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House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what Canadians were tired of from the previous government was grandstanding on Canada-U.S. relations in ways that got absolutely no benefits for our industry.

We have a strong deal, a deal that not only benefits the industry and our regions but puts that party to shame.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, giving away half the store is no way to succeed.

This softwood deal provides open access only if market conditions of two months ago continue to prevail, but already those conditions have changed. The threat of new duties and export quotas is looming. Some deal: its shelf life lasted about seven weeks and its best before date is now at hand.

Is the unseemly rush to finish the deal and get softwood legislation done in June not just a clear admission that the government will impose export taxes as early as this summer to satisfy its Republican idols?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have to correct several pieces of misinformation. To start with, under this deal our producers will get back 80% of the duties that have been sitting in the pockets of the Americans while the Liberals were in power. I do not know where the Liberals get their numbers.

We know what they did to the softwood lumber industry in this country and we know that the only people they speak for are people like the member himself, Liberal lawyers who want to keep this litigation going on forever. We want the industry to benefit.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister of International Trade knows that our softwood lumber producers are facing export charges of 10% as well as a ceiling under the softwood lumber deal.

Since April 27, lumber prices have dropped nearly 10%, from $379 to less than $330, with this price remaining subject to export charges. Given that new housing construction in the United States is forecast to decline by 12% this year and by another 8% in 2007, how much should our producers expect to be paying in charges at the border during the first year of this bargain-basement deal?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.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, I am a little surprised by the short memory of the some of the members opposite. I recall only too well when a decidedly inferior deal was sitting on the table and we could have heard the panting around the block of the people who wanted to buy a deal at any expense.

This softwood lumber agreement provides predictability, it provides security and it provides for a rebirth and a growth of the Canadian softwood lumber industry.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, with my question, I was hoping to elicit an answer, not a partisan tirade.

Our producers are continuing to have to cope with a high dollar, a declining demand and a government that abandons them when the time comes to enforce the provisions of NAFTA and assert Canada's sovereignty over its industrial policy.

I asked a specific question, and I certainly would like to get an answer. How much will our producers have to pay at the border during the first year, if the government agrees to export charges of 10% to 15% and ceilings that could easily remain in place for several years?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.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, if that hon. member knows what lumber prices are going to be doing in the next 6 to 12 months, he ought to be out in the futures market making $1 million.

In the meantime, the alternative to this very positive, constructive deal will be continued litigation. It will be duties payable to the U.S. treasury. It will be money flowing out of Canada. It will be more harm, more bleeding, more jobs lost and the softwood lumber industry and all the affiliated industries will be hurt beyond repair.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the report that the Commissioner of Official Languages delivered last May pursuant to a Bloc request for an investigation, she informed us that the Canadian Forces have been flouting the Official Languages Act since 1970, in other words for more than 30 years.

How can the government justify before the francophones of this country the fact that for 30 years, no one in the federal government, neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals, has been able to enforce the rights of francophones in the Canadian Forces?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I think the leader of Bloc is misrepresenting the position of the defence department. We will be bringing out a strategic language policy within the next few months that will give objectives of this department to achieve, which will satisfy these requirements.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a lot of work to be done because no less than 68% of the bilingual positions in the Canadian Forces are filled by unilingual anglophones.

How does the government intend in its strategic plan not only to quickly correct this injustice but also to apologize to francophones, whose rights have been trampled by the Canadian Forces for 30 years?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister just said that the government intends to bring out a strategy in this regard.

For my part, I would add that the worst possible policy for francophones outside Quebec and francophones in the Canadian armed forces is certainly the separation of Quebec from Canada.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a real scandal that has hurt francophones in the Canadian Forces. Despite negative reports by different commissioners of official languages in 1977, 1981, 1989 and 1993, no chief of staff has ever done what was necessary and the forces have never complied with the act.

What quick, vigorous action does the minister responsible for the Official Languages Act intend to take in order to force the Canadian Forces to comply with the act for which she herself is responsible?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reiterate our government’s unwavering commitment to the linguistic minorities of Canada.

That being said, I would tell my hon. colleague from the Bloc that he should speak with his own colleague, the member for Papineau, who just last week at a meeting of the Standing Committee on Official Languages expressed her scorn for anglophone colleagues who are making an effort to learn French.

In my view, the Bloc Québécois is proving once again that it is not inclusive and not open-minded toward people who are making an effort to learn French.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is a sad answer when we are talking about a situation that has gone on for 30 years.

The Commissioner of Official Languages recommended that, beginning in 2007, the Canadian armed forces should no longer promote general officers who fail to meet the linguistic requirements.

In view of the fact that many of them are already in positions that they should never have been offered if the Canadian Forces were complying with the act, does the Minister of National Defence intend to take strong action to implement this recommendation of the official languages commissioner?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, again the member from the Bloc misrepresents what is going on in the military. In fact, in the military, francophones are represented in a higher proportion than in the overall population. We are going to implement our strategic language plan, which is coming within the next few months and which will satisfy these requirements.

Let me remind the questioner that the Liberals were in power for 13 years and they did squat.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

June 12th, 2006 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it has been over a month since the Prime Minister received a letter from Canada's top climate change scientists calling on him to take action on the environment. The letter stated, “There is increasingly unambiguous evidence of changing climate in Canada and around the world”.

Just today we heard that the federal government's own scientists are considering walking away from their careers because the government puts politics over science.

Could the Prime Minister tell us, does he believe in the science showing the growing effects of climate change and if he does not, what information is he using to refute that?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has already taken strong measures on climate change. The minister has been clear that later this year she will be bringing forward a clean air act to deal directly with pollution. Those will be coordinated with further actions on climate change and on greenhouse emissions, such as support that we have already done, such as support for public transit and support for renewable fuels. Once again I would like to thank the NDP for supporting those measures in the budget.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have to say that Canadians are still waiting to see this plan that is talked about every day. We have seen no shred of evidence of it. The government is still listening to the oil industry when it needs to listen to the vast majority of the scientific community, indeed listen to its own officials. The only people who do not believe the science are the big polluters and the people on the government's front benches.

I ask again, when will the government stop debating the science and start tabling a plan to tackle climate change? Canadians want a commitment and they want to hear about a plan, not more talk from the government.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the only one who has raised the debate about science in this Parliament is the hon. member.

This government is proceeding. That is why as I said we are proud to have undertaken actions and to have the support of the NDP for those.

There are things we will not do. For example, the hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore, an aspirant to the Liberal leadership on the weekend, says that we need some form of carbon tax, I guess some kind of new national energy program. That is something this government will never do.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, more ignorant comments from a cluster of Republican congressmen are hurting Canada. This time John Hostettler proclaimed that south Toronto is crawling with terrorists. I do not know if he is referring to Centreville or the swans at Ontario Place, but I do know that he chairs a subcommittee looking into border issues and unfortunately, his views carry weight.

What is disturbing is the Prime Minister's silence. He is refusing to stand up for Canada and to challenge these wild assertions.

Why is the Prime Minister so afraid of displeasing his Republican idols? Why does he refuse to stand up for Canada?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, since the Prime Minister has stood up for Canada on this issue, we have now had very clear statements of support for our border integrity and also the process we are using to develop alternative documents. Those statements have come from the White House, from the President, from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, from Secretary of State for Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

One congressperson making wayward remarks is much like Liberal MPs used to do in making extreme remarks in their time of tenure.

We have commitment from the highest levels that the process on our borders is based on integrity and on good security and it is going to remain that way.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, simply ignoring this issue is not going to cut it. The unchallenged comments that are filling U.S. airwaves are threatening to choke our border. They threaten billions of dollars in tourism and trade. The government is doing nothing but sending love notes from our ambassador.

In fact, the silence from the Conservative government has allowed the U.S. administration to say that it will not delay new passport laws.

Why is the Prime Minister not lobbying the U.S. administration to support the bipartisan Senate bill? Does he not care, or does he lack the guts to challenge his American heroes?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as a result of the Prime Minister raising this issue and continuing to make it a priority, an amendment has been passed in the United States Senate delaying this whole process yet further, giving even more time for the good initiatives of members of this party. Members of this party are on to this issue and have more time to make their case and continue the support that we have. Very clearly it was articulated again this weekend, alternative documents are going to be acceptable. We are just working through the process of what those should be.

Ignorant comments, whether they are from a congressman or from a Liberal MP, do not help the process. The member should tune in to what is going on and support what we are doing.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member seems to have misunderstood the question in English, so I will ask it again in French.

Unjustified and preposterous comments are endangering our relations with the United States. While the United States paints a ridiculous picture of our immigration system, our Minister of Citizenship and Immigration remains silent. His inaction has not gone unnoticed in Washington. The Americans have announced that they do not intend to delay the implementation of new border security measures.

Why has the minister remained silent?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, last weekend the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, said again that he will support the process that we have undertaken. That is very clear. I do not understand why the member keeps repeating comments made by a member of Congress who lacks the information. We have the information and we have the support of the U.S. administration to continue this process.