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House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Forest IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, obviously we must keep in mind that these things reflect the global situation. It is no secret that some sectors of economic activity are suffering. However, the economy is booming in other sectors.

In the Speech from the Throne, which the Bloc opposes, we clearly indicated that we planned on taking steps to help the manufacturing sector, the tourism sector and the forestry sector. It is unfortunate that the Bloc Québécois opposes the speech.

Forest IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the minister said, there was no mention of help for the forest industry to get back on its feet or for economic diversification in the throne speech. The $14 billion dollar surplus is being put towards the debt, while families are losing everything.

When will this government show some compassion and take action?

Forest IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in fact, our government in the last year and a half has committed $400 million to the forest sector. We have done everything to worker adjustment programs and we have invested in new markets. All of this is being done with the Forest Products Association of Canada, which represents most of this industry. No other government has stood by this industry.

Again, as the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has said, there are no measures for the forest sector in the throne speech. It was not mentioned. It is very unfortunate that the Bloc will not stand up for the forest sector in Quebec or anywhere else in Canada. It should support the throne speech.

Older WorkersOral Questions

October 18th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the throne speech also has nothing for older workers affected by the crisis in the forest industry. It is ridiculous to think that all workers over 55 can be retrained, regardless of their level of education and where they come from. What we need is a real income support program to help these workers until they retire. Such a program would cost only $75 million.

How can the government, which is sitting on a $14 billion surplus, tell these workers that it will not provide them with an income support program, when they have run out of job opportunities?

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, in the throne speech we did talk about the need to support the forestry sector and other sectors that have been hit hard by layoffs. I point out that today we have nine different initiatives underway in Quebec under the targeted initiative for older workers, an initiative that the government brought in, with the support of the Bloc Québécois.

The fact is we are putting many supports in place to help people who are hard hit by layoffs in all sectors across the country.

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is not income support. What is even worse, the Conservatives are refusing to give a royal recommendation to Bill C-269, which makes improvements to the employment insurance system. This recommendation is possible because there was a precedent that concerned an unemployment insurance bill.

Will the minister give these workers back their dignity by authorizing the royal recommendation to Bill C-269, as was done for Bill C-216 in 1994?

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the government feels that those workers have dignity and it is not up to this government to give that dignity to them. We have tremendous faith in the people of Quebec. That is why we put in place the targeted initiative for older workers. We see the tremendous potential in these workers. We are dedicated to helping them. I just wish the member had that same faith.

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us not forget there is a third investigation underway. This one involves the Prime Minister's Office and a breach of privacy, an allegation that should send chills down the spines of all Canadians.

My constituents, Mrs. Faulkner and Mrs. Donin, want an explanation. Both of their names mysteriously appeared on the PMO list to receive a Rosh Hashanah greeting, but neither is Jewish. They want to know how they were identified with a religious affiliation they do not hold and why there is such a list.

Calls to the PMO went unanswered, so today I ask the Prime Minister again if he will explain how his office compiled the lists?

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry to hear that she did not enter into the happiness of the Rosh Hashanah new year, but I can quote from the executive vice-president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, who said, “I don't think there is anything nefarious here whatsoever” and that most people in the community would appreciate this.

Frank Dimant of B'nai Brith Canada said, “I really do think there's a very sinister motivation by individuals who are asking for an examination of where these lists came from or how they were accumulated”. What is her sinister motivation?

Before she answers that, I would like her to tell us whether she has ever sent out Rosh Hashanah cards, or other Liberals have, to members of the Jewish community.

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect their privacy to be protected, not exploited.

The Prime Minister's Office has dodged calls on questions on this issue from my constituents. I have had to write a letter to the Privacy Commissioner at the request of one of my constituents for an answer, but they want to hear from the Prime Minister. How did their names get placed on the list? The PMO could not have received their names from public lists as they are not constituents of the Jewish faith.

How did the PMO access their private information? Will the Prime Minister explain how the list was compiled?

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, I understand why the member did not want to answer my question. Perhaps it is because this morning I received an email from a constituent of hers, Mr. Arthur Burke, and I would be happy to table this. It says:

Dear Sir:

I received a Rosh Hashanah card from my MP, [the MP for Thornhill]. I don't know from where she received my address or how she knew my religious affiliation. I would be very appreciative if you might be able to look into this

We know that Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year, but it seems for that member it is the high holiday for hypocrisy.

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Garth Turner Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Secretary of State for--

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I know members on both sides seem to disagree on this point, but we have to have some order in the House so we can proceed with the discussion.

The hon. member for Halton has the floor now.

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Garth Turner Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, now that the Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity) has admitted that the government used private information to send unsolicited mail to Canadians, will he now apologize and, better still, tell us where that information came from? Are Conservative members of Parliament collecting that from their constituents, yes or no?

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, that proves once again that those members cannot think on their feet or retool during question period.

The fact is, like all members of Parliament, we have a program to provide holiday greetings. Most MPs perhaps over there only do it at Christmastime, but because we believe in multiculturalism we share holiday greetings on important festivities for all communities based on publicly available lists of information.

Those members should be apologizing for saying one thing and doing another.

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Garth Turner Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are here to represent people. We are in our ridings to serve people.

Conservative members of Parliament have a party database in their offices in which is entered the private information of individual Canadians. Now he has just admitted that it is used.

Will the Prime Minister apologize for an unethical invasion of Canadians' privacy?

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Halton has always said that ethics are very important to him.

He talks today about the importance of representing people, including the people of Halton. That is why he said on February 10, 2006, “I think anyone who crosses the floor should go back to the people for ratification”. That is one of his ethical standards and I know he wants to follow that ethical standard today.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a good day for Calgarians. Today the Minister of Justice tabled a comprehensive justice bill which includes pieces of important crime fighting legislation held up in the last Parliament by the opposition.

Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier praised our initiatives saying:

Any time you can keep offenders--repeat offenders with serious crimes involving guns, as we've seen a number of instances in Calgary's case--by having more stringent criteria, we support it.

Today the Liberals have accused us of holding up our own legislation. Could the Minister of Justice respond to these outrageous accusations?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, over the last year, the Liberal Party has held up or been fighting our crime fighting agenda. Now it has spun this very interesting theory that we were just trying to make it look bad by not passing the legislation. We can agree on a lot of things and one of the things we can agree on for sure is that the Liberal Party has needed no help whatsoever in the last year to look bad.

We will continue to stand up for the rights of law-abiding Canadians.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week the Prime Minister appointed a partisan panel to extend the mission in Afghanistan. Now we discover that John Manley is getting $1,400 a day to support the Conservative position. However, the panel will not address the critical issue of injured soldiers and the support they need when they come home.

Military families are struggling to cope. Many of them are unable to access the support services they need.

Why do the Conservatives want to extend this war when they cannot even help military families here at home?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud that the chair finally agreed to sit on this panel. I can tell you and the entire House that the chair of the panel will be paid the government fees we traditionally pay and will not receive any special treatment.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the only reason we are still in this war is because Liberals supported the Conservatives to extend it.

On top of what this panel is paid, released documents now show that the government is spending $86 million a month on this war. Meanwhile, I have received many heartbreaking letters from military families across the country saying they cannot access the support services they need.

How can the minister justify spending $86 million a month on a war Canadians do not support? How can he justify paying John Manley $1,400 a day?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, why we are there is a very important question which I want to answer.

The UN on September 19 issued resolution 1776 and called upon member states to contribute personnel, equipment and other resources to the International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan. We are there because it is under a UN mandate.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the government was asked yesterday if it was involved in a bribery scheme during the Ottawa mayoralty race, the government House leader said, “the minister was approached with the suggestion of an offer”.

It begs this question. What offer was made to which minister and by whom? Was it John Reynolds? Was it Doug Finley? Just who was it?