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House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, in fact, it was the Conservatives who wanted a study of the election expenses of all the parties. It was the Bloc, the Liberals and the NDP who wanted to hide their own election financing practices. We already know that the Bloc leader is the father of in and out. The Conservatives followed all the rules during the election and that is why we are ready to defend our actions.

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, only the Conservatives' expenses are being questioned, and only the Conservative Party offices were raided, not the other parties' offices.

When they were in opposition, the Conservatives supported the former information commissioner's bill that modernized and strengthened the Access to Information Act. Today, those same Conservatives are thrilled with a court ruling that makes documents from ministers' offices inaccessible.

If the Conservatives are serious about transparency, will they announce right now that they will amend the current act to make documents from ministers' offices and the Prime Minister's office accessible?

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, that is a very interesting question, because the Bloc did not want to broaden the Access to Information Act when we discussed it in committee while studying the accountability act. Would my friend like to extend the application of the Access to Information Act to members' offices? I do not think so.

It was our government that brought in the accountability act, which opened up access to information more than ever before in this country's history.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, in four years the Liberals have come up with four different plans: in 2005, project green; in 2006, building a sustainable future; in 2007, balancing our carbon budget; and in 2008, the green shift. They have gone from “couldn't get the job done” to cannot get the job done.

This Parliament has adopted legislation to put in a firm ceiling on greenhouse gas production. When is the government going to get away from its intensity-based targets to a full carbon cap?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 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 hon. member is right. This House did endorse the government's policy on addressing the greenhouse gas challenges with our plan to reduce greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020. We did that when the whole House of Commons endorsed our throne speech laying out that plan.

It is a plan that is going to work and it is going to ensure that we see real reductions. It is a plan that is very different from the Liberal plan released yesterday, which talks an awful lot about how the Liberals are going to raise $15 billion in taxes but does not have one figure, not one ounce, of greenhouse gas reduction included.

That is why we have done something that delivers real results and takes real action.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is wrong on an important point. It was not the House that endorsed the Speech from the Throne, it was the weak Liberals who endorsed it and allowed our environment to continue to be devastated.

If the government wants to reflect on our obligations to future generations, it can at least listen to Alain Lemaire, president of Cascades, who yesterday yet again decried the intensity targets, which are as bad as the Liberals' plan, because in both cases, there is an unlimited increase in greenhouse gases. What is the government going to do to respect the rights of future generations?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 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, on the contrary, our plan is quite clear. It would result in an absolute reduction in greenhouse gases of 20% by the year 2020.

However, I will agree with the hon. member on one point. It is true that it was the Liberals who allowed that throne speech to pass, thereby endorsing our environmental plan. That is why they have not put forward a contrary environmental plan.

All the Liberals put forward yesterday is a tax plan. It has one objective, which is to find a way around all those tax cuts that we brought in, such as reductions in the GST, because the Liberals need a lot of tax revenue to pay for the billions of dollars in promises they have already made. That is why they have such an ambitious tax plan.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, before the Prime Minister makes ludicrous, angry statements on the environment, maybe he should listen to a pre-eminent Canadian environmentalist and a pre-eminent Canadian economist.

David Suzuki has said that to oppose a carbon tax is “just nonsense”. Chief economist Don Drummond said this morning that he carbon shift idea is sensible and average Canadians will be better off.

Is the Prime Minister seriously asking Canadians to believe that both David Suzuki and Don Drummond are crazy?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 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, what is crazy is telling Canadians that the way we are going to solve the environment problem is with a plan that includes a raft of taxes that hits every single Canadian but proposes not one ounce of reduction in greenhouse gases.

That is crazy. That is not a green plan. That is not an environmental plan. That is a tax plan. And it might be the biggest tax plan Canadians have ever seen in their lives. That is why we are not fearmongering. Canadians are afraid of the fearmongering that is being spread by the Liberals with their tax plan.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, Aaron Freeman of Environmental Defence said, “--I can see this plan making a tangible difference to reduce greenhouse gases”. Dale Marshall of the Suzuki Foundation said, “This kind of a carbon tax is absolutely essential...”. Renowned economist Mark Jaccard said, “I've never met one [economist] who disagrees [with a carbon tax]”.

Could it be that the only economist who opposes this plan is the one who sits in the Prime Minister's Office, insults the experts, underestimates Canadians and refuses to address the biggest environmental challenge of our time? How crazy is that?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 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, I will tell the member the economists who object to the Liberal leader's tax plan. It is the economists who sit around the kitchen table at the end of the day trying to balance that chequebook and pay those bills. They are the ones who the Liberal leader insulted when he said, “well, if you have computers you need to change your behaviour”. When he said, “if you have two residences”, that would be a house and cottage, “you need to change your behaviour”.

It is ordinary Canadians who are being insulted because the Liberal leader has decided that they need to change their behaviour. People cannot go to the cottage any more and they should not be on the Internet any more. They should just be gathering up their dollars and sending their taxes to him in Ottawa.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, Arthur Sandborn, from the Quebec chapter of Greenpeace, believes that the Liberal green shift is much better than the NDP's carbon market plan. Sydney Ribaux, general coordinator at Équiterre, said that this is the type of policy they would support.

Does the Minister of the Environment agree with his boss who said yesterday that these Quebec environmentalists are crazy?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 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, I will tell the member who says that a carbon tax plan is crazy and who that says a carbon tax is bad policy. On November 25, 2006, a quote in The Toronto Star reads, it is “simply bad policy”, he says of a carbon tax. Who said that? It was the Liberal leader who, apparently, thought it was crazy. I do not know what has happened to him after a year and a half under siege in his caucus but I guess it is getting to him.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, that quote proves that the Liberals can learn from their mistakes; the Conservatives have never done that.

Not one environmentalist, economist or scientist—and not a single representative of the department—has been able to say that the Conservative government's plan was valid. Eleven independent groups, including C.D. Howe, the Deutsche Bank, the Pembina Institute and the Tyndall Institute, have described it as sham.

A prime minister and a government that insist on holding our country back in the fight against the worst environmental threat the world has seen, is that not crazy?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 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, if members of the Liberal Party learned from their mistakes, they would be geniuses in Mensa today, but instead they are sitting on those benches because they refuse to learn from their mistakes, and they have done it again. Once again they think the answer to solving Canadians' economic challenges is to massively increase taxes on everything: shipping goods, diesel for trucks and home heating oil. How will that help the economy? How will that help Canadians?

It may be really good with the special interest groups that like high taxes but it is not very good for the poor Canadian families and the senior citizen at home at -20° in the winter trying to stay warm with a little bit of heating oil in the furnace.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

June 20th, 2008 / 11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have awarded the maintenance contract for the C-130J to the same company that sold the aircraft to the government, contrary to the traditional approach of separating procurement and maintenance. The result is that the company chooses its suppliers and the technology transfers do not take place.

When will the Conservatives provide the Quebec aerospace industry with better economic and technological spinoffs from this contract?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, all contracts awarded by our government, from the very first day it took office right up until the present, have followed all the rules and been in the best interests of all Canadian industries and all of the country's regions.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec aerospace industry is very worried about the quality of the spinoffs from the C-130J maintenance contract: translation, container construction, storage, provision of tools, the nuts and bolts.

Are these the significant structural spinoffs promised to Quebec by the Conservatives? Will the government confirm that other tenders, of greater interest, are forthcoming?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that is totally not true. The aerospace industry is doing very well in Quebec. To date, the following regional amounts have been announced by Boeing and Lockheed Martin: for Atlantic Canada, more than $294 million; for Ontario, more than $341 million; but for Quebec, more than $660 million; for western Canada, more than $341 million; and that is only the beginning.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the people of Montreal are speaking out against the Conservatives' policies in Ottawa that are compromising our economic model. The Montreal metropolitan community or CMM, Montreal city council, the Montreal agglomeration council, which is an umbrella council for a hundred or so cities, as well as Quebec City, have all asked the Conservatives to reinstate funding for the economic development agencies.

What is the “scorched earth” minister waiting for to reverse his decision?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:35 a.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, I can assure my colleague that all the changes made to Economic Development Canada are in the interest of the agency's mandate to encourage economic development. We will find appropriate solutions in Quebec's best interests by working in close cooperation with all the economic stakeholders.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Montreal municipal councillor Alan DeSousa, who is responsible for economic development, said:

We stand behind Minister Bachand. More appropriate measures must be taken to support the economic development of the region. A number of our successes, particularly in the aerospace sector, were achieved with and thanks to these agencies.

Does the “scorched earth” minister realize that he is dangerously compromising sectors as successful as aerospace? Will he reverse his decision?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:35 a.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, the economy remains the Bloc's bête noire. Those are not my words. That came from a statement made by the hon. member for Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher in the Toronto Sun less than three years ago.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, it appears as though the member for Beauce will finally speak about the scandal he is involved in. Will he appear before the parliamentary committee or address the House of Commons to answer questions? No, instead, the member is organizing a press conference where he will not take any questions from journalists.

Does the government understand that a press conference does not demonstrate transparency if the member will not answer questions?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 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, earlier on in question period, after the Liberal leader said that he was happy to debate this serious issue of the carbon tax, we were finally hearing, after a year of questions and avoided policy, some questions on policy. The serious Liberal debate lasted 15 minutes.

Now we are back to where the Liberals love being, in the gutter asking silly questions about people's private lives. We will invite them to return with some serious questions, perhaps about their carbon tax policy, but I suspect they really do not want to talk about it that much.