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House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was code.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the minister that I actually did read the report and that it did predict deficits. Not only does the OECD clearly indicate the risk of a deficit, it also predicts higher unemployment rates in 2009 and thereafter.

Will the Minister of Finance admit that his bad policies have led Canada to the brink of a deficit?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said, it would have been better if the member had actually read the report. There is a difference between “government” and “governments”, between singular and plural. I am sure the member will read that report soon and he can raise it next week after members have a opportunity to read it.

The Liberals can badmouth the economy in Canada and they can badmouth hard-working Canadians, but they should at least get their facts right, even the Leader of the Opposition. There were 100,000 net new jobs in the past year in Ontario alone; 120,000 new jobs nationally in the first four months of this year.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's Minister of Economic Development, Raymond Bachand, has accused his federal counterpart of showing contempt by putting an end to funding for non-profit economic development organizations such as Pôle Québec Chaudière-Appalaches. According to Mr. Bachand, Mr. [name of Minister of Labour] is destroying how Quebec approaches economic development, which is weakening Quebec.

How can the Prime Minister claim to be listening to Quebec when his Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec is going against what Quebeckers want by dismantling their economic development model?

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 Bloc Québécois member voted against the creation of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. This same member has said that regional economic development in Ottawa was a waste of time and energy. This same member regularly rises in this House to ask that we respect the provinces' jurisdictions.

Will this same member do what I expect him to do and also ask the Government of Quebec to respect the federal government's jurisdiction over regional economic development?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, “this same member” will say the same thing as Jean Lesage, Daniel Johnson senior and junior, Jacques Parizeau, René Lévesque and Robert Bourassa: Quebec should have full control over economic development. That is what all the premiers of Quebec have said. Mr. Bachand said, and I quote: “He is a throwback to the days of Duplessis, who used to say to industrialists, 'Come to my office and I'll write you a cheque'—”

Is he not the true minister of patronage? The only first minister who inspires him is Duplessis.

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, where have this member and his party been for more than two years? We have introduced six new tools to support regional economic development. Recently, we also announced the 2008-2011 strategic plan, under which we will invest $212 million over three years to support regional economic diversification in Quebec, and we have targeted the hardest hit regions. We have also put in place tools for all the regions of Quebec.

Yes, we will continue to provide organizations with support, but for 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, the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec is being disrespectful to people in the non-profit sector when he says that their funding requests are to cover the cost of paper and pencils. People who care about Quebec non-profit organizations, people like Pierre Boivin of the Montreal Canadiens, Daniel Lamarre of the Cirque du Soleil, and the president of Ubisoft, are investing in the sector. The minister does not understand anything about Quebec's economic structure and is doing his level best to mess it up.

Will the minister come back down to earth and restore funding for non-profit organizations?

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, when organizations started coming to the department with requests for perpetual funding to cover operating expenses, salaries and other such expenses, they were mistaken. No department, no government, could possibly support that.

If the Government of Quebec believes that these organizations are important, it is free to make decisions like that because this is a matter of shared jurisdiction. It can decide to pay for operating costs. Its budget is four times bigger than ours. It has $800 million and we have $200 million.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, since the days of Jean Lesage, Quebec governments have demanded complete control over regional development, but the federal government has always refused. The minister is saying that the federal government has its own policies, and that it is just too bad if they are not in line with Quebec's development strategy.

Is the minister telling us that municipalities, the business sector, the community sector, and regional conferences of elected officials—in other words, everyone in Quebec—are all wrong and that Ottawa knows best?

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, once again, the Bloc Québécois is trying to mislead people. Economic Development Canada is not responsible for community development. We are responsible for economic development.

We will continue to support economic organizations with one-time projects—projects that have a beginning, a middle and an end. Every organization we help gets two years—almost two and a half years—to get itself off the ground. We are being very civilized about this and we are helping diversify regional economies in Quebec.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

June 5th, 2008 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, after listening to the exchange earlier, I cannot help but observe that if the leader of the official opposition really wants the Minister of Finance fired, he could bring his caucus here tonight and vote no confidence in--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Yesterday, the climate change accountability act was passed by this House—a world first. However, the Minister of Natural Resources said that the government would ignore the act, which would be illegal. No one is above the law.

Will the Prime Minister reprimand his Minister of Natural Resources for being irresponsible?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not understand the NDP leader's question. The reality is that this government has a fixed target for reducing greenhouse gases by 25% by 2020.

Also, Mr. Speaker, I cannot resist commenting on the NDP leader's earlier observation. I think what he would be doing is asking the leader of the Liberal Party to do a national campaign claiming that he is going to make the economy better by imposing new taxes on everyone. No one believes that.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, how can the Conservatives pretend to be all about law and order when they stand idly by as one of their own ministers of the Crown stands up and says he is going to ignore a law passed by this House of Commons on something as important as climate change?

The Prime Minister once said, and I remember it well, that any Prime Minister had a moral obligation to respect the will of the House of Commons. Now the House of Commons has passed a bill called the climate change accountability act, which forces any government, no matter what the party is, to be open and honest with Canadians about climate change. Why will he not insist that his minister follow the law?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the bill of which the hon. member speaks of course had no actual actions in it. It was a bill that spent no actual moneys. The bill was an empty shell.

The reality when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions is that the government's targets were made plain in the Speech from the Throne. The House of Commons adopted that Speech from the Throne.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier today on the GM picket line in Oshawa, I spoke to Eda Lauba, who has five family members affected by the plant closure. Eda wanted me to ask the finance minister the following question: why did neither the minister nor the member for Oshawa bother to show up to offer support? That was her question.

Does the minister not care or, since he has told the world not to invest in Ontario, is he afraid to look his constituents in the eye at this moment of family upheaval?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member for Markham—Unionville taking his quite regal and condescending visit to the people of Whitby and Oshawa whom I have had the privilege to represent for some 13 years now in Ontario and here. They are our friends and neighbours in Whitby and Oshawa.

I wonder if the member for Markham—Unionville told the people on the line about his party's plan to have a huge new tax on gasoline and what that will do for jobs at General Motors.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the minister says I was condescending, he is not insulting me. He is insulting his own constituents who were very pleased to see me and shocked that he was not there, and one or two of them shouted out that he should resign.

There is another point. I told the picketing auto workers how the Prime Minister trivialized this closure as a one time event. They were shocked that he did not understand how a series of one time events was a serial killer of manufacturing jobs.

So, why do the Conservatives not get off their duffs and do something about his constituents?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the member would want to inform the people of Whitby—Oshawa about the reality of the auto innovation fund. I am sure he knows all about that since it is in the budget, on page 122. I am sure that the member wants to inform them why that fund is there and about the community development trust, the money that the Ontario government has.

The member opposite says, “Where is the money?” The money is at Queen's Park. It has the money already and it is in the provincial budget for innovation for the auto sector, just as it is in our budget for innovation in the auto sector for General Motors and other companies, for jobs--

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Honoré-Mercier.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a stroke of genius, the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec decided to cut the budget for 60 not for profit organizations in Quebec. Again, when the Conservatives' right-wing ideology meets the interests of Quebec, then Quebec loses.

Yesterday, the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec was clear: the federal government is on the wrong track. It either has to change course or change minister, but the latter is being obstinate.

When will he stop saying that everyone in Quebec is wrong and that he is the only one who is right?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:35 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, that very same hon. member and the Bloc Québécois have stood up in this House I do not know how many times and asked us when the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec was going to implement measures to help the manufacturing industry.

The advisory committees have guided us. Last week, we implemented three specific programs to support the manufacturing industry and small and medium sized businesses, for a total of $212 million: help for productivity, help for innovation and help for export. What is more, we will support the economic development of the regions of Quebec as well as organizations that have one-off projects.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec,minister responsible for economic development, the mayor of Quebec City and elected officials from all the regions of Quebec: that is a lot of people who do not agree with the minister and who find him to be incompetent. But that does not seem to bother him. There is no room for compromise and Quebec is simply being steamrolled. To heck with economic development, he is imposing his right-wing ideology. We knew he did not like Montreal, but now we realize that he does not like Quebec at all.

Will he stop knocking Quebec down? If not, he should leave.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:35 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 listened to the Bloc Québécois and the Liberal Party, we would no longer be able to support economic development in the regions of Quebec, since all the money would already be committed to organizations to cover their salaries and other expenses.

The following are examples of one-off projects we have supported recently: $1.5 million for the submarine project in Rimouski; $1 million for the glacier experience centre in Baie Comeau; $1.25 million for the Montreal Grand Prix; $24 million for cruise ships for the next two years; and $24 million to $26 million for Le Massif de Petite-Rivière-Saint-François. Those are all one-off projects.