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

Topics

Laval Transit AuthorityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Bloc Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Société de Transport de Laval will be reducing its bus fares from $2.50 to $1 on all smog days starting this week until Labour Day. This transit authority will be the first public transit system in Quebec to support the fight for better air quality in such a tangible way. Urban smog is caused mainly by two air pollutants: ozone and small particulate matter. It is the small particulate matter that produces the yellowish haze hanging in the sky and obscuring the sun during bad air quality days.

Recently, Dr. Jocelyne Sauvé presented a health report linking 9% of deaths and 3% of hospitalizations to bad air quality in Montérégie. Offering public transit for $1 will give Laval's citizens a chance to save by reducing their gas consumption and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause smog, therefore also improving air quality.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Liberal Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the federal government will apologize to residential school survivors. I believe that such an apology is a key step in the healing and reconciliation process with Canada's aboriginal peoples. I look forward to hearing the apology and hope it achieves its intended purpose.

I also hope this apology and the reconciliation process will inform all Canadians about some of the tragedies that have been inflicted upon our aboriginal people. I believe the relationship between aboriginal Canadians and non-aboriginal Canadians can be strengthened with better dialogue and an increased understanding by all Canadians of aboriginal history.

For this purpose, I have introduced Bill C-496 to promote the teaching of aboriginal history and culture in Canada's mainstream primary and secondary schools. I believe such a measure will encourage an environment of understanding that will better help our country move forward. Over the long past, the teaching of aboriginal history has been deficient in Canada's schools and this needs to be addressed.

I urge all hon. members to support initiatives that promote better understanding and appreciation of the important role in Canada of aboriginal Canadians past, present and future.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, despite the weasel words of and political tricks, Canadians are seeing the real agenda behind the Liberal leader's new massive national carbon tax. The Liberals can label it with fancy names and they can try to wrap it in green packaging, but a tax is a tax and the Liberal leader wants to impose the mother of all taxes on all Canadians.

Liberals MPs are now admitting their plan is a carbon tax. The member for Halton, the Liberal leader's communication adviser, says that he has seen the details and it is a carbon tax. Liberals such as the members for Oakville and Scarborough—Agincourt, star Liberal candidate Justin Trudeau and Liberal strategist David Herle have been calling it a carbon tax.

Even the Liberal leader himself today admitted his plan was a tax on “fossil fuels, home heating fuels and electricity”. Canadians too see the carbon tax for what it is, a tax on everything: gas, heating, electricity, groceries. It will affect everyone, especially seniors and Canadians with fixed incomes and families.

The Liberal leader needs to tell Canadians the truth. Why does he want to hurt individual Canadians and families?

Patricia Ann BonameStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Independent

Blair Wilson Independent West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize and honour the life accomplishments of Patricia Ann Boname of West Vancouver, British Columbia, who recently passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.

Patricia Boname served as an elected representative in West Vancouver for over 15 years, a dedication to her community that also included the position of mayor.

Patricia's lifetime commitment included countless volunteer activities, such as her involvement with the West Vancouver Community Arts Council, the North Shore Disability Resource Centre, the Lions Gate Hospital board and the Liberal Party of Canada.

Most recently, she was instrumental as a founding member of the Minerva Foundation which inspires B.C. women and empowers them to reach their full potential through programs and opportunities.

Through her early career with the CBC Canadian news magazine Close-Up, Patricia always led by example, with integrity, trust and a bright smile.

Patricia Boname was a role model in her community and a citizen that devoted her life to assisting others through government and not for profit organizations. She is survived by her family and her husband, Phil Boname, an avid community member.

Patricia's legacy of strong community involvement with West Vancouver will always be remembered.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow's apology to the victims of Indian residential schools will be important, and equally important will be a response from those victims. The comments of the leaders of Canada's political parties will be recorded and preserved for all time in the official Hansard of the House of Commons for June 11, 2008.

Will the government change its decision so that aboriginal representatives who will be with us in this chamber tomorrow can respond directly to the apology, on the record in this House?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has received a number of suggestions and recommendations on the process for tomorrow. We have looked at all of these. We have considered them in the context of our traditions and obviously precedents that have been established in similar solemn occasions.

Aboriginal Canadians have been waiting for a very long time to hear an apology from the Parliament of Canada. I would urge all parties not to play politics with this, to simply get behind a sincere apology to be offered on behalf of all parties to the aboriginal communities in this country.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, for many aboriginal people the apology tomorrow will be one of the most emotional moments of their lives, but they must not be voiceless. They will listen carefully to the four national politicians who will speak on Wednesday. Surely the House owes survivors the courtesy of listening to them in return right here, and recorded in the official Hansard.

Will the government commit to doing that?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, there have been many consultations with many survivor groups, former students, church representatives, and national and regional organizations. We have been in contact with many of them over the last while. Their input has helped us to craft what I think is going to be an excellent apology, very complete, very thorough and very meaningful.

We look forward to giving that apology here on the floor of the House of Commons tomorrow in an unprecedented historic event. I invite all parties to participate. I want to thank them for their support for the motion earlier today which set the terms of how we will conduct ourselves tomorrow. We look forward to that with our aboriginal partners.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, there has not been ample consultation, but there is ample precedent for people other than members of Parliament to make remarks in the House of Commons. It does not detract from the dignity of the occasion; it adds to it. It is about the history of this country. It is an integral part of the official record, the apology and the response together.

In the interests of reconciliation, surely the House can afford the extra half hour tomorrow to hear a response from aboriginal representatives.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, first nations, aboriginal and Métis people have been waiting for a long time for this apology and I am delighted that this is going to take place tomorrow.

I invite the hon. member to participate in this. I know she is a member of the aboriginal affairs committee. Important ceremonies are going to follow this with first nations and aboriginal and Métis people. We look forward to that as well.

The member is equating this with when the Olympians came on the floor and responded, and of course that never did happen. She should keep this a solemn occasion, as we all should, and give it the gravitas it deserves.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that everyone here knows that the member for Churchill is right. Now we want to know why the government is refusing, and we want the Prime Minister to change his mind. The only reason he gave for refusing to allow aboriginal leaders to address the House was tradition. Canada has made plenty of mistakes in the name of tradition.

Aboriginals have waited 95 years. Why will the Prime Minister not give them 30 minutes in the House?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we received numerous suggestions and recommendations from various individuals and organizations. We have chosen a process that respects precedents. The House of Commons has agreed to the terms of the apology. I hope that the Liberal Party, which has not yet apologized, will apologize tomorrow alongside the government.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we certainly will reiterate our apology, as the world hopefully will, but the issue here is to be sure that tomorrow's ceremony will be respectful and the answer by the Prime Minister is not appropriate.

There is a problem. Why will the Prime Minister not make sure that the aboriginal leaders receive today the text of the apology to allow them the time to prepare their responses? Their responses will be key in the future of our relationship with the aboriginal peoples.

Out of respect, will the Prime Minister provide the aboriginal leaders with the text today?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I spoke with Chief Fontaine about this subject last week.

The apology will be delivered tomorrow. I hope the apology will be shared by all parties of this House. I think we all have a responsibility to unite and to make this message clear.

In terms of the acceptance, there are thousands of hearts and minds that will be at different stages of acceptance, but I hope we will begin the process of healing and reconciliation.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while gasoline prices set new records day after day, the oil companies continue to rake in huge profits. Meanwhile, the government feeds us its usual line—we have to rely on market forces—while handing out $1.2 billion in tax breaks to oil companies.

Why does the Prime Minister prefer to help his friends, the oil companies, rather than encouraging a reduction in our oil dependency as every government should?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc knows that gasoline prices are determined by international market forces, and also affected by taxes imposed by certain governments in Canada, and not by subsidies to the oil industry. This government eliminated those subsidies in the 2007 budget and the Bloc Leader supported those measures.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the budget contains $1.2 billion in tax breaks, and they are there in black and white. He has the means to take action to help our citizens reduce their dependency on oil. For example, rather than using the entire surplus to pay down the debt, he could have immediately paid up to 5¢ per litre of the excise tax to municipalities. They in turn could have used this money to reduce the cost of public transit, as Laval has done.

Why is the Prime Minister not taking action when he has the means to do so?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I mentioned that market forces, together with taxes imposed by certain governments, determine prices. It is up to the Competition Bureau to ensure that the rules of the market are respected.

I must also mention that it was the government that reduced the GST to lower the price of gasoline and all goods and services. Unfortunately, the Bloc Québécois voted with the Liberals against these reductions and in favour of the Liberals' tax and environmental policies.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, today, Quebec's Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, the mayor of Quebec City and the president of PÔLE Québec Chaudière-Appalaches are holding a press conference to condemn the decision by the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec to stop funding non-profit organizations such as PÔLE. Yet this organization has an impressive track record: tight management, 12 major structuring projects and 10,000 specialized jobs.

Will the minister be humble enough to admit he made a mistake and restore funding for these organizations, which are vital to regional development in Quebec?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:25 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, this same party was opposed to the creation of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. This same party said that it was a waste of time and energy for the federal government to contribute to regional economic development in Quebec. We beg to differ. That is why those members are always in opposition and will never achieve anything.

That said, where are we at? Economic organizations approached the department to pay their operating costs forever. Those days are over. We are going to support one-off projects.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, this minister is forever telling us that he has a budget of only $200 million. What he is not saying is that his budget was $394 million last year. It is shrinking.

Is it not true that the real reason he has cut funding is that since he is unable to defend his budget in cabinet, he is reduced to diverting funds earmarked for regional development to projects chosen because they will benefit the Conservatives come election time?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:30 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, if the hon. member knew what to make of the numbers and knew how the economic development department works, he would know that much of the money is allocated to firms and that our department manages that money for others.

We have an envelope of $200 million this year, which is largely the same as in previous years.

We are going to continue to support the economic development of all regions of Quebec. Thanks to the decisions we are making, we will be able to free up funds for a whole host of projects in many regions of Quebec.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

June 10th, 2008 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the price of gas has gone up to $1.50, and people are very angry about indecent prices and indecent profits. When gas was 50¢ per litre, Petro-Canada was making $100 million in profits.

At 73¢ a litre, Husky Oil made $546 million in a year.

With gas at well over $1 a litre now and climbing, Imperial Oil has just reported $681 million in profit in a single quarter.

With Congress and Senator Obama going after big oil, why is the Prime Minister, with the help of the so-called opposition, giving them tax cuts?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, obviously with the exception of taxes imposed by various governments, it is world markets that actually set oil prices. The fact of the matter is, of course, that the Competition Bureau is in place to make sure the rules of the marketplace are respected.

I have to point out that this government has given no special tax break to the oil companies. We have in fact cut taxes for all Canadian businesses and all Canadian families.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Yes, Mr. Speaker, and the biggest profiteers get the most from that tax cut that just went through.

It is not just Congress and Senator Obama that are taking on big oil and its unprecedented profits. Both the United Kingdom and Italy are doing the same. With many oil companies operating both in the U.S. and in Canada, some kind of coordinated approach would seem to make some sense here, so that we can get at the question of transforming our energy system and invest in green solutions. That is what Canadians want to see.

If the Prime Minister does not have the intestinal fortitude to take on big oil, will he at least stop sending subsidies to the tar sands?