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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

Economic and Fiscal StatementGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Economic and Fiscal StatementGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Let us talk about that, since I heard an echo from the distant prairies, by way of Quebec. Take the example of the person who did not go to talk to the people, or if he did go, did not listen to them. He is not aware of the needs of the people in his riding. He only repeats the policies of the Conservative reformers that he has been spreading throughout Quebec and he never stops hitting the people of Quebec over the head.

Instead of tabling a plan for economic recovery, rather than providing oxygen, the Prime Minister has chosen to suffocate the economy.

The Conservative leader decided to ignore businesses, regions and people. We cannot accept that. Instead of tackling the economic crisis, the Reform-Conservative government decided to provoke a democratic crisis for strictly partisan reasons by eliminating political party funding. The Prime Minister also decided to attack workers by suspending their right to strike, and to attack women by making the right to pay equity negotiable. It is easy to conclude that, in an attempt to more easily impose his ideology, the Prime Minister wants to suppress political parties, unions, women and all forms of opposition, including, primarily, the voice of the people.

See you later, Mr. Speaker.

Economic and Fiscal StatementGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

After question period, the hon. member will have four minutes to complete his remarks. Moving on to members' statements. The hon. member for Edmonton—Leduc.

Ted RogersStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to a great Canadian icon who passed away today, Ted Rogers, founder and CEO of Rogers Communications.

Ted Rogers was one of a kind, a communications visionary, a business icon, an entrepreneur without equal, a philanthropist and a proud Canadian who was respected near and far.

Our nation's geography presents natural barriers to us as a people. The work of Ted Rogers in radio, cable and wireless helped bring us closer together. We must also remember his commitment to his community and to future generations, as exemplified by the School of Management at Ryerson University.

Ted Rogers was also a devoted family man. On behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada, we send our deepest condolences to his wife, Loretta, and his children, Edward, Lisa, Melinda and Martha.

At a difficult time such as this, it is especially important to remember Ted's enduring rallying call, “The best is yet to come”.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are witness to the spectacle of a Conservative Party doing everything it can to cling to power.

The Conservatives introduced an economic statement last Thursday. Since then, they have scrambled, panicked and raced away from it, with one cabinet minister topping the next in their rush to disavow, drop and abandon the proposals they claimed were vital to the interests of our country.

Canadians see the Conservative Party laid bare in its desperate quest to cling to power, so desperate that it has resorted to secretly taping the meetings of other parties. To the Conservatives, no policy is so important, no principle so sacrosanct, no law so unbreakable that it cannot be tossed on the trash heap as the Prime Minister digs his fingernails into the door frames of 24 Sussex Drive, trying to hold on when it is clear he can no longer govern.

When he was opposition leader, he used to claim that a government had to be able to face the House of Commons on a vote every day. Will the Conservatives face the House today?

Manufacturing SectorStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, in light of the recent economic statement, we are forced to admit that the Conservative government remains totally indifferent to the demands of the Bloc Québécois, which is calling for concrete actions to be taken to help the manufacturing sector.

The automotive industry is one of the hardest hit by the economic crisis. A number of companies will have no choice but to close down, and this is the case for a company in my riding. Dana, a car parts manufacturer in Magog, and one of the few still operating in Quebec, will have to cease operations and lay off 130 workers.

The government steadfastly refuses to do anything to help the workers who have fallen victim to the crisis in manufacturing. It ought to have broadened access to employment insurance and done away with the waiting period. As for assistance to companies, it ought, most definitely, to have offered incentives to purchase equipment, for example.

This House and the public have every reason to have lost confidence in this government.

Opposition Coalition ProposalStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 14, Canadians spoke with their votes. This government under this Prime Minister was re-elected with a clear and stronger mandate to address the global economic crisis.

Canadians rejected the Liberals, handing them their worst share of the vote since Confederation. Canadians rejected the NDP and its job-killing economics. Both the NDP and the Liberals rejected a coalition on the campaign trail.

Now they want to connive, aided and abetted by the separatist Bloc, to overturn the results of an election held only seven weeks ago. They want to impose a prime minister rejected by the people four to one and a coalition for which nobody voted. Worse still, the Liberals and the NDP will give the Bloc a separatist veto on all spending and national decisions.

We will use every legal means possible to keep the separatists out of power and keep Canada moving forward. This Conservative government is standing up for Canada.

Robert JonesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, November 9, beloved Windsor Constable Robert Jones passed away after a difficult battle with liver disease.

A police officer for more than 20 years, he was best known for his work as a community service officer. He ran the force's VIP program, which brings officers to local schools to speak to grade six students and to organize police weeks. He was very popular with teachers and students throughout the city.

Under his leadership and initiative, the program was expanded beyond traditional public and separate schools to other private institutions for the first time. His involvement in the community included coaching basketball at the South West Francophone Basketball Association and L'Essor High School, where his son Xavier is on the team. His daughter, Bienka, attends Royal Military College on a basketball scholarship.

He will be missed by his wife, Nathalie, his children, siblings and the entire community. He was a true leader and police officer that inspired many children and guided others to more hopeful choices, a significant loss to all of us, but an example we shall always remember and aspire to be.

Conservative PartyStatements By Members

December 2nd, 2008 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are witnessing the spectacle of the Conservative Party's efforts to keep power within its grasp.

The government has had its chance. All parties in the House have promised to work together for the good of the Canadian economy. The Prime Minister had the opportunity, a unique opportunity in the history of this country, to proceed with measures that would have had the support of every party in this House. Instead, the Prime Minister has used the economic crisis as a pretext to impose right-wing policies, policies he did not have the courage to present during the last election campaign.

Everywhere in the country workers are losing their jobs, particularly in manufacturing and forestry. Yet the Prime Minister's main concern has been to wonder how he could use the situation to the advantage of the Conservative Party and its ideology. That was his main concern.

The country needed someone to deal with the economy, but thePrime Minister is preoccupied with politics. That is why he has lost the moral authority to govern, and that is also why he has lost the confidence of Canadians.

Opposition Coalition ProposalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, on September 9, 2004, the three opposition leaders wrote to Her Excellency, stating that if the House failed to support the government, she should consult the opposition before dissolving the House. However, that is where the parallel with today's situation ends.

The September 9 letter was issued almost a month prior to the recall of the House and served to successfully pressure Paul Martin to amend the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne rather than to lose office to a coalition. All talk of coalition vanished from the moment the Address in Reply had been approved.

At the start of 2005, when the opposition again threatened to bring down the government, everyone understood that the only possible result would have been a dissolution.

The timeline in 2004-05 was only marginally longer than the one facing us today. Thus, as yesterday, I submit that if the House votes no confidence in the government, it will be against precedent for the opposition coalition to take power and, thus, new elections will be the only constitutionally permissible outcome.

Sophie Barat Secondary SchoolStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, 150 years ago, in Ahuntsic, the Sisters of the Sacred Heart founded an important academic institution that is now called the Sophie Barat Secondary School. Our thanks go out to all the women who, in 1858, inspired by Madeleine Sophie Barat, created this place of learning, which is still thriving today. I wish to thank all the nuns who have worked there over the years for their extraordinary dedication.

What began as a girls' school has become co-ed, public and secular. As a proud testament to Quebec's progress, and with its team of teachers, administrators, students and parents who volunteer, it is a source of pride and a jewel in Montreal's public education system.

I urge this remarkable Quebec institution to continue to adapt to the needs of the times, in service to our most precious resource: our children.

Long live public education for everyone, and long live Sophie Barat Secondary School.

Opposition Coalition ProposalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the people of North Vancouver for exercising their democratic right and trusting me to represent them.

This week Canadians are witnessing an unprecedented attack on our democratic institutions. The most basic principle of our democracy has been assaulted, the principle that voters choose the government.

October 14 was election day. Across the country, people went to work, drove to the polls, had dinner with their families and then turned on the television to hear the news. That is how democracy works.

The results were clear. TheLeader of the Opposition was rejected with his party's lowest vote percentage since confederation. He did not just lose the confidence of the public, he also lost the confidence of his own party and he resigned. Then he found two new parties. All it took was a few secret meetings, and now he thinks he should be prime minister, with the help of the separatists and the socialists.

This is not democracy. It is time for the people to speak.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has seen job losses in manufacturing and forestry during the Conservatives' time in office. The job losses are real and they are expected to continue.

With every major industrialized country in the world taking action to invest in their economies, their infrastructure and their workers, Canadians expected action from the Conservatives. Instead, they got politics. Instead of helping working families, the Prime Minister attacked pay equity, attacked labour rights and figured out how to best help the Conservative Party.

The funny thing is suddenly the Conservatives have the time and the interest to organize rallies and petitions to fight for their jobs. Where were they during the weeks between the election and the economic update, when they should have been putting that kind of energy and enthusiasm into protecting the jobs of Canadians?

The Conservatives now realize the economic statement was a mistake. Unfortunately, when they are running a $1.5 trillion economy, they do not get any do-overs.

Opposition Coalition ProposalStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to thank the voters of Saskatoon--Rosetown--Biggar for democratically electing me as their member of Parliament.

We all know elections matter. During a campaign, the leaders and the parties draft platforms, debate ideas and seek a real mandate from the public.

Just a few short weeks ago, the Leader of the Opposition campaigned on a platform that was rejected by the Canadian people. While campaigning, he rejected the idea of a coalition government. In fact, he said that the NDP would damage the economy. Now, as the price of power, he is inviting that party to do just that.

Back then he was fighting the separatists. Today he wants to give the Bloc a veto over all federal legislation.

He simply must not impose a radical government without the people's consent. This cannot happen. Not in the middle of a global crisis. Not any time. Only the people can decide. Only--

Opposition Coalition ProposalStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Windsor--Tecumseh.

Andrew GrenonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to pay tribute to the extraordinary sacrifice and uncommon valour of my late constituent, Corporal Andrew Grenon, who was killed on September 3 of this year while serving our country in Afghanistan.

Corporal Grenon grew up in Windsor--Tecumseh and joined the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry five years ago. By all accounts, he loved serving in the forces and believed strongly in the missions that he was tasked to perform.

The dedication Andrew, or “Drew” as his fellow soldiers called him, showed in volunteering again after being injured in combat is truly inspirational. His death came less than two weeks after receiving a field commendation for saving the lives of two of his comrades.

Those who served with him say that he was an outstanding soldier who demonstrated tremendous leadership and bravery and inspired those around him with his courage, dedication and great sense of humour.

His contribution to his unit, to the Canadian armed forces and to Canada will be greatly missed.

Leader of the Bloc QuébécoisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, do you think Quebec will be given more money? The Bloc suggested to the Parti québécois that the Liberal leader will give Quebec a billion dollars. Parti québécois leader, Pauline Marois, said it so well, “Have they suffered a memory loss?” Have they already forgotten that the Liberal government cut provincial transfers, that it was the Liberals who were at the heart of the sponsorship scandal, that the Liberal leader was a minister in the government that scorned Quebeckers the most? How could a sovereignist leader sign a pact with the centralizing Liberals?

If the leader of the Bloc wants to be in power, he should put in for the job in Quebec. But I forgot: the PQ does not even want him. The Liberals and the NDP want him, but at what price and for what purpose? The leaders of the NDP and the Liberals do not have the interests of Quebeckers at heart. They want a strong central government, but not a strong Quebec. What has happened to the independence of the Bloc leader?

Louise ArbourStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, Louise Arbour has just been awarded the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights for 2008.

This prize is only awarded every five years and recognizes outstanding contributions to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Nelson Mandela, Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King are former recipients.

Born and educated in Montreal, Ms. Arbour was a distinguished judge at the Superior Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal as well as the Supreme Court of Canada. Her remarkable intelligence and balanced rulings earned her the distinction of being one of Canada's greatest jurist.

As chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights she demonstrated courage, determination and compassion in the service of justice. This prize is a tremendous honour for Quebec and for Canada.

Our deepest congratulations, Ms. Arbour.

Prime Minister of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative response to the economic crisis is a perfect example of the type of leadership of the Prime Minister. His is a “My way or the highway” approach to leading his government and his party. The Prime Minister will not tolerate dissent.

We just need to ask the member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, a lifelong and loyal Progressive Conservative, who was kicked out of that party when he dared to tell the Prime Minister to live up to his word. Conservatives know and they will state that the Prime Minister has no one to blame but himself.

It is the present Prime Minister who chose to attack women and public servants instead of dealing with the economic crisis and who refuses to act like other responsible world leaders who are putting their people first.

Not too long ago, the Conservatives asked Canadians to stand up for Canada but the Prime Minister has failed to do that.

Canadians want a government that will stand up for them, particularly in difficult times, and put Canadians first. It is not that government and it is not that Prime Minister.

Bloc QuébécoisStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we have witnessed an alliance between the leader of the Bloc and the Liberal leader. The Bloc leader has handed over his party to the Liberal leader. Who would ever have imagined that the father of the Clarity Act, sworn enemy of sovereignists, would be the new leader of bloc members in Ottawa?

The Bloc leader has betrayed his party members by allying himself with the enemy who, I would like to refresh his memory, always wanted to put Quebec in its place. In the past, the Bloc leader said the following about the Liberal leader: “Our visions for the future of Quebec are totally different”. Well no longer, and Quebeckers should know that.

Or is it a trick to advance the separatist cause that neither the Liberals or the New Democrats can see, blinded as they are by their lust for power?

Prime Minister of CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I will read the following statement:

The whole principle of our democracy is the government is supposed to be able to face the House of Commons any day on a vote.

This government now has a deliberate policy of avoiding a vote....

The statement goes on to say that it is a violation of the fundamental constitutional principles of our democracy.

Could the Prime Minister inform the House who said those words?

Prime Minister of CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the highest principle of Canadian democracy is that if one wants to be prime minister one gets one's mandate from the Canadian people and not from Quebec separatists.

The deal that the leader of the Liberal Party has made with the separatists is a betrayal of the voters of this country, a betrayal of the best interests of our economy and a betrayal of the best interests of our country, and we will fight it with every means that we have.

Prime Minister of CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Prime Minister of CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition

Prime Minister of CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did not answer my question. I will help him. He himself spoke those words on May 3, 2005, when he was the Leader of the Opposition.

Let me repeat what the Prime Minister said: “This government now has the deliberate policy of avoiding a vote. This is a violation of the fundamental constitutional principles of our democracy.”

Does the Prime Minister agree with himself?