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House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was athletes.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, it is critical that we understand that the labour market impacts of this concept be considered before we make any changes to the EI program. That is why the government has used the pilot project that the member is speaking about. It examines whether the EI benefits are based on a claimant's best weeks. The government is committed to ensuring that the EI benefit is there and accessible to all who need it.

AgricultureOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Secretary of State (Agriculture) was unable to explain why farmers in Quebec had received only $50 million out of the $1.5 billion budget for agriculture. In an interview he himself requested, the secretary was unable to justify why Quebec had not received its historical share, when the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food had promised that it would get its fair share.

Does the secretary not think that, two months after taking office, he should be able to explain to Quebec farmers why they have not received their fair share?

AgricultureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that Quebec of course is getting its fair share, as are other provinces. We are very careful that money is distributed across the country. Quebec gets between 12% and 15% of that share, not including supply and management, which is outside the traditional share of that funding. It receives that share as it has for several years and continues this year as well.

AgricultureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister himself is having a hard time explaining this. Since his secretary of state is unable to justify himself, I will take advantage of the minister's presence to ask him whether he can tell us why he has not made good on his promise to pay Quebec farmers their fair share.

Does he remember that thousands of farmers from Quebec and Canada demonstrated here on the Hill to show their distress at the worst revenue crisis this country has ever seen? Quebec has received 6.8% of the budget, even though it accounts for 20% of Canadian agriculture. Does the minister think this is fair?

AgricultureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, just to reiterate, that is simply untrue. Quebec continues to get its share of federal funding. There is programming but it cannot be categorized per sector or per parts of the industry. Quebec continues to get its share as it should.

When necessary, we use this new disaster fund as we did in St-Amable for the potato nematode problem. We ensure that we have special funds when necessary to address special needs.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, Liberal Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson's Nobel Peace Prize, earned for his peacekeeping interventions during the 1956 Suez crisis, has been hidden for the foreign affairs minister's press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Such action is a disgrace and an embarrassment. This attempt to hide the past just highlights the Conservative Party's abandonment of Canada's peacekeeping role.

Why are the Conservatives so overly partisan that they cannot even recognize such great Canadian accomplishments?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 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, it was Lester B. Pearson himself who said, “I do not know that I have done very much myself to promote fraternity between nations but I do know that there can be no more important purpose for any man's activity or interests”.

I am sure he would be very proud to have been able, in some small way, to contribute to this fraternity between Canada, the United States and Mexico today. He of all people made it clear in his own words that this is a contribution he would have liked to make.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, all the more reason to make sure that he is evident and seen by Canadians. The foreign affairs minister will never live up to the legacy of Prime Minister Pearson and the great era of Canadian foreign policy that he represented.

When will the Conservatives stop trying to change history to suit their own purposes and live up to the Nobel legacy of Prime Minister Pearson?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this assertion is absolutely ridiculous.

During the Liberal regime, when President Bush visited Canada, it was in the same spot as it is now. Due to security reasons and other things, that is the right spot for those medals. The assertions the member is making that it is a decision being made by the Conservative government is absolute nonsense.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the meanspirited Conservative government has hit rock bottom. Its decision to abandon first nations children has forced the Assembly of First Nations to launch a human rights complaint on the first nations child welfare crisis. We even have international aid groups working to assist first nations in a country which is one of the wealthiest in the world. This is unbelievable and unacceptable.

When will the minister stop talking and start acting to help our children?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that after 13 years and decades of neglect by the previous Liberal government, the government has actually taken an initiative.

That is why last year, in budget 2006, we allocated $3.7 billion for funding for aboriginal communities, $300 million for northern housing, $300 million for off reserve housing, and $65 million for the aboriginal youth suicide prevention strategy. It goes on and on.

The government takes action where it is necessary after 13 years and longer of neglect.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the money he is referring to is all off reserve money. The government has made cuts that we have not seen in the last 13 years. This is a disgrace.

The department's own website states that the current program also lacks the authority to provide adoption subsidies and support, and less costly placement options such as kinship care, which are more effective for the child.

After 27,000 children, how many more of our children are going to be removed before the minister decides to act?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member's figures are totally inaccurate.

I did mention on reserve housing. This is a situation where we are taking steps to improve the lives of aboriginal Canadians. We are doing it. Those members did not do it. We are getting the job done.

CN RailOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the CN Rail strike continues it is costing Saskatchewan grain farmers an extra $300,000 a day because of delays. And that is not all. Two potash mines may close this week and two more next week. There are layoffs in lumber towns and there is a significant impact on the auto industry. In fact, we are hearing that 2,400 workers at the St. Thomas Ford plant could be sent home today.

Can the Minister of Labour inform us what he is doing to keep Canada's economy moving?

CN RailOral Questions

11:40 a.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, I thank the member for his question. The strike is in its fourteenth day, and I have not had any questions from opposition members about Canadian National and the strike by its workers.

The member is quite right to refer to the serious impact this is having on the country's economy, which is nearly paralyzed at present by the strike. In the next few minutes, we will be introducing a bill to force workers at Canadian National to return to work.

Security CertificatesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, the Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision on the use of security certificates. The court ruled that they are illegal because they violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Will the government assume its responsibilities? Will it allow this House to quickly abolish security certificates? Will we finally respect human rights here in Canada?

Security CertificatesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, we thank the Supreme Court for its decision on security certificates. We have just received that decision, which is very lengthy. We are reviewing it carefully.

The government intends to respond in a timely and decisive fashion to address the court's decision.

Security CertificatesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are really beyond platitudes with regard to the two men who are still being retained in the Kingston prison system. They have been on a hunger strike for more than 70 days.

After the Supreme Court decision today, striking down the certificate under which they are being held, will the government commit to negotiate seriously with its counsel to get them out on the same condition that the other four people detained under certificates have been previously released?

Security CertificatesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said, we will respond in a timely and decisive fashion to the court. I think it is important that the member stay tuned.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, Canadians woke up today to sky high gas prices and fuel shortages. The previous Liberal government established a petroleum price monitoring agency to help Canadians better understand gas prices at the pump and to enhance transparency. People want to understand what is going on in the industry.

It is no surprise that the Conservative government, which has been anything but transparent, slashed the budget of the agency. In this time of high gas prices, what is the Conservative government doing to help Canadians with this problem?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we are working together with the provinces and the oil industry in order to closely monitor the progress of the situation. We are also concerned about CN's ability to provide essential services, such as supplying food and fuel to remote areas.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, I hope it makes sense to the Conservatives. It certainly did not make sense to me.

The price of fuel is going up and up. In the past year and a half, Canadians have seen gas prices bounce back and forth, at times reaching $2 a litre in places like Labrador, my riding.

The government has billions and billions in surpluses. It is awash in cash. It is up to its eyes in money. What is the government doing to help people deal with the gas crisis?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the price of oil and gas depends on their value on global markets and other factors, such as the number of competitors, the size of the market, the cost of transportation and local market conditions. Limited surplus refinery capacity can also influence pricing.

We are aware of the problem and we are taking care of it. The Liberals never did anything.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

February 23rd, 2007 / 11:45 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I was shocked to hear the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development say that EI was a rich program for employees. This program helps thousands of seasonal workers in Atlantic Canada and throughout the country. These workers have families to feed and bills to pay, however, they have to wait up to eight weeks before they receive their first cheque.

How can the minister justify leaving thousands of families without any income for so long?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we are concerned about the people who are not working. We want EI to be there for the people who need it. I am not sure what the member is talking about because I have been informed that there is not an eight week waiting period.