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House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, a security perimeter is desirable and has been proposed by the Bloc in the past. However, security, trade and fundamental freedoms must be balanced. Canada has postponed today's meeting twice because the Canadian authorities believed that Americans were asking for too much information, especially with respect to Canadian travellers.

Does the government realize that this issue is of such importance that it requires transparency and public debate before any decision is made?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, border security—the security of Americans and Canadians—requires both countries to adopt stable measures to ensure that we fight terrorism and protect our border on both sides.

This is the context for our discussions with the U.S. government. We wish to come up with tangible and positive solutions for both countries, solutions that will cause the least amount of disruption for Canadians and Americans and ensure the continuous flow of goods across our border, without requiring a visa to enter the United States.

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

The Minister of Public Safety said, "If we are going to enjoy the economic relationship we have now with the Americans, security is an issue that we must address.” That is exactly what we have been trying to make him understand for months, while this government has been planning to close a number of border crossings in the Eastern Townships and Montérégie or reduce services there.

Will the government abandon its plan to reduce border services and thereby ensure security and the free flow of goods and people at the border?

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Border Services Agency continually reviews all of the border crossings. It is important to Canadians that we have a good flow of travellers and goods back and forth across the border. However, the agency has to do it in a realistic fashion, so it continues to review the border crossings we have, and it continues to adjust that system.

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not only Quebeckers who are unhappy about the reduction in services at the border crossings. I have here a copy of a letter from Mr. Bill Owens, an American congressman who sits on the Committee on Homeland Security. He is asking President Obama to intervene to keep the border open and to ask the Canadian government to abandon its plan to reduce border services.

When will this government abandon its plan, which is negatively affecting the economic development of our regions?

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we continue to review the border crossings of this country. We know it is important that trade and commerce flow across the border and we also know that it is important that people cross the border. We also need to do it in a manner that is forthright and that Canadians understand.

CBSA continues to review those border crossings to make the most efficient use of its personnel and the resources it has available.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's conduct has undermined Canadians' confidence in his negotiations with the United States. He has not informed Canadians about what he is up to and he has not consulted the House. Our trade, our industry and our border communities are all at stake. The government cannot be trusted to negotiate deals behind closed doors.

When is the government going to consult Canadians? When is it going to bring that deal before the House?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me say very directly to my friend from Ottawa Centre, one thing that he and the New Democratic Party can count on is that the Prime Minister will always put the interests and the well-being of Canada first in his discussions.

Since we took office, we have focused on creating jobs, creating hope, creating opportunity. That involves more open and more secure trade. That means keeping our shared border open to trade and investments and closed to security and terrorist threats. This is tremendously important, whether it is for the forestry worker or for the auto worker. We are going to continue to work hard to ensure that we have more trade, more opportunity. We have to build on the great success that we enjoy with trade today.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, all we are asking for on this side is a little democracy.

The Conservatives say they will defend Canada's interests, but the only interests they seem willing to defend right now are the interests of big polluters and their profit margins.

Reports today in the media reveal that the Prime Minister's main objective in Washington is to lobby for the oil sands. He is risking our jobs, our resources, our border communities and our privacy.

Who is left to defend Canada when the Prime Minister refuses to?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I think the Prime Minister will build on the excellent relationship that this government has with the Obama administration. We will work hard to ensure markets for Canadian products, whether they be automobiles, whether they be forest products, whether they be our natural resources. It means more jobs. It means more opportunities. It means more hope.

We are pleased with the 460,000 net new jobs that have been created. Today's numbers show almost 70,000 net new jobs. That is good news, but it is not enough. We need more. That is why the Prime Minister is fighting for Canadian workers, is fighting for the Canadian economy. We will get even more results to build on the great successes this finance minister has delivered for Canada.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are selling out Canadians. The government is ushering in the United States' so-called secure flight program, taking our private personal information and giving it to Homeland Security just because Canadians are flying over the U.S. on their way to other countries.

Now, with talk of a new North American security perimeter, Canadians are worried what this might mean for them.

What other rights of Canadians is the Prime Minister trading today, as part of the perimeter security deal?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to aviation security, each country has sovereign rights to set the rules for its own country. The United States understands this is the case with Canada, and we have a lot of respect for the case there.

On this issue, we brought forward a piece of legislation for full, open and public debate, just as the NDP requested. I know members will be very satisfied. They will have additional time to debate that measure in the House of Commons.

However, one thing members can count on when the Prime Minister meets with President Obama is that he will put the interests of Canada and the interests of Canadian jobs as the first and foremost priorities. Members can count on that.

Child CareOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development made an unsavoury remark in the House. She said, “It is the Liberals who wanted to ensure that parents were forced to have other people raise their children”.

Her disdainful remark implies that the 70% of women who send their children to day care are unfit mothers. Do the Conservatives have the nerve to repeat that insult to Canadian families?

Child CareOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. There is one key thing among many that distinguishes our Conservative government from the Liberal opposition: we believe that Canadian parents should have a choice in their child care.

We believe they should have a choice as to whether they care for their children at home or whether they use daycare or whether someone close them, a family member or a neighbour, looks after their children.

Not only do we support the idea, but we also support it tangibly, by providing the universal child care benefit so that parents can choose how to raise their children. We believe they are the best ones to do that.

Child CareOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, she may believe that, but Canadians do not follow that logic. The cat is out of the bag. The minister has confirmed what we have always known. She said:

[I]t is the Liberals who wanted to ensure that parents were forced to have other people raise their children. We do not believe in that.

Is that what the Conservatives are telling the millions of Canadian mothers who are relying on child care outside the home, that they are bad mothers?

Child CareOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, let us listen to what some Liberals said recently. One Liberal said:

I am strongly opposed to any new national day care program with the cost running into the tens of billions of dollars. Given economic realities and competing demands on government resources, these are programs we cannot afford.

Do members know who said that? It was the Liberal MP for Markham—Unionville who said that.

I have one more here. We have the Liberal member for St. Paul's who said that staying at home to raise the kids did not constitute a real job. Shame on her.

PensionsOral Questions

February 4th, 2011 / 11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, after five years, the Conservatives have done nothing to offer real help for Canadian pensioners.

Their proposed plan will help some people, banks and insurance companies, giving them even higher profits, but it will leave 75% of Canadians who do not have a private pension plan without retirement security.

Why will the Prime Minister not drop his long-standing opposition to the CPP and help middle-class Canadian families?

PensionsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are proposing, along with our partners in the provinces that share jurisdiction on pensions across the country. We have been in deep discussions with them trying to develop a plan. We are suggesting that the pooled registered plan will help many Canadians who do not now have any form of a pension.

We are working with our partners to come up with something. It would be nice if the opposition would quit fearmongering and scaring seniors and I suggest that they help us to develop a plan that will actually help people.

PensionsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing but rhetoric coming from the Conservatives when it comes to pensioners, when in fact the Conservatives have not provided any help for them. On the contrary, they failed them on income trusts, they tried to cut the guaranteed income supplement and now the government is telling the 75% of the population who do not have a pension plan to get lost.

Why are the Conservatives abandoning Canadian families when it comes to old age security?

PensionsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have done a lot to help seniors, who built our great country. We have increased the age credit amount not once, but twice. We have also introduced pension splitting, which has helped a number of families reduce their taxes.

We are helping seniors in our country. They should support us from time to time.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, rather than taking advantage of the crisis in Egypt and his meeting with President Obama to promote the oil sands, the Prime Minister should be concentrating on developing clean, renewable energy sources. For example, the eco-energy program for renewable electrical power will soon expire and the government has not shown any willingness to provide more funding for it.

Will the government use the upcoming budget to announce new money specifically for the development of wind and solar energy?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we are so enthused about this that everyone wants to get up and answer the question.

We are very proud of the $10 billion that we have put toward clean energy over the past five years. We have created jobs, we have provided a cleaner environment, we have served consumers and we have saved consumers money.

Given that we are in an economic recovery, we are reviewing all our programs. The member opposite will have to wait for the budget, as does every other Canadian.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the government is preoccupied with yesterday's oil economy, the Bloc Québécois is proposing that we invest in the green economy of the future.

Why is the Conservative government refusing to provide more funding for research and development in solar and wind energy when this program benefits both the environment and the economy?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc knows full well that it benefits from oil sands, as well as everyone else in Canada.

It is the second largest oil reserve in the world. It is responsible for the creation of almost 150,000 jobs across Canada. All the provinces benefit from that.

As I mentioned, we put $10 billion into clean energy over the past few years. We will continue to protect the environment and we will continue to work toward new clean energy projects.

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Bloc Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has announced an investment of $275 million in compensation for financial aid for students. This is an important first step that the Bloc Québécois and civil society have been calling for for a long time. However, we are still waiting for over $800 million to bring federal post-secondary education transfers back to 1994 indexed levels.

When does the Conservative government plan on correcting the fiscal imbalance that still exists in education?