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House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, during the global recession, the G20 internationally has taken the leadership role, ensuring that we are coordinating our stimulus efforts, ensuring that we address issues like appropriate executive compensation.

That is exactly what the leaders did when they met in London not that long ago. They approved these three rules with respect to executive compensation. They are to be followed by all of the G20 countries, including Canada, and we are extending that to the public institutions in Canada.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development continues surprise us. She said that it was not necessary to change the employment insurance criteria, because the recession means that more people have access to it. Like the conservative economists who rely on the invisible hand to regulate the market, the minister thinks that the recession, all by itself, will settle the problem of accessibility to employment insurance.

What is the minister waiting for to do what everyone is calling for: to make comprehensive changes to the employment insurance system to meet the challenges of the current crisis, and, most importantly, to meet the needs of the unemployed?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois members certainly do not know how much money we are putting towards supporting our workers while there is a recession and other major economic difficulties. This year, we have put $7.3 billion towards supporting workers. Furthermore, we have taken action to make changes, by adding five weeks to EI, among other things. They were offering two. We offered five, and they even voted against it.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, announcing the same program twice is one thing, but making sure it produces the expected results is another.

The minister prides herself on having put $500 million towards a training program. But more than one week after her program was announced, we still have unanswered questions. The only tangible thing to come out of her announcement is false hope.

What will it take for the minister to realize that, without comprehensive changes to the employment insurance system, all of her short-term solutions will not do?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, once again, this is a perfect example of the work we are doing to support people who are losing their jobs. During an economic crisis, a person could have worked 20 years for a company, when it is suddenly shut down. These people need much longer training. We are offering them this training through the program we set up this week. That is $500 million that will ensure that workers are paid for two years while they receive training.

In addition, there are 3,300 companies that take advantage of job sharing right now. We are taking action. We are helping our workers and people who lose their jobs.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, American black liquor subsidies may spell the end for many struggling Canadian pulp and paper mills.

On June 8, the Fraser Papers plant in Edmunston will close its doors and hundreds of workers will be unemployed for an indeterminate period. What has our government done? Absolutely nothing.

The Conservative government is again abandoning our forestry sector and its thousands of workers.

Why wait for people to lose their jobs before taking action? Why must more workers and families suffer before this Conservative government decides to act and save Canadian jobs?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in terms of aid to the forestry sector, in our unprecedented cross-country consultations we spoke to both industry and communities about the best way to support them through Canada's economic action plan. We have developed the $1 billion community adjustment fund that is beneficial for that.

With respect to the black liquor, it is important to note that this was the result of a U.S. green tax and the utilization of mixing diesel with black liquor in order for paper companies to take advantage of it, which we find unacceptable, and we want the United States to know.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, cross-country consultations will definitely not bring back the thousands of jobs that have been lost and save those at Fraser Papers in Edmundston.

The American black liquor subsidy could be the final nail in the coffin for many struggling Canadian pulp mills. After having done nothing on the closure of AbitibiBowater in Dalhousie, now it is Fraser Papers that will be affected.

The Conservative government is letting down hundreds of workers while other countries are helping their industries. What is the Conservative government waiting for? How many other jobs have to be lost before it helps the industry?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, further on the black liquor tax credit for pulp producers in the United States, my colleague, Minister Day, of course has been working—

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. I am sure the hon. minister's whip will explain that the use of members' names in the House is contrary to the rules and that she will try to avoid that kind of reference, distinguished though the minister she referred to is.

The hon. Minister of Natural Resources has the floor.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will be more careful with respect to names.

I want to indicate that the black liquor subsidy in the United States is of great concern. My colleague, the Minister of International Trade, has been working with the United States and bringing attention to the detrimental effect it has on the industry and what a distortion it is.

We are working across the border with our colleagues there, and we are working internally to determine the best options.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, Xstrata workers are again getting dinged by the government. This winter the Conservative government failed to enforce a signed agreement with the company not to lay off workers for three years. To soften the blow, Xstrata and CAW negotiated a sub-plan that would add an additional $175 a week on top of the worker's regular EI, but now the government is planning to claw back the first two weeks of this plan.

Why is the government taking money away from the unemployed when they need it most?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am unaware of the situation that the member describes, but we will look into it.

However, what I can tell the chamber is that as a result of our intervention, plans by Xstrata, which were mere promises, obtained the efficacy of a contractual obligation to the people of Sudbury and to the people of Canada to continue its investments and to reinvest in Sudbury.

That is the kind of negotiations we do. We do not get on our high horse and engage in rhetoric. We actually get the job done for the workers and the people of Sudbury and Canada.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, what about EI? The Catalyst Crofton pulp mill is laying off workers again. This is on top of forestry suppliers selling off equipment, timber companies going under and layoffs at sawmills.

There will be no severance package for Catalyst workers. Instead the employer is negotiating a plan to top up EI benefits, just like in Sudbury.

Could the minister explain whether these sub-plans will trigger clawbacks? If yes, why is the minister penalizing these laid-off workers?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, whenever there is a threat of a company doing mass layoffs, Service Canada immediately moves in to work with the company, with the employees and union, if there is one, to try to reach a situation that will help all of them to get through these times. It may be work-sharing. It may be advising them of potential benefits, including the option for them to continue with long-term work studies so they could upgrade their skills.

We are doing everything we can to help particularly those workers who have been in the workforce a long time and who need new skills for the new jobs to look after their families.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the CIDA-INC program was intended to encourage private sector engagement in developing countries to promote economic growth and poverty reduction. However, a recent review of the program found it was outdated and ineffective.

Considering today is Trade Day, could the Minister of International Trade tell the House what the Conservative government is doing to ensure Canadian tax dollars are spent responsibly?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, this is a very well-intended program and it is designed to allow private sector companies or individuals in Canada to invest in countries that are emerging in terms of their developing economies. However, it was found, upon review, that it would be more effective to have this under the international trade area, where there are some 150 trade offices around the world with over 950 representatives who can work with private sector companies in Canada to guide them and also to give resources to allow them to invest in emerging countries to help poverty issues in those countries and also benefit Canadians at the same time.

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

June 3rd, 2009 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, could the Minister of Natural Resources be just a bit more forthcoming?

First, do the secret documents, which she lost at CTV, reveal commercially confidential information about dealings between the Darlington nuclear plant and the Ontario government? Second, when did she first know the documents were missing? Third, where they merely a staffer's documents or were they her own documents, personally as minister?

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as we have indicated, this is a serious matter and clear procedures were not followed in the handling of these documents. Corrective action has been taken. I offered my resignation to the Prime Minister, but he did not accept it. However, the individual who is responsible for the documents that day has tendered a resignation and I have accepted it.

Sri LankaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Tamil diaspora in Quebec and Canada is worried and with just cause. The UN must be allowed to conduct a real investigation into human rights violations committed by both sides in the Sri Lankan conflict.

Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs intend to increase pressure on the Sri Lankan government to allow the UN to do its job and conduct a credible investigation?

Sri LankaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our honourable colleague has identified two issues. The first is to ensure that an independent tribunal is set up by the Sri Lankan government in order to shed light on this matter.

The other is to allow the United Nations to provide aid to those displaced by this conflict.

Canada, my colleague the Minister of International Cooperation and I are working very hard on this.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister has tabled his empty 2009 climate change plan. Incredibly it is a plan to do nothing, no binding reduction targets and delayed action on coal-fired. He will repeat the last 15 years of consultations, more delay, more hot air.

On National Clean Air Day, where is the long promised action on clean electricity?

Last year the Canadian Medical Association reported air pollution hospitalized an estimated 92,000 Canadians with 21,000 deaths. In whose interest is the minister delaying action on clean air and climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is correct. This is Clean Air Day and we are moving forward with the regulations that I previously described with respect to climate change. In addition, the air quality health index is being expanded in a way that it has never previously been expanded by any other government.

With respect to the pollution agenda, we have re-engaged with the provinces and with other stakeholders to put in place a regulatory approach that will deal with air pollutants, which will be parallel to and integrated with our approach to clean air as it relates to climate change.

InfrastructureOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to the opposition's inaction, and thanks to our Prime Minister's leadership, our government is taking steps to create jobs, stimulate the economy, and support Canadian families and workers.

Can the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities tell me what the infrastructure stimulus fund will do for Quebec?