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House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industry.

Topics

400th Anniversary of Quebec CityOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the “almost-queen” of Canada continues to deny the existence of the Quebec nation in her speeches in France. For this government, recognizing the nation was simple duplicity and politicking. By trying to rewrite history as they are doing, they are ridiculing Quebeckers.

Will the Prime Minister admit that by changing history and by making Quebec City's 400th anniversary celebrations Canada's celebrations, he is showing contempt for the Quebec nation and denying its existence?

400th Anniversary of Quebec CityOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, again, our colleagues from the Bloc Québécois seem to want to get a lot of mileage out of the 400th anniversary celebrations. For our part, we are very proud to have not only contributed financially, but also to have very actively participated in the 400th anniversary celebrations. All of the Conservative members from the greater Quebec City area who were voted in during the last election will be there. And they will be there to celebrate Quebec as a part of Canada.

400th Anniversary of Quebec CityOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities admit that 1608 marks the founding of Quebec City and not the founding of Canada, and that his attempt to hijack the founding of Quebec City, birthplace of the Quebec nation, serves to deny the very existence of that nation?

400th Anniversary of Quebec CityOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, no one here is denying the existence of the nation. We even had to force the Bloc Québécois, against its will, to vote for the Quebec nation within a united Canada. Why? Because twice Quebeckers have said “yes” to Canada. What does it not understand? It is common sense: Quebeckers want to remain a part of Canada.

Inter-Parliamentary UnionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has imposed conditions on the world conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, such that efforts to have Quebec City host this event in 2010 could be irreparably compromised.

Does the government not think it would do better to enforce the rules in effect at the UN instead of taking a purely ideological approach and trying to amend the existing rules, which suit the 163 members of this international association of parliamentarians?

Inter-Parliamentary UnionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Simply put, Mr. Speaker, a blanket upfront guarantee of visa issuance is not possible for over 1,500 participants from over 150 countries. However, we can say that we will treat all applications dispassionately and properly. They will be examined carefully and moved along expeditiously.

Inter-Parliamentary UnionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, this association was founded in 1889, and not one of the 163 member countries except Canada has a problem with the rules that govern how the association operates.

Why is the government being so inflexible, if it is not out of ideological rigidity, which is completely unwarranted under the circumstances? Have a little flexibility, please. Help Quebec City get the conference.

Inter-Parliamentary UnionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Absolutely, Mr. Speaker, we want Quebec to host this convention along with other important events being held. We will do everything possible to be flexible. Where necessary, temporary resident permits will be issued to ensure the events take place and the participants can come as and when required.

JusticeOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Commissioner of Official Languages said yesterday that in order for the defendants to have effective access to superior courts in the official language of their choice, it is essential that these courts have a sufficient number of bilingual judges. If not, access to justice in both official languages is compromised.

Does the Minister of Justice believe that Supreme Court justices should be bilingual?

JusticeOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, the government is responsible for the appointment of the next justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. We recognize the need to act in a timely manner to fill this vacancy.

However, I should say to the hon. member that if he is so concerned about bilingualism in our courts, he should speak with his unelected Liberal colleagues in the Senate, who are holding up Bill C-13, a bill that will ensure access to both official languages in Canada.

JusticeOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, that has nothing to do with it. I agree with the Commissioner of Official Languages that the highest court of the land must reflect the bijural and bilingual values and identity of this country. Accordingly, its justices must be bilingual. I know that the Minister of the Environment does not believe in bilingualism; he demonstrated that the Montfort Hospital case.

Accordingly, these justices must be bilingual, in other words, judges must grasp legal nuances in both English and French. Laws are not translated; they are written in two different versions. I will introduce a private members' bill soon to amend the Official Languages Act. However, we can save some time.

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages ensure that we change—

JusticeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

JusticeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the government will continue to be guided by principles of merit and legal excellence in the selection and appointment of judges to Canada's Superior and Federal Courts, including the Supreme Court, while remaining vigilant in seeking competence in both official languages. Each and every one of our 159 judicial appointments reflects these principles.

I do want to quote the hon. member for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, who said, “So far, on the justice end of it, they look like pretty good appointments and I am glad they are filling the vacancies”. We agree.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, every month that goes by without a new official languages action plan costs minority language communities $18 million. So far, that represents a loss of nearly $27 million that could have been used to fund services that communities really need.

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages tell us why phase two of the action plan has not been launched?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we have made a strong commitment to phase two of the action plan. We are working on it. The minister made it clear that phase two would be launched in the spring.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government has had two years to come up with a new plan. The House Standing Committee on Official Languages made some excellent recommendations to the minister several months ago. Nevertheless, the government thought it best to hold bogus consultations headed up by a former Conservative premier, consultations that amounted to nothing.

This is about respect. When will we get a new official languages action plan?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as I said, in our Speech from the Throne, we specifically mentioned our commitment to official language minority communities. The Liberals voted against our Speech from the Throne. In our budget, we clearly stated that we would support official language minority communities. The Liberals voted against our budget, so they have no right to say anything about this.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, the opposition members constantly attempt to worry Canadians with their complete lack of confidence in our country's economy.

Liberals especially, with their doom and gloom scenarios, seem to have given up on Canadian ingenuity. They are constantly advocating massive, short term government intervention in the economy that would send the country spiralling into deficit.

We can contrast that with our pre-emptive action to secure Canada's long term prosperity: $200 billion in tax cuts, key investments in Canadians, and debt reduction. That is why our economic fundamentals remain solid.

Could the parliamentary secretary please update this House on our government's record on job creation?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, despite global economic turbulence, Canada's employment picture remains strong. In April, for example, nearly 20,000 new jobs were created. That is 832,000 new jobs since this government came into power. The unemployment rates are at 33 year lows. Opposition MPs seem to be the only ones who are unhappy, but thankfully, most Canadians are not noticing that because they are at work.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to infrastructure, the government seems to confuse infrastructure with heritage. This was made clear this week. Not only was Parliament forced to shut down due to an infrastructure crisis but two water pipes exploded just down the street causing disrupted traffic, lost business and exorbitant emergency repair costs.

The Conservative government has forced cities to choose between using infrastructure money for their operating costs or raising taxes.

Will the minister agree to come for a walk with me down the street to see the effects of the government and previous governments' lack of attention to infrastructure? I am waiting. I am willing. Let us go.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I need not walk down the street to see that. As members know, I have quite a bit of experience from the municipal sector, having walked down the streets in Ottawa, but also in Gatineau on the other side of the river.

This government acted at the very beginning and during the last budget we decided to extend the gas tax that is going to help municipalities from coast to coast to coast to support infrastructure needs in their communities. That is something this government believes in, plus the $33 billion that we put on the table.

Heritage WaterwaysOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, for thousands of years the Ottawa River has been a source of life and livelihood for people living in this region. The campaign to designate the Ottawa River has been ongoing for five years in order to obtain federal recognition for what is already widely known. A request to designate the Ottawa River as a heritage river went unanswered by the Minister of the Environment. I want to ask the minister, can he confirm whether the initiative is still alive and if he is going to support it?

Heritage WaterwaysOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I say to my friend from Ottawa Centre: yes and yes.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

May 9th, 2008 / 11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the natural resources committee has been studying the forest products industry since February. Witnesses have emphasized the need for the Prime Minister to host a national summit on forestry. The Prime Minister's pitiful response is to have the Minister of Natural Resources convene a three hour meeting with a few choice guests with a secret invitation list. This is just one more example of the insult and injury to our forestry industry.

Why will the Prime Minister not commit to hosting a national summit on forestry?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed in the opposition. As he said, we have been working together at committee to put a report together. We thought we had been working in tandem with the opposition. The minister has, as the committee wanted, called a round table of forestry industry across Canada. They will be meeting here next Tuesday to discuss the future of the industry.

We are looking for the opposition to work with us. That is why we invited all the members of the committee to come out to give their input and to hear from other folks about the future of the industry. We look forward to working with them. We wish they would work with us to support the forestry industry across Canada.