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House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. colleague reviews yesterday's transcript, he will see that he began his question by talking about Egypt. With regard to Egypt, I told him that we still had not received such a request. However, I continued by specifying once again that we are fully prepared to work with the Tunisian authorities on freezing the assets of those who are not welcome in Canada.

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday it was Vale, U.S. Steel, Potash and Alcan. Tomorrow it could be the TSX. Today, however, it is Xstrata and Xstrata is taking Canadian taxpayers and workers to the cleaners.

Nickel prices are up 50%, production is at a record in this country, and Xstrata's profit on nickel was half a billion dollars. What does it do? It turns the massive profit into a paper loss by selling off a property in Brazil so that it would not have to pay taxes here in Canada or contracted wages to the workers.

Why does the Prime Minister let Canadians down like this?

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, there are certain laws in place that companies can avail themselves of. I do not know the particular details that the hon. member is dealing with. All I can tell him is that since Xstrata has invested in this country, it has created jobs. It has invested in our country, has invested in mines and has invested in other businesses, which means jobs for Canadians.

Why is the hon. member opposed to that?

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, since the decisions about the Investment Canada Act are made in secret, it is impossible to know what the net benefits for Canada are. For example is it years of lockout, the transfer of the takeover cost to taxpayers or the refusal to pay the Xstrata workers in Sudbury the bonuses to which they are entitled? Is this not the case?

Will the Prime Minister finally change the Investment Canada Act to protect taxpayers and workers?

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister and I have both said, it is important to make changes to the Investment Canada Act. It is important to have greater transparency and more information for Canadians. We agree with the NDP.

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Xstrata made over $500 million last year on nickel but then avoided its responsibilities to pay taxes here in Canada by turning a massive Canadian profit and then selling off a property in Brazil. The result was that no income tax was paid here and there was no bonus for the Canadian workers.

Will the Prime Minister direct the Canada Revenue Agency to launch an investigation into this practice by Xstrata and bring that report back to the House?

Mining IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we will take the hon. leader's accusations seriously and see whether there is any merit in them.

I would mention to the House that the hon. member seems so concerned about Canadian jobs and yet whenever there was an opportunity in the House to vote for things that would help Canadian jobs, that would help employment, that would help investment and that would help the infrastructure of this country, that party voted against them.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Cooperation has lost all credibility. She tried to mislead the House by falsifying documents. It is shameful. The Criminal Code has sanctions for such acts.

Is it not true that the real reason the minister is still in cabinet is because she was doing exactly as the Prime Minister ordered?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it will come as no surprise to the member or to anyone in the House that I completely reject the premise of the hon. member's question.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is all well and good to reject it when you know it is true.

The minister tried to pin her shameful, unwarranted decision on the officials in her department. Blaming public servants seems to be a recurring theme with the Conservatives. That is what the Minister of Industry tried to do with Statistics Canada. That led to the chief statistician's resignation and completely altered the census process.

Is this not the Prime Minister's signature move?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister was clear. She said 10 times in committee and in the House yesterday that it was her decision not to give funding to this organization. It could not be any clearer.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the difficult part is that for a full year the minister's answer and the answer of her parliamentary secretary in the House was that the decision that was taken was taken by CIDA, as an organization, that it was taken according to its priorities and that it was its decision. For a full year she hid behind CIDA making that decision.

Suddenly, in December she said, “No, I made it myself”, but she did not admit in December who it was that put the knot in the “not”.

How does the minister justify this kind of subterfuge?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, that was certainly a lot of bluster.

The minister said some 10 times before the House of Commons foreign affairs and international development committee that she was the one who made the decision. She said that again yesterday.

I do not know how things operated when the member was in government in Ontario, but on this side of the House ministers make those types of decisions and ministers take responsibility, which is exactly what the minister has done.

The minister has done an outstanding job on international development in every corner of the world. She has done a fantastic job. Canada is awfully lucky to have her.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister takes so much responsibility for her decisions that she is apparently incapable today of standing in her place and telling us why the story that is being told on her behalf, not by her, is a completely different story than the one she was perpetrating around the House of Commons for a full year.

The minister did not have the courage to tell the committee when she met with us in December that in fact she was the one who authorized the “not”. Why did the minister not tell the truth to the committee in December when she appeared before it?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the horror of rightful indignation from the former leader of the NDP.

The minister is the one who made the decision and she has always been incredibly clear on that. The minister made the right decision and the correct decision to focus our foreign aid spending on helping the most vulnerable and not on Canadian NGOs.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs replied earlier to my colleague from Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher that the question he asked yesterday about freezing Ben Ali's assets was not clear. His question was “whether or not Canada has frozen the assets of members of the Ben Ali entourage”. The minister cannot claim that he did not understand, because he replied, “...as I have told my colleague many times: the request has to come from the Tunisian government”.

Since the minister knows that the request was sent, how does he explain his inaction in that regard?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague did not read the part before that, which was about Egypt. As I indicated, the country must first ask us to intervene. That applies to all countries. In that regard, as I have been repeating for a few weeks now, we are working closely with the Tunisian government to come up with options in order to freeze the assets of individuals who are not welcome in Canada.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will begin my preamble with Egypt. The day after Mubarak's fall from power, Switzerland immediately froze his entire family's assets. I will now move on to Tunisia and I hope the minister can keep up. Tunisia has been asking for such assets to be frozen for some time now. Can the minister answer my question regarding Tunisia? Can he pull his head out of the Egyptian sand and answer me about Ben Ali?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I will try to keep it simple for the Bloc Québécois leader. He just referred to the earlier discussion about Egypt, which he did not do a few minutes ago. As for pulling one's head out of the sand, perhaps he could pull his own head out of the sand.

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

On March 5, 2001, Transport Canada issued a press release announcing “four projects for priority action in support of Toronto's bid for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games”. The minister responsible for the Quebec City region stated yesterday in the House that “most of the investments made at that time were for the purpose of redeveloping the lakeshore”.

How can the minister deny that the federal government spent $500 million backing Toronto's Olympic bid? One of these versions is true—

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs has the floor.

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in the same press release, in the second paragraph, it states that the projects announced are for waterfront revitalization. Four projects were announced: the preparation of the Port Lands district, a second platform at Union Station, an extension to Front Street, and an environmental assessment. That is what was announced, not an Olympic bid.

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

February 15th, 2011 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, I am going to quote another report.

In an Environment Canada report released in 2007–08, it states that “Each of the three orders of government announced a funding commitment of $500 million...[for] Toronto's bid for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games”.

Why are the reasons used to justify the funding of the Toronto bid no longer valid when it comes to funding an arena in Quebec City?

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, what the previous federal government did was provide $500 million to support the revitalization of Toronto's waterfront.

Some of the fund was to treat toxic chemical-laden lands and some of it was to beautify the city. It had nothing to do with respect to Toronto and the Olympics.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, how costly will the Conservatives' bigger prison agenda be? How much will it cost Canadian taxpayers for a policy that failed everywhere to fight crime effectively?

The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates the cost at $5.1 billion annually for only one bill. This is an astounding cost. Imagine what the cost must be for the whole big jail agenda. The government now admits that it has a number but it does not want to release it. It must. Parliamentarians are entitled to see this number. Canadians have the right to see this number. After all, it is their money. The government should table it. Why will it not table it?