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House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was passengers.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the secret documents of the foreign affairs minister, exactly when, how and by whom were they returned to the government?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, we have answered the question many times in the House. The documents in question were returned to the government. The Prime Minister became aware of the matter on Monday of last week. At that point, the resignation of the foreign affairs minister was accepted.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, when the documents were recovered, the Prime Minister should have been informed immediately. If the Prime Minister is telling the truth, there was a serious bungle.

Why are the people who made such a mistake the same ones who are conducting the investigation?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, we are quite confident that Foreign Affairs can look into this matter. It is the department that is most responsible for this. It can examine its processes.

We had a previous occasion where we had very positive recommendations for changes that would improve our processes. That took place in the Privy Council's investigation into the NAFTA affair. We think we will get the same kind of positive results from this.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

June 4th, 2008 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his made-in-Alberta plan, the minister of pollution is refusing to include greenhouse gas reductions made by industries between 1990 and 2005. In choosing 2006 as the reference year, he is giving preferential treatment to rich polluting oil companies and low priority to the manufacturing industry, which reduced its emissions before 2006.

Rather than pretending that he wants to look to the future, would it not be advisable for the Minister of the Environment to first consider the past?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, greenhouse gas levels are too high. Our mission and our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—not in the past, but in the future.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources on the forest industry, which the industry called fantastic, recommends that greenhouse gas reductions made by this industry since 1990 be taken into account when drafting new regulations. The committee, including Conservative members, adopted this report unanimously.

Rather than spewing empty rhetoric, should the minister not consult with the committee chair who supported the recommendation?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we worked very hard with the forestry industry in Quebec and throughout Canada and we have recognized cogeneration in our regulatory plan.

This is the first plan to regulate the major polluters in Canada. We are taking action that will give real results in Canada.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, over the past few weeks, a number of regional conferences of elected officials, including those of Lanaudière, the national capital and Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, have adopted resolutions denouncing the decision by the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec to eliminate recurring funding for not for profit organizations and they are calling on him to overturn his decision. According to the regional conferences of elected officials, these organizations offer direct services to businesses and generate significant economic spinoffs for the regions of Quebec.

Will the minister step out of his ideological bubble and overturn his decision, as everyone in Quebec is asking him to?

Regional DevelopmentOral 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, if we did what the hon. member is asking, that would mean that in all the regions in Quebec, we would no longer be able to pursue regional economic development and we would no longer be able to support projects for small and medium-sized businesses that create employment and contribute to the diversification of economic activity in the regions.

We will continue to support the economic agencies, but through one-off projects that have a start, a middle and an end. We will no longer be funding operating costs forever.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, everyone in Quebec is worried about the negative impact of the decision by the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.

Did the minister consult the Government of Quebec before making his unfortunate decision and did he listen to Quebec?

Regional DevelopmentOral 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, regional economic development is a shared jurisdiction. The Government of Quebec can very well make its own decisions and we can make ours. If some groups think that continuing to pay the operating costs of not for profit organizations is a good decision, then they can continue to subsidize those organizations. We are still going to help the organizations, but only in one-off projects that have a start, a middle and an end.

I just got back from Montreal, home of the Montreal Grand Prix. We have allocated a $1.25 million subsidy for a one-off project that will help the Montreal Grand Prix and will draw tourists to Montreal.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the UN has called an emergency summit to look at the food crisis and to find solutions to the growing problem but Canada's agriculture minister is not there.

Sending food aid and working with the WTO to reduce trade barriers is not enough. This crisis worsens every day.

Solutions need to be found beyond what is already in place and Canada needs to be a leader on this important issue, but the minister is not there. Why not?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, Canada's position is being ably led by Alex Himelfarb. Of course, the members opposite would well appreciate his expertise in these areas.

We are very ably represented at that conference.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, even Robert Mugabe is there. Why is the Canadian minister not there?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I think the member just outlined the credibility of the conference when one of the keynote speakers is Robert Mugabe.

There are a number of other legitimate concerns being raised at that conference.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Maybe members should hold it down a little if they want any kind of answer.

We have committed a lot of dollars to food aid around the world. We disconnected our food aid so that it is bought locally.

Canada can claim credit as a leader in the food aid crisis around the world.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the NAFTA-gate report has a number of serious flaws.

Americans with access to the diplomatic memo were not called; reporters in the budget lock-up were not called; and The Associated Press that received the memo was not called.

The government House leader misleads Canadians by pretending that the report clears the Prime Minister's hand-picked people, but if the investigation is so obviously incomplete, how can Canadians accept any of the findings?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Actually, Mr. Speaker, I beg to differ. It was quite a thorough and complete investigation.

In fact, I remember that very same member complaining that it was taking too long, that it was being too thorough and that he objected to the fact that the clerk had obtained the services of professionals to assist him in that regard.

However, I will tell the House what conclusion the hon. member is not talking about. He is not talking about the conclusion in the report that any comments made by the Prime Minister's chief of staff did not reveal any information. There was no evidence that Mr. Brodie disclosed any classified information.

The hon. member asked a lot of questions, assuming this was true, but once that came out, he never once apologized. He could take the opportunity to do that now.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is that response that shows the government has no credibility when it comes to accountability.

Yesterday, Senator Barack Obama all but secured the presidential nomination for the Democratic Party.

The Conservative Party has made no secret of its cozy ties and admiration for the Republicans.

Given that leaks from the government have already interfered in Obama's campaign, could the Prime Minister tell us what else he plans to do as the leader of the Republican farm team?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.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 would further add that the hon. member did not accurately report what is in the report. It actually says that the PCO invited three TV news reporters connected with the alleged disclosure to talk to investigators, but CTV News declined on their behalf, so they cannot sit there and say that they were never contacted. They actually refused to cooperate.

That is not the fault of the government and that is something that he should represent accurately but he does not, the same way that he represented the original accusations inaccurately, the same way that on every single issue they raise as a potential scandal, this government gets cleared and they never once apologize. It is time for them to apologize on all those fronts.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, lately the opposition members have been trashing Canada's economy. Their constant negative outlook is causing Canadians to worry and it is scaring away investors.

The ignorance of opposition members of Canada's economic strength is disappointing. What is worse is that their warning cries are not based on facts, as the OECD revealed just today.

Could the Minister of Finance please give this House the state of Canada's economy?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would be delighted to do so and I thank the member for Chatham-Kent—Essex for his positive approach to our economy, unlike the negative approach toward Canada taken by the Liberals opposite. That negative approach is not shared internationally. The OECD, in its spring economic outlook, after two years of Conservative government, said, “Canada has entered the current period of weakening global growth from an enviable position”.

It went on to compliment Canada about the relatively healthy state of the economy, including the impulse of tax cuts, Ralph, reducing taxes in Canada and providing stimulus--

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.