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House of Commons Hansard #164 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trafficking.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has declared that Canada is “on the same page” as Germany and France on climate change. That would only be true if we were talking about a joke book.

While Europe has denounced President Bush's call for a parallel process outside of Kyoto, the Prime Minister has called for a debate “over the best course of action...after the end of the Kyoto process in 2012”. However, Kyoto does not end in 2012.

If the Prime Minister is on the same page as Germany and France, why will he not join them in denouncing President Bush's effort to water down the final declaration of the G-8?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 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, it is kind of sad that the deputy leader of the Liberal Party has declared the joint declaration of Angela Merkel for the EU and Canada yesterday as a joke. It is not a joke. It is a serious commitment to reduce greenhouse gases among some countries that actually care and actually will do something about it. That is what Canada is doing now.

It is also a commitment to go beyond that to try to encourage other major greenhouse gas emitters, which we need to have included if we are to do positive things for the environment in the long term, and get them engaged in the process as well.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claimed yesterday that he supports a reduction in emissions to 50% below 1990 levels by 2050. However, he then stated that we are using intensity targets. Everyone knows that they would allow emissions to increase indefinitely.

If the Prime Minister is so committed to reducing emissions by 50%, why is he not denouncing American efforts to remove this commitment from the G-8 declaration?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 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, we are not speaking out against things; we are speaking out for things. We are speaking out for a cleaner environment, for a better environment, for getting countries like the United States, India, Brazil and China involved in a commitment to reduce greenhouse gases.

Our commitment is an absolute commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% to 70%. It is nothing new. The hon. member said that it was nothing new and then he proceeded to analyze it by saying that it had intensity targets. I think he was thinking of the old Liberal plan that did rely on intensity targets for great emitters.

Festivals and Special EventsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, first it was the Government of Quebec and event organizers, and now the mayor of Quebec City, Andrée Boucher, and the mayor of Montreal, Gérald Tremblay, are calling on the federal government to immediately distribute the $30 million earmarked for festivals.

When the survival of many festivals, both large and small, is at stake, will the Minister of Canadian Heritage finally distribute the money promised to the festivals, as everyone is asking? The festivals are on this summer, not this fall.

Festivals and Special EventsOral Questions

2:20 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 already $20 million in this year's budget for festivals. And there is an additional $30 million in this budget. Many festivals will receive funding now. For example, there is the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Just for Laughs Festival and the FrancoFolies de Montréal. The money is here now.

Festivals and Special EventsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, at a time when the dollar is steadily going up and is discouraging tourism, the festivals in Quebec represent a very important tourist attraction. The festivals cannot wait until the fall for funding.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage reverse her decision, as the government did on the summer career placements program?

Festivals and Special EventsOral Questions

2:25 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, we intend to stick with the $20 million for festivals that is already there.

Furthermore, in budget 2007 we announced additional funding of $60 million over two years. We are now in the process of establishing, in a transparent and accountable manner, the framework and criteria for this new program, which will target small and medium-sized events, not just the major festivals. Every festival with legitimate needs will receive funding.

Festivals and Special EventsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of ignoring Quebec, which is asking for a transfer of its share of the new funding for festivals, the minister must understand that the sponsorship program, which is making her a little paranoid, lined the pockets of middlemen, friends of the government, but did not make the festivals rich.

How can she refuse to provide the funding that is necessary for Quebec festivals to survive and grow?

Festivals and Special EventsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, many of the festivals have been going on for many years. I know they do bring benefit to Montreal and to Quebec. In fact, that is why, in concert with my associate, the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, we support all the festivals and activities in Quebec to a total of $13 million this summer.

Festivals and Special EventsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's request is not a fantasy, it is a reality.

After our film industry, museums, tours and the Canada Council, this means the end of a number of our festivals in Quebec.

Why is the Minister of Canadian Heritage so intent on gradually destroying culture, the arts and tourism in Quebec, given the substantial economic spinoffs they generate?

Festivals and Special EventsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, we look at the cultural and artistic community in Quebec and take pride in its successes and its unique artistry.

That is why we have continued our support. That is why we have given $50 million to Canada Council and part of that will go to Quebec.

The other thing is that we sustain the television fund by $100 million over two years. We have increased the funding for société Radio-Canada for two years by $60 million.

We recognize the unique culture of Quebec.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's attempt to cancel the Atlantic accord is nothing more than a slap in the face for the working families in Atlantic Canada. It has got to stop and there is an opportunity for that to happen now.

Whether they are in Nova Scotia or in Newfoundland and Labrador, people are furious because they were given a promise and then what did they see? They see the government breaking its promise when it comes to the sharing of resource revenues and equalization.

All they are looking for is a little fairness. They simply want the government to honour the word it gave at election time.

Which will it be, will the government break its promise or will it amend its budget, which is what it should do?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 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, we are keeping our promise on the budget. Our budget delivers a lot of things for working families.

In addition to protecting and fully meeting our commitment to respect the offshore accord, we are also providing things that are benefiting real families in Nova Scotia, the working families the hon. member just spoke about. There is the new $2,000 child tax credit which will save Nova Scotia parents $39.6 million. There is the working income tax benefit which will allow Nova Scotians to pocket $17.8 million in tax relief.

Those are the benefits to the real working families in Nova Scotia that the leader of the NDP is against.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the child tax benefit, the Conservatives taxed half of it back. They grabbed it right back from those working families.

Things have become so bad that premiers are taking out advertisements against the Government of Canada. That is what is has come to.

We hear heckling from the members in the backbenches over there, but a lot of them are squirming because they are thinking about voting against the budget that their government put out. At least they have had a moment of reflection about whether they should honour the promise that they made to the voters during the last election.

If the Prime Minister is just going to break his word, will he at least let his members vote against the budget?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 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, the hon. leader of the NDP should take a moment to reflect on what he has been opposing in Bill C-52, the budget implementation bill. If we do not pass it by June 30, here are some things that would be put in jeopardy, almost $3.9 billion in spending measures that would be lost if we do not pass it by June 30, tied to the previous fiscal year: $612 million for the patient wait time guarantee trust would be lost; $1.5 billion for clean air and climate change for the provinces would be lost; $400 million for Canada Health Infoway would be lost; $225 million for the Nature Conservancy of Canada would be lost.

We do not intend to vote against those things. We do not intend to lose things. We do not intend to change those things.

AfricaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, at the Gleneagles summit in 2005, G-8 leaders committed to double aid to Africa by 2010.

Appalling reports are coming out of Germany that our Prime Minister is actually blocking any specific financial commitment to Africa.

Estimates show that the government is putting in less than 20% of its commitment to the continent.

Why has the government offered only a fraction of the money needed to save lives and double aid to Africa?

AfricaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what sources the hon. member is using. I can confirm that, yesterday, the Prime Minister clearly stated that we are on track to double our assistance to Africa by 2008-09.

AfricaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the information is from the government's own estimates. The Conservatives should look at it sometime.

According to Debt AIDS Trade Africa, the Canadian government is short 50% of being on track to double aid to Africa by 2010.

Why is the finance minister, who is the highest spending finance minister in Canada's history, willing to keep Canada's wallet welded shut when the hat gets passed around to save lives and double aid to Africa?

AfricaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the opposition said they were against the budget before they even read it.

That said, this is where we stand right now in terms of our budget for Africa. Based on the figures released in 2005-06, we have reached $1.7 billion, which is already over halfway to our goal of $2.1 billion in 2008-09.

AfricaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to hitting international targets, Conservatives shun greenhouse gas reductions but have no qualms about giving us foreign aid reductions. Instead of a firm commitment to Africa, we are getting nothing but cookbooks, monopoly money and now international obstruction from this good for nothing Conservative government.

Bob Geldof said, “I think that's a shame for Canada to take that role.” Why is the Prime Minister, this so-called leader, turning Canada into a G-8 reprobate?

AfricaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I prefer to take the Prime Minister's word for it, particularly when it comes to statements made on the international scene. Here is a report released on June 1, 2007, by the G-8 research group from the University of Toronto and another research group from the University of Moscow. They congratulate Canada and state: “Canada has fully met its commitments in terms of debt relief to Africa and security”.

AfricaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, what the Conservatives do not understand is that nobody believes them anymore.

Day after day they preach about real decisive action but they do not even have a clear plan of how they will achieve these targets.

Some leader. What is the government planning to do? We had a pledge of $2.8 billion. It came up with $2.1 billion. Why is the cupboard bare in the government's own estimates for aid to Africa?

AfricaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, here are the facts. The baselines presented in budget 2005, that is, the previous government's budget, contained errors. The real baseline used at the G-8 summit at Gleneagles was in fact $1.05 billion.

Festivals and Special EventsOral Questions

June 5th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Status of Women is still saying that the new festivals program will not be ready until the end of the summer. There are already two major events in my riding, the Festival international des rythmes du monde and the Festival Saint-Honoré dans l’vent, that are counting heavily on these grants.

Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Status of Women realize that through her stubborn refusal to transfer funds to the Quebec government, she is putting many festivals at risk in all the various regions?