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House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreement.

Topics

IndustryOral Questions

September 27th, 2006 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the government's $42.2 million in cuts to the technology partnerships program have caused much worry in several industry sectors, including the aerospace sector.

This decision is all the more surprising given that the Minister of Industry has received a study showing that the program has had positive economic spin-offs amounting to $32 billion since its creation.

Is the minister aware that his ideological approach, according to which the economy does not need any help from the government, is killing all of the initiatives that the technology partnerships program has launched over the years?

IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell my hon. colleague that the program still exists.

Today, we are investing $275 million in this program. We reviewed the program, and here is what we did: we took the necessary measures to ensure that any investment of taxpayer dollars in the program is transparent and that it is money well spent. This is why we still have a $275 million program.

IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Montreal, aerospace industry stakeholders expressed concern and highlighted the importance of having clear goals and effective support programs to ensure the harmonious development of the industry.

Does the minister realize that by cutting $42 million and by threatening to cancel the technology partnerships program entirely, he is compromising future development in a crucial sector for greater Montreal, including Montérégie?

IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform my colleague that I met with representatives of the aerospace sector yesterday, here in Ottawa. They told me that they were very happy with our decision to invest in the armed forces and in tactical aircraft, and to invest over $13 billion that will benefit the aerospace industry across Canada.

Textile IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Gildan textile company announced this morning that it will be closing its factory in Valleyfield, resulting in the definitive loss of 200 jobs. The Minister of Finance has announced cutbacks, and an unused sum of $25 million intended for the textile and clothing sector will be cut.

How can the government justify the fact that the money intended to help the textile and clothing industries remains unused, while factories are closing one after the other and hundreds of workers are being callously laid off?

Textile IndustryOral Questions

2:40 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, like many departments, we must do our fair share in terms of the cutbacks we were asked to make.

We examined the situation carefully and looked at all the programs. As for the CANtex program to help the textile industry, approximately $5 million will be cut this year and $11 million next year.

This still leaves nearly $6 million for each of the next two years and the records show that only $4 million was used in the past, which means that this is more than enough.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when asked about global warming, the Prime Minister said the following, which was surprising to say the least, “It is a complex, evolving science. It is hard enough to predict the weather for next week or even tomorrow, let alone decades from now!” Those were his comments, which speak volumes about the Prime Minister's understanding of the environmental issues.

Do the Prime Minister's comments not betray his true intentions? Rather than protect the environment, he is protecting his friends the oil companies and rather than listen to scientists, he prefers to listen to his friend Bush.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I can assure my colleague and tell him that our plan goes beyond the Kyoto protocol because the health of all Canadians and all Quebeckers is our government's priority. Our plan addresses atmospheric pollution and climate change.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the meanspirited Conservative minority government just cannot help itself. It is slashing programs that help the most vulnerable Canadians and once again gun control is under attack. The safety of our communities should be a top priority for any government but clearly not for the present government.

The Minister of Public Safety should explain how gutting gun control makes Canadians safer.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General pointed out over a period of years that money was being wasted terribly in the ineffective Liberal program.

We have taken those valuable resources and put them where citizens want to see them: more officers on our streets, safety programs, more dollars going to deal with gun smuggling at the borders and mandatory sentences for people who commit crimes with guns.

We figure it is about time to go after the criminals and we are doing that. We want to protect our young people. We want safe communities. We will have it that way.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, he simply does not get it.

The minority Conservative government is using one of the biggest surpluses in Canada's history as an excuse to cut funding for gun control.

Why does the Prime Minister not listen to the shooting victim from Dawson College, Hayder Kadhim, who said that instead of making it easier to commit such an act, it should be more difficult to access firearms?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we absolutely agree with what was just said. Our plan is to look into ways to make it more difficult to obtain a firearm, a prohibited firearm in particular. It is a good idea.

Forest IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Blair Wilson Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, a recent report by the Canadian Forest Service said that the pine beetle infestation in British Columbia is now threatening other species of trees and could spread right across the country.

Last year the Conservative member for Prince George—Peace River said, “It is the responsibility of the federal government to know about the impending consequences and, more important, to take action to mitigate the fallout”.

Why did the Conservative government promise money for the pine beetle and then turn its back on British Columbia with an $11.7 million cut?

Forest IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the member should get his facts right. Unlike the old Liberal government that was not able to get anything done, the $11.7 million was actually an old Liberal promise. The money was never committed and it was never spent.

This government in its budget committed $200 million and every dime of it will go to British Columbia to fight the pine beetle. This government delivers. That government only made empty promises and never delivered anything.

Forest IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Blair Wilson Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, first, the minister should learn how to add.

When the trade minister was a Liberal, he used to brag about delivering $100 million in pine beetle money for British Columbia. Last year the member for Cariboo—Prince George accused the minister of not delivering for B.C. on the pine beetle issue. Yesterday unfortunately, British Columbians learned that he was right.

Have those B.C. members not seen the devastation the pine beetle is doing in their very own ridings?

How can the minister possibly keep a straight face and claim to represent B.C. in cabinet when he cannot even deliver on the pine beetle money that he has already promised?

Forest IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I will just say that the member from Prince George was absolutely right. The old, tired Liberal government made promises, and the $11.7 million was an old Liberal promise, but it never delivered.

I am in consultations with the provincial minister of forests in British Columbia. We are working on programs and they are being delivered every time. We have 100% support from the province of British Columbia on our pine beetle programs, something that the old Liberal government could never ever get.

Government SurplusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the party across the aisle would like to live in the past, this government is focused on working toward the future. To that end, on Monday, this government announced that the $13.2 billion surplus would go toward paying down the national debt.

The former finance minister would like the money. Could the current finance minister please explain how Canadians and this country will benefit from that surplus being used to pay down the debt?

Government SurplusOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to say that we will save approximately $650 million in annual interest payments. That is money paid by Canadian taxpayers because they work hard, and now it can be used for programs in Canada that benefit all Canadians.

More than that, in terms of intergenerational equity, this savings will happen year after year, for the benefit of all Canadians, of around $650 million a year.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, with the cuts they have made this week, the Conservatives have said no to families working for a better life, no to affordable housing for seniors, no to the first nations and no to Canadians learning to read and write, but with a wink, wink, they are continuing to pay $1.5 billion to their friends in the oil industry, who are turning profits hand over fist.

Will the minister do what is important for Canadians and promise to put an end to this pollution scandal?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the House what the government will do. We will ensure that every tax dollar is spent wisely and well. We will ensure we spend tax dollars efficiently, effectively, responsibly and accountably, which is the type of spending this country has not seen in a very long time.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the fact that the environment minister will not get to her feet and address the environmental hypocrisy that her government perpetuates is a scandal.

We all know that George W. Bush is in a big hurry to get his hands on Canadian oil but the Canadian government is supposed to be fighting for our interests and not selling out our future for a greasy buck. Even Ralph Klein apologized for his wild west approach to development. Even Arnold gets it now.

Will the minister do what it takes and stop barrelling ahead with out of control development in the oil sands?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

That was quite the impression, Mr. Speaker.

Let us talk about action on the environment because that is actually what this government is delivering and what Canadians want.

While the Liberals were preening on the international stage and the NDP was sending out press releases, this government passed the first tough regulation on mercury. That took us just two months. It will reduce smog, infant death, blindness and lung cancer. That is the kind of action Canadians deserve on the environment and that is the kind of action this government will continue to deliver.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the last general election, the Conservatives made the following promise in writing to the Canadian Museums Association, “Please be assured that generous funding for Canada's museums will be a priority for a Conservative government”.

My question is rather straightforward. Why did the minority Conservative government break its promise?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, we did not break our promise. In fact, we are going forward to deliver to Canadians.

Canada's new government will spend $245 million on museums. We inherited 10 years of neglect on museums and that is why they deserve an efficient and effective new museum policy, and we will deliver.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, what it has delivered is a cut of 25% to the museum program.

In reaction to the decision to cut the museums assistance program, John McAvity, executive director of the Canadian Museums Association, said, “We are shocked, puzzled and feel betrayed by these cuts”.

What is the government waiting for in order to reverse its decision and even increase funding for the museums assistance program?