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House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was goods.

Topics

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, these people live in my riding. The minister has no right to insult their intelligence.

Over 2,000 people have lost their jobs in less than a week in the aerospace sector, and he tells them there is nothing he can do? This just will not do.

We have invested a lot to make our industry one of the best in the world. What is he going to do to guarantee that there will still be jobs once this crisis is over?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have a great relationship with the aerospace industry. That is why we continue to support innovation in that sector through our program. That is why we continue to have, through our Canada first defence policy, continued buying in that sector that involves the Canadian sector.

The hon. member is totally incorrect. We support the sector, just as we support all sectors of the economy through a budget that works, through a budget that is helping create an economic stimulus, through an economic plan that is based upon innovation and new jobs and opportunity for the future.

The hon. member voted for the budget. I expect that she will be telling that to her constituents as well.

TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, many Canadian firms cannot get U.S. government business because of American protectionist rules. Yet last year U.S. defence firms almost doubled their business with the Canadian government.

Having failed to stand up for Canada and secure ITAR exemptions from the Bush Republicans, the Conservatives' soulmates, what specific actions has the trade minister taken with the Obama Democrats to secure ITAR exemptions to protect Canadian aerospace and defence industry jobs now when they need it the most?

TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. friend could get up to speed on some of these issues, it would help us to move them forward.

I am not sure if he is aware that the Democrats actually have been in control of the U.S. house for some time. I have met previous chairs of the committees on that issue. I would be happy to send him information, which I do not know why he has not read, about the progress made on the ITAR issue relative to Canada. There has been great progress made. I would be happy to send him that information, if he will read it.

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, on January 30, Secretary Napolitano, in making ominous statements called for a comprehensive review of threats along our border to be completed next week. This has been followed by erroneous and pejorative op-eds in U.S. newspapers that attack Canadian interests. The government's response: silence.

In fact, in committee yesterday the minister confirmed he had only a brief unrelated conversation with the secretary and that he provided no submissions at all to the Obama administration or Congress. This could have a major impact on trade and tourism. Why is the government doing nothing?

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, as I told the committee, I had a very constructive discussion with the homeland secretary and we discussed the importance of our common interests both in border security and in trade.

Obviously, the Government of Canada does not write the staff reports, but I do not agree with the characterization that my friend across the way has given to what she has sought. The homeland security secretary has asked for reports on a wide range of issues, including getting up to speed on the Canadian border. I think it is a very positive thing that she is showing that interest in Canada and in having good relations with us.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, first we had Bell Helicopter and Bombardier Aerospace, now we have Pratt & Whitney announcing several hundred layoffs. Yet the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada had forewarned the government and is still calling for the $200 million that was promised during the election campaign by the Prime Minister but does not appear in the budget.

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that his budget is totally inadequate and that he has a duty to respond to the needs of the aerospace industry?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we have already announced $900 million for the aerospace industry through the strategic aerospace and defence initiative, or SADI, and the Canada First defence strategy. On the contrary, there is more support for Canadian businesses.

I can also say that there is good news from Bombardier: the creation of 730 new permanent jobs in the Montreal region. So there is good news as well.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, aerospace is to Quebec what the automotive sector is to Ontario. The budget does not meet the expectations of the aerospace industry, which is in urgent need of a true development policy, for instance, one that would provide refundable credits for R and D.

Does the Prime Minister understand that it is unacceptable for his government not to provide the aerospace industry with support equivalent to what it has provided to the auto industry?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I will continue. Canada's economic action plan also increases our support to all industries, including the aerospace and aviation industry. We have also simplified the process for companies to access credit. The action plan has also extended the write-off for capital and equipment costs, and improved the accessibility of skills training.

We are taking action for Canada's economy and for Canada's future.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, an economist said, and I quote, “The role of the Prime Minister is to defend Canada's interests. And you have failed to do so. For instance, in the softwood lumber file, for over three years all opposition leaders have been calling for loan guarantees for our forestry companies.”

What is the Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) waiting for to take action on this?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:40 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 my hon. colleague should know, things are very, very dangerous right now in the forestry industry. Given that the loan guarantees offered by Ontario and Quebec are at this time the subject of an arbitration procedure with the United States, it would be inappropriate to comment on the interpretation of those agreements.

I can say, however, that the agreement provides stability and certainty to the forestry industry, its workers and their communities throughout Canada.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the economist I quoted earlier was the current Prime Minister during the leaders' debate in 2006. To maintain that loan guarantees violate the agreement, as the minister insists, is false. The auto plan has them, EDC works on that basis and Investissement Québec is already giving loans to forestry companies.

Will the minister admit that the budget is clearly inadequate and that additional measures are needed, such as loan guarantees, to help the forestry industry?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:40 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, I thank my hon. colleague for his question, but he does not seem to understand.

The loan guarantees extended by two provinces and the rulings have gone to arbitration with the United States. Some 80% of Canadian softwood lumber exports go to the United States. It is extremely important for us to preserve this agreement and ensure that our workers continue to export their lumber to our main economic partner, the United States.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, 40 well-known and respected cultural organizations were listed as partners for the Canada Prize for the Arts without their knowledge. These organizations have built their names and their credibility through many efforts over several years. Today, they find themselves associated with a concept which they did not even approve. The minister, instead of defending them, puts his head in the sand.

Is the minister trying to hide something or is he incompetent? Maybe he is trying to hide his incompetence.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is talking about one proposal about which I know there is debate, but that proposal is not our government's policy. When we come forward with the policy, my hon. colleague will be able to rise in the House and actually speak to it with a little bit more acuity. That having been said, the Canada Prize and the money to create a prize for arts and culture is in the budget and I am pleased that the member is going to be voting for it, in spite of his questions.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Monday, before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, the minister defended the Canada Prizes for the Arts and Creativity. Wednesday, we learned that the prizes were established under false pretences. Now, the minister is washing his hands of it all. On Monday he was announcing this $25 million program, with which he was familiar. On Wednesday, he really was not sure about the program. On Monday, he was giving details about the program. On Wednesday, he was saying that the details might be different.

Is there anyone on the other side who can tell us what the program is all about?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I have said the exact same thing all the way through, which is that in this budget we will create prizes for Canadian artists, just like last year when we set aside $20 million to create the Gairdner prizes for excellence in medicine and science.

We want to do that as well for arts and culture, which is what we are doing. We have set aside the money in the budget. There is one proposal out there that is getting debate. It is not our proposal. When we come forward with our specific plan, my hon. colleague will be able to see it, read it and take a position. When this comes forward, it will get the support of the arts and culture community in this country and it will be great for this country, which is why the Bloc Québécois is against it. I am sorry to see my hon. colleague is on its bandwagon now.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

We learned today that the Conservative government has no idea whether it is getting value for money from a military communications project. This project was supposed to cost $105 million and has since ballooned to $290 million, three times the original cost. The defence department audit flagged that sole source contract.

With such a mess, could the minister explain why he agreed to extend and expand this land command support system with General Dynamics?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, we are aware of the costs associated with this particular project and we are looking into how this has occurred.

As members would expect, these particular programs are reviewed and are under the auspices of the Auditor General, as are all contracts of this nature. We are looking into the details that the hon. member is seeking.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time that we have heard of management problems at the Department of National Defence. The chief of review services sounded the alarm. He has determined that supply projects worth $9.6 billion are currently at risk. He even refers to 20 projects carried out by very underqualified lead suppliers. That is worrisome.

In this recession, does the minister really know what is happening in his department?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, it is always necessary to be prudent with such programs. At the Department of National Defence, we have very competent and professional staff capable of looking after such programs.

We are constantly reviewing these programs, given the amount of money that is involved in the spending and the procurement of military hardware and military programs, especially at a time like this. I give my friend the assurance that we are looking into this.

The BudgetOral Questions

February 12th, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the global economy remains in unprecedented turmoil. Our Conservative government has brought forward a multi-year economic action plan. It is a plan that will create and maintain jobs, help those Canadians hardest hit by the global economic downturn and make key investments to stimulate the economy.

However, for the plan to work, Parliament needs to act and pass the budget implementation bill without delay but the NDP has been trying to stall the bill's progress. Could the Minister of Finance please update the House as to what is at stake if the NDP continues--

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Finance.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the situation we face is serious. We are in the midst of a synchronized global recession, which is why we created Canada's economic action plan.

The first budget bill is before the House. Delay of the bill would, quite frankly, be irresponsible. What would be delayed? The following would be delayed: extending EI benefits by five weeks; $6 billion in stimulative investments for hospitals, infrastructure, highways, roads and public projects across the country; and vital measures with respect to ensuring access to financing for people and businesses across the country.

We consulted with Canadians extensively before the budget--