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House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was scotia.

Topics

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are united when they are proud of our troops serving overseas. Canadians are united when they see a Canadian government standing up for human rights in China, which did not happen under the previous government. Canadians are proud of a government that has, as its cornerstone to its foreign policy, freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It is a commitment people will see from this government that they never saw from the Liberals.

Kelowna AccordOral Questions

March 22nd, 2007 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Kelowna offered hope. Everyone was at the table, governments and aboriginal peoples together. This would be tough. Trust was needed and that was what was building. Now it is gone.

Listen to the voice of the aboriginal peoples. They know what Kelowna meant: Hope.

No hope.

The Prime Minister is in or he is out. He wants a majority. It is okay to lose the majority of Canadians in the doing. It is politics. One just needs to look south of the border to see what the politics of division has done.

Real leaders, real prime ministers, do not divide.

When will the Prime Minister start acting--

Kelowna AccordOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

Kelowna AccordOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member, together with the member for LaSalle—Émard, can trumpet any private member bill they wish.

I will tell the House this about that particular member's bill. It is consistent with the previous 13 years of Liberal inaction: no expenditures are contained in that bill. It is consistent with the 10 years that the member for LaSalle—Émard was the minister of finance and the 13 months that he was the prime minister.

The culmination of all that is, as Gerard Kennedy described, “a devastating record”.

This government is getting things done. We are moving forward and we are making progress. The budget contains $10 billion of expenditures.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, our recent budget is great news for British Columbians. Families, disabled children, students and even truck drivers are big winners today. We are getting $30 million for the Great Bear Rain Forest, $15 million for the UBC Brain Research Centre and tax relief for farmers, fishers and small business owners.

My question is for the Minister of International Trade. As Canada's trade shifts toward the Pacific Rim, could he tell us what we are doing about the Asia-Pacific Gateway?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, as has been noted by the Minister of Finance and others, the budget contains an unprecedented $33 billion in commitments for infrastructure, of which well over $4 billion will go into British Columbia.

Another $1 billion has been earmarked for the Asia-Pacific Gateway initiative, on top of funding for our global commerce strategy, that will ensure British Columbia remains an economic powerhouse well out into the future.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, like its Liberal predecessor, the Conservative government has done nothing and stood idly by as the auto industry has been shedding jobs and losing market shares.

The budget on Monday was another catastrophic attack on the auto industry. We will continue to see companies restructure, plant after plant closedown and worker after worker told to go home without a job. Canadians and the industry are outraged.

When will the industry minister introduce a real auto strategy so jobs are made here and developed here, and more important, so we can compete with the world and not turn over hard cash from Canadian people to other people in other countries?

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, maybe the hon. member did not hear what the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association said about our budget. It is very simple. It said that Canada's auto industry got the most important thing in the budget.

Also the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association said that there were some very good things in the budget for the automobile industry.

That is what we did, and I am very proud of that.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry should listen to what Canadians think and what the people of Windsor, Oshawa and Oakville think. Why is money not being invested in their communities? They do not want their taxpayer money to go to Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo.

That is what the minister is doing. He is subsidizing plants in other countries as opposed to putting the green technology on the ground floor in Canada, ensuring Canadians are doing the work on fuel efficiency vehicles.

I ask the minister to abandon his plan, invest in Canadians and ensure we have the jobs, not shift our money overseas.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I know it has taken four days for NDP members to remember that they care about the automobile industry.

I can assure the House, in the budget we care about the automobile industry. We care about families. We care about children. We care about seniors. We care about manufacturing. That is why it is a good budget and that is why those members must vote for the budget.

Minister of Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP was given new details last night of former MP Jim Hart's departure to make way for the Public Safety Minister.

In a just obtained fax dated August 22, 2000, Mr. Hart states:

—I took this step of resigning in good faith. I could have remained in office until the general election, finished my term and not experienced these losses [of pension, salary, et cetera]. My resignation was contingent upon this negotiation.

Such a buyout would be illegal and represents a serious violation of public trust.

My question is for the Public Safety Minister. Is this how he got his seat in the House of Commons?

Minister of Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I see the Minister of Public Safety is rising to answer the question. I am not sure this question has to do with the administration of the Government of Canada, but if he wishes to say something in response, we will hear him.

Minister of Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I was hoping you would rule that way. The last time the Liberals tried this drive-by smear, the RCMP concluded, and I quote from its conclusions, “No criminal offence had been committed”.

I sincerely feel badly for the member for Ajax—Pickering. His previous missteps, which have embarrassed his party, has obviously put him on the low rung of the totem pole with the Liberals. He is now in charge of drive-by smears.

The only problem with drive-by smears is that innocent people get hurt. Mr. Hart is being hurt in this process. In every conversation I had with Mr. Hart from the time I knew him, he has only been honourable about this. He deserves an apology.

Minister of Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, this side of the House will not take lessons on drive-by smears. There are facts in this case--

Minister of Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Minister of Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Ajax—Pickering has the floor. We cannot hear him.

Minister of Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, these revelations are new and explicit. They detail not just potential criminal buy-out, but the source of those funds might well have come from the then leader's office and that a fraudulent contract was created, using public money, to illegally pave the way for the public safety minister to become a member of the House.

Given the gravity of these allegations and the clear nature of the documents presented, will the Minister of Public Safety, the minister responsible for Canada's national police force, do the prudent thing and step down until the RCMP is finished its investigation?

Minister of Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely nothing new here. The RCMP investigated this matter. It looked into all the things, which the member for Ajax—Pickering has alleged, and concluded that there was no wrongdoing.

I do not know what other RCMP investigations he wants reopened, perhaps into the income trust scandal or perhaps into Shawinigate. Perhaps Nancy Drew over there could put himself to good work for the taxpayers of Canada and find out where that missing $40 million from the Liberal sponsorship scandal went.

Wage Earner Protection Program ActOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, over 15 months ago, Bill C-55 was passed by Parliament. The bill was supported by all parties, including the Conservatives. It would compensate employees in cases where employers went bankrupt.

The government has had over a year to make a small technical amendment and proclaim the bill into law, but all we get from the government is silence.

Why is the government stalling wage protection for hard-working families in Canada?

Wage Earner Protection Program ActOral Questions

2:50 p.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, we actually wanted to bring this bill before the House shortly before Christmas. The opposition members of all parties had agreed in principle. However, when the time came to keep their word, the opposition members introduced an amendment. So long as that amendment has been there, it has been impossible to make progress with the bill. If the hon. members could arrive at a consensus, we could table it this afternoon and send it directly to the Senate.

Wage Earner Protection Program ActOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, frankly, the minister did not answer the question. What he said is not accurate. When Bill C-55 was passed last November, the Conservatives supported it. This bill ensured that employees would be compensated for wages not paid in the six months prior to the bankruptcy of their employer. It provided that employees who found themselves in this situation would receive up to $3,000.

Why has the government turned its back on this bill and, at the same time, on working people?

Wage Earner Protection Program ActOral Questions

2:55 p.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 would like to remind the hon. member once again that Bill C-55, which really would protect employees’ wages in case of bankruptcy, still exists. We still intend to bring it before the House. If the opposition members can arrive at a consensus on this bill that reflects the unanimous will of the House during the previous Parliament, we will introduce it this very day.

Older workersOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is swimming in billions of dollars in surpluses, and the Minister of Finance is unable to find $75 million to implement an income support program for older workers who have been victims of mass layoffs. In a budget of several billion dollars, $75 million is a mere drop in the bucket.

Why is the government stubbornly refusing to provide financial assistance to these workers and their families?

Older workersOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, we presently have a targeted initiative for older workers program in place. We also have launched a older workers panel that is criss-crossing the country. It will be hearing from Canadians on this issue.

I look forward to hearing its conclusions. I invite the member to make his views known to that panel.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the March 18 edition of the Chicoutimi Progrès-Dimanche reported that the Minister of Labour was not happy to have lost his discretionary power to award subsidies under the new Canada summer jobs program, and deplores this new centralization.

Is the government going to face the facts, rethink its decision and bring back the program that existed before?