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House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombian.

Topics

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, there seem to be a lot of coincidences. Serge Martel helped Mr. Housakos with ADQ fundraising, then Mr. Housakos had Serge Martel appointed to the board of The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated. Then, Mr. Martel participated in a fundraising event with representatives of Senator Housakos' employer, BPR. What a surprise. Soon after, BPR was awarded a contract to do work on the Champlain bridge.

If that is not considered returning the favour, then I do not know what is.

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Senator Housakos proactively asked the Senate ethics commissioner to examine this matter, but let me tell members what Canadians expect all of us in the House to do.

They expect us to be focusing on the real issues facing Canadians like the economic global crisis. This government's economic action plan is doing a lot to contribute more hope and opportunity, to create new jobs in this country. They expect us to be tackling the problem of H1N1, which public health nurses and the Minister of Health and her team, and the Public Health Agency are doing. They expect us to focus on real results for Canadians and not the fact-free allegations from the member opposite.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want to know what action the Prime Minister will take to discipline his ethically challenged Minister of Natural Resources.

It is not good enough to change rules for the future. Canadians want to know the consequences for the rules she has already broken, rules that have been in place for 25 years: the conflict of interest guidelines and the code of ethics for cabinet ministers.

When will the Prime Minister enforce the rules that already exist?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is no coincidence that no member of the frontbench on the Liberal side would ask this type of question. Her tone is regrettable; her comments are outrageous. They are, frankly, not worthy of any response.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is typical. The Conservatives get somebody to start badmouthing.

There is a troubling pattern emerging about the minister and what the government receives as acceptable behaviour. The minister was illegally signing off on her own expenses, minutes of board meetings were being doctored, and partisan fundraisers were using public resources. Conservatives say all this is just normal practice. It is not normal for most Canadians.

When will the Conservatives stop the cover-up and call in the Auditor General?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite had the courage of her convictions, I would encourage her to repeat these baseless and crazy allegations outside the House, but I regret to inform the House that I do not think we are going to see that happen because what we have seen is smear and character assassination.

All the once great Liberal Party can do is throw mud, all it can do is attack people personally, and that is regrettable. It does not serve its constituents and, frankly, it does not serve the member opposite very well.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the United States, executives from companies like Nissan and FedEx have joined forces to promote electric cars. Like the Bloc Québécois, this coalition believes that electric cars are the way of the future and will help protect the environment by reducing oil dependency.

By failing to attach such conditions to the $10 billion aid package for the auto industry, have the Conservatives once again shown that they are on side with oil companies and the old gas-guzzling economy?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, working in collaboration with my colleagues from Quebec on this side of the House, we have actually been able to provide a great amount of funding to Quebec for companies within Quebec on the renewable side of the ledger. In fact, four wind parks and one hydro project totalling $150.5 million have been funded by Canadian taxpayers; a further $62.4 million by Sustainable Development Technology Canada, new clean technology again in the province of Quebec; and, finally, $130 million for biofuels in the province of Quebec.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not talking about renewable energy. I am talking about electric cars. That is the reality.

Like the American coalition, the Bloc Québécois has proposed a plan to support electric car development by increasing funding for research and development, building the necessary infrastructure and encouraging people to buy these cars.

When will the government stop working for the oil companies and seriously consider our proposals?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as the member should know, electric cars plug into an electrical grid and what I have just indicated are ways of renewable electricity that we have actually been funding.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, Senator Housakos is very influential. In addition to looking after Conservative Party financing, he is involved in awarding contracts. Several members of his gang have been appointed to government positions. One has gone to the Employment Insurance Board of Referees, a second to VIA Rail and a third to Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated.

Will the Minister of Public Works, who is minister of patronage, see to it that the Housakos network stops being rewarded?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc may not like it, but appointments are based on merit.

If the Bloc members want to make allegations that we broke the law, let them do so outside the House. For three or four weeks, they have been insinuating all sorts of things and wasting the House's time.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister of patronage recognized himself, because he stood up. Serge Martel, a buddy of Senator Housakos' who was named to the board of directors of Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated, admits that he made a mistake when he attended a cocktail fundraiser for the Conservative Party organized by Senator Housakos.

Does the minister of patronage still find this situation acceptable, when Serge Martel himself acknowledges that he made a mistake?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon.—

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour has the floor. Order, please.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour has the floor.

PovertyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, we recently learned that part of the $45 million used to erect signs for Conservative propaganda was used to advertise the installation of other signs.

In front of Gatineau's Place Du Centre, one sign advertises a study of overhead signage; signs promoting signs, propaganda for propaganda. This is sheer utter waste.

Meanwhile, we find out today that food bank usage is skyrocketing across the country, especially among children.

When will the government stop spending tax dollars on propaganda and start helping Canadians, many of whom must line up at Canada's food banks?

PovertyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Food Banks Canada for the fine job that it has been doing in helping those people who are facing some very challenging times during the global recession.

However, it is not the only one helping these people. Our government, through our economic action plan, has been providing more EI benefits for them. We have increased the assistance available to them in helping them find the skills for the jobs of the future. We have also increased WITB, which is a benefit to help them get over the welfare wall and some 900,000 people were helped by this program in the first year alone

PovertyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, we need to do something to help food banks. Almost 800,000 Canadians walked into food banks in March, which is an 18% increase over last year. Seven provinces saw double digit increases in food bank use.

While Canadian families struggle, the Conservative propaganda machine is in overdrive, wastefully advertising the politically motivated stimulus plan.

Does the government not understand that stimulus funds could also go to some of those who need help the most: the victims of this Conservative recession who are lining up at food banks across Canada? Maybe they could put a sign on that.

PovertyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, on the government's economic action plan, let me tell the House what we have done.

We had a choice. We could have increased funds for social programs to support important services and social services in health care and in post-secondary education, or we could have done what the Liberal Party did when it was in office, which was to cut social programs by more than $25 billion.

We made an important decision to provide an economic stimulus to create more jobs, more hope and opportunity. We are working constructively with the provinces. We are beginning to see some positive economic signs. The recovery that we see is fragile and this government will put Canadian families first and not an unnecessary election like the members opposite.

PensionsOral Questions

November 17th, 2009 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, while Canadian pensioners are anxiously watching their pension funds disappear before their eyes, the Conservatives are not taking the situation seriously.

Employees of AbitibiBowater and Fraser Paper are seeing reductions of up to 40% in their current and future pensions. This process affects not just these individuals, but also the entire economy of these communities. The Conservatives have to take action and stop being insensitive to the needs of the people.

Why are they not taking the necessary measures to save the pension funds of these Canadians? It is a simple question: why?

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are sensitive, of course, to the challenges faced by the families and the workers in the communities in this situation. We are committed to helping the industry find long-term solutions to these challenges while respecting our international obligations.

Of course the pensions at AbitibiBowater are provincially regulated. It is for this reason that the union of course is requesting meetings with provincial government representatives from several provinces and, as AbitibiBowater is currently under bankruptcy protection, it would not be appropriate to comment further.

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, they are so sensitive that they are doing absolutely nothing for pensioners in the country.

Canadians need to know today whether the Conservatives will implement measures to address their needs; not tomorrow, not next week, not in a month. The Conservatives have to come up with a solution today to help Canadian pensioners.

Will they, yes or no, help us effective today, save the pensions of employees in private companies? Pensioners are listening to us. They are expecting clear and precise answers for saving their pension. What is the government's response? What is the response to saving the pensions of these people who worked so hard for our country?