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House of Commons Hansard #40 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ethanol.

Topics

IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, cumulatively in budgets 2006 and 2007 and in the fall economic statement, there is more than $8 billion in tax relief for Canadian manufacturers, many of whom are in the province of Ontario. There is $33 billion over seven years for infrastructure. There is $1.3 billion in annual support for the provinces for skilled labour and retraining.

As the Minister of Industry has already indicated, we met yesterday again with the CEOs in the auto sector, which is an important part of the economy, to see what can be done to help them. This is--

IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.

Hog IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the European community recently decided to subsidize its hog exports. This is causing market distortions and seriously hurting our producers. Hog producers are right to call on the government to act. Unfortunately, the Liberals always sit on their hands, except when they have them in taxpayers' pockets. The Bloc, for its part, is always empty-handed.

Can the Secretary of State for Agriculture tell us what the Conservative government can do for our hog producers?

Hog IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. It is important to remember that we have injected $76 million into the industry to combat porcine circovirus, as well as $1 billion in additional loans for the livestock sector.

Moreover, two weeks ago, I was in Paris to meet with officials in France's agriculture and fisheries ministry. France will shortly take over the leadership of the European Union. I made it clear that we were very disappointed at Europe's decision to subsidize hog exports.

We will continue to denounce such practices. The Liberals are sitting on their hands and the Bloc is empty-handed, as usual. But the Conservative government is giving our hog producers a hand when they need it.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

I must respond further to the question from the leader of the Bloc Québécois. My office looked into it: Mr. Housakos has not been to 24 Sussex Drive since we took power.

Answers to Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege predicated by the type of answers that the Prime Minister gave to some of the questions he was asked.

The Minister of Health is shaking his head, but when he faces the Greek Canadian community in the future, I will remind him.

I do not want to be interrupted. I have served five terms in this honourable House. I have had the honour and the privilege of representing my country Canada abroad and proudly see, as I look around this honourable chamber, the diversity that makes this great country of ours.

The Prime Minister in his response today put a black mark on the over half a million Greek Canadians who played even a small role in the development of this great country.

The Prime Minister insulted the entire Greek community. I want to get to the bottom of it. When answering questions that he was asked, why was it necessary for the Prime Minister and others to continually refer to these two people, Housakos and Soudas who works in his office, who supposedly acted improperly lobbying him, as Greek Canadians? I do not see how that ties together.

Mr. Speaker, we have all faced difficult issues, dealt with difficult problems, but never before in my tenure in the last five parliaments or before, have I ever experienced this.

I would ask the Prime Minister on behalf of over half a million Greek Canadians, some of whom even supported that party, to send them a card like he has done in the past and apologize. I demand that he stand in the House and apologize publicly to each and every Greek Canadian.

In closing, permit me if you will, Mr. Speaker, to say that this is a dark day for the Greek Canadian community and each and every Canadian of Greek origin. They came to do things differently as the Reform Party. They proved--

Answers to Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is the hon. government House leader rising on this question of privilege too?

Answers to Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 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 has been a characterization put on the Prime Minister's comments that is not at all in accord with the Prime Minister's intention nor with what he said. In fact, I believe the Prime Minister was defending the people of Greek origin from what seemed to be unremitting attacks from the opposition.

Leo Housakos, whose character was repeatedly attacked by members of all the opposition parties, is a very proud member of the Greek community whose service to the Greek community is second to none. He was director of the Montreal Hellenic Board of Trade, director of the Hellenic Academic Foundation, former director of Zoom Media, Hellas, Greece, and former executive vice-president of the Hellenic Congress of Quebec. This is someone of whom we are very proud. I believe that is the point the Prime Minister was making.

We should not be attacking these people. We should be taking pride in their origins, as we are, and be proud they have an opportunity to play a role in the mainstream of this country. It is not a crime for them to speak to people in the government. They should be allowed to participate in the mainstream of our country.

Answers to Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I have very grave concerns that this appears to be a continuation of a debate in question period and not a genuine question of privilege per se. I have not heard anything from the government House leader that indicated he thought this was privilege or not. It was a disagreement with the argument put forward by the hon. member for Scarborough Centre, and I found very little in his argument that appeared to affect his privileges as a member.

What I am going to do is look at what has been said today during question period and after. I will come back to the House if I feel there is a possible prima facie breach of privilege and hear further argument on it from members who are rising, but I am not going to hear more on this now.

Members can send me submissions on this point if they wish, but continuing the debate in the House on something that is not a question of privilege in my view is not proper, and I do not want to continue with this at this time. I think I have heard enough for me to at least have a look at the matter and see what has happened.

HealthCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Health. The committee has studied Bill S-220, An Act respecting a National Blood Donor Week, and has agreed to report it to the House without amendment.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of the committees of the House. If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the ninth report later this day.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

January 30th, 2008 / 3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Art Hanger Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. In accordance with the order of reference of Tuesday, October 16, 2007, your committee has considered Bill C-428, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (methamphetamine), and has agreed as of Tuesday, January 29, 2008, to report it with amendment.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 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, pursuant to Standing Order 66(2)(a), I would like to designate Thursday, January 31, 2008, for the purpose of concluding debate on the motion to concur in the first report of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented to the House earlier this day be now concurred in.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Cambridge have the unanimous consent of the House to move this motion?

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I declare the motion carried.

(Motion agreed to)

Canadian HeritagePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, my constituents want to draw to the attention of the House the following: that Canadian museums have over 59 million visitors a year, including 7.5 million schoolchildren, that the economic impact of Canadian museums is estimated at over $17 million; that adequate federal government investment is necessary to the survival of museums; and that museums across the country preserve our heritage and provide opportunities for both Canadians and visitors to learn and appreciate our past and future potential.

Therefore, the petitioners request the House of Commons to implement a new national museum policy that: reinstates full funding to the museum assistance program that was cut in 2006; increases the museum assistance program by $75 million; provides multi-year annual operating funding to ensure that museums can operate in a stable environment, therefore allowing them to plan for long term success; provides special project funding to allow museums to undertake special projects such as travelling exhibits and professional development conservation; and provides research funding for museums to conduct important educational research, as they currently do not qualify for funds from other federal agencies such as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. I present this petition on behalf of these constituents.

Hourly Rates of PayPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to table petitions from members of the Canadian Public Service Alliance concerning hourly rates of pay.

Tobacco ProductsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to present a petition in the House today that was delivered to me at a press conference in Hamilton by 70 youths representing the Central West Youth Coalition. The CWYC is a partnership of young people working to prevent their peers from becoming addicted to tobacco products.

These youths have gathered over 6,000 names on their petition calling on the Canadian government to protect young people from tobacco industry exploitation by incorporating the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Canadian law, including an appeal mechanism that would give young people an ability to monitor this law, and to encourage countries worldwide to follow Canada's lead.

In Hamilton, the campaign to stop the tobacco companies' aggressive marketing to youth was led by Chris Mooney of the Hamilton Crew for Action Against Tobacco. I am thrilled by the level of political engagement these youths are demonstrating. Although House rules prohibit me from endorsing this petition, I fully support their overall campaign.

SeniorsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a second petition as well, which speaks to my campaign for seniors who were shortchanged by their government as a result of an error in calculating the rate of inflation. The government has acknowledged the mistake made by Statistics Canada but is refusing to take any remedial action. The petitioners call upon Parliament to take full responsibility for this error, which negatively impacted their incomes from 2001 to 2006, and to take the required steps to repay every Canadian who has been shortchanged by a government program because of the miscalculation of the CPI.

The petitions are signed by hundreds of people from British Columbia. The petitioners are all people who have worked hard all their lives, have played by the rules, and now are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. All the petitioners are asking for is a little bit of fairness from their government.

Human TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to present to the House hundreds of names of petitioners across Canada who are calling on the government to keep up the good work and continue combating the trafficking of persons.

Age of ConsentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, consistent with Standing Order 36, I have the honour to present a petition signed by 440 petitioners from my riding of Pickering--Scarborough East in the GTA who are calling upon the Canadian government to raise the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16 years of age in order to protect the children of Canada from sexual exploitation.