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House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Public Servants Disclosure ActOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government wants to rush the passing of its accountability bill on the grounds that it wants to protect whistleblowers in the public service. The President of the Treasury Board has the means to do this: Bill C-11, which went through the entire legislative process and even received royal assent.

What is stopping the government from enacting this legislation immediately, which would prevent the committee from being completely bulldozed and would give it enough time to do its job properly?

Public Servants Disclosure ActOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the answer is quite clear. The previous government implemented a bill at the last minute during the last Parliament that is not strong enough to protect our public servants.

This government, particularly the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, has introduced Bill C-2, which will better protect our public servants. That is the bill that must be implemented to protect public servants.

Public Servants Disclosure ActOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, unions representing more than 80,000 members of the public service want to be protected immediately under Bill C-11.

Why is the President of the Treasury Board not following through and immediately giving the protection wanted by so many public servants by enacting the whistleblowers legislation, which his party even supported last fall?

Public Servants Disclosure ActOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I would say to my colleague from Quebec that the largest union that represents public servants said that Bill C-11 was not so strong. The good news for public servants is that now there is a real government that will truly support the public servants of this country, much more than the previous government did.

I would also say that it is very important to have Bill C-2 in place. We must work harder to be certain that these measures contained in our accountability bill are passed by this House of Commons. I hope we can count on the Bloc Québécois' support.

AgricultureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food gave a few more details about the breakdown of a portion of the assistance announced in the recent budget. In reply to a question I asked him last week, and again yesterday in front of reporters, the minister promised that Quebec would receive its fair share of this financial assistance.

Can the minister assure us that Quebec will receive its fair share of the amount announced in the budget, and can he tell us just how much Quebec will receive?

AgricultureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

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

Yesterday, a press release from the Union des producteurs agricoles in Quebec had this to say:

Farmers in Quebec and the rest of Canada will be able to breathe a bit easier in the coming months thanks to the new enhanced spring credit advance program announced yesterday by the federal agriculture minister.

This was the reaction of Laurent Pellerin, president of the UPA, who recognizes that Quebec farmers' expectations regarding the cash advance program have largely been met.

Yesterday's reports that the federal government's change to the CAIS program and extension of the--

AgricultureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. Time is up. The hon. member for Richmond—Arthabaska.

AgricultureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary answered again, but he still has not answered my question about how much Quebec will receive. I have some quotes for him as well. The Union des producteurs agricoles deplores the fact that the measures announced by Ottawa do not specifically target the hardest hit sectors, such as grains.

Will the minister promise to meet right away with the minister of agriculture of Quebec, who has been requesting a meeting, to determine how Quebec's share can be redistributed immediately to the sectors with the greatest need for income security? I am waiting for an answer.

AgricultureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, in the past five years, has the Bloc Québécois ever voted for a single law to help farm producers in Quebec and Canada? No.

We have announced an enhanced advance program that will double the amount of interest-free loans to $100,000 per farmer, regardless of where the farmer lives.

We are addressing the failures of the previous Liberal CAIS program by adjusting the inventory valuations back to 2003, 2004 and 2005, which will allow us to—

AgricultureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for York West has the floor.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

May 19th, 2006 / 11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. Our Liberal government had signed a $6.9 billion deal with the Government of Ontario for important infrastructure needs such as public transit, affordable housing, post-secondary education and immigration.

The Minister of Finance continues to say that he will honour this commitment. The question for the Minister of Finance is when? When is the Minister of Finance going to cut the cheque?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, this government made a very clear promise to support the Canada-Ontario agreement. We saw for 13 long years successive governments, successive premiers, trying to get a little fairness for the province of Ontario from the previous government. That was a long battle.

This government will fully honour the Ontario-Quebec, the Canada-Ontario agreement.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I said Canada-Ontario, not Canada-Quebec. That is what I am talking about this morning; more double talk, more phony commitments. Clearly Ontario is not a priority for the government.

Is the government simply planning to stall until the next provincial election in the hopes that the government's Conservative buddy will get elected?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I will say that takes some nerve for the member opposite who served as a former minister of immigration and shortchanged the people and immigrants to the province of Ontario year after year. On a per capita basis, immigrants coming to the province of Ontario to establish a new life and establish a new beginning were shortchanged by that member when she was a minister in the previous government.

This government will deliver real change. We will honour the agreement and we will support immigrants to the province of Ontario to ensure that they are well settled and contribute to Canadian life.

Human Resources and Social DevelopmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to revisit an answer given yesterday by the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. Perhaps the minister should visit our regions in order to understand the realities facing workers in agriculture, forestry, construction and tourism. She has no sympathy for them and looks down on them. The only thing these citizens want is to be able to continue providing for their families. If the minister had a little compassion for these people, she would immediately announce an extension of the pilot projects.

My job as an elected member of Parliament is to defend the citizens in my riding. Does the minister truly believe that defending the public is a tactic to buy votes?

Human Resources and Social DevelopmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as members well know, I too come from an area that is largely dependent upon agriculture and tourism. Those are my top areas of interest from an economic point of view from home.

That is why whatever programs we go forward with are not going to apply just to specific areas, but will be applied in a nationwide context that will be in the best interests of all Canadians.

Human Resources and Social DevelopmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the answer is clear. The minister says, yes, defend your citizens and you will buy their votes.

This party is beginning to show its true colours. It is enough to recall the comments made the current Prime Minister relatively recently when he said that Atlantic Canadians are a defeatist people.

The minister should apologize to everyone in the Atlantic provinces. There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to ensure a decent future. The reason for an extension of the pilot projects would be just that.

I asked a very simple question and I would like a clear answer. Will the minister show the slightest compassion for the seasonal workers in my riding?

Human Resources and Social DevelopmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, this government intends to show compassion for workers in all ridings across this country. That is why we are reviewing the results of the pilot project. I stress it is a pilot project. That means it is a test to make sure that the program works and that it is cost effective for all Canadian taxpayers, that it delivers what it is supposed to. That is what we are going to ensure our programs do. That is why we are going to make sure we bring in something that works.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, what else does the Auditor General's report reveal? It reveals the Liberal's mismanagement and waste.

In 2002, the lease for the Montreal offices of the Economic Development Agency of Canada was up for renewal. The Minister followed the usual practice and signed a new lease in another building. The former secretary of state responsible for the agency complained to the current member for Wascana, who agreed to renew the old lease in a more expensive building, resulting in two leases for a single agency.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Public Works tell us the reasons for this interference?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

11:45 a.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, I am afraid I have bad news for the hon. member and for taxpayers.

In the last Liberal government, as a result of one letter from one Liberal minister across the table to another, the lease at Place Victoria was renewed. Professionals at the Department of Public Works did their job, but the Liberals ignored their counsel and wasted $4.6 million leasing two buildings. They leased two buildings when only one in fact was needed.

The Conservative government and the Department of Public Works will always get value for taxpayer dollars because we have learned, unlike the Liberals, how not to waste money.

Human RightsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the United Nations will release a report on Canada's human rights record. In recent years Canada has done more to ignore its human rights commitments than it has done to honour them. It is time to end the Liberal legacy of inaction and start complying.

What has the government done to conform with the recommendations that will be made on Monday and what measures has it put in place to ensure an open, transparent and publicly accountable process for coordinating the implementation and compliance of human rights in Canada?

Human RightsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this party and this government support human rights. We support human rights in Canada and we support human rights throughout the world.

Human RightsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased with the member's words, but we heard the same thing from the Liberals before and did not get any action then.

On a related matter, four years ago, after many years of debate, the UN General Assembly adopted a new treaty to prevent and eradicate torture and ill-treatment worldwide. Sixteen countries have signed on to that protocol. Sadly, Canada is not one of them.

The protocol needs 20 signatories before it comes into force. Will the minister stand today and make a commitment to Canadians that we will sign the optional protocol on torture? Will the government take the step from words to action and take a leading role in preventing torture--

Human RightsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Human RightsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, Canada has been very strong in asserting human rights values, both at the United Nations and around the world. We will always continue an abiding interest in ensuring that our human rights are on par with other countries. The United Nations is the best forum in which this debate is to take place. There is significant reform activity going on at the United Nations in which Canada has shown a long and abiding interest.

This type of activity is going to elevate and Canada is going to continue to play the leading role, which it has always played, on issues pertaining to human rights.