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House of Commons Hansard #50 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was producers.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to get into a debate with the hon. member on Viagra. It is something that he can consider in his own questioning.

Like the Bloc Québécois, the member for Markham—Unionville would increase spending by $7 billion. That would mean a deficit for our country in 2008-09. That would mean we would be going back to the bad old days of big deficits by Liberal governments in Canada and not reducing taxes for Canadians and paying down public debt.

On jobs, more than three-quarter of a billion jobs have been created--

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Kings—Hants.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the loss of 1,200 auto jobs at Kitchener Frame was no surprise to the Prime Minister because he was warned of the coming manufacturing crisis last April when he met with Mike Devine, head of Kitchener Frame's UAW. The Prime Minister offered no help, just the cold words, “Can I put a plug in? We need tradesmen in Alberta”.

Is this the Prime Minister's real manufacturing plan, that everyone who loses their job in manufacturing ought to just move to Alberta?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I point out to the hon. member that we are working together with the auto industry, together with Mr. Hargrove, other individuals in the industry to ensure that we continue to be good at what we have always been good at in this country, which is automobile assembly.

As I pointed out yesterday in the House, one out of every six automobiles in North America is assembled in this country. I point out for the edification of my friend that the largest automotive plant closures that have happened in Canada happened in 2002, 2003, 2004 when there was a Liberal government which was not taking care of this industry.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister met with the union that represents the 1,200 workers who lost their jobs, he did not offer any plan or any assistance. He coldly told them that workers were needed in Alberta.

Is that the Prime Minister's real manufacturing plan: to send workers to Alberta?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure the hon. member listened to my response, but the point is, I have had a number of meetings with Mr. Hargrove. We have a very positive working relationship. I do not doubt in any way his sincerity toward the auto industry, nor does he doubt ours.

The real question is why the former Liberal government at the time that it was in office did not deal with the issues. One example is the Windsor bridge crossing, a bridge constructed before the Great Depression. For 13 years, the former Liberal government did nothing about that and did not help the industry be competitive on a North American basis.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to reiterate the Bloc Québécois position. Unlike the Liberals, the Bloc Québécois will not get into bed with the Conservative party over the Afghanistan mission. It has to end in 2009.

Until then, however, the soldiers need to have adequate equipment. As we speak, their safety is being compromised. We saw in the media that soldiers are ill-equipped, that their boots are not well suited for all the walking they have to do in Afghanistan and that there are not enough ammunition clips in their vests.

Does the government simply—

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. Our government is always looking for ways to improve the equipment for soldiers deployed in the field in Afghanistan.

Our government is now supplying the soldiers with the best equipment available in the world. We are always looking to improve the equipment.

I thank my colleague for his question because this is a very serious matter. Our government will continue to improve the equipment.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not talking about aircraft or armoured vehicles worth millions or billions of dollars, but basic equipment for infantry in a very violent area. And we do not just need to talk about their boots and the things I mentioned earlier. We also need to talk about their holsters. Even the holsters for their sidearms are poorly designed. The guns can fall out and seriously injure the soldiers, or even kill them.

This is not complicated. He must remedy this situation immediately.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I understood the question.

Let me repeat for the hon. member. We are constantly in the process of upgrading equipment, including vests, holsters, boots, personal equipment of the soldiers, and testing new processes, new equipment with respect to Kevlar, the type of protection and location on the body. These tests are rigorously done continuously with the input of soldiers in the field, constantly keeping in mind the temperatures in Afghanistan and the type of weaponry that is in use in Afghanistan.

I appreciate the hon. member's interest. It is a serious one. The Government of Canada is very conscious of this effort and we continue to do our best to provide the best equipment in the world for our soldiers.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative minority government is trying once again to conceal information about the war in Afghanistan. On Monday, Radio-Canada reported that the Canadian army is aware of the presence of drug dealers but prefers to close its eyes, on the grounds that that is none of our business. According to the latest report from the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, opium production rose by 32% from 2006 to 2007 and is expected to continue to increase in 2008.

Can the Prime Minister show some transparency and stop hiding the truth? Is he—

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are working with the Afghan government. The Afghan government has an anti-drug policy. With the international community, we are finding solutions to this problem, but we are also working with farmers to make sure they can grow other crops, in order to help them have a better future and be more in line with the position of the Afghan government.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want a clear answer to my question. Colonel Anderson of the Canadian army admits all this. The Prime Minister cannot deny that there are drug dealers near the fields where the Canadian army checkpoints are located. What is the truth?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said previously, awareness campaigns are under way to eradicate this problem in Afghanistan. I would like the Bloc Québécois to support our motion so that we can have a consensus in the House on the future of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan.

Why does the Bloc Québécois not want to support our soldiers? Why can the Bloc Québécois not support the humanitarian aid we are providing with the international community, under the UN? This is a noble mission, and I would like to have the support of the Bloc Québécois.

InfrastructureOral Questions

February 13th, 2008 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Zed Liberal Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the government is trying to hide the fact that it is doing nothing to help Canadian municipalities fund their $123 billion infrastructure deficit.

The Conservatives' failing Canada fund contains $18 billion in programs started by Liberal governments, and $6 billion in programs for which municipalities cannot apply. They are calling Canada's mayors whiners and they are misleading them.

The cities say that they need money now. When will the government start treating our mayors with respect and start working with them as full partners?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. colleague insists on comparing data, I can tell him that from the period of 2002 to 2005, for instance, in the urban transit sector, the Liberals put $46 million a year into it. Under our government, it is $1 billion a year for urban transit.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Zed Liberal Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, we know the government's failing Canada fund is a shell game and a sham. It is killing Liberal infrastructure programs and it is bullying Canada's mayors. It tears the heart out of programs that work and then it demands praise for crumbs off the table.

We have heard the Conservative fairy tale and deception before with aboriginals, the environment, child care and housing, all its programs that are failing.

When will the government start to build? It is failing Canada and when will it end?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I will give an example of the support we are getting from municipalities: on the Saint John harbour cleanup, $26 million. The harbour cleanup is and has been the top priority for the common council and the citizens of Saint John.

“I am very thankful for the support that the Government of Canada has announced today”. Does the member know who said that? The Saint John mayor, Norm McFarlane.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the government is playing hide and seek with its Building Canada Fund, but Canada's infrastructures are falling apart. This morning, Statistics Canada said that our water and sewer systems are in desperate need of repair. Municipalities need stable, long-term funding to maintain our water and sewer systems and to guarantee that they will work properly in the long term.

When will our communities receive long-term funding for their infrastructures?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this government has put its heart and soul into this problem and has worked very hard with municipalities and communities across the country, as well as with the provinces. So far, I am pleased to say that five provinces have signed a cooperation agreement with us under the terms of the Building Canada Fund. I expect my colleagues to support this step.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the minister should be forthcoming with Canadians and admit that the new money for infrastructure represents only a fraction of the program.

The water and sewer systems are not the only things that need help; Canada's bridges and roads do as well. According to Statistics Canada, more than 55% of Canadian bridges have exceeded their useful life, but the government still does not allocate any funding for infrastructure.

When will the government provide funding so that work can start on road construction? We do not want talk. We want tangible and visible action.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, there is tangible and visible action all over his province. We were able to open and inaugurate the Trans-Canada Highway. We invested in programs in the members' provinces. I am thinking in particular of Toronto, where we invested $1 billion in public transportation to expand the rapid transit network. The examples are there. All they have to do is open their eyes.

Political DonationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2006, our government passed a tough, new anti-corruption law. Corporate contributions were banned and individual donations were limited to $1,100.

However, now the Liberal Party is flagrantly breaking that law, arguing that any size donation, if it is made in an auction, can be donated outside the law. This means that wealthy individuals, corporations and lobbyists can bid $200,000 for a $100 dinner with the Liberal leader.

Why is the government allowing the Liberal Party to ignore the anti-corruption law and illegally fundraise lobbyists and wealthy corporations?