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House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

Government of CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think that question must have been written under a full moon and probably on a different planet.

The reality is that the previous government was so bad on these issues and had so little to show for 13 years of achievement that even its friends in the NDP abandoned it.

We are now moving forward making real progress on the environment, child care, aboriginal issues, and of course all the things the Liberals forgot about, such as tax reduction and crime control.

Child CareOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we know all about this planet because of the government's environmental plans to destroy it.

Ordinary Canadians are beginning to see through this government's child care payment scheme and realize that it will not sustain the program put in place by the Liberal government.

Supporters of the payments without places approach must be alarmed at the newest trend. Cash strapped day care providers are eating up the government's payouts like the one that is presently adding $4 a day as a toy fee. They will soon learn that the Prime Minister's payment plan works out to less than $4 a day after taxes.

Can the Prime Minister or even his numerically nimble finance minister explain to Canadians that the Conservative plan will cost families more money and still give them fewer spaces to choose from?

Child CareOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our plan will give some money, whereas the Liberal plan gave no money. Our plan will create spaces, whereas the Liberals created no spaces. I guess that is why they supported the budget in the end.

The most important thing about our plan is that we will be sending money to children, not taking money from children as the Liberals are doing in their leadership race.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, among all the bad news for the government we again find the Minister of the Environment. The Sierra Club gave the government the worst possible marks on its environmental record and that is an F. Today the minister's executive assistant had to abandon ship, no doubt before it sank.

Will the Prime Minister finally listen to Canadians, who understand that the Kyoto protocol is an opportunity not to be missed?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the worst environmental record in the world is that of the former Liberal government. Our minister is working very hard to fix it.

When it comes to Kyoto, I am amazed to hear that kind of comment coming from the Leader of the Opposition because his apparent successor, the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore, says the following:

I think our party has got into a mess on the environment. As a practical matter of politics, nobody knows what (Kyoto) is or what it commits us to...We think Kyoto has been an asset for us. It's actually been a huge political liability.

It is a liability for that party. It will be an asset for us.

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Liberal Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the following of the Prime Minister: how can the Conservative government, with the support and complicity of the Bloc Québécois, deprive Quebec of the $807 million allocated to compensate for child care and to help Quebec families?

Is the real change that Quebec will receive less money under the Conservative regime than it did under the Liberal regime?

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, charging that the universal child care benefit is a tax grab, when it will put millions of dollars in the hands of Canadian families, is a very odd and unsupported assertion. The numbers of the member opposite are speculative. I assure the House that our plan works.

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Liberal Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, $807 million was cut in Quebec for child care, but there is another amount that the Conservative government cut with the complicity and support of the Bloc Québécois and that is the $328 million that Quebec was supposed to receive for respecting the Kyoto protocol.

Is the real change for the government the fact that the Conservatives are giving less to Quebec than the Liberals did?

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I want to point out that this government signed an historic agreement with the Government of Quebec for UNESCO, which the former government refused to do.

We are spending twice as much on child care than the Liberals did. More importantly, this money is for the parents and not money for Liberal ad agencies.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

June 20th, 2006 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 27 the Prime Minister announced, with much fanfare, that a preliminary softwood lumber agreement had been reached with the American government. Since then, we have been waiting for the final agreement and the government is refusing to grant loan guarantees, claiming that the final agreement is imminent. While we wait, the industry is having cash flow problems and some sawmills are being forced to close down.

Why is the Prime Minister being so obstinate about not granting loan guarantees to the softwood lumber industry, which has been calling for those guarantees for a long time?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what we have is better than loan guarantees, it is a permanent agreement with the United States. We are therefore working to ensure that this agreement is signed. It will probably not be this week, but we are doing the work that is needed for signing this agreement, which will give rights to Canadian companies.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Trade tells us that it will not be before next fall. In the meantime, the softwood lumber industry is having cash flow problems, jobs are being lost, sawmills are closing and the government is doing nothing.

If they are this sure that the agreement is good and that we are going to recover billions of dollars, what is stopping them, in the meantime, from helping the softwood lumber industry and saving jobs in all of the regions of Quebec? Why are they not doing something? There is no excuse for doing nothing. How can they explain it? I want just one answer.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are hoping to move forward before the fall on the agreement that is supported by the industry in Canada and Quebec. I hope that the Bloc Québécois is going to start listening to the industry, which wants to finalize this agreement.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry has stated on several occasions that loan guarantees were subsidies, that this was illegal and that they had to be included in the government’s budget expenditures. All of these notions are completely false.

Can the Minister of International Trade tell us what the real reasons are for the government to be obstinately refusing to grant loan guarantees to forestry companies? Those companies will have to go without their own money for several more months, and he is perfectly aware of this.

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, the real reason is the one given by the Prime Minister. We are very close to finalizing an agreement that will be very good for the softwood lumber industry.

It will accelerate the payment of deposits to the companies under the softwood lumber agreement. It will restrain the United States from launching more attacks on the Canadian softwood lumber industry. It will ensure investment, growth and employment in a healthy softwood lumber industry in Canada for the next nine years at least.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the government continues to deny companies loan guarantees, as the minister has just reminded us, it must be because there is a very good reason that we are unfortunately not yet aware of.

Might the Prime Minister, out of naivety or inexperience—or both—have made a personal commitment to President Bush not to grant loan guarantees to Canadian forestry companies? Would that not be the real reason why there are no loan guarantees?

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, I can assure the hon. member that the Prime Minister made no such commitment to the President of the United States. We are very close to a very good softwood lumber agreement that will accelerate the return of deposits to Canadian companies. It will ensure the health of the industry far better than any conceivable loan guarantee program would.

Canada Border Services AgencyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, literally a flood of illegal guns is making its way into Canadian cities virtually every single day. The only way to stop that is to put a block on illegal guns coming across the border.

Yesterday the president of the Canada Border Services Agency shocked Canadians when he said that over 300 cars in six months ran right through our borders and the agency has no idea of where they are.

It turns out that for the government new uniforms for the border agents is more important than any kind of plan. Where is the Prime Minister's plan to stop the torrent of killer guns coming across the border?

Canada Border Services AgencyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member should know because his party supported the budget, the budget contains significant new funds to improve security at our border. That will go into things such as arming border guards and providing more resources to prevent the very kinds of problems that he refers to.

I will tell the House what we will not be doing. We will not be trying to control guns by thinking that these criminals who are bringing guns across the border are going to run down and register them in Miramichi.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

The fact is, Mr. Speaker, that this Prime Minister has been in power long enough that we should have seen some progress on safety at the border by now. He cannot use that excuse forever.

Speaking of which, two months ago he was announcing another big border item. He was announcing an historic agreement, as he called it, on softwood. It is now falling apart and his own minister had to admit as much yesterday. Now we have home builders in the U.S. saying that even with this sellout deal producers in Canada are going to be competing for a smaller share of the American market.

Will the Prime Minister finally at least admit that his softwood sellout is going down the tubes?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before, our negotiators, ambassadorial personnel and others are hard at work finalizing the legal text of this agreement.

The opposition in one breath decries the fact the agreement is not done yet and in another breath says it should never happen, so I do not know what its position is. What I do know is that this is a good deal for Canadians. That is why we want to get it done.

I can also correct the error of the hon. member for Toronto--Danforth. The fact of the matter is that no Canadian province is obligated to accept any quota or any quantity restriction under this agreement.

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the election, the NDP claimed to put children before politics, but since then the NDP has spent more time cozying up to the Conservatives than they have fighting for child care. If it had not been for the NDP sellout on child care, we would not have a government that is calling a monthly cheque a child care program.

Today there is a new poll out that shows most Canadians favour the Liberal child care plan. Canadians get it. When will the social development minister get it and admit that she needs more than a tax incentive to create the spaces this country needs?

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, far be it from me to understand the NDP and its child care policy. However, we offered Canadians a child care plan. They voted for it. We offered it and we will deliver it.

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today's new poll demonstrates that Canadians believe government has an important role in child care. In other words, they reject the “fend for yourself” approach that the government calls a plan.

The Environics poll showed that support for a national child care system was high across Canada in both urban and rural areas and even among families with a stay at home parent. Liberals do not object to increasing family allowances, but we do want to know why the government insists it must be at the expense of child care programs that Canadians need.

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we do not believe in taking from the children. We believe in giving to the children.