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House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was resp.

Topics

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what we need in Canada and certainly in the manufacturing sector are long range, broad based tax cuts, which is exactly what we did federally on October 30. We made dramatic, historic, long range, broad based tax cuts, reducing the federal corporate tax rate to 15% by 2012.

That is what we need from all the governments in Canada. We would be happy to work with them to reduce that tax burden on business in Canada.

Middle EastOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, and Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, agreed to resume long stalled peace talks.

The first formal peace talks are to be held December 12, with Abbas and Olmert meeting every two weeks after that. This will be the first formal direct talks between the two sides in seven years.

What is the government's assessment from the meetings that took place yesterday in Annapolis concerning the Middle East peace process?

Middle EastOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada is optimistic about the meetings that took place yesterday in Annapolis. Prime Minister Olmert, in fact, called me just before question period regarding those meetings.

I welcomed his recognition that peace in the Middle East will require painful compromises on all sides. I indicated, as did the Minister of Foreign Affairs who was there, that Canada stands ready to assist the process in any way that we can.

This is an important issue. I do anticipate that I will be speaking to other leaders in the days and weeks ahead.

Violence Against WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the second world war, 15 year old girls were subjected to torture and rape by countless men from the Japanese army for weeks, months and years on end. Over 200,000 women suffered through that kind of torture.

Four of the survivors of sexual slavery are on Parliament Hill today asking us to join them in asking Japan to give a formal sincere apology. Will Canada be on the side of the comfort women? Will we take a stand?

Violence Against WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her interest in this matter and I believe the House will be seized of this matter shortly.

I, too, have had an opportunity, along with many members, to meet with these living witnesses to an unthinkable evil that happened some 60 years ago. We commend them for their courage, bravery and dignity considering what terrible things took place.

They inspire us all, I hope, in all parties, to join together in combating contemporary forms of slavery, sexual servitude and human trafficking.

Violence Against WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have faith that all ordinary Canadians and all members of Parliament will join together and say no to violence against women and support the comfort women.

In the words of some of the victims,

[Member spoke in Cantonese]

[English]

What I just said is that rewriting history is not the answer to a lasting peace and it is not the answer to justice and reconciliation.

When will the Prime Minister publicly ask and encourage the government of Japan to formally and sincerely apologize to these comfort women?

Violence Against WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Prime Minister and the current and former foreign ministers have raised and discussed this matter with their counterparts in Japan.

We in Canada truly believe that as Canadians we acknowledge moments of injustice in our own history but these women come to this country with a story that needs to be heard because we need to learn from the lessons of history to ensure they are not repeated.

We need to do everything we can to be inspired by them to redouble our efforts in fighting similar kinds of violence against women and against children to ensure these things never again occur.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the government is sitting idly by as thousands of workers are losing their jobs in the manufacturing and forestry sectors, as evidenced by the fact that, in seven working days, the pilot project set up by the Liberal government to provide access to up to five additional weeks of EI benefits is coming to an end. The workers, and seasonal workers in particular, are about to go through seriously tough times because of the Conservative government.

Will the minister do the only right thing and not wait another day to turn this pilot project into a permanent one?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we acknowledge that in parts of the country there are serious difficulties for workers to find full time, year round employment. This is not lost on this government. We are looking for various ways to ensure we provide support to these workers.

We will consider this request in the context of these difficult times for workers in those areas.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is completely missing the point. It is unacceptable that workers have to go on bended knee to the government just to provide for their families. The Conservatives are giving workers a poisoned Christmas gift by not lifting a finger for them.

While the pilot project extending EI benefits for an additional five weeks was proving its worth across the country, an emergency bell rang. A mere seven days before the end of the pilot project, it is unacceptable to put these families through this.

Will the Conservative government immediately restore this excellent Liberal initiative?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the member heard my response. I made it very clear that we are very concerned about the situation that these workers are in but it is unacceptable for the member to suggest that the government is not doing a lot for workers.

We put in place the targeted initiative for older workers. We are investing more in training than any government in Canadian history to take advantage of the hottest job market in Canadian history.

The path from poverty is employment. We are ensuring that people are getting jobs.

AgricultureOral Questions

November 28th, 2007 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's ignorance on the economic development front is not only impacting manufacturing, it is also hurting the pork and beef industries.

High feed and fuel costs, dropping prices and the rise of the dollar have Canadian producers facing a crisis that could see the collapse of these industries. Jobs will be lost and farmers will become bankrupt.

When will the government start to help them?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we had a fulsome discussion at the federal-provincial meetings in Toronto some 10 days ago. We worked within the parameters that the industry laid out for us, what it felt it required in the near, mid and long term. We have started to address those issues and we are checking them off one by one.

The industry is quite happy with what we are doing. It knows that we are offering cash advances. It knows we have the NISA top up, the $600 million which will be available in January. We always put farmers first.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, farmers are not fools. They know that the plan the government refers to is not even in place yet and will not be until April 1, 2008. Plus, they know the only way that they can benefit from this program is if they put their own cash up front first. Some help.

This is not even close to the immediate assistance that pork and beef producers need. When will the government actually help these industries in crisis?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, farmers certainly made a choice last election day to move ahead and move on, away from the old Liberal programs that did not work for them.

Having said that, the member opposite is right. The new program unfortunately does not take effect until April 1, but we have made cash advances available in the 2007 CAISP for pork producers.

We are looking at other programs. We are looking at other expenses that they are incurring at this point, and we are getting the job done for them.

ColombiaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the human rights situation in Colombia is abysmal. According to Human Rights Watch, the Uribe administration is implicated in major drug trafficking scandals and there has been a marked increase in extra-judicial executions and assassinations of trade unionists.

In view of this terrible human rights record, why does the government wish to sign a free trade agreement with Uribe's Columbia knowing that even the U.S. Congress has refused to ratify the signing of such an agreement?

ColombiaOral 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, a free trade agreement is currently being negotiated with Peru and Colombia. This accord will contain a parallel agreement in the area of workers' rights. Discussions are going very well with both countries. This will be one of the most robust free trade agreements we have ever negotiated.

ColombiaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is negotiating behind closed doors with Colombia to obtain a bilateral economic agreement. The Colombian government has one of the worst human rights records. This future agreement is being roundly criticized by human rights organizations because it would imply Canada's support for the Colombian government's abuses.

Will the government promise to not sign any free trade agreement with Colombia until this country provides guarantees that human rights will be respected?

ColombiaOral Questions

3 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, the government believes that if we are going to pursue human rights, if we are going to pursue democracy, and if we are going to strengthen the governance and the democratic freedoms in a country like Colombia, we have to provide an economic basis that is legitimate, that is legal, and that takes the country out of the cycle of violence and poverty that it has been in.

That is what we are doing. We are working on trade. We are working across a series of initiatives that will help Colombia build capacity to have a healthy and strong democracy.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot pick and choose which Canadians it will defend when it comes to our citizens facing the death penalty abroad. The government continues to claim the law is clear, and it is. The charter says that Canadians have a right to life. The government is now facing a lawsuit over its sudden change in policy on the death penalty.

Will the Minister of Justice stand in this place and denounce the use of the death penalty in all cases?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we indicated, I think very clearly over the last couple of weeks, the government's position on this matter, and inasmuch as the matter is now before the courts, I am sure she would understand that it would be inappropriate to comment.

Child SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the father of three children, it is my duty to look out for their well-being. When purchasing products, all Canadians deserve to have confidence that what they buy will be safe for them and for their children. Parents want to know what their government is doing, what action it is taking to ensure our children's safety.

During the 13 long years of Liberal mismanagement, not once did the Liberals take action on this issue. Will the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health please let us know what the government is doing on behalf of our children?

Child SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Health

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health is in Beijing where he has met with China's minister of health. They have signed a memo of understanding on product safety. This will establish new mechanisms for information on issues such as regulatory requirements and testing procedures. The government is working to keep Canadian families safe. The government is getting the job done.

DarfurOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Darfur is again getting worse. In order for the UN peacekeeping mission to go ahead it needs helicopters. The UN Secretary General recently said the mission will be put at great risk if it does not receive the helicopters it needs.

Yesterday I asked government officials at committee if Canada would be providing helicopters for the new UN mission. The answer was no.

Could the minister tell the House and Canadians what the government is going to do for the new UN mission?

DarfurOral Questions

3 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are working together with the African Union and with the UN forces to ensure that this country can find the path to peace and democracy. We are working on it. The negotiations began on October 27 and we were there to promote our common values of democracy and peace.