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House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was insurance.

Topics

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I think I have already answered that question by saying yes, that is exactly what the due diligence we are doing is all about. A fundamental priority of our due diligence is to maintain proportionality of production share here in Canada. I guess the answer to the hon. member's question is yes.

A commentator and expert on the issue said that the ministers ”have been brilliant in how they've handled this, going way back...”. The commentator went on to say that they came out weeks ahead of the American government, he called the ministers brilliant and said that they deserved a lot of credit.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is great when one can quote one's self.

If the government really cared about auto jobs in this country, it would ensure that the 5,500 new vehicles that are being purchased by Canada Post would be made here in Canada. It would ensure that the minivan plant in Windsor would in fact get that contract. It cannot tell us that NAFTA is the problem because that is just not true. It has not stopped, for instance, President Obama, from fast-tracking 17,500 American made vehicles for production in the United States for its use.

Will the government ensure that Canada Post makes this one simple commitment to buy those vehicles?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that Canada Post is an arm's length crown corporation owned by Canadians. It has a mandate to run as efficiently as it possibly can and we will not interfere with regard to its internal dealings.

We are ensuring that it follows its mandate, and it is doing that, and it does not compromise any international agreements.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, in the auto sector, a truck plant shut down yesterday in Oshawa and 2,600 more jobs are gone, and GM will obviously not keep 20% of its production in Canada.

In total, more than one-third of a million Canadians have lost their job under the Conservative government and thousands of them cannot get EI, even though they paid all their dues.

Are the Conservatives really saying to these people, “That's it, that's all. Shut up. Quit your complaining”? Is that all there is from the uncaring government?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have taken unprecedented steps to help those who are unfortunate enough to lose their jobs.

We must remember that over 80% of those who paid into EI and who do lose their jobs through no fault of their own can access EI and access to EI is more readily available in 35 of the 58 regions across the country, and the benefits are for a longer period of time.

We are also working to ensure that those who do not qualify for EI can access training so they will be prepared for the jobs of the future. What we will not do is raise taxes.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, only the Conservatives talk about increasing payroll taxes; only them, no one else. Liberals cut those taxes 12 consecutive times.

Let us be clear. Improving access to employment insurance during the depths of a recession does not mean premiums go up. To assert the contrary is a malicious threat.

Why are Conservatives threatening the jobless? Why do they mock the victims of a Conservative recession, slandering them as rip-off artists who just want to bilk EI?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, this is a global recession in case the hon. member had not noticed. Our country went into this in a better position than most. We are dealing with it better than most. We expect to come out of it stronger and sooner than most.

It is very important to understand that the EI system is supposed to be self-supporting. That means, if we are to dramatically increase benefits, then the premiums have to go up. That is a big job-killing payroll tax at a time when we are trying to create jobs. When we are trying to protect jobs, all the Liberals want to do is kill jobs by increasing the payroll taxes.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the government with respect to Omar Khadr. It now appears that President Obama is making plans with respect to the possible revival of military tribunals to deal with a number of cases.

Could the government tell us what discussions it has had with respect to Mr. Khadr and why would the government not be making representations to say that a child soldier should not be charged in the same way as others and that we have a responsibility as a country to patriate a Canadian citizen who deserves to face Canadian justice rather than a military tribunal?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the hon. member that our position has not changed. Mr. Omar Khadr faces very serious charges. He is accused of killing Sergeant Christopher Speer, an American medic in Afghanistan, in the same country where Canadian troops are fighting today.

President Obama has started a process and we are respecting his decision by allowing the process to run its course.

Sri LankaOral Questions

May 15th, 2009 / 11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it really makes a mockery of any sense of questions and answers for the member to simply give us a rote answer.

I will try again on another subject. Could the parliamentary secretary comment on the situation in Sri Lanka? The Red Cross has referred to it as a catastrophe. The United Nations has sent one of its senior officials to try to deal with the situation.

All politics aside, we face the prospect that as many as 50,000 people could be facing death as a result—

Sri LankaOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of State of Foreign Affairs.

Sri LankaOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is quite right. This is not a matter for partisan debate.

The Government of Canada and all Canadians, and certainly my hon. colleague, are horrified at the deepening humanitarian tragedy. As my colleague knows, the United Nations Security Council has joined Canada and other democracies in calling for both parties to the conflict to immediately cease fire.

Canada continues to call on the terrorist Tamil Tigers to down arms and to release the civilians they are holding as human shields and, at the same time, for the Sri Lankan forces to cease indiscriminate artillery fire.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government of the United States is following France's lead and preparing to impose a carbon tax on polluters who refuse to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Rather than putting its energy into convincing oil companies to reduce their emissions, the Minister of the Environment is going to Washington to ask Americans to lower their standards.

Does the Minister of the Environment realize that the Conservatives' ideology threatens tax retaliation not only for polluters but also for companies that have made efforts in the past?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member well knows that earlier this year we established the Canada-U.S. clean energy dialogue, which would lead us on the path to reduce emissions by an absolute 20% by 2020. That is the toughest target in Canadian history and one of the toughest in the world.

The big question is this. Why was the Bloc critic on the environment missing in action when we did a study this week in the oil sands? We spent three days in the Alberta oil sands and the member was not there.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week, the parliamentary secretary went to Alberta to promote the oil sands and his minister went to Washington to lower environmental standards. We stayed here to fight climate change. That is the reality.

Rather than wasting his time and money on carbon capture and storage, which will not amount to anything, why does the minister not immediately make huge investments in the development of new forms of energy such as solar and wind energy?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to ensuring that 90% of our electricity comes from clean energy sources by 2020. That is huge.

The big question is this. Is this member afraid of the fact that we have the toughest target in Canadian history? After the 13 years, when the Liberals did absolutely nothing, we are getting it done. Why is he afraid of that?

Caisse de dépôt et placement du QuébecOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Bloc Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, first Quebec's Minister of Finance, then the President of the Caisse de dépôt et placement, and now the caisse's former head of risk management, Alban d'Amours, have all condemned Ottawa and the Superintendent of Financial Institutions for their failure to heed the caisse's repeated requests to call a general market disruption following the collapse of commercial paper.

Can the Minister of Finance explain why the superintendent did not take action?

Caisse de dépôt et placement du QuébecOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Caisse de dépôt et placement doubled its holdings of tainted commercial paper a few months before the crisis. The province is responsible for regulating the caisse, not the Government of Canada or Government of Canada organizations.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du QuébecOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Bloc Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, had the superintendent declared a general market disruption, international banks would have been forced to repay the caisse for its losses. However, because the problem seemed to be confined to Quebec, the superintendent decided to ignore it because he deemed it a local issue.

Did the superintendent fail to act because the issue only affected Quebec?

Caisse de dépôt et placement du QuébecOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I repeat that the caisse and its investments are under the Province of Quebec's jurisdiction. In light of the crisis and some of the caisse's investments, it is clear that Canada needs a national regulation system.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities admitted that the building Canada fund, announced with great fanfare three years ago, is just not working. Just 5% of the billions of dollars promised have been invested in three years.

Although it knows that this model is not working, and despite all our suggested improvements, the government is insisting on keeping the same dysfunctional model for the stimulus package. Why?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, we are working with municipalities and provinces, ensuring the stimulus works even better than it would if it were just federally loaned. We are leveraging three to one on the money that will stimulate the creation of jobs and get people working and building good infrastructure into the 21st century.

That is what our goal is. We are getting the job done. We have dirt flying right across the country. I suggest the minister should stand clear of that.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would concur that the minister should stand clear of dirt flying.

I am afraid, however, that it simply is not working. We know the numbers prove that. Broken promises, announcements and, worse, re-announcements do not pay wages and they do not create jobs. Einstein had it right with the definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

Will the minister please stop repeating his mistakes, listen to municipalities, deliver funds now, before we lose this construction season, and get people to work?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to explain to the member opposite that 2,746 projects were applied for as of May 1, in her province, Ontario. These are being worked at aggressively and will be moved out at an accelerated rate.

However, I will quote this for the hon. member, “It doesn't make sense to say that we passed the budget in April and here it is the 1st of May” and “We have to deal with a little bit of time to see if the measures that we have supported in fact work”. The leader of her party said that.

AgricultureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, last night in the House the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food was asked repeatedly whether the government would provide immediate financial help for our hog producers, who are facing financial ruin, and he waffled. Yet, the minister had a request, received on May 8, from the Canadian Pork Council, in which it appealed for an immediate cash payment of $30 per hog.

Is the minister now prepared to stand up for Canada's hog producers and demonstrate that our rural economies and our farmers are as important as other sectors?