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House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was human.

Topics

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, nearly 300 deaths have been directly linked to taser use in North America, and police officers have been injured during training. Questionable studies by people with vested interests find that tasers are not dangerous, while other studies prove the opposite.

Given this conflicting information, would the minister not do well to declare a moratorium pending an independent inquiry by people who have no financial or other interest in this company?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, neither the Province of Quebec nor the other provinces have recommended that use of these devices stop. That is why we will continue to study this issue. We are already looking at the scientific and medical studies, and we will continue to examine the situation. As well, the RCMP has acted on some of the recommendations.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, workers at Ledco Limited in Kitchener learned recently that their company filed for bankruptcy and that there was no money left to pay them the $1.2 million owed in severance. This situation clearly points out the need for the Wage Earner Protection Program Act, a bill passed by the Liberal government in 2005 and again passed in revised form in the current Parliament. However, the government has been stalling implementation.

Now the workers at Ledco are victims of the government's indifference and neglect. Why does the government continue to let important workers down?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.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, in fact, that bill was passed here in the House of Commons and received royal assent. The purpose of the bill is to protect wage earners in case of employer bankruptcy.

We are now at the regulatory stage. As a general rule, it takes three to six months for the regulations to be completed. However, the process is well under way.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I hate to think about the number of workers who are going to be suffering while they wait for that to happen. The situation at Ledco is part of a larger problem: the government's laissez-faire, “I don't care”, attitude to the crisis in manufacturing.

It is clear that the finance minister intends to put Canada into a huge deficit just like he did in Ontario. Thousands of Canadian jobs are being lost and the finance minister just does not care.

Will the government put forward a plan to deal with this crisis in manufacturing or will it continue to thumb its nose at the manufacturing sector?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the economic fundamentals in Canada are good. They are the best economic fundamentals in the G-7 and that is after two years of government led by this Prime Minister.

What have we done over two years? The government of the day will reduce business taxes by in excess of $50 billion.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

You blew the fiscal framework. That's what you did.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Conservative Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Relax Ralph.

That is over $50 billion over this year and the next five years.

These are important tax reductions and I want to thank the Liberal Party and its spokesman for supporting these tax reductions. As the member for Markham—Unionville said, “Corporate tax cuts are one of the best strategies to attract investment--

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, the hon. member for Halton.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Garth Turner Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the Canadian economy virtually stalled in November. What has the Minister of Finance done to prepare for recession? He has cut the wrong taxes, he spent the cupboard bare, and he has taken the surplus and turned it into zero. Does he have a big Mike Harris poster over his desk saying “let the next guy deal with it”?

Canadians cannot wait. Mills and factories are closing, stock markets are eroding pensions and RRSPs. Where is the plan? When is he going to take action?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 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, I am very familiar with the member for Halton's concern about people losing their jobs.

Once he said that if members ever crossed the floor, they should subject themselves to a byelection, yet he has hung on steadily to that job notwithstanding having done exactly that.

I invite him. There are byelections on March 17 if he is really concerned about that democratic principle. Perhaps he could put his job on the line for the principles he claims to believe in.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Garth Turner Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am ready when those members are ready, that is for sure.

The Americans have an action plan for this crisis. U.S. interest rates have been cut five times deeper than ours, but in Canada the Prime Minister tells laid off workers “wait until I get my budget passed before I'll help”. He shows no compassion.

Will he tell Canadians when the budget will be tabled? When will we get some action? Why can the Americans do this in a week and those guys cannot do it at all?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 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 government saw the economic downturn coming in the United States some time ago. We had an economic statement in the fall with business tax cuts, a GST cut, and personal income tax cuts. These are all stimulants to help people keep their jobs.

That member was determined to keep his job. He would not resign for a byelection. Guess what? He would not do that job. He sat in his seat and never even voted on it.

AfghanistanOral Questions

January 31st, 2008 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, today marks the second anniversary of the Afghan compact.

As one of over 60 nations and international organizations dedicated to the cause, I believe we should take pause today and proudly recognize the contribution Canadians are making in Afghanistan. Our efforts to strengthen and improve the lives of Afghan people is making a difference and will contribute to national, regional, and global peace and security.

Our government's position is clear and our support for the recommendations of the Manley panel is also clear. Can the Minister of International Cooperation highlight the importance of the Afghanistan mission?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the compact outlines the priorities for Afghanistan's development, agreed to between the Afghan government and its international partners.

I remind the House of Commons of Canada's commitment to Afghanistan and this commitment matters. It matters because we are rebuilding a country. It matters because of Canada's security and global security, and Canada's international reputation.

I also remind the House, as the Manley report stated, security is an essential condition of ongoing good governance and lasting development. In other words, no security, no development.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the forestry crisis is devastating northern Ontario. White River, Wawa, Nairn Centre, Kenora, Dryden, Atikokan, Nipigon, Smooth Rock Falls, Cochrane, Iroquois Falls, Kirkland Lake, Larder Lake, Sturgeon Falls, and countless other communities are reeling.

The situation is urgent, desperate in some towns. In the blink of an eye the government gave an instant $14 billion to its corporate friends.

Why does the government make communities in crises in northern Ontario wait? Will it bring the community trust forward for a vote today?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I am sure the hon. member knows, there have been dramatic business tax reductions in Canada brought in by the government over this year and the next five years. These are not for big business alone but for small business and medium-sized business where the new job generation is in this country. Small and medium-sized businesses account for more than half of the job growth in Canada.

I know the member wants that to happen. I know that he wants to vote for the new community trust when it is before the House.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the AbitibiBowater plant in Dalhousie, New Brunswick officially closed its doors today after 80 years of existence. This closure affects 420 workers, their families and their communities. The people of northern New Brunswick need help in dealing with this forestry crisis. It has affected Smurfit-Stone in Bathurst, UPM in Miramichi and AbitibiBowater in Dalhousie. That is enough. Two thousand jobs have been lost.

Why is this government giving a $14 billion hand out to big business and waiting to help communities with the $1 billion promised? Why not hold a vote right now? Why not give that money to these communities now?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we are very concerned about the forest industry. We recognize our challenges.

If the hon. member wants to support the forest industry, he should stand up and support the budget. Our Prime Minister announced a billion dollar commitment in the community development trust. If they care about the forest industries in our country, then they should stand up and support this budget.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of workers employed by Bowater in Donnacona, Quebec, and Dalhousie, New Brunswick, are going to work for the last time today. This has been coming for months. The Conservatives refuse to quickly vote on assistance for laid-off Canadian workers.

Why do the Conservatives not yet have a plan to prevent the unemployment line from becoming longer?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, thanks definitely go out to the Liberals for supporting the economic statement because $12 billion in tax cuts were made in Quebec. In addition, we have just announced the $1 billion trust.

The Prime Minister was clear: agreements are presently being negotiated with the provinces. That is a sign that flexible federalism works. The Liberals do not understand that and the Bloc does not want to acknowledge it.

One thing is certain, I hope that we will have the support of this House when we introduce our bill.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

What I am asking, Mr. Speaker, is that the bill be introduced in the House so that we can vote on it and help the workers in these provinces. The Liberals are not asking for thanks; they are asking the Conservatives to help Canadians find jobs.

The Donnacona plant is in Quebec City. As of tomorrow morning, Conservative MPs from that region will have 200 more unemployed among their constituents. These people have not heard or seen their MPs go to any great lengths to protect their jobs.

Do these members have a plan to protect the manufacturing industry before it is too late or do they intend to ignore it and do nothing?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I am astounded that the member could turn good news into bad news. For the first time, a community development approach is being taken. We are talking about a community investment trust. Decisions will be made by the people living in the area and not by an ineffective, centralizing government, as was too long the case.

The $1 billion fund will help the affected areas and regions.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the incompetence of the Conservative government's farm policy is becoming starkly clear to the beef and hog industries. Canada's hog and beef farmers are facing unprecedented financial ruin. Bankruptcies and farm sales are spreading across the rural landscape, yet the minister fails to respond with real financial resources.

The minister talks about programs, raising expectations, but never delivers real cash. When will the minister deliver, not mythical promises but actual bankable solutions?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the only disconnect bigger than the one between the member for Malpeque and Canadian farmers is the one between the member and the truth. We delivered more for Canadian farmers in the last short term than the Liberal government did over 13 years, $4.5 billion and climbing.

I advise the member for Malpeque to hang onto his chair, quit sitting on his hands and support the budget when it comes up and more cash flow for Canadian farmers.