This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #11 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was coalition.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois says that it would cost nothing to make this change. In fact, it would cost at least $900 million. To the Bloc, $900 million is nothing. With accounting like that, the Bloc coup is unacceptable, the Bloc price is too high.

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's statements show why the government no longer has the confidence of the House.

The tripartite agreement provides for an income support program for laid-off older workers that will bridge them to retirement. This Conservative government has always demonstrated a total lack of sensitivity towards workers who cannot be retrained, preferring to let them fend for themselves.

Does the Prime Minister realize that he has only himself to blame for the lack of confidence because today these workers have more to gain from this tripartite agreement than from the economic statement?

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as I just stated, we have tried to expand this program. We have extended it until 2012 but the Bloc price is too high, the Bloc coup is unacceptable.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, since this government has been in power, women have been muzzled in a number of respects. The latest outrage is withdrawal of their right to go before the courts in cases relating to wage parity.

Today, does the Prime Minister realize that women stand to gain from the imminent creation of a new government where the parties have managed to set partisan politics aside in order to ensure women's economic rights?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, under the previous Liberal government, women waited 15 years to get pay equity complaints resolved. Fifteen years. Now, we are able to resolve within a few short months another pay equity issue. We are bringing forward legislation that will protect the pay equity of women who are working for the federal civil service. We are proud to move this ahead, as opposed to the Liberals, who did nothing but chatter about it for so many years.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, by slashing financial assistance to women's groups, the Prime Minister is showing ideological pigheadedness that is most revealing.

To cite some examples: 12 of 16 regional Status of Women Canada offices closed, cuts to research, cuts to women's rights groups, abolition of the court challenges program. All this with a view to ensuring that there will be no challenges to his ultra-conservative ideology.

Does the Prime Minister realize that once again his determination to muzzle any group that might challenge him is particularly damaging to women's rights?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeMinister of State (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, does the hon. member recognize that our government and Prime Minister have consistently demonstrated our commitment to women? We want the full participation of women within the social, economic, cultural and democratic life of Canada. One only needs to look. We have the highest percentage of women appointed to cabinet in the history of this country.

I note that women across this country did not elect a separatist coalition.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, by cutting funding for non-profit regional economic development organizations, the Conservatives have very clearly shown that they do not understand anything about job creation. Thousands of people are losing their jobs in all regions of Quebec. It is imperative that those organizations be able to attract investment and create jobs as fast as possible.

Do the Conservatives understand that they have lost all credibility when it comes to regional development and they therefore no longer deserve the confidence of Quebeckers?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. It has taken more than 10 oral question periods for a Liberal Party MP to notice that there was economic development in the regions of Quebec.

We will continue to do our work on economic development in the regions of Quebec. Yes, the challenge is enormous, because of the job losses, but we will continue to do our work.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of practising sound management of development for the regions of Quebec, the Conservatives in fact created a patronage fund designed to secure the re-election of the former minister and his neighbour, the present minister.

Will the Minister of Regional Development deny that his predecessor bragged that he had poured millions of dollars into his own backyard, at the expense of the other regions?

Does the minister understand that doing things like this means that he deserves to lose the confidence of the public, and of this House?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, perhaps my colleague, who has often flown into space, does not have his feet on the ground in our regions. We have done our work. We have 14 development offices in the various regions of Quebec. All applications go through the regional offices. They are analyzed by a formidable team of professionals who make their recommendations and there has never been any patronage in that process, at least not under our government; maybe before.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians no longer have confidence in this government. During the last election campaign, the former Conservative heritage minister said that the Conservatives would compensate for their culture cuts with new programs. It took the new Conservative minister only a couple of weeks to go back on these promises and make the cuts permanent.

How can Canadians still have confidence in this government?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, this is what we have done. We increased the spending on arts and culture in this country by 8%. We are spending $2.3 billion on the arts and arts and culture programming in Canada. When the Liberal Party was in power, they made cuts. We increased the budget because in our view, arts and culture programs are very important for our country and our economy. The Liberal Party voted against our increases. We voted for them because we think it is important to be on Canada’s side.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, that does not seem to jibe with reality.

The Conservatives do not realize what a huge impact culture has on job creation and economic growth. Yesterday the Conservative heritage minister decided to throw just a few crumbs at the organizing committee of the 375th anniversary of Trois-Rivières. The event chair thinks that the people of Trois-Rivières deserve a lot more.

How can Quebeckers have confidence in this Conservative government?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, in regard first to the 375th anniversary of the city of Trois-Rivières, we are proud to partner in this great celebration. We gave $2 million to the cultural capital program for this magnificent event and we are very proud of it.

Insofar as arts and culture are concerned in Canada, the Conservative Party is putting even more money into them, a total of $2.3 billion. We increased the funding this year by 8%. The Liberal Party voted against it. The Liberals voted against the money intended for the celebrations in Trois-Rivières. We are for Canada and for these programs that will help unite our country.

Government of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Parti Québécois has said today, and I quote, “We can clearly see that this country does not work...The only solution is to get out of it, it is to choose our sovereignty”.

Is this not exactly what the leaders of the NDP, the Bloc and the Liberals are working on right now? Are they not working on breaking up this country just to get to power? Does this government have concerns about national unity in light of the recent announcements by the three parties opposite?

Government of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, that is hardly surprising. Yesterday, the leader of the Bloc Québécois admitted that his plan is still to separate Quebec from the rest of Canada. Insofar as sovereignty in concerned, he admitted it and was quoted as saying he was not giving up on it. Far from wanting to do Canada any favours, the Bloc leader wants to destroy it with his coup d'état. The Liberals and the NDP, with respect, have foolishly signed on to this agreement. They may be able to persuade themselves that the coalition is legitimate, but it is not because it is undemocratic. Canadians do not want it. They voted against it.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the much respected Wellesley and Caledon Institutes released reports that say social spending is an effective and affordable way to stimulate the economy. The poor and those of modest income spend their money in their communities. Programs that support communities are good for local economies. This creates economic stimulus.

The experts get it. The Conservatives do not. How can Canadians have confidence in the government?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as set out in the fall economic update, we are continuing the Canada health transfer, with a healthy annual increase of 6%. We are continuing with the Canada social transfer, again with a 3% increase per annum. We are not going to balance the budget on the backs of the provinces, like the Liberal government did in the 1990s, resulting in hospitals being closed, universities being underfunded and innovation not happening, all because the Liberals decided to balance the federal budget on the backs of the people in the provinces.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is all too little, too late. There is no priming of the economic engine. The economic update was an opportunity to tackle poverty. The Wellesley Institute says that poverty is making Canadians sick and that it is a drag on the economy.

On this side of the House, we have plans for EI reform, a national affordable housing strategy and real child care.

It is time to change governments. Again I ask, how can Canadians have confidence in the Conservative government?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, certainly, the separatist coalition opposite has plans. If members want to look at their plans, I was looking for an authority and I went to the Liberals' website and I saw their commentary on the NDP plan. They said that the NDP plan will “raise taxes on hundreds of thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses across Canada, affecting sectors including manufacturing, construction, farming, fisheries, arts, and high tech....it will hurt the very Canadians who will help our economy grow and prosper”.

That is the NDP plan, supported by the separatists, supported by the Liberals.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

December 2nd, 2008 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government has decided to attack and show contempt for culture, artists and the cultural community. It is increasing the heritage budget by 8%, but only to give more money to the Olympic torch relay.

Does the Prime Minister realize that if he had put aside his ideological approach and been a little more pragmatic, he could have found solutions, as the three opposition leaders have done, that would have prevented him from losing the confidence of the House, as he has now done?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I am going to keep repeating myself until my friend understands. The fact is that we increased spending on arts and culture. For example, we increased spending on the Canada Council by 17% to $181 million. That benefits artists. The Canada Council gives artists money to meet their needs. We increased funding for that program. The Bloc voted against that. It is against the arts, against culture, against Canada, but for the Liberal Party.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if this government had been listening to the people who see the environment as an economic opportunity rather than a burden, it would not have lost the confidence of civil society and industry. It would have taken the lead by cooperating on establishing an emissions trading system with absolute targets, using 1990 as the base year.

Will the government admit that it is the author of its own misfortune when it comes to this loss of confidence?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the member asked me to adjust my attitude, in particular toward the Kyoto protocol. I asked him why he had suddenly changed his position. Yesterday, the new leader of the Liberal-sovereignist coalition abandoned Kyoto and opted for a cap and trade system.

I am surprised that the Bloc abandons its principles so easily.