become a haven for pedophiles or others who commit serious crimes in the United States and then come to Canada. We have been using every legal instrument possible to detain and declare as inadmissible the individual whom my colleague is concerned about.

What I have been finding is that over the last decade and a half, the Liberals created, through quite an array of protective measures, a system that makes it easier for criminals to come in here and hard to get them out. Today they could agree with raising the age of protection from 14--

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for London—Fanshawe.

HomelessnessOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the minister refused to even reveal her funding plans for SCPI for the fiscal years 2007 through 2009. The President of the Treasury Board had the audacity to claim “this government has no intention of cutting SCPI”. However, the minister's published priority and planning report states that the government is leaving only $2.2 million for the program.

If the minister does not consider $131 million lost from one year to the next a cut, what is a cut?

HomelessnessOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the one disadvantage that the hon. member has is that she does not understand government numbers because she will never be in government.

Let me explain. The numbers posted on the website reflect the allocations that have already been made. Because we are still looking at ways to improve the homelessness program, the decisions have not been made. We do not want to be premature in that. Once we have made the decisions and we have allocated the funds, they will be there.

HomelessnessOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, actually I was a cabinet minister. The minister still fails to explain why 99% of the budget has been slashed for programs that provide services for emergency shelters, traditional housing and homelessness prevention.

Why is the government claiming that there is not a cut when we all know that there has been? This is an all out assault on affordable housing and homeless people in this country.

Will the government commit to affordable housing and fully fund the national housing initiative by replacing all of the $131 million?

HomelessnessOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we have indicated many times our concern for the homeless, which is why we extended the national housing initiative as one of our first moves, why we made $37 million available to it that had not been spent by the previous government and why we will continue to support the homeless. However, we will not do it in the way of the government that bankrupted Ontario.

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the expenditures of the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec are raising more and more questions.

Given that everything has to go through his office and that he is the one making all the decisions, we have questions about some of these expenditures.

Between September 5 and 8, the minister toured six cities in Quebec to make the same announcement. The only changes made in the announcement were the dates and places. For the same period, CED approved a bill from Bearskin Airlines in Thunder Bay in the amount of $41,822.

Could the minister tell this House what the total cost of his six-city tour to make the same announcement in Quebec was?

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:50 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, I abide by the laws of this Parliament. My expenditures have been duly submitted in a timely manner, as required. I am not the one processing them, though.

That said, the expenditures will be made public very shortly. The member will see that I cost much less than my predecessor.

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we need to realize is that he took a plane from Thunder Bay to Jonquière and toured eastern Quebec, but that is not all. In addition, the colour of the displays and communication equipment was not to his liking. He had $29,963 spent just to change the colour to Conservative blue, and all this for a one time use. Are there more bills he would like to provide us with today?

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:50 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, when you have new partners joining you to offer new tools designed to help businesses in regions experiencing difficulty, it is totally appropriate and even normal, from a marketing point of view, to have ParaPost display boards mentioning their names.

What the member said is wrong. These displays will be used over and over. Anytime funding is granted to a business under one of these programs, for instance, they will be used.