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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

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this government has been working, as the Prime Minister indicated, with officials in the United States as well as with the Government of Ontario. We have a strict set of conditions that mirror what the Americans are also looking at for the industry to restructure that industry and to preserve our 20% production capacity.

The hon. member asked me to meet with my American counterpart. When President Obama appoints that counterpart, I will meet with that person.

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have just heard that the city of Toronto has announced that it is being forced to cut over 6,000 child care spaces, almost one-quarter of all the subsidized spaces in Toronto, due to a shortfall in federal funding. We fear this may be just the beginning.

How can the Prime Minister claim that his government is helping the most vulnerable when he imposes these short-sighted cuts on Canadian families?

Child CareOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has her facts entirely wrong. There have been no cuts to child care funding. In fact, through the Canada social transfer, the funding for child care to the provinces this year will be going up 3%.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec), the government was unable to offer the forestry industry loan guarantees because doing so would have contravened the softwood lumber agreement. Guy Chevrette, president of the Quebec Forest Industry Council, does not understand why what is good for the automotive industry is not good for the forest industry, and he thinks that the real problem is lack of political will.

Will the Prime Minister tell his Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) that giving loan guarantees to businesses in the forest industry would in no way contravene the softwood lumber agreement?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the leader of the Bloc knows, the Forest Products Association of Canada supported this budget. Instead of spreading his propaganda about the budget, the Bloc leader should take his own MPs to task for having circulated propaganda promoting terrorist organizations.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member apologized; she did not know what was on the video. That being said, the Prime Minister just refused to answer the question. In 2004, he stood with me and demanded loan guarantees for the forest industry. During the 2004 leaders' debate, he asked for the same thing.

I would like to know whether he will talk to his minister today and ask him to stop spreading falsehoods around to everyone when there is nothing to prevent giving loan guarantees to the forest industry. He should stop avoiding reality and answer my questions.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the industry's priorities are respecting our agreement with the United States and maintaining access to the American market. Once again, instead of picking the budget apart, the Bloc leader should make a clear statement about how praising terrorist groups is not in line with true Quebec values.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a budget that is detrimental to Quebec's manufacturing sector as well as the environment. Instead of looking towards the future and promoting green energy sources, the Minister of the Environment is staking his money on the past by becoming an ardent defender of the oil sands and spokesperson for the oil companies.

How can the minister take such a clear position in favour of one of the most polluting energy sources on the planet, one that President Obama wants to move away from, and yet still call himself a defender of the environment?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government's position is very clear, as are our intentions.

Our intentions are very clear: first, a North American approach to combatting greenhouse gas emissions. That is our position. That has been the position of President Obama. And, frankly, that has been the position of their coalition.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, in its most recent budget, the government deliberately allocated significant amounts for the development of nuclear energy, so dear to the hearts of the oil sands promoters.

Can the government deny that its budget illustrates perfectly how it favours the wrong energy connections and that its choices eloquently reveal its total disregard for renewable energy, a sector that benefits Quebec?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the clear fact of the matter is that this government is a world leader in renewable energy. Over 70% of our electricity comes from non-emitting resources. As well, we are moving toward 2020, when over 90% of our electricity will be emissions free. This government is moving forward on this file. We are a world leader and we are the ones moving us to a cleaner greener future.

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's efforts to meet the needs of families are truly a failure. We have learned that 6,000 spaces will be lost in Toronto. That means that 6,000 families will face a crisis and will have to find care for their children. In addition, almost 1,000 day care workers will lose their jobs because this government is neglecting the needs of families.

Why is there no support for child care centres in this Liberal-supported budget?

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that there have been no cuts to child care transfers to the provinces. As I said a few moments ago to the other member of the coalition, the transfers to the provinces through the Canada social transfer will be going up 3% this year.

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is really for the leader of the new coalition in the House between the Conservative Party and the Liberals.

I notice that the Prime Minister had trouble finding his way to ensure that the issue of women and their needs were mentioned in the budget. I am hoping that he will rise in his place and respond now that 6,000 families at least are going to lose child care for their families and 1,000 child care workers stand to be thrown out of work, which would make the Prime Minister and his government just as guilty of throwing people out of work as any multi-national corporation.

Why do we see no action to support child care from--

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the facts are that we are spending three times as much money on early learning and child care as the previous Liberal government ever did.

We are increasing the Canada social transfer to the provinces by 3% and that includes significant amounts for child care to help families. In the last year alone that funding has been used to create over 60,000 new child care spaces right across this country to help families make a choice.

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the truth of the matter is that people are about to be thrown out of work and families are about to lose child care spaces.

Mothers and fathers, who are already at their wit's end with the economic crisis, are trying to figure out how they are going to find care for their children. This is about to roll out in many communities. The answer we are getting from the Conservative government is that it is about to do absolutely nothing about it.

In reading the budget, we see no action being taken around one of the most important issues facing us. How are we going to make sure that we get proper care for our youngest kids and support for their families if this is the kind of attitude we get? Where is the--

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, three years ago we took action when we launched the universal child care benefit. That was designed to allow parents the choice of where and how to have their children cared for. We believe that they deserve to have that choice.

On top of that, we are providing incentives to corporations so that they can create child care spaces on-site to help families. We will be increasing the Canada social transfer to the provinces, which includes child care funding, by 3% next year. We have already created 60,000 new child care spaces across the country.

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

February 4th, 2009 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, citizens in the nation's capital were shocked to learn that last Thursday two truckloads of sewage waste from Ottawa's water treatment facility were refused entry into the United States because the material was radioactive.

Yesterday, two more waste shipments were found to have elevated levels of radioactivity.

I have a simple question. Could the minister tell the House unequivocally that there is absolutely no connection between this radioactive waste and the nuclear facility at Chalk River?

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, when we were contacted by the city of Ottawa, we immediately phoned the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in order to enquire what aid it could give to the city of Toronto in the matter. It has dispatched an inspector to the city of Ottawa to help it track down the radioactive contamination.

The CNSC has assured me that the radioactive material is more likely to be a medical isotope, Iodine 131, that is associated with the Chalk River facility. It has further assured me that it is not related to the incident at Chalk River.

I would expect that the member would listen to this and understand this instead of fearmongering.

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, is the minister suggesting that the citizens of the national capital should not be worried about a nuclear spill? Is she actually serious?

Sewage waste triggering a radioactive alarm is unprecedented in this country. It automatically places shipments from Ottawa on the United States post-9/11 nuclear high-risk watch. Why does she not tell Canadians that?

Second, the safe management of nuclear waste is strictly a federal responsibility. I want the minister to answer this question simply, unequivocally, yes or no. Are they linked?

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I was anticipating the question, but I suppose it got caught in the rhetoric beforehand.

What should be clearly understood by the member for Ottawa South is this. We have indicated that at Chalk River there was no radioactive leak into the Ottawa River. CNSC has assured us of that. If he continues on with his CSI investigations of linking two completely unrelated incidents, he is fearmongering.

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, federal authorities were informed Thursday of this shocking incident. Municipal authorities and the public were only informed yesterday. Once again, this government has not provided vital information about nuclear safety.

Can the minister explain why the City of Ottawa is leading this investigation? Why has the minister again failed to fulfill her obligations?

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in my conversation last evening with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission president, and in a memo given to me today by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in a statement, it has been indicated that this is not a matter for the CNSC to look into because the city of Ottawa is not a licensee underneath the CNSC.

However, we are more than happy to help our friends in municipalities when they do need aid in the matter. We have dispatched an investigator to come and help them with respect to the identification of the radioisotope. We are doing everything we can to help the city of Ottawa.