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House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservatives.

Topics

Child PornographyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, my third petition calls for the government to deal with the issue of child pornography and, in particular, to protect our children by taking all necessary measures to ensure that materials which promote or glorify pedophilia or sado-masochistic activity involving children be outlawed.

Age of ConsentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, my fourth petition deals with the age of sexual consent. It is a little out of date, but it is important to remember that most Canadians are very supportive of the change that was made by Parliament to boost the age of consent from 14 to 16 years of age.

Canada Post CorporationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of the residents of Mississauga, Brampton and Hamilton, Ontario. The petitioners call upon Parliament to eliminate the health and safety risks associated with community mailboxes and to reinstate door to door mail delivery to all neighbourhoods across Canada.

Bill C-207PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I am presenting a second series of signatures from Quebec citizens who support Bill C-207. There are several hundred citizens in Quebec regions who support Bill C-207. This bill would give an income tax credit of up to $8,000 to recent graduates who accept employment in a region that is facing economic difficulties.

I would like to read a few words from the petition: “Considering that Bill C-207 would come to the aid of regions [facing economic difficulties] and that a similar program exists in Quebec and has proved successful. We [,the citizens,] are calling on the House of Commons and all members of Parliament to support Bill C-207.”

I present this petition on behalf of these citizens.

Income TrustsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present yet another income trust broken promise petition from constituents in my riding of Mississauga South.

My constituents remember the Prime Minister writing that the greatest fraud is a promise not kept. He promised never to tax income trusts, but he did break that promise by imposing a 31.5% tax on income trusts which permanently wiped out $25 billion of the hard earned economic retirement savings of over two million Canadians, and they were mostly seniors.

The petitioners are asking the Conservative minority government: first, to admit that the decision to tax income trusts was based on flawed methodology and incorrect assumptions, as was demonstrated in the Finance Committee; second, to apologize to those who were unfairly harmed by the broken promise; and finally, to repeal the punitive 31.5% tax on income trusts.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

June 6th, 2008 / 12:05 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 254 will be answered today.

Question No. 254Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

With regard to the government's contracting process: (a) what process was used to award a contract from Health Canada to Richard Bargery (contract number 4500173728) on November 12, 2007; (b) if other bids were received, who were they from and what were the amounts bid; and (c) in detail, what services is Mr. Bargery providing to the government?

Question No. 254Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, in response to a) In the fall of 2007, Health Canada notified the pharmacy associations of NWT and Yukon of our intent to begin negotiations regarding fee arrangements. The government of Nunavut was also informed that separate negotiations with Nunavut and Beaufort Delta area pharmacists would begin in late fall or January.

Both negotiations were considered extremely sensitive as there were concerns that if negotiations failed, pharmacies in either region, could withdraw from Health Canada’s Non-Insured Health Benefit Program, leaving First Nations and Inuit clients in those areas unable to obtain their medications in a timely manner.

Unfortunately, the person scheduled to lead these negotiations for Health Canada unexpectedly withdrew the services in October – just weeks prior to the scheduled start of the negotiations. This created an immediate, and urgent, need for Health Canada to find a replacement negotiator.

It was imperative to find someone with excellent negotiating skills and knowledge of health issues, as well as someone with significant experience and understanding of northern issues and realities. In addition, it was essential to find someone with established relationships with stakeholders and a strong understanding of the territorial environments.

Health Canada identified and approached three qualified candidates. Two of the three qualified candidates informed Health Canada that they were unavailable to take on such a contract. The third candidate, Mr. Richard Bargery, was available to begin the work in the required time frame.

He also met all of Health Canada's qualifications. He is a former deputy minister within the government of the Northwest Territories; has worked with officials of the government of Nunavut at the most senior levels; has performed the role of lead negotiator for a wide array of program areas and strategic initiatives; and has strong and established relationships within territorial governments and with key First Nations and Inuit partners.

Thus, based on his availability and the fact he met Health Canada's specific criteria for qualifications and experience, a decision was made to offer Mr. Bargery a contract.

In response to b) As a sole source process was undertaken to award this contract, no other bids were received

In response to c) Mr. Bargery is responsible for representing Health Canada at two negotiating tables: one with the NWT and Yukon Pharmacy Association, and one with the Nunavut and Beaufort-Delta pharmacy providers. Since the beginning of his contract, he has participated in more than 10 formal and informal meetings with these two groups. For cost efficiency, the majority of these meetings are conducted by telephone or video-conference, however on three occasions face to face meetings have been held. Each meeting requires significant preparation including consultations with Health Canada and extensive reviews and analysis of data, correspondence and other documentation.

The contractor is also responsible for reviewing and replying to proposals and correspondence developed by these groups. The contractor is required to liaise with first nations and Inuit organizations. While this work is especially important in Nunavut and the Beaufort-Delta region, where organizations have a financial stake in the local pharmacies, first nations and Inuit organizations across the territories are all very interested in the negotiations, as they could have a direct impact on their memberships. This work consists of additional meetings, as well as drafting correspondence to the organizations.

Finally, the contractor is responsible for providing ongoing briefings to senior management teams at Health Canada about the status and directions of the negotiations.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, finally, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-50, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 26, 2008 and to enact provisions to preserve the fiscal plan set out in that budget, be read the third time and passed, and of the motion that this question be now put.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the input of the hon. member on a budget which has some very significant problems with it.

One of the issues that has been debated today, specifically, has to do with the irrational burying of an immigration provision in there. It is going to change the way in which matters are going to be dealt with as far as who is getting into our country. The issue I thought we were trying to address was a backlog situation, but it appears from the facts that this particular measure is not going to address that backlog.

I wonder if the member could advise the House on what exactly the implications of this change would be. Additionally, the hon. member may want to comment on why a significant immigration policy shift is incorporated in a financial budget.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tackle the first question regarding why this is in a budget bill. If the issue of immigration is so critical, and if it needs thoughtful consideration, it should never be part of a budget bill, it should go its standing committee. That is part of the democratic and parliamentary process. The government chose to put it in a budget bill probably to hide it.

There is no transparency in what the government is doing. It claims that the process it has put in Bill C-50 are instructions. There is no process, they are just instructions by the minister to somehow eliminate the backlog.

If one were to look carefully at the bill, the instructions would come into effect February 2008. For the backlog, which has been there before February 2008, any person who is already in the system is not get affected. I think this is a smoke and mirror game that the Conservatives are trying to play.

Why are the Conservatives trying to play this game? I would suggest that they want temporary workers. They do not want permanent residents.

Every one of us in the House is an immigrant, whether one came here three years ago, or one's ancestors came here 300 years ago. To bring in only temporary workers is being regressive and going back to when coolies were brought in to build the railway. This is a very regressive and repugnant bill that has to be overturned by the next government.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the response of the hon. member with regard to the immigration situation and I think she was very clear.

The other significant concern I heard in the debate has to do with the fiscal health of the nation and the fact that even the budget anticipates that we will become very close to going into deficit in the second year of the projections. I am a little concerned about the fact that the government has not left very much wiggle room to take into account any contingent liabilities.

I wonder if the member can comment on whether or not public confidence in the health of the nation is probably one of the biggest priorities that we have as it relates to jobs and economic security.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague is such a well versed person in finance, I assure him that my constituents have been very concerned that the government, which inherited a $17 billion surplus, has brought the country down to the brink of bankruptcy.

The minister was responsible for a $5.6 billion deficit in Ontario. He and his colleagues were also responsible for the Walkerton crisis, for shutting down hospitals and for eliminating 7,000 nursing jobs.

Mr. Speaker, that is a--

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

It is with regret that I must interrupt the hon. member.

Resuming debate. The hon. member for Laval,

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to speak to Bill C-50, Budget Implementation Act, 2008.

I can say right off the bat that, if this bill were a movie and an uncensored one, its title could be something like “In Search of Promises Kept”, because they are few and far between in this budget.

Take the promise made to seniors for example. Before the election, every member of the Conservative Party in this House rose to vote in favour of giving back to seniors the money owed to them in connection with the guaranteed income supplement. This is money that has been owed to them for several years now. Yesterday's vote showed that the government does not keep its promises to the people it was supposed to represent. The Conservatives were unanimously opposed. Every Conservative member in the House stood in his or her place and voted no. So, where seniors are concerned, promise made, promise broken.

One might also think of the promise made to veterans, their widows and their survivors to provide them with a more extensive support program than the current one, ensuring that all survivors of veterans and their widows would be eligible for help. Again, promise made, promise broken.

Take the promise to respect provincial jurisdictions. It is a promise that was made with great fanfare, but it still has not been kept. Instead of respecting provincial jurisdictions, the government, through this bill, is setting up PPP Canada Inc., a crown corporation that will work with the public and private sectors to support public-private partnerships. There are fears that this crown corporation will have a say in federally funded infrastructure projects in Quebec, whereas Quebec wants full control, including the power to decide on potential PPPs.

Bill C-50 also provides an additional $110 million for the Mental Health Commission of Canada, even though health and social services are Quebec's responsibilities.

The bill also provides for a $500 million fund for public transit, whereas we are calling for the block transfer of federal infrastructure funding so that Quebec can make its own choices, which it usually does quite well. All the other provinces look to Quebec, because Quebec's social programs and tax benefits are far superior to their own.

The government is still committed to setting up a common securities regulator, as we saw again last week. There were discussions about this.

Lastly, Canada would invest $25 million to help Canadians understand the impact of the environment on our health. This is a public health measure, and Quebec has its own public health agency. The government has therefore broken its promise not to interfere in provincial jurisdictions.

Despite its promise to govern with transparency and integrity, the government decided to sneak an immigration measure into Bill C-50 that would give the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration the power to decide who can enter Canada and who cannot. It is disgraceful to include an immigration measure in a budget implementation bill. I have never seen such a thing. It is really underhanded. I think that this is emblematic of this government's overall approach.

They also made a promise to correct the fiscal imbalance. This has not been kept either. Even though part of it was addressed by allocating some money, the idea of correcting the fiscal imbalance involves a lot more than just throwing money at it. We need to talk about tax points and many other very important aspects if we truly want to free the provinces from the federal government. Promise made, promise broken.

Lastly, I will talk about a promise made to women in January 2006. During his election campaign, the current Prime Minister assured women that he would do what is necessary to help them achieve true equality. He said that in January 2006. It is now June 2008 and nothing has yet been done to help women achieve true equality. On the contrary, the government has tried to muzzle women by cutting funding to Status of Women Canada, funding that has not been reinstated.

I even have some excerpts of speeches given by Kathleen Lahey and Armine Yalnizyan to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. After carefully examining the budget, they came to tell us what they thought about it, taking into account the fact that the budget must address both the men and the women who pay taxes. Women make up 52% of the population, whether my colleagues like it or not. This 52% of the population deserves some respect when it comes to measures that are to represent or at least serve the entire population.

There is nothing in this budget for women or even anything that would benefit women, let us be honest. For example, $20 million has been allocated to Status of Women Canada, but there are 16.6 million women in Canada. That means that Status of Women Canada has to assume all of its responsibilities with a budget of just $1.21 per woman or girl in Canada. This is an overall budget of $1.21 per person for the duration of the budget.

In comparison, pork producers—and I am very happy for them—are getting $50 million to help them adjust to new market realities. With roughly 14 million pigs in Canada, that represents $3.57 a pig. The 10,000 or so pig producers are getting twice as much as is being allocated to help Canada's 16.6 million women cope with the serious disadvantages they face.

We can see which is more highly valued by the Conservative government: a woman is worth $1.21 while a pig is worth $3.57. Let us not think about it for too long; it is plain to see that this budget does not offer much to women.

Of course they talk about a plan—a vague plan that will not amount to much if it is not actually developed. They can talk about a plan for a very long time. They talk about it in the budget as something to come. However, we still have not seen a single word about this plan. We have not heard the minister say anything about this plan either. It makes us wonder whether the government is really serious about implementing a plan when one has existed since 1995 that was ratified and adopted by all the countries present in Beijing.

In closing, when women are mentioned just six times in the entire budget, and one of those occurrences is to make the distinction between fishermen and fisherwomen, it is because there is not much interest in or respect for them.

I highly doubt that we can support this budget. As hon. members know, the Bloc Québécois will be voting against it. We will all rise in this House with great pride to vote against this budget. We have no need for broken promises. We need the government to keep its promises.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for my colleague.

First, I would like to congratulate the member on her work and on her support for federalism. As it turns out, the Bloc Québécois has become an excellent federalist party that is helping us with our work.

Second, there is just one thing I would like to ask the member. Her party has never been in power. That is not their fault. They are like the NDP. With that in mind, we would like to know what changes they would suggest be made to Status of Women Canada. What does her party recommend we give to Status of Women Canada?

Third, I do not really like the comparison the Bloc drew between women and pigs. I do not think that is appropriate, and such things should not be said here in the House.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, we will never be in power, nor do we want to be. That is of utmost importance to us. The fact that we will never be in power is fundamental, critical even, to our freedom. That is why we can stand up for the rights and interests of the people we represent without fear of reprisals from big corporations trying to tell us how to vote. Most parties who have access to power are sometimes tempted to do as they are told.

It is all too easy for the Conservative government to lean right and do what right-wing lobby groups want. We, however, need answer to no lobby. We answer only to our fellow citizens, those who have given us majority after majority to represent Quebeckers. That is all I need to know, and that is all I need to believe. Frankly, having seen what that kind of power does to Quebec members who do nothing at all for Quebeckers, who dare not rise when they disagree with something, I want nothing to do with it. If that is what it does to a person, then thanks, but no thanks.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, as agriculture critic, it is actually with a great deal of sadness that I speak on this budget implementation bill.

Why would I be disheartened about speaking on this? It is simple. This initially new and now scandal-ridden Conservative government basically has forgotten primary producers in Canada.

Worse, as we saw here during question period today, the parliamentary secretary, the minister and the Conservative propaganda machine go to great lengths to misrepresent what they are really doing and not doing for Canadian farmers in this country.

Agriculture Canada documents show clearly that program spending is down by $1.2 billion from the last year that the Liberal Party was in power. This program spending reduction is at a time when the hog and beef industry is in the greatest crisis that it has ever faced in this country.

I will say this. On the positive side, thank goodness, prices in the marketplace are up for grains and oilseeds, but there is no question that costs are up very substantially as well. If there were a hailstorm, a flood or a disaster, it would be extremely difficult given the cost structure those farmers face.

However, on the positive side, prices are up in those industries. I say thank goodness, because if prices were not up in those industries, those farmers, just like hog and beef producers and some in the tender fruit industries, would be left to suffer financially and wave in the wind. These are people who are losing their life's work while the government basically sits on its hands and offers virtually nothing to the industry that has fed this country ever since this country was born.

The fact is, as I said, program spending is down. The fact is that the government had a family farm options program that would assist farmers in financial trouble and cancelled the program in midstream. As for those who could remain in the program, who were in the first year, this year it has paid them out at only 50¢ on the dollar.

In fact, the government said during the election that it would cancel the CAIS program and all it did was change the name. The government will not even allow hog and beef producers, after all their financial difficulties, the option of choosing between the CAIS program or the agri-invest program, whichever would suit them better.

That is why I am saddened to a great extent.

In terms of the hog and beef industry, the government talks about the loans it has put out there, and yes, it has put out loans. It has put out loans on the advance payment and general loans and has backed them up. However, officials who were before the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food said that will cost the government only an additional $22 million.

I do not know about you, Mr. Speaker, but I know it is very difficult to borrow yourself out of debt. There those farmers are, trying to survive and trying to feed the world, and the government leaves them in the lurch.

I will outline what I believe could be done for the hog and beef industry yet. Hog and beef producers need the option of having the top 15% of CAIS or the new agri-invest program for at least 2007 and 2008, deferring not only interest payments but also clawbacks of all CAIS overpayments until December 2008.

The government needs to adjust the reference margin for disease, suspend the cap on safety net programs for two years, and realign Canada's inspection fees, cost recovery rates and other regulatory measures in order to be competitive with Canada's major trading partner. That is what needs to be done. It is not in this budget bill. That is very sad.

Let us take a moment and look at what is happening south of the border. The government south of the border seems to care about its primary producers in rural areas, while this government just lets ours wave in the wind.

The $285 billion United States farm bill places American farmers as a first priority and trade agreements as a distant second, which is the direct opposite of what the Canadian farm policy is under the Conservative government. Yet our producers must compete against United States farmers, both in our domestic market and in the international marketplace. We cannot continue to allow Canadian regulatory policy and agriculture policy to put our own producers at a disadvantage.

Let me give members but one example. There are many, but time is short. One example relates to Canadian agri-retailers. In both the United States and Canada, agri-retailers are asked to provide greater security for fertilizer and chemicals against terrorists. They are both requested by governments to put in security measures, including fences et cetera.

The difference is that in the United States farm bill, the United States government is offering $100,000 in assistance per unit up to a maximum of $2 million for multiple units. What is the Canadian government doing in return? It says it is not going to help.

As the headline in one of the papers in Winnipeg said, “Canadian Agri-Retailers at Competitive Disadvantage after U.S. Passes $290B Farm Bill”. The U.S. farm bill will provide U.S. agri-retailers substantial tax credits and grants for security of essential crop nutrients and protection products, while our government does nothing.

It does nothing, and that cost has to be passed on to primary producers. That is what I mean when I say the government is ignoring the reality of what is happening in rural Canada and is not there to provide assistance. This bill shorts the farm community in that regard.

Sadly, the bottom line for the farm community is much like that for the industrial sector. The government has failed to support most agriculture processing, leaving canning plants and others in difficulty due to cheap product coming in from other countries that do not follow the same environmental and labour standards as Canadians do.

As a result, the tender fruit industry in southern Ontario lost its canning plant. Many producers have now torn out their tender fruit orchards, with a tremendous loss of investment. Investments made five years ago are being torn out today. They would have provided food security for tender fruits in this country and those orchards are being torn out while the government sits on its hands and this bill ignores their concerns.

As well, beef plants and hog plants have gone under. Where capacity was built up by the previous government, the current government sits on its hands while that processing capacity closes. It has failed to act in terms of specified risk materials and the extra costs that government regulations put on those processing plants, therefore making them non-competitive.

I am running out of time, so I will conclude this way. Producers are facing challenging times and the Government of Canada must step up to the plate to be there for producers when required. As program spending shows, the government's words are cheap but its action is basically nil.

Given the discussions about global food shortages, Canada's agriculture policy becomes all the more important in ensuring we can do our part, not only in providing food for the world but also in ensuring that we have food sovereignty and a profitable farming sector at home. Government has a responsibility to do no less.

The Conservative government has absolutely failed to meet the needs of primary producers in rural Canada. It is good at messaging, but it is terrible at providing the kind of action necessary to ensure primary producers in this country have a long term future.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for the time he has put in. It seems as though he is a little confused as usual.

He talked about all these initiatives, but he did not even mention Bill C-50 and what is actually in this budget bill. He did not talk about the $500 million to help improve public transit. He did not talk about the $400 million to help recruit new front line police officers. He did not talk about the $250 million for carbon capture and storage in projects in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. And he certainly did not talk about the need to pass this legislation immediately so we have time to put the regulations in place so that the tax-free savings account can take effect on January 1.

I would like to ask the hon. member if he will stand up for rural Canadians. If he wants to talk about something that is going to destroy rural Canada, it is his leader's carbon tax plan. It will destroy areas, farmers and producers in rural Canada. It is worse than any other plan since the national energy program. He talks about it being cost neutral. How can it be cost neutral for farmers who have to put crops in the ground? Is the price of gasoline not high enough already for the member? How can it be cost neutral to those seniors who have to pay for increased heating costs? How can it be cost neutral for rural Canadians?

If the member insists that he stands up for rural Canadians, will he show up and vote on this budget implementation bill and support our government, will he vote against it where apparently his beliefs are, or will he do what he and his Liberal Party colleagues have been doing for months, which is to sit on their hands and run away from the issues?

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from my hon. colleague. I sit on the Standing Committee on Agriculture with him. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we disagree and I guess this is a moment of disagreement. Clearly the member should know why I did not talk about a lot of what is not in Bill C-50, because it is what is not there that concerns me. It is the ignoring of rural Canada, the ignoring of primary producers, the putting farmers last that concerns me. I had to express those concerns.

Earlier we heard the parliamentary secretary try to put a spin on the survey of the Canadian Wheat Board. He tried to put a spin to misrepresent the facts. That is what the hon. member did in terms of the carbon issue. We are talking about a green shift. Let me be clear that on gasoline, there will be no increase. Wait until the plan rolls out. The member will probably be jumping up and down in favour of what the leader of the Liberal Party is trying to do.

Let us look at some of the opportunities in terms of a green shift for the farm community: other alternatives, research and development, carbon sinks. The net benefit at the end of the day will be an environment where our children and our grandchildren can enjoy a future. We on this side of the House will not bury our heads in the sand like that party over there does when it comes to dealing with environmental issues. We will deal with the facts. There are opportunities for farmers and primary producers in terms of a green shift: research and development, new crops, carbon sinks, and a better future environmentally for all Canadians and indeed the world.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

The hon. member for Stormont--Dundas--South Glengarry has room for a 30 second comment or question.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry Ontario

Conservative

Guy Lauzon ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I could not resist. I believe I heard the hon. member defend the carbon tax. I would like some clarification. As he mentioned, the hon. member is on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food along with my other hon. colleague. If the hon. member can stand there and hear the carbon tax is going to devastate agriculture and the hon. member is suggesting that he believes in the carbon tax--