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House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the former industry minister accurately predicted that “the auto industry would collapse under a Conservative government”.

He also went further. He said that “if the Conservatives were in government today, there would not be $5 billion of investments in the automotive sector in Ontario”.

Why did the Minister of Industry kill that program on December 31 just when auto workers needed it most? Why is he allowing his right-wing ideology to kill real Canadian jobs?

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Speaking of hypocrisy, Mr. Speaker, let me quote for the House something said by a member opposite in the Ottawa Citizen:

I believe we need to replace failed regional economic development programs and corporate welfare with dramatic corporate-tax reductions, because the market can pick winners and losers better than bureaucrats.

Who said that? It was not Adam Smith who said that. It was the hon. member for Kings—Hants.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. It is time to move on to the question. The hon. member for Newmarket—Aurora has the floor.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Liberal Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, thousands of quality jobs are disappearing under the government and there is no plan to do anything about it. The Prime Minister recently boasted about his publicity scheme, Advantage Canada, which is nothing more than a pamphlet of platitudes. Nowhere in it does it lay out a comprehensive industrial strategy for a robust manufacturing sector.

Where is the government's substantive plan to address the manufacturing sector's decline and to support the thousands of jobs that are at risk?

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are doing very well in Canada in terms of attracting new mandates for the 12 auto plants in Ontario. That is a fact.

The facts are that the new Camaro will be built in Oshawa. The Challenger is going to be built in Brampton. The Fairlane will be built in Oakville. There is a new Toyota plant being built in Woodstock.

The hon. member should look at the facts and stop saying that the automobile industry in Canada is dying.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Liberal Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the facts. For the first time in 18 years, Canada has registered an automotive industry trade deficit of $1.2 billion.

Mounting imports and declining exports have eroded the Canadian automotive sector.

Where is the minister's long-awaited plan for competitiveness? Canadian workers need it now.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the hon. member was, but I will not say anything. I do not know where the hon. member was when we deposited our budget last year, but this government reduced 29 corporate taxes to make Canada more attractive to businesses. This was in our last budget. We put forward Advantage Canada also. We have a vision. We want this country to be strong and to be competitive and it will be.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the frontal assault that this government is conducting on the judicial system is without precedent in Canada and the only rationale is its right-wing ideology.

How can the Prime Minister justify the fact that while his government advocates a laissez-faire approach and the free market in economic matters, as he showed in the Boeing case, when it comes to the judiciary, he advocates the very opposite, excessive government intervention?

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am not exactly sure where the hon. member was going with that one, but I can say that we are absolutely committed to the highest quality within our judicial system. We have appointed 51 judges up to this point. I believe all of them will stand the test of time. They are individuals prepared to serve their country. They have first-class legal minds. They are competent individuals and they will do an outstanding job, as will those we appoint in the future.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister constantly repeats that he will respect the Constitution and rigorously respect the powers of the provinces.

How can the Prime Minister be believed when he says that he will respect the powers of the provinces when he is not even able to respect the independence of the judiciary, which is the very basis of democracy?

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, there is no group of individuals who have been part of a political movement that has more respect for the Constitution of this country than the Conservative Party. People who have built this country, going back to Sir John A. Macdonald, have been affiliated with this political movement. I am very proud to stand with them and stand with their commitment to the Constitution of this country.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government needs to understand that in basing the selection of judges on ideological criteria it is throwing itself down a new and extremely slippery slope.

Will the Prime Minister admit that he has decided to attack judges because of his inability to get his right-wing legislative agenda adopted in full? Unable to pass the legislation he wants, he is going to appoint the judges he wants.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have indicated our approach to judicial appointments, but I have to raise this matter with the Bloc Québécois. When they get home to their ridings, they talk about how strong they want to be about fighting crime. I am asking them to do something about it now. We have mandatory minimum sentences for people who commit crimes with firearms. This is being opposed by the Bloc Québécois. They should come clean with the Canadian people and get on board with our crime-fighting agenda.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the United States, President Bush is nominating very, very conservative judges in order to further entrench his ideology. Here in Canada, the Prime Minister can appoint judges not only to the Supreme Court but also to all federal courts.

Does the Prime Minister not know that Quebeckers do not want the George Bush kind of legal system he is trying to institute? They will not accept it.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am sure Quebeckers want judges who apply the law, and they want first class legal minds sitting in the judiciary.

Now the hon. member wants to become a champion of the Constitution. I hope he buys into all aspects of the Constitution of this country, which is one united country.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Garth Turner Conservative Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was just two years ago that the jobless rate was at the lowest point in 30 years. Only 13 months later, what a sad commentary, with massive layoffs yesterday in the auto industry and the unemployment rate going up across the country.

What explanation does the government have for people in my riding who are losing their jobs? Where is the plan?

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, the automobile industry in Ontario is actually doing fairly well. The companies are able to compete on the international scene.

It is important not to forget that there was a net creation of 80,000 jobs here in Canada last month. Why? Because we tabled and passed a budget last year that was very competitive and helps our companies compete internationally.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Garth Turner Conservative Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know quite well that is no answer for Ford workers in Oakville or Chrysler workers in Brampton or any other people across the country who are facing plant closures.

Progressive governments know what to do. They know how to be innovative and competitive and give workers hope. Where is the hope here? Where is the plan? How can those members leave this legacy of layoffs, no matter how brief their watch is?

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we need to realize that the decision Chrysler made yesterday to reduce its workforce here in Canada and in Ontario is part of a global restructuring. The decision had nothing to do with the policies of this government. To the contrary, this government’s policies have resulted in more jobs being created in Canada since we came to power, companies being more confident, taxes going down and a favourable investment climate prevailing. Just last month, 89,000 jobs were created.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, this careless ideological government has no plan to invest in Canadian brainpower and no plan for competitiveness and productivity. Not only has it cut adult literacy services, which is unbelievable, and early learning for children, which is shameful, it has also slashed $2.7 billion from students and hacked $3.5 billion from workplace training.

Young Canadians are stifled and manufacturing workers are left jobless and stranded. Why does the government have no plan to invest in learning and knowledge?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the member is obviously very confused. He is fabricating all kinds of figures.

The fact is, and this is clearly on the record, under the previous government the Liberals cut $25 billion out of the Canada social transfer, money that was designed to help the sick, the disabled, the elderly, the unemployed. That is the Liberal record. He should be ashamed of it.

The EconomyOral Questions

February 15th, 2007 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the person who should be ashamed is the minister who called for deeper cuts in provincial transfers when he was a member of the Reform Party.

Right-wing free market theorizing is not going to help workers who have lost their jobs. This week alone 2,000 more have been sent packing by a manufacturing sector that has received nothing from the government. International competition is racing ahead. A GST cut just does not cut it.

Where is the plan? Where is the support for the thousands and thousands of workers who are feeling the wrath of Conservative indifference?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in October we unveiled our economic plan for Canada called Advantage Canada, including the knowledge advantage that we intend to create for the people of Canada. It was well received.

Claire Morris from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada said this:

The federal government clearly recognizes that a highly educated workforce and investments in research and innovation are fundamental to economic growth.

Our Advantage Canada plan is fundamental to knowledge generation and economic growth in Canada. It has been well received by the education establishment in this country.

Anti-terrorism ActOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were shocked to learn that the Liberal opposition leader has changed his mind and now opposes extending critical anti-terrorist measures. B.C.'s solicitor general criticized the flip-flop. Even Bob Rae, recent leadership candidate and co-chair of the Liberal platform committee, has raised concerns that this will jeopardize the investigation into the Air-India inquiry.

Can the Prime Minister explain why these anti-terrorist measures are so important and how critical they are to investigations like the Air-India inquiry?