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House of Commons Hansard #63 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was afghan.

Topics

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said to the hon. member, our government is committed to both our official languages in the country, and we will continue to focus on these responsibilities.

Film IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the Jutra awards, the feelings expressed about Bill C-10 were unanimous, and two of the winning producers, Luc Déry and Kim McCraw, summed it up when they said that the bill was an abomination that threatens freedom of expression.

Does the minister plan on listening to the demands of the Quebec film community, which is calling on the government to remove the reference to “public policy”, which definitely could lead to censorship?

Film IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, the bill was passed in this House on October 29, 2007, with the support of all the parties. All of a sudden, the Bloc has questions. That said, we are talking to the industry to take their concerns and comments into consideration.

I would invite the Bloc member, since he did not understand when he voted on October 29, to read an article published in La Presse late last week, which provides an excellent explanation of the government's intentions.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Quebec office of the Campaign Life Coalition, Luc Gagnon, said that Bill C-484 is a first step towards recriminalizing abortion.

Right-wing religious groups also applaud this initiative. The situation is worrisome, because the same strategy was used by the opponents of freedom of choice in the United States to have abortion criminalized.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages take action to defend the rights of women against such a possibility? That is her duty. Will she fulfill it?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as I had the opportunity to indicate last week, this is a private member's bill and I exercised my right to vote, which was entirely free.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

March 10th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the story goes well beyond the Prime Minister's chief of staff. It involves a senior source at the Canadian embassy in Washington. This source was contacted by American and Canadian media and apparently confirmed that it was Senator Obama's campaign that contacted Canadian officials regarding NAFTA.

Will the Prime Minister's investigation include the Canadian embassy in Washington and, specifically, any role that Ambassador Michael Wilson may have played in this scandal?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government was clear last week: the investigation is comprehensive and we will get to the bottom of this issue with full transparency.

I thank my hon. colleague for this question, which allows me to confirm this government's position on transparency. We are accountable to Canadians and we will remain accountable on this issue.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this was not just a mistake. This was senior public servants giving secret information to journalists. This is very serious.

Will the investigation into this affair determine whether the ambassador, Michael Wilson, was the primary source at the Canadian embassy who passed this information along?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are currently conducting an independent investigation into this affair. I cannot make assumptions about the results of the investigation, which will be released in due time. The House will be informed of the outcome of the investigation.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a matter of trust. The world now knows that the Prime Minister's office cannot be trusted with confidential information. His chief of staff, Ian Brodie, started the NAFTA-gate scandal by casually discussing sensitive diplomatic conversations to entertain reporters.

If the Prime Minister gave the order, then he is complicit. If Ian Brodie acted on his own, then he is incompetent. Either way, the Prime Minister has a responsibility to tell the House whether his chief of staff is under investigation. Yes or no?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the relationship between our country and the U.S. is a very important one and we are proud to have a free trade agreement. We have had the agreement for a long time and it has been very productive for Canada, for Mexico and for the U.S. It is a good agreement. We create jobs under this agreement. It is still in force and I hope it will stay in force.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it seems that NAFTA-gate swings both ways. Never mind Obama and Clinton. We now have confirmed reports that behind closed doors the Minister of International Trade told congressman, Michael Michaud, that Canada would be willing to renegotiate NAFTA, this despite the Prime Minister's assurances that the government has no interest in reopening the agreement.

The question is very simple. Who do we trust: the Prime Minister, the minister or none of the above?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that is so far from the truth. We have an agreement with the U.S. and with Mexico and the agreement is working. The agreement has been useful for Canadians, for families and for entrepreneurs in Canada. The agreement creates a lot of jobs in this country, a lot of jobs in Mexico and the U.S. I hope that this agreement will stay in force and it must stay in force.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, global warming is one of the most serious challenges that we face. Our government announced last April the framework of our plan to cut Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. Since then, government officials and ministers have been consulting with environmental groups, provinces and industry to design the details of our plan.

Could the Minister of the Environment tell the House when the government will be releasing the details of our government's plan to reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions an absolute 20% by 2020?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to tell the House that today we are releasing the meat to the bones of our regulatory plan. The details of our regulation will be posted on Environment Canada's website this afternoon.

We made a commitment to Canadians to cut greenhouse gases by an absolute 20%. We are following through on that commitment and we will be delivering real results.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' record on greenhouse gas production, including development of the oil sands, is catastrophic. This is what the Prime Minister said, “Kyoto is basically a socialist plot to suck money out of wealthy countries”.

The Conservatives are always talking about respecting law and order. Do they realize that failing to comply with our international obligations may have disastrous consequences for future generations and for Canada's reputation today?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I do think it is a stain on the Government of Canada that the previous government was unable to not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but to sit back and watch them rise by some 33% above the commitments that it signed.

That is why the member will be excited to learn that we are moving aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 17 sectors of the Canadian economy and mandating carbon capture and storage for new oil sands projects, something the previous government lacked the resolve to do.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we heard the government today claim that it cares about pollution from the tar sands but let us look at the truth of the matter because what the government is saying does not amount to anything more than hot air.

Last week the Federal Court said that the environmental assessments being done of the tar sands were full of holes.

The Canadian ambassador to the United States wrote to the Americans and asked that the tar sands be exempted from American environmental controls.

Why is the government trying to weasel out from environmental controls both here in Canada and in the United States when it comes to the tar sands?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. We are taking real action, the toughest action ever taken in Canadian history. We have among the toughest industry regulations in the world.

I am starting to get the feeling that we are losing the confidence of the NDP. However, the good news is that it is nice to be able to count on the support of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of QuebecOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the Conservatives came to power, some regions have been favoured by the Minister for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, while others have been ignored. One of the regions that have not found favour is the region of Montreal. This is completely bizarre. I would even say that it is absolutely ridiculous. We are talking about the engine of the manufacturing sector in Quebec.

Is there something personal in this? Is it because the Minister does not like Montreal, or simply because Montreal does not elect any Conservative members?

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of QuebecOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, we do not need lectures from a man who was once on the payroll of a communications agency cited by Mr. Justice Gomery at the same time as he was working for the Liberal Party of Canada.

The Economic Development Agency of Canada works for all regions of Quebec, including Montreal.

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of QuebecOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, I think the member has a lot to learn. This is not the first time that favouritism in the distribution of campaign goodies by the Minister has been pointed out. We all know now that the Minister likes to hand out goodies to his chums.

I am going to quote someone: “Our campaign platform for Quebec also provides for depoliticizing the [Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec]”. We know who said that. It was the person sitting beside the Minister, the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Why has she changed her mind? Is it because she too has received a lot of goodies from her friend?

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of QuebecOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, of all the political parties in this House put together, the Liberals are not the ones to be lecturing us about favouritism. Do the words “sponsorship scandal” not remind them of something?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister continues to attack Ontarians with falsehoods.

For manufacturers, only four provinces have lower corporate tax rates and Ontario's combined tax rate is lower than all 50 U.S. states. The minister's false claims are a desperate attempt to hide his own incompetence.

The minister was the architect of a $5.6 billion deficit in Ontario, Walkerton, Ipperwash and the jailing of the homeless.

When will the minister realize that his approach is a road to disaster?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the member opposite does not believe a word she just said.

If we listen to the critic, the member for Markham—Unionville, when the Harris government was in office, in which I was privileged to be finance minister for part of that time, he said, “I think taxing is a bold and innovative move and I think it will pay dividends, a huge bang for the buck through low corporate taxes”.

The Leader of the Opposition said the same thing about federal corporate taxes, “Get them down”. We are doing that. Why not the same thing in the provinces, especially Ontario?