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House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, regardless of the catcalling from the other side, we think it is very important to communicate this.

This is a serious situation and we have great concern for the health and safety of Canadians. We are working globally with our partners who produce medical isotopes. As well, we are looking toward the future, recognizing that we need to find that long-term supply and that is why we called an expert review panel to look at all the options that we have received. It is a heck of a lot more than what they did in 13 years, which was nothing.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, 5,000 procedures in Canada rely on medical isotopes every day but it appears that foreign suppliers could supply, at most, 2,000. This means that at least 3,000 procedures a day in Canada will not occur through June, July, August, who knows how long. Patients will be moved onto waiting lists that are already too long for other types of tests and treatments that are not as good. This will put more stress on patients, families and medical professionals.

How could the government have failed to see this coming?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada has provided advance warning and regular updates to the provinces and the territories and worked with the isotope experts to develop medical guidance on dealing with the shortage, including examining other possible isotopes. Many tests can be completed using other options. What this means for Canadians is that we are making alternatives available so that medical isotopes can be used where most needed.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, she did not answer the question.

The minister announced last week that her department would assemble an expert panel to explore other ways to obtain isotopes for Canadians. While experts in nuclear medicine are calling the situation a disaster, the minister still has not chosen her panel.

Why did the government not seek such expert opinion 18 months ago? Why was it asleep at the switch?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the member may be confused between the two processes, the one from last year and the one this year. Last year an expert panel discussed the issue. We learned from those lessons, which is why we are working with the globe in terms of dealing with the shortage in isotopes. In fact, I have a call scheduled for tomorrow morning with the other isotope producing countries in order to discuss maintenance schedules.

Finally, even though there is a great need to be catcalling to me as I try to talk about the important issue of medical isotopes, it is important to remember that we are--

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

June 1st, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ottawa is giving $5 billion to General Motors, thus bringing to $10.2 billion federal assistance to the automobile industry. By comparison, the Conservative budget, which the Liberals supported, provides only $170 million for the forestry sector, which is critical for the regions of Quebec. The government also added $100 million for silviculture, but that is still far short of the $10 billion given to the automobile sector, which is primarily located in Ontario.

Will the government finally admit that loan guarantees are legal under all trade agreements, and that Quebec's forestry companies need them immediately?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:20 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, as the hon. member knows, the automobile industry is a free market that is not governed by an agreement signed on both sides of the border to regulate an industry. As for the forestry industry, it is at the very request of that industry, following requests made to us in 2006, that our government signed an agreement with our American partners. We must now respect this agreement.

I know that forestry workers are going through difficult times, but we will continue to support them by implementing programs to help them.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in London, the workers paid by the federal government are arguing the exact opposite of what the minister just said in the House.

As for the Minister of Finance, he stated that the government had no choice but to help the automobile sector, otherwise thousands of jobs would be lost. The fact is that, over the past two years, 50,000 jobs were lost in the forestry sector in Canada, with half of those in Quebec.

When will the government realize that, just like the automobile sector, it has no choice but to help Quebec's forestry sector immediately, to put an end to these job losses?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:20 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, allow me to quote Avrim Lazar, president of the Forest Products Association of Canada, who said: “The government did not kill the forestry industry; the market did. The government did not drop the prices on wood or pulp and paper; the market did.”

Our solutions must focus on the real issue, which is that no one wants to buy our products right now, because we are going through a global recession. We have set up, along with our colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, a Canada-Quebec committee that is working on finding solutions. We have already announced some of these solutions and others will follow.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, recently, the Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) falsely stated that Export Development Canada had given $9 billion to Quebec's forestry sector. EDC officials refuted that statement in the papers.

Can the minister tell us how much EDC gave Quebec's forestry sector in loan guarantees? How much?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:25 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, in answer to my colleague's question, the journalist who made the mistake corrected it. Perhaps my colleague has not read that article. He only read what he wanted to.

EDC supplied $9 billion in financial services, including accounts receivable insurance and other services, to 226 forestry companies in Quebec in 2008, and it will continue to do so.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, can the minister tell us why amounts given to the Ontario auto industry were made public while amounts given to Quebec's forestry industry by EDC are still secret?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:25 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, the softwood lumber agreement signed in good faith by the Canadian and American governments included a framework that we must abide by. The agreement provides for support from government partners. The government itself must comply with the terms of the agreement.

With respect to the auto sector, this is a free market issue, and any announcements that have been made or will be made in the next few hours involve the governments of both countries and a provincial government. That is something else altogether. Someone has tried to mislead people, but it is not true.

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has broken all records for poor economic performance. Worse yet, the Conservatives are rewarding this poor performance.

Despite record losses of $24 billion, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board executives are earning bonuses.

We have heard about $6 million over two years for David Denison. Mark Wiseman, they say, got $5 million, while Graeme Eadie and Donald Raymond got more than $3 million each.

Why does the government refuse to take action?

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, by law, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board operates independently and at arm's length from the federal government and the provincial governments across the country. That is something the member opposite has not put on the floor. But it also deals with taxpayers' money, and any compensation for its executives should reflect that reality.

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, those managers have wiped out four years of Canadians' contributions to CPP with that loss of $24 billion and yet they are going to haul in bonuses of $7 million this year. That is added to $23 million that those executives took in bonuses over the last couple of years.

It is offensive and public outrage is growing about it. Why? Because the average senior gets $500 a month from that pension plan and yet those guys can raid the bank for millions even when they lose money. It is outrageous--

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Transport.

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, just about every pension plan in every corner of the world is facing the reality of the economic downturn that has taken place right across this continent and around the world. Canada's economy is doing demonstrably better than most countries.

Patricia Croft from RBC Asset Management said, “Canada continues to be the envy of the world in regard to our fiscal position, and we can get out of it without having to raise taxes”. That is an important message for Canadians, and it is a very important message for the leader of the Liberal Party, who wants to raise taxes on hardworking middle-class Canadians.

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know that the minister cannot get the words “$24 billion lost by these managers” out of his mouth, and he also cannot describe the magnitude of the bonuses, because if he ever said it, he knows Canadians would be upset about it.

It is time Conservatives took some action. This is Canadians' money we are talking about. Month after month, they pay into it. There are seniors living in poverty, and these guys reach out and grab millions. If they are doing such a great job, let them find a job somewhere else.

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the leader of the NDP wants to make derogatory comments about people who work in the public service and who work in the benefit of Canadians. What is increasingly clear is that maybe it will be the leader of the NDP who is looking for a job before anyone else in that regard.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said “no recession”. There is one. The Minister of Finance predicted a surplus. Wrong again. Then he said we would have a $34 billion deficit, and it is now over $50 billion.

The government has lost all credibility when managing Canada's financial crisis. Is the Minister of Industry any better at math than the rest of the Conservative bench?

Canadians now have $9.5 billion on the line with GM. Can the industry minister assure Canadians that he will keep his promises, get every penny back and that the deal protects Canada's fair share of jobs and 20% of production?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, of course as every member of the House knows, the automotive sector in Canada is facing difficult times due to the global crisis. The announcement today was the result of a significant amount of work, a significant amount of sacrifice by auto workers in this country, by the CAW and the UAW, by auto executives. The announcement was the result of hard work by governments on both sides of the border and the Ontario government as well. We think we have found the best way forward for our Canadian industry and for Canadian taxpayers.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada will become part owner of both GM and Chrysler, as Canadian taxpayers provide 20% of the rescue package.

The Council of Canadian Academies has recently pointed out that private sector R and D advancement in Canada is low. This is a priceless opportunity for the government to ensure that both GM and Chrysler commit to performing some of their R and D in Canada in proportion to Canada's investment.

Canadians can, and should, contribute to developing the cars of tomorrow. Will the Conservatives seize this opportunity and make it happen?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in terms of the deal that was announced today, there are a couple of important aspects. One is that it maintain the long-term viability of the industry. That was one of the things we said was important in this deal. The other thing is the proportionate share.

Another thing I would point out in answer to the member's question is that there is $1 billion committed to R and D investment in this country as part of this deal.