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 #66 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

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians, including many in my riding of Miramichi, depend on employment insurance benefits to help them get through this recession. I support the decision to freeze payroll taxes so the government, not employers and workers, bear the burden of higher EI costs.

How much money is the government investing in employment insurance to help Canadians weather the recession?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, during the global economic recession, Canadians expect strong leadership from the government. The first pillar of the economic action plan deals with the necessary investments to help protect our economy and protect Canadian families. To help Canadians who have been the hardest hit by the recession, we will invest $5.5 billion more in EI benefits this year.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning I had the privilege of meeting with Widows on a War Path, a wonderful group of brave women who are looking for justice for their husbands who died as a result of the spraying of agent orange at CFB Gagetown. However, unfortunately their husbands died too soon, too soon for the government's artificial timeline of February 6, 2006.

Will the minister do the right thing, change this arbitrary date, deliver compensation to all those deserving heroes just like he promised in the last election?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we took action where her government would not. The former minister who sat in the front row admitted it was too tough for her government to do, so the Liberals just did not do it.

The fact is what we did was very fair and it was generous. I do not want the member to forget that, under the pension process, the file is still open. They still apply under the Pension Act of Veterans Affairs.

What we did was very fair and very generous. We acted where the Liberals refused to act.

Canada Media FundOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, in response to a question I asked yesterday, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage said that Télé-Québec would be excluded from the Canada media fund from now on. Everyone in Quebec is worried that the new criteria based mainly on audience ratings will disqualify educational television, such as Télé-Québec. Yesterday, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister said that he wanted to put everyone on a level playing field.

I would like a clear answer from the minister. Will Télé-Québec be excluded from the Canada media fund or not?

Canada Media FundOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, it will not be excluded.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, Dr. George Tiller was shot to death in his church in Wichita, Kansas. Dr. Tiller, a man of great integrity and compassion, worked every day for women's rights. He ran a women's health clinic and had been under threat by the anti-abortion movement for many years. Similarly, abortion doctors in Canada are threatened and harassed. Some fear for their lives.

What is the government doing to protect Canadian doctors and ensure the right of Canadian women to reproductive choice?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, all individuals are protected under the Canadian Criminal Code.

TerrorismOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, our brave men and women are fighting in places like Afghanistan in an effort to rid that country of hate and oppression. Tragically, the terrorist attacks in Pakistan last week reminded us that hate still exists in many places.

While some of this hate is the act of individuals, other times it is organized and even sponsored or supported by nation states, states that have all too often hidden behind diplomatic immunity to sponsor and fund these acts of violence and terror.

What is our government prepared to do to ensure that victims of terror are able to seek justice and redress from those organizations and states that use terrorism as a weapon in the war against democracy and freedom?

TerrorismOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, today the government is taking action to provide victims the right to sue terrorists. Individual terrorist organizations and foreign states that support and sponsor terrorism will now be subject to another way that they can be brought to justice. Our government will hold sponsors and perpetrators accountable for their crimes.

I want to thank the Canadian Coalition Against Terror for its work on this. It has been a voice for victims of terror, it has stood up for them and it has been a driving force behind our government's action.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it has been nearly three weeks since we made the call for a proper, competent investigation into the known 520 missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls. So far we have heard no response. Families deserve to know what happened to their daughters, mothers or sisters.

Will the justice minister stand up and tell the House when his government is prepared to launch an investigation into this matter in order to bring justice to the victims, their families and, indeed, all aboriginal Canadians?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeMinister of State (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, we have had conversations about this issue a number of times.

She is talking about a program called “Sisters in Spirit”, which is funded through Status of Women Canada. It is a five-year research project. It is also an awareness campaign. This is the project that was the reason why we were able to identify the number of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

The project is not completed yet. I have made a commitment to work with the aboriginal women's association on sisters in spirit, too.

International CooperationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite Canada's recent disengagement from Africa, 32 African countries are proposing a Canada-Africa partnership, along the same lines as its partnership with the European Union. It would involve establishing an annual Canada-Africa forum, similar to those Canada already holds with China, India, Japan and the European Union.

Can the Minister of International Cooperation tell us what she intends to do about this partnership proposal?

International CooperationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, once again, I am very pleased to report that I met with the group of African ambassadors yesterday. We had a very productive and positive meeting. The group has put forward a number of recommendations, which I will share with my colleague. I have undertaken to continue a positive dialogue with the group of ambassadors within the countries that we serve and work with them.

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, for the first time in seven months, Toronto drivers are seeing gasoline prices jump above $1 a litre. Many commuters who cannot afford it will be turning to public transit, putting more strain on the system.

To help, Toronto wants to buy 204 new streetcars, but the Conservatives have not paid the federal share. In fact, today we learn government spending actually slowed in the first quarter of this year.

When will the minister do his job, get the dollars out the door and help Toronto buy the new streetcars that it needs?

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are certainly prepared to look at projects that would create jobs in Toronto. The member opposite is pushing a plan that would violate the commitment made by her leader to only have made in Canada infrastructure.

What I can tell her is we are investing and supporting the expansion of the Toronto Island airport, where there are new planes being built, made right in Toronto by Bombardier, made by Canadian auto workers, good paying jobs because they build a great product. They can count on the Government of Canada being there every step of the way to help them out.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

To commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, I wish to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of two distinguished Canadians who were official war artists during World War II: Mr. Bruno Bobak and Mrs. Molly Lamb Bobak.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

I rise to request unanimous consent for the tabling of a document concerning the so-called assistance the federal government is providing to the forestry industry.

Last week, the Minister of State for Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec talked about assistance worth $8 billion. Today, in question period, once again on the topic of assistance to the forestry industry, the Prime Minister talked about $50 billion in assistance. In response to another question, the Minister of International Trade talked about $14 billion in assistance.

I therefore request the unanimous consent of the House to call on the Prime Minister and the other two ministers in question to table the relevant documents so that we may determine just how much assistance is actually being provided.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am certain that, if the ministers wish to table documents in the House, they can ask for the opportunity to do so, or simply give them to the clerks here at the table. It is not a problem for a minister to table a document, as the hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord is well aware.

This is not therefore a true point of order, since the hon. member did not indicate that the ministers may have referred to a document. That is not what we saw. They answered, of course, without such documents before them, at least not that we could see.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was merely seeking unanimous consent for the Prime Minister and the two ministers concerned to table the documents.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

That does not require unanimous consent. As I said, they can table documents at any time, being ministers. As I said, this request is not necessary. If someone wants to ask them to table such documents, they will have to be asked that tomorrow during question period. That is a question to be asked of the ministers. It is not up to the Chair to decide.

Private Members' BusinessOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The Chair would like to take a moment to provide some information to the House regarding the management of private members' business.

As members know, after the order of precedence is replenished, the Chair reviews the new items so as to alert the House to bills which at first glance appear to impinge on the financial prerogative of the Crown. This allows members the opportunity to intervene in a timely fashion to present their views about the need for those bills to be accompanied by a royal recommendation.

Accordingly, following the May 27 replenishment of the order of precedence with 15 new items, I wish to inform the House that Bill C-290, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (tax credit for loss of retirement income) standing in the name of the member for Richmond—Arthabaska; Bill C-308, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (improvement of the employment insurance system) standing in the name of the member for Chambly—Borduas and Bill C-395, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (labour dispute) standing in the name of the member for Berthier—Maskinongé give the Chair some concern as to the spending provisions they contemplate.

Hon. members who wish to present their views regarding the need for a royal recommendation to accompany these bills, or any of the other bills now on the order of precedence, are encouraged to do so at an early opportunity.

I thank the House for its attention.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, in answering my question regarding Toronto streetcars, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities claimed that they would not be made in Canada. I just want to make it clear for the record that these streetcars will be made by Bombardier in Thunder Bay and, the last I checked, Thunder Bay is part of Canada.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am sure the minister is delighted for the clarification with respect to the matter.