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House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was help.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, he is announcing the good commitments that the Liberal Party has already done.

There is not one shred of evidence in this report or any other that backs up the government's claims. The construction season is already gone and only 12% of the promised projects are moving ahead. Spin, press releases, lots of hot air and glitzy Conservative ads that are paid for by taxpayers do not create long-term jobs. In the next 12 months 250,000 more jobs are going to disappear.

If the Conservative government cannot bother to really help Canadians, will it at least start telling them the truth?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals had 13 long years to make infrastructure investments in Toronto. If they had just got that fifth term, they would have got the job done.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, although a recovery seems to be on the way, analysts and unions are predicting that unemployment will continue. Yet the employment insurance bill introduced by the government ignores that reality, particularly for thousands of workers in the forestry industry who have been laid off intermittently over the past few years.

Can the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development tell us if those forestry workers will be eligible under her bill?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, for one thing, we know that our economic action plan is working. So far, 7,500 projects have been accepted and 4,000 projects have begun in various regions of the country.

That said, another way of helping people during this recession is by helping those who are hardest hit, including the unemployed.

While we want to help 190,000 people who might lose their jobs for prolonged periods, the Bloc Québécois remains obstinate and is doing everything it can to delay the bill's implementation.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to give her a second chance to answer the question.

Does the minister realize that many so-called long-tenured workers will not have access under this bill? Does she realize that women will not have access under this bill, nor will young people and seasonal workers?

How can the minister be satisfied with a bill that, far from helping unemployed workers, on the contrary, actually excludes them?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the House again that the longer the Bloc Québécois delays the implementation of this bill, the more people are being penalized. We want to help 190,000 workers and we are injecting $1 billion—well, $935 million—to help people who are losing their jobs. We want to help these long-tenured workers who have paid into employment insurance for years and years, so they can now have from 5 to 20 weeks longer.

Why are they delaying the application or implementation of this bill?

Representation in ParliamentOral Questions

September 28th, 2009 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, as time passes, it becomes clearer that this government's recognition of the Quebec nation means nothing. The plan to increase the number of seats in this House is more proof of this. The reform proposes the addition of 34 new seats outside Quebec, which would reduce Quebec's political weight.

Does the government realize that increasing the number of seats and weakening Quebec's political power would take away all meaning from the recognition of the Quebec nation?

Representation in ParliamentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, the government is committed to fair representation across the country. It would be really helpful if the opposition parties would help the government deal with this global economic recession.

This government is making Canada, including Quebec, better by sound economic management. Come and join us, make Parliament work and make Quebec stronger with all Canadians.

Representation in ParliamentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the most disappointing thing here is the quiet resignation of some Conservative ministers from Quebec who feel that this situation is unavoidable. These ministers are supposed to defend the interests of Quebec but they are not doing much. Just like the Liberal leader, who would act the same way, I might add.

If the government was sincere when it recognized the Quebec nation, why does it not respect the unanimous motion passed by Quebec's National Assembly, which calls for this proposal to be abandoned?

Representation in ParliamentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, we will ensure that there is fair representation across the country. As far as the Quebec ministers go, those ministers and MPs from the government side have done more for Quebec in the three and a half years we have been in government than the 18 years the Bloc has been present in Parliament.

We all should say thanks to our Quebec members of government. They do more between them than the entire Bloc has done in its entire history.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are many lessons to be learned from the government's lack of reaction to the first wave of H1N1, particularly how it affects our aboriginal communities.

Will the minister take federal responsibility and will she go to the communities affected and personally apologize to those who suffered the most?

Where is the plan to right the wrongs that were made last spring and summer?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the pandemic plan for first nations communities was established back in 2006 along with the provinces and territories. I personally met with Grand Chief Ron Evans again this week. I have met with him about five times since the whole issue started with Manitoba. I also met with Chief Harper over the weekend. We are working together to get to the bottom of the situation.

Once a report is available, I will sit down with them to go through what actually happened.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, serious concerns remain about the lack of federal leadership on H1N1. Provinces are taking different approaches on when to administer seasonal flu shots and whether protective masks are necessary or not. These and consistent messages from the provinces and territories send the wrong signal to Canadians.

We need science-based advice and need to agree on the science in order for Canadians to be prepared. When will the Conservatives finally show leadership and send the provinces and territories a message they can all understand?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the provinces and territories have been working very hard since April to deal with the situation before us. They understand fully and clearly what is before them in terms of the rollout of the vaccine.

Provinces and territories continue to work together to determine the best way to do the rollout come the first week of October. I will continue to work with the provinces and territories. In fact, this morning I was on calls with them again, planning for the rollout of the vaccine in the fall.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, in New York last week President Obama, Prime Ministers Brown and Rudd, President Sarkozy and Hu Jintao all stood up to represent their countries on the world stage in preparation for Copenhagen.

When the chips were down, Canada's isolationist Prime Minister turned tail, jumped back on his private jet for a $60,000 getaway flight to Toronto, leaving in his wake bewildered world partners struggling to deal with the climate change crisis. That is an expensive cup of coffee.

Why did the Prime Minister shirk his responsibilities?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what my hon. colleague says, the Prime Minister did not shirk his responsibilities. The Prime Minister assumed his responsibilities, and we worked as a team.

In talking about a team, one thing I can say, coming from Quebec, is that there is no team there. There are two teams over there. That is why today they do not have a member for Bourassa.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, after almost four years of sabotaging the efforts in Bonn, Bali and Poznan to fight climate change, where do we stand?

There is no national plan, no regulation, and no exchange system.

No one believes their bogus intensity targets can be reached.

Why do these Canadian republicans prefer to attack China and India rather than fostering an international agreement?

Are they simply trying to ruin the Copenhagen summit?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we will certainly continue to work with the United Nations process. Just over the course of the last week I participated in the UN process, as did the Prime Minister, and in addition to that in the major economy forum struck by the President of the United States and the Greenland dialogue struck by the chairman of the Copenhagen conference.

We will continue to work with our national program. We will continue as well to work with our international allies in terms of developing something at Copenhagen that is going to find an international treaty that works, something the Liberals never did.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, on September 18, before taking the stage to address the United Nations with his racist hate-filled rant against the world, his continued blatant disregard for human rights and his complete dishonesty about his true nuclear intentions, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again denied the Holocaust, describing it as a myth.

What is the government's position on the Iranian regime's continued bigotry towards the Jewish people and the denial of the Holocaust?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Ahmadinejad's repeated denial of the Holocaust as well as his anti-Israeli comments run counter to the values not only of the United Nations but also of the values that we all share here.

I might point out that the crackdown on legitimate democratic protests and unjustified arrests over the course of the last several months are things that are completely counterproductive and are completely abhorrent to Canadian values of freedom and democracy. In protest, my colleague the Minister of State for the Americas and I walked out of the speech to stand up for Canadians.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, in its recent report on the Conservative-Liberal HST sales tax increases targeting British Columbia and Ontario residents, the TD Bank estimates that consumers will be squeezed for $2.5 billion to $3 billion more than they already pay.

While many families are struggling to pay rent and put food on the table, the best the Lib-Cons can come up with is increased taxes on everything from school supplies to home heating. How can taking money out of people's pockets in the middle of an economic crisis possibly help the economy?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government has been focused on reducing taxes. Our government has been focused on allowing more Canadians to keep more of their hard-earned revenue in their own pockets.

That is why it was this government that brought forward reductions in the goods and services tax. That is why it was this government that oversaw the update of tax freedom day. Tax freedom day now comes a few weeks early and that is thanks to the leadership of this government, thanks to the leadership of the finance minister and thanks to the leadership of the Prime Minister.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservatives are busy harmonizing tax increases in Ontario and British Columbia, Quebec is still waiting to be compensated for harmonizing theirs in the 1990s. I am talking about $2.6 billion.

Instead of his usual bluster, could the Minister of Finance answer the question for once in his life? When will Quebec be compensated?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is clear. We are negotiating with Quebec , negotiating in good faith. The Premier of Quebec said that some things needed to be tweaked and the Minister of Finance agreed. That is what is happening now. We want this to work. We have an open federalism and we want it to work with Quebec. We will continue to work toward that. It is that simple.

Nuclear WasteOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's National Assembly unanimously adopted a motion to forbid the burial on Quebec territory of nuclear waste and fuel from outside Quebec. Despite the motion, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization is still considering Quebec as a possible dumping site.

Will the Minister of Natural Resources heed the motion passed in the National Assembly and take Quebec off the list?