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

Topics

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, six weeks ago, the government stated loud and clear that the preliminary agreement reached between the U.S. and the Canadian softwood lumber industry was a total success. Yesterday we learned that a final agreement still has not been reached and that the parties are diverging on the content of the agreement.

How does the Prime Minister explain that a month and a half ago he was bragging about resolving the softwood lumber dispute with a deal that suited everyone, he said, and that today we learn that it is not resolved and that the two parties cannot agree on important aspects at issue?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the final phase of such a complex agreement takes time. Lawyers for other parties involved have to go over the all the documents, the details of this agreement, as well as the rules of application. We are taking the necessary time to do so.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, by wanting to negotiate too quickly with the U.S. government, the Canadian government risks reaching a cut-rate agreement that could extend over nine years. I want to remind hon. members that the only thing the softwood lumber industry can count on is losing a billion dollars to the U.S. government and the U.S. industry.

Does the Prime Minister realize that by wanting to proceed as quickly as possible he risks botching an agreement that will penalize the Canadian softwood industry for a very long time?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, obviously we have no intention of working as quickly as possible. We intend to take the time we need to complete this agreement so as to represent the real interests of the Canadian industry and Quebec's industry.

I ask that the Bloc Québécois help us complete this agreement of which the vast majority of Quebec's forest industry is in favour.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 31, the president of the Quebec Forest Industry Council told the Standing Committee on International trade, and I quote, “A cap so hard as to disallow in any circumstances whatsoever any over-quota shipment whatsoever is unacceptable”.

Will the government confirm that, anxious as it may be to strike a deal in a mad rush, it is out of the question that it will accept such an inflexible cap, which would prevent businesses from securing and honouring major contracts?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 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, when the legal fine tuning is completed on this agreement, there will be options for different provinces to pursue different adjustments in weak markets. If the province of Quebec were to select what is referred to as option A, there would be no hard cap or no hard restriction on the exports from that province.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister ought to know that the province of Quebec prefers option B, and that this was the context in which the previous question was put.

What assurances can this government give that the compromises it is prepared to make, in order to strike a deal in a mad rush, will not result in jeopardizing any future opportunity for Quebec to make changes to its forest development strategy? What assurances can it give this House?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 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, we have had extensive consultations with provinces and industry players from across this country, including the province of Quebec.

I believe that this framework agreement has an excellent basis for the Quebec industry to grow and prosper going forward. It is certainly going to be much better than the alternative of more years of litigation, which other members of this House seem to be preferring, more years of litigation, new lawsuits, more interim duties, higher tariffs, money going into the U.S. treasury and death of jobs here in Canada.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are 100 days into it and the situation in Caledonia is growing more and more intense by the day. Now we have learned that the provincial government is planning to cancel the scheduled negotiations that were to take place. Where has the federal government been in all of this? It has been missing in action. There is no leadership. There is no plan whatsoever. Caledonia is a powder keg that is about to blow.

I am asking the Prime Minister, where is his commitment to take action to settle this decades old dispute, or has his party learned nothing since Oka?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has been working with the Government of Ontario throughout this difficult dispute. I know I have talked with Premier McGuinty. The clerk has talked with his counterpart. The Minister of Indian Affairs has been talking with his counterpart. Barbara McDougall and others are working on our behalf at Caledonia.

We are working closely with Ontario. We support the Ontario government's position that the law must be respected and must be enforced. We would certainly urge all parties to ensure that the law is respected and that anybody who has committed any acts of violence is properly apprehended.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot just sit here and wash its hands of this situation. This is a dispute that goes back decades regarding treaties that involve the Crown.

The fact is that the responsibility is not being taken. The government appointed a fact finder three months ago and we have not heard a word. The first nations and the non-aboriginal people in the Caledonia area are waiting to hear the results.

Will the Prime Minister take his responsibility seriously and take some leadership here, and get involved and settle this decade old dispute or not?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is seriously out of date on the facts that he brings to the House.

I am pleased to advise the House that we are encouraged by the steps taken by Six Nations today, particularly Chief McNaughton and the clan mothers. As the Prime Minister said, we are also supportive of the steps taken by the province of Ontario.

Six Nations has today taken steps to remove the remaining barricades near Caledonia, including the rail line. This goes a long way to removing a huge source of tension in the community and to build trust. We are encouraged. We continue to look forward to making progress. We are hopeful of what lies ahead in the coming days.

National DefenceOral Questions

June 13th, 2006 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is a very serious shortage of tactical airlift for our troops in theatre. This is a concern recognized by the previous Liberal government and repeatedly expressed by the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier.

Would the Minister of National Defence listen to our troops and pursue the tactical airlift as his first priority for purchase?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, no decision has been made yet by the government on equipment. However, Canadians may recall that in our election campaign we said that tactical and strategic lift was a high priority.

This is unlike the previous government that prosecuted three projects in 13 years. That is the Liberal government record.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence knows what procurement was obtained during the 13 years. He is absolutely wrong. He should know the truth as a lobbyist.

Based on military advice, the previous government announced last November the acquisition of tactical airlift under a competitive process with maintenance to be done in Canada.

Why did the minister play politics by cancelling that decision?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I think the member opposite hit the key word “announced”. That is all Liberals ever did: announce and announce. The Liberals never produced.

We are going to deliver this year more equipment for the Canadian Forces than the Liberals can ever imagine.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the entire Canadian Forces air fleet benefits from a maintenance program carried out by Canada's aeronautics industry.

The Conservatives' new communications strategy for the C-17s is now to make us believe that Canadians will be responsible for level one maintenance. That means changing the oil, refuelling and checking the planes' wiper fluid.

Will the Prime Minister finally show some respect for the excellent work done by some 75,000 Canadian workers and guarantee them full responsibility for maintaining these planes?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, no decisions have been made on equipment. When they are made, they will be in the interests of the military, Canadians and industry. They will all come with industrial benefits. There will be a great improvement in the industrial situation in Canada.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a box of chocolates here for the member who likes to quote Forrest Gump and treat everyone like Forrest Gump.

This is so he can get a life because life is like a box of chocolates. I have one for him here.

Mr. Speaker,--

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I know the hon. member for Bourassa is trying to be very sweet, but we do not allow props in the House.

The member is an experienced member and is well aware that bandying about boxes of sweets is very nice for the minister, but he will want to put his question at once and never mind the chocolates.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am sweet enough all right, but I offer it anyway.

When the current Conservative turncoat Minister of International Trade was Minister of Industry, he put forward the national aerospace and defence strategic framework, in which he himself recognized the importance of this sector to security and the economy.

Does he still feel the same way today, that maintenance must stay in Canada?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, no decision has been made on any equipment. Maintenance will be done where it is appropriate in Canada.

I was not thinking about the box of chocolates. I was thinking about the other one when I talked about Forrest Gump.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 11, the Prime Minister said in this House, and I quote: “If there is no solution, the Minister of Industry intends to propose loan guarantees and help to the industry”. Two months have passed since then, and the softwood lumber dispute has not yet been resolved.

Given that it will be some time before a final agreement is reached and some of the money is recovered, why is the government still refusing to grant loan guarantees to the companies that need them so badly?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are not talking about guaranteeing loans, we want to guarantee an entire industry. If we look back at the Liberal legacy in softwood lumber, we have closed mills, tens of thousands of jobs either lost or in jeopardy, and tens of thousands of families without security.

The minister and the government have put forward security for these families, security for moving forward, and when the time comes, we hope the Bloc will be supportive of our position.