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House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was lanka.

Topics

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister has stated that there were no radioactive leaks into the Ottawa River. Yet, as a matter of course plumes in the reactor are released into Perch Creek which flows into the river.

Can the minister simply confirm that a leak of radioactive water occurred at Chalk River, contained or not, on December 5 or since and can she confirm this leak continues today?

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the incident in December at Chalk River has been described by the CNSC as one that did not have a radioactive leak into the Ottawa River. It has assured us of that.

I have further indicated previously in the House that we have asked for reports from Atomic Energy Canada Limited, Department of Natural Resources officials and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, so that we may look at what happened in December, study what happened, and report on the matter. That is where the issue stands right now.

CultureOral Questions

February 4th, 2009 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages prefers to spend $25 million to bring foreign artists to Toronto and to cut $45 million from artists here who promote Quebec and Canadian culture abroad. As a result, the entire arts community is against him.

How can the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages claim to be listening? How can he have the gall to say that the budget is a good thing—and it is for his two chums in Toronto—when Quebec's entire cultural community is against it?

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, where do I begin? First, it is not true that the cultural community is against the budget.

“By including the arts and culture in its policy for fighting the crisis, the Prime Minister recognizes the role and power of this sector for the national economy.” That is what the CEO of the Just for Laughs Group said.

We are investing unprecedented amounts in the arts and culture. Whenever we make such investments, the Bloc Québécois votes against artists.

CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, this minister has a very strange concept of arts and culture. When his government transfers $21 million to the Olympic torch relay, I believe he thinks it is modern dance.

Will the minister come to his senses and announce that he will shortly be restoring the millions of dollars he took away from artists for foreign tours?

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 just want to say one thing. In her first question, the member criticized the Canada prize. Our government is putting forward an endowment of $25 million to create the Canada prize. It will be the largest multidisciplinary prize for arts in the world. It will put Canada permanently as a cultural capital in the world.

It is a remarkable achievement for this country to have such an incredible event, such an incredible opportunity, record prizes for arts and culture in this country. It is going to make this country stronger on the international stage. That is why the Bloc Québécois is against it, because we are making this country stronger through arts and culture.

National Battlefields CommissionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, a letter dated October 26, 1999, addressed to the Minister of Public Works at the time, Alfonso Gagliano, clearly shows that André Juneau, chair of the National Battlefields Commission, sold himself long ago to the Canadian government's visibility strategy, a strategy that led to the sponsorship scandal.

How can the Prime Minister, who recognized the Quebec nation, show it such a lack of respect and impose on Quebec a celebration of what is considered its conquest?

National Battlefields CommissionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to remind the hon. member that it is not a political event, but rather a historical one, and the chair has assured us that all events will be carried out with the utmost respect.

However if the hon. member for Québec were the least bit responsible, she would denounce—and she would convince her fellow Bloc colleagues to distance themselves from—the contemptuous, vulgar and threatening comments made by Mr. Falardeau and Mr. Bourgeois in an interview in Quebec City.

National Battlefields CommissionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, by defending André Juneau's plans to re-enact the battle of the Plains of Abraham, the Conservatives are defending the same approach defended by Jean Chrétien with his sponsorship program.

How can the Prime Minister, who denounced the Liberals for that scandal, now endorse the re-enactment of the battle of the Plains of Abraham, which is clearly nothing more than federalist propaganda?

National Battlefields CommissionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is obviously looking for an excuse to promote its sovereignist option. However, an article in the February 1 edition of Le Soleil states:

The president of the Compagnie de canonniers-bombardiers de Québec (CCBQ), whose members are for the most part sovereignists, was disappointed to see [the reaction] of the Bloc Québécois.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when I asked the Conservatives what their plan was for the aerospace sector, the minister told us that Lockheed Martin was making investments. I am happy for Lockheed Martin, an American company, but what does this have to do with our government's plan to strengthen the Canadian aerospace industry in these challenging times?

Let me ask the question again. What is the government's plan for the Canadian aerospace sector?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is the very plan that the hon. member voted for. It is called the budget. It is called our action plan, an economic plan for Canada. That is what he voted for.

This plan is multi-faceted. It obviously includes an economic stimulus, a way to give a break to Canadian taxpayers and to small businesses. It also includes plans to continue to encourage and support an aerospace sector in this country, including the Canadian Space Agency, I might add, which the hon. member knows a little bit about. I would say that this plan is going over very well with those in the sector because they know we are on the side of a growing industry and an industry where Canadians can compete and win.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in other words, this government has no strategy. As I pointed out to the minister, hundreds of jobs in the aerospace sector are at risk.

While he dithers, foreign countries that compete with our Canadian champions are taking action. In France, the government has made 5 billion euros available to support Airbus sales.

What are the Conservatives waiting for to support our aerospace industry? Are they going to allow our foreign competitors to profit at our expense?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that we support the industry with a program called SADI. It is well known in Quebec.

The Montreal Gazette wrote that our local aerospace industry is strong and effective, and we agree.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is not at all what we are hearing, because taxpayers have invested a great deal in the success of the aerospace industry. Programs like Technology Partnerships Canada have made it possible to develop high-tech products here. The current crisis demands that we protect these investments.

What are the Conservatives waiting for to safeguard the investment Canadian taxpayers have made in the aerospace industry?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said, our budget, Canada's economic action plan, supports this sector in this country and also in Quebec. There are many announcements and programs, of course. This sector is competitive on the world stage.

This sector is competitive with the world and will continue to be. We will continue to support it, just like we support businesses that are moving ahead across this country and support Canadian jobs and opportunity. That will continue.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, those are empty words. In Quebec, aerospace is a $12 billion industry that employs tens of thousands of people. And the Conservatives have no plan. I am not hearing any figure from the ministers. When we ask them how they plan to protect this industry, all they do is trot out platitudes.

Will the minister admit that the Conservatives' plan is to sacrifice the aerospace industry in Quebec? We want figures.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the figures are clear. They are found in the budget. They are found in the SADI program.

The hon. member's colleague, the hon. member for Markham—Unionville, when confronted with a situation earlier this year, said:

I think it's clear this decision is driven by seat-gain aspirations because the money is going to aerospace in Quebec and not into the auto industry in Ontario.

That is what that member said. When will members of the Liberal Party get their facts and their arguments straight?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a trading nation and our largest trading partner by far is the United States. Canadians are rightly concerned about protectionist rumblings in the United States Congress.

Can the Prime Minister give us an update regarding this critical situation?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I indicated to the House yesterday that the American administration shared our concerns about the present state of the stimulus package. In fact, President Obama said yesterday:

I think it would be a mistake, though, at a time when worldwide trade is declining for us to start sending a message that somehow we're just looking after ourselves and not concerned with world trade.

The President also acknowledged the very real risk of causing a trade war, which is not in the best interests of any country, including the United States. We are encouraged. All Canadians are encouraged by what President Obama said.

RCMPOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, police officers are often the unsung heroes of Canada who put their lives on the line every day to keep our families and communities safe. They deserve our full support. Why then has the government done the unthinkable and unilaterally cut the wage increases that RCMP officers and their families were given and were counting on?

How is it the Prime Minister has millions of dollars to stack the unelected Senate with Conservative friends, but not enough for an RCMP wage hike that the RCMP was granted by Treasury Board last June?

RCMPOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we value and respect the good work that the RCMP is doing to keep our communities safe.

It is critical, however, given our current economic circumstances, that we all tighten our belts. Everyone is being asked to do his or her fair share to help manage government expenditures. I might point out that in no way is the RCMP being singled out. Public sector unions and other public sector employees have understood the situation we are in.

Public Service of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court of Canada recognizes the rights to free collective bargaining for public servants, yet the government will not. It has unilaterally capped public service salaries instead of bargaining those salaries at the negotiating table. It has rolled back negotiated wage increases for the RCMP, and other government workers fear the same. These workers are not fat in the system. They are essential to the safety and security of Canadians.

Will the minister commit today to uphold Canadian law and grant all public sector workers the right to free and fair collective bargaining?

Public Service of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I could expand on my other answer and say not only do we value and respect the good work of the RCMP, we respect and value the good work of public servants generally. I have been a public servant for most of my life. I know that they work hard and they do a good job.

It is critical, given our current economic circumstances, that we all contribute to this. I believe that MPs will also be asked to contribute in that fashion.

Executive PayOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States announced his intention to impose conditions on companies that will be receiving government help and to cap the salaries of their executives.

Does the Prime Minister intend to follow President Obama's lead and force Canadian companies that are receiving help from the federal government, notably banks, to limit the salaries and bonuses of their executives?