House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was infrastructure.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, for many, many years the practice of lobbying under the Liberal government was something that brought shame to this country and our political system in an actual culture of corruption, a culture that Canadians wanted to see changed. That is why we brought in a tough Federal Accountability Act, and it created onerous obligations for lobbyists to register, but we are not going to stop advancing the interests of Canadians, Canadian business, Canadian jobs and Canadian prosperity abroad.

We are not going to stand in the way of that. We will continue to meet with those Canadian companies that are doing business abroad and help advance Canada's interests around the world for greater jobs and--

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Rivière-du-Nord.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, for anyone who doubts that the forestry sector is in crisis, yesterday's announcement of the loss of 1,500 jobs, including 700 in Quebec, is a reminder that the forestry sector has a critical, immediate need for help.

The Minister of Finance is on a pre-budget tour in Quebec City today. While the minister is in Quebec, could he take a side trip to Shawinigan to announce to the 500 workers who have just lost their jobs that he is going to stop doing nothing and announce an assistance plan for the forestry sector?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question.

Clearly, it is always a sad day when workers lose their jobs or leave their jobs involuntarily. However, we must remember that the government has been very active on this issue. The Minister of Natural Resources has announced a program worth over $400 million to help these forestry workers. I believe that the federal government has not only made a contribution, but is being very active on this issue.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

November 30th, 2007 / 11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government has no heart.

The government is not doing anything, not because it cannot, but because it will not. The government is turning a deaf ear to the pressing demands of the industry, which for months has been calling for measures to update its capital assets. The Bloc has proposed real solutions that could be funded with a portion of the $11.6 billion surplus.

What is the government waiting for to act?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the way I see it, the only people in Parliament who have no heart are the members of the Bloc Québécois, who for years now have accomplished exactly nothing in this House.

Hon. members have to understand that my colleague, the Minister of Finance, proposed measures in his economic statement and in the throne speech. What did the Bloc Québécois do? Once again, it voted against them, in the interests of Quebeckers, as it claims, even though that meant leaving $12 billion for Quebeckers on the table.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, more calls for help are heard every day. Following the Bloc Québécois, manufacturing and forestry associations, unions and the Conseil du patronat, Alain Lemaire of Cascades was next in line to declare that Ottawa must do its part. He listed a series of incentives, such as refundable tax credits and assistance for upgrading facilities.

This government appears to lack inspiration, but what it really lacks is will power. Why does it hesitate to adopt measures that will help the communities affected by this crisis?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we are doing our part. We have made it clear. My colleague's plans, which are intended to help forestry workers, are a perfect example. The only problem in this House is that the members of the Bloc Québécois do not take the time to read, the time to see what is being done, the time to do anything, full stop.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the president of Cascades pointed out, the environment and the economy can be reconciled. He sees the creation of a carbon exchange as an effective means of fighting climate change, while being financially beneficial for businesses.

Instead of seeing Kyoto as a socialist plot, why is the government not actively working to create a carbon exchange in Montreal?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, once again—of course—the government has gone above and beyond the expectations of the Bloc Québécois. Indeed, last year, this government worked closely with the Quebec government and transferred $350 million to set up its ecotrust program. This is action. They call for action and that is what we deliver. These results allow Quebec in particular to achieve the necessary standards in terms of the environment.

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, reluctant as I am to quote the Prime Minister, I have to do so today, because he promised to: “Make Parliament responsible for exercising oversight over the conduct of Canadian foreign policy...”. He has broken that promise. He also promised to put international treaties to a vote in the House, but now we learn that Canada is signing on to this so-called Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.

There was no notice to the House. No debate took place in the House. There has been no vote on this matter. Why is the Prime Minister breaking his promise? Why has he not given parliamentarians oversight over this matter?

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership that we are signing on to is a voluntary agreement to actually expand technology, to reduce spent nuclear fuel and to develop technology that is proliferation resistant. This is very important. Canada is a serious player as the largest producer of uranium of any country in the world.

We would welcome the opportunity to address the committee, if I were invited, to discuss these issues at any time. It is great news for Canada to be part of this partnership.

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to hear the minister will come to speak to a committee about it. That is a start.

My question is whether the government will accept a vote on this matter, because the facts are very clear. Nuclear energy is prohibitively expensive. It takes too long to bring online. It will not stop climate change. It is dangerous because of the waste product. Furthermore, national security should be a key part of the discussion.

After all, India's nuclear weapons program got started with a research reactor from Canada, so there is a great deal that must be debated. My question for the government is this: will there be a vote on Canada's participation in this nuclear energy partnership, yes or no?

Nuclear EnergyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, this is about leadership. There are 17 or 18 countries that have now signed on to this partnership to develop technologies, to minimize waste, to recycle spent nuclear fuel and to develop proliferation resistant technology.

This is exactly the type of thing where Canada should be at the table. We are a player. I find it completely ridiculous that the NDP would not want us to be there. Canada can show leadership. We should share these experiences with other countries.

LobbyistsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, both Fred Doucet and Paul Terrien enabled cash transactions and/or meetings between Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Schreiber. Both men still have ties to the government. Fred Doucet is a close adviser to the defence minister and Paul Terrien is the transport minister's chief of staff.

One week before new allegations concerning this affair came to light, the government backpedalled on a $45 million project in Cape Breton. Is the government's new embarrassment with Fred Doucet the reason for killing this project?

LobbyistsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is always interesting to see that the hon. member, when he is under the protection of the House, feels quite free to say things that he would never say outside the House.

This matter, as all of us in the House know or ought to know, is before the courts, and it would be inappropriate to comment.

LobbyistsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, this week, the Minister of National Defence diverted attention away from the submarines in Victoria by stating that Fred Doucet was no longer a lobbyist on this file. Two weeks ago, Mr. Doucet was very active. He was lobbying Foreign Affairs when Halifax Shipbuilding sued the government.

The minister stated that he has not spoken with Mr. Doucet since taking up his new position. Can he say the same for the period when he was Minister of Foreign Affairs?

LobbyistsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, neither the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, nor the Minister of National Defence, nor I have met with Fred Doucet to talk about this matter.

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last November the Minister of National Defence made light of the fact that his father, Elmer MacKay, used the minister's fax machine to send a letter concerning his good friend, Karlheinz Schreiber.

What was the subject and content of that faxed letter? Will the minister table that letter and the fax transmission slips here in the House? Does the minister still think this matter is so funny?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.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 think that matter was canvassed some time ago. It obviously has no involvement of the Minister of National Defence. It has no involvement of this government. It is simply not a question of any relevance to this government.

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is not what we heard yesterday. The Minister of National Defence got a job straight out of school working for the very company that Schreiber used to provide cash to Brian Mulroney that very same year. We also know that Elmer MacKay acted as a go-between for Mulroney and Schreiber. The minister's father drafted a letter for Schreiber that Brian Mulroney hand delivered to the Prime Minister.

Would the minister have us believe that at no time did he discuss any of this with his cabinet colleagues or the Prime Minister? Why did he fail to disclose his conflicts?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.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 minister has been quite clear on this. He has already answered it. He had no knowledge of that letter. It had nothing to do with him. It had nothing to do with this government.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to a press release, the UN's most senior official on climate issues, Yvo de Boer, has reiterated that the current carbon market owes its existence to the Kyoto protocol. He also mentioned that if we do not reach a new agreement that goes beyond 2012, the carbon market could vanish just as quickly as it appeared.

Does the minister realize that if we do not reach a new firm agreement that goes beyond 2012, we could be contributing to the disappearance of the carbon market, a market that tripled between 2005 and 2006, to the tune of $30 billion?

Will the minister take action?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from the Bloc well knows that without major targets from all major emitters, greenhouse gas emissions will continue to increase. My question is why he would support greenhouse gas emissions increasing, which was the Liberal plan. Under the Liberal government we saw a 33% rise above the Kyoto target and that did not work. We now have a government that takes climate change seriously. That member is wrong.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, we already know that Quebec has made a clean choice by choosing hydroelectric energy over nuclear energy. The government should choose more promising avenues than petroleum or nuclear energy, especially when there is no solution for getting rid of nuclear waste at this time.

By joining the global nuclear energy partnership, the government is making the wrong choice and on the eve of Bali, it is sending the wrong message.

Does the government understand that it has to make a U-turn and make a firm commitment to develop clean and environmentally friendly energy, instead of promoting nuclear energy?