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House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Public Service of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, in an article published today in Le Droit, we also learn that temporary workers are paid half the value of the job. The Conservative government is increasingly ridding the public service of its best and brightest and undermining the economic driver of our region.

Is that what this government envisions for the future of the national capital region: precarious work, privatization and cheap labour?

Public Service of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, the main estimates and the budget outline the government's annual priorities with regard to budgetary planning and resource allocation for the fiscal year. The main estimates include details on planned budgetary expenditures of more than $2,000 billion for the fiscal year.

We are doing things in a prudent way and spending on things that Canadians care about. That was our mandate and we are going through with it.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

June 6th, 2011 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canada has just won another environmental booby prize. Canada was the last country to report its greenhouse gas emissions data to the UN. Canada's delay in complying with its Kyoto protocol obligations is another Conservative failure in terms of the environment. Even Japan, despite the terrible tsunami, met the deadline.

Why did the government not report its data on time?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let me first congratulate my colleague on her appointment to the environment file.

In rising for the first time in this House, I would like to thank the voters of Thornhill for returning me to this place.

The Government of Canada has always fully and fastidiously complied with the reporting requirements of the Kyoto treaty. There was a 15-day grace period allowed at the end of the deadline, which occurred during the election, and we have filed those details.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it turns out that not only were we late reporting our data this year, but the government also decided to quietly remove data on tar sands emissions. It is no wonder, because the data showed a 20% increase in tar sands emissions in 2009 alone. That is more than every single car in Canada.

Will the minister tell us who made the decision to try and hide this information on oil sands production?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would first offer a correction to my hon. colleague. We refer to the wealth of abundance in northern Alberta as “oil sands”.

With regard to the question, in our reporting of the 2008 emissions the department attempted to offer sectoral numbers. It did not work and they were not included.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, climate change was not mentioned even once in the throne speech. Now the Conference Board gives Canada a failing grade for climate policies. These plans are so disorganized and inefficient that Canada will not meet its 2020 target.

After five years of ignoring climate change, will the Conservatives commit to a national plan that addresses the very real challenges?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I again congratulate my hon. colleague on her appointment to the environment file.

We do have a plan and that plan is working. We have committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sector by sector and that plan is working.

With regard to the Speech from the Throne, I think my colleague was somewhat literal in her expectations. We reiterated our commitment to reduce climate change emissions across the board.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, Environment Canada released its 2011 climate change plan to the United Nations. The plan shows that actions taken by the Conservative government are projected to reduce emissions by only one-quarter of what is needed to meet the 2020 target.

Does the government have a plan to address the other three-quarters beyond deliberately fudging a progress report to the UN?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

The short answer to that question, Mr. Speaker, is yes. We have a plan and I would advise my colleague to familiarize herself with it. She and all Canadians can visit the Environment Canada website to see how we began last year with the major emitting sector, transportation. We are about to address new regulations for coal-fired electricity generation. We will continue to work our way around the emitting sectors to meet our 2020 target.

Social HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's gradual withdrawal from social housing and the fight against homelessness is at risk of causing a dramatic increase in rental costs for hundreds of thousands of low-income renters. Many others will be left out on the streets.

Stakeholders at all levels are demanding that the federal government also do its part, be it through the homelessness partnering strategy or HPS or other housing programs. Will the government remedy this situation?

Social HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome the new member and wish her luck.

I also take this opportunity to thank the good folks of Haldimand—Norfolk for once again placing their trust in me. I pledge to honour that trust to the best of my ability.

During our economic action plan, we made tremendous investments in social and affordable housing. Some 26,000 projects are under way right across the country. Unfortunately, the hon. member's party did not support those initiatives that are helping so many people who are vulnerable.

Social HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, they are fine words, but they are just not good enough.

Instead of working to fix the problem, Conservatives actually cut housing programs. Last year, thousands of Ontario families could not afford decent roofs over their heads, and almost 70,000 of those families live in Toronto. Make no mistake that this is a national crisis and seniors bear the biggest burden.

When will the government open its eyes and address this issue? We need a national housing strategy.

Social HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we believe that having roofs over their heads is one of the hallmarks to help people get out of poverty, get into the workforce and lead self-sustaining lives. It is good for them and it is good for the country. That is why we have invested record amounts of money in affordable and social housing. Through our economic action plan, we supported the renovation and construction of some 26,000 units right across the country. Had it been up to the NDP, 26,000 families would not have received our help this way.

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to protecting and strengthening the long-term financial security of hard-working Canadians. Free trade creates jobs and economic opportunities and that is why we have made it a priority to open new markets for Canadian businesses.

Could the Minister of International Trade please tell us why we are pursuing these agreements?

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague on being re-elected for a third time by the good residents of Kelowna—Lake Country. He knows, as does our government, how important international trade is to growing our economy, creating jobs and ensuring our long-term prosperity.

Closing the doors to the world is not an option for us. Canadians know this is a kitchen table issue and how important free trade is to our country.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, Fabien Melanson, a 15-year Canadian veteran who served twice overseas, has started a hunger strike in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs in my riding of Charlottetown. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr. Melanson has tried to have government take ownership of the trouble created when a clerical error caused a lapse in his benefits.

My question is for the Minister of Veterans Affairs. What will the government do to ensure that this veteran gets the compassionate treatment he so rightly deserves?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member on his recent appointment.

As the member is aware, under the Privacy Act, I cannot discuss the specific details of this individual case. However, I was given a mandate by the people of Lévis—Bellechasse and today, as the Minister of Veterans Affairs, I commit myself to bettering the lives of our veterans, and I count on the support of all members in the House, starting today.

What took place many years ago was unfortunate and was an unacceptable mistake. Corrective measures were taken. I have instructed my officials to follow up on this veteran's case—

LabourOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday, the justice department sent a threatening letter to USW Local 1005, ordering the steelworkers to cease their information pickets on the Burlington lift bridge. However, these workers are simply doing what the federal government is refusing to do. They are trying to stop U.S. Steel from taking profits from its Hamilton operations until the federal government's court case against the company is resolved.

Instead of getting tough on Canadian workers, when will the government get tough on foreign companies that break Canadian laws, undermine Canadian jobs and attack Canadian pensions?

LabourOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member opposite on her recent election in the same area that I come from, and I thank the residents of Halton for returning me to the House.

As the member opposite knows, this matter is one of provincial regulation. However, we are monitoring the situation, as we would, and I speak to the Minister of Labour in Ontario on the matter almost on a monthly basis to ensure that we can keep track of what is going on there.

Small BusinessOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Governor General highlighted our government was here for all Canadians.

My question is for the new Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism. What steps does this government plan to take to reduce red tape so Canadian small business can focus their attention on growing their businesses and creating jobs.

Small BusinessOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, economic growth and jobs will remain priorities for this government because they are the priorities of Canadians. We have designated 2011 as the Year of the Entrepreneur in order to help Canadians understand the role of entrepreneurs, who create our country's wealth. We need to reduce the red tape imposed on them, and we need to do so as quickly as possible. And that is what we will be doing with the Red Tape Reduction Commission.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, Diamond Aircraft had a solid order for 240 jets worth $400 million, private sector funding and a loan guarantee from the Ontario government. All that was needed to secure hundreds of jobs and a place for Canada in the modern aerospace industry was a commitment from the federal government. That commitment was denied. It was a major blow to job creation and to the London families that depended on those jobs.

Could the minister explain to the people of London why Diamond Aircraft was refused funding?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I, too, would like to congratulate the member for her re-election and thank the people of Cambridge and North Dumfries for re-electing me to this great House.

The Government of Canada has already invested some $20 million into this company, through the strategic aerospace and defence initiative. However, as stewards of taxpayer dollars, it would not be judicious to increase that amount by another $35 million.

After a thorough review of Diamond's request, the company was advised by this government that we could not support the request. The company has other alternatives that it is exploring. We wish it well.

Flooding in MontérégieOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-François Fortin Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister finally visited the Montérégie region today, more than one month after the flooding started. The Prime Minister reluctantly made a flyover visit, and, what is more, he is not responding to the immediate demands of officials and the people affected. As the mayor of Saint-Paul-de-l'Île-aux Noix said, “I do not think that [the Prime Minister] understands what we have been going through all along.”

The 3,000 victims of the flooding in the Montérégie region are no less deserving than the victims in Manitoba and Alberta. Yet the Prime Minister still refuses to change the army's mandate. The flood victims simply want the army to help with the cleanup. Will the Prime Minister listen to reason?