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House of Commons Hansard #96 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Foreign TakeoversOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, the principle of EI involves one of strict impartiality in all labour disputes. The system is designed to remain neutral and to not interfere in labour disputes, and that will be the case in this case as well.

Foreign TakeoversOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, nowhere is the government's failure in dealing with foreign takeovers more clear than in Hamilton.

U.S. Steel shut down the blast furnace, halted production, slashed 800 jobs, and has locked out the remaining workers. Taking U.S. Steel to court after the fact is too little, too late. It is obvious the Investment Canada Act must finally be fixed.

Will the Conservatives agree to support our motion tomorrow that would amend the act by making it more transparent and include Canadians in the decision-making process?

Foreign TakeoversOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Yes, Mr. Speaker, we will be supporting the NDP motion tomorrow.

Financial Services IndustryOral Questions

November 15th, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 10, in Seoul, the Minister of Finance signed an agreement with the China Insurance Regulatory Commission allowing Chinese insurance companies to invest in financial products on the Canadian financial market.

Can the minister tell us who negotiated on behalf of Canada's financial markets and who signed this agreement, and why he omitted these details from his press release? Who?

Financial Services IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the discussions were conducted by the Government of Canada.

I am very pleased that the Government of the People's Republic of China has extended this initiative to Canada. It is good for foreign direct investment in our country. It is good for our financial services industry.

It is one of several items that we discussed as finance officials with our Chinese colleagues last August, and every one of those items has been fulfilled by the People's Republic of China.

Financial Services IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, his response is shameful. If the minister knew what he was doing, he would know that the agreement signed last week is the second one between China and the Canadian Securities Administrators, that is, the Autorité des marchés financiers du Québec and the administrators of the other provinces, whose jurisdiction has just been recognized internationally.

What is the minister waiting for to drop his shameful and predatory project, which will only strip Quebec of its financial independence? Let him stay out of it. He does not know what he is doing.

Financial Services IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thought the member opposite cared about Beijing. He is clearly concerned about Toronto.

The initiative with respect to the securities regulator in Canada is an issue that will be decided, in terms of jurisdiction, by the Supreme Court of Canada, which has set aside two days to consider it next April.

It is a totally voluntary system. If a province such as Quebec chooses not to join, that is up to Quebec.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has been skating frantically, avoiding questions that Canadians must have the answer to before the government goes to Lisbon on Friday.

How many trainers? Where are they going to be? Are they going to be out of combat? How much is it going to cost? Why is it impossible for the government to give simple answers to clear questions that Canadians need to have answers to before they can approve any mission by the government?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thought the Leader of the Opposition would have indicated to the members of this House his willingness to see the government consider deploying trainers to Afghanistan on a going-forward basis.

We are evaluating all of the options. When it comes time to make these options and the decisions taken by the government known, we will do so.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we have been clear for four or five months now. That is not the issue. The issue is the lack of clarity from that side of the House.

My question is the following: why did the Prime Minister say one thing yesterday in Asia and why is the Minister of Foreign Affairs now saying something else? They cannot skate around the question. They have to be clear.

I will ask the question again: how many trainers will there be, where will they be set up and how much will this cost us?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, again, I invite the Leader of the Opposition to bide his time. We are currently reviewing various options. When we have completed our review, we will make these options public.

Credit Card IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is only a few weeks since Visa debit cards hit the market and already Canadian businesses are being gouged, wrongly charged excessive credit card fees for what should be Interac transactions.

For credit card companies, the Conservatives' voluntary code of conduct has been a gift. For Canadian small businesses struggling to crawl out of this recession, it has been a failure.

Canadian small businesses deserve protection and leadership from the government. Will the Conservatives finally bring forward regulations with teeth, or will they continue to stand by while small businesses get fleeced?

Credit Card IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the credit card code of conduct was worked on in consultation with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Chamber of Commerce, and with consumer groups in Canada.

We worked on it over many months. I am pleased to say we had the support of all of the participants by the time we developed this voluntary code of conduct, which is working well for consumers and for the industry in Canada.

Credit Card IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have already seen numerous glitches that are costing Canadians dollar after dollar. When will the Conservatives stop standing by their Bay Street buddies who claim that there is nothing to see, while they pick the pockets of Canadian small businesses?

The Minister of Finance promised that if the voluntary code failed, as we predicted, he would bring in regulations. Will the Minister of Finance keep his word, protect Canadian small businesses, and stop credit card gouging?

Credit Card IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, business groups, including small business groups, were consulted in the development of the voluntary code of conduct. Each and every one of them supported the code as it was developed. There was some resistance by the industry, but the industry compromised on certain points, and we were able to obtain a voluntary code of conduct that serves Canadian consumers.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian entrepreneurs helped our country through the challenges of the recession.

Small businesses are outperforming the rest of the economy, and that trend is likely to continue. Both the IMF and OECD forecast that our economic growth will be at the head of the pack among all G7 countries this year and next.

As we celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, can the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism tell the House how the government is helping to support entrepreneurs?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, my thanks go out to Canadian entrepreneurs across the country, some of whom I met with today, for keeping our country in such an enviable position. Our government is working to make it easier to do business in Canada. That is why we are increasing access to financing, lowering taxes, and cutting red tape.

I would like to thank our entrepreneurs for their enormous contribution and their hard work. Our government will continue to stand with them.

Members' Franking PrivilegesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, despite the best efforts of the House to clean up the practice, the Conservatives continue to circumvent the roles of MP mail-outs and waste thousands of taxpayers' dollars. The member for New Brunswick Southwest used his franking privileges to ask Conservatives to vote for his hand-picked successor. That successor just happens to be the Prime Minister's former communications director.

How can the Conservatives not see that this is cheating?

Members' Franking PrivilegesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there are rules in place and those rules should be followed. In addition to eliminating out-of-riding ten percenters, our party and this government are prepared to go further to save taxpayers' dollars in this regard, and we call upon all parties to support our long-standing proposal to eliminate political subsidies to the parties in the House.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has had no involvement with the Montreal financial round table project, which will be launched shortly. Canada Economic Development was invited to participate but did not respond. The minister's office does not even seem to be aware of the project.

Instead of trying to take away Quebec's financial autonomy by imposing a Canada-wide securities commission, should the federal government not participate in the development of Montreal's financial round table project instead?

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 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, it is very surprising to see the Bloc's critic defending the banking system, when nearly every question period he attacks the banking sector. An organization's partners are what create an institution like that. We analyze the merits of every funding request our department receives. We will continue to do so diligently.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I was recently called by Fort McKay First Nation members, who were alarmed that a toxic tailings pond is open ended, with creeks running through, wildlife feeding in contaminated areas, and spillage into fish-bearing creeks. Despite the government's promise of improved surveillance and enforcement, it took a complaint from a first nation community to trigger an investigation.

What will it take for the government to act on the recommendations made by two parliamentary committees for federal action on the health and environmental impacts of the oil sands development?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, like the member, her constituents, and the first nation group involved, we are deeply concerned about the reports that we have learned of. I have spoken to my deputy minister, and Environment Canada officials will be on the ground tomorrow to get a first-hand look at the situation.

Anything affecting water quality, migratory birds, fish habitat, or wildlife causes us significant concern. We have a panel that is looking at water quality in Alberta. We look forward to the work that the panel will do and the recommendations it will bring forward.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Clarke Conservative Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, this Conservative government has done more to improve the lives of aboriginal Canadians in four and a half years than the Liberals did in thirteen, from settling land claims to economic development to working in partnership to reform education. Can the minister tell the House the latest commitment to reconciliation and moving forward together?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, aboriginal leaders in Canada have spoken with passion on the importance of endorsing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and we have listened to them. We are proud to endorse this aspirational declaration in a way that balances the rights of all Canadians. National Chief Atleo calls this endorsement “an important shift in the relationship between first nations people and the federal government”.

This government will continue to demonstrate leadership by advancing the cause of indigenous rights around the world and creating opportunities for a better future for all aboriginal peoples here in Canada.