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House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was young.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, fishermen in Atlantic Canada to forestry workers in British Columbia, Canadians, through no fault of their own, are losing their jobs and they are not eligible for EI.

Three weeks ago, the finance minister said that he was willing to work with opposition parties to fix EI and stimulate the economy. Those suggestions were totally dismissed by the Prime Minister. Obviously the Prime Minister has no confidence in his finance minister.

Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and replace the finance minister?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we added billions of dollars to the EI program. What we will not do is what the Liberal Party proposes to do, which is increase taxes, increase payroll taxes by putting in a premium hike.

The Liberals took the 360 plan and stole the NDP plan. In referring to the plan in a news release, they said, “This will result in an employment insurance premium hike”.

We will not do that. We will invest money to help Canadians. We will surely get through this but we will not do what they propose and that is increase taxes.

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Finance.

Yesterday he said that the deficit would be $50 billion or more. How much more?

We cannot believe the minister on the previous estimate. Why should we believe him on this number? Since we cannot believe either number, will he do the decent thing and resign?

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, let me be absolutely clear once again. Canada is responding to a global recession from a position of fiscal strength. Our debts are low and our deficits are manageable and affordable compared to other countries. That deficit has gone up because the recession is deeper. If the recession gets deeper, we will do more to help the unemployed and to help people.

The hypocrisy of the leader of the Liberal Party is breathtaking. He cannot decry a deficit when he comes here and demand spending, not just this year but permanently.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, while our Conservative government has a real plan for the economy that includes lower taxes, the Liberal leader has only one idea. What is it? He complains that Canadians are not paying enough taxes. This is discredited tax and spend and tax again liberalism. Let me quote the Liberal leader, “We will have to raise taxes”. What taxes? How much? When? The sky is the limit.

Could the government please inform the House what the IMF said just last week about our economic leadership?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader boasts that he is “Not going to take a GST hike off the table”. On the contrary, we are lowering taxes. We are keeping them low.

The International Monetary Fund said last week that the January 2009 fiscal package was appropriately “ large, timely, well diversified and structured for maximum effectiveness”. The IMF observed that this commitment to prudence, along with a strong track record of budgetary responsibility, underpinned Canada's--

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Outremont.

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will be releasing its annual report tomorrow. We already know that they have lost a record-breaking $24 billion. But what Canadians really want to know is how much the top executives intend to pay themselves in bonuses this year. Last year, despite losses, managers and executives had the nerve to pay themselves $11 million in bonuses.

Will the Minister of Finance take a stand for once in his life and say no to the theft of workers' savings?

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker. I do not have the power to do that, as the member opposite should know.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is separate from the political process. The provinces and the Government of Canada, as finance ministers, work together. We arrange to appoint a board but the board and the management operate the investments and conduct the business of the Canada pension plan. It has been a very successful plan over the years.

I think most Canadians would prefer that politicians, including the member for Wascana, keep their hands out of the till.

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, he was with all of the provincial financial ministers this week. That is not an excuse.

Tomorrow, the CPP Investment Board will be releasing its annual report. In a press release last week, it announced its unprecedented losses of $24 billion. The same release also makes it clear that despite those record losses and despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of Canadians have lost their jobs, it has every intention of paying itself bonuses again this year.

Precisely how much does the board need to lose before the government stops it from paying itself bonuses?

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I was with all of the provincial and territorial finance ministers earlier this week and we spent more than a day together. We conducted the triennial review of the Canada pension plan. We unanimously supported the work that has been done by the plan on behalf of Canadians and reaffirmed our intention not to politically interfere with the Canada pension plan.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' cuts to culture are really hurting artists. This summer, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens will be touring in the Middle East, but because of the Conservatives' negligence, they will have a $150,000 shortfall.

The director of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Alain Dancyger, criticized the situation, saying, “It is embarrassing to have to ask for money in a country like Egypt. It is unacceptable that we should have to accept donations from Egyptian companies because our own country, a G8 nation, cannot support us”.

Will the Conservative government finally listen to reason and restore funding for the programs it cut?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that les Grands Ballets will be going on its middle eastern tour. Our government is very supportive of the les Grands Ballets Canadiens.

“How supportive?”, you ask, Mr. Speaker. That is a great question and I am glad you asked me that. This year alone les Grands Ballets will receive $1.5 million from the endowment fund, which is more than three times what it received under the Liberal Party. That is how much this party has given.

That is not all, Mr. Speaker. It will also receive $1.2 million from the Canada Council for the Arts this year and next. That is more, because we are putting more money into the Canada Council for the Arts. The Bloc does not care about the arts.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, Stéphane Lemardelé is a well-known artist from my riding who has been invited to participate in Portrait du Québec at Saint-Jean des Arts in France this summer. Mr. Lemardelé will be hosting a week-long showcase of Quebec arts. Canadian Heritage told him that none of their programs applied to him.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages admit that his programs do not meet artists' needs, and will he support this exceptional artist instead of stubbornly refusing to do anything?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Once again, Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to get up on this issue.

What will not help artists in Quebec is the Bloc stimulus plan. It will not help them at all because when we flip through this, there is nothing in here that supports arts and culture.

However, where there is a lot of support for arts and culture is in the government's economic action plan which contains record funding for the arts and culture and the Bloc voted against it. The Bloc members can explain that to Quebecers when they try to explain this.

Fishing IndustryOral Questions

May 27th, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, fisher, Kevin Nash, is getting the lowest price in 20 years for his lobster catch. He cannot break even. In Quebec and throughout Atlantic Canada the story is the same. At the same time, these fishers are watching the minister mismanage the finances of Canada. A lot of these people will soon be out of work without qualifying for employment insurance.

Could the Minister of Finance explain to those struggling Canadians why he should not be out of work as well?

Fishing IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to supporting fishers, our government is there. We have provided access to credit to many fishers and many fishing businesses over the last six months. We have established the community adjustment fund, which allowed us to invest $10 million in lobster marketing for eastern Canada. We supported the development of a lobster council.

We have doubled the budget for small craft harbours. We are spending record amounts of money upgrading our Coast Guard fleet, which assists the fishing industry.

We are the same government that provided $750,000--

Fishing IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl.

Fishing IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, all these announcements are for tomorrow's money. They do not help for today.

The government can tell us all it wants that it will deliver money for marketing of lobsters, for example, just like it told us we would not have a deficit.

However, on this side of the House we want to hear and Canadians need to hear what the government will do. Will it give us a new Minister of Finance, one who actually cares about Canadians and is competent enough to deliver?

Fishing IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I just want to explain for the hon. member the relationship between supply and demand and why it was so important to invest in marketing money for the lobster industry.

Advertising impacts the buying behaviour of people. The buying behaviour of people affects demand and increased demand brings an increased price. That is why we have invested in the lobster industry.

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning, after days of talks, we saw the minister do everything in his power to capitulate to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano. The minister is trying to make surrendering our sovereignty sound like a success. He is helping to facilitate the militarization and thickening of the Canada-U.S. border by agreeing to gun boats, black hawk helicopters, drone planes, fences and spy planes.

Could the minister explain why he is giving up our sovereignty and damaging our tourism and trade?

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the member opposite just cannot understand that we have a great relationship with our partners to the south. It has grown since this party took power. It does not matter which party is in power in the United States. Today's meeting between our minister and the homeland security secretary was a great meeting to build those bridges across our country and their country. I do not know what he could find wrong with it.

Arctic SovereigntyOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us go from southern sovereignty to northern sovereignty.

The government boasts about promoting Arctic sovereignty, yet it has not appointed anyone to the Canadian Polar Commission, the lead agency on the Arctic. The commission promotes knowledge of the polar regions, enhances Canada's international profile and recommends policy direction. It has had no board and no chair since October 2008. The ad campaign promoting the Arctic in Europe is kind of hard to take seriously when the government has not been able to appoint people to the board that leads Canada's promotion.

Will the minister simply explain why the lack of leadership, where are the members of the board and where the heck is the chair?

Arctic SovereigntyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I will tell the member where the leadership is on the north. The leadership on the north is on this side of the House.

It is a pleasure to say that we have announced in the budget and have already allocated $85 million for science research projects. We have announced $200 million for housing projects in the north. We have announced the permanent research station in the north.

We continue to work with our northern partners because we believe, on this side of the House, that northern sovereignty is not negotiable. We take it seriously, like all Canadians will.

TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, in these challenging economic times, it is even more important than ever to open new doors for Canadian businesses. That is why our Conservative government has been busy negotiating new free trade agreements, like our agreement with Colombia, which is currently before the House.

Could the Minister of International Trade please explain to the House why our agreement with Colombia is so important to the prosperity of both countries?