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House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judiciary.

Topics

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, as the member for Parkdale—High Park mentioned, this was a contract that was signed by the Liberals. It was done in a way that this government would not do. We believe in getting value for taxpayer dollars.

With regard to the A.T. Kearney contract, the government is going through an extensive process in order to get the best value for taxpayer dollars with regard to procurement. This was part of that process.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, in August the Globe and Mail reported on a junket to the U.K. taken by two ministerial advisers who ended up cancelling their meetings with British officials. Again, we learn today that no reports have been produced.

How is it possible, at a time when over a billion dollars has been cut for programs to help our most vulnerable citizens, that government, like the Liberals before them, wastes so much of our hard-earned dollars for reports that do not even exist?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the two people in question, whom the member has referenced and whom the minister talked about today at committee, were in fact held accountable. They no longer work for the federal government.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, on January 18 of this year the Prime Minister wrote to the Premier of Ontario, telling him that he would honour the Canada-Ontario agreement.

Just hours ago, the finance minister confirmed to the finance committee that this was yet another broken promise. I refer to the minister's preposterous claim that funds paid to all Canadians in every province under the apprenticeship tax credit could be counted as part of the Canada-Ontario agreement.

Why can the people of Ontario not trust the signature of the Prime Minister?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I explained to the member opposite at the committee, there are aspects of the agreement that are solely expenses that are going to be paid to the revenues that are going to be paid to the province of Ontario. For example, there are $300 million for infrastructure that only the province of Ontario will receive as a result of the Canada-Ontario agreement.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is creative deceptive accounting that did not answer the question. It is perfectly obvious that we cannot get fairness for Ontario by giving money to everybody when Ontario gets radically less in areas like labour market training. That was the whole point of the Canada-Ontario agreement.

Students at Fanshawe College and the University of Western Ontario in London stand to benefit from this money if only the government would keep its word.

Why can the minister not stand up for his own home province?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, no province is doing better than the province of Ontario. There is an agreement of not just five years, which the Liberal government entered into, but a full year more, six years, with $6.9 billion from the federal government to the Government of Ontario.

This is a great agreement for the province of Ontario.

LiteracyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, literacy students and workers from across Canada in Ottawa today for the annual literacy action day.

Unfortunately, they are not here to celebrate, but to protest the loss of $17.7 million cut by the minority government. The cuts are forcing literacy organizations across the country to close their doors to adults who want to learn how to read and write.

What does the minister have against students and organizations here to help these adults learn to read and write?

LiteracyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as I explained to the literacy groups at lunch today, we are going to be honouring all our existing commitments for literacy projects with them. I have said that many times in the House.

I might also point out that we are not cutting literacy training. However, we believe Canadian taxpayers expect us to spend money on literacy education, not on supporting websites and overblown travel budgets for a literacy industry.

LiteracyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is the minister and the government that said the cuts were an exercise in fat trimming. That is the minister who dismissed more than $150 million cuts to her department as equal to going without a cup of coffee a week.

Instead of callous remarks, will the minister do the right thing, apologize to literacy students who are here today and restore the full $17.7 million in funding cuts from adult literacy?

LiteracyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we are going to focus our efforts on literacy education, unlike the previous government. It paid literacy groups $34,000 simply for media consultants. It paid for travel budgets. It paid $34,000 for a group to develop a logo. That does not help people who want to learn to read and write.

Today I announced five new programs that will help Canadians learn to read and write.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, grain producers are demonstrating once again today in Montreal and Quebec City against the dumping of American grain on the Canadian market.

Will the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food take advantage of the federal-provincial conference in Calgary next week to tell farmers who have been demanding assistance that he plans to help them immediately, and will he announce a real policy to offset the harmful effects of massive American agricultural subsidies?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 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 head of La Financière agricole du Québec is saying that the agricultural sector in Quebec is in generally good shape.

Experts have a great deal of evidence that this sector is more robust than ever. To date, farmers in Quebec have received more than $135 million this year under current programs, and an additional payment of more than $400 million is expected by the end of the year.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, grain producers are fed up with the competition from American crops that are being dumped here.

Will the minister finally admit that he needs to conduct a thorough review of assistance programs for grain producers, in order to help them compete better against the Americans? During the election campaign, his party promised to do this. It is time he kept his promise.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 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 very first action the government took was to accelerate the $755 million payout to grains and oilseeds producers across the country. Quebec received its share of that, as it does in all programming.

So far this year, our contribution in Quebec is about $135 million. We anticipate that our contribution in Quebec this year will be over $400 million. We continue to work with the Government of Quebec and all our provincial counterparts to find the best programming possible to help the most farmers we can.

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, small investors know exactly how much the word of the Conservatives is worth: as little as their shares in income trusts after the announcement by the Minister of Finance. The voters of Repentigny would do well to remember this when they vote.

It is difficult to believe any of Stéphane Bourgon's promises. We have the proof that the former Conservative promises are not worth the paper they are written on.

Is this perhaps why the Minister of Public Works is afraid to stand for election? He is definitely not here.

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite expresses concern about the little people, the small people, in Canada. It is in the interest of individual taxpayers and their families and it is in the interest of tax fairness that corporations, especially large corporations, in Canada pay their fair share of taxes. That was endangered by the growth of income trusts.

JusticeOral Questions

November 9th, 2006 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Statistics Canada released a startling report showing that violent crimes had increased as a direct result of gun and gang crime in our cities. The numbers show that the national homicide rate has gone up for the second straight year because of a spike in gang related homicides.

Could the Minister of Justice please tell the House and Canadians what steps he has taken to crack down on this type of crime?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the homicide survey released by Statistics Canada is a shocking wake-up call to Canadians. We need to take action on guns and gangs right now.

I tabled Bill C-10, which is a targeted measure. It proposes mandatory prison sentences for gang members who use guns to commit crimes.

During the election, we promised to introduce mandatory prison sentences for criminals who used guns, as did the Liberals, as did the NDP. We kept our word. Why will they not support the legislation?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, every time the agriculture minister makes a Wheat Board decision, he steps in what prairie folk politely call a cow pie.

The minister has denied wheat farmers the right to vote on the board's future. He set up a sham task force with the sole goal of dismantling the single desk.

Does the minister want to wipe some of that meadow muffin off his shoes and announce today that he will hold a fair vote on the future of the Wheat Board and that wheat farmers will also have a vote?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 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, what we anticipate is a very strong voluntary Wheat Board in a marketing choice world. We are taking steps to ensure that happens. We will consult with farmers, as we have been doing all along.

In fact, we will be having a plebiscite in the new year. We are going to be talking about barley at that time. We are going to have a very broad voter base and obviously, a very clear and fair question.

I encourage all farmers to participate in that vote.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, not only does the government want to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board, but the Conservatives have also abandoned Quebec's grain farmers. For years they have fought unassisted against American dumping.

In the spring, the Canada Border Services Agency concluded that the losses caused by dumping warranted a penalty against corn imported from the United States.

Why does the government not appeal to the WTO? Why has the government abandoned Quebec farmers?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 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, foreign producers did take this issue to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, using an argument that American producers were dumping corn improperly. The Canadian International Trade Tribunal did not support that point of view. There are rumours out there that corn producers may want to go this route again.

More properly, what we are doing is designing programming that will help farmers directly. We are working on things like biofuels and biomass enterprises and investment to ensure that farmers have more options and better prices. Thankfully, the price of corn is coming up. It is at a 10-year high.

International CooperationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, yet another Conservative minister was the laughingstock of the international community. The Minister of International Cooperation attended the Montreal Millennium Promise Conference. No new announcements were made. We have even taken a step back with respect to malaria.

Can the minister explain why she did not mention this subject during her speech? Why did she cut $18 million from the budget for equipment to fight malaria?

Is she unaware that mosquito nets are very effective at fighting malaria and saving lives, especially in Africa?

International CooperationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, there is new-found interest on the other side of the House about malaria. In fact, CIDA has for years been funding anti-malarial projects. Earlier this year, we funded the project that we have been working on with the African global fund to the tune of $250 million. That will probably save 75,000 lives.