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House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was equality.

Topics

Government PoliciesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Welland.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us not beat around the bush. Four of this government's most prominent ministers continue to insult the intelligence of Ontarians.

Ontario deserves its democratically allotted seats. Ontario does not deserve this unaccountable government. Two to one, Ontarians believe in a balanced approach, not a Mike Harris approach to its economy. Ontarians deserve a government and its elected Conservative MPs to step up and represent them.

Will the Conservative government apologize for the actions of its ministers?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

11:55 a.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 member is absolutely right in this regard, Ontarians deserve members of Parliament who will stand up for them.

And guess what, when it came to tackling violent crime, where were the Liberals? Sitting in their seats. When it came to tax cuts, where were the Liberals? Sitting in their seats. When it came to ensuring we continued to have a balanced budget and a good fiscal framework, where were the Liberals? Sitting in their seats.

In fact, as I look at their ranks, I think there must be a vote coming today.

Ontario EconomyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister has gone on a crusade to undermine the Ontario economy by calling it the last place to invest.

Why is the finance minister determined to use his federal position to wreak havoc with the Ontario economy the way he did when he was the Mike Harris treasurer?

Ontario EconomyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. minister stated yesterday in this House that he was hopeful that Premier McGuinty's provincial budget on March 25 would provide long term, broad-based support by reducing its provincial corporate income tax and by making a commitment to fully eliminate capital taxes for businesses in all sectors.

It is the finance minister's role to encourage all provinces to get up to speed, to get up to where other provinces are, and to encourage investment.

Ontario EconomyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister's double-talk does go further. The man who pretends to balance the books actually left a $5.6 billion deficit when he was a provincial finance minister.

He claims he supports infrastructure and Ontario communities, but calls them whiners. He says he is not in the “pothole business”.

When will the finance minister censor himself, instead of Canadian films for the benefit of the public good?

Ontario EconomyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the federal finance minister is absolutely within his jurisdiction to encourage that all provinces get up to the same investment opportunities such as British Columbia.

We cannot help but acknowledge what happened in the Quebec budget yesterday. The Quebec government has actually decided to abolish capital taxes. That is simply what the finance minister is encouraging the government in Ontario to do.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fact that Quebec, which represents 54% of the aerospace industry, is not getting its fair share does not matter to the Conservatives. So much so that in the contract for the 17 Hercules aircraft, Quebec will have fewer economic spinoffs than the Maritimes, which represents just 5% of the industry. The Conservative ideology of laissez-faire clearly translates as doing everything it can against Quebec.

When will the ministers from Quebec stand up for Quebec and help it get its fair share of these government contracts?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, here is one more Bloc Québécois member who is unable to deliver anything for Quebeckers. He walks around Quebec empty handed. Over the past two years, we have corrected the fiscal imbalance, which allowed Quebec to have a balanced budget and gave Quebec an additional $4.5 billion. We have also intervened in the manufacturing sector. We are taking action for Quebeckers in the aerospace industry. We are delivering the goods, unlike the Bloc Québécois.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, RADARSAT-2, an innovative satellite designed and built at the Canadian Space Agency in St. Hubert, could end up in the hands of a U.S. company.

Is the Minister of Industry going to allow all of Canada and Quebec's contribution in research to be destroyed by disregarding CIDA and IDRC's intellectual property and ongoing development projects and allowing MDA's activities to be sold to ATK, a major weapons and munitions manufacturer?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, since we have been in power, we have established a fair policy for all the regions. We know full well that Quebec has a very strong aerospace industry. We have encouraged it. We know that Quebec has developed a critical mass around research and development. We have supported it. Quebeckers know that one thing is clear. When the time comes to deliver the goods and keep a promise, they can depend on us. The Bloc Québécois can never do that.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, Calypso park, in the municipality of La Nation, will create 550 full-time seasonal jobs beginning in 2009. The Ontario government is on-board as is the municipality. But lip service is all that is being offered by the Conservatives and the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.

Why are Conservatives creating false hopes by saying that they are in favour of the project without providing financial support?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

Noon

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am stunned. Finally a member from the greater Toronto area who is beginning to take an interest in another part of Ontario, the greater Ottawa area.

I have to say that this government promised, first and foremost, to work with the provinces on a program for infrastructure renewal throughout the country.

In fact, my colleague made an announcement regarding Highway 174, in his riding, which will contribute a great deal more to his region than other projects proposed by the opposition.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, the previous Liberal government shamefully did nothing for the environment the entire time it was in power. However, that has all changed with this Conservative government, as we are taking real action in the face of climate change.

In fact, the former premier of Quebec, Pierre Marc Johnson, recently said that with the regulatory measures announced last week by the Minister of the Environment, Canada had gained back its international credibility.

Could the Minister of Transport tell the House how he intends to address fuel consumption for the vehicles on Canadian roads and how the Conservative government will continue to deliver real action for our environment and the air that we breathe?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

Noon

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are the first government that has committed to reduce greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020. What is interesting is what Pierre Marc Johnson, the successor to René Lévesque in Quebec, as we all know, said. What did this former premier say? He said:

Canada will now be able to speak once again with credibility in the international community by contributing more than words to the stabilization of the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions—

We are getting the job done.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

Noon

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, new Canadians are getting used to disappointment. Year after year Liberal governments let the immigration backlogs grow. The solution of the Conservatives is just as absurd. They just will not take as many applications.

If the Conservative government were serious about clearing the backlog, it would have restored all the cuts the Liberals inflicted on Canada's overseas offices and relax the point system so more families can come.

Why, instead, does it put corporate tax cuts ahead of family reunification?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

Noon

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I can hardly believe the members of the NDP would have the nerve to ask us about immigration when we look at their record.

They voted against an additional $1.4 billion for resettlement funding for newcomers. They voted against the foreign credentials referrals office. They voted against cutting the head tax on immigrants. Now they want to vote against reducing waiting times.

NDP members should be ashamed of themselves.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

Noon

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is an unbelievable answer.

Canada must increase the target number of immigrants into the country to 1% of the population in order to renew our workforce and drive our economy. The Conservatives' answer is to import massive numbers of temporary foreign workers, who are vulnerable to mistreatment and abuse.

Why is the government interested only in providing cheap labour to big corporations and not letting ordinary family members bring their loved ones into Canada?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

Noon

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we have made significant progress on reuniting immigrant families. In fact, we are now processing those cases 20% to 40% faster than they were before we took office. We want to get families reunited faster and more skilled workers here sooner. That is our objective. We are going to do it, even if the NDP continues to vote against us.

AgricultureOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, we know the parliamentary secretary's vendetta against the Wheat Board leads him to say ridiculous things. However, he seriously crossed the line when he attacked the president of the National Farmers Union and released confidential information on Mr. Wells' business through the Board. The minister confirmed yesterday such information was requested.

As demanded in a letter from Mr. Wells, will the parliamentary secretary apologize for his unsubstantiated, defamatory, incorrect and disgraceful remarks? Will he stand in his place today and apologize?

AgricultureOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is always good to see the Liberals focus on agriculture at 12:10 p.m. on Friday. That is the only time that they ever ask questions. It is also good to see they are disconnected with agriculture because their questions are always full of misinformation.

I really object to what the member is doing today. He is following the NDP leader from yesterday. The minister answered the question yesterday.

Mr. Wells is well known as an organic farmer. If they are accusing me of saying that he was one, the NFU website says that. My question for Mr. Wells is simply this. Has he been able to take advantage of the organic grower special buy-back this year? If he has, why is he telling other farmers that they cannot have the same deal?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

March 14th, 2008 / 12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week the member from Beauséjour publicly accused the government of failing to appoint bilingual judges to New Brunswick benches.

As a member from New Brunswick, I am proud of our heritage and of the fact that ours is the only bilingual province. I would like these remarks clarified.

Could the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice correct this erroneous statement and in the process set the member opposite straight?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as a member from the province of New Brunswick, I am pleased to reply to this question.

Our government has appointed six of the forty federally appointed judges in New Brunswick. Of the six, three are fully bilingual. We are guided by the principles of merit and legal excellence, as well as thinking linguistic competence.

As the member from Beauséjour should know, it was his colleague, the member from Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, who said “They look like pretty good appointments and I am glad they are filling the vacancies”. We agree.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the upcoming Olympics has led to crackdowns against human rights advocates in China. This week marks the 49th anniversary of the failed uprising in Tibet against Chinese rule.

In recent days we have seen the arrest and release of Teng Biao, Beijing human rights lawyer and activist, as well as the use of force against protestors and Buddhist monks in Tibet today. What specific steps will the government take to address this situation? I do not want the general platitudes that we heard yesterday.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are alarmed at the deterioration of the situation, including increasing reports of violence. We have expressed our concerns to the Chinese ambassador and, through our embassy in Beijing, to the Chinese government. We are also asking for some clarification on the current situation in Lhasa as well as information on the whereabouts and the well-being of Canadians in the affected area.