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

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we do not agree with that suggestion. We have a plan to reduce greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020. These targets are more rigorous than the targets proposed by Mr. Obama, the President of the United States.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is telling us that he completely disagrees with President Obama. Here is the reality. When we talk about dialogue, it means that both parties have something to say. But that is not the case for Canada in this area. Canada has no known position.

Can the government tell us its position on using 1990 as the reference year and on establishing absolute targets?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member dwells in the past in terms of 1990.

This is a government that is going forward, working on a plan that has been developed with the new administration in the United States. This is a plan that will lead the world in terms of the development of new energy research and clean energy technology. We are working on a dialogue with President Obama and his government that will provide leadership to the world in dealing with this problem, something that has never happened before in our country.

PovertyOral Questions

February 23rd, 2009 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister met with the Secretary General of the United Nations this morning. Numerous UN reports show that poverty in Canada is on the rise, especially among children, women and aboriginal people. Our record on housing, education, health care and the environment is also suffering. Canada's international ranking is plummeting.

Can the government tell us what the Prime Minister had to say about these problems this morning at the UN?

PovertyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, we were very pleased the other day to make our presentation before the United Nations. We dealt candidly and openly with every kind of issue, from aboriginal issues to housing issues and so on. It was a pleasure to talk not only about what we have done, in our case, for aboriginal people, with inclusion under the Canadian Human Rights Act for aboriginals living on reserve, for example, but also to talk about some of the new initiatives.

In my ministry, there is $1.4 billion in aboriginal-related funding, because we realize there has been a gap which needs to be addressed. We are moving ahead.

PovertyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, leadership on the world stage really has to start with leadership here at home. What we have seen is that the Government of Canada has been criticized frequently and successively by UN reports for its record on poverty, on women, on the environment, on human rights. Taser deaths were singled out by Italy. Norway pointed to the scale and character of violence against aboriginal women. The United Kingdom added that Canada had to give the highest priority to fundamental inequalities between aboriginal people and the rest of Canadians by settling land claims, among other measures.

Could the government tell us what progress, if any, has been registered with the UN in the Prime Minister's meetings--

PovertyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Indian Affairs.

PovertyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I can talk specifically about some progress on specific claims settlements in British Columbia, my home province, where last year we settled 31 land claims. That is a record number. In a typical year under the previous administration it might have settled seven or eight. This is 31 settlements.

We also urge the member at the far end of the hall here to help us pass the matrimonial real property rights bill, which would finally give aboriginal women and children the property rights they deserve and which every other Canadian takes for granted.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the lack of leadership from the government has Canada's auto industry stalled, and it is time we saw action. The restructuring plans that were tabled on Friday present a very bleak picture. Jobs are at risk. Pensions are at risk as well.

Why will the government not take action to protect auto workers' pensions and ensure the long-term viability of the industry, in fact, to make our industry the centrepiece of a green economic recovery for Canada? That is what should be going on.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, even though he keeps voting against our government's agenda for the economic action plan, we are working with the Ontario government and with the Obama administration to bring our auto sector into the 21st century, a greener auto sector and a sector that is more efficient, more effective.

Of course, we cannot do this alone. It means that the executives in the auto sector have to be part of the solution. It means that the workers and the unions have to be part of the solution as well. Together we can make a difference for this sector.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the crisis in Canada's auto sector is going deeper. Sales are down 23% over one year, 15% in December alone. Production is cut in half. Some 250 to 300 dealerships are at risk of closing their doors, all good jobs lost. Banks are not lending money to buy cars.

The government promised to step in months ago. We need action now. It cannot wait. When is the government going to deliver on its commitments for access to financing so people can buy or lease cars?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as soon as the opposition passes the budget implementation bill.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that answer is wrong. The minister was fed details of the plan submitted by the auto industry weeks before last Friday's formal submission. There was no new information given to the minister that would justify delaying his promise to provide guaranteed financing so people could buy or lease cars. The offer made last December is not and need not be part of the budget implementation bill. His delays are killing the industry.

I ask the minister again, when will he fulfill his promise to auto retailers and consumers?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the member would know if he has reviewed the budget provisions, we are creating the extraordinary financing framework which would create a credit facility of up to $200 billion. This is very important to address what is the number one issue not only in Canada but elsewhere in the G7 and the G20, which is access to credit. We need to get on with the job of creating the framework, and I encourage the member opposite to support that process.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, for the first time since Confederation, the government is considering running a budget deficit without Parliament's approval. The government has obtained the power to borrow on behalf of crown corporations. This power should not be used to run up the national debt by $34 billion without the approval of the House.

Will the minister restore the principle that Parliament must approve deficits?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

The rule has not changed, Mr. Speaker, that Parliament authorizes expenditures. What is important in the budget implementation act is that not only are there tax measures in the act but there are also expenditure measures to create various types of stimuli for our economy. This is vitally important. It is in the act. We need to have the act passed as quickly as possible to help Canadians while we are in the midst of a serious recession not only here but around the world.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not get the point at all. It is not about general budget authority. It is about the requirement to have parliamentary approval when a government goes into deficit. It is a borrowing bill. It is something that has been done in this Parliament since Confederation. It is something that has been done in the British Parliament since Cromwell.

It is obvious that the minister has so trivialized the indebtedness of future generations by $34 billion that he no longer thinks it necessary to approach Parliament for approval. Why?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have been clear with Canadians. Four weeks ago in budget 2009, Canada's economic action plan, we laid out clearly what is necessary to be done over the next several years.

Yes, we are going to run deficits out two, three and four years. Why are we doing that? To help Canadians who are losing their jobs. I wish that the members opposite would help expedite the bill so that we could help Canadians.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, no nation in the world would accept that a portion of the land on which its national assembly is built belongs to another nation. As stated by former Liberal minister Benoît Pelletier, in January 2006, the transfer of the federal lands is not symbolic; it is a question of exercising the rights and responsibilities of the National Assembly of Quebec.

Does the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs now intend to address the request made by the Government of Quebec, which her government has not yet acknowledged?

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I met with the new Quebec minister of intergovernmental affairs this morning. We discussed several matters, including this one, and we agreed to discuss it at a later date.

But we would like to have a real answer in this House. Will the Bloc follow the PQ lead and cut all ties with Le Québécois, whose owner made threats and incited violence against the City of Quebec?

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

It is unacceptable for the federal government to own such a large number of properties in the national capital and to use them, including the Plains of Abraham, to increase federal visibility.

If the government was sincere when it recognized the Quebec nation, would it not be right for it to return this land so that the visibility campaigns led by its apostles of Canadian visibility could cease?

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, once again, as in the case of breaking ties to Le Québécois, the Bloc is lagging behind.

René Lévesque's statue was installed on federal land by PQ premier Lucien Bouchard in 1999. Why did they not raise the issue then?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles said the Conservatives are not buddy-buddy with artists.

It is obvious whom they are buddy-buddy with when we look at page 175 of the English version of the Conservative budget. The friendship between the government and the lobbyists for Luminato and the Canada Prize for the Arts and Creativity fairly leaps off the page. It is word for word.

How can the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages claim that this is not his project when the wording in the budget is virtually an exact copy of the Luminato text?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. What we are going to establish are prizes for Canadian artists. That will be great victory for our own cultural community. The Bloc Québécois is against it because this project will meet the needs of Canada and our artists. This is a great project that will help unify our country.

The Bloc is against all these projects, and it is not surprising that this comes from the Bloc. Our government takes the needs of our artists to heart.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister said it is not true. But it is virtually an exact copy. I will read the Luminato wording in English:

These artists would be publicly adjudicated by a distinguished international panel of the best established artistic minds in each discipline.

That could not be more similar to the wording of the Conservative budget, which is as follows:

These artists will be publicly adjudicated by a distinguished panel of established artists in each discipline.

Will the minister admit that this is not just buddy-buddy with the lobbyists but an even more intimate, cut-and-paste relationship?