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House of Commons Hansard #88 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was election.

Topics

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

October 1st, 2009 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Pratt & Whitney announced the closure of a plant in Longueuil, which means that 160 workers will be laid off by the end of 2010. These job losses are in addition to the approximately 500 layoffs in Quebec that the company has announced this year. The aerospace industry is to Quebec what the automobile industry is to Ontario.

When will the federal government decide to support Quebec too and adopt a real aerospace policy?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, first of all, Pratt & Whitney’s real investment in Quebec over the next few years is expected to exceed $500 million. That is a 10% increase. That is not bad.

In addition, our government has supported the aerospace sector and has doubled the strategic initiatives in it. We support all the investments, like those Pratt & Whitney is making along with other companies.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec’s aerospace industry needs assistance in order to remain competitive. It needs a predictable program with research, accessible support for small and medium-size companies, and a regional spin-off policy reflecting the fact that Quebec accounts for 60% of the industry.

Why help Ontario’s automobile industry but refuse to help Quebec’s aerospace industry, which is an industry of the future?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that is totally false. There is an announcement in Montreal for CAE and other aerospace companies.

We have a strategy for this industry. In the 2008 budget, we announced more than $5 billion in additional spending for research and development all across Canada.

LabourOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour says that pregnant women may take advantage of preventive withdrawal in federally regulated businesses. The salary, however, for the two groups of women is not the same, since Quebec's CSST pays 90% of an employee's salary, whereas there is nothing like this for women working under the Canada Labour Code.

Does the minister realize that this salary difference creates two classes of female citizens in Quebec?

LabourOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I made it clear yesterday that, when a woman feels, whatever the point, that her health and safety or that of her fetus are at risk because of a health problem, including the H1N1 virus, she is entitled under the law to refuse to go to work. She will continue to be paid until a decision is taken.

LabourOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is valid until a physician says yes or no, which could be in an hour or a day.

The minister must know that some Quebec employees working under the Canada Labour Code are covered against all occupational injuries and diseases under the CSST.

What is keeping the Conservatives from reaching an agreement with the Government of Quebec to allow pregnant women working under the Canada Labour Code to enjoy real preventive withdrawal?

LabourOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear again.

If a woman at any time feels that her health and safety or the health and safety of her unborn child is at risk due to any health issue including the H1N1 virus, she has the right under the law to refuse to go to work and continue to be paid until a determination is made.

The labour program is working with the Public Health Agency and the provinces, including the province of Quebec, to examine this issue.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's scheme for allocating infrastructure stimulus funds is a stunning example of political favouritism.

In B.C., Conservative ridings received an average of $9.3 million compared to $2.2 million for opposition ridings. Because there are no Conservatives, the entire City of Vancouver received barely half a million dollars.

Will the government listen to municipalities, stop its patronage and provide funding and jobs fairly to all British Columbians?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have set aside $70 million of federal support that will help leverage about $200 million of infrastructure investment in the City of Vancouver proper. We are waiting to get sufficient details from the city so we can move forward.

I note that the Liberal math is quite interesting. Yesterday the Liberal Party said there were 135 projects in British Columbia approved, and in fact we have approved 308. They said it was only $283 million, and in fact we approved more than $740 million worth of projects.

When it comes to British Columbia, does this side of the House deliver for B.C. in a way B.C. has never received support before? I can categorically say yes.

2010 Winter Olympic GamesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, here is another embarrassing example of crass politics.

The logo on the 2010 Canadian Olympic retail apparel was released today, and it bears a striking resemblance to the logo of a certain political party.

Canada's Olympic Games belong to all Canadians. While it is clear that the Conservative government's multi-million dollar infrastructure campaign is crassly partisan, could the Prime Minister at least stop trying to politicize the Canadian Winter Olympic Games?

2010 Winter Olympic GamesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of State (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that no one in the Government of Canada was involved in any way, shape or form in the design of any of the Olympic clothing. In fact the first time I saw it was yesterday.

The clothing was designed by the Hudson's Bay Company in consultations with the Canadian Olympic Committee and with an athletes' panel.

I would remind the hon. member and her party that last week they were attacking Tim Hortons and this week they are attacking the Hudson's Bay Company. Why do they not support our athletes while they are training to win gold at home and make each and every one of us very proud in every corner of our country?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday while Liberals were doing what the Prime Minister should have done, defending Canadian health care in Washington, Republican Senator Corker called Canada parasitic.

Will the Prime Minister denounce Senator Corker's reprehensible characterization of our country?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have a health care system that all Canadians can be proud of.

We recognize there is always need for improvement. We are committed to working with the provinces and the territories to ensure that our system provides high-quality health care for all Canadians.

I would like to read a quote:

Keep Canada out of the U.S. debate...and hope our friends in the U.S. will find their own answers to the questions that lie at the heart of [their] health care.

Who said that? The member for Toronto Centre.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is simple. It is about standing up for our health care system when it is under attack from right-wing Republican ideologues, those very same ideologues that the Prime Minister said he admired.

When will the Prime Minister or anyone from the Conservative Party finally begin to defend and promote Canada's most cherished social program, our health care system?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, again, this government is committed to providing support to the provinces and territories, which is why we have continued to increase the transfers to the provinces and territories in the last year by 6%.

We now have $24 billion being transferred to provinces. I will continue to work with the provincial and territorial health systems to ensure that we are responding to Canadians' needs.

Typhoon KetsanaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Conservative Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, our government is making available up to $5 million for emergency and humanitarian assistance because of typhoon Ketsana.

Many Canadians, particularly members of the Filipino-Canadian community are worried about their relatives still in the Philippines who have been affected by this terrible typhoon.

Could the minister of immigration tell us what he is doing to help alleviate their worries?

Typhoon KetsanaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I am sure all of our prayers are with those affected by the terrible typhoon Ketsana in Southeast Asia.

I am pleased to announce that effective immediately, immigration officials will begin expediting applications from individuals directly and significantly affected by the typhoon.

The special measures I am announcing include priority processing for new and existing family class applications from the Philippines for individuals affected by the typhoon. Their applications will be put to the front of the queue. In addition, Canadian visa officers will also be prioritizing temporary resident applications from Filipino nationals who can demonstrate that they are negatively affected by the typhoon.

In addition to our generous aid contribution, we are doing what we can to stand by the people of the Philippines.

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is the first day of October and in northern Ontario, indeed across the province, it is getting colder. However, what is really giving people the chills in this province is the government's HST scheme. The recession has hit families across northern Ontario hard and now the government wants to slap them with an extra 8% tax on their heating bill.

Would the minister explain to the families in this province why he is pushing the new tax and leaving them out in the cold?

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, several Canadian provinces chose to harmonize their sales taxes some years ago. A couple of others have decided now to do that; Quebec is interested in doing that as well.

What I do not understand with the position of the NDP is that their finance critic says we have to hurry up and harmonize fully with Quebec, and at the same time says there ought not to be harmonization with Ontario and with British Columbia.

Perhaps the member for the NDP can explain that contradiction to the House.

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy he asked the question. The Conservatives like regressive taxation, which hits the most disadvantaged the hardest. That is the problem. In the case of Quebec, this has already been done and it is owed money.

According to the Conservative tape, the negotiations with Quebec are moving right along. However, according to the information published yesterday by Jean-Marc Salvet in Le Soleil, they are at a standstill. Although my question is simple, it requires them to press the pause button on their tape recorder.

Will Quebec be getting the $2.6 billion due it because Quebec has already harmonized?

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I recall, the member for Outremont was in fact a member of the government in Quebec that chose to enter into a harmonization with the Government of Canada at the time.

Now he says the Ontario government is wrong to harmonize, the British Columbia government is wrong to harmonize, and Quebec should have full harmonization.

What is this inconsistency? What is this lack of understanding of the process that the provincial governments follow, including the government that he was part of?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology) threatened to cut funding to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in order to force the organization to withdraw its financial support for a university conference that was deemed too anti-Israel.

Does the minister understand that the council is an organization designed expressly to avoid political interference in grants to scientists?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, the research council in question has clearly stated that the email is inaccurate.

What is accurate is that this government has put $5.1 billion into science and technology. The Bloc voted against it. What is accurate is that we have increased funding to the SSHRC. The Bloc voted against it. In fact, we just put in $394 million to Quebec universities, colleges and CEGEPs, and the Bloc voted against it.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time this government has suddenly and illogically intervened in university affairs. I would remind the House that grants for the social sciences and humanities have been diverted to applications more in line with conservative values.

Does the Prime Minister understand that he must change his science policy, beginning with his creationist minister?