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House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was spam.

Topics

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in fact this government has acted very quickly. We have also acted very convincingly in how we are supporting the forestry industry.

I thank the member for the question, though, on this specific point, because I think it is important to discuss it in a clean manner. The subsidy to which the member is referring is one we are taking very seriously. In fact I have written to the secretary of energy, Mr. Chu, on the issue.

It is something that does cause us concern domestically in terms of our competitiveness, and we are taking a look at all the options available.

I offer my ability to speak with the member to keep him updated on the matter.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, one after another, kraft pulp mills in Canada are closing their doors: AbitibiBowater in Thunder Bay, Domtar in Dryden, and now Fraser Papers in Thurso.

The Americans subsidize their mills by providing a tax credit on black liquor equivalent to 60% of the cost of production. That is killing Canadian mills.

Why does the Prime Minister have nothing to say about this? Why has he abandoned Canadian workers?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I definitely think it is important to understand the facts associated with this subsidy. In reality what is happening is that a tax subsidy that is there in order to encourage the use of clean energy in the United States is being utilized. It is taking away from the green energy and actually utilizing fossil fuel in order to gain this tax subsidy. That is something we find unacceptable. We have written the secretary about this, in the United States.

We are looking at our options here in order to deal with the domestic forestry industry. Indeed, we are in contact with the industry, and we are working with it on options.

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadian jobs are at risk because of U.S. protectionism.

Yesterday the industry minister was absolutely wrong when he said that the government only needs to make sure the Americans live up to their trade obligations. What the minister did not know was that NAFTA and WTO trade rules do not protect Canada against U.S. state and local government protectionism.

Why does the Conservative government not understand its own free trade agreements, and when will it start fighting for and protecting Canadian jobs?

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that the Canadian government and the Minister of International Trade have been protecting Canadian jobs and standing up for Canadian industry in the United States.

We expect President Obama to live up to his own words and his own standards. He said that protectionism is a slippery slope, that it is the wrong thing to do in the world economy and it will only lead to more protectionism around the world. We expect fair rules, fair trade and free trade with the Americans.

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, in the United States, a significant portion of the stimulus money will be spent by individual states, but local government contracts are not protected by trade agreements. The U.S. has asked Canada to change that, but in order to do so, the Prime Minister has to work with the provinces.

When will he show some leadership by working with the provinces to protect Canadian jobs?

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. The Prime Minister has spoken directly with President Obama. The Minister of International Trade is speaking directly with his counterpart in the U.S. We are protecting Canadian jobs, and we will continue to do that.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Richmond B.C.

Conservative

Alice Wong ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism

Mr. Speaker, Canadians pride themselves as a country that welcomes immigrants, and certainly immigrant women make a valuable contribution to our country.

Would the Minister of State for the Status of Women inform the House what our government has been doing for women, and in particular immigrant women?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeMinister of State (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Richmond for her excellent work in representing immigrant women. Recent media reports underscore why we must continue to foster immigrant women's participation in all spheres of Canadian life.

This year our government, through Status of Women, is investing $1.8 million in projects that help train and mentor immigrant women and help them out of very dangerous and precarious work situations.

While our government is working hard for abused women, I find it very difficult to understand why the Ontario labour minister would in fact ignore their complaints.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is hypocritical when it comes to its involvement in industry. When our forestry sector needs help, we are told it cannot interfere. When questions are raised about food safety, we are told it cannot interfere. Yet when it comes to auto workers, who have already given up so much, the government tells them to give up more while it eliminates their jobs.

Why is the industry minister only interested when he can force workers to pay more?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as everyone who has studied the issue knows, the fact of the matter is that in order for there to be a proper functioning and restructuring of the auto sector, everyone has to do his or her part. There has to be a massive restructuring of the management, absolutely. Bond holders have to be part of the restructuring.

The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario have to be part of the restructuring, and also the workers and their unions have to be part of the restructuring. That is only fair, and that is the only way forward if this industry is going to be cost competitive in the future.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, there have been four agreements in four years. I would say the auto workers have been more than fair.

Workers account for only 7% of the cost of a GM car. Yet, the government is forcing workers to accept 100% of the pain.

When CPP executives gave themselves multi-million dollar raises after they lost $20 billion, the government did nothing. Yet when GM faces a crisis, the government turns to the workers and tells them to pay up.

Workers will not get their wages back, but bond holders and shareholders will recover their money. Maybe it is time they faced some cuts.

When will the minister get on side with workers rather than bailing out his Bay Street buddies?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member fails to understand, of course, is that we are trying to move forward with an industry that will still be in Canada with 20% of the production capacity of continental North America.

What will not work is if the union heads do not want to be part of the solution. Then the choice of the workers is to have a job that is cost competitive or to have no job at all. Maybe that is what the NDP would like, but that is not what we would like for the people of Canada.

Communications Security Establishment CanadaOral Questions

May 7th, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has decided that the Communications Security Establishment Canada would in future be administered in partnership with the private sector. This is hard to understand when we know that the establishment's mission is to provide and protect information on behalf of the government.

Given the highly sensitive nature of the information handled by this establishment, how can the Minister of National Defence justify such a transfer to private interests?

Communications Security Establishment CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member would know, the Government of Canada is constantly looking for ways to partner in some instances, to respect taxpayers' money first and foremost when we make major infrastructure investments.

Whether it is telecommunications, whether it is issues related to procurement, the Government of Canada is committed, of course, to being responsible with taxpayers' money, not being a one issue party, but looking at the best interests for the whole country. Whether it is industrial regional benefits, whether it is Canadian content, we will put taxpayers' interests in the mix when we are making these decisions.

Communications Security Establishment CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's answer does not hold up.

The establishment deals with thousands of pieces of information every year, in particular a very considerable amount of personal information that is protected by law.

By administering this establishment with the private sector, does the minister not realize that he is not only jeopardizing people's privacy but, worse still, he is opening the door to uncontrolled misuse of that same information? This is totally unacceptable.

Communications Security Establishment CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as usual, what the Bloc member is saying is completely wrong. It is incorrect to say that we need a Canadian silo to protect Canadian information.

It is always necessary to be able to develop partnerships with the private sector.

We will always protect Canadian information. What is not intelligent is to get up and throw aspersions on a file that the member knows really nothing about.

RCMPOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, in Vancouver, the Prime Minister made a promise to give RCMP officers pay parity with other police, to treat them equally. It was followed by a signed contract and then ripped up, the promise broken. The Prime Minister turned his back on front-line officers.

Today the Prime Minister went further. He appealed the right of RCMP officers to decide their future, ripped them of their right to make a democratic choice to collectively bargain or not. This appeal is an affront to the very people we count on to keep our streets safe.

Exactly how low do the Conservatives want to drive police morale?

RCMPOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, as you know, our government has stood clearly with the police in respect of issues of law and order. We also have responsibilities to the broader taxpayer in respect of collective agreements and that issue.

Having said that, I understand an appeal has been filed and I am not allowed to say anything further.

RCMPOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, we see the realities. The Conservatives are soft on crime but tough on cops. The Prime Minister made a promise to the people to keep us safe every day, people for whom trust is everything. He broke the promise. Now to those same RCMP officers, he appeals their right to decide their future. Not only does he feel they should not be paid the same as other police, he feels they should not have the same democratic rights either.

If that is the Conservative idea of standing up for police, it most certainly is not ours. When will the government reverse this betrayal and finally treat front line officers honestly and with the respect they rightfully deserve?

RCMPOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, that is a member of a party who said that the police officers had no place on the judicial advisory committee and that they did not have a right, like other Canadians, to have input in that. That is a member who said that, in respect of issues of house arrest, arsonists could burn down houses and then go home and enjoy the comforts of their own house.

That is a person who has been soft on crime, not this party.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week I introduced a bill to fix EI so new moms could access their regular EI benefits if they lost their jobs during or after their maternity leave. I challenged the government to act by Mother's Day. That is this Sunday, and new moms are still waiting. The meagre EI extension that the minister constantly trumpets does absolutely nothing for a new mom who cannot access those regular EI benefits in the first place.

Women deserve more than flowers and chocolates this Mother's Day. They deserve fairness. Will the minister give new moms fair access to fair benefits today?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, in our economic action plan, we put forward major enhancements to the EI program, including five additional weeks of regular benefits and expanding the maximum benefits that anyone could claim. We also made access easier.

While we were expanding work-sharing, providing training to long-tenured workers and making it easier for those older workers to get new skills for new jobs, the NDP members voted against every one of those initiatives. They really should learn to respect Canadians.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, in the early 1990s, the fisheries industry was in crisis in the Atlantic provinces and in Quebec. At that time, the Liberals found nothing better to do than to cut employment insurance, thus abandoning workers. Today they are trying to pass themselves off as the champions of employment insurance.

Will the government show more respect for unemployed workers than the LIberals did? The House has voted in favour of changes to employment insurance. When will the Conservatives abolish the waiting period and reduce eligibility to 360 hours as the NDP has called for?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, in our economic action plan, as I have just said, we added five weeks of benefits. We expanded the initiative for older workers so that they could get new skills for the jobs of the future.

We are doing our utmost for the unemployed, for those who have lost their jobs, but the NDP has voted against each one of our efforts.