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House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regime.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, unemployed workers cannot wait any longer. The employment insurance system must be completely revamped, as the Bloc Québécois has suggested. We have to eliminate the waiting period, apply a 360-hour eligibility threshold to everyone, and increase the benefit rate from 55% to 60%.

The solutions are obvious. When will the government take action?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are keeping a close eye on the economy and on benefits for the unemployed. That is why the Prime Minister said yesterday that changes are in store to improve the system so that it meets the needs of unemployed workers. However, one thing we will not do is set up an employment insurance system that calls 45 days a year's worth of work.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the rescue plan for the forestry industry has not even been announced, and it is already coming under fire. According to Yves Lachapelle, of the Quebec Forest Industry Council, the plan is too limited. It would deal only with the problem of black liquor, and just six paper mills out of 50 in Quebec would have access. A plan must address the majority of the companies.

Will the minister hear the message from the industry, which has been saying loud and clear for months that what the industry needs is financing?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we are determined to support the efforts of the forestry industry across the country, including in Quebec. Our government is working very hard to ensure that the proposed solutions are effective and that they are implemented as quickly as possible.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, paper mills no longer have any cash, and their lines of credit are maxed out. What they need is very short-term financing.

Does the government plan on offering loan guarantees to all sectors of the forestry industry and not just to the export sector?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our government is determined to help the forestry industry without jeopardizing the softwood lumber agreement with the United States and access to the American market. We are taking a cautious approach because we are listening to industry stakeholders, who are all telling us to be careful.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect their government to be upfront with them, especially in the midst of a recession that is hurting so many. Yesterday's performance by the Prime Minister and his own personal Phil Donahue had all the substance of a 30-second spot for ShamWows.

Will the Prime Minister just do what he owes Canadians and explain why the stimulus he promised to accelerate is not reaching the very people and communities who so desperately need it?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member comes from Hamilton. We have announced, with our partner the Government of Ontario, with my Premier Dalton McGuinty, more than 1,200 projects in every corner of the province, and we are going to see more than $3.5 billion worth of projects go forward. Engineers, architects, plants that make materials for construction, are already well at work. Shovels are going in the ground as we speak, and we are getting the job done.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, let me remind the minister what it says on his very own report card. On page 110 of the report card, the Conservatives claim to have accelerated the building Canada plan, yet according to the information that they themselves tabled in the House just a week ago, the Conservatives have allocated less than one-quarter of the building Canada plan and not a cent went to either Quebec or Ontario for base funding.

Their stimulus report was pure fiction. Why are the Conservatives saying one thing about their stimulus on an over-produced infomercial and another thing behind closed doors?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, what we have seen with respect to building Canada is that more than half of the money has now been completely committed, projects are under way right across the province and right across the country. We have new infrastructure spending that is going on to stimulate the economy, to stimulate economic growth. More than 80% of the initiatives in the budget are now well under way. Step by step, we are getting the job done. This time requires strong leadership, cooperation in partnership, and not the criticism of the NDP, who did not even read the project and the proposals in the report that came out last week. That is a shame.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' progress report is full of fast-talk, but the one and a half million ordinary Canadians who are without a job are hurting because of the government's inaction.

All the Prime Minister can say is that maybe, maybe he will offer some help on EI in the fall. If he can help in the fall, why not now? Mortgage payments cannot wait and hungry children certainly cannot wait. Why not help the innocent victims of this recession now instead of pushing them onto the welfare rolls?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, one thing that the hon. member ignores steadfastly is the fact that we have done a lot to help those who have been unfortunate enough to lose their jobs. We have expanded regular benefits by five weeks. We have increased the maximum to 50 weeks. We have made it possible for long-tenured workers who need to change a career because their jobs are no longer there to collect EI benefits for up to two years while they get training for those new jobs.

The opposition is only proposing a 45 day work year. Canadians cannot afford that. Our small businesses would go belly up with that kind of offering. Everything positive that we have been doing for the unemployed, the NDP voted against.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

June 12th, 2009 / 11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadians have had their life-saving cardiac and cancer tests unnecessarily delayed as a direct result of mismanagement by the Conservative government and the minister. Vancouver General Hospital performs as many as 50 tests every day, and at least six are urgent. The supply in B.C. is down by 30% and falling.

With her abysmal track record, is the minister not ashamed to stand in the House and tell people waiting in Vancouver General that she has done her job?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, again, contingency measures were established by the provinces and territories to manage a possible short supply of medical isotopes. That contingency measure is in place to ensure that alternatives are also available. The alternatives that are available were identified by the medical experts on isotopes as options when we are dealing with a major shortage. I am in regular contact with the provincial and territorial ministers as we deal with this shortage.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the real story is serial incompetence. Already this year the Conservatives have spent $222 million on Chalk River, but earlier this week the Prime Minister announced that Canada is getting out of the isotope business, admitting the money was wasted.

Why can they not make up their minds? Can Canadians expect a guaranteed domestic supply of isotopes tomorrow and in the future, or are the Conservatives simply abdicating their responsibility to doctors and patients in Canada and around the world?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the member will know that the NRU reactor is aging and that currently that reactor is experiencing an unplanned and unexpected shutdown.

AECL has stated that “it will take at least three months to action the repairs”. Those are the words of AECL. We are committed to ensuring that this happens as quickly as possible. In the longer term, as a government, we have appointed an expert panel to determine from where our long-term supply of medical isotopes will come.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government insists that it has access to international medical isotope supplies. But yesterday, the president of Quebec's association of nuclear medicine specialists said that up to 12,000 patients in Quebec, and just in Quebec, were experiencing increased wait times for heart and cancer tests because of the isotope shortage.

Why are the Conservatives misleading Canadians?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the contingency measures and strategies being used by doctors include triaging patients to ensure that when alternatives are not available they can receive Tc99 isotopes. They are also working flexible hours so that when they do receive Tc99 isotopes they can maximize their use and minimize the delays.

Using alternatives wherever possible was one of the alternatives identified by the medical experts on isotopes as lessons learned in 2007, and those options, such as thallium, which is very effective in this case, are available to the provinces and territories.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that waiting lists for cardiac and cancer tests are growing longer every day. Medical isotope supplies in Quebec are down to 20%. Hospitals in Ottawa and Manitoba will soon run out.

For days we have been asking specific questions of this government that Canadians want answered, but this government will not give us basic information. Why can it not answer these simple questions?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, again, as we deal with the shortage of Tc99, alternatives are available.

Let me repeat what I said yesterday. Fifty per cent of the uses of Tc99 isotopes are for heart scans. Thallium can be used as an alternative in many of these cases, and that is available now. The next largest use of Tc99 isotopes is for bone scanning. Again, there is an alternative, sodium fluoride, which can be used in these cases, and it is available now.

These alternatives were identified by medical experts on isotopes and we are making sure they are available.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his second progress report, the Prime Minister said that 73% of the funds allocated for infrastructure projects has been spent. Yet Quebec municipalities are saying that they have yet to see any of that money. They are very skeptical. They have not yet received any money, although the government says it knows where the money will go.

How can the minister justify this rose-coloured-glasses approach to the stimulus plan, when the president of the Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités, which represents over 900 cities and towns, said, “The objective, which is to get our people back to work, is being ignored”?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have made significant investments in every region of Quebec. I can give some examples: we have invested in Anjou, Beaupré, Blainville, Cabano, Gaspé and Gatineau. We are taking action and working hard in Quebec, and this will produce real results.

We feel it is absolutely crucial that we respect provincial jurisdictions and that is why we are taking action in Quebec. The Prime Minister, my colleague from Pontiac and I will continue working with the Charest government to produce positive results for the people of Quebec.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, barely 6% of the money promised for infrastructure has been spent, that is, $60 million, when in fact $1 billion should have been granted.

How can the minister possibly believe he has met the municipalities' expectations, when some of them will have to wait until 2010 to begin their projects?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are making millions of dollars of investments right across Quebec. We have the gas tax, which this government committed to doubling as of April 1, and we honoured that commitment. Instead of paying out the first of that money in July, this government advanced those payments to April to get money on the ground.

The mayor of Sherbrooke said just this week, “The government has shown a commitment to co-operation and flexibility that will create jobs, and the economic stimulus plan moving forward will create new jobs and invest in the foundations of our economy, of quality of life”.

That was from the president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the mayor of Sherbrooke.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources stated, on tape, that her environment colleague allegedly diverted funds earmarked for wind energy to the oil sector. When questioned yesterday, the Minister of the Environment said that that was not the case.

If that is not the case, the minister is contradicting not only his colleague's statements but also the industry, which objects to the transfer of funds earmarked for the wind sector.