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House of Commons Hansard #42 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was energy.

Topics

Forestry SectorOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, workers, unions, plant managers and politicians of all stripes have condemned the measures announced by the Conservatives to address the forestry crisis. Even the member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean said that his own government's announcement was unsatisfactory and that he hoped the Prime Minister would reconsider his decision to make the assistance plan conditional on the budget being adopted.

Does the Prime Minister recognize that he should act now and table his bill so that we can improve it and vote on it without delay?

Forestry SectorOral Questions

11:50 a.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, with respect to the $1 billion we announced, here is what Manitoba's New Democrat Premier, Gary Doer, said: “In Manitoba, if I wanted to act on a budget item of such great importance, I would introduce it in my budget”.

We live in a democracy. A billion-dollar item has to be voted on in the budget.

My question for the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord and his party, the Bloc Québécois, is this: will they help the regions of Quebec and workers by endorsing this measure when the time comes? Will they vote with the government or will they deprive workers and the regions of the $1 billion we want to give them?

Forestry SectorOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, we want to help workers right now. However, I would like to remind the House that the member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean added that his government should be doing more, particularly for older workers.

Not only does he hold no sway with his Prime Minister and his ministerial colleagues, but he is complicit in the government's sole objective: to help the oil companies.

Will he admit that he is just like the other Conservatives, a mouthpiece for rich oil companies and too bad for workers in Quebec and Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean?

Forestry SectorOral Questions

11:50 a.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, I still think that the Bloc Québécois is playing petty politics at the expense of workers and the regions of Quebec. If the Bloc Québécois is serious and really wants to help workers, its members can vote for the budget, and if they want to trigger an election the day after that, all they have to do is move a motion of non-confidence against the government and let parliamentarians decide.

At the moment, we are talking about $1 billion for workers and the regions of Quebec to support those who want to find another way.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Roger Valley Liberal Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, first nations people deserve better from the Conservative government. Conservatives have been cancelling education projects all across Canada. The latest cancellation of the school in North Spirit Lake is appalling.

On August 22, 2006, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs promised in writing to build this much needed school. For two years the community invested time and money into starting construction on December 1, but guess what. It was cancelled eight days before the project started.

Chief Donald Campbell and the community of North Spirit want to know why they have been cheated by the government. They want to know when the minister will stop making their children beg for a new school.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, within the scratching of the member's paper, I do believe there was a question. We do have a lot of interest in supporting first nations communities throughout the country. In that region specifically, I met with many of the leaders throughout the member's riding, and of course we look forward to assisting them in the future.

Let me talk a bit about the improvement in the system that we have attempted in British Columbia. In fact, the British Columbia government has brought forward an important change to the way that first nations schools will be implementing their education. Many jurisdictions across the country are very interested in that same change.

AfghanistanOral Questions

February 1st, 2008 / 11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, in an attempt to address some of the concerns raised in the Manley report, our government proposed a joint committee meeting to study the report in an open and transparent manner. Shockingly, the opposition members refused this request. What are they afraid of? Are they worried that the experts will testify that their positions on the Afghan mission simply are wrong?

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs explain to the opposition why a frank and constructive dialogue would be in the best interests of Canadians?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the actions of the Liberal Party members yesterday revealed their fear for an open, reasoned and informed discussion. Maybe that is because the Liberal Party is divided on the mission in Afghanistan. Perhaps the Liberal Party does not want an open, honest and constructive debate on the future of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan.

Why are the Liberal Party members afraid of Mr. Manley's testimony? Why are they afraid of Mr. Manley? I want to know why.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, pork and cattle producers told the agriculture committee that the government has basically abandoned them. Some have called today, February 1, black Friday and others are calling the government's funding promises a cruel joke.

Farms are foreclosing, rural communities are dying and yet no immediate assistance has been committed. At the same time the minister is using bully tactics and blatant pressure on the Canadian Wheat Board which will take power away from farmers. This is clearly undemocratic.

When will the government stop leading Canada down the road to agricultural suicide?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry Ontario

Conservative

Guy Lauzon ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, even the opposition is starting to recognize that the issue is getting very serious. It is a unique situation. Thank God that we have a minister and a Prime Minister who are willing to put farmers first. Let me elaborate.

In the last two years, the minister has been responsible for $4.5 billion in program payments in 2006, $600 million for AgriInvest Kickstart in January, $76 million to help farmers combat hog disease, $400 million to cover farmers' increased input costs, $200 million--

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Western Arctic.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, fuel shortages in Kirkland Lake, Cape Breton and Inuvik are creating suffering for middle class and working families. Homes and vehicles are going without fuel. Two respected Canadian energy institutes released a detailed report yesterday predicting even more shortages unless Canada acts now.

The Prime Minister claims Canada is an energy superpower, but the reports say Canada is an energy satellite that puts U.S. interests ahead of our own. When is the Prime Minister going to create an energy security strategy, one that puts Canadians first?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, Canada is in fact an energy superpower. We look forward to working with the provinces and the industry on these issues. We continue to work with them on issues such as climate change and developing the energy sector in this country. We look forward to success in that area.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the greater Toronto area is Canada's largest manufacturing region with about 400,000 employees. Recently, plant closures and layoffs have cost the region more than 1,900 jobs a month. The Conservatives' response was laissez-faire, “We do not care”.

The government talks of structural adjustment, but has provided no vision for overcoming the challenges facing our economy and no plan for strengthening our industries. Is it that it is incompetent, or is it, as usual, engaging in petty partisan politics by trying to punish Toronto for not electing any Conservatives in the last election?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeSecretary of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, none of that is true of course. The fact of the matter is that although jobs are being lost because of some restructuring in some industries, other jobs are being created. This government has been strongly supporting workers in making the transition to new job opportunities.

We are investing heavily in that kind of support for transition. In addition, we are also investing in the very industries that are trying to restructure with enormous infusions of tax breaks and other measures that will allow communities to rebuild and restructure.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, stakeholders such as The Future Group, Stop the Trafficking Coalition and The Salvation Army believe that Bill C-17 is important legislation to help further combat the plague of human trafficking and the exploitation of women.

Could the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration please comment on why stakeholders who had confirmed their appearance on Monday before the committee have now been told they are no longer welcome to appear before the citizenship and immigration committee, and why Bill C-17 is no longer on Monday's agenda?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

Noon

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the subcommittee, which is opposition dominated, met and mysteriously, for no apparent reason, Bill C-17 is no longer on Monday's agenda.

I think the opposition members on that committee should explain to these stakeholders, and indeed to all Canadians, why the protection of vulnerable women and children is not a priority for them. I can assure members that it is a priority for our government.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

That will conclude the question period for today.

The hon. member for Ottawa—Vanier on a point of order.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened very attentively to the statement by my colleague from Mount Royal about Holocaust Remembrance Week and it is what causes me to stand now and make this intervention.

While the member for New Westminster—Coquitlam was asking a question about Afghan detainees, the member for Northumberland—Quinte West yelled twice, “How many Canadians were abused?”

I take it that the member for Northumberland—Quinte West would not mean by that that it is okay to abuse human beings as long as they are not Canadians. I wish he would take an opportunity to correct that record.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

Noon

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I think the point he was making is a very simple one, that one should have some consideration for the safety and well-being of our troops in the field, many of whom have died at the hands of the Taliban, the kind of Taliban whom we are taking prisoners. His point is that we should have some regard for them and that is a sentiment I hope all of us in the House share. It is a sentiment we hear all too rarely from the opposition parties.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, such an assertion on the part of the government House leader is absolutely outrageous. There is no question that every member of the House wholeheartedly supports our troops whenever they are put in harm's way anywhere around this world. The Conservative Party has no monopoly on compassion or good faith or patriotism.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I welcome that reassurance from the Liberal House leader about the Liberals' care and compassion for our troops in the field. I hope they would honour that by allowing a democratic debate and discussion on the Manley report in the foreign affairs and defence committees.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

We are wandering far away from points of order. Discussion of committee business is a matter for the committees and the House leaders. They can have it without me having to hear about it here.

The hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore is rising on a point of order.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

Noon

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the Conservatives do not like the opposition. Maybe they would like to become the opposition and allow us the chance to govern.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the parliamentary secretary was responding to my question about manufacturing losses, he was indeed reading from a press release. I would ask if he would, in the tradition of the House, table that press release. While he is at it, he could level an apology to the people, constituents and Canadians of Kitchener, Waterloo.