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House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

The BudgetOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government betrayed the Atlantic accord. A billion dollars may not be much to a Prime Minister who can afford a palm-reading nose-puffer, but it is a lot to the people of Nova Scotia.

The previous Liberal government signed the Atlantic accord deals in 2005 and lived up to its word. The Conservative government has done the opposite. It broke its promise to Atlantic Canadians and the consequences are severe. Already, potential Conservative candidates in Atlantic Canada are fleeing for cover and abandoning their non-progressive Conservative government.

When will this betrayal end for the people of Atlantic Canada?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I guess the betrayal of the truth is all that the Liberals can come up with, because in fact the member knows very well that every single promise to Nova Scotia was kept and that the Atlantic accord has been fully honoured and will be fully honoured by the government.

He knows that. I just wish he had some respect for the truth when he talks to his constituents.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

April 20th, 2007 / 11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Liberal Senator Grant Mitchell tabled a bill that proposes removing the Canadian Wheat Board from access to information coverage, ending the transparency and accountability that the Federal Accountability Act finally put into place.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board confirm the government's commitment to accountability and respond to this Liberal Senate bill?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

I certainly can, Mr. Speaker.

I too was shocked to hear that the Liberals were trying to rob farmers of their right to know how their money is being spent by the Wheat Board monopoly. What do the Liberals have to hide? What do they have against farmers? Why are they trying to turn the Canadian Wheat Board into a secret society for their friends?

We will continue to defend farmers. We will continue to advance accountability. We will continue to get the job done.

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Hamilton Mountain, hard-working families are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. While the rich are getting richer, ordinary Canadians are seeing everything go up except their incomes. Nothing illustrates this more than the absurd situation where banks are posting profits of $19 billion but are still charging students, seniors and hard-working Canadians to access their own money at ATMs.

Will the Minister of Finance put people before profit and pass the NDP's legislation to put an end to ATM fees?

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member knows that constructive dialogue with the banks has made real progress. The Bank of Montreal is extending a fee waiver on plans for seniors and students. The TD Bank will guarantee ATMs for all students. New account fees have been unveiled by the Royal Bank of Canada and the HSBC. The CIBC has also pledged to have better access for the disabled.

Progress is being made on this because of constructive dialogue, not the kinds of accusations that the NDP keeps throwing around.

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question was not about access to ATMs. It was about the cost of that access.

Our bill, Bill C-429, demonstrates that the government does have the power to act to end ATM fees but that the minister is abdicating his responsibility to protect ordinary Canadians.

As former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney once said to John Turner, “You, sir, had a choice”. The minister is choosing not to help hard-working Canadians. He can but he will not.

Will the government do the right thing today and act on the power invested in its office?

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the banks have been very responsive in meeting the concerns of people who have a problem with accessing the ATMS and perhaps do not have the financial resources, such as seniors and students.

We believe that it is not up to government to tell the banks what they should charge for a particular service to Canadians. We believe it is up to the consumer to choose. Consumers have choice and that is what we have ensured. I know the NDP does not really like choice, but that is what--

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Labrador.

The Prime MinisterOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, Canadians speculated for months whether the PM was sporting enough eyeliner to make an eighties rock band proud.

Today we learned that he has been consulting the stars and looking into a crystal ball, all with help from his personal clairvoyant, his psychic makeup artist, our own northern Zsa Zsa Gabor. It is enough to make one blush.

The Prime Minister of Canada goes from the Canadian Alliance to the psychic alliance.

Why are the Conservatives not telling taxpayers that their T4s go a long way for the Prime Minister's powder, mascara and daily palm readings?

The Prime MinisterOral Questions

11:45 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, I knew he was going to ask that question.

Nobody in this government is consulting JoJo but I have had suggestions that perhaps I should consult Cojo.

The Prime MinisterOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, we now know the Prime Minister's personal stylist and spiritualist is on the public payroll. He thought this blemish would stay concealed. One would think the Prime Minister would blush with embarrassment at being caught out on such inconsistency. It strikes at the foundation of everything he supposedly ever stood for. It contradicts the makeup of his supposed fiscal responsibility. It just does not gel with the Canadian public.

How can the Prime Minister justify stiffing the Canadian taxpayer for his vanity?

The Prime MinisterOral Questions

11:45 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, the fact that I am answering this question tells you what a great country this is.

I know my mother would never have dreamed, and certainly very few people would have ever believed that a person like myself could rise to the vaulted position of minister of fashion and style for Canada.

SportsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Hockey Canada's credo speaks of sportsmanship, and the development of respect for all people by all participants. It also speaks of hockey opportunities for all people regardless of age, gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, or sexual orientation, and in both official languages.

Since there is now evidence that hockey player Shane Doan uttered racist insults during a match against the Montreal Canadiens on December 13, 2005, can the Secretary of State (Sport) confirm that she demanded justification from Hockey Canada for its decision to include this individual on Team Canada's roster for the Men's World Ice Hockey Championships in Russia next week?

SportsOral Questions

11:45 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, I am not aware of any of those comments but I am sure we would be happy to look into them and get back to him.

SportsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Hockey Canada's mission is to lead, develop, and promote positive hockey experiences. Hockey Canada believes in the country of Canada, its hockey traditions and the pride in representing this tradition around the world.

Does the Conservative government condone racism in sports, or does it agree with the mission statement and credo of Hockey Canada, an organization that is partially funded by the Government of Canada? Does the Conservative government believe that these values should be enforced by all Canadian sports federations?

SportsOral Questions

11:50 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, racism and all forms of discrimination are completely unacceptable. I am sure all members of this House can agree on that.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government claims to defend the interests of cash crop producers in Quebec. At their annual general meeting, however, the Secretary of State for Agriculture was very vague and refused to commit to the solutions the producers themselves have come up with.

Can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food explain how his strategy, which is based solely on subsidizing the biofuels industry, can help cash crop producers out of the crisis they are in and protect them against other countries' direct subsidies?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. As he said, this government is engaging in a dialogue with producers. Incredible announcements have been made. I am talking about $1 billion: $400 million to be paid directly to farmers to help increase small crops and $600 million to set up a savings account that will provide predictable funding, something producers have long been calling for. That is delivering the goods.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, federal funding has to be flexible to be effective. Does the secretary not agree that the solution lies in funding the companion programs put in place by Quebec and the provinces, which would better address the needs of each crop, by region, a principle supported not only by the Fédération des producteurs de cultures commerciales du Québec, but by the Union des producteurs agricoles du Québec and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture? We are still waiting for him to deliver the goods.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, as my friend is aware, the provincial, territorial and federal agriculture ministers met last week. I can tell you one thing: the $600 million savings account in which the federal government is investing has been very well received by the provinces. That is flexibility. That is meeting the needs of farmers across Canada.

International AidOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the United Nations held a very important meeting seeking hard contributions to a United Nations-African Union mission to Darfur.

Countries as diverse as Egypt, the United States and others are willing to put hard assets on the ground for this mission.

My question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the UN meeting yesterday, what specifically did Canada contribute to the mission in Darfur to stop the genocide in that beleaguered part of Sudan?

International AidOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I want to compliment the member opposite for his ongoing and persistent interest in pursuit of all means and manner to end the violence for the people in Darfur. I know this is an issue in which he is very familiar.

Canada has made contributions and will continue to do so in real concrete fashion. We have contributed greatly in terms of the heavy lift capacity necessary to the transport of all means of humanitarian aid. We have as well contributed significantly to the training that is in place.

The member knows that the transition is now happening between African Union forces and UN forces, and Canada will be there.

Dairy IndustryOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian dairy industry is facing serious challenges and is concerned about the increasing use of milk protein concentrates that are being imported.

On February 9 the minister announced that the government initiated negotiations under article 28 of GATT at the WTO to restrict imports of these concentrates.

Last Friday, the member for Malpeque issued a press release on milk protein concentrates saying that we are stalling on helping farmers and that we have yet to launch a process officially.

Would the Secretary of State for Agriculture tell the House what action has been taken?

Dairy IndustryOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, as always, the member for Malpeque has his facts wrong. In fact, while he was sending out press releases, I was announcing to the Quebec dairy producers that our government had completed our article 28 notification to the WTO.

However, that is okay because farmers know that when it comes to defending supply management, the Liberals offer them press releases while the Conservatives deliver the goods and take real action.