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House of Commons Hansard #157 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government completely gutted the $5 billion Kelowna accord and virtually excluded new spending for cash-strapped first nations in the last federal budget.

Why does the Minister of Indian Affairs not follow the lead of the previous Liberal government, the provincial premiers and National Chief Phil Fontaine and begin constructive talks to resolve the real issues facing first nations?

Rather than blaming the national chief, will the minister sit down with aboriginal leaders to address the real concerns on poverty, housing, health and education?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I assure the member opposite that this government and our Minister of Indian Affairs have been in discussions with National Chief Phil Fontaine since we took office.

However, I also need to point out that unlike the previous government, which simply wanted to throw dollars at problems, we believe there is a systemic issue here, a system that needs reform. It is something that we have begun and that we are going to continue to do, such as we are doing, for instance, with Bill C-44, which the Liberal Party is not supporting. This extends human rights to first nations people on reserve. We would like to see that happen.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government does not seem to understand consultation. In the 15 months that the minister has been in government, he has managed to poison relationships with first nations people.

Chief Fontaine said about the Kelowna accord that “for the very first time, we had...a plan...based on reason, thoughtful consideration”. He said, “That deal was set aside, dismissed”.

When will the minister stop his divide and conquer approach and work with aboriginal leaders to improve the quality of life for first nations people across the country instead of allowing tensions to escalate?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the member is representative of the Liberal Party, which had a number of years, over a decade, to address some of the very serious issues that face first nations people. Unfortunately, the very last moment of its reign, which did not end soon enough, was the very moment when it put forward its quasi-plan, which we all know was just a press release.

We are moving forward with an actual plan that will bring about real, important changes for first nations people. We have done that by recommending a new process for land claims and we are going to make sure that it happens very soon.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

May 18th, 2007 / 11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Fabian Manning Conservative Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, last year Canada took a tough stand at NAFO and brought about sweeping changes to punish vessels that choose to break the rules on the high seas. Armchair philosophers and naysayers dismissed these changes and said they would never work.

Could the minister update the House on how these new rules are doing exactly what the minister said they would, which is to send offending vessels packing and hit these skippers where it hurts the most, in their bottom line?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, ever since I have been in the House, at this time of year there would be a barrage of questions, complaints, protests and even motions about foreign overfishing. This year we have not heard a peep.

Since the new regulations were brought in, we have had one serious infringement. It occurred last week with a Spanish vessel, which has now been ordered back to Spain. Our inspectors were there to observe the offloading. Spain moved in immediately and took action, as the new regulations of NAFO say it should.

We have put teeth in NAFO, whereas we had nothing--

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Burnaby--New Westminster.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, this new document that reveals that the Conservative government is secretly working to paralyze this Parliament shows to what extent the Prime Minister refuses to see the real problems facing Canadian families, such as rising gasoline prices.

In Montreal, the prices are rising higher and higher for no reason and have reached $1.20 per litre. Oil company profits are hitting record highs and Canadian families have been abandoned.

Why is this government letting oil companies gouge Canadian families?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the real question is how all three opposition parties in this House can support gasoline prices of $2 a litre. That is exactly what they are advocating.

They make a lot of noise and they deny it, but those are the facts. Under the Liberal environment plan, Bill C-288, the price of gasoline will rise by 60%.

They may want to go back and talk to their own constituents and see if they would support paying up to $2 a litre as the price of gasoline.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the real question is how the government can do nothing when consumers in greater Vancouver are paying $1.30 a litre.

The NDP is laying out a concrete plan to combat rising gas prices, including creating price monitoring protection for Canadian families, but that is the difference between us and them. The monkey wrench gang just wants to wreck. We want to work in this Parliament and we want to work with Canadian families.

I have three simple questions. Will the Prime Minister stop big oil from bullying Canadians? Will he commit now to protect Canadian families from gas gouging in B.C. and across Canada? Will he act?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, everybody here knows that the price of gasoline is dictated by market forces, but the real question is how all three opposition parties can be such hypocrites.

They stand and ask these questions when they know darn well that Bill C-288 would drive the price of gasoline in the member's own riding to over $2 a litre. Those are the facts. They are confirmed by independent economists such as Don Drummond, Mark Jaccard and others.

Those members do not like the truth.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the committee of the whole held last evening in the House, we learned that the mission in Afghanistan has cost taxpayers $6.1 billion so far, that government officials can no longer stop the meter from running and that the mission's budget has already gone up by $400 million—and that does not even include equipment. In fact, let us talk about that.

On April 12, the minister announced the procurement of 100 used tanks with a maintenance contract for $650 million. Now he is saying it will cost twice as much. Twice!

Why should Canadian taxpayers pay this $1.3 billion bill to cover the incompetence of this compulsive spender?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the capital cost of the Leopard 2 fleet is $650 million. In that is also included five years of support. Last night I also pointed out that it is another estimated $650 million to support the Leopard 2 fleet into the future in the long term.

I must point out that currently we have a Leopard 1 fleet. It will be replaced by a Leopard 2 fleet. The net cost to government will be minimal.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would have thought this minister would be an expert when it comes to arms dealing, with his experience in the field, but apparently incompetence knows no bounds when it comes to the Minister of National Defence.

The facts are clear. The minister told us that his used tanks would cost $650 million. Now we learn that the cost is closer to $1.3 billion.

First he bungles the treatment of Afghan detainees. Then he takes taxpayers to the cleaners by sole sourcing the procurement contracts. Now money is no object for his tanks. What does this minister have to do to get fired?

National DefenceOral 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 rise reluctantly simply because I cannot accept the unacceptable smear, the personal smear, that the member continues to engage in by calling our dignified Minister of National Defence, who has served for many years, an arms dealer. It is unacceptable.

Let me tell the member why we have to fund the military now. It is because over the past 13 years Liberal governments cut back resources to the Canadian Forces “because a philosophical choice was made to diminish the military's place in Canadian society”. Who said that? The Liberal Party's democratic society task force on the military. Its members said this themselves. That is why we now have to make up the funding for the shortfall and support our military.

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of QuebecOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government does not appreciate that it must serve all Canadians and not only those who voted for it. Today, another eloquent example of cheap politics is provided by the analysis of the distribution of grants and contributions awarded by the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. It seems that the minister has a particular fondness for his region as well as the Quebec City region. Coincidentally, that area is home to some Conservative members.

Is the minister punishing the regions that did not vote Conservative?

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of QuebecOral Questions

11:50 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, every Quebec region has an envelope for regional economic development. Every region submits its application. Sometimes the project estimates are greater than the envelope for the region. Then we turn to the central fund, as in the case of the Massif in the Quebec region.

Recently, in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec was asked for $10 million to support a sizeable cruise ship dock project. Other regions will soon be asked to submit their applications to this department.

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of QuebecOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the figures speak for themselves: grants approved in the minister's region jumped by 42%. In the Quebec City region, the increase was almost twice that, at 80%.

All regions that did not vote Conservative were penalized. The Outaouais, Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec regions had their shares cut by about 30%.

Will the minister admit that, in the end, the only criteria used by his department to approve government assistance is that the project must help re-elect Conservative members?

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of QuebecOral Questions

11:50 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 categorically deny the member's statements. The main thing we are doing is helping economic regions experiencing difficulties, helping vulnerable regions to increase their economic activities in order to better diversify their economic activities and spur the growth of businesses and of the regions themselves. Of the 14 Quebec regions, we have targeted the seven most disadvantaged and most vulnerable. Naturally, we try to provide greater support for these regions as per the department's mission statement, which was established by the previous government in cooperation with ours.

Summer Jobs ProgramsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the new Canada summer jobs program, which has replaced the summer career placement program, will deprive tourism offices in Quebec of student jobs, when students are especially needed in the summer.

Does the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development realize that he is harming the tourism industry in Quebec and the regions, and will he correct this serious problem by revising the criteria for his new program?

Summer Jobs ProgramsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question because it is a serious issue. I want to remind the member that we are providing $77.3 million to the not for profit sector again this year, like we did last year. We are maintaining the funding.

The applications are ranked on the ability of the applicant to ensure that the student will get a quality summer job. It is about the students.

That said, I am sensitive to some of the concerns raised by members. We are looking into some of these individual cases.

Summer Jobs ProgramsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, when someone makes a mistake, he should acknowledge it, apologize and correct it.

The minister is creating a real crisis in Quebec. Quebec's tourism industry might be unable to provide services in areas such as the North Shore, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, Laval, the Laurentians and Mauricie.

What is the minister waiting for to correct this mistake as quickly as possible?

Summer Jobs ProgramsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, again, I appreciate the concern raised by the member. I point out for her that the exact same amount of money that went to the not for profit sector in Quebec last year will go to the not for profit sector again this year. There is no change in the funding.

Some groups have found ways to demonstrate that they are going to provide a superior work experience for students. This is part of the youth employment strategy. I would think the member would be very supportive of wanting to give students the best possible work experience.

CP RailOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, approximately 3,200 track maintenance workers at CP Rail are currently on strike. In spite of this, CP is saying that it will continue operations with mostly office and clerical staff.

Less than 300 of them have actual on-track experience and of those, only half are licensed track inspectors. This is a far cry from the normal workforce of 1,200.

Given the ever-increasing number of derailments and rail related deaths across the country, is the minister not concerned about the current work stoppage? Will he guarantee that CP Rail is operating safely and that the public has nothing to fear?

CP RailOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure the hon. colleague and, indeed, all members of the House that Transport Canada officials who do the inspection are rigorously following the procedures. They are following this work stoppage, this strike. They are ensuring that those people who are directly or indirectly touched by this strike and those who are working on this are the people who do the inspection. We will follow it with a lot of vigilance, an extremely important aspect to it.