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House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has infiltrated the judicial appointment committees to better advance its right-wing ideology. This is a direct threat to hard won rights: women's right to equality and free choice, minorities' right to be treated fairly, the right to same-sex marriage.

The stakes are too high to be dismissed. This is something never before seen in Canada. Will the government accept the proposal from former Justice L'Heureux-Dubé, to hold a public debate in which average citizens would be involved?

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has improved the advisory process for judicial appointments. This decision has its roots in a decision by a former Conservative government and we support this system.

It is obvious that the Liberal Party wants to politicize judicial appointments. The Liberal Party is making a political debate out of this. The House of Commons is not where judges should be selected.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

February 14th, 2007 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Premier of Alberta asked that the $1.5 billion in the Canada Ecotrust be transferred to the provinces that pollute the most rather than on a per capita basis.

Yet, just in 2005 and 2006, Alberta brought in $14.4 billion in revenue from its oil industry. Now the Albertan premier wants more money to pay for the clean up. This seems backwards to me.

Can the Prime Minister guarantee not only that the $1.5 billion promised will be distributed per capita, but also that he will enforce the polluter-pay principle, rather than polluter-paid?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government announced the Canada Ecotrust program to support major projects in the provinces, in order to limit and reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gases. It is an important program. As I indicated to several premiers, including the Premier of Alberta, our intention is to distribute those funds per capita.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the government's shift to green thinking is serious, it should immediately do away with the gifts it gives to the oil companies, such as the tax benefits—Bill C-48 comes to mind—and the tax reductions that will allow oil companies to reduce their income tax payments by $3 billion between 2005 and 2008.

Will the Prime Minister finally do away with the tax benefits granted to oil companies or will he continue to help them, those poor folks?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is totally false to say that this government granted new subsidies to the oil industry. On the contrary, it is our government that decided to terminate the energy trusts. Originally, the Bloc Québécois supported that idea. Now, the Bloc is changing its position. I think its first position was the better of the two.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to CIBC's chief economist, if Canada does not take action, a carbon exchange will be imposed on Canada by its trading partners, particularly the United States, which will use this measure to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Now that the message is coming from an economist, will the government—which has not accepted the advice of environmentalists—be more willing to establish binding targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions in order to establish a carbon exchange?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I met with the representative of the Montreal Exchange to hear his opinion before the government makes a decision about this project.

I told him that it was very important to hear several viewpoints. We are learning about Quebec's needs. Monday, I was apprised of these needs and the answer was yes. Quebec was very pleased to receive a significant amount of money in order to help the environment and fight climate change.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I urge the minister to immediately table the agreement in this House.

The Minister of the Environment must realize that rather than debating where the carbon exchange will be located he must decide when it will open. Derivatives are traded in Montreal. Thus, it would be logical for the carbon exchange to be located there. When will the minister set it up?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we are working very hard on Bill C-30, a very good bill. For the first time in Canada's history, greenhouse gases and air quality will be regulated. I hope that this bill will have the support of the Bloc Québécois because it is very important for the health of Canadians.

FirefightersOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, on February 4 the city of Winnipeg was rocked by the deaths of two firefighters and the injuries of several others. Over 3,000 firefighters from across North America today joined with 15,000 Manitobans to mourn.

This House could pay homage to these men and all firefighters. We proposed a motion which passed in the last Parliament directing the government to set up a compensation benefit and a memorial for firefighters who lose their lives.

Could the Prime Minister inform the House as to the status of the government effort on this motion?

FirefightersOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, today, as we in the House all know, we have the very sad event of the funeral of the firefighters in Winnipeg. I know that today all of our thoughts and all of our prayers are with the families of those brave individuals, as well as, of course, with their colleagues.

FirefightersOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we could honour those firefighters today. We could honour the sentiments that we all feel with action in this House.

As they sound the last alarm today, will the Prime Minister stand up for our heroes and give clear indication to his ministers to put into force the motion that was adopted in the last Parliament to support the families of our fallen firefighters?

FirefightersOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to enter into a political debate today. I think the events of today remind all of us that men and women who give of themselves in public service, particularly in dangerous occupations like firefighters, do so at tremendous risks and costs to themselves. We should all reflect today on the tremendous sacrifice that they are willing to make on behalf of all of us.

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the manufacturing sector is getting hammered and the Conservative government has no plan.

The industry minister was on the board of the Montreal Economic Institute, the same institute that called government investments in the auto sector “ineffective subsidy programs”.

When will the minister stop pontificating about Adam Smith? When will he start developing a plan to help Canada's auto sector and the thousands of Canadians who are losing their jobs right now?

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, Canada's new government has already taken concrete steps to help the automobile industry and all businesses by reducing corporate taxes and also with Advantage Canada. We set the right conditions for this sector to be prosperous in Canada. This tax reduction will help all industries, specifically the automobile industry.

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canada's new opposition has some information for Canada's new government.

The fact is that those programs were in place under the previous Liberal government. The only program to make direct investments in the auto sector was the technology partnerships program, and that program was killed by that minister on December 31.

That minister does not know what is going on in his own department. That minister is drowning in his own right-wing think tank. While he is drowning in his right-wing think tank, thousands of Canadians are losing their jobs in the manufacturing sector.

When will he act? When will he develop a plan? When will he stand up for Canadian workers?

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker—

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. I know it is Wednesday, but the Minister of Industry has the floor to answer the question. The member for Kings--Hants is dying to hear the answer. We have to have some order so members can hear.

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does not have a monopoly on virtue and compassion. We are very concerned about the job losses that are occurring in the automobile industry. It must be realized that this is part of a worldwide and North American restructuring process, and we want to assure workers in that industry that they will benefit from the programs established by this government.

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, with globalization comes fierce competition that is costing us many valuable jobs. We witnessed it in the furniture industry, particularly with Shermag, and also in the textile and clothing industries.

In other sectors, it is mergers and takeovers, such as that between Bowater and Abitibi-Consolidated, that make us fear job losses.

Why does the Conservative government not have a plan to deal with the situation before it deteriorates and becomes a major crisis in the manufacturing sector?

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we are taking concrete measures. We are helping all industries in Canada by reducing corporate taxes.

Incidentally, I want to thank the Standing Committee on Industry, Sciences and Technology for producing a good and unanimous report on the manufacturing sector. I am also taking this opportunity to inform members of that committee that I will review all of their recommendations. If there are ideas in this report that we can implement, we will do so.

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the minister responsible for regional development believes in the law of the jungle, like his colleague, the Minister of Industry, who is a strong supporter of the laissez-faire approach. The problem for these ministers is that the strongest ones in the equation are seldom the workers responsible for these businesses' past successes.

Will the government admit to all workers in the manufacturing sector that they absolutely cannot count on it, and that it has no plan to protect their jobs?

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry is the minister responsible for all industries and for all workers in each industry. That is very important.

When we develop policies, we care about consumers and about workers in these various industries.

I should point out that the employment rate in Canada is the highest it has been in recent years.

Private investments in Canada are increasing, and so is the number of jobs. This is a sector that is doing very well and that is still very competitive.