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House of Commons Hansard #17 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

City of BrossardStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the member for Brossard—La Prairie, I am extremely proud of how the organizations and citizens of Brossard came together to help the victims of a devastating fire at an apartment building in December. The fire forced more than 30 families of modest means onto the street the night of December 12, 2008.

Today I would like to pay tribute to the remarkable work done by the Brossard Red Cross and by the Fondation Alphonse-Lepage which, with the support of many individuals and local organizations, helped these families find homes.

From the most basic of household furnishings to precious and irreplaceable objects of sentimental value, these families have found themselves bereft of homes just before the holidays. For many of them even the insurance of household goods represented an impossible expense. Being offered the immediate support and guidance of the Red Cross and the Fondation Alphonse Lepage, as well as the full extent of municipal action, was without doubt a gift of generosity they will not soon forget.

Everyone joined forces and responded generously to the call put out by the Fondation Alphonse-Lepage. The food donations—

City of BrossardStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse.

Member for Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—BécancourStatements By Members

February 24th, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc members are abandoning Quebec families, workers and seniors by voting against a budget that the Desjardins Group has stated will stimulate the economy in this time of global economic uncertainty. Meanwhile, some members of the Bloc have gone off the deep end.

The member for Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour barely distanced himself from verbal violence, then he sent hate propaganda by email. His latest exploit was to insult the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent yesterday during question period. His misogynistic attacks are unworthy of a parliamentarian and scornful of women. That kind of attack is unacceptable. Instead of ranting and raving, the member should have the decency to retract his statements and apologize to the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent and all of the women of Quebec.

If he really believes in respect and good manners, values Quebeckers hold dear, he should show it by standing up and apologizing in the House right now.

Drug Use PolicyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, people all over greater Vancouver are deeply concerned about gang violence. While tough on crime measures always top the list of potential fixes, there is a growing realization that drug prohibition policies are making the situation worse.

Alcohol prohibition did not work. Many of the same problems now associated with the drug trade were experienced in the United States during its period of alcohol prohibition. Gang violence that often caught innocent citizens, impure and dangerous alcohol sold in black markets, home stills and underground production, untreated addictions and family dislocation were all serious issues.

It took ending prohibition and implementing alcohol control policies to restore respect for the law and make progress on alcohol related social issues.

We must apply what we know to be true. We must move from prohibition to drug control regimes modelled on the experience of alcohol prohibition and control. Bold steps to confront our drug use hypocrisy and end the profitability of illegal drugs will make our communities safer.

Warren KinsellaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, another day, another embarrassment for the opposition leader at the hands of his own dirty tricks specialist, Warren Kinsella.

According to sources, Kinsella was fired yesterday from a committee of the Canadian Jewish Congress because of his misconduct. This comes just a week after Kinsella tried to bully TVOntario into cancelling a guest from a talk show, an outrageous attempt to interfere with the independence of a public broadcaster, and that is hard on the heels of catscam, Kinsella's anti-Chinese bigotry that grew into a diplomatic incident.

If Warren Kinsella were just another lobbyist, his poor judgment would be his own problem, but Kinsella is a senior adviser to the Leader of the Opposition, hand-picked to run his war room.

Kinsella's thuggish antics have been approved and condoned by the Liberal Party. Given that the adscam inquiry called Kinsella's conduct “highly inappropriate”, he never should have been hired by the Liberals at all.

Now that even the Canadian Jewish Congress cannot stomach Kinsella, will the Liberals fire him too?

André LangevinStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday we lost a great literary figure, the novelist, journalist and director, André Langevin.

The difficult experience of losing his parents at a young age marked his work, and many of his characters were orphans. His most celebrated novel, translated as Dust Over the City, was adapted for the screen in 1968. In 1998, he received the highest literary award in Quebec, the prix Athanase-David, awarded by the Quebec government.

His work, which addresses serious issues still relevant today, marked a turning point in contemporary Quebec literature, shifting away from the popular tendency to write about the land towards existentialist themes rooted more in characters' psychology.

André Langevin's ultimate struggle was to promote the freedom of literature, which, in his view, constituted the only authentic memory of humankind.

May his work serve to keep that memory very much alive.

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, other than the fact that it exposed the true agenda and doublespeak of the Harper government on pay equity--

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Vancouver Centre knows that using the name of hon. members is out of order and I would invite her to refrain from such conduct in her statement.

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, other than the fact that it exposed the true agenda of the Harper government on pay equity--

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. We may have an apology later, but the hon. member will want to avoid this.

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, other than the fact that it exposed the true agenda of the Conservative government on pay equity, Tom Flanagan's op-ed piece in the Globe and Mail today is a gross affront to women's human rights. In it Flanagan demonstrates once again his regressive views on gender equality.

This is the same man who called the elimination of the court challenges program and the cuts to Status of Women Canada a “nice step”. Now he says, “Equal value was one of those really bad ideas of the 1970s...[an] irrational concept...[and] is antithetical to the basic principles of a market economy”.

He has forgotten that women are an integral part of that economy. Equal work for pay of equal value has been a part of the Canadian Human Rights Act since 1977 and his call for equal--

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Peace River.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal opposition benches remind me of that Alicia Silverstone movie Clueless.

In the Financial Post this morning the member for Markham—Unionville claimed that the budget was unconstitutional somehow, but he voted for it. His boss, the Liberal leader, voted for it. The Liberals supported the budget.

The budget contains Canada's economic action plan to make sure that Canadian jobs are protected and to ensure that as a country we are in a strong position in the world economy. Despite all the myths that the Liberal member wants to conjure up, the economic action plan works for Canadians.

Despite his confusion about what the budget is, he voted for it and I think that he should work with us to build stronger communities and to make jobs a top priority. Those are good reasons to vote for the budget.

There is no reason to feel guilty about supporting this budget. Feeling guilty for being a Liberal, sure, but not for supporting Canada's economic action plan.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, saving Canada's auto sector could cost upward of $10 billion. Canadians want to know all the facts. They want to ask the companies, the unions and government some tough questions. They want the same transparency that Americans are getting from their government.

Will the Prime Minister support the creation of a special parliamentary committee to lay the facts about the auto sector and the rescue package before the public?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the Leader of the Opposition knows, we have been in discussions with the automobile companies for some time. We are doing this in collaboration with our American partners and with our partners in the Government of Ontario. These are obviously extremely complex matters. They involve commercially sensitive information at the same time.

I understand the concerns behind the hon. member's question, and we will look at any reasonable mechanism by which we can inform Canadians about the decisions.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure how to take that answer. Do I have a yes or do I have a no?

Is the Prime Minister saying that the information in the rescue package is too sensitive to share before Parliament? Does he have a problem with parliamentary government? I would like to know.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, these are extremely complex matters. Discussions with the companies on due diligence do involve information of a private nature. At the same time, when companies are looking for the insertion of public funds, there will obviously be a public process.

We are certainly willing to sit down with the opposition and discuss ways we can make these deliberations as transparent as possible.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I have to put my question again, because the government boasts about transparency, but is short on transparency in action.

Why does the government not strike a special parliamentary committee to share basic information with the public so as to make good decisions on this issue?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, a committee of this House, namely the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, has already been tasked to do just that, and the committee is master of its own affairs.

We are working in collaboration with the automotive industry and the governments of the United States and Ontario to save jobs, create new jobs, and protect our economy. These are our objectives, and I hope that we will have the support of the opposition in pursuing these very important objectives for the Canadian economy.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec has about 125 companies in the auto sector. Between them, they employ some 11,000 Quebeckers and do $3 billion worth of business a year. These companies export over 75% of what they produce to the United States and Ontario.

What does this government intend to do for this significant portion of Canada's auto industry?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House that we have received GM's restructuring plan as well as some information from Chrysler. We have not yet reached an agreement, but we are in a position to talk to this automaker and work toward a solution with our Government of Ontario partners.

We do not have any firm commitment or deal in place right now, but when we do, obviously it will have a great positive impact on Quebec firms as well as on firms throughout the country.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have been trying to get the Conservatives to pay attention to the auto sector for nearly two years now. All across Canada, people are losing their jobs because the Conservatives do not know what to do.

They have no vision for the future of the sector. Instead of just reacting, they should be leading the parade.

Can we look forward to the government demonstrating leadership on this critical file anytime soon?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have shown leadership. On December 20, together with the Premier of Ontario, the Prime Minister announced our intention to work with the U.S. government to find a solution to rebuild the sector.

We have been active on the file since our re-election. We were active on the file even before our re-election with the auto innovation fund and other ways that we are helping this industry.

The opposition members have found the new religion, and I welcome them to--