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

Topics

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, the member who is asking this question in this House is the same person who asked all his members to vote against the creation of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. He is the same member who said, in this House, that the regional economic development carried out by Ottawa was a waste of energy.

If we listened to the Bloc Québécois, Quebec would not get 5¢ for regional economic development. We think differently. We are investing $200 million a year to support regional economic development in Quebec.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we called for and what we are still calling for is that Quebec get all the money for economic development, as all premiers of Quebec have requested. To this minister, who is always telling us that there is “a beginning, a middle and an end”, I say that he is in the middle, he has had his beginning, and his end is coming.

Opinion in Quebec is unanimous that these organizations do an outstanding job. Because of the cuts announced by the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, many of these organizations will disappear.

How much longer will the Prime Minister endorse his minister's intransigence?

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, the leader of the Bloc Québécois thinks that all these organizations are going to disappear. We do not believe that. We have been talking about this for two years. The organizations knew what was coming. The proof that it is going to work is that they have already begun submitting transition plans. They know that by March 31, 2010, they are going to have to be self-sustaining.

The organizations believe in their future. We think they can sell their professional services. I repeat, the money we save will stay in the same region.

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 seems to be more interested in finding jobs for his friends, like Norman Forest at the Immigration and Refugee Board, than in defending Quebec's model for economic development. This is just another example of favouritism by the minister, who wants everything to go through his hands.

Instead of stubbornly trying to destroy the Quebec model, will the minister reverse his decision and reinstate the necessary funding for organizations devoted to economic development?

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, I believe Quebec's economic strength lies in something much broader than a few economic development organizations that currently depend on the government to cover their operating costs year after year.

Quebec's economy is fuelled by 228,000 small and medium sized businesses. Quebec's economy is fuelled by Bombardier, Rio Tinto Alcan, Alouette and other such companies. They are the ones that create jobs; they contribute to our economic development. We are implementing a strategic plan to support small and medium sized businesses in manufacturing and other industries.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister is showing an absolutely incredible lack of respect.

Raymond Bachand, the Quebec minister of economic development, innovation and export, has accused his federal counterpart of contempt in cutting funding to non-profit economic development organizations.

Instead of ignoring what Quebec is asking for, will the minister agree to transfer all the money to Quebec so that it can have all the tools it needs for its own economic development?

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, the short answer is no. Regional economic development is a shared jurisdiction.

The Government of Canada has an annual envelope of roughly $200 million, while the Government of Quebec's Department of Economic Development, Innovation and Export has an envelope of $800 million, which is four times as much as we have.

If Minister Bachand wants to cover the recurring operating costs of the organizations forever, he has everything he needs to do so. It is up to him.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

June 9th, 2008 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, GM workers in Oshawa are simply trying to save their jobs. I was with them this week to show my support, but where was the government? Not with the workers, in any case. Indeed, this government, like the previous government, is ignoring the issues facing workers. It has no strategy to transform the industry, no plan to preserve jobs and no desire to build environmentally-friendly and hybrid cars here.

Why is this government abandoning the GM employees and workers in Oshawa? Why?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 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, this government is very determined to see success in the auto sector, including at GM. We have instituted a number of policies, including tax cuts, a cut in the GST that make it easier for people to purchase cars, tax cuts for their income that has helped them in that regard and the accelerated capital cost allowance to help auto manufacturers.

I would say that the policy within Canada is working. Auto sales were 103,000 in January. In February sales went up to 111,000, March 150,000, April 175,000, and May 184,000. The problem is in exports to the United States and in this regard, we are going to work with GM to try to find ways to solve that.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, tell those numbers to the 10,800 people who have lost their jobs in Oshawa just in the last two years.

Behind every one of those job losses is a family, like Bobby's family. I drove in her truck around the facility the other day. She has worked in that plant for 27 years. We are getting hooting and cat calling from the government members here. They do not give a damn about people like Bobby and the working families who have been building this country for years. Let the Conservatives keep up their heckling.

I am asking the government when it is going to take some action for these workers and start to put a plan in place--

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I would urge restraint, again, in the language of all hon. members. It is unnecessary, I think, to use words like that. The hon. government House leader.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, the government has had a plan in place and in large part thanks to the hard work of the member for Oshawa, who has been pressing from the start the importance of a click in the auto industry to be able to compete with changing times.

He is one of the reasons why we have a $250 million auto innovation fund to help make our auto industry more competitive as it faces changing times, as the markets in the United States go a little bit soft.

We have done what we can to keep the Canadian markets strong. We are doing what we can, through our auto innovation fund, through the national research council, and through others to help them compete, and we will continue work with GM to make--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the apology to be delivered on Wednesday to the victims of Indian residential schools, we have made the point repeatedly that it is not sufficient for aboriginal leaders, elders and survivors to sit in the galleries or stand outside on this historic occasion. They must be invited to join members of Parliament on the floor of the House to receive the apology in person.

Last week, the government's response to this suggestion was essentially no, but that appears to have changed. Will the government confirm that aboriginal people will indeed be seated on the floor of the chamber, and specifically, who has been invited?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 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, of course, we are committed, as I have said many times, to have a very meaningful and respectful apology.

It will be on Wednesday and I would ask the hon. member to show some respect for the occasion, which will be a historic moment.

It will be an occasion where representatives of survivor groups will be here on the floor of the House of Commons along with the leaders of the five national aboriginal organizations.

We look forward to that event and to the subsequent ceremonies that will take place in the Railway and Reading rooms. This will be a very nice occasion.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, this event should indeed be one of historic proportions, an integral part of reconciliation between the Government of Canada and aboriginal peoples. Both sides need to have a voice.

Will Canada's aboriginal leaders have the opportunity to respond to the apology, also right here on the floor, where their responses will be officially preserved in the Hansard of the House of Commons?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 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, we are looking forward to this occasion, the apology here on the floor of the House of Commons.

There will be occasion, of course, for the Prime Minister to present that apology, as promised in the throne speech. The opposition leaders will have a chance to respond to that.

There will be other parts of the ceremony, including other speeches, other ceremonies, gift exchanges, and other things that are also important that will take place here in the House of Commons, in the adjoining room following the actual apology here in the House of Commons.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, details of the plan for Wednesday, the day of the residential school apology, are gradually now trickling out.

Aboriginal leaders and survivors should have been fully consulted every step of the way. By now they should be aware of the text of the apology, and we know that is not the case.

In order to properly prepare a response, will national aboriginal leaders have an opportunity to view the text no later than tomorrow, a day prior to the statement of apology in the House of Commons?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 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, I am glad to hear there is concern about the text of the apology.

We have done extensive consultations. The Prime Minister has met with various members of survivor groups and former students. I have done the same thing. We have had submissions from national and regional organizations, and survivor groups from across the country.

All this has helped us put together what I think will be a very good apology, very complete, and it will be one of those moments when all Canadians and all parliamentarians will be very proud to be here for that moment.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

However, Mr. Speaker, will they see the text ahead of time?

The statement of apology should be a historic event. It must be done right. In order to truly have national impact, the apology must include present and former national leaders in addition to the aboriginal representatives.

As a true gesture of respect and reconciliation to the survivors and their families, has the government extended an official invitation to the apology to the Governor General, to all former Canadian prime ministers, to members of the Senate, and to members of the Supreme Court?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 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, the apology will be here in the House of Commons. It will be very meaningful and respectful. There will be representatives here in the House of Commons to represent the 100,000 former students who are waiting to hear this apology.

We will have representatives here, both the oldest living survivor and the youngest one. We will have representatives from different organizations, both Métis, Inuit and first nations. It is going to be a great occasion.

First nations and the aboriginal people know what is going on here. They know they are going to get what the government promised in the throne speech, a respectful apology.

Bill 101Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of people including many artists demonstrated in Montreal yesterday for the strengthening of Bill 101. The Bloc Québécois has introduced Bill C-482, which attempts to do just that, for example, by amending the Official Languages Act in order to have the federal government recognize that French is Quebec's only official language. Unfortunately, the Conservatives voted against this bill.

With Quebec's national holiday just a few days away, will the Conservatives finally put their words into action and promise to support this initiative?

Bill 101Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member just explained, Bill C-482 did not receive the government's support. That being said, our government will work within its jurisdiction and protect both official languages in Canada.

Furthermore, as a Quebecker, I refuse to accept the Bloc member's flag-waving tactics, presenting himself as the only one defending the rights of francophones in Quebec.

Language of Work in QuebecOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, at the same time this demonstration was being held, four major Quebec unions, including the FTQ and the CSN, participated in a press conference to support the Bloc's initiatives to give tangible expression to the recognition of the Quebec nation, in particular, to ensure that French—and only French—be the language of work for all workers in Quebec.

Is this support not just another sign for this Conservative government that the Quebec nation wants to live and work in French, and that this government should amend the Canada Labour Code so that all companies under federal jurisdiction are subject to the Charter of the French Language within the boundaries of the Quebec nation?

Language of Work in QuebecOral 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, as usual, the Bloc Québécois is trying to pick fights in an attempt to maintain its presence here in Ottawa.

The Canada Labour Code does not address language of work. I will repeat it again: neither the Canada Labour Code, nor the Quebec Labour Code, addresses language of work. The Canada Labour Code deals with labour relations, workplace health and safety and labour standards, not language.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the home of Julie Couillard was under RCMP surveillance in 1998. Yet the Conservatives persist in saying that they were not aware of her shady past. The Prime Minister and those of his ministers who were involved in this matter ought to appear before the Standing Committee on Public Safety to show good faith and shed light on this sordid matter.

Will the Prime Minister and the ministers concerned reconsider their decision and agree to appear before the committee, yes or no?