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House of Commons Hansard #6 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economy.

Topics

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we want real, accountable, solid business plans before we spend taxpayers' money. On that side, it is all about ready, fire, aim. That is not good enough for the people of this country or the taxpayers of this country. We are going to act in the best interests of the taxpayers and in the best interests of the people of Canada. That is what we were elected to do.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the OECD predicts a significant increase in unemployment in Canada—because of the economic crisis brought on by bad decisions made by senior financial executives who received enormous bonuses—the victims of the crisis do not understand why they have to wait two weeks before they receive a single penny of employment insurance.

Eliminating the wait period would not cost the government very much. Will the Minister of Finance commit to eliminating it in his economic statement?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, of course we want to ensure that all the necessary supports are in place for our unemployed workers when, unfortunately, they must be laid off. Let there be no doubt about that.

It is insurance, and as with any insurance, there is always a wait period, because of course there must be confirmation that they are being laid off for longer than just a week or two. This is necessary to ensure the integrity of the system.

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the targeted initiative for older workers does not meet the needs of those who cannot be reclassified. They need an income support program to help them bridge the gap to retirement.

If the Minister of Finance can give $2.8 billion in tax breaks to oil companies, why can he not give older workers who have been laid off a program that will cost $45 million per year?

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have already acknowledged that older workers face special challenges. That is why we introduced the targeted initiative for older workers.

The program was very successful: last year, most of the workers rehired in the Quebec labour market were older workers. We have much more to do, but we have taken the first step.

Social HousingOral Questions

November 25th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, decent, affordable housing is getting harder and harder to find. We are on the brink of an economic crisis that will make things even worse, yet the throne speech offers no solutions to this Canada-wide problem.

Will the government do as the Bloc Québécois has suggested and announce investments in the construction and renovation of social and affordable housing, a move that would create jobs and meet urgent needs?

Social HousingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the member and the Bloc Québécois for their suggestions. We asked for suggestions, and we will consider them.

However, I want to point out that our government is providing support to the homeless. We are now spending more money on the homeless and on affordable housing than any previous government.

Renovation IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, to revive the renovation industry in these tough times and to promote energy savings, the government should create a fund to provide financial support for individuals who renovate their homes to improve energy efficiency.

Does the government plan on following up on this Bloc Québécois proposal, which meets economic and environmental objectives, by announcing the creation of such a fund in its next economic statement?

Renovation IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, once again, I would like to thank the Bloc Québécois for its suggestions. I am happy that there is an atmosphere of cooperation here, in the House. We will consider all the suggestions that are proposed.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' inaction in the face of the economic crisis is not just hurting assembly plants in Ontario, because auto parts manufacturers in Quebec are also cutting jobs. Sooner or later, the crisis will spread to other key sectors of our economy.

Do the Conservatives think that companies like Bombardier, Héroux-Devtek Inc. and Pratt & Whitney will be magically spared? When will they introduce a plan to secure the future of the aerospace industry? Before it is too late?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have supported the aeronautics industry. Our government has announced a special program for the aeronautics industry. It is also mentioned in the Speech from the Throne.

We have announced programs that are specific to the aeronautics industry and we will continue to support them.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, no country can have a prosperous aerospace industry without government support. The current crisis could hit the aerospace industry if the Conservatives are not proactive.

Do the Conservatives know how many highly skilled workers depend on the aerospace industry for their living? When will the Conservatives take action to preserve these workers' livelihood?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have taken action. We have invested several million dollars in the strategic initiative. To date, Lockheed Martin has announced more than $600 million in spending in Quebec. We have supported the industry, and the results bode well for the future of the industry too.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the finance minister declared that he would not artificially create a surplus, but then he went on to contradict himself by stating that in fact he would fabricate a surplus by selling what he described as non-core federal assets.

Could the minister define what he means by non-core assets and could he give the House a specific example of one?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect the government to be fiscally responsible. Therefore, we created the expenditure management system. We are looking at every expenditure, every program, every initiative of the Government of Canada and the Government of Canada's agencies. We started that work last year.

We are going to add to that work a review of corporate assets of the Government of Canada with the same test, that is, does the asset or program still fulfill a need for the people of Canada or does it not? That is simply responsible government that Canadians expect of their government.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Tom Flanagan claims that exposing Canada to new Conservative deficits was always part of the government's plan to push its neo-conservative agenda. Even when the Conservatives inherited a $13.2 billion surplus, they made ideological cuts to literacy and equality programs.

Why is the finance minister using his lack of fiscal discipline as an excuse to attack the vulnerable even more and hide the new Conservative deficits he caused?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, fiscal discipline is an oxymoron coming from a Liberal member. In the last year when the Liberals were the government, 2004-05, they increased spending by 14.5%. Now they come to this place and talk about responsible spending. They do not know the meaning of the words.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, on my first occasion to speak in the House, I would like to thank the people of Kitchener--Waterloo for electing me to represent them. It is an honour and a privilege.

It was recently reported that 1.7 million Canadians have been victims of identity theft. Canada's Privacy Commissioner estimates that the global cybercrime industry generates $105 billion annually, much of it through the theft and sale of personal information.

What is the government doing to address what police consider to be the fastest growing crime in North America?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the member and thank him for his support of our tough on crime agenda.

Over a year ago, we introduced a bill that would crack down on identity theft and organized crime. Unfortunately, we did not get any support or cooperation from the other political parties. That was too bad, but we remain committed to cracking down on identity theft and organized crime. Canadians know they can count on us.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week hundreds of students and education leaders are coming to Toronto for the historic Education is a Human Right conference that is being hosted by the children of Attawapiskat. Their fight for a school has led to the largest youth-driven children's rights movement in Canadian history.

I know that the children have invited the minister to participate and be part of the solution. I think it would be a little odd if the only no-show was the federal government. So, will the minister attend?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, that conference, which I am pleased to see taking place, is taking place while the House is sitting, so it is kind of difficult for me to be there. However, I will have officials in attendance.

I hope that part of what they talk about is the fact that this government extended the Canadian Human Rights Act to apply on reserves. We are the first government to ever do that. I hope that is part of the discussion because human rights is important for every Canadian.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I really think the children of Attawapiskat deserve something better than this kind of PMO platitude from the war room.

The fact is that the education leaders of Canada stepped into the vacuum because they have seen the long paper trail of commitments that were made to these children, commitments that were broken arbitrarily in the fall of 2007.

The minister can show some leadership here. All he has to do is restore the negotiations that were supported by his predecessor to build these children a school.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, those discussions continue with the leadership in Attawapiskat. We are confident we will be able to continue to make good progress. We have already invested several million dollars in the school there and want to continue to support the children and education.

In the throne speech, the specific priority of this government when it comes to aboriginal people is completing aboriginal agreements across the country with interested provincial counterparts, and we are well on the way to doing that.

The question I have for that member at the other end of the House is: Will he support the throne speech because it is about education for aboriginal people?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the last election campaign, the paper companies told us what they need to deal with the crisis and to compete internationally. They believe that Kyoto is a key part of the solution. They want absolute targets and 1990 as the reference year in order to truly implement the carbon exchange.

What is the government waiting for to adopt the Kyoto mechanisms and abandon its bogus environmental plan, which will not work and will only benefit oil companies?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want our country to lead the way in the fight against climate change, and renewable energy sources are key to such efforts. We need strong leadership in North America with respect to energy and environmental policies.