This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

InfrastructureStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada reports a 159% increase in EI recipients in greater Victoria, the second highest among Canadian urban centres.

We need our share of the federal stimulus soon. Victoria is waiting for approval to replace our landmark Blue Bridge. Saanich is ready to upgrade the Rithets reservoir and the Portage Inlet sewer lift station.

But every day we wait makes it harder to meet the seemingly arbitrary deadline of March 2011 for project completion.

Municipalities cannot be left hanging if these badly needed projects are to go ahead in the prescribed timelines and create jobs. Our workers are ready to work.

These infrastructure projects are crucial not only because of the recession in the short-term but for the long-term viability of our cities.

Governor General's Caring Canadian AwardStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Claudia Campbell from my hometown of Teulon, Manitoba, on being awarded the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award.

This award honours Canadians for volunteer work at the local level and the fine example they set with their compassion and love of community.

Claudia is a special volunteer. She is an organizer of the annual Teulon Fair, director of the Teulon and District Agricultural Society, and she has been a key organizer of the Rockwood Festival of the Arts since founding the event back in 1956.

On top of that she has been active in her church, playing piano and organ on Sundays for most of the past 60 years, and as a music teacher Mrs. Campbell has artistically influenced three generations.

My home town of Teulon has been graced with two previous winners of the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award. Last year, Bill Docking was honoured and previously, Claudia's husband, David Campbell, received the award.

Claudia Campbell is very deserving of this high level of recognition for her countless hours caring about our community, our youth and our local arts.

On behalf of the people of Selkirk—Interlake, I congratulate her.

TaxationStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are off in dreamland again. They say the massive deficit is not at issue, but tell that to the millions of Canadians who know they will be left holding the bag for Conservative mismanagement.

Canadians are particularly incensed when they see the millions upon millions of dollars that the Conservative government is wasting on consultants, polling, advertising, and a bloated cabinet that it expanded after the recession had started.

But at least we now know how the Conservatives plan to pay for it. The Conservative leader revealed their plan is to raise taxes on Canadian families and businesses. This week, he announced in this House that he will not bring in a new budget “until we need to raise taxes”.

Canada was once a leader in the G8, but the Conservatives are trying to spend us into oblivion. Canadians do not need tax-and-spend Conservatives with their hands in the cookie jar.

In these times, only the Liberals will provide the steady leadership that will get Canada back on the right track.

The EconomyStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, let me respond to that.

Canadians see evidence of good, sound fiscal management by this Conservative government during these tough economic times.

The International Monetary Fund said, with respect to the stimulus package, that it is timely, appropriately sized, diversified, and well structured. And it said that it protects the vulnerable. That is exactly the point.

Compare this to the Liberals: no plan, no focus, nothing to add that would help the economy. All the while they are dreaming and scheming on getting into office and back to the good old days of the tax-and-spend ways at the expense of ordinary hard-working Canadians.

The Liberal leader attacks the deficit while, at the same time, demanding billions of dollars in new spending; a totally hypocritical position. He says we need to reform EI by introducing a 45 day work year, costing billions.

How will he pay for this? The Liberal leader himself has tipped us off. He says he will have to raise taxes.

Either he will raise taxes or he will have to add a job-killing payroll tax.

The truth is out. Both are bad for our economy.

Sylvie HarveyStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 7, the seventh edition of Soirée Aequitas was held at the Hôtellerie Le Boulevard in Sherbrooke. The event was organized by a group called Promotion des Estriennes pour initier une nouvelle équité sociale (PEPINES) to highlight the contributions of women, men and organizations to equal representation of women in decision-making positions in the Eastern Townships. Pauline Marois, the first woman to lead the official opposition in Quebec, was the honorary chair of the event.

Sylvie Harvey, chief administrative officer of the RCM of Coaticook, was honoured for her contribution to the advancement of women in decision-making positions. Sylvie Harvey was the first female director of the local development centre in the RCM of Coaticook. She gained experience as the development commissioner before being appointed CAO of the RCM of Coaticook. Sylvie Harvey richly deserves this honour, and today I would like to take this opportunity to salute her pioneering spirit.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader seems to be a fan of cover-ups. Perhaps he is just paranoid.

The Liberal Party of Canada had its legions of lawyers attempt to stop the use of a video clip that its leader had during the time that he spent on C-SPAN. The lawyers from C-SPAN said that they had no problem with the Conservative Party using this clip, saying, “It's the highest form of speech...political speech”.

Trying to crush free speech is draconian. Trying to hide the Liberal leader's remarks, of which there are many on the public record from his time in the U.K. and the U.S., surely needs to be explained.

Clearly, the Liberals are trying to hide their leader's statements when he called America his country. Is that because the only thing he missed while he was outside of our country was Algonquin Park?

Their leader said that he was not worried about his time outside of Canada. So, why are the Liberals and their lawyers trying to stop Canadians from learning about their own leader's real record?

Saint-Rédempteur Elementary School in GatineauStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, April 30, the Saint-Rédempteur elementary school in the Hull sector of Gatineau celebrated its 50th anniversary. A huge reunion held at the school gave former students an opportunity to renew friendships and share memories. Built in 1959, Saint-Rédempteur's story is very special. It may be small in terms of the number of students, but it has achieved greatness through its choices and actions. Over the past 50 years, the school has done such wonderful job of shaping its students that it deserves our admiration and attention.

The school on Saint-Florent is a place of learning where the curriculum goes beyond numbers and letters to values. The school is proud of its past and its ongoing work. The current principal, Catherine Dubuc, and the teaching staff go above and beyond to carry out the school's inspiring educational mission.

I would like to congratulate all past and current students and teachers who have been a part of Saint-Rédempteur school's wonderful story.

Bravo!

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, in recent days, we have watched as the Liberals have ramped up the worst sort of political partisanship. It is nothing but smoke and mirrors, motivated by an obsession to win at any cost. This pernicious partisanship clearly shows that the policies of the Liberal Party are devoid of ideas and lack direction.

On the one hand, the Liberals criticize the size of the deficit, and on the other, they want us to spend billions of dollars more. This government will not apologize for spending to stimulate the economy, protect jobs and support the unemployed. These are necessary, affordable, short-term measures.

The only ideas coming out of that party seem to be ideas for new taxes: more GST, more tax, an added tax burden on businesses. We get no answers from the Liberal leader. Where I come from, we call that blowing with the wind.

Quetico ParkStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago, Quetico Park was created. It is located right in the middle of my riding of Thunder Bay—Rainy River.

While resource development and corporate expansion continued aggressively across the continent, Quetico began a different course. The “wilderness” designation for Quetico Park was secured in 1978.

On a small planet, with so many global influences, climate change being just one, it is inconceivable that any area would remain a primeval wilderness. Quetico's special character is not due to its protecting biodiversity or even a great array of endangered species. No. In a sense, Quetico's treasure arises simply from being deliberately and wisely managed for 100 years. It is well worth a celebration.

A new management plan will nudge Quetico Park toward becoming a pristine wilderness, in essence, a step back in time.

I have spent many days, indeed weeks at a time, paddling, fishing and enjoying Quetico Park over the years. I invite all MPs and all Canadians to experience the wonders of Quetico Park and to join me in celebrating Quetico Park's 100th birthday.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, Liberal hypocrisy is at an all-time high. On one hand, the Liberals are attacking the size of the deficit and, on the other hand, they are demanding billions more in spending.

One example is the Liberal leader's EI proposal. It is estimated to cost billions of dollars and would result in a job-killing payroll tax. This proposal will harm workers, small businesses and families.

The Liberal leader also has a plan to pay for these huge irresponsible spending promises and he revealed it on April 14 when he said, “we will have to raise taxes”. He made it clear that he is willing to increase the GST. He wants to eliminate the universal child care benefit and he was also the first Liberal to propose the job-killing carbon tax.

We are in a global recession and we are taking the necessary measures to protect Canadians. Our measures are affordable and short term. We are proud to say that Canada's deficit will still be the lowest among all G7 countries.

Let us be clear, we make no apologies for spending to protect jobs and support the unemployed.

Marcel RobidasStatements By Members

May 29th, 2009 / 11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher and I want to pay tribute today to the memory of Marcel Robidas, who passed away on May 17 at the age of 85. This man led such a full life that it would be impossible to sum it up properly in just a minute.

After serving as a soldier in the army, where he discovered flagrant injustices against francophones, Marcel Robidas was an ardent defender of Quebeckers' rights for his entire life, a commitment that led him to become grand commander of the Ordre de Jacques-Cartier, where he worked for the advancement of the French-Canadian elite.

The father of 14 children, he served as Mayor of Longueuil from 1966 to 1982. His vast and rich legacy includes annexing Ville Jacques-Cartier, creating Marie-Victorin park and the Longueuil outdoor sports centre, developing public transit and promoting regional economic development.

His tireless dedication changed the face of Longueuil forever. With his death, Longueuil has lost one of its builders.

Lou Gehrig's DiseaseStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I urge all those of my colleagues who are staying in Ottawa this weekend to join the ninth Ottawa walk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Many wonderful people from all walks of life have had their lives turned upside down because of ALS. A member of our political family has this terrible disease.

Taking part in the Ottawa walk will show support for the brave men and women who battle ALS every day, as well as their families who accompany them through this challenge.

Close to 3,000 Canadians suffer from ALS. If my colleagues wish to make a difference, I urge them to go to Lansdowne Park tomorrow morning to walk to raise funds to help those suffering from ALS, as well as their families, and to offer hope for a cure one day through research.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, when things do not go their way, the Liberals go running for cover. In fact, hypocrisy is at an all-time high with the Liberal Party.

Over the last few months, Canadians have become more and more aware of what the leader of the Liberal Party really thinks of Canada. Most recently, it was revealed that the leader of the Liberal Party called America his country. The leader of the Liberal Party himself said that he was not worried about the 34 years he spent outside of Canada, and yet now the Liberal Party is trying to hide these sad statements.

The Liberals are running for cover and are trying to hide their own leader's statement of calling America his country.

Considering that they want to lead the country one day, why are the Liberals trying to stop Canadians from learning their leader's record?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, for the past six months, the Conservatives have not been right once when it comes to the economy. They were wrong in October, in November, in January, in April and again today. Some 350,000 jobs have been lost because of the Conservatives' recession. Access to employment insurance is discriminatory and infrastructure funding has been frozen.

How can the Conservatives explain such flagrant incompetence?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I always need to listen very closely when the Liberals are asking questions because one question will be, “Why is the deficit so large?” The next one will be, “How can we make it larger?”

I am not just sure on which side of that this falls today, but I do need to remind the hon. member that there is one position that this government has taken, and that is to help Canadians. We put in place an economic action plan that will help Canadians.

I should remind that hon. member that at one point he did vote for that. That is what will help Canadians through this, not rhetoric from the Liberal Party suggesting bigger deficit, lower deficit.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the issue is Conservative incompetence. The Conservatives destroyed the fiscal security of this country long before there was any recession.

Now the Conservatives are more than $50 billion further in the hole, with nothing to show for it. That is the point: no new jobs created, 350,000 jobs lost and EI that is failing vulnerable Canadians.

What do the Conservatives have to say to Premier McGuinty, Premier Stelmach and Premier Campbell, who all say that the government is wrong and incompetent on EI?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again, I am not sure where the hon. member is getting his facts. I was in a meeting on Monday with our finance minister and all of the finance ministers from across this country. There was nothing but glowing compliments for how the government is handling this worldwide recession.

It is in partnership with those provinces that we have been able to put a stimulus fund together that is probably larger than every other one in the world. It is, indeed, the largest in the G7.

If that is not enough for the hon. member, what would he have us do?

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Being competent would be a start, Mr. Speaker.

Asking for some moral leadership on CPP Investment Board bonuses is not interference in the essential arm's length work of the board. The board has lost about $24 billion. The economy has been shrinking and 350,000 jobs have been lost. Tens of thousands of the most vulnerable Canadians cannot get access to EI. There is hurt across this country.

In this environment, the moral and competent thing to do is to invite the CPP Investment Board to review its policy--

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member actually does have a point for a change, and now we know where he is going. It is important that all levels of departments do the best with taxpayer money.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is an independent body but it must be reasonable in its own compensation.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I sense a wrinkle in the answers that have been given.

The comments by Premier Campbell that were contained in today's Globe and Mail show that employment insurance has now become an issue of national unity. We know from experience that downloading costs on to the provinces, causing them to have higher welfare costs, will have a serious effect on the costs of province and what is happening to them.

Why is the government so rigid in its refusal to consider a single national standard for eligibility on employment insurance?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.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, what is unconscionable is when that party cut $25 billion from the Canada social transfer to balance the budget.

We have not done that. We have added billions of dollars to improve skills upgrading and training, to extend EI by five weeks to help 400,000 people, to ensure work-sharing is easier to get for others and ensuring that will help employers and employees alike. That is what we have done.

We are looking after the most vulnerable and those who are hurting at this time.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the question is very specific. The government's refusal to have one eligibility threshold for all Canadians means that it is passing the cost of the recession along to the provinces. It wants to offload its problems and unload its responsibilities onto the provinces. The cost of social services will increase because of this government's refusal to budge. I hope this government will have the opportunity in the next three weeks to change its very negative policy.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.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, one word describes it: hypocritical. On the one hand, the members do not want the deficit to go up; on the other hand, they want to spend billions of dollars. They have taken a 360 hour, 45 day work year, from the NDP and borrowed it without the intention of giving it back.

Here is what Don Martin of the Calgary Herald had to say about that plan, “Just 360 hours to qualify for a benefit period payment just shy of a year. Come on, that's a bit rich even for the Liberals. There are many better ways to reform the system, starting with the Conservatives' $500 million to stretch benefits for long-term workers”.

That is the way to go, to enhance the benefits, just like we are doing for Canadian workers.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, almost half of the $16 billion increase in the deficit announced this week represents assistance to the automotive sector. Thus, Ottawa's assistance to that sector has risen from $2.7 billion to $10 billion, which represents $1.4 million per job. By comparison, the forestry sector and Quebec will receive peanuts. We do not have a problem with an assistance package for the auto sector. However, we do want to be treated fairly. At present, the assistance provided per job in the auto sector is 1,400 times greater.

Why are the Conservatives refusing to help the forestry sector and Quebec yet they are prepared to move heaven and earth for the Ontario auto sector?