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House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebeckers.

Topics

Jeune Chambre de commerce de RimouskiStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Bloc Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am rising today to acknowledge the exceptional work of the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Rimouski which, year after year, contributes to the region's economic and social development.

I particularly want to highlight the determination of its board of directors and the indomitable will of its chairman, Jérôme Dufour Gallant. The support that these young people provide to the community is very much appreciated.

I am also taking this opportunity to express my heartfelt congratulations to Jean-François Ouellet who, on Saturday, won the Jeune Chambre de Rimouski's young personality award for professionals. Mr. Ouellet, who is the director of investments at Desjardins Capital de risque, is actively involved in regional and community development, which is certainly to his credit. In addition to Mr. Ouellet, I should mention the nominations of Étienne Bélanger, Annick Dionne, Jonathan Proulx and Karl-Hugo Pelletier, who also help making our region a more thriving and prosperous community.

Bloc QuébécoisStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have recently seen how much contempt the members of the Bloc have for federalist Quebeckers. The expression “token Quebeckers“ shows contempt for more than 60% of Quebeckers.

After being in this House for 20 years, aside from being disrespectful to Quebeckers, I really wonder what the Bloc has done to defend Quebec. One thing is certain, since the dawn of time, the Bloc has voted against all the initiatives that would move Quebec forward.

The Bloc Québécois can be disrespectful to us, but the truth is that the elected Conservatives from Quebec are serving Quebeckers.

Quebeckers can count on our Conservative government to deliver the goods. I am proud to be both a Quebecker and a federalist, and I am no less a Quebecker because of that.

Automotive IndustryStatements By Members

May 11th, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, eight months since the Toyota recalls began, Canadians are still looking for action from the Conservative government.

While the U.S. is acting swiftly to punish offences and rectify legislative shortcomings, the Minister of Transport has not even left the starting gate.

Worse, the U.S. action against Toyota relied in part on Canadian documentation, which our government does not seem able to obtain.

A paper trail from Transport Canada confirms that as the minister was publicly praising Toyota, his departmental employees were pleading for action against the company. They also reveal that Transport Canada received dozens of sudden acceleration complaints but investigated only a few.

In Canada, the Minister of Transport's wilfully negligent approach allows for potential property damage and personal injuries to accumulate.

Perhaps the Minister of Transport should spend less time practising his question period performances and a bit more time focusing on his responsibilities to protect Canadian drivers.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I bring a matter of grave concern to the attention of the House. The Liberal public safety critic, the member for Ajax—Pickering, has suggested that a future Liberal government might dramatically reduce criminal sentences. He refused to rule out revisiting our Conservative government's decision to end the ridiculous practice of giving criminals double, or sometimes triple, credit for time served in pre-trial custody.

When will the Liberal Party come clean on its plans? Either it continually stands with criminals instead of standing behind victims. It should start listening to Canadians who thought this practice was wrong. In fact, the provinces and the police supported our efforts to end credit for time served.

We stand with victims and Canadians who are concerned about crime. The Liberals continue to demonstrate that they are not serious about getting tough on crime. They are not in it for Canadians; they are in it for themselves.

Bertha AllenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honour the memory of an outstanding woman, Bertha Allen of Inuvik.

Bertha Allen died Friday, at the age of 76, a respected northern leader, a Gwich'in, who balanced so well modern and traditional society. Born in Old Crow, Yukon, Allen lived most of her life in the Mackenzie Delta.

Last year, the Governor General awarded her the northern medal for her leadership in support of equality for aboriginal and northern women. Allen was named to the Order of Canada in 2007. In the late 1970s, she helped found the Native Women's Association of the Northwest Territories and became its first president.

She later served as president of the Native Women's Association of Canada. She was also president of the advisory council for the NWT Status of Women Council, and she encouraged many women to get into politics.

Bertha was a dear friend to so many people, myself included. Her spirit and her wisdom will be missed.

Pardons for Serious CrimesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is continuing to put public safety and the rights of victims before those of criminals. The pardon of Graham James illustrated that more must be done to safeguard the public and the integrity of the pardon system.

The current system of pardons implies that serious crimes are somehow forgiven and that the harm done by offenders somehow disappears.

Victims disagree. So does our government and we have acted.

Earlier today, the eliminating pardons for serious crimes act was tabled in this House. These changes would ensure that the National Parole Board has the tools and discretion it needs to ensure that public safety and compassion for victims are always placed first. Most important, no longer would those convicted of serious sexual offences against our children be excused by a pardon.

I call on all members of this House to support Bill C-23.

Quebec Family WeekStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to recognize Quebec Family Week and honour the extraordinary dedication of parents.

With the theme “Pour un Québec Famille”, which means “for a family oriented Quebec”, this week highlights the importance and support we must give families. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate us, Quebeckers, for having the best family policies in North America.

The family is at the heart of our lives. It is our wealth and our future. To all organizations, teachers, educators, doctors, as well as all other professionals and volunteers who support and promote our families, thank you.

I encourage all the people of the riding of Saint-Lambert to participate in the activities related to the International Day of Families, on May 15, especially by participating in the activity “Attention! Family in Action!” in Longueuil, an activity meant to recognize and promote precious family time.

Government ProgramsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, two years ago, the Conservatives' decision to slash funding for culture was diametrically opposed to Quebec values. This week they are starting all over again by cutting $1.5 million in funding for the FrancoFolies de Montreal festival.

They must really not understand Quebec at all if they are making cuts to FrancoFolies, an international gathering with extensive spinoffs that helps promote Quebec's culture internationally. It also encourages artistic exchanges among francophones from around the world. It is by far the largest francophone music festival in North America, and that is what they are cutting.

The same day, the Conservatives also cut funding for Toronto's Gay Pride Festival. The week before, they cut funding to women's groups.

No one is safe from Conservative strong-arm tactics.

The Prime Minister is attacking our artists, our festivals, francophones, women and the gay community. One cannot help but wonder who will be next.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, our government firmly believes that low taxes fuel job creation and economic growth. That is why, since forming government, we have cut taxes for families, seniors, students and businesses.

Canada's economic action plan is working. Last week, Statistics Canada reported that a record 108,700 new jobs were created in April. This is the largest monthly job gain on record.

In fact, since July of last year, Canada has created some 285,000 new jobs. No wonder the latest edition of The Economist magazine calls Canada “an economic star”.

While jobs and growth remain our government's top priority, the Liberal leader is intent on stopping Canada's recovery in its tracks with a hike to job-killing business taxes, a higher GST, and the introduction of a carbon tax.

Simply put, Canada cannot afford the Liberal leader's tax and spend approach, a plan that will kill jobs, put the brakes on our economic recovery, and set Canadians back.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has expedited the processing of Beaufort Sea exploration licences. In response, the oil companies involved asked the government for an environmental protection plan that has yet to be developed. BP and Imperial Oil have recognized that it was crucial that Canadian standards not be weakened. Unlike the United States, Canada does not require any environmental assessment to be carried out at the exploration and licensing stages.

Why do the Conservatives keep refusing to produce an environmental protection plan?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, Canada has an exceptional regulatory agency in the form of the National Energy Board.

We have been very clear. The government has been clear and the National Energy Board has been clear that no drilling will take place in Canada unless the environment is protected and public safety is protected. We have an extraordinary record as a country, and we will continue to proceed on that basis.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, in December offshore drilling regulations were deliberately weakened to allow oil companies to set their own environmental protection goals and safety standards.

In contrast to the United States' using a strict and prescriptive approach for every offshore platform, the Conservatives do not even require safety valves and blowout preventers. What this really means is that the Conservatives are asking industry to put the public interest ahead of their self-interest and shareholder profits.

Will the government reinstate tough regulations that hold oil companies to the highest standards or not?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. Canadian regulations require companies to prove they can operate safely in specific situations using the most advanced technology tailored to their circumstances.

We have stringent regulations that put the onus on industries to prove to regulators that they can protect their workers, the public and the environment. No drilling will proceed unless the government is convinced, period. Canadians expect nothing less.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, instead of reading his notes, why did the minister not explain why the government weakened the requirements?

The Prime Minister said the Gulf of Mexico spill is “a horrific environmental catastrophe”.

When asked why he placed Canada's pristine Arctic environment at risk because he had no plan, he said, “There are rules for relief wells”. BP's chief operating officer says the relief well will take 70 or 80 days more. If the Prime Minister says two weeks is a horrific environmental disaster, what would our pristine Arctic look like after a three-month wait for the Prime Minister's relief well?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, instead of looking at his notes while I answer, he should listen to my answer.

Canadian regulations require operators to employ the best technology, equipment and training techniques available, and we will not accept any weakening of these requirements. No drilling will proceed until this government is convinced that the safety of the workers and the environment is protected. Canadians expect nothing less.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week in light of the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, I asked if the government would respect the 1972 moratorium banning oil tanker traffic from B.C.'s Pacific north coast, and I got no answer.

We know a major crude oil spill off B.C.'s coastline would be catastrophic. Yesterday I returned from New Orleans where I saw firsthand the devastation that region is facing.

I ask again, will the government finally promise to respect the Pacific coast oil tanker ban, yes or no?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, this government has been very clear from the beginning.

We expect Canada's regulators to enforce this country's strong environmental standards, including our offshore drilling safety region.

Let me be clear. There will be no drilling until we are convinced that the safety of the workers and the environment is protected, period.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, the government repeats the refrain that the chance of a serious accident ever happening in Newfoundland's offshore is zero because of established protocols, but yet sadly, we still remember the empty promise about how the Ocean Ranger was unsinkable and how Cougar helicopter operators were under the most stringent safety protocol in the world.

Disasters happen. They happen here at home. Does the government understand that having no backup rig is an irresponsible roll of the dice for the Canadian offshore? Does it accept that accepting an 11-day response time to a disaster is an irresponsible move for each and every one of us as Canadians?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we all recall the tragic circumstances of the Ocean Ranger. In addition, I would say that we all, as Canadians, are watching what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico and we are appalled and horrified by what is happening there.

I point out, however, that the regulatory framework that applies in Canada is quite different. Perhaps the hon. member should pay some regard to what is happening, even today, when the United States is making an announcement that it will break up the responsibility in the United States to follow a regulatory regime that is in fact very close to what Canada has with the National Energy Board.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, a coalition of Quebec's business community, unions and even Quebec's finance minister denounced the creation of a Canada-wide securities commission. Their message is clear: if this commission sees the light of day, there will be job losses in Quebec and decision-making power will shift to Toronto.

Why is the Prime Minister insisting on moving forward with this plan and ignoring the OECD, which says the current system is working quite well?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is true that the provinces have most of the jurisdiction over this. Some provinces, including Quebec, have decided not to take part, but other provinces have decided to contribute to the creation of a national securities commission. That is their right, and we are working closely with those provinces.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's finance minister says that creating a Canada-wide commission will be disastrous for Quebec's economy. According to him, it will provide an additional incentive for international corporations to set up their head offices in Toronto.

Will the Prime Minister face the facts and scrap his plan for a Canada-wide securities commission?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, no decision has been made on setting up the commission's head office in Toronto. As I have said, effective financial regulatory reform is being discussed worldwide. We must follow suit in Canada. Nonetheless, Quebec is entitled to opt out. The other provinces have the right to take part in this, and we will work with them.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, Jean Coutu, Pierre-Karl Péladeau, the Lemaire family, unions, chambers of commerce, notaries, lawyers, the Barreau du Québec and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec oppose the dismantling of the AMF and the creation of a Toronto securities commission. The Quebec finance minister is afraid that there will be an exodus to Toronto. The Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec said that the federal project is “dubious, prejudicial and harmful to Quebec.”

Why are the Conservative members from Quebec bent on destroying the financial autonomy of Quebec?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canada is the only major industrialized country in the world without a common or national securities regulator. We cannot afford to wait endlessly, in order to better protect investors, to enhance enforcement, to strengthen our response to financial instability, to reduce unnecessary costs, to attract new international investments.

The studies on jobs show that the gain would be about $10 billion a year in economic output and 65,000 jobs gained with a Canadian securities regulator.