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House of Commons Hansard #152 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

11:20 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, again the Liberals seem to have a casual disregard for the truth and the facts. All these matters are disclosed, either on the departmental website or through the minister's proactive disclosure. In fact, the kind of expenditures we are talking about were three times as high under the Liberals.

Even under the Liberal leader, when we talk about hiding things, what did he have for wining and dining expenditures when he was environment minister? For our environment minister in his first year it was $3,000. For the former environment minister, now the Liberal leader, $17,000, six times as much. I guess he was too busy wining and dining to ever get the job done.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, clearly the Minister of Industry is running out of arguments to defend his inaction on the spike in profits at the refineries. Yesterday, to avoid answering the question, he went so far as to say that implementing the Kyoto protocol would further increase the price of gas.

Is there anyone in this government who could ask the Minister of Industry to do his job, to take action to prevent this abuse by the oil companies and to stop using ridiculous fearmongering as a diversionary tactic?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:20 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, everyone in this House knows that the opposition parties would allow the price of gas to increase by 60% under Bill C-288. Canadians would have to pay almost $2 a litre if it were up to the Bloc Québécois.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, after the House passed the motion calling on the government to take action, and after this morning's criticism by Quebec's natural resources minister, Claude Béchard, of the minister's refusal to intervene, does the minister not think it is time to act on the recommendations of the former competition commissioner, who, like the Bloc Québécois, wants to give the Competition Bureau more power in order to investigate the fluctuations in the price of gas?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:20 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 is that the Bloc Québécois supports an environment policy that calls for roughly a 60% increase in the price of gas. It is odd that the Bloc Québécois members are condemning the increase in the price of gas when they are the ones calling for such an increase.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to his fear campaign, the minister also began a campaign of misinformation. Yesterday, he tried to create confusion by saying that, if we want to give the Competition Bureau greater investigative power, we just had to vote for Bill C-41. However, the investigative powers covered by Bill C-41 relate to the telecommunications sector, not the oil and gas sector.

Rather than trying to fool everyone, does the minister plan to address the problem of the appalling increase in the price of gas by giving the Competition Bureau the investigative power it needs to do its job in the oil and gas sector?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, according to leading Canadian economists, the Liberal plan, which is supported by the Bloc Québécois, would trigger a 50% increase in hydro costs, as well. As for the costs of heating homes with natural gas, they would basically double from what they are right now. This is irresponsible.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, when he was with the Montreal Economic Institute, the minister blamed environmentalists for the increase in the cost of gas. He is now a minister within the government and therefore must side with consumers.

Does he thus intend to give greater powers to the Competition Bureau?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in our last budget, we introduced various initiatives, such as the eco-auto rebate program, which helps Canadians purchase high efficiency vehicles through rebates of up to $2,000. As the government, we are taking action.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Conservatives continued their shameful attempt to cover up their role in the Afghan detainee scandal. A Conservative member filibustered for five hours to stop the ethics committee from investigating the illegal suppression of foreign affairs documents. These documents warned about torture and killing in Afghan prisons.

Which minister ordered the filibuster? Was it the same minister who ordered the cover-up?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:25 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 facts related by the member from British Columbia are not accurate in any way, shape or form. The NDP's concept of a delay and filibuster is a meeting where there is a vote taken and decisions are made. I do not understand that at all. It is certainly, as I said, different from the way the opposition conducts itself in delaying legislation.

In fact, when we talk about that, I could ask the member from the NDP why it is that it supports the notion of not dealing with Bill C-44 that is going to give human rights to first nations people and give them the protection of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Why does her party support the concept of that not being dealt with at committee and delaying that over the summer?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the very flippant way that the government has handled this whole detainee scandal has been appalling. It has actually shocked Canadians right down to their very fibre. We have been at the forefront on human rights issues internationally and now we carry this shame.

The Afghan government wants a change in strategy because of mounting civilian deaths. I ask again, who ordered the filibuster and just what did the government think it would achieve by hijacking the ethics committee?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:25 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, certainly, nobody in this government has any shame about Afghanistan. There may be shame in the NDP and I can understand why it would be embarrassed with the positions it has taken demanding an immediate withdrawal. However, Canada is doing important things in Afghanistan.

I will quote Seema Patel, the lead project consultant for post-conflict reconstruction for the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, who said, “Canada is leading by example, spending its reconstruction and development funds on projects that build loyalty and trust, that are led by local people, with outsiders playing a supportive and catalytic role”.

We are proud of Canada's role in Afghanistan.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

May 11th, 2007 / 11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of International Trade was a senior executive in the forest products industry, he attacked the U.S. position on softwood lumber as flawed and unjust, but the first thing he did as international trade minister for the Conservatives was to cave in to the United States.

He knew full well that this agreement was a bad one, especially the anti-circumvention clause which gives the U.S. the right to attack sovereign forest policies in Canada. That is exactly what the U.S. is doing right now.

Given this tragic mistake, which has left our forest industry in peril, will this spineless and inept minister step aside?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the quick answer to that one would be no, absolutely not.

It was the current minister who established the softwood lumber agreement that the Liberals could not establish in all of their 13 years. We had 20 years of litigation and 20 years during which the Liberals could have gotten this done. It was the current minister who has put this in place and has provided an environment to discuss this.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is pure drivel and the parliamentary secretary knows it. At least the minister understood drivel when he was a Liberal.

The minister brags about the softwood lumber agreement. Is he still satisfied knowing that Canadian softwood lumber producers today are paying more in export taxes than they were paying in tariffs under the Liberal government? Is the trade minister still gloating over that?

Is he happy now that Canada is facing litigation from the Americans, the very thing this agreement was supposed to end?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, speaking of drivel, I think we have heard quite a bit of it. That is probably why the hon. Minister of International Trade left that party and came over here, because he knew that we would speak the truth and that we would stand up for the forestry workers, and that is what we did.

We put an agreement in place that actually provides security for this industry. We have some rough road ahead, but we are in the negotiation process. We think we are right, and we are going to stand up and defend the industry.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government told us that it had bought peace for seven years.

Yesterday, seven months later, the president and general manager of the Quebec Forest Industry Council, Guy Chevrette, estimated that nearly 100 sawmills in Quebec would soon close their doors.

Sawmills in Parent and Launay have already closed, and other closures are expected in Raguenau and Forestville.

Does this government have the nerve to tell the hundreds of workers who are now unemployed that its surrender to the Americans was the right answer?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:30 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, even though forest management is more the responsibility of the Government of Quebec, I will say that the department I head, the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, does not get involved in primary processing.

However, secondary and tertiary processing is something that does concern us and that we do support for the regions of Quebec. In light of this forestry crisis, I want to stress the importance of diversifying economic activity throughout the regions of Quebec. That is why we recently introduced six new tools to help the regions of Quebec turn a corner.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, we predicted that this would happen. It would seem that the American industry is using our producers' money to weaken them further.

On March 30, U.S. trade representative Susan Schwab said that our neighbours to the south now consider road construction in forest regions and even regional economic development programs as illegal subsidies.

Will this government defend the thousands of Quebeckers who depend on forestry or will it again capitulate to its Republican masters in Washington?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:30 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, the question of roads is more a provincial responsibility. Quebec, like the other provinces, knows that we cannot intervene at the primary processing stage in forestry, any more than in the fisheries.

I want to remind this House about all the support the Economic Development Agency of Canada provides for economic diversification in the regions of Quebec, including the CEDI-Vitality program, which allows business owners to receive both repayable contributions—loans—and non-repayable contributions in order to expand or to create new businesses.

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Secretary of State for Agriculture made a speech to members of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, while, paradoxically, the federal government is considering raising the acceptable chemical residue limit on hundreds of fruits and vegetables sold in Canada, in response to pressure from the Americans.

Can the Minister of International Trade promise that from now on the standards for both countries will be the highest possible standards?

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I think that this issue has been addressed over the last few days by the Minister of Health. He made it very clear that the standards we have in this country will be the highest possible standards. They will protect our citizens and consumers. Canadians will not have to worry about the safety of their food.

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, Richard Aucoin, Chief Registrar of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the organization responsible for this reform, thinks that this is a normal harmonization process being carried out under NAFTA.

Does the minister really think that lowering Canada's requirements is part of a normal and desirable harmonization process?

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat what I have said and what the Minister of Health has said. Canadian citizens are being protected with the highest standards. They do not have to worry about the safety of their food because this country has one of the best food safety programs and agencies in the world.