This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #58 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sudan.

Topics

AgricultureStatements by Members

October 3rd, 2006 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Merasty Liberal Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, Saskatchewan has long been known as the breadbasket of the world, with hard-working farm families contributing greatly to the province's wealth.

However, the farm income crisis has hurt many Saskatchewan farms and the collapse of the WTO talks has led to global uncertainty. A new road map is needed to plan a way forward to help and empower farmers.

I applaud the member for Malpeque for making that road map, a new Liberal plan that puts priority on farm families. He consulted with many farmers and organizations across Canada, including co-hosting a meeting with me in Meadow Lake this summer.

The new Liberal plan calls for: deep reforms to CAIS, not just a rubber stamp name change; a disaster relief plan that responds to major crop loss, avian flu, BSE and high foreign subsidies; a biofuels plan that puts the priority on producers; a strategy to seek and secure new markets and challenge unfair practices; and, most important, consulting with producers to respond to their needs, not simply serving ideology or bureaucracy.

The new Liberal road map for agriculture points to a real commitment and partnership with Saskatchewan's farmers.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal culture of entitlement continues, only now it is about frugal Conservative cabinet ministers being admonished by the member for Wascana for not spending at the level of the former Liberal cabinet.

I have seen opposition parties react to policy differences and I have seen oppositions upset over the spending priorities of the government, but a new first has happened. We have an opposition whining about government ministers who are not spending enough.

I would like to tell the member for Wascana again that it is not his money. It comes from the taxpayer and, whenever possible, it goes back to the taxpayer.

A new government is here now and, regardless of what the Liberals want, we cannot and we will not spend like they did. The days of entitlement are over for them and we will not do it.

International Day of Older PersonsStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conseil des aînés in Quebec invited the public to celebrate the International Day of Older Persons on October 1, setting as this year's theme “The generational rainbow...shining for all the world.”

This theme underlines the importance of intergenerational ties. Seniors are a priceless resource. They share their knowledge, their life experience and their values with younger people. The colours of the rainbow represent seven important values: trust, love, comfort, listening, knowledge, solidarity and hope.

These values truly characterize seniors. Think of all the volunteer work they do: providing child care, lending support in hospitals, helping with homework and mentoring. These activities are worth $60 billion annually.

We can only hope that the Conservative government will give justice to many of the seniors who helped build Quebec and Canada by finally paying them the $3.2 billion in retroactive guaranteed income supplements.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we learn of more Conservative appointments. The rights of minorities in Canada are fundamental to our common citizenship, yet the Prime Minister has named Darrel Reid as a key political operator in his administration.

Mr. Reid, one of his Conservative candidates, said that it was about high time that Muslims showed the world that theirs was a religion of peace, rather than a religion based on threat, intimidation and terrorism.

Canadian Muslims totally reject that categorization. Canadian Muslims are people of peace.

Does the Prime Minister choose our Canadian Muslim voices or does he support his recent political appointment? That is a choice he has to make.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would have to see the context of the remarks. I think all in this House agree that all religions in the world are full of people of good faith and goodwill who want to see a better world. That is why we are working with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to help clear that country of terrorist elements.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, colleagues in the House might be interested to see the context of the remarks when the same person, Darrel Reid, compared members of this House, who voted in favour to protect Canadian citizens who happened to be gay or lesbian against hate crimes, as being similar to Adolf Hitler and his bunch.

Colleagues, look around this House. Are there members in this House who are like colleagues of Adolf Hitler, who are Nazis? This is the type of person the Prime Minister is bringing to his high political office and into his house.

This is an affront to our democracy. It is an affront to the House of Commons of Canada.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said and this party has said in the past, we defend the equality rights of gay and lesbian Canadians. At the same time, we also defend the right of people of religious faith to practise their religion and to express their religious views.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it does not stop there, it is not about gays and lesbians; it is about Quebec society. I quote, “The rest of Canada, it appears, could be following Quebec’s lead. When it comes to marriage, sexual mores and abortion, that’s not reassuring”. We on this side of the House are completely reassured by Quebec's opinion.

How can the Prime Minister name Darrel Reid as senior political adviser knowing that he made such comments? Perhaps it is only natural. His Minister of the Environment was quoted this morning as saying that Quebec was not really a concern to her.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment simply said that the policies of this government will be federal and national policies and not provincial policies.

The Leader of the Opposition has just raised moral issues and we know that Quebeckers—like other Canadians—are divided on these issues.

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, appointing Darrel Reid as chief of staff is like the Minister of the Environment hiring a pyromaniac to be fire chief.

For six years Mr. Reid was the president of an organization that ridicules the science behind climate change.

How can the Prime Minister tolerate that the chief advisor to the Minister of the Environment does not recognize the most significant environmental problem of our planet?

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I know the Liberals would like to distract us from their record. Let us talk about that record on climate change and their priorities.

The Liberals gave $2 million to the State Power Corporation of China to buy foreign credits. Last week I told the House about the $4.5 million the Liberals gave to Kazakhstan. Yesterday I told the House about the $5 million to the Asian Development Bank. Today I am telling the House about the $2 million to the State Power Corporation of China, all to buy foreign credits.

That could have paid for anti-pollution technology and sewage treatment to protect the health of Canadians. That money should stay here at home.

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that most Canadians want their government to respect the Kyoto protocol. That is true in Quebec and in the rest of the country.

However, the minister working on replacing the Kyoto protocol with a so-called national plan said, after her meeting with energy sector leaders:

“Quebec is not really a concern to me”.

How dare the minister say that Quebec is not a concern to her?

Why is the Prime Minister not denouncing these comments?

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry that my comments were misinterpreted.

I know that Quebeckers care about their environment and that is why they have to be part of our plan. We need a national plan that does not favour one province over another. Again, they have to wait until the plan is unveiled.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber industry is on its last gasp and the government is dragging its feet on implementing the agreement signed with the United States. The softwood industry in Quebec is waiting impatiently for reimbursement of the money that the agreement says will be paid. The agreement says that it is the government that must remit the money to the softwood lumber industry and then seek reimbursement from the United States.

The agreement allows the government to reimburse the softwood industry immediately and then claim payment of the money owing from the United States, so why does it not do that?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government is working to have the softwood lumber agreement adopted as quickly as possible.

There is a process in the agreement. The Export Development Corporation has the job of encouraging payment of the funds to the companies, as soon as possible.

I ask the Bloc Québécois to work with the government to have this agreement adopted as soon as possible, so that the companies can receive their funds.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is, strictly speaking, nothing to prevent the government from paying the money to the companies. The companies need it. It can do this right now and get reimbursed later.

I do not understand the government of this Prime Minister, who, when he was in opposition, was calling for loan guarantees. Now that the agreement in principle has been signed, he is in a position to pay the money. The companies need it now. It was urgent in July; it is urgent now. What is he waiting for?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is urgent, but it took six months for the leader of the Bloc Québécois to take a position on this agreement.

It is essential to have this agreement adopted as quickly as possible. I ask the Bloc Québécois to work with us to pass Bill C-24, so that the companies can receive the funds provided by this government.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, he has a very active imagination.

In April, an agreement was supposedly signed. In June, it was not working. In July, it was rejected. It was signed around August 28. We responded within a few days, it did not take months. It had been urgent for a long time. Rather than rewriting history and trying to make people believe whatever he says, he should get some backbone. Jobs are at stake right now. Rather than engaging in blackmail, let him give the companies the money and get reimbursed later.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, history is clear. This government and this Prime Minister took a position in April. It was September when the leader of the Bloc Québécois finally made a decision. This agreement has to be implemented as quickly as possible. I ask the Bloc Québécois to work with us so that this can finally happen.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the April agreement was rejected by the companies. The Prime Minister should know that. On August 21, the agreement was accepted. When the Prime Minister was in opposition, he was calling for loan guarantees. His agreement was signed on August 21. It has been delayed, mainly because of British Columbia. Now, in Quebec, the money is needed. This Prime Minister has the power, but he does not have the will.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec industry voted in favour of this agreement in April, when it was signed by this government.

We are working as quickly as possible to get the funds to the companies, but we need this House and the support of the Bloc Québécois to do that.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, with regard to softwood lumber, it was a bad agreement in April, a bad agreement in September when the Bloc Québécois supported it, and it remains a bad agreement.

More and more people are raising concerns and their voices about the war in Afghanistan because the strategy is not working. The most recent is a Republican senator, Mr. Bill Frist. He said that the Afghan war can never be won militarily and urged support to bring diplomacy to the forefront.

Why will the Prime Minister not admit, as are Republicans admitting and even his own defence minister not too many weeks ago, that this war cannot be won militarily?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first of all I told the leader of the Bloc Québécois that we had his support for the softwood lumber agreement.

On the question of Afghanistan, the leader of the NDP knows well that the government has said that we will not win this simply militarily. Security and stability in Afghanistan are obviously part of a multi-faceted effort that the United Nations is engaged in.

We are proud of the work that all of our public servants, but particularly our soldiers in uniform, are doing in Afghanistan. We support them and we are behind them.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is the first time the Prime Minister has risen in the House and said that we need a multi-faceted and more balanced strategy in Afghanistan, and it is about time.

The reality is that the current war strategy is not working. This is not only the NDP's position. Another Republican, Senator Martinez, also stated, “—a political solution is the way to settle all this”. That is what we said.

Why is the Prime Minister so set on burying Canada in a mission that is not working?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is the mission of all the members of the United Nations. I do not understand why the leader of the NDP is now quoting Republicans.

But I can say this, and this is important. The government has been absolutely consistent. We are behind our troops in Afghanistan. They are doing great work. They are the good guys and all members of the House should be behind them.