House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Humanitarian Aid to PalestineOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the hon. member prepare her questions better too.

I just told her that the immediate problem of transferring funds has already been resolved.

Canada PostOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport, who is responsible for Canada Post, has received information regarding the postal sorting station in Quebec City. He has ignored it, suggesting instead to his two colleagues they contact the Quebec City police.

Why has the minister refused to assume his responsibilities and what is the justification for choosing to ignore the situation?

Canada PostOral Questions

May 10th, 2006 / 2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her question. We did in fact assume our responsibilities. When our two colleagues reported this information, these allegations, they did what they should have, they alerted the police to what was happening, or in fact to what was being alleged. It is my intention, in fact, to meet the chair of the board of Canada Post in the coming week to review this matter.

Canada PostOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister must do more.

If the minister finds the situation serious enough to submit it to the Quebec City police, does he plan to declare a moratorium on the closure of the postal sorting station, at least while the investigation is carried out?

Canada PostOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would hope the member would have done just what our two colleagues did. I would have liked her to congratulate our two colleagues on reporting these allegations where they should be reported.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Margaret Robertson is a widowed senior living on a fixed income in Pickering. She applied for and received conditional approval under CMHC's EnerGuide for low income household programs.

On April 7, Mrs. Robertson was informed that she was eligible for $3,500 to make her home more energy efficient. However, along came the budget and she has now been told that the program has been cut and so has her promised assistance.

Could the Minister of Natural Resources explain how his government can be so callous to a senior citizen trying to do her part to save energy and make ends meet?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, if Mrs. Robertson has applied for the program she will receive all the benefits of that program.

We were elected to take great care of and have respect for every taxpayer dollar. This is a program to promote energy efficiency and yet almost 50¢ of every dollar goes to inspections and administration and never reaches the homeowner.

That is not in the taxpayers' interest. It is not economically efficient nor environmentally efficient, which is why the program had to end.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the program was about accountability. What he refers to as administrative costs were to ensure that the assessments were done so the taxpayer would not lose. More important, only 22 weeks ago that member and his party voted for the program unanimously. How can the minister now say that suddenly he has changed his mind because it was not a campaign promise?

Could the minister now explain how the Conservatives have the money to expand prisons but nothing for widowed seniors wanting to save energy? Why is Mrs. Robertson being left out in the cold by the callous Conservative government?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, if the member is suggesting that for every single program of the previous government it took 50¢ of every dollar to ensure accountability, it is no wonder the old Liberal Party was thrown out of office. That is not how this government is going to function. We are going to ensure that taxpayers get value for every single dollar that they send to Ottawa.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, energy development goes hand in hand with increased greenhouse gas emissions. Despite this, the Conservatives are doing nothing to address this serious problem.

When will the government announce a real program instead of uttering platitudes?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I said, today we will be releasing our greenhouse gas inventory that shows that Canada now has a 35% higher target than was set by the Liberals.

Just to put that into perspective for the hon. member, that would be equal to four times the amount of greenhouse gases for every individual Canadian household that we would have to shut down today.

I would like the hon. member to tell me if he thinks that is the solution.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will ask the questions and I will ask the minister to answer but that was no answer and no assurance for Canadians.

We also have some problems with our water resources. According to the Pembina Institute, energy development is having a negative impact on our rivers, streams and lakes. Action is needed immediately to stem the growing drain on our water resources.

What is the government doing right now to address this serious problem?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Canada's water is an important resource to all Canadians. A very emotional debate is emerging in my own home province of Alberta and we are watching it closely.

One of the things we are concerned about, after inheriting Environment Canada from the Liberals, is that there is no national water strategy in place. We are starting to work with the provinces on sharing information and looking at concerns from the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the Minister of Agriculture has acted to stop CAIS program clawbacks. I agree with Canadian Federation of Agriculture president, Bob Friesen, who is one of my constituents, who said, “This move shows that the federal government has clearly listened to farmers on this issue”.

Could the Minister of Agriculture tell Canadians if he has any further plans to change the failed Liberal CAIS program in order to help Canadian farmers?

AgricultureOral 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, we are well aware of the shortcomings of the CAIS program designed by the previous Liberal government. We also are convinced we need separate assistance programs for farmers and separate disaster relief and we are moving ahead on those.

In the meantime, not only have we moved ahead to stop the collection of CAIS overpayments until 2007, but we have made that interest free for farmers as well. I am also pleased to announce that we are extending the June 30 deadline for submitting final CAIS forms by another three months.

We are going to make programming work for farmers. We are making it work this spring and we will make it work into the future.

IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, at the close of trading, the Canadian dollar hit a 28 year high, topping out at 91¢ U.S. Many analysts believe it will continue to rise, maybe even to par.

We know that workers in Canada are being hit hard. We have lost almost 200,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector since 2002, 56,000 in Ontario alone in the past year. Last week's Conservative budget just continued the Liberal legacy of ignoring working families with nothing to help protect manufacturing jobs.

What is the government's plan to protect working families who depend on these jobs?

IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.

Jobs in Canada are very important and are one of our priorities. That is why we took the necessary steps in the budget to reduce the tax burden on Canadian families and businesses. This will encourage businesses to create productive jobs. We believe in a Canada that can compete internationally.

IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the loonie's rise to 35% in value has taken years, not days. Surely those Conservatives heard the train coming. They have no long term plan for day care and no long term plan for the environment. Now we learn that they have no plan for manufacturing jobs.

Is the government too caught up in navel gazing at its five priorities to have even noticed that the manufacturing sector in our economy is in crisis? What is the government going to do about it?

IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, of course we are concerned about any job losses. I am pleased to report to the House, as the member probably knows, that the unemployment rate in Canada has not been this low since 1974. We have had tremendous--

IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

More, more.

IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I remind hon. members this is not a hockey game. The Minister of Finance has the floor, not skating.

IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Conservative Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have reduced taxes for small business and large business. In the province of Ontario alone, as a result of these measures, the people of Ontario will pay $3.5 billion less tax in 2007 than they paid under the previous government.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, since the Conservative government has been in office it has repeatedly misled the Canadian public.

The Minister of Public Works stated yesterday that he would promote fairness, openness and transparency in the bidding process and yet we find that the Department of Public Works has reached a $600 million agreement with Minto Development after the company submitted an unsolicited proposal.

Is this a case of Conservative hypocrisy or is this what happens when we have a minister who is not accountable?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:50 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, there has been a lot of speculation and rumour about this file but there is one fact. The fact is that no deal has been made on the former JDS Uniphase building. The member's speculation about the $600 million is in fact not true.

What is true is that this Conservative government will do what the Liberals did not do, which is get good value for taxpayer dollars in every deal we sign.

Public ServiceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the early 1980s, the Government of Canada has had a policy whereby 75% of public service jobs in the capital region are on the Ontario side and 25% are on the Quebec side. The Minister of Public Works and Government Services recognizes that policy. At present, the actual ratio is roughly 81% to 19%. And now, the government is preparing to increase the number of jobs on the Ontario side, reducing the percentage on the Quebec side to about 15%.

Can we know when additional space will be leased or built on the Quebec side of the national capital region in order to reach 25%? I would like an answer from the Minister of Transport, who is the minister responsible for Quebec.