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House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Member for Charlesbourg--Haute-Saint-CharlesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear on this point. The member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles has already apologized for his statements.

However, the member from Bourassa made his remarks against immigrants and in favour of deporting immigrants in 1995, and we are still waiting for his apology.

Member for Charlesbourg--Haute-Saint-CharlesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Member for Charlesbourg--Haute-Saint-CharlesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please.

The hon. member for Bourassa, and we have to hear him.

Member for Charlesbourg--Haute-Saint-CharlesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I expect the Conservative members from Quebec to condemn the actions of their colleague, the “pro-Wong” member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.

We should also question the way the political lieutenant, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, chooses his candidates. We know about an e-mail sent last December explaining to Ian Brodie the criteria for choosing these Conservative candidates, and I quote: “Neither IQ level, nor political astuteness are prerequisites to be a candidate”.

Does the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities condemn the “pro-Wong” member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles?

Member for Charlesbourg--Haute-Saint-CharlesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, here we go again.

Let us be clear, the hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles realized his comments were inappropriate, which is why he withdrew them and apologized.

However, 11 years later, we are still waiting for the member for Bourassa to apologize for suggesting that immigrants should be deported. I am asking again whether the member for Bourassa will apologize for his utterly inappropriate comments.

TaxationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government, which promised to resolve the fiscal imbalance in the next federal budget, told us that it would share its intentions in the fall budget statement. It is high time.

Can the Minister of Finance acknowledge the extent of the problem right now and give us an idea of the total amount he intends to give back to Quebec and the provinces?

TaxationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the member well knows, the Minister of Finance and this government are engaging in consultations with all the provinces on this important issue.

We will bringing forward key proposals on strengthening equalization and territorial funding, formula financing programs, a new approach on long term funding for post-secondary education and training, a new framework for long term funding support for infrastructure programs, a new approach for allocating unplanned federal surpluses and the list goes on. I know the Bloc will be very interested, as will all members of the House, when this proposal comes forward in a few weeks.

TaxationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister realize that eliminating the fiscal imbalance between Ottawa and Quebec starts with increased transfer payments and equalization reform; and that the final settlement is a new, fairer sharing of the tax base and the end of the federal government's power to spend in Quebec's jurisdictions?

TaxationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know the duly elected Government of Quebec has made it very clear to our government in all consultations what the issues are in Quebec. Quebeckers know, sadly, that the Bloc will not be able to deliver on these programs. Only an elected government in the House of Commons will be able to do that.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Bloc Québécois proposed ways to support the forest industry, the Minister of International Trade showed some openness to our ideas, but his colleague, the Minister of Industry, flatly refused to provide any help. It seems the Minister of Finance has also chosen a laissez-faire approach: apparently, the fiscal update will not contain any new tax measures.

Does this mean that the government does not intend to help the forest industry work through the challenges it faces?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to have the opportunity to comment on this issue this morning. I appreciate my colleague's question about the forest industry, which gives us the opportunity to tell Canadians that 90% of the country's forest industry supports the agreement because it will bring back stable employment and give the forest industry a better idea of what to expect from the economic situation. This is why they support us.

The Government of Quebec also supports us, as the Bloc Québécois should know. The FTQ supports us too. The Bloc Québécois supported us during the vote on Monday. This is a very good agreement that brings stability to the industry, which is what the industry wanted.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber agreement will not fix everything. As the government is well aware, the industry is facing far more serious problems than the dispute. Furthermore, it is possible that every penny returned will be taxable, despite the fact that the reimbursements include a loss corresponding to the dollar's nearly 50% growth over the past four years.

Is the minister aware that under the current rules, the government is taxing a loss and that this problem must be corrected this year or it will be too late?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member that two national governments are supporting the softwood lumber agreement, that all of Canada's three major producing softwood lumber provinces are supporting the agreement and that the Province of Quebec and the Premier of Quebec are supporting the agreement.

The return of the duties that will come back into the industry in Quebec will be what the industry has asked for and what they require in order to build the industry and work toward a stronger North American softwood lumber industry.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, today President Karzai could not have been more clear on the need to move “beyond military operations toward a more balanced mission”. Yesterday, to a U.S. audience, he said that “bombings in Afghanistan are no solution to the Taliban. You do not destroy terrorism by bombing villages”, and yet the government is spending nine times more on the military than we do on aid.

Could the government explain how its plans to escalate our military presence, by first sending in tanks and now by proposing to send in fighter jets, is achieving a balanced objective in Afghanistan?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I cannot explain any better than Hamid Karzai did in this place this morning in a speech for which half the Liberal MPs were not even present to listen to.

The NDP members say that they are in favour of multilateralism but they want to pull out of Afghanistan unilaterally. They say that they are in favour of the United Nations but they are against our participation in the world's most important UN mission. They say that they are in favour of peace and development but they do not want protection so that we can do civil reconstruction and development. They say that they are in favour of human rights and women's rights but they want to remove our soldiers so that those rights will be eliminated by the Taliban. We are tired of the NDP's hypocrisy.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the solution in Afghanistan cannot be a military solution. President Karzai himself just spoke to us about the need to move beyond military operations.

Yesterday he said that the problem cannot be solved by bombing villages. However, at present, Canada is spending only one dollar on aid and development for every nine dollars spent on military operations.

Can the government tell us how the deployment of tanks and fighter jets is achieving balance in Canada's commitment to Afghanistan?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the NDP leader's comments on Afghanistan are so ridiculous that it is no surprise that President Karzai refused to meet with him.

Today, the president of Afghanistan clearly expressed the democratic will of his nation to have the security needed to be able to rebuild a civil society and offer aid. Canada, this government, has already increased aid by $1 billion for the next ten years, which is the largest contribution anywhere in the world. We stand in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.

Access to InformationOral Questions

September 22nd, 2006 / 11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister quoted from a PCO memo and falsely claimed that it revealed that Liberals routinely receive the names of people requesting information under the Access to Information Act.

Today, the media has revealed that this was a misrepresentation, that Liberals did not receive the names of ATIP requesters. That apparently only happens under the new Conservative government.

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

They all wish that they would be more liberal, Mr. Speaker.

Given that the member has misrepresented the public service and misled this House, will he resign?

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will take the words of our government officials on this matter because they say that this has been a long-standing practice. However, we do not need to just believe them. We can listen to the former information commissioner, John Reid, who, in his report in 1999, explicitly blamed the office of then minister, Art Eggleton, for having systematically leaked the names of requesters of access to information to the political staff of the minister's office. That practice was a violation of the law which we reject and it will not continue under this government.

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has known for more than six months about this unlawful disclosure to political staff and it has done nothing until this week when it was caught.

Will the government assure the House that all political staff found to have violated the law by the privacy commissioner will be dismissed and will the parliamentary secretary table that memo immediately?

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, yes, and not only will I table it, I will quote from it again. Yesterday the Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet of the Privy Council Office told us that, “This was a discussion only among officials. There was no involvement by political staff and the summary report of the discussion by officials was a practice that predated this government. These types of summary reports were regularly shared with members of the previous government's prime minister's communications office”.

It turns out that the bureaucrats were passing on a bad habit in which they were forced to engage by the previous government, to which this week we have put an end.

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister is not saying is that the reports were released without the names. Names have only been required since the arrival of this new minority Conservative government. This is the truth.

The media now tells us that on March 1, 2006, the PMO was given the option of no longer receiving those emails from the PCO. However, one week later, two more names of individuals employed by the PMO were added. This is proof that the statements of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister were false.

Your—

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!