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House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was columbia.

Topics

CopyrightOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, our responsibility is to respect creators throughout Canada. The first thing we must do as a parliament is ensure that piracy is illegal in Canada. That is the first thing we must do.

Our Bill C-32 on copyright makes piracy illegal in Canada and also imposes international Internet treaties. That is key. It is the beginning of a real dialogue for our artists. It is a key component of our bill C-32 and, for that reason, we have strong support from artists, creators and everyone across Canada for an effective and responsible bill, one that does not slap a new tax on consumers.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, a report from the PBO on infrastructure stimulus spending says that many communities expressed concern on its effectiveness in creating employment and adding economic value. The government spent $50 million advertising the plan and electronically tracked 8,500 action plan signs. The impact of the stimulus fund on jobs is in question, but not the location of the signs. Why are this Conservative government's priorities focused more on itself than on Canadian families?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic action plan is expected to create or maintain 220,000 jobs by the end of 2010. This does not even count the 260,000 Canadians who have benefited from participating in work sharing. Where do these numbers come from on the 220,000? From the University of Toronto, the Conference Board of Canada and the National Bank Financial Group among others.

Why is it that the Parliamentary Budget Officer, who is supposed to report accurately to Parliament, cannot agree with any other experts in this country?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that there are 350,000 more unemployed in this country. For months, the Liberal Party has been saying that the only thing the Conservatives' arbitrary March 31 construction deadline is doing is driving inflation in the construction sector. That means taxpayers have to pay more. Now the PBO report shows that almost a third of the towns and cities have actually seen that inflation happening.

Why do the Conservatives ignore all the warning signs and drive up costs to taxpayers? Why did they not announce the extension months ago?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our partners, the provinces and the municipalities, have done a terrific job. Nearly 90% of these infrastructure projects will be completed by the deadline. We are talking about more than 20,000 projects across the country. That is why so many jobs have been created across Canada. Nearly 90% will be completed on time. One more construction season will be allowed for the rest of them to be completed because we are being fair, reasonable and flexible.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the government heads into climate change talks next week, it has given us the worst possible policy. It is bad on the environment and bad on jobs. The eco-energy home retrofit program was one of the few meeting its greenhouse gas reduction targets. What did the government do? It cancelled the program.

In Nova Scotia, the number of households getting energy audits for retrofits has plummeted 85%, 10,000 fewer than last year. All across Canada, hundreds of small businesses are being closed and thousands of seniors are being left in the cold draught of their uninsulated homes.

How does the government explain why it broke its promise and is letting them and the country down so badly?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as we have always maintained, we will manage our energy programs responsibly. In the Speech from the Throne, we announced our plans to conduct a full review of all programs in order to come up with a series of new, optimal programs. The idea is to make the best possible investments in order to achieve greater energy efficiency. An additional $300 million will be invested before the end of the fiscal year for the follow-up to the ecoenergy retrofit program.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is very simple. The government is so under-committed to reducing global warming that it is cancelling the programs that are working.

In Oakville, two young entrepreneurs founded Ontario eco-Energy Advisors in good faith, to create jobs and help the environment. After the Conservatives shut down the program, they had to lay off two-thirds of their employees. In Orillia, Wayne Rowbotham of EnerTest has had to do the very same thing.

Canadians across the country want to do their part, but the government has pulled the rug out from under them. Will the government now reinstate funding for the home retrofit program, or will it head to Cancun with an even more embarrassing record?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is somewhat ironic that, in response to the question asked by the previous member, we heard that Canada's economic action plan has not created any jobs, when we know it has created jobs. Now the member is trying to say the opposite. One thing is certain: we will have a series of optimal programs from an investment standpoint. We must manage taxpayers' money the best we can and achieve greater energy efficiency. That is our commitment and that is what we are going to do.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, today the Ontario Court of Appeal rendered a decision to stay the Ontario Superior Court decision on the Bedford prostitution challenge that struck down this country's key prostitution laws. This means that these laws remain in effect until April 29, 2011, or until the appeal is heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Could the Minister of Justice please comment on today's ruling?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, that is correct. We are pleased that the Ontario Court of Appeal has stayed the decision.

Our government believes that prostitution and the criminal activity that surrounds it is harmful to both communities and vulnerable persons in our society, especially women.

Canadians can count on this Conservative government to continue to fight to ensure the law protects the health, safety and security of all Canadians and the well-being of our communities.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister misled Canadians when he said in the House that “...Canada's economy has recouped almost all of the jobs lost during the recession.”

This is the reality: in October 2008, unemployment was at 6.2%, but it was at 7.9% in October 2010. Right now, there are 211,000 fewer full-time, permanent jobs than there were before the recession, and there are 400,000 more unemployed people.

When will they start telling Canadians the truth?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, since the end of the recession, that is since the end of the second quarter in 2009, the end of July 2009, the overall job creation has been 430,000 net new jobs in Canada.

This is more than the total number of jobs lost during the three quarters of recession that we suffered through.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is creating part-time jobs. We need a full-time government creating jobs.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer is telling Canadians the truth. His report confirms that the federal government has not met its job creation target; we need another quarter of a million jobs annually. It is about time the government understood that it needs to extend the deadline, but this delay will cost a fortune.

When will the government focus on creating sustainable, full-time jobs? Is that not the goal?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated to the House today, leading independent private assessors, forecasters and analysts have looked at this, including the University of Toronto, the Conference Board of Canada, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the National Bank Financial Group.

They all came to the conclusion that we have created or maintained about 220,000 jobs as a result, strictly, of the economic action plan. Of course, we have had economic growth as well in the past five quarters, resulting in nearly 430,000 total net new jobs in Canada since the end of the recession.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, after a declaration in 2009 that the plan to disband Bagotville's 439 Squadron was fiction, new documents obtained under the Access to Information Act show that there is a plan to disband it that will lead to the loss of 44 jobs.

Will the Minister of National Defence admit that the plan to disband Bagotville's 439 Squadron was not fiction and that it is part of a clear plan that will penalize Bagotville?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it remains a piece of fiction until I say otherwise. When we have an announcement to make on Bagotville, as with any other base in the country, I am sure the hon. member will hear about it. I am sure he will be interested in it. However, he does not believe in the Canadian Forces. He does not believe in the country.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government can deny this all it wants, but there are five official documents and a number of emails that mention the disbanding of 439 Squadron. A document dated March 2009 even provides a date of 2012 for the disbanding.

Does the minister not think that this is a lot of evidence and that he should clear up any doubts about the disbanding of Bagotville's 439 Squadron?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I just said that it was fictional. There are no plans to close Bagotville and no plans to make changes there.

In fact, the regional minister was with me when we recently announced our plans to base many of the new F-35 aircraft there, which will be a tremendous addition to the Canadian Forces air force. I know the member himself is supportive of this program. I just wish I could get members of the Liberal Party to support a program that it began back in the 1990s.

Taseko Mines LimitedOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, let the government issue a call for tenders and then we will see.

The Taseko affair is within the purview of the following five departments: Environment, Natural Resources, Indian and Northern Affairs, Fisheries and Oceans, and Finance.

My question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. I know that she is a woman of integrity and that she will rise to answer this question. When did she sign off on rejecting the Taseko project? Who in her office knew about it? Did government officials speak to her about Taseko and the Fish Lake situation? Did her office provide information about this matter to the RCMP?

Taseko Mines LimitedOral Questions

2:50 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, I am delighted to tell the member for Bourassa that I do share his view that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is a woman of great integrity.

The government rejected this project based on the publicly available environmental assessment which said that it would do irreparable harm to the environment. We did the right thing for the environment.

Taseko Mines LimitedOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about the possibility of insider trading. Under section 382.1(1) of the Criminal Code, such action would be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years. Government employees are concerned. They have raised a flag. I do not know what the Conservatives have to hide.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Did his officials speak to him about this situation and what does he intend to do about it? This is a problem that affects everyone. As a result of the Taseko Mines affair, thousands of shareholders lost money. Someone pulled a fast one. What does he know about the situation?

Taseko Mines LimitedOral Questions

2:50 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, I think the Liberal Party has changed its position. The member for Bourassa talked about the possibility and yesterday the member for Ajax—Pickering came to the conclusion that in fact it was a fact, which of course it is not.

If the member opposite has any evidence to back up the claims and the speculation in which he is engaging, I would encourage him to table it before the House.

If the Liberal Party will not table this information before the House after question period, what does it have to hide?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, tax lawyers are happy today. According to reports, CRA plans to relax its standards for tax cheaters who voluntarily come forward. They expect the government will let their clients off the hook for tax evasions over 10 years old.

We could call it the Mulroney option. We should all be so lucky.

Will the Conservatives finally get serious about prosecuting tax evaders, or are they planning to agree with the tax lawyers and let people get away with hiding millions under beach blankets in the Cayman Islands?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the government is working to fight tax evasion, and I hope we will achieve some concrete results in the near future.