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House of Commons Hansard #39 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was producers.

Topics

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 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, we have put a number of measures in place. Like my colleagues here in this House, you are well aware that the problems facing the forestry industry have to do with the market, no matter what anyone says. Members may want to use the men and women who work in the forestry industry to score political points, but unfortunately, companies are selling fewer products than before, at lower prices than before, and they are losing money.

Those are the facts. Members may want to score political points using the regions when they never go there. As for me, I go back home every weekend. We will continue to support these industries and these companies in the forestry sector.

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, as La Presse's editorial writer, André Pratte, correctly pointed out, “The Minister of Finance...should reread the budget he tabled last year. That budget invited provinces that had not yet harmonized their sales taxes to go ahead and do it. The budget named the errant provinces and, surprise, surprise—Quebec was not one of them”.

Will the government acknowledge that Quebec's sales tax is harmonized with the GST and that Quebec should therefore be compensated?

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we listened to what the finance minister, Ms. Jérôme-Forget, said. We are keeping a close eye on the situation. As I said, we will begin good-faith negotiations if Ms. Jérôme-Forget follows up on what she said.

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, I would strongly suggest that the Minister of Finance and all of the members opposite reread what the Minister of Finance said two years ago.

Yesterday, Quebec's finance minister wrote to her federal counterpart to say that Quebec agrees to changing the details that the Conservatives say prevent them from compensating Quebec. Quebec is ready to negotiate, but it takes two to tango.

Will the government commit to negotiating compensation for Quebec similar to that for Ontario in good faith?

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the answer has not changed. We repeated it over and over yesterday. Ms. Jérôme-Forget said that changes would have to be made to make Quebec's situation more like Ontario's. We are keeping a close eye on things, and we will engage in good-faith negotiations if things go that way.

AfghanistanOral Questions

April 2nd, 2009 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Karzai government has passed a retrograde piece of legislation that oppresses 50% of the population, specifically, women. Although this bill directly attacks only Shiite women, as we all know, in a country that accuses rape victims of adultery, the rights of all Afghan women are in peril. The Minister of International Trade has said that passing this law will have serious repercussions.

Can he tell us what those repercussions will be?

AfghanistanOral 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, we are very concerned about this situation and about laws in Afghanistan. It is very worrisome. The government of Afghanistan must fulfill its international obligations and protect human rights, especially women's rights, and we are calling on it to do so. We will insist that it do so.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, expressing one's serious concerns is not enough. Other steps could be taken. First, the government must firmly and clearly denounce this Afghan law at the NATO meeting. In addition, the government simply has to take the millions of dollars that Canada would have spent on future plans with the Karzai government to support the Afghan people, and transfer that money to NGOs that could help people directly.

Does the minister not believe that non-governmental organizations are in a much better position to help women than a government that allows them to be oppressed?

AfghanistanOral 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, first of all, it is important to point out that the NATO meeting has not yet begun. However, every chance we get, with our foreign affairs ministers and our prime ministers, we are very clear. We insist that the government of Afghanistan protect human rights, and protect and support women's rights. We will continue to insist.

IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the jobs of tomorrow.

Venture capital is critical in financing private sector research and in Canada it is drying up. The Business Development Bank of Canada warns that we could lose hundreds of innovative small companies in their infancy. To quote a senior VP: “It breaks my heart because if we let go of these technology companies, once this recession is over you will have lost all this [new] technology, you will have lost a decade”.

What are the Conservatives doing about this? Do they know that they are saying no to the jobs of tomorrow?

IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, quite the opposite. In fact, in our economic action plan, we included a $3 billion increase to the capital of the BDC. Venture capital funding is and will be part of that funding.

I can assure the hon. member and members of this House that we believe in venture capital. We believe it is important for our marketplace to have a space for venture capital and we will be supportive of the BDC in this regard.

IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a result of the economic crisis, we all know that venture capital is drying up and many small Canadian companies that are producing cutting edge technology are in danger of dying. Ballard Power Systems is a British Columbia company. It is a world leader in fuel cell technology. It is shedding 39 jobs; 8% of its work force.

I have a question for the minister. Would the government assist this and other companies in this great country to actually continue to create and protect the jobs of tomorrow?

IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have some great Canadian companies doing some great work in many different sectors, including new fuel technology, and we want to support that. That is what the ecoEnergy retrofit is all about. That includes our green plans that my colleague, the Minister of Environment, is pursuing as well.

Certainly, if Ballard wishes to speak to me, and I had a very good discussion with them a couple of months ago, if Ballard has have some projects that the Government of Canada can be helpful with, then we are all ears.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the North American auto industry is one of the most integrated in the world with over $150 billion in cross-border trade annually. Logically then, the Conservatives should be working with the Americans on an integrated solution. Yet, the Minister of Industry was completely caught off guard when President Obama announced numerous initiatives to shore up consumer confidence.

With so many jobs on the line, why is government out of the loop?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in fact, it is quite the opposite. As President Obama said himself to the people of the United States of America in his live televised address on Monday, he is working with Canadians. He saluted Canadians. That means the Canadian government. It is because we have a consistent cogent position on the auto sector. It does not mean the Liberals, who say one thing at one end of the country and another thing at the other end of the country.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, many of my constituents in Mississauga—Brampton South work in the auto sector. Constituents like Gerry Mifsud of Berger Precision Ltd. need the government to fight for their interests. The Americans understand this and they have implemented bankruptcy protection, guarantees for car warranties, and incentives for the purchase of new vehicles.

Why has the minister done nothing? Why has he abandoned the auto sector? Why has he abandoned Gerry?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. member has told Gerry about all the wonderful things we have done in conjunction with Premier Dalton McGuinty to secure the 20% production capacity here in Canada. We are on the file and have been on the file, quite frankly, since we were re-elected in October.

On this side of the House there has not been a peep, except for those who say in British Columbia that they do not support the auto sector and then in the House crow about how they want to be supportive of the auto sector. That is not leadership.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberals voted for the NDP's Bill C-311 tiddlywink bill. It is a bill the Liberal member from Ottawa South suggests has targets that are fiscally irresponsible because there is no accompanying plan to accomplish them causing him to say, and I quote, “We might as well be sitting at a table with Monopoly money and Tidley Winks”.

Could the Minister of the Environment please explain to the House the right way forward on climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the coalition is obviously alive and well. Everyone in Canada, except for the opposition, knows that a responsible climate change plan turns upon our economic realities. That is why we are working together on the clean energy dialogue with the U.S. administration. That is why we took leadership with harmonized tailpipe emission standards yesterday.

Meanwhile, every single member of the Liberal Party stood yesterday and voted in favour of a bill that their own critic calls the tiddlywink bill. Shame.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 2008 Dr. O'Connor revealed high rates of cancers in Fort Chipewyan First Nations. Health Canada responded by filing complaints against the doctor with the Alberta College of Physicians, alleging he had caused undue alarm. Alberta Health Services has verified that the rates of three types of cancers are higher than expected and has recommended action be taken. The community has asked Health Canada to withdraw this complaint against its doctor.

Will the Minister fo Health end this unfounded witch hunt and will she exercise her legal duty to examine the role that toxins in the Athabasca River play in higher cancer rates?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have put more money into aboriginal health care in this country and the Minister of Health will be taking action as she sees fit.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the health care problems are not just in northern Alberta. Last week, twin babies from the remote Garden Hill First Nation in Manitoba were medevaced to Winnipeg to undergo emergency treatment for meningitis which went undetected at their local nursing station, said to be of World War II vintage. Sadly, one of the babies died. This is not an isolated incident. A recent Health Canada report found that aboriginal children are dying at a rate four times higher than that of non-native kids. That is just unacceptable.

What steps will be taken to ensure more first nations children will not needlessly die on the government's watch?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for asking a question on this issue. I would like to express my sincere sympathies to the families following the illness of their children and the tragic loss of their son.

Our government is committed to providing quality health care to the Garden Hill First Nation. The community is supported by a recently built nursing station which provides services 24/7. Health Canada is in the process of reviewing the facts of these cases.

Gun RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, everyone in Quebec agrees that the gun registry is vital to the integrated and effective fight against crime. The Prime Minister's new light version is no better than his member's bill. The goal is the same: to abolish the current gun registry. The Prime Minister has even asked Canada's hunters to push for abolition of the registry.

Why does the Prime Minister refuse to listen to the survivors of the Dawson College shooting, such as Mr. Kadhim, who wrote a letter asking him to maintain the gun registry?

Gun RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, this government, of course, is very concerned with the battle against crime and against gun crime. That is why we have been carrying out a very ambitious legislative agenda on those matters, which included mandatory prison sentences for gun crimes, which we had some challenges getting adopted by the House, I might remind everyone. We also have been working on legislation that the justice minister has introduced to combat organized crime and drug crimes. Those are the kinds of things that are going to focus on criminals.

As for the long gun registry, that is a matter of targeting farmers, law-abiding hunters. That is not where the problem is. The problem is fighting crime.