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House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was development.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry presented a booklet of I think 65 pages of Liberal spending that would lead us millions and millions of dollars into debt, $62 billion in debt, I think, and of course those members called that documentation of Liberal promises a book of lies. That is what they call their promises. It is not what we call their promises.

But when they complain about copyright violations, there is one thing that we all know. When it comes to overspending, high taxes, debt and deficit, the Liberal Party owns that copyright.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I notice that the Conservatives did not send out their Minister of Finance to frighten Canadians with this talk of deficits. People remember his deficits from when he was the treasurer of Ontario.

That is why Canadians simply cannot trust this government. They will look us right in the eye, these Conservatives, and they will tell us things that they know are not true. Why should Canadians trust this government when it deliberately manufactures false numbers simply to mislead and deceive Canadians?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

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 those members need a new research department over there in the Liberal Party.

I believe my friend was a resident of Ontario at those times. Apparently she was not paying too much attention to the financial affairs of the province. Not surprisingly, the Liberals do not care about that.

The Minister of Finance, when he was minister in Ontario, ran a balanced budget with a surplus every single year, the same as he has done here in Ottawa, and the exact same thing that we will see here today: a prudent, balanced Conservative budget.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are media reports that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is delaying the release of a report on Great Lakes pollution and health implications for Canadian and American citizens.

Could the Minister of the Environment tell the House if he has taken any action to get the report released?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let me thank the member for his commitment to the quality of the Great Lakes. We think this important scientific report should be made available to all Canadians. It should be made available so that we can continue our work to clean up the Great Lakes.

We have been in contact with the U.S. government and have asked it to immediately release this report. We think it is the right thing to do. We are finally acting on getting the Great Lakes cleaned up, something that for 13 long years never happened under the previous government.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has relied on Ontario to be the economic engine of our country, but reckless tax cuts from the government for the oil and gas sector are driving up our dollar.

With forestry being hit hard in the north and the manufacturing sector in crisis, hundreds of thousands of hard-working Ontarians are losing their jobs. Wal-Mart McJobs are no substitute. For how much longer will the Conservative government turn its back on Canada's largest province?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, certainly we are very concerned. This government is terribly concerned with the loss of jobs in any community. We hate to see any province that appears to be disadvantaged.

However, we would encourage Ontario to step forward and take the advantage that has been offered to it in the $33 billion in infrastructure that was offered all across this country. Most of the provinces have signed on to that agreement. That would help all of the constituents in Ontario.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, privatizing our public infrastructure is not the way to go.

Ontario is on the verge of being a have not province. Over and over, Ontario is ignored or even hurt by Conservative economics. Ontarians get $5,000 less in employment insurance than those in other provinces. There is no strategy to buy Ontario-made products. Ontario's cultural sector is forced to beg for resources. When will the Conservative government start treating Ontario families with some respect?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I have to correct the member. She is absolutely wrong when she talks about employment insurance. The fact is, according to Statistics Canada, not political spinners, 75% of people in Ontario who pay into employment insurance are eligible for benefits.

I can tell the member that it is absolutely no answer to ensure that people get more benefits by remaining unemployed for longer. We are not going to go there. We are making sure that the people of Ontario have training so they can step into that red hot job market. We are acting.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Brenda Martin, an innocent Canadian, has been languishing in a Mexican prison for two years. The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Trade recently made a quick trip to Mexico, where she apparently met with those responsible for this matter. However, the minister confirmed that she was unable to visit Brenda, but that she did have the time to meet with Canadian expatriates at a reception in Guadalajara, located just 20 minutes from the prison.

Could the minister explain how she found time to attend the social gathering but could not make time to visit this innocent individual, Brenda Martin?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeSecretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, pretty much everything that the member said with respect to Ms. Martin's case is wrong, so let us be clear. I have worked very hard, as has this government, on behalf of Ms. Martin.

There are 13 Canadians in Mexican prisons, so when I was in Mexico meeting with its foreign minister, its human rights commissioner and its attorney general, there were other cases that had to be talked about, because each and every Canadian is just as important to us as the next one. The hon. member might want to consider that.

Also, if I could point this out to him, with respect to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and in accordance with international practice, Canada cannot intervene in the justice system of another country. Those are his words.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister's ineptitude on this case is such that she has been reduced to scurrying out of Canadian Tire stores to avoid TV cameras tracking her down for a long requested interview.

Why is the minister unable to provide Brenda Martin with any concrete information on her supposedly high-level efforts to gain her freedom? Why is the minister refusing to take Brenda's phone calls? Why did the minister abandon Brenda Martin for some consulate canapés and Perrier when she was just a few minutes away and could have gone over there?

Why is she not standing up for innocent Canadians? Why the ineptitude on that side of the House?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeSecretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are really growing tired of that member's ambulance-chasing tactics. He stood in my shoes and he knows exactly what I can and cannot say with specific details of cases and what has been done for a constituent. It is the privacy law. He has been quoted saying it himself many times.

With respect to Ms. Martin, we have worked very hard and we will continue, because she is a very important Canadian to us. I can tell the hon. member that I did of course speak with the foreign minister, the attorney general and a total of 16 senior officials in discussing her case and those of the other 13 Canadians in Mexico.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government refused to explain why it prohibits funding for women's groups that do advocacy work while it pays the Conference of Defence Associations $500,000 for defence advocacy.

What does the government have against women's groups that advocate for equality? If the Conservatives believe in equality for all women, why not start by eliminating this double standard?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauport—Limoilou Québec

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, our government supports practical projects that improve women's living conditions and promote equality for all Canadian women.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that women's groups doing critical advocacy work to advance equality in this country have been cut off from federal government funding.

The government cut the court challenges program and also shut down the Law Commission in an effort to silence voices of dissent, but there is money for lobby groups that agree with the government. Canadian women would like to know why the government endorses such a shameful double standard.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauport—Limoilou Québec

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat that our government works on behalf of all Canadian women and not just for one group or another. All women across Canada have the right to be listened to and heard by this government.

TV5Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in response to a question I asked him about TV5, the Parliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage said that a meeting had been held between representatives of the partnering governments and that TV5 was an important tool in promoting the culture and values of international francophonie. We know that.

What we want to know is the Government of Canada's position on the situation. Will it let France alone determine the future of TV5?

TV5Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the partnering governments of TV5 have highlighted the importance of TV5Monde in promoting the culture and values of international Francophonie and it must remain a Francophonie project.

Canada will continue its discussions in collaboration with all the partnering governments, including the Quebec government, in order to encourage consensus on this file.

TV5Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec has come out in favour of the survival and autonomy of TV5, as have Switzerland and Belgium. What we need now is for Canada to take the same firm stand.

Has France been informed that Canada wants to maintain the multilateral nature of this important tool for la Francophonie?

TV5Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to answer the question. It is quite simple. When I was in Paris, I met with my counterpart, Bernard Kouchner. We discussed the future of TV5, and I can assure my colleague that my French counterpart understood our position.

InfrastructureOral Questions

February 26th, 2008 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the President of the Treasury Board failed to say that the Manitoba government is refusing to sign on to the second phase of the floodway expansion project because he reneged on a major commitment to Manitobans.

Last February, the minister promised Manitobans that $170 million would come from a national fund and would not affect Manitoba's share of infrastructure funding. Now he says he cannot deliver on his promise. Manitobans have a right to know why they are being robbed of $170 million by that minister and that promise-breaking Conservative government.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, that member did absolutely nothing when he was in power as a member of the Liberal government. He did absolutely nothing to get the money delivered for the floodway. It took the Minister of Transport in this government and the Prime Minister to deliver one-half of the money. Unfortunately, that member did nothing. It took this government to get the job done.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Wajid Khan Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, Michelle Senayah, a young Canadian woman from Mississauga, Ontario--

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!