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House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was funding.

Topics

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, what can forestry workers expect from the Conservatives, really?

The closing of Smurfit-Stone, Pontiac Forest Products and the Maibec plant has caused 360 jobs to be lost in the Pontiac region. Let us be real.

I would ask that the minister be upfront and honest. Why do the Conservatives have nothing to say and to offer to these workers?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 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 the member for his question. As members know, I come from an area which, unfortunately, relies heavily on forestry. Every weekend, I go back home. I do more than just speak in the House; I actually go out in the field every weekend and talk to these workers. They are all aware of the fact that the situation currently facing the forestry industry is unfortunately a market problem. Even if our wood is the best, if it does not sell, sadly, businesses have to close.

We will continue to support workers and help industries prepare for recovery by working on new products and new markets.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was International Women's Day. Unfortunately, in Canada our celebrations were marred by the regressive actions of the government when it killed pay equity. Worse, it insulted Canadian women by telling us that this decision was in our best interests.

Women are not naive. We are sick of the half-truths and we will fight back.

Will the government table any legal opinions that show it has contravened the charter, and if not, what is the government hiding?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, this government thought it was wrong that women would have to wait for 15 or 20 years to achieve pay equity in the workforce, so we brought forward legislation that was in fact partly inspired by the Liberal task force on this issue in 2004.

In fact, we ensure--

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

It has nothing to do with the Liberals. You cannot compare them. How dare you?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

I know the member for Beaches—East York has an issue. Maybe she can speak later, but she just keeps on whining and yelling. It is very difficult for me to speak in these kinds of circumstances.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister is so condescending. We are tired of the sales jobs. We can see through it.

Women are disproportionately affected by the recession. Globally 70% of the poor are women, and in wealthy countries like ours, women are the majority of the poor. Women still earn less than men and as a result have less to fall back on when times are tough. Killing pay equity is an affront to women's human rights.

Could the government explain why muzzling women was necessary as part of its so-called economic plan, or will it admit that it is an ideologically driven swipe at human rights?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, in fact what we have done is to ensure that unions and employers cannot bargain away pay equity issues during collective bargaining. In fact, the member stood by and is voting against legislation that ensures that women achieve pay equity on a timely basis and that unions and employers do not bargain away pay equity rights during collective agreements.

InfrastructureOral Questions

March 9th, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week our Prime Minister, together with Nova Scotia's Premier Rodney MacDonald, announced a major investment in Nova Scotia's highway system.

Could Canada's Minister of Transport and Infrastructure please inform the House how this initiative will help keep Atlantic Canadian families safe?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member of Parliament for West Nova has been working hard with our Prime Minister and the premier of Nova Scotia to help provide important, badly needed funding to help rebuild Highway 101, which has been dubbed by many locals as Canada's deadliest highway.

These important investments in infrastructure show that we can work cooperatively with provincial governments and that we can get things done. Hopefully we are not just creating jobs, but making a safer transportation system for the people of West Nova.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, for two years, farmers have been awaiting government action on funding initiatives announced but not delivered.

In May 2007, the Prime Minister told farmers there would be $100 million each year to address increasing production costs. However the Prime Minister's promise for a cost of production program has been secretly cancelled. This is a betrayal of the Prime Minister's promise.

Will the minister explain why the government makes promises, raises hopes, and then breaks those promises when farmers need the money most?

AgricultureOral 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, absolutely nothing could be further from the truth. The member for Malpeque knows that unprecedented amounts of money have gone out to Canadian producers coast to coast to coast.

Having done that, we reallocate funds constantly, just as the Liberals did when they were in government. We want to make sure those funds hit the target in the best way to maintain the farm gate. We will continue to work for farmers. They may vote against it, but we will get the job done.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Public Works and Government Services is currently in the process of consolidating government contracts, which effectively excludes small and medium-sized businesses from the bidding process and unduly favours multinational corporations. Considering the important role played by small and medium-sized businesses in creating jobs, especially in the regions, people have good reason to be concerned.

Is the minister aware that consolidating contracts favours multinationals, to the detriment of small and medium-sized businesses, and that such an approach in these already tough times could mean the end for many businesses?

Government ContractsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is important to do business with small and medium-sized businesses and that is precisely what we are doing.

According to statistics, agreements with small and medium-sized businesses have risen from 46% to 49%.

That is how we continue to operate: we provide taxpayers with the best value for money, while making the most of the skills and abilities of small and medium-sized businesses.

Steel IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is continuing to sell out the workers of our industrial heartland. When U.S. Steel acquired Stelco, it made a deal with Industry Canada, which conveniently was not publicly released. We saw it with Xstrata, with Vale Inco and now with U.S. Steel.

When it comes to foreign takeovers, the government does not have the guts to enforce agreements and protect Canadian workers unless there is public pressure. We need accountability on this file.

Will the minister table the agreement he made with U.S. Steel, yes or no?

Steel IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, first, the government's thoughts are with the families and workers who have lost their jobs and, indeed, the entire community. The minister has met with representatives of Stelco and spoke with the mayor of Hamilton, all levels of government and the local governments, in fact.

This government fully expects companies to honour the commitments and obligations they have made with the Government of Canada and the people of Canada. We expect nothing less.

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, through budget 2009, our government has contributed $305 million to first nations and Inuit health programs, increased the health care transfer by $1.4 billion and committed $50 million to develop a foreign credential recognition framework with the provinces.

However, what about Canada's nurses? Nurses are an integral component to Canada's health care system. Maintaining a quality work life is essential to ensuring that Canada has an adequate supply of nurses now and in the future.

Could the minister comment on what this government is doing to ensure qualify of work life for our nurses?

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, last week I had the pleasure to announce $4.2 million to the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions for its “Research to Action: Applied Workplace Solutions for Nurses” initiative. This initiative will test strategies that improve the quality of work life for the nursing profession and improve the recruitment and retention of nurses.

This Conservative government is proud to fund important projects that further strengthen the nursing workforce in Canada.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, when I spoke about 3,100 new scholarship programs earlier, I should have probably broken that down. It is 600 internship programs and 2,500 brand new scholarship programs, for a total of 3,100.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that the interpretation system is not infallible. Over the past few weeks, on more than one occasion, we have asked a question on this side of the House in French, while a minister on the government side answers another question altogether. For instance, in response to a question asked by my hon. colleague from Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert today, the hon. Minister of State (Science and Technology) gave an answer on another topic altogether. This has happened a number of times.

I would therefore ask you to check this with the interpretation service. I do not at all doubt the competence of our interpreters, but perhaps the system is less than perfect, which might explain these anomalies.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am sure it is possible that there are these things, but I also point out to the hon. member that it is not up to the Speaker to decide whether a response given to a question is an answer to the question. It is called “question period”, not “answer period”, and it has been that way for many years.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, during question period, while I was objecting to something that he was saying, the minister for the Treasury Board shouted across that I should be put on medication.

I do not expect the minister to withdraw anything he said today. If he can say that the day after International Women's Day, when someone is objecting to the kind of things that the government has done and is challenging what he is saying, then I do not expect anything from that member, but I do want to put on the record his behaviour today.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I did not say that and I would challenge the member to in fact find that on the record.

However, I would point out for the record that the member for Beaches—East York has been yelling and screaming throughout question period. I note it was mentioned by the Minister of Finance at the beginning of question period. That has not stopped. She has continued to carry on in what I would consider a very unacceptable way.

I do not know what the problem is. Maybe someone with other expertise might be able to determine what that problem is.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to clarify. The hon. member looked directly at me, a physician, and said, “please give her a pill”.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I note the member for Beaches—East York said that she was not really complaining. She just wanted to put it on the record.

I know a lot of exchanges go on in the House when questions are being asked or when responses are being made and I know references are occasionally made to those references.

I urge hon. members to show judicious restraint in their coaching of others in the course of questions and answers, especially during question period.