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House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was americans.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, once again the meanspirited minority government has demonstrated a lack of concern and respect for Canada's aboriginal people.

It slashed the Kelowna accord and it has frozen hundreds of millions of dollars for first nations health programs affecting women and children. Yesterday, it cut $10.8 billion on the Inuit tobacco control strategy.

Why is the government condemning first nations and Inuit people to third world health conditions?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the hon. member and the House that spending for aboriginal health care under the new Conservative government went up by 12% in budget 2006 to $1.985 billion to protect the health of our first nations and aboriginal peoples.

That is the commitment of the government and the commitment is to ensure that every dollar we spend is spent effectively, responsibly and accountably.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, it sure would be nice if that money would start flowing so that pregnant women, children at risk of suicide, and people who are at risk of diabetes or cancer could start to have some health benefits.

The Conservatives certainly cannot believe that refusing to help aboriginal people stop smoking is in the interests of Conservative voters.

Cancer, diabetes and health prevention is more cost effective than treatment and yet the minority Conservative government chooses to ignore the facts.

Why is the government condemning first nations and Inuit people in Canada to third world health conditions?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. We have invested in maternal child health. We have invested in diabetes prevention. We have invested in human health resources for aboriginal people. We have made those new investments precisely because we want to have better health outcomes for aboriginal people throughout the country.

What we cannot do is spend money on programs that simply will not work. That is not the Canadian way and that is not the way of this new Conservative government.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

September 26th, 2006 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec announced an $85 million plan for the regions. It is clear, however, that there is no new money in that announcement.

How can the minister justify that he has nothing to announce, when during the last election campaign he promised a Marshall plan for the regions? Where is his Marshall plan?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, in fact, since I began serving in government, I have worked for months to prepare a plan to really help the regions: resource regions, regions in difficulty and especially regions with declining populations.

We are announcing three programs. There is a venture capital start-up fund, where we are partnering with Desjardins Venture Capital. With $5 million, we are generating $20 million.

There is a second fund, the fund for business succession. With $8 million, we are generating an additional $30 million.

Lastly, yesterday I announced $85 million for another program called—

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, given the $13 million budget surplus, can the Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec explain why he could not persuade cabinet to allocate the funding needed for regional development, especially since he promised nothing short of a Marshall plan during the last election campaign?

How can he justify the fact that everything he announced yesterday is really no better than exchanging four quarters for a dollar?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, as a member from the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region who is quite familiar with economic difficulty, it was important to me that the tools provided by the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec be responsive to business people's needs. It should not be up to business people to jump through hoops to use these tools.

We have already launched three programs, and I can confirm that they are being very well received in the regions of Quebec. We have covered regions with declining demographics, and I have also gone, on my government's behalf, to the other regions to find groups facing difficulties and give them access to—

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Markham—Unionville.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, never have Canadians seen such meanspirited cuts at a time when Ottawa is swimming in money. This minority government cares only about its political base. As my colleagues have explained, these cuts offend the sense of fairness of the vast majority of Canadians and we Liberals will fight them with all our energy and at every step.

When will the finance minister do what is right for Canada and not what is right for the Conservative Party?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I hope the increased distance between our seats will not interfere with the warmth of our exchanges in the new session. It is good to see him again.

I was trying to educate myself on the position of the Liberal Party. I checked on what the position apparently was when it was the government. It stated, “As stewards of the taxpayers' money, we the government have the duty to continuously shift resources from the low to the high priorities, to continuously spend smarter and spend more efficiently, to put the money in areas where Canadians really are”.

That was the member for Markham—Unionville. That is what we did yesterday.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous Liberal government which refused to take a position on the development in the United States of the production of LNG and specifically the use of Head Harbour Passage to deliver LNG into Maine, can the Prime Minister please update the House with respect to the government's position on this issue?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I gather there are some representatives of that project lobbying around the Hill today, so let me be absolutely clear. This government believes that the waters of Passamaquoddy Bay are Canadian waters. We have defended that position for a long time. We oppose the passage of LNG tanker traffic through Head Harbour and we will continue to do so.

YouthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, despite having a $13 billion surplus, the government cut $55 million from youth employment programs. That means tens of thousands of young people, including 1,700 in the Toronto area alone, will not get summer jobs. There was no consultation, no debate, another sign of just how arrogant and controlling is this Prime Minister.

Does the Prime Minister believe that young people who want to work during the summer are merely fat to be trimmed?

YouthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should get her facts right and the details too. It would help her understand.

We are going to focus on helping students who really need help getting jobs get them. There is no point in subsidizing job creation in the major centres like Calgary. We want to help students who face real challenges because of where they live, perhaps in rural or small communities, or other barriers. We are going to help the kids who need it, not Liberal cronies.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, despite having a $13 billion surplus, the government cut $10 million from the first nations and Inuit tobacco control strategy, meaning that more aboriginal Canadians will get sick and die due to smoking. There was no consultation, no debate, another sign of just how arrogant and controlling is this Prime Minister.

At a time when this country has record surpluses, does the Prime Minister believe saving young aboriginal lives is fat to be trimmed?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, obviously nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, we have increased spending for our first nations communities and we will continue to do so, I am sure.

The question before this House is, can we deliver more effectively, can we deliver more responsibly and more honourably? In this case we are doing so because we believe that the taxpayer, including the aboriginal taxpayer, deserves no less.

HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have not gone away yet.

A mean spirit may come naturally to two ministers from the right wing of the Mike Harris government where meanspiritedness was nothing less than a badge of honour.

Yet, as even he himself said, the Prime Minister 's thinking has evolved over the years, from Attila the Hun to something approaching Genghis Khan.

However, in the case of the finance minister, do the cuts to affordable housing prove that his thinking has not evolved even one iota from the days when he advocated jailing the homeless?

HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am very disappointed that the member is not reflecting the warmth that I am extending to him in the new session. It is very disappointing.

Having said that, I want to congratulate the member for his continued opposition to the GST. He was the president of the save the GST club. We reduced the GST by a full percentage point. Now he is the president of the raise the GST club for the next federal election.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Canada's new government announced that it has cut $1 billion in federal spending. Could the President of the Treasury Board tell this House, and all Canadians, how refocusing spending on the priorities of Canadians and trimming the fat in government is a benefit to all of us?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, spending wisely and spending effectively is very important. As the member knows, we had a $13.2 billion surplus.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Government ProgramsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. It is very clear there is a lot of enthusiasm to hear the answer from the President of the Treasury Board, but I cannot hear a word. The President of the Treasury Board has the floor. We will have a little order so we can all hear his response.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party has not changed. The member for Wascana should know that is not his money; it is the taxpayer's money.