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House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Consumer Product SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want to know that the products they buy for themselves and for their children are safe.

Could the Minister of Health tell the House what action the government has taken to strengthen consumer product safety?

Consumer Product SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, protecting and promoting the health of Canadians, their families and their communities is a priority of this government. Canadians should have confidence in the consumer products they buy, which is why we have reintroduced the Canada consumer products safety act. This is about equipping our government with the tools needed to respond quickly and effectively to protect Canadians.

I call on all the opposition members to support our legislation and to help Canadian families.

Steel IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its $825 billion economic stimulus bill with the pledge to support its industries and buy American iron and steel. With billions in tax dollars promised to be spent in this country, we should ensure that Canadian industries and Canadian workers are the ones who will get the actual benefit.

Why does the Prime Minister not implement our own buy-Canadian program instead of his current program that sees Navistar truck workers thrown out of their jobs and a bunch of Texans hired? Will the government look after Canadian steelworkers like their counterparts south of the border? Will it act this time?

Steel IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, we are watching that legislation very carefully because history is clear that protectionism does not stimulate economies. As a matter of fact, protectionist measures are a drag on economies. We are a trading nation. We are prosperous because the products and services that Canadians make and export around the world bring those returns to our country and also benefit other countries. We are going to ensure that the United States lives up to its obligations under the WTO and under NAFTA. There are clear legal obligations there and we will engage with it to ensure it sticks with them.

Steel IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, like they watched carefully while thousands of Canadians lost their jobs.

Canadian steel companies have been potentially sideswiped by the America bill. We have Americans who are looking for ways to get their economy and their industries working. We should too. That way we can assure that Canadian dollars pay for Canadian steel to build Canadian buildings and Canadian bridges. With buy-Canadian provisions we can benefit from every stimulus dollar.

Other countries are investing in their workers and in their industries. Why is the government not doing the same?

Steel IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the G-28ers in Washington, just at the end of last year, were very clear in their declaration that the country should not lapse into protectionist measures.

We can look at history back as far as the Great Depression and we see that those protectionist measures that were followed then by the United States took what could have been a very bad one or two-year recession and made it go into a depression because of the retaliatory measures that other countries were forced to take. There are clear legal obligations that countries, which belong to the WTO and certainly to NAFTA, as the United States does, must follow and we will engage with them to ensure they respect those obligations.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government has said time and again that it will respect the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces. Yet the Minister of Finance announced in his budget that he will make direct loans to municipalities for infrastructure, going over the head of the Quebec government.

Can the Minister of Finance explain how this respects Quebec's jurisdictions?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, programs that are put in place have always respected the municipalities, stakeholders in Quebec and all the provinces. Let us wait and see what the new programs involve. The budget has been tabled, and we are working on these programs.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has no more credibility when he claims to want to respect the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces. The proof is in his latest budget. He is going to invite private contractors directly to build recreational facilities in municipalities.

How can the Minister of Finance still claim to respect the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces when, with this measure, he will not only be going over Quebec's head, but over the heads of the municipalities? So much for respecting jurisdictions.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the programs will be unveiled in the coming days, and we will respect our partners, as usual.

RCMPOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government gave the RCMP a nasty present just before the holidays. It ripped up its wage agreement, a wage agreement the Prime Minister himself announced. This wage agreement simply gives the RCMP wage parity with other police forces and was a dishonourable act to those who serve and protect us in the force.

Will the government do the right thing and honour this negotiated agreement, yes or no?

RCMPOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, a responsible approach to public sector compensation is critical during a time of economic uncertainty. Everyone is being asked to do their share to help manage government expenditures in the public interest. The RCMP is not being singled out in this respect. It is being treated exactly the same way. It is reasonable and responsible for the government to apply the same wage increase guidelines for every federal employee.

RCMPOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, a responsible approach is to keep one's word.

Once again, the Conservatives say one thing and do another. They claim to support the RCMP and yet break a negotiated contract they signed just to give parity with other police. They say that public safety is a priority and then undercut those on the front lines and badly damage recruitment.

Will the Prime Minister honour his word, the promise he personally made to RCMP officers? Will he stand in this House and tell them what his word is worth?

RCMPOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I find it ironic coming from a Liberal, the government that cut the funding for recruits and training, the government that cut Depot, in fact closed down Depot in 1998 and never restored the amount of training required.

This government has increased the training of officers to 1,800. At a time when officers were retiring,. the Liberal government not only shut down Depot but refused to hire more officers. We are doing what is necessary for the RCMP.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the fact that Genome Canada's funding is even in question shows 19th century thinking for a 21st century problem.

South of the border, President Obama is doubling funding to research. He knows that research will create the jobs in the new economy. What does our government do? It is throwing into question 2,000 jobs and, on top of that, creating uncertainty for our best and brightest.

Will the government send a clear message to Canada's scientific community and commit to stable and even greater funding to Canada's research institutions?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister brought forward a science and tech strategy in 2007 and backed it up with increased funding for science and technology in every budget, including this week with $3.4 billion in new funding for science and technology, which, in all those previous budgets, that member and her party voted against.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government does not understand anything. Why is there still uncertainty? Universities are more than just concrete. They need students, professors and researchers.

What is the government doing to help students reduce their debt load, and what is the government's commitment to research in our institutions?

An entire generation of students, researchers and teachers will be lagging behind the best in the world because of the Conservatives' inaction and bad decisions.

What is the vision of the future for Canada and Canadians in terms of post-secondary education?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the economic action plan that the minister tabled this week includes a plan for training.

Our skills and training transition program will help those who are in school stay in school. It will build more space in colleges and universities so that people can get the training and skills they need for the jobs of the future. It will provide training through EI for those who are unemployed and eligible for EI, as well as for those who are not eligible for employment insurance, because we want them to be ready with the skills for the future.

Equalization PaymentsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, today's newspaper reports claim that the province of Nova Scotia has been negatively impacted by the budget brought in by our government this past Tuesday.

Would the Minister of Finance please clarify these reports for the benefit of the House?

Equalization PaymentsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in November 2008 we took steps to restrain equalization to prevent the program from becoming unsustainable. We stated then that we would ensure that total cash payments in 2009-10 are no lower than those of 2008-09. As a result of the new growth plan, the federal government and Nova Scotia agreed on a transition payment. Nova Scotia's government has accepted this agreement and has indicated its satisfaction with it. It does not affect the equalization payments of any other province. As Premier MacDonald said, “We're still receiving the $75 million. There is no clawback. We are receiving the full amount.”

Pay EquityOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government refuses to end its attack on pay equity and the women of Canada continue to suffer as they make 70 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts. Equal pay was the first bill signed into law by President Obama. The women and the families of Canada want the same fairness and they deserve the same equality.

As the minister of state enjoys the same pay as her male colleagues, will she do the right thing, stand up for the women of Canada to ensure that they receive the same benefits?

Pay EquityOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, what I find incredibly difficult to understand is why that member chooses to stand with her colleagues and insist that women should have to wait 15 years in order for a pay equity complaint to be resolved.

We have brought forward suggestions how this could be done on a proactive basis, much like the Liberal government did in Ontario some time ago, backed by the member for Toronto Centre when he was the head of the NDP.

It seems to have worked in Ontario. Why will they not give that same chance to all of the people in the federal public sector?

375th anniversary of Trois-RivièresOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, Trois-Rivières has been celebrating its 375th anniversary since the beginning of the year. The government of Quebec provided $2 million for the festivities and the city itself has contributed. Only the federal government stubbornly refuses to provide financial support for this event.

Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages plan on providing support for the 375th anniversary celebrations in Trois-Rivières as was promised by his party during the last election campaign?

375th anniversary of Trois-RivièresOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, according to a press release from January 21, 2008, the city of Trois-Rivières was named a Cultural Capital and is eligible for $2 million in funding. Mayor Yves Lévesque was happy to hear that the historic city would be named a Cultural Capital of Canada. He said, “This prestigious title will help us finance a series of cultural activities for the 375th anniversary celebrations for Trois-Rivières.”

They asked for $2 million, and they will receive $2 million. It will be a great celebration in partnership with the federal government.

InfrastructureOral Questions

January 29th, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, the budget revealed that $8 billion did not leave government coffers and get into the hands of those who need it. No wonder municipal leaders are having a hard time trusting the Conservative government will actually carry forward on its promises. For example, municipalities estimate only $300 million of the $1.5 billion of the building Canada fund has been allocated.

Are the mayors actually going to see the money they need, or are they just going to see their plans tied up with a failed Conservative policy?