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House of Commons Hansard #172 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was income.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I do not think there has been any effort to ensure that we do not have a good debate on the environment. What we did see in this past two weeks is the Prime Minister working with G-8 leaders and getting praise for the work they accomplished from the Secretary-General of the United Nations and from Inuit leaders here in Canada.

Canada, for the first time, showed up at the G-8 summit with a plan to actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions are harmful and are having a terrible effect on the government and I hope the member for Ottawa South will listen to his kid brother and pass the budget right away.

Former Lieutenant GovernorOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government followed Quebec's lead and asked the RCMP to launch an inquiry into the actions of former Lieutenant-Governor Lise Thibault. Quebec has also provided that in the future, the Lieutenant-Governor must appear before a parliamentary commission to account for his or her expenses.

Does the federal government not believe that it should do the same and require not only lieutenant-governors, but also the Governor General, to appear annually before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to report on expenditures?

Former Lieutenant GovernorOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question. As she knows, parliamentary committees are completely independent and may ask whomever they like to appear before them. I will leave it up to the committee to make such decisions.

Former Lieutenant GovernorOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, no citizen, not even the Queen's representative, is above the law. She must account for her use of taxpayers' money. The inquiry focuses on the past, but we need to take corrective action for the future.

As such, does the government not think that it should take the necessary steps to require the Queen's representatives to justify their expenditures publicly before the elected representatives of the people?

Former Lieutenant GovernorOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, my Bloc Québécois colleague is absolutely right with respect to expenditures. It is to be expected that we should be extremely vigilant about the expenditures of any member of the public service, even those in government. I would simply add that in the wake of the Auditor General's report, we are now going over various procedures to ensure that such situations do not recur. We should be meeting with the Government of Quebec and working with it on this issue.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, we asked the Minister of National Defence this week if he planned, again this year, to take advantage of the summer recess of this House to announce billions of dollars in lucrative military contracts.

I would like to ask him once again here today to stand up and promise that he will not use the House adjournment as an opportunity to hide the truth from taxpayers, once again acting with a complete lack of transparency.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale B.C.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, at this point the government has nothing to announce with respect to future procurement with the military, but at the appropriate time any such announcements will be made public.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in that regard, does the Minister of National Defence intend to postpone granting the Lockheed Martin contact and give Airbus the opportunity to put forward its proposal? This would save the government $2 billion and would guarantee Quebec 55% of the spinoffs, which corresponds to its share of Canada's aerospace industry.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale B.C.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite raises a question about tactical airlift. I want the House to be aware that the process the industry was requested to follow was to provide any examples of military equipment that we could use. The armed forces looked at the list that was available and chose the one that met our requirements.

I can assure the House that the military will not jeopardize the needs of our men and women in uniform by lowering its standards and accepting any equipment that is less than the standard we need for our military.

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, the federal budget not only compromises the Atlantic accord, it tears it up. I know it. Atlantic Canadians know it. The Minister of Finance also knows it or he is misleading us or he just does not get it. Neither one of these is acceptable.

Will the Minister of Finance confirm that a letter he sent to Newfoundland and Labrador on June 4 promises a fiscal cap based on the highest non-equalization-receiving province, meaning no cap at all? Will the minister confirm that the June 4 letter represents the federal government's revised position on equalization and the Atlantic accords?

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, it is quite clear that an error was made in the letter. For that, certainly, we apologize. Anybody else would have recognized that, made a quick phone call and got it straightened out, because the budget sets clearly in front of everybody the parameters.

However, Mr. Williams as usual has made a charade of it and has gone to the press, and of course it is much ado about nothing.

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, I think the finance department has struck again and the finance minister in what is now being called a typo. In a letter dated June 4, there was a promise given to Newfoundland and Labrador to reverse the earlier betrayal and restore the Atlantic accords. That turns out to be some typo.

Only the government, in a letter that fulfills a promise, would now call it a mistake. The minister is in over his head.

How could the minister possibly sign a letter to a province on a topic this hot, this critical and make such a fundamental error? Reading, writing and comprehension, does he now understand the impact of cuts to adult literacy education programs?

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, a couple of quick things. First, certainly no cuts at all to adult literacy, and second, the Atlantic accord is fully protected.

If the Premier of Newfoundland, instead of nitpicking, bitching, complaining, demeaning and accusing, would develop the Hebron project, the Hibernia South project and the Lower Churchill, we would be the highest non-receiving province.

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, the letter the finance minister wrote to his Newfoundland and Labrador counterpart, a move that he is now calling a mistake, is part of a growing pattern.

First there was the income trust bombshell that instantly and permanently wiped out $25 billion in retirement savings. The hare-brained interest deductibility proposal in the budget made us a laughing stock on the world stage. The Atlantic accord has been torn to shreds.

Why is it that everything the finance minister does needs to be corrected, clarified and rewritten after the fact? Why can he not get anything right the first time?

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I suppose the best answer I could give him is that we had a very poor example to build on.

However, the financial structure being put in place by this finance minister and y this government puts the country back on a solid financial footing, which is a place it has not been for at least 13 years.

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, what is unique about the so-called typo in a letter the minister sent to Newfoundland and Labrador is that he is actually admitting a mistake. That could be a first in this entire government.

He refused even to apologize to the millions of investors from whom he swiped billions in hard-earned savings. He backtracked on deductibility but way too late.

Why is it the only time the government wants to correct a mistake is when the so-called mistake actually benefits people?

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I would just say to the hon. member that for his weekend reading he should go through the budget and list the things in the budget that benefit him and his people. He should look at the benefits to the people of Canada.

The crowd opposite are almost as bad as the premier at home. They overlook all the positive things that are done and they will take one little issue and start nitpicking. They lost their credibility a long time ago.

The BudgetOral Questions

June 15th, 2007 / 11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, Liberal senators continue to plot and plan political games to delay and obstruct the federal budget, despite it being passed by the democratically elected House of Commons.

Dalton McGuinty, the Liberal Premier of Ontario, is calling on his federal colleagues to pass the budget.

While we know Liberal senators do not listen to their ineffective leader, will they at least listen to Premier McGuinty and expeditiously pass a great budget for all Canadians?

Would the government House leader please indicate how much will be lost for Ontario if the Liberal senators have their way?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I have sat here day after day while a few members opposite have said that we should listen to their premier.

I want to implore the Liberal caucus to listen to my premier. Here is what my premier had to say, “I hope the people in the Senate, the Liberals, are going to pass the budget because the people of Ontario are counting on that”.

I beg and implore the Liberals opposite to adopt a senator, to go down the hall and lobby them on behalf of my premier, Dalton McGuinty.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, last night this House unanimously agreed to condemn the United States and North Dakota governments for breach of an international agreement regarding Devils Lake. The entire Red River system is at stake.

I ask the Minister of the Environment today if his government has launched an official complaint at the highest levels of the United States administration regarding Devils Lake and the diversion of water into the Red River system.

What will the minister and the government do over the next 48 hours to turn off the Devils Lake tap?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for having asked for an emergency debate yesterday evening and her contribution to this important issue.

As she has rightly pointed out, a unanimous motion was passed by the House and we have passed that information on to the U.S. authorities. We are working with the U.S. authorities to address the important issue that was discussed last night.

Health CanadaOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are 90,000 toxic toys with high levels of lead in them and the impact on children includes vomiting, diarrhea, coma, or even death. One would think that the government would yank these toys off the shelves but it has not. It is up to private companies to decide whether these toys are toxic. It is up to private companies to yank them off the shelves if they want to.

Why is the minister allowing our children to be poisoned? What is he going to do about it?

Health CanadaOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the health and safety of Canadians, especially the safety of Canadian children, is a great concern for this government.

The manufacturer in question issued a recall yesterday of a series of products suspected of containing higher levels of what is considered safe in regard to lead content.

At this time, Health Canada is not aware of any incidents or accidents associated with these toys that are now being recalled.

This government takes the health of children very seriously and will do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety of Canadians.

Forest IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the Conservative government is once again standing back while a Quebec company makes massive layoffs.

Commonwealth Plywood is closing 18 plants in Quebec and laying off 2,400 workers. The message from the company management was very clear: several of these plants will never reopen and never call their employees back to work.

What is the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec waiting for to develop a plan to help single-industry regional communities?

Forest IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we want a strong, competitive, vital forest industry. We have announced an investment of $127.5 million so that the people who depend on the forest industry can look to the future with confidence.

This initiative will help promote innovation, expand markets and combat pests, and will help address skills and adjustment issues, which are of concern to the industry.