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House of Commons Hansard #32 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Trade stated that “Export Development Canada is working with more than 90% of forestry companies.”

Will the minister explain what yesterday's statement really meant?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, more than 90% of forestry companies are working with Export Development Canada to obtain tax assistance in order to improve their position and be competitive in different situations, in a very competitive world where prices for forest products are not good. Export Development Canada will continue to support these companies.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, forestry companies are clamouring for loan guarantees to weather the crisis.

If EDC loan guarantees are legal for forestry companies that export, why are the same loan guarantees to help the forestry industry weather the crisis not legal?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Export Development Canada is working with forestry companies and will continue to do so.

The simple fact that the companies are encouraged by their involvement with Export Development Canada is an example that there is a great deal of assistance and many opportunities for improving things. The situation is very difficult overall for companies. However, we will continue to work with companies.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' elimination of funding for not-for-profit economic organizations has hurt the economy in Quebec's regions. The Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) reversed only somewhat the unjustified decision of his predecessor when he said that a few of the organizations in Quebec eligible before November 2007 could apply.

By refusing to reinstate the total amount cut, does the minister realize that he will be continuing to harm Quebec's regions?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 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 his question. In 2007, my predecessor made a decision that was very courageous and necessary in the context. An analysis had to be done. Thanks to this decision, a complete evaluation was done of the support our department gives in the various files. Thanks to the work done previously, we were able to free up budget money.

What my colleague opposite has just said is totally false. We will continue to help economic development through all the organizations in the regions of Quebec.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, if I understand the minister correctly, it amounts to the same thing. As well as cutting many of the organizations funded previously, the measure is in effect for only two years, threatening their survival and undermining the ability to support businesses.

Will the minister acknowledge that his announcement is aimed solely to get through the next election and does not contribute to consolidating these organizations vital to regional development?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 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, what amounts to the same thing is the attitude of the Bloc—whine, whine some more, find the angles, move nothing forward. That is all it can do. That is always amounting to the same thing.

There is a two year plan. There is funding for the not-for-profit organizations deemed essential by the stakeholders and subject to the financial capabilities of Canada Economic Development. The importance of the file has to be shown, and the objectives must translate into results. Funding is reduced or eliminated if there is no accountability. Accountability is rigorous, and there is no funding by default.

We are doing the work. We are not just whining.

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canada's venture capital industry is in trouble. According to the Conservative government, the best way for a Canadian company to obtain venture capital is to become an American company.

Why are the Conservatives abandoning Canadian innovators and encouraging them to move to the United States?

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. friend wants to try and make a point about the fact that we are in a tough situation, he should deal with facts and not dredge up fears that are not based on fact.

EDC alone in this last year has done business with over 8,600 customers. It has facilitated $85 billion worth of financial activity. That is a 22% increase over 2007. As of the end of February, it had already transacted with 400 new customers to the tune of $9.4 billion.

The member should not frighten people with things that are not true.

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the fact is, on March 18, DFAIT hosted a boot camp for Canadian entrepreneurs in Ottawa, where Canadian firms were told that the best way for them to access venture capital was to incorporate in Delaware and move to the United States.

Why is the government giving up on Canada's venture capital industry and telling Canadian innovators to move their intellectual property, jobs and innovation to the United States?

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, if the member wants to raise his voice and look excited because he has lost the point, he can surely try and do that.

Also in our new economic comprehensive package are millions of dollars available in a program to allow for Canadians, who want to be involved in exportation and business across the border, to learn about the abilities and the programs that are available to them. That is one of a number of products.

The bottom line is this. There has been a huge increase in activity of Canadian businesses. They are being successful. It is through their involvement with EDC. The member should get his facts straight on that.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage does not know who the founder of Cirque du Soleil, Guy Laliberté, is. He knows almost no one in Canada's artistic community, although that community is getting to know him.

We have learned that a pile of funding applications submitted by dance groups last April—almost a year ago—are still sitting on his desk gathering dust.

Now that those groups have been forced to cancel their programming, is he proud of his actions?

Arts and 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, we are doing our job. We are investing $2.3 billion in Canadian artists this year.

I know my colleague did his homework by reading this morning's Globe and Mail, but I can assure him that we are taking a very close look at all files on behalf of Canadian taxpayers. People will receive their money.

The Conservative government is investing more money than any government in the history of this country.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, almost a year ago, the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Dancing on the Edge, New Dance Horizons and the Brian Webb Dance Company all submitted their applications for 2009-10 funding. Right now their applications are still gathering dust on the desk of the minister, a week from deadline. This is forcing many dance troupes to cancel their events.

Is the minister proud that he has once again succeeded in preventing Canadian culture from taking the stage?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, he is entirely wrong. What we are doing is our due diligence on behalf of taxpayers. As I said, we are spending $2.3 billion this year on arts and culture funding across the country. It is a record amount. Never before in the history of the country has a government put more support and more financing behind arts and culture than this Conservative government. With that level of spending, of course we have to do our due diligence.

All those groups that qualify for funding will get funding at a record level never seen before because Canadians elected a Conservative government.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are anxiously waiting for the money to flow from our government's economic action plan. Unemployed workers are waiting for assistance. Ordinary citizens are waiting for tax relief. Businesses are waiting for access to financing. Across the country, Canadians are worried about the security of their jobs.

Could the President of the Treasury Board tell the House when that money will start to flow so we can help Canadian families weather the economic storm?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, our government is taking unprecedented and extraordinary action to stimulate the Canadian economy and combat the global recession. These measures are simply too important to risk being delayed by an opposition determined to play politics. Too many jobs, too many family mortgage payments and too many seniors' income security are at stake.

We have cut bureaucratic red tape only to have to the opposition replace it with political red tape. It is time that those members encourage their colleagues in the Senate to move things ahead, and that they pass the vote today.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

March 24th, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the CBC is on the verge of massive cuts to the service that it provides Canadians in every corner of our country, but these cuts are avoidable because the CBC has a reasonable plan for addressing this crisis through bridge financing.

Now the minister claims he was never approached for bridge financing, but this is not true. He was asked directly and he said “no”. Jobs are on the chopping block in Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Sydney and elsewhere across the country.

Why has the minister put the future of public broadcasting and local programming at risk by refusing CBC's request for bridge financing?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, here is the problem with the NDP's position on the CBC. In 2004-05, Parliament increased funding for the CBC and those members voted against it. In 2005-06, we increased funding for the CBC and they voted against it. In 2006-07, we increased funding for the CBC and they voted against it. In 2007-08, we increased funding for the CBC and they voted against it. In 2008-09, we increased funding for the CBC and they voted against it. In 2009-10, we have increased funding for the CBC and they voted against it.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is an example of the Pinocchio principle. He is sitting on $60 million that is owed to the CBC and he is refusing to bring it forth.

Communities across Canada depend on the CBC.

But the minister refuses to work with the CBC to come up with a long-term plan to support the public broadcaster.

This will lead to job losses and the loss of local, regional and francophone services across Canada.

Why is this minister using the economic crisis as an excuse to attack the CBC?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we are not attacking the CBC. We are making record investments in the CBC.

Broadcasters in this country, in the private sector and the CBC, of course, are facing challenges with the drop in ad revenue that is being seen across the board, but the government has done its job.

We made a very specific promise in the campaign to maintain or increase support for the CBC. We have kept our promise even if the NDP continues to vote against the CBC.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation might be forced to sell assets and lay off between 600 and 1,200 employees—it is going to make the announcement tomorrow—in order to meet its financial obligations, and all this is happening under the disinterested watch of the Conservatives. The government is planning to help the private sector, but for ideological reasons it closes the door on the CBC. We have known for a long time that the Conservatives want to shut down the CBC and they are using the economic crisis as a pretext for doing so.

Will the minister stop hiding behind the economic crisis and stop refusing to help the CBC?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is totally false. I will give the Bloc the same answer I gave the NDP. In 2005-06, we increased the CBC’s budget and the Bloc voted against it. In 2006-07, we increased the CBC’s budget and the Bloc voted against it. In 2007-08, we increased the CBC’s budget and the Bloc voted against it. In 2008-09, we increased the CBC’s budget and the Bloc voted against it. In this budget, we again provided an increase for the CBC and the Bloc is still voting against it.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious the minister does not even have his classics straight. Here too he is misleading the House.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages is trying to say that the CBC can deal with its problems within its current budget.

Will the minister acquiesce to the request from the CBC, which wants to have greater flexibility, such as a simple advance of funds from its 2009 budget envelope? It is hardly asking too much.