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House of Commons Hansard #6 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Manufacturing SectorStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Speech from the Throne made scant mention of the manufacturing sector and no mention at all of the auto sector. I am fearful that the Conservative government does not fully comprehend the consequences of its inaction with respect to these sectors.

Canada has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs since 2002. According to research conducted by the Canadian Auto Workers, 30,000 more manufacturing jobs will be lost if Canada enters into a free trade agreement with Korea.

The Liberal Party will not support a Canada-Korea free trade agreement unless it eliminates existing trade barriers and provides true free market access to the Korean market.

A future Liberal government would be committed to a multilateral approach to free trade and would put Canada's long term economic interests first, including the interests of our very vital manufacturing sector.

InfrastructureStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government understands that modern infrastructure is vital for economic growth, increased productivity and improved competitiveness.

Working with the provinces, territories and municipalities, we are taking concrete steps to renew Canada's infrastructure.

As outlined in the throne speech, we are making the largest federal infrastructure investment in Canada's history through our Building Canada initiative. This massive federal investment will help build better roads, bridges, water systems, public transit and international gateways.

This will directly benefit the Niagara region and all Canadians through shorter commutes and more competitive businesses. In fact, representatives of the Niagara region are here in Ottawa today to talk about improving Canada's borders and talk about our gateway to the United States and to the world.

We are listening and ready to work with communities across Canada, including the Niagara region, to renew and build a world-class infrastructure to promote economic growth.

We are getting the job done. We are bringing Niagara issues to Ottawa. Niagara is ready to act.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada has ruled that the Conservatives broke the law. Individuals implicated in the scheme are now MPs, cabinet ministers and senior advisers to the Conservative government.

The question remains about the Prime Minister himself. What did he know about this scheme and when did he know it?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government House leader has responded to these accusations on many occasions.

Clearly, the Leader of the Opposition knows that he makes such allegations in this chamber under the protection of parliamentary privilege. I encourage him to have the courage of his convictions. If he believes what he has said, he should make these accusations outside the chamber where those whom he is libelling and slandering have recourse to the courts to hold him responsible for—

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. We will have some order. We are on to the next question now and the Leader of the Opposition has the floor. There will be order, please.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister knows very well that we have a press release that said exactly what I just said. It was a decision that has been ruled on by Elections Canada. We did not invent it.

The law has been broken. What does the Prime Minister know about this?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 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, I did not realize a Liberal news release was the final word on the law.

We happen to believe that our election financing activities are entirely legal. We know they are because they are what the law permits and they are consistent with the practices of other political parties in Canada.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is a serious matter.

Elections Canada found that the Conservatives broke the law and tried to bilk taxpayers for more money than they were entitled to and that they exceeded their spending limits during the last election. We said so publicly and we will say it again outside.

I am asking the Prime Minister to explain himself. What did he know?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 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, when it comes to bilking taxpayers for money they want to spend on political campaigns, there is a pretty good public record on that. It was investigated by the Gomery Commission, which made some pretty conclusive findings: $40 million missing through Liberal Party coffers.

The difference is our activities are entirely legal. We continue to practise legal politics and we will continue to do that in the future.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have already named the people involved outside the House. Elections Canada has already named the people involved outside the House. Even Conservative candidates have named the people involved outside the House. That is not the issue.

Why is the government not telling the truth inside the House?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 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, we tell the truth inside the House and outside the House. We tell Canadians what we will do and then we do it.

On the matter of accountability, our record is clear and our election financing activities are entirely legal. We know they are legal because they are what the law permits and they will continue to follow the law in the future.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada has ruled on this matter. Election finance laws are there to ensure that no party has a money advantage.

The Conservatives sought that money advantage. They transferred federal money straight to ridings and demanded that it be paid right back, all to play fast and loose with the rules. People employed by the government were involved in this scheme.

Why will the Prime Minister not admit to Canadians that the party spent more than its limit and did indirectly what the Canada Elections Act prohibits directly?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 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, we did no such thing. What we did was engage in financing activities in our campaigns that fully followed the law. That is what we have done in the past. That is what we will do in the future.

Charter of the French LanguageOral Questions

October 23rd, 2007 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Canadian Heritage said that the Bloc was picking a fight by suggesting that the Canadian Labour Code should respect Bill 101, that we were interfering with language issues and that the federal government is promoting bilingualism.

Is the government not interfering with language issues by promoting bilingualism in Quebec and by picking a fight with Quebec, where most people support Bill 101?

Charter of the French LanguageOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, Quebec has its own language legislation, and the country has its Official Languages Act. Our government is committed to promoting both official languages in Canada, and the Bloc is desperately trying to create conflict between Quebec and the federal government.

I would like the leader of the Bloc to tell us if he supports the new Quebec identity bill introduced by his colleague, Pauline Marois, leader of the Parti québécois.

Charter of the French LanguageOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, to become a Canadian citizen, one must speak either English or French, but to become a citizen of Quebec, one must speak French. This is in line with the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, which predates the federal charter. Since they are talking about two classes of citizens, I would point out that the federal government is creating two classes of workers: those who have the right to work in French under Bill 101 and those who cannot because the federal government refuses to recognize Bill 101.

Is that not creating two classes of workers?

Charter of the French LanguageOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the following is an excerpt from the Bloc Québécois' website.

Please note that this section is not a full translation of the Bloc Québécois Web site. In the weeks and months ahead, we will add the most important and most frequently consulted Bloc Québécois documents. Thank you for your understanding and enjoy the site.

Charter of the French LanguageOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour claims that the Bloc Québécois is spoiling for a fight when it demands equal treatment, in terms of language, for workers subject to the Quebec Labour Code and workers subject to the Canada Labour Code. Contrary to what the minister says, the Canada Labour Code can be amended. All that is lacking is the political will to do so.

Will the minister acknowledge that the only problem is that the Conservatives lack the political will to respect French as the language of work in Quebec?

Charter of the French LanguageOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, our Prime Minister and our government have said clearly that the French language is one of our two official languages. We respect the French language and its importance to Quebec. That said, we are going to continue working in our area of jurisdiction, which is Canada, and in Canada, we promote both official languages.

Charter of the French LanguageOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, in Quebec, the official language is French.

The Minister of Labour claimed that French was already the language of work in the banks in his area. If this is so, what is preventing him from giving all workers in Quebec the same right as other people to work in French, by amending the Canada Labour Code so that Bill 101 also applies to workers in sectors under federal jurisdiction? Why not amend the Canada Labour Code to reflect what is already happening?

Charter of the French LanguageOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that Quebeckers have no problem working in their own language in Quebec. Bill 101, which was introduced by the Government of Quebec, is in effect. Our role is to enable all Canadian workers to work in both official languages.

Budget StatementOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Conservatives are leading Canada down the wrong road. And now the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing has condemned this government, saying, “I am very disturbed by the housing situation in Canada.”

The Prime Ministerdoes not have his priorities right. For example, we learned today that the government will present a mini-budget with large tax cuts for big business.

Is the Prime Minister going to table a mini-budget, yes or no?