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House of Commons Hansard #84 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservative.

Topics

Ontario EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Frankly, Mr. Speaker, the Liberal rhetoric does not match their record if one looks at the auto industry in particular. In the time in which the Liberal Party was in office, there were plant closures. At the General Motors plant at Sainte-Thérèse, over 1,000 jobs were lost. At the Chrysler Corporation plant in Windsor, over 1,200 jobs were lost. At the Ford plant, the Ontario truck plant in Oakville, over 1,400 jobs were lost.

The former Liberal government never addressed the issues of competitiveness. We are doing that. Whether it is infrastructure, fuel harmonization or safety standards, all of these issues are being dealt with.

Ontario EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, that was not much of an answer for the workers who were just laid off.

The current Minister of Finance ran huge deficits and pretended to have balanced budgets while closing hospitals, schools and firing water inspectors. With a $13 billion federal surplus, the minister still cut funding for child care, women's equality, literacy services, the court challenges program and more.

Now that he has pushed the federal government to the edge of a deliberate deficit and has promised to cut more, what is next? Who will be the next victims?

Ontario EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is wrong in her facts. When I was the minister of finance in Ontario, the budget was balanced, as even the premier admitted, but what was not balanced was the 1990s, when health care, education and social services in the provinces were reduced.

Why? Because of the Liberal government in Ottawa trying to balance the budget on the backs of the weakest people in our society, on the backs of our hospitals, our nurses, our teachers and our social workers in the province of Ontario and other provinces.

Broadcasting IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, we now know that Remstar intends to eliminate its news service. However, TQS has a general interest television broadcasting licence, which requires the network to broadcast the news. We also know that Remstar wants to have the licence changed so that it can be exempt from this requirement.

Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages realize that removing news programming from a general interest television broadcaster is a major change?

Broadcasting IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to repeat what I have been saying since last week. Remstar will have to submit its licence to the CRTC. The CRTC will hold hearings and all stakeholders will have an opportunity to express their views.

Broadcasting IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is such an important issue that Quebec's National Assembly has unanimously requested that the federal government take immediate action on this file. The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, who told the House that the CRTQ issue had been wrapped up, had received a letter dated April 9 from the Government of Quebec calling for negotiations for a broadcasting and telecommunications agreement.

Instead of telling us how sad she is, which is what she has been doing lately, will the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages accept her responsibilities and tell us if she received the letter and if she will conduct such negotiations with Quebec?

Broadcasting IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to clarify that the letter in question arrived by courier early in the evening of April 24.

That being said, the member is asking the minister to intervene in the CRTC process. Allow me to refresh her memory, because the Bloc leader forgot to do so when he authorized the question. In 1994, when a former Liberal minister, Michel Dupuy, tried to intervene with the CRTC, Lucien Bouchard rose and said this: “A minister who fails to respect the autonomy of a judicial or quasi-judicial body must relinquish his post.” That is what the member—

Broadcasting IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert.

Bill 101 and the Canada Labour CodeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Labour was talking nonsense about the objectives of Bill C-482. Here is how he interpreted those objectives: “—wants the federal government to interfere in a provincial jurisdiction by applying Bill 101 across Canada.” Yet all the Bloc is asking for is an amendment to the Canada Labour Code, which comes under federal jurisdiction, so that Bill 101 applies to all workers in Quebec.

Has the minister at least read this bill, yes or no?

Bill 101 and the Canada Labour CodeOral Questions

2:40 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, once again, we see the impotence of the Bloc Québécois, which sees all sorts of problems where there are none.

I have some new statistics from the Office québécois de la langue française. The Bloc ignored these figures, which are for 2006-07. Of the 3,789 complaints received between April 2006 and March 2007, only one—I repeat, one—comes under federal jurisdiction. I am talking about one complaint in 3,789.

Bill 101 and the Canada Labour CodeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this stands to reason, because Bill 101 does not apply to federally regulated companies. The minister does not understand. The people who work in federally regulated companies understand that they are not subject to Bill 101, so they file very few complaints. Since 2000, fewer than 150 complaints have been filed, but they have all been rejected, precisely because these companies are not subject to Bill 101.

Now that I have explained that to him and he understands, will the minister—

Bill 101 and the Canada Labour CodeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Labour.

Bill 101 and the Canada Labour CodeOral Questions

2:40 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 am going to quote the statistics again. The Office québécois de la langue française receives language-related complaints, which it categorizes. Some of those complaints pertain to the federal charter. Of the 3,789 complaints the Office québécois de la langue française received about the use of French, only one concerns the federal charter.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, not a single day goes by without hearing of a plant closing and the loss of hundreds of jobs.

What is the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec doing in the meantime? He is renovating the airport in his riding to accommodate his flying limousine, but he is doing nothing for the airport in Trois-Rivières and nothing for Saint-Hubert.

What did he do for Crocs and AGC in Quebec City? Nothing. What did he do for Golden Brand in Montreal? Nothing. What did he do for Beaulieu Canada in Wickham? Nothing. What will he do for all these unemployed people? Will he move them to his own riding?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 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, to promote economic development in Quebec, we have an annual budget of roughly $200 million. With that money, we have to focus on the regions in greatest difficulty. We have started implementing our strategic plan for 2008-11 in order to support the regions in greatest difficulty. Soon we will have the opportunity to implement the second phase of this strategic development plan to support the regions.

I do not know how many times the hon. member has been to the Gaspésie, the North Shore or anywhere else. He does not know that the regions are more than just Montreal.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have been there often enough to know that the minister is doing absolutely nothing.

While the minister is sipping cocktails and eating canapés on his private jet, the Bank of Canada and financial analysts are quite clear: the economic slowdown will be more significant than previously thought. The survival of our exporters and manufacturers in the regions is at stake.

What does the minister plan to do to help them get through this? Lower taxes, reduce spending, abandon the workers? It is not a Marshall plan he proposed, it is a marshmallow plan.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 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, allow me to specify that the $217 million we have invested in the Government of Quebec will be used to support the manufacturing sector. That is what that money will be used for to help the regions in difficulty. There will be investment tax credits in the regions. Some $90 million of our money will be used to fund 100% of the cost of these measures in Quebec.

The second thing we are doing to help investment in the companies is implementing a new 5% investment tax credit that will also help secondary and tertiary processing companies in Quebec's manufacturing and forestry sector.

Ontario EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Liberal Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ontarians remember the failed policies of Mike Harris and that finance minister. Their policies gave Ontario a $5.6 billion hidden deficit, hospital closures, thousands of nurses fired, the Walkerton catastrophe, the Hydro mess, the heartless attacks on the homeless and Ipperwash. They even bungled meat inspections.

Canadians deserve effective policies. Why is the minister determined to recycle policies that we know have failed in the past?

Ontario EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

I know, Mr. Speaker, Mike Harris was responsible for most of the snowstorms that fell each winter in Toronto and around the province of Ontario. I know he was responsible when the weather forecasts were inaccurate.

Let me point out for the member opposite that in 1995 we inherited a rather dismal fiscal situation from the now Liberal member for Toronto Centre. I also point out that we achieved balanced budgets, including the time when I was the minister of finance in Ontario.

Ontario EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Liberal Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, that answer proves my point. The minister is delusional.

The minister ignores the manufacturing job crisis with his “laissez-faire, I don't care” attitude. Instead, he cares about phantom trains in his riding. He cares about rigging an application process to favour a group in his riding with which his wife is involved. He cares about giving his friends untendered contracts.

Canadians want to know: Why is the minister not working for them?

Ontario EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Apparently, Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House favour lower taxes for business. We proposed these in the economic statement on October 30. We encouraged the government of the province of Ontario to please provide a similar stimulus to the economy of the province to help out that manufacturing sector.

I know the members opposite agree with me because they supported our efforts, they backed our efforts and those tax reductions in Ontario are now law.

SportOral Questions

April 29th, 2008 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, participation in sports is part of a healthy lifestyle and contributes to a healthy society. Sport is also a very important contributor to Canada's image worldwide.

Canadian athletes have demonstrated time and time again their ability to bring home the gold. Hosting sporting events builds significant legacies for the Canadian sport system and brings substantial economic, cultural and social benefits to our cities.

Could the Secretary of State for Sport please update the House on how the government plans to raise Canada's profile with regard to sport on the international stage?

SportOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont for his support for the sport community. I am delighted to be announcing a new federal sport policy, with $14.7 million annually. This is up from the mere $1 million provided by the previous Liberal government.

We are looking to the future. We are replacing the old program with a new approach that is a coordinated approach for the provinces and territories. Hosting international sporting events provides much valuable training and competition experience to our athletes and it contributes to our goal of becoming a leading sport nation.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is Black Tuesday for families who work in Canada's beleaguered manufacturing sector. Today Campbell's has announced it is closing it doors, leaving a third of the town of Listowel out of work. In Oshawa GM has announced it is shedding another shift, 970 jobs. For every job loss there, seven spinoff jobs will disappear.

Under the government's watch, Canada has lost 55,000 manufacturing jobs since the beginning of 2008, 5,000 in the last three weeks alone. How can the government continue to ignore the manufacturing jobs crisis when so many families are suffering?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend is ignoring some of the great success that we are having in the Canadian economy, whether we are speaking about the aerospace industry and some of the strength that we have across Canada.

The government will continue to build on a sound fiscal record. We will continue to work with industry right across the country. As the Minister of Finance has indicated, the stimulus package that was introduced was well ahead of the economic downturn in the United States. We will continue to adjust to that.

Our country has a bright future based on our industrial strength. The member should be more optimistic.