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House of Commons Hansard #7 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pfos.

Topics

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am aware of some of the constructive commentary offered by members of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. We will continue to talk with them and explore those ideas.

However, if we want to talk about who is short, I will tell the House who has been short. It has been the opposition, the Liberals. They are the ones who voted against those capital allowance changes. For them to stand here and suggest that they should be extended is the height of hypocrisy.

UNESCOOral Questions

October 24th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of people, including Quebec minister Gagnon-Tremblay, are falsely presenting the Quebec-Ottawa agreement on UNESCO as a “historic agreement”. However, some archives from Quebec's department of international relations show that, already back in 1968, Pierre Elliott Trudeau made the same proposal to Daniel Johnson, who rejected it, because it did not provide a real presence for Quebec on the international scene.

Did the Minister of Canadian Heritage know that?

UNESCOOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I heard the hon. member clearly and I want to say that the Francophonie is important and we will do our utmost to promote it.

Incidentally, I should inform the hon. member that, in just a few weeks, I will be attending the first Francophonie Summit held in Africa. I am looking forward to presenting the programs that we have here in Canada and to explaining how much Canadians and all Quebeckers care about the Francophonie.

UNESCOOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, just because I am an African does not mean I should get a reply that relates to Africa. I was referring to UNESCO.

Two days ago, when I put a question to the Minister of Canadian Heritage regarding her refusal to fund CIFEJ, the minister said:

...under the previous Liberal government, CIFEJ was funded under special ministerial authority. However, it was never subject to any formal application process, any specific Treasury Board authority or the slightest financial accountability.

Can the minister explain why her own government used that same procedure on October 5, 2006?

UNESCOOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the answer is the same. Our programs are funded according to very specific criteria. CIFEJ was not part of a specific program. Because we have strict legislation on accountability, we stopped operating in this fashion. Having said that, we continue to fund Canadian history accounts.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, as we saw yesterday, despite mounting pressure from women's groups, the minister responsible for the status of women refuses to apologize and is maintaining her arrogant, petty attitude.

Will the minister admit that her blackmail is inappropriate? Will she set aside her pride? Will she show some humility and do the right thing under the circumstances, which is to apologize to all women?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect for the hon. Bloc Québécois member's humility, women's groups have called my office to let me know that they do not wish to become involved in the conflict—the useless bickering, as Bernard Landry would say—which the Bloc Québécois is trying to bring here to Ottawa.

That being said, here is an example of the concrete action we are taking. Thanks to our increased funding for the Status of Women Canada program, the Nouveau Départ group in the riding of Louis-Hébert received $30,400 in funding. This was thanks to the hard work of my colleague from Louis-Hébert and thanks to our increased funding.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister must stop this empty rhetoric. The reality is that programs for women's equality, social justice, and women's political and legal participation have been dropped. The new rules eliminate all funding for activities promoting women's rights. Twelve of 16 Status of Women regional offices have been closed, not to mention the elimination of the court challenges program.

The real question is this. Will she apologize? That is what is needed. What is she waiting for?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, too many women in this country need greater funding to help them address the various challenges they face in their daily lives. We have prioritized projects that have a real impact on the lives of Canadian women.

That being said, it is the Bloc Québécois member who should apologize, for playing petty politics on the backs of women who desperately need our financial support.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's manufacturing industry is in crisis and auto jobs are being hit hard.

The government continues to negotiate a flawed free trade deal with South Korea, which is bad for the auto industry and bad for Canada. Thousands of jobs have been lost this year and more will be lost under this proposed agreement.

When will the government start standing up for Canadian workers?

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, there is no free trade agreement with Korea. There are negotiations with Korea. There will only be a free trade agreement with Korea if there are substantial, positive benefits for Canada.

I am surprised the hon. member is buying into the fraudulent economics we saw when CAW came here yesterday and alleged that 33,000 jobs in manufacturing would be lost because of bilateral free trade agreements. It was complete nonsense. Those jobs have been under pressure from countries with which we do not have free trade agreements.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government should never sign a deal that fails to eliminate non-tariff barriers.

The South Korean government runs an ever changing tax regime with new regulations to keep foreigners out. It cherry picks between international standards to prevent others from meeting its regulations. It simply does not play fair.

Will the government commit to eliminating all Korean non-tariff barriers before any agreement is presented to Parliament, yes or no?

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, we will only present a free trade agreement to Parliament that is in the greatest interest of Canada. We clearly are focused on non-tariff barriers. We are focused on tariff barriers. We are focused on not just the auto sector, but also on every sector in Canada that can benefit from or be affected by a trade agreement with Korea.

EqualizationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives made a promise that 100% of all non-renewable natural resources would be excluded from the equalization calculations and there would never be an artificial cap imposed by another province on any of those payments.

The Conservatives however in their budget changed the 2005 Atlantic accords and imposed exactly that, a cap.

Having been squeezed into leaving the full protection of the accord and forced to move to the new equalization formula, does the recent secret unwritten Nova Scotia side-side deal still include a cap on its equalization payments, yes or no?

EqualizationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, one of the fundamental principles that was involved in the equalization discussions and one of the requests was for per capita transfers. This is fundamentally important in terms of the ability of provinces to pay for programs and it is one of the principles enshrined in the resolution of the fiscal imbalance, which we have achieved.

EqualizationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, since it appears a fundamental principle of the government is to break a promise, would the government at least table the legislation to amend last year's budget so we can see for ourselves exactly what it is intending to do, especially when the government said in the House last Friday that under the accord, “provinces received 100% of its investments of its offshore... under the new equalization agreement, Newfoundland will be the chief beneficiary of 50% of its offshore revenues”?

Perhaps the Minister of Finance could now enlighten the House how 50% is the same as 100%.

EqualizationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as has been made clear many times in this place, the accords are being honoured. We have followed through on that.

We have per capita transfers for social programs, which is exactly what the provinces wanted and what the opposition failed to do.

Maher ArarOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Wajid Khan Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today in the United States House of Representatives foreign affairs committee, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice admitted that the case of Canadian Maher Arar was not handled well by the United States.

Could the Prime Minister share with the House the government's reaction to this admission?

Maher ArarOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is a timely and relevant question.

In January, our government offered a formal apology to Mr. Arar and his family on behalf of the Government of Canada. We are heartened by the comments made today by Secretary of State Rice.

We have raised this issue on many occasions with the Americans and we hope the U.S. government will act to fully address this matter.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, when I was in Kandahar last January, I met contractors who were employees of DynCorp.

Recently a U.S. State Department audit found that little or no work was done for the $1.2 billion it paid to DynCorp.

I ask the Minister of National Defence this. Are the private security contractors hired by the government subject to the same rules of engagement as the Canadian Forces? Will he table the contracts that his government has signed with these private mercenaries in the House of Commons?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is very simple. The security firm employed by the Canadian embassy in Kabul operates in accordance with Afghan law.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, what is the Afghan law? I know the government is obsessed with privatization, but the privatization of war goes beyond anything I could imagine.

NATO countries are refusing to take Canada's place in the south because they see what the government refuses to see. For that reason, NATO is now obligated to rent helicopters and hire pilots of fortune in Afghanistan. These old Russian helicopters are largely undefended.

Will the minister promise today that no Canadian soldier will travel in undefended aircraft and that the pilots and air crew will come under the command of the Canadian Forces?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, ensuring the safety of our troops is the top priority for the government. We are assessing options to mitigate the shortage of helicopters in Afghanistan, a shortage that has been exacerbated by the fact that the NDP has opposed any defence spending in this area.

There are many NATO countries, including the UN, in Afghanistan, and several NATO allies, that are already contracting civilian helicopters. This is done in accordance with common practice, and we will ensure the safety of our troops in all circumstances.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to come back to the issue of Saladin Security. It is worrisome to see a Conservative government hire mercenaries to provide security for our embassy, its personnel and some VIPs.

The question is quite simple. Given that, yesterday, the Minister of National Defence said that it was no big secret, will the Minister of Foreign Affairs commit now to table in this House a copy of their contract so that the legitimacy and legal responsibility of these mercenaries can be determined? That is simple enough.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague was in Kabul. He had the opportunity to meet the security guards and see for himself that these were top notch guards providing security for embassy visitors. That is the type of operations they are involved in; these are not military operations, and that is important to note. One should not play partisan politics with the fact that these people perform non-military duties.