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House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nations.

Topics

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in the face of softening demand, particularly in the United States market, the Canadian economy continues to fare very well.

Last year, in excess of 345,000 new jobs were created in Canada. We are well on target this year toward the same kind of economic performance.

The responsibility of the government is to put in place a fiscal plan that is responsible, that lowers our corporate taxes to the lowest of any G-8 country and that continues to pursue investment in the Canadian economy, and that is happening in Quebec.

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, when questioned about the urgent need to bring back an assistance program for older workers, the member for Jonquière—Alma said: “There is a labour shortage in Alberta, and they do not know how they are going to find workers. We can hardly turn around and pay workers between the ages of 50 and 55 to stay home.” However, during the Roberval byelection, he said that such a program was coming.

Is the minister telling the workers in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean who have lost their jobs that they should move to Alberta? That is the Conservative plan: forget POWA and go to Alberta.

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative plan is to give people the opportunities to have jobs and provide for themselves and their families. We have been extraordinarily active.

Yesterday we announced the renewal of the extended EI pilot project. We have put in place the targeted initiative for older workers.

As I have said many times to Bloc members, they really should have a little more faith in the people of Quebec. The fact is that in the last number of months the province of Quebec has seen outstanding job growth, and older workers were the most successful job seekers last month across Canada. They have a tremendous amount to contribute.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

December 4th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries is calling on the federal government to immediately establish an independent employment insurance commission. The Institute's recommendation is almost identical to the Bloc Québécois' Bill C-357 defeated by the Conservatives and the Liberals last week.

Will the Prime Minister finally use part of the surplus and respect the wishes of employers and workers and establish an independent employment insurance fund, which his own party supported when in opposition?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the government announced in the Speech from the Throne that we intend to produce an EI account with better management and governance. We are working on that.

The government has reduced premiums. Premiums will go down again on January 1 for the second year in a row. We have improved benefits. We are investing more money in training than any government in the history of this country because we have faith in the people of Quebec and the people of Canada. We believe that the best possible social programs are good skills that lead to a good job.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has decided to proceed on a case by case basis when it comes to deciding which Canadians can count on support from their government when they are at risk of being executed abroad.

Can the Minister of Justice tell Canadians whether there are any countries his government would like to deal with to save the life of a Canadian citizen? What criteria does the government use to decide whether it likes a country's legal system?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our policy is very clear. In specific cases, we will ensure that a fair investigation is done and that a fair ruling is handed down in a democratically free country or a country that respects the rule of law. Every case will be reviewed according to the circumstances.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Too bad, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister of Foreign Affairs was upended by the Minister of Public Safety, who is responsible for police in Canada, not foreign affairs.

The Conservatives are playing ideological politics with the lives of Canadians. By picking and choosing only selected nations to request clemency, the Conservative government is indicating that it views these countries as having a substandard legal system. Canada will get the door slammed in its face.

Why will the minister not admit that his government policy jeopardizes the lives of Canadians abroad and makes a mockery of Canada internationally?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Absolutely not, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to promote our policy. We promote human rights, the rule of law and democracy in every country and here in Canada. We talk to every ambassador in every country. When I go abroad, that is what I do: I promote Canadian values and I am proud to do so.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's former top consular official has said that the government's recent embrace of the death penalty is simply “not a workable policy”.

The government cannot pick and choose who gets to live and who gets put to death on a case by case basis as the Minister of Justice has suggested.

When will the government reverse its misguided decision, respect the rights of all Canadians abroad and finally, once and for all, say it rejects the use of the death penalty?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I will reiterate the comments made by my colleague, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. We have been very clear.

With respect to the laws of this country, I have already indicated that there are no plans to change the laws of Canada.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, by reversing years of foreign policy regarding the death penalty, the government is complicit in the execution of a Canadian citizen. This fundamental decision of life and death was made in secret, without any debate in the House or any consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs, which is responsible for speaking on behalf of Canadian citizens abroad.

Canadians long ago rejected the use of the death penalty, so why will the government not respect that decision and defend the basic rights of Canadian citizens abroad?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the policy of the government is very clear and it has been articulated on a number of occasions, most recently by my colleague, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

With respect to the domestic law of this country, we have made it very clear there will be no changes.

Public Opinion PollsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to a Public Works and Government Services Canada report, the federal government increased spending on polling and focus groups last year compared to previous years.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services comment on this recent report?

Public Opinion PollsOral Questions

2:40 p.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--

Public Opinion PollsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public Opinion PollsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. parliamentary secretary now has the floor. We have to be able to hear the answer.

Public Opinion PollsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from my colleague. The table that he references was tabled in the House last week.

I would like to be clear that the polls and focus groups that are referenced therein were requested by departments, not by political staff, but we are surprised by the amount of spending that took place and our government is taking all the necessary steps to correct the situation.

LobbyistsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, if there is one thing we have learned from Karlheinz Schreiber it is that for decades big money corporate lobbyists have been running roughshod over everything that is good, decent and honourable about Canadian politics. Bags of cash have been driving public policy, not elected officials, and for all we know it could still be happening because the Federal Accountability Act was supposed to tie a bell around lobbyists' necks and those regulations have never been implemented.

Can the government explain why, if it is serious about getting big money out of politics, it has never changed the regulations of the Lobbyists Registration Act like we thought we were doing with the accountability act?

LobbyistsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, restoring accountability through the Federal Accountability Act has been our top priority as a government. It is my mandate, as the Treasury Board minister, to ensure that the act is implemented.

The lobbying regulations will be prepublished for comments soon. The regulations will ensure that lobbying that took place like it did under the Liberals will not happen in the future.

AirbusOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Globe and Mail reported this morning that another key Liberal figure has been implicated in the Schreiber-Mulroney Airbus affair. We learned that the Liberals had just as much to hide, which perhaps explains why Mr. Schreiber told us today that he had never been questioned by the RCMP about this matter.

My question is for the Minister responsible for the RCMP . Given that Fraser Fiegenwald was the scapegoat, will he at least apologize?

AirbusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government has been quite clear with anything related to this matter that Dr. Johnston has been tasked with coming back with a report setting the parameters for a public inquiry. I think we should let Dr. Johnston do his work.

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Campaign 2000 report made it clear that the poverty rate in Canada is devastatingly high. What is missing from the government's narrow agenda is a plan to address it.

The Liberals have a plan for the government. Our plan reduces the number of Canadians living in poverty by at least 30% and cuts in half the number of children living in poverty within five years.

Why is the government ignoring the needs of Canada's most vulnerable children?

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that we are taking practical steps basically every day to make sure that fewer people in this country are living in poverty. The government has moved to invest heavily in training. As I mentioned earlier, we are investing more in affordable housing today than any government in history.

We are spending three times the amount the previous government spent on child care. We are getting the job done for all Canadians, including those living in poverty.

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

It is shameful, Mr. Speaker. Almost 800,000 Canadian children are now living in poverty and the government has put forward two economic updates and two budgets, but not one single page of these documents mentions child poverty anywhere. In more than 1,000 pages, there is nothing for child poverty.

The government's silence on the issue speaks volumes to Canadians. The Liberal leader has spoken up for children living in poverty. Why will the government not?