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House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parents.

Topics

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, during their meeting in Cancun on March 30 and 31, the Prime Minister and President Bush agreed to resume discussions on softwood lumber. However, we do not know under what bases and conditions negotiations will resume.

Can the Minister of International Trade confirm that full respect of the NAFTA decisions will continue to be a prerequisite to the negotiations?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that one of the biggest threats to NAFTA in the last 10 years has been the softwood lumber dispute. The Government of Canada is firmly committed to NAFTA. We are committed to improving it. We see the resolution of softwood lumber as a key element in building a stronger and better NAFTA that serves Canadians better going forward.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the industry is in crisis and the aid announced before the election never saw the light of day. More worrisome still, despite his election promise, is that the Prime Minister suggested in Cancun that there would be no aid packages if negotiations resume.

Could the Minister of Industry reassure the industry and forestry workers and tell us when the government plans on keeping its promise and announce the implementation of a loan guarantee program to cover all the duties levied and illegally retained by Washington?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been very clear that support for the softwood lumber industry is being prepared. It is critically important that we try to get through this very delicate period right now. We are assessing our options around the potential for a resolution of the softwood lumber support. The government will be there to support the softwood lumber industry. The issue of loan guarantees and loan insurance is clearly still under consideration by the hon. Minister of Industry.

VeteransOral Questions

April 7th, 2006 / 11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the new Veterans Charter, which came into force last Monday, was introduced in the House of Commons on April 20, 2005, by my colleague, the hon. member for Mississauga East—Cooksville. This marks the most significant improvement to legislation on veterans' services since the second world war. Yesterday, during a public ceremony, neither the Prime Minister nor the Minister of Veterans Affairs acknowledged the contribution of our colleague and former minister. This leads me to believe that the charter has undergone some major changes.

Can the Prime Minister tell us what changes he made to the Veterans Charter?

VeteransOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I made it perfectly clear yesterday that every member in the House of Commons deserves recognition for the implementation of the charter because every member in this House, from all sides, supports it, including the Senate. I was more than generous in pointing that out.

The real ownership of this belongs to our Canadian Forces veterans and the six major veterans organizations that really pushed the government to get this done. I thank all of those organizations and all hon. members.

VeteransOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for clarifying that he and the other parties supported a Liberal initiative and have implemented a Liberal initiative for veterans, and I congratulate the minister.

Where he did differentiate from us is that he did not believe there should be a methodical approach to how we treat veterans who have suffered from agent orange. The parliamentary secretary for health has said many times in the House that the government would be sending cheques out to people for hepatitis C immediately upon forming government.

The Minister of Veterans Affairs has said he would do the same thing for agent orange. Veterans in my riding are waiting for those cheques not only for agent orange but other defoliants. Where are the cheques? When are they coming?

VeteransOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the difference between our approach on agent orange and just about any approach that the Liberals have is that we have a plan and we have an objective in mind. I am working very closely with my colleague, the Minister of National Defence, to come up with a plan.

It has two parts to it and one of them is compensation. We are going to do our homework. We are going to do it on the basis of good information. We are working very carefully to ensure that our plan is a good plan as opposed to the one that the Liberals had on hepatitis C which still has not been clarified and is still in the courts. We are not going to allow that to happen. Our plan will be consistent with good government and fairness to all victims in terms of the exposure to agent orange.

VeteransOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

My riding houses the only remaining federally owned and operated veterans hospital in Canada, the Ste. Anne's Hospital. The Department of Veterans Affairs is in the process of transferring surplus lands owned by the hospital to Canada Lands Corporation for development.

Could the minister confirm whether this transfer of land has taken place?

VeteransOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that the Government of Canada is spending about $104 million on a modernization program at that particular hospital. In terms of the specifics, I will have to meet with the member to go over those.

However, I can assure the member that there is a major commitment by this government to proceed with the modernization of Ste. Anne's. It is an important part of our operation and we recognize that. Under the new charter there will be more important work to be done at Ste. Anne's. We have a total commitment to that hospital.

VeteransOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the modernization project at Ste. Anne's has nothing to do with this file. This file is one of the most timely and active in the minister's portfolio, outside of the Liberal veterans charter. Has two months not been sufficient time for the minister to be briefed by his officials?

Given that the surrounding communities, including veterans groups, want the land developed as a housing project that benefits veterans, pays homage to their sacrifice and preserves valuable green space on the island of Montreal, would the minister officially require, as part of the terms and conditions of an eventual transfer, that Canada Lands develop the land in line with the wishes of the community and local veterans groups?

VeteransOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the member could in fact be speaking to the wrong minister in terms of this file. My job is to look after the veterans and to take care of that very hospital to which he is speaking.

The member is talking about a transfer of lands and properties. I believe his question should be directed at another ministry, not ours. Our commitment is to that hospital, to the renovation of that hospital and to the patients it looks after. That is our commitment, to the veterans, to the patients and to the hospital.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, last fall the Liberals held an environment conference in Montreal. Could the Minister of the Environment tell us how much that conference cost and how many tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions were reduced because of it?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as president of the conference of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, I am uniquely well aware of the opportunity Canada has to participate in the international dialogue on climate change.

I also understand the importance of accountability to Canadian taxpayers on how we spend our money. In fact, the result of that conference in Montreal was that Canadian taxpayers shelled out $44 million. As to a reduction in emissions, the result is that emissions are actually up by 30%.

This government refuses to do that. We will be accountable to the environment and accountable to taxpayers.

Child CareOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week the Prime Minister said that he was hopeful that real child care spaces would be created. We all know that it takes more than hope to create new child care spaces.

In a year, working families will have no choice but to have child care spaces ripped away from their children.

Will the minister please tell us how she plans to fulfill the throne speech promise to create real child care spaces?

Child CareOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the Conservative plan to create 125,000 new child care spaces right across the country. We will be working with business groups, community groups and non-profit organizations to create the spaces that the previous government promised for 13 years and never once created. I look forward to this.

Child CareOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government promised $1,200 in a new family allowance. For a couple earning $35,000 that actually equals a dollar a day.

Child CareOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Child CareOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina has the floor.

Child CareOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, for a couple earning $35,000 a year that is worth $1 a day after the tax backs and clawbacks. One dollar a day does not even buy diapers. It does not even provide child care. It is $1 a day. The government gives with one hand and takes away with the other.

Will the minister promise the House today that every penny, every dollar, will go into the hands of the families without tax backs or clawbacks?

Child CareOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, for starters, I would like to assure the hon. member that we have not reached the 75% tax rate in this country. Our intention with the $1,200 a year child care allowance is to have a universal benefit. It will, as the Prime Minister said repeatedly during the election campaign, be taxed in the hands of the lowest earning parent. Therefore if there is a stay at home parent who earns zero dollars there is no tax on that.

FisheriesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Bill Matthews Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister made public commitments that he would establish a Canadian fisheries custodial management regime on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish cap.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has made similar commitments. The Prime Minister wrote Premier Danny Williams on January 4 stating his commitment and support for custodial management. The throne speech, however, made no reference whatsoever to fisheries or custodial management.

When will the government establish a custodial management regime?

FisheriesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, let me congratulate my critic and thank him for his question. Let me also say to him that despite any disagreement we might have in question and answer period, a Newfoundlander will always be right.

The member well knows, being part of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, that the issue of control off the continental shelf and of the overfishing that goes on is an issue we have fought since we came to this place. I assure the member that the issue is being dealt with in the throne speech and the priorities listed are very important ones for our province.

FisheriesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bill Matthews Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, since the election the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has been talking a lot about international cooperation. Those of us who follow fisheries issues know that he is really supporting the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, that toothless, useless organization to which the minister has referred.

Before the election the minister believed strongly in custodial management. He promised it to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Why has the minister changed his position? Why this jelly fish approach? When will we see custodial management?

FisheriesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the member that I am herring him well and I am not trying to cod anybody. We are committed to ensuring we deal with the overfishing on the nose and tail. Anything I said before on that side of the House I believe not only as firmly but even more firmly today because, unlike the members opposite when they were in government, we not only will talk about such issues, we will deal with the issues.