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House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, at stake here is the global supply of a strategic resource vital to food production worldwide for generations to come. The Australian government would not allow Canadians to control BHP, just as Australia blocked Royal Dutch Shell from buying an oil company, but BHP says Canada is a pushover, “an industry 'branch office'...largely irrelevant on the global mining stage”. That is the foreign outfit that wants to control our potash.

I ask the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, who comes from Saskatchewan, why will he not fight back and just say no?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member keeps chasing rumours and creating these stories out of thin air. The fact of the matter is that no decision has been made. There is a process under the Investment Canada Act, which leads to the assessment by the Minister of Industry of the net benefit to Canada test. That is what is being done and that will be delivered to the people of Canada in the due course of time.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, Alcan, Inco and Falconbridge have all gone under this Conservative government, and now Potash.

The public opposition to this deal in Saskatchewan is massive, but that is not all. There is Peter Lougheed, Dick Haskayne, Roger Phillips, Norman Keevil of Teck Resources, Dominic D'Alessandro, Calin Rovinescu of Air Canada, Roger Martin of the Rotman School and even Gerry Schwartz of Onex Corporation, for heaven's sake. The only ones who are hiding are the 13 shamefully silent Conservative MPs from Saskatchewan. Where are they?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House that every single Conservative Party of Canada MP from Saskatchewan is doing his or her job on behalf of the interests of Saskatchewan and on behalf of the interests of Canada.

The hon. member's accusation is shameful, but that is par for the course for that caucus. When it was in power, it rubber stamped every single bid that came to Investment Canada.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, equal opportunity, regardless of where one lives, is a fundamental right for all Canadians.

In the 21st century, as technology advances faster and faster, and while the Conservatives can spend $1.3 billion on the G8 and G20, some 700,000 Canadians in our regions still do not have high-speed Internet access.

They will splurge on summits, but they have nothing for Canadians.

When will the government invest in our rural regions, in equality, and provide high-speed Internet access for all Canadians?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. member and the rest of the coalition caucus over there that this government has invested $200 million in this budget alone for broadband access for rural Canadians. We have been there through the economic action plan because we know we want to build new jobs, new opportunity for rural Canadians and, indeed, for all Canadians. Why will the hon. member not support the economic action plan?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, CINARS made an announcement yesterday about the impact of the Conservative cuts to culture. They are having a devastating effect, especially on francophone artists.

The Société Nationale de l'Acadie has stated that these cuts are preventing the Acadian people from getting the same sort of exposure they did before the cuts and that far fewer cultural products are being exported.

In the meantime, spending by the Prime Minister's Office is ballooning. It makes no sense. It is illogical.

Will the minister admit that those cuts were based on ideology? When will he start seriously listening to this country's artists?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we always listen to them. That is why, in four budgets tabled and passed in this House, we have demonstrated strong support for the artists of Canada's cultural community. We have increased investments in culture. In fact, this government has made additional investments by creating new national museums and making new investments in festivals and in the Canada Council. We are making significant and responsible investments in the cultural community.

HydroelectricityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has asked the federal government to force Quebec to allow Newfoundland and Labrador to set up power transmission lines across Quebec's territory.

Will the Prime Minister make a formal promise to respect Quebec's territory and never force Quebec to let Newfoundland and Labrador's power lines cross its territory?

HydroelectricityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is a legal process to deal with these issues. The government respects that process.

HydroelectricityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government never provided Quebec with any financial assistance to develop its own hydroelectric grid. Quebec proceeded independently and on its own dime.

If the Prime Minister wants to demonstrate fairness, will he promise not to subsidize other provinces' power grid development projects, such as the proposal for a subsea electricity cable linking Newfoundland and Labrador with Nova Scotia?

HydroelectricityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, energy development is under provincial jurisdiction. All Canadian provinces want to create a cleaner energy sector. The government will always listen to the provinces' needs.

Oil and Gas ExplorationOral Questions

November 2nd, 2010 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, a note obtained by the media clearly indicates that the department considered it risky for the Minister of Natural Resources to talk about oil spills such as the one in the Gulf of Mexico. The minister's silence proves that the government wants to play down the risks associated with offshore oil and gas development.

Can the government explain its lack of transparency and why it hid this information from the public?

Oil and Gas ExplorationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I presume that the member is referring to the documents quoted in the Canadian Press yesterday. These documents were not prepared for me and did not make their way to my office.

The real issue here is environmental safety. We have always said that we have independent regulators with international standards that are some of the most stringent in the world. It is clear that no project will be approved until the regulator is confident that environmental protection and worker safety are assured.

Oil and Gas ExplorationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's lack of transparency indicates that there are risks with any operation in the St. Lawrence seabed. The National Assembly of Quebec adopted a motion calling for a moratorium on drilling and seismic testing permits for Old Harry and the suspension of existing permits until environmental assessments have been completed.

Will the government honour the unanimous motion of the National Assembly of Quebec?

Oil and Gas ExplorationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board is an independent regulator with standards that are some of the most stringent in the world. Emergency plans must be filed. No project can be approved until the regulator is confident that the environment is protected and the safety of workers is guaranteed. At present, there are no drilling permit applications for this sector.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the news reports, a handful of people in Industry Canada have somehow reached the conclusion that the sale of Potash Corporation could somehow be of benefit to Canada.

The Prime Minister's officials are desperately trying to spin this as though he has absolutely no say in the matter. I do not think that is going to wash. I think people know how the government operates.

My question for the Prime Minister is very simple. Is the Prime Minister willing to pronounce himself on this matter, right now, and simply say no to selling Potash Corporation to the Australian company?

Let us hear it today. Let us hear it from the Prime Minister.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the other day the leader of the NDP was congratulating me for blocking the takeover, and today he is criticizing me for allowing the takeover.

The truth of the matter is that no decision has been taken. The Minister of Industry is responsible for this decision under the act. I am confident that he will render a decision that is in the best long-term interest of the Canadian economy.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister wants to control everything; everyone knows that. I was in Saskatchewan yesterday, and there is a consensus there. Everyone knows that selling the potash industry to foreign interests is not in Canada's economic interests. It is clear: there is no net benefit.

Why is the Prime Minister not sending a clear message now? The potash industry should remain Canada's pride and joy.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is a legal process. The government is prohibited from commenting on the benefits and costs of this transaction. It is up to the Minister of Industry to make a decision, and once he has done so, he will communicate it in the appropriate manner.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister or his delegate issues a decision to give the final green light to the takeover of Potash Corporation, Conservative Saskatchewan MPs will need to decide on whose side they will stand.

Will the Prime Minister commit to bringing the issue of the approval of the takeover to a vote of this House before the final approval, and will he let his 13 Saskatchewan members of Parliament vote for the people of Saskatchewan, or will he make them toe the line on the sellout?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, under the law, decisions as regards these kinds of bids are not taken by votes in Parliament; they are taken according to a legal process. The government is obligated to listen to all sides, to consider all factors. That is precisely what it is doing, including, I may add, hearing from all members of our Saskatchewan caucus.

I am sure when the Minister of Industry makes the decision he is required to make within a certain time period, everybody will recognize that he has taken a decision in the best long-term interest of this country.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, Treasury Board guidelines clearly state that competition remains the cornerstone of the Canadian government's procurement process. It is the most effective way of achieving the goals of procurement and gives suppliers the incentive to bring forward their best solution at a competitive price.

What makes the government think it knows better than the decades of experience that goes into laying out these guidelines, and what gives it the right to bring its own rules when borrowing $16 billion from taxpayers to buy fighter jets without holding an open competition?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I repeat once again that this is a win-win situation for Canada, for the Canadian Forces and obviously for the Canadian aerospace industry.

There was a competition, and after the competition, the only next generation fighter identified was the F-35. We have now exercised the option to continue with the program, which was begun by the government of the member opposite.

We have followed along now. The majority of the payments, incidentally, will be made around the year 2013. We will take delivery at the optimum point of production, at the lowest cost per aircraft, with enormous benefits to the Canadian aerospace industry. The member opposite used to believe that when he was in government.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, another new report from the Pentagon says that we can expect more cost overruns and delays in the production of the F-35s. Maintaining these planes will cost 50% more than maintaining the current planes. Delivery in the United States has been delayed from one to three years. The Prime Minister has already planned to borrow $16 billion to buy these planes.

With this new report, now how much do we have to pay for these planes?