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 #55 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, corporations or people? Let us look at some facts. Table 5.4 on page 201 of the budget proves that over the next two years the government will have increased total personal income taxes by 12%, while at the same time slashing those of the most profitable corporations by 14%.

Why have the Conservatives chosen to stick hard-working Canadian families with the bill for their latest gift to their corporate buddies?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, surely the hon. member recognizes that in the course of a little bit over two years our government has reduced the tax burden and provided tax relief to Canadians by almost $200 billion over this year and the next five years. Of that, $140 billion is attributable to individuals and families in Canada.

More than that, yesterday we introduced the most significant tax savings plan since the RRSP in 1957, the tax-free savings account which will help all Canadians save and avoid tax on their savings.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

February 27th, 2008 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the court confirmed that the actions of the Prime Minister, with his attack on the rights of farmers through the Canadian Wheat Board, were illegal again.

The Court of Appeal upheld the earlier Federal Court ruling which found the government attempted to illegally use regulations to undermine the board. The judges made it clear that section 47.1 of the Canadian Wheat Board Act must be abided by.

Will the Minister of Agriculture respect the law, including section 47.1, as confirmed by the courts?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, what we will respect are the wishes of western Canadian producers. Some 62% of them want out from underneath the board.

The member for Malpeque came out to Saskatchewan last week. He ran around. He put on four meetings to save the Wheat Board. He had a handful of people at each one. None of them were producers.

We listen to farmers. He can be stuck in his political rut.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, 13.8% is not a majority of farmers. As they told me in his riding, they disagree with him. They want a new member.

Today, his answer is that he will introduce legislation, not to mention that the other day he introduced legislation and it is does not abide by section 47.1.

The courts have spoken. Just last night they informed him he could not do what he said publicly he would do.

Is the Prime Minister going to condone another lawmaker in his cabinet?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. We will have a little order. It is very hard to hear these questions and answers.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the member for Malpeque is so wrapped up in his rhetoric, he even gets it wrong himself. Nobody is listening anyway.

We will proceed ahead. Western Canadian farmers have spoken clearly. We know that number is well above 80% now wanting out from underneath the cloak of secrecy at the Wheat Board.

It is going to happen. Western Canadian farmers are voting with their air seeders. They are voting with their trucks. They are not growing Wheat Board commodities. They are pulling away.

The Wheat Board is going to fold its tent and blow away like a bad dream.

Copyright ActOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week the minister responsible for developing the new copyright act violated the law. That is another example of the government breaking the law and then denying it. When asked about it yesterday, the minister tried to laugh it off, as though it were a good joke.

Does the minister not realize that he stole from artists last week?

Copyright ActOral Questions

2:55 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, on the contrary, that issue is actually resolved. I guess the member for Beauséjour is a little bit out of touch, not surprisingly. The Liberals are obsessed with issues from the past, issues that are resolved and issues that do not exist.

The reality is the Liberals are trying to distract attention from that document which laid out in detail the Liberal campaign commitments so far. Those commitments would have resulted in $65 billion of deficit.

No wonder the Liberals do not want to go to the voters now. I would not want to try to sell that ballot bill of goods.

Copyright ActOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week the industry minister stood in a room full of journalists and brazenly violated his own copyright law. Yesterday he was joking about stealing from artists. The minister who breaks the copyright law should not be the minister writing the law.

Now that he has blown what little credibility he had left, will the minister step aside and let somebody who respects the law actually write the new law?

Copyright ActOral Questions

2:55 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, again that issue is resolved and I do not know where the hon. member is stuck. Yes, actually, I do know where he is stuck. He is stuck in those old Liberal policies of a couple of decades ago: the $65 billion in deficit; the high taxes; the high spending; let us get that GST back up again; let us put this country in debt and deficit. That is their alternative. Then when they test ran it, what did they say? “Hmm, that might not work. We better support the guys who really know how to run the economy”. That is why they will let our budget pass.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, by doing nothing to support the manufacturing and forestry sectors, the Conservative government is once again abandoning the regions of Quebec. Not only is this government turning its back on the regions—there is practically nothing in this budget for regional development—even worse, it is jeopardizing existing structures essential to regional development, such as non-profit organizations.

Rather than using the entire surplus to pay down the debt, will the government put in place meaningful measures for hard-hit regions or will it continue to ignore them and leave them to their own devices?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.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 would like to remind this House once again that we intend to continue supporting non-profit economic organizations. We want to help those organizations that present one-time projects, that is projects with a beginning, middle and end. As for the other organizations that have been dealing with the government for a number of years, they will have a two-year transition period to become self-sufficient.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us look at what this government is offering in terms of the environment.

The government did not even have the time to implement a green vehicle rebate program and it is already being cancelled. Worse yet, it is the $300 million measure for nuclear energy that clearly shows its agenda and its priority. Greenpeace Quebec describes this budget as awful and Équiterre talks about this government's recklessness when it comes to the environment, and they are right.

Why does the government always favour the polluters, like the rich oil companies, to the detriment of those who are making real efforts to help the environment?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the budget contains a good number of initiatives to support our environment.

The Bloc Québécois will be voting against public transit measures for Montreal. It will be voting against the biggest expansion of carbon capture and storage in the world. It will be voting against federal tax treatment for environmental initiatives. It will be voting against a carbon market in Montreal.

That is how bad the Bloc Québécois is.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, more than 100 workers in the Niagara region have sent letters to their local Conservative MP, who is the current justice minister, to share their concerns about the crisis facing the auto sector. The answer they got showed how little their elected representatives in Ottawa care about their uncertain situation.

Why do highly skilled workers in the Niagara Peninsula have to beg for assistance from the government only to get the back of the hand from the minister?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I did receive a number of letters. There were no individual addresses so I sent my reply to the only address I had, which was the CAW office in St. Catharines.

I pointed out, among other things, our government's support for the automotive industry and our support for a fair deal with Korea that would work in the best interests of all Canadians.

When I was there for the 20th anniversary of that corporation, I also pointed out how appreciative I was of the positive comments directed toward me for the $2 million I got the federal government to invest in that plant.

UgandaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the ongoing war in northern Uganda has claimed an estimated 300,000 lives, displaced more than 1.5 million people, and seen the kidnapping of tens of thousands of women and children. It is Africa's longest running armed conflict. Next to Darfur, it is being called the world's worst humanitarian disaster.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please inform the House what our government is doing to support the current peace talks to stop this terrible war in northern Uganda?

UgandaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what our government is doing is very simple. We are concerned about this important humanitarian situation. We have committed $3.5 million to support the peace talks. We will be an official observer at the Juba peace talks.

We aim to achieve our goal to double our humanitarian aid to Africa.

HomelessnessOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, the budget does nothing to address the homelessness crisis.

Report after report from community after community has called for federal action. Every day when we walk city streets, drive by overpasses, or let someone surf on our couch, our hearts tell us we are failing. What is the Conservative response? Pilot projects, nothing to actually build homes and nothing to make housing affordable.

Conservatives give corporations tax cuts years into the future, but even in a crisis will not fund a long term national housing program. Why not?

HomelessnessOral Questions

3 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, how ironic that the member would raise this issue, as it was his party that voted against the $1.4 billion housing trust that helps us provide more resources for affordable housing today than any government has ever done.

I do think it is important that the member not diminish the importance of the Mental Health Commission support projects, including the one in Vancouver. I want to quote Michael Kirby, chair of the Mental Health Commission, who said, “Collectively, the projects will develop a body of evidence which will enable Canada to lead the world in providing services--

HomelessnessOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Trinity--Spadina.

Child CareOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, for every $1 in spending, the Conservative government gives $6 in corporate tax giveaways and subsidies.

Despite promising to deliver child care spaces in the last election, there is not one single penny in the budget for child care.

Can the government explain why its agenda, supported by the Liberals, has billions of dollars for big banks and big polluters, but absolutely nothing for children? Where are the child care spaces that were promised to hard-working families?

Child CareOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. It gives me the chance to point out that when this government came to power, we put in place the universal child care benefit which provides direct support to 1.5 million families on behalf of two million children.

More than that, since we struck an agreement with the provinces last spring, they have announced their intention to create 33,000 child care spaces across this country.

We are proud of our record in helping families.