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

Topics

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the economy. The trade relationship between Canada and the United States is worth close to $1.7 billion a day. However, in these difficult times, we are obviously worried about protectionist measures being implemented, and with good reason.

Although we do a lot business with the United States, there are still some important issues such as intellectual property and regulations such as ITAR.

Will the Prime Minister raise this question with President Obama since it will affect the growth of our industries?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I can reassure this member and all members of the House. Canada's best interests will be taken into account when our Prime Minister meets with the President of the United States. My colleague was referring to the important trade relationship between the two countries. Let me reassure him that we will continue to defend Canada's interests.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

February 13th, 2009 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has dragged its feet on this issue for three years, and now it is using the economic situation and the arrival of the Obama administration as an excuse to delay the implementation of regulations to reduce greenhouse gases even longer. The fact that there is a new occupant in the White House should have prompted the government to do more, not less, as is now the case.

Does the Prime Minister realize that his government's inaction is scandalous and that the Conservatives' fight against climate change no longer has any credibility here at home or internationally?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that we are working with President Obama. We are working with the provinces and the territories, and all our international partners to tackle climate change. Our targets in Canada, 20% absolute reductions by 2020, are some of the toughest in the world.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's decision to pit the economy against the environment is misguided. Many countries are already looking to green-collar jobs to stimulate their economies.

Is the Prime Minister aware that by refusing to use 1990 as the base year and to set absolute greenhouse gas reduction targets, he is penalizing Quebec's industrial sectors, such as the aluminum industry, which are waiting for regulations so they can sell their carbon credits on the international market?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our commitment to cleaning up the environment has never been stronger.

In our budget we have $1 billion for green infrastructure, $300 million for eco-energy retrofits, and $1 billion for clean energy projects like carbon capture and storage. These investments in green technologies of tomorrow will help us combat climate change. It will clean up the air. It will provide good clean jobs.

The Bloc needs to support the budget.

Transfer PaymentsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec has been given a raw deal on the environment and on other fronts too. Alfred LeBlanc, of Finance Canada, testified in committee that unilateral changes to the equalization formula would leave Quebec with a $991 million shortfall.

This government promised stable equalization funding, so how can it make Quebec's already difficult financial situation even worse by taking this kind of unilateral action?

Transfer PaymentsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, most of that question was false. We have the record of restoring fiscal balance which was not recognized by the previous government. In fact, transfers and equalization to Quebec are at all time highs and they continue to grow. Last year alone they increased by 37%. I am not sure from where the hon. member is getting her question.

Transfer PaymentsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is completely false. I encourage the Minister of Finance to talk to the Government of Quebec.

By treating the transportation and distribution activities undertaken by Hydro Quebec and Ontario's Hydro One differently, the federal government is cheating Quebec out of another $250 million in annual revenues.

Why is the government still giving Ontario preferential treatment at Quebec's expense?

Transfer PaymentsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Speaking of false, Mr. Speaker, that appears to be false again.

I will quote the number. Total federal support for 2009-10 was $17.6 billion. That is an incredible number. As we say, that is a 70% increase since this government has taken power. I would suggest the hon. member get her facts straight before she starts making public comments.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the budget bill will allow more and more foreign takeovers of Canadian companies. The people of Sudbury are suffering the consequences of the Conservatives' inability to ensure that the agreements associated with such takeovers are honoured. When the government allowed the Swiss group Xstrata to take over Falconbridge, the deal was that there were to be no job losses for three years, yet nearly 700 people are unemployed.

How can anyone possibly hope that the government will protect jobs during future takeovers, if it cannot even protect the workers at Xstrata today?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, of course we are disappointed by the layoffs in Sudbury and the impact they will have on the families in the surrounding region. These are challenging times for mining companies around the world due to the global economic crisis.

At the direction of the minister, Industry Canada officials have been in extensive discussions with Xstrata over the last several days, which have resulted in further commitments to Sudbury. As a result, Xstrata has committed to invest between $290 million and $390 million in the Sudbury area over the next two years and that will secure at least 300 jobs.

This government acted quickly to stand up for the people of Sudbury and will continue to do so.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is especially during tough economic times that working families need to know that their government is on their side. They want to know that when their government has a legal agreement with a company to protect jobs that it will enforce it.

It has been a long week for Sudbury since we learned that Xstrata plans to throw 700 out of work.

Now it is time for the government to decide. Will it turn its back on the agreement and allow the layoffs or will it enforce the agreement and protect the jobs of working families in Sudbury?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I already answered that question.

However, it is interesting to note that on January 29, during the budget discussion and before we voted on the budget, the NDP member for Hamilton Mountain said:

Every single important piece that people in the community were looking for is mentioned.

She was speaking about the budget. However, the NDP decided beforehand that it would vote against the budget. I would ask the hon. member and his party to carefully consider how the steps in the budget will help all Canadians and to quickly pass this budget.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about Sudbury here. With early retirements and the elimination of casual workers, the true job loss from Xstrata is closer to 1,100 workers. Families are devastated. Workers are wondering what is next and yet the Conservative government is simply turning its back on Sudbury.

Local unions are trying to find solutions for their members such as job sharing and other innovative ideas. If the government refuses to enforce the agreement, will it at least commit to resources to help Sudburians through this crisis?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I have already answered the question regarding the Sudbury issue. We are very concerned about Canadians who lose their jobs due to this global economic slowdown.

However, I would point out that in Canada we have a situation that is very different from other parts of the world. In fact, the Canadian economy is stronger than other parts as we go into the global economic slowdown and we will come out sooner and stronger than other countries.

I would urge members of all parties to carefully consider the measures in the budget implementation act and quickly pass it in the interests of all Canadians.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, every time we take a closer look at the government's record on delivering infrastructure, the numbers just get worse. The department's own performance reports show that over the last two years only 4% of promised funding was actually spent.

The agreements are in place and a list of $13 billion in shovel-ready projects sits on his desk. Why does this minister have a 96% failure rate?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, that is simply not the case. This government is delivering more money to Canadians to get action on the economy. We are delivering more money and allocating more money than ever before in our history for infrastructure revitalization.

We want to talk about failed governments. In 13 years, that government barely delivered any money for infrastructure across this country. Every province knows that and that is why we are working with the provinces, territories and municipalities to get positive results for Canadians.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, he must realize that they have been in power for three years. March is usually the end of the big freeze but the Conservatives are still holding onto the funds for infrastructure. Of the $1.5 billion promised for the past two years, only $80 million from the building Canada fund has been paid out. March 31 is fast approaching.

Will the $7 billion that should go to infrastructure be given to our cities in order to create jobs and encourage investments before the end of the fiscal year?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I quote:

We're creating jobs for families and making our communities stronger by investing in infrastructure in rural Ontario.

I did not say that. That was said by Leona Dombrowsky, the Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.

In fact, today the Minister of Transport, along with the deputy premier of Ontario, is announcing $1 billion for 289 infrastructure projects in Ontario communities with populations of fewer than 100,000 people.

We are getting the job done and delivering for Canadians real results.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the environment minister's assertion about the similarities between his approach on climate change and the Obama administration is a farce.

Eleven independent analyses conclude that the government will not meet its reduction targets. In three years, not a single regulation has come into force and each of the three ministers on the file have failed to track federal efforts to cut greenhouse gases.

This is not President Obama's position. Why does the government pretend that it is?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that 13 long, dark years of Liberal neglect on the environment has ended.

This is a quote I would like to share with the House, “I think our party got into a mess on the environment. We didn't get it done”.

Do members know who said that? It was the Liberal leader.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the greatest budget in Canadian history and the most aggressive plan of the G8, not 13 dark years. Unfortunately, that member does not read very well.

When President Obama says cap in trade, he means hard caps. The government's proposal does not cap emissions at all. Its intensity-based targets would see polluters profit by qualifying to trade credits as overall emissions go up and not down.

Will the minister simply admit that in order for Canada to participate alongside the U.S. cap in trade, his entire plan would need to be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, today is Friday the 13th and, under the Liberals, every day was Friday the 13th.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!