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House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was shipyard.

Topics

International CooperationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, after UNESCO, now it is the turn of the managing director of the IMF to warn about what will happen to Africa if the volume of aid is not increased substantially. At the same time, CIDA is withdrawing from Africa and becoming the tool of the Conservatives' purely mercantile and commercial approach to Latin America.

How can the minister justify CIDA's withdrawal from Africa when there are more and more calls not for a decrease, but for an increase in aid to Africa?

International CooperationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, again I ask the member to have the facts. The correct facts are that this government is supporting Africa unlike any other former government. Of our total aid budget, 45% goes to Africa. In fact, 62% of our food aid goes to Africa, 55% of our agricultural support goes to Africa, and 57% of our multilateral aid goes to Africa. This shows outstanding support for Africa, but not only that, a recognition of the realities for people in those countries.

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, a group of Ecuadorians is suing Canadian mining company Copper Mesa and the Toronto Stock Exchange for $1 billion in damages. Copper Mesa allegedly hired paramilitary groups to terrorize opponents of its copper mining project in the Andes.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs finally give a favourable response to the National Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility and the Canadian Extractive Industry in Developing Countries report, which he has had for two years now and which would make it possible to bring delinquent companies into line?

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the government takes this situation and corporate social responsibility seriously. That is why I can assure my friend that soon, we will see that our strategy will give Canada's extractive industry something more to think about.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

March 11th, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, despite their 2007 announcement to save the only slaughterhouse in the Maritimes, the Conservatives have yet to spend a single penny. The federal share of the investment was $6 million, plus the three maritime provinces each contributing $2 million.

Some provinces have even had to provide the extra money that ACOA has not delivered. We need to save jobs. When will the government provide the $6 million it announced two years ago? Why the delay?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no delay. There was a process put in place. ACOA is forwarding the money to the provinces as they require it. I am not sure what the member opposite is talking about.

We fully stand behind our slaughter capacity in this country. In fact, we have added more in this budget. I hope the member is going to run down the hall and get his Senate to pass it later today.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the provinces have provided their money, but ACOA has not yet made its contribution.

All across the country, Canadian are losing their jobs because of the Conservative government's inaction. The Liberal Party asked the government to put in place economic recovery programs to get people working again. Yet Conservative Senator Percy Mockler cancelled the announcements of infrastructure projects in Restigouche that were to be made last Friday.

On top of letting the economy down, why do the Prime Minister and his government not want Canadians to start working again?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is totally incorrect. As the Minister of State for ACOA, I signed off on that paperwork some weeks ago. The money will be flowing if it has not already flowed. So I would ask the member to get his information correct.

HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister said that if you have a house and a wife, you would likely be doing renovations this year. Not only does this comment show that the Prime Minister is stuck in the 1950s, but he is also very out of touch with women in Canada.

In this economic crisis, women are more likely looking at affordable housing versus worrying about doing renos to their kitchens. Tax credits are fine, but when is the Prime Minister going to join us in the 21st century and bring in measures to help the real housing issues that women face?

HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to taking every single action we can to provide a little hope, a little opportunity, for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. One of the important things that we put in our economic action plan was a comprehensive strategy to get Canadians working again, whether it is small contractors doing renovations in social housing, whether it is medium-size firms helping in the construction of new housing for seniors, or even individual small business contractors doing work in private homes.

We are committed to providing a little hope, a little opportunity, that will come when the budget is passed. What we need the member to do is to stop putting her head in the sand and to finally support the good work that is in the budget.

HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, for the tens of thousands of Canadians on waiting lists for affordable housing, that answer is unacceptable. We all know the government's modest aims for affordable housing are unlikely to result in any new units being built. When it comes to the needs of families during this recession, the Prime Minister is out of touch. He does not know what to do. That explains why he would make such an outrageous comment.

Tax credits alone will not help those who really need the help. When will we see an actual plan for a national housing strategy?

HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are all eager to answer this question, because within our economic action plan there is $2 billion for just the kind of work to which that member is referring. There is $1 billion for affordable housing renovations right across the country. There is another $1 billion for new affordable housing, specifically for seniors and for the disabled. There is money for people in the north who need it.

We are putting this out there for Canadians, but the hon. member and her entire party voted against every penny of it.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, industries in Canada, like those in many other countries, are working hard to make it through the financial crisis. Fortunately, this government is taking unprecedented measures to stimulate Canada's economy and fight the global recession.

This is certainly true in the aerospace sector, where we have invested significantly.

Further, last year's budget committed $350 million for the Bombardier CSeries.

Can the Minister of Industry tell the House about how our investments have helped the aerospace sector?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his excellent question. Our government is very proud of what it has done to support the aerospace sector. That is why, today, I would like to congratulate Bombardier on its first order for CSeries aircraft from Deutsche Lufthansa. The contract value for the 30 aircraft is approximately $1.53 billion. This is a major step forward for Bombardier, and it speaks to the ingenuity of Canada's aerospace industry. This is further proof that our government is helping to strengthen the aerospace industry.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the three plus years of Conservative government, 20,000 jobs have vanished from the forestry industry. Small localities like Fort-Coulonge, Val-d'Or and Matagami have been hit hard. Yesterday evening, this House passed a motion to help the forestry sector in Quebec and elsewhere. Unfortunately, the Conservatives opposed it.

Why are they refusing to cooperate with this industry at last on a real plan to retain jobs and create new ones?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.

As we have said, our government has put in place numerous measures, within the agreements we have, to support employment and encourage and assist workers, among other things with $170 million to diversify the economy. My colleague must be well aware that the industries are currently having trouble selling their product. That is the main problem the industry has at this time. We will therefore continue to develop new products and new markets and will try to revitalize this industry, whose interests all members of our party take to heart.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, told the Standing Committee on Official Languages the following: “In Quebec, English-language teaching at the primary and secondary level is just about swept under the rug”. He also said “Quebeckers are second-language illiterate.”

I would like to know whether the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and for La Francophonie agrees with what her colleague from Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles says?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, this is what we have to say and what our policies on official languages in Canada are. We have a road map and this is what it is: $1.1 billion over five years invested in the official languages of our country. These investments will go all over our country—in Quebec, outside Quebec, in the regions—for Canada's official languages. For us, there are two official languages in our country, and we are protecting them.

IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, whether it is Xstrata, Vale Inco or U.S. Steel, the government has legal agreements with foreign companies that bought Canadian assets with clear job protection provisions, but when these firms reneged, the government simply rolled over.

Thousands of Canadians are being thrown out of work because the government refuses to enforce its own legal agreements.

Why should working families trust the government with more foreign takeovers after it has proven it cannot handle the ones already allowed?

When does the net benefit to Canada provision start applying to working families, and not just to shareholders?

IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that is in fact not true. This government expects every signatory to an Investment Canada Act proposal to live up to its expectations.

On that side of the House, they simply ignore the fact that we have obtained new investments to this country that have kept our businesses alive in this country, that have meant jobs and opportunities for Canadians throughout the country. That is what the Investment Canada Act is all about. That is why we are in favour of new foreign direct investments. It is so that we can have more jobs, more opportunities and more hope for Canadians, and they vote against it every single time.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, we know that Canada's forest sector is facing some big challenges. This is an industry that hundreds of thousands of Canadians depend on for their livelihoods.

Canada's economic action plan contains some huge measures to provide support for the forestry industry, especially for forestry workers and their families, who have been hard hit by this global economic downturn.

Can the minister inform the House how these measures are being received by the forestry workers and the communities on the ground?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, members know that the member and the member for Prince George—Peace River have worked tirelessly for their constituents on this file.

In Canada's economic action plan, their hard work paid off, as our government took several measures to help forestry workers, including extending the EI work-sharing program.

In fact, United Steelworkers official Terry Tate said, “This is great news. We were quite shocked--we didn't think they would go the full 52 weeks”.

Our economic action plan will help workers and get families through these difficult times.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

That will conclude question period for today.

Tom HansonRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on the sad news that we all received this morning, the passing at a very young age of Tom Hanson. As we all know, Tom was a talented photojournalist who distinguished himself by the quality of his work and his character. He was honoured with numerous industry awards and, perhaps most telling of all, the universal respect of his colleagues.

Through his photos, Tom helped to chronicle our story as Canadians. Whether it was a defining moment on the campaign trail, the shy smile of an Afghan child, or the triumph of a Grey Cup victory, Tom had a unique ability to capture the essence of whatever he was photographing.

On a personal level, Tom's sharp wit, his passion for music, hockey and motorcycles, his casual swagger and his personal integrity will be missed by all of us. On behalf of myself, Laureen, our family and, I know, all colleagues here who knew him, I want to pass on our condolences to his wife, Catherine, and to Tom's entire family.

Tom HansonRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Canadian Press, a national institution, lost a great photographer with the passing of Tom Hanson. Photographers are sometimes the most courageous, audacious and artistic of journalists. Tom Hanson was that: courageous, audacious and artistic.

We in this House grieve for the loss of a great journalist, a great artist of the camera. We grieve with his family at Canadian Press. We grieve for his family at home.

We will remember his contribution to our public life with respect. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Catherine. We hope that she will take some comfort from the fact that Tom Hanson's memory will always be regarded with affection and respect by every member of this House.