April 25, 2006

CPC

Jim Flaherty

Conservative

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, we are preparing the budget. I was pleased to have the opportunity to have some discussions with the member about some of the issues we are facing in making determinations and preparing the budget.

We intend to fulfill as many of our platform commitments as we can. The budget is to be presented on May 2 at which time I can deal with the issue raised by the hon. member.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Trusts
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BQ

Christian Ouellet

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Christian Ouellet (Brome—Missisquoi, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the act to authorize the Minister of Finance to make certain payments allocates money for social housing. Three hundred million dollars have gone to Ontario for social housing. The remaining $1.3 billion is in trust.

With the rest of the money, does the government plan to sign similar agreements with Quebec and the other provinces and transfer the appropriate money for social housing?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Trusts
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CPC

Jim Flaherty

Conservative

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we will be dealing with issues, such as the issue he has raised about affordable housing, in the budget to be presented next week.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Trusts
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LIB

Ruby Dhalla

Liberal

Ms. Ruby Dhalla (Brampton—Springdale, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, day in and day out the Conservatives refuse to listen to outraged parents. They refuse to listen to child care groups who signed petitions. They refuse to listen to cities that passed motions to not slash the Liberal child care plan, a plan that provided accessible and affordable day care for Canadian parents and families.

Will the Minister of Human Resources, who has already axed 4,000 child care spaces in Toronto, admit that the Conservative child care choice of $1.60 a day is really no choice at all?

Why are the voices of parents falling on deaf ears?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member across the floor seems to think that we are taking away spaces when in fact these spaces were never created by the previous government. We cannot take away what was never given by the previous government.

We are providing $1,200 a year to the parents of each child under the age of six, which is $1,200 more than the previous government provided for child care. We also will be creating 125,000 new spaces at work, at home and in the community. That is way more than we have heard even promised before.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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LIB

Ruby Dhalla

Liberal

Ms. Ruby Dhalla (Brampton—Springdale, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the minister should actually be embarrassed for parroting those canned lines from the PMO. The truth is that the Conservatives are taking away spaces and taking away money from Canadian families and Canadian parents.

The Conservative government has been busy cutting important social programs, despite inheriting one of the best surpluses from the previous Liberal government.

Given that the NDP has already betrayed Canadians by trading our national child care program for 10 more seats, Canadians are counting on the Liberal Party to ensure that we protect child care in this country.

Will the minister tell the House if the Conservative government will deliver and guarantee the $100 million--

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Social Development.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we are in the business of creating child care spaces and of creating choice in child care: day care for those who need it and babysitters at night for those who need it.

Whether people live in small communities like my own or in big cities, we will help parents. We will help working families get the choice in child care that meets their unique needs.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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LIB

Michael Savage

Liberal

Mr. Michael Savage (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, last week I was one of a number of Nova Scotia MPs who received almost 10,000 signatures from Nova Scotia parents who are dismayed and angry at the government's plan to abandon child care in Canada.

Instead of honouring the Liberal child care agreements, a small taxable allowance will be given to parents and a tax scheme that has never worked before will now be used to create imaginary spaces and not real spaces.

Will the minister admit that this scheme will do nothing to create new child care spaces for Canadian children and families?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our program to create new child care spaces will be developed with business, large business and small business, and with community groups so that kids can get child care in their home community or at work so that if it is in their small community the kids will not have to commute.

This is a true vision for child care, one that we have never heard before and certainly in 13 years of promises never saw from the previous government.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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LIB

Michael Savage

Liberal

Mr. Michael Savage (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, that is not a vision, that is a fiction. Choice in child care exists only when child care spaces exist. A choice was made in Canada to provide real child care and better training and wages for child care workers. Over 60% of Canadians voted for parties on January 23 that supported real child care.

When will the government get serious about helping Canadian children and families?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we are serious about creating these spaces and about child care overall. We will be investing $1.25 billion in the creation of these child care spaces. We will be putting forth legislation for parents to receive $1,200 a year to help with their choice in child care.

If the Liberal Party is serious about helping parents with child care, then I suggest it support our choice in child care allowance.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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CPC

Ron Cannan

Conservative

Mr. Ron Cannan (Kelowna—Lake Country, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, last year an agreement in principle was reached in the residential schools resolution. Government agencies and those affected have been working toward a final settlement.

Would the Minister of Indian Affairs please update this House on the status of the residential schools resolution?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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CPC

Jim Prentice

Conservative

Hon. Jim Prentice (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to inform the House that the government's representative, the Hon. Justice Frank Iacobucci, together with the Assembly of First Nations, legal representatives of the former students of the Indian residential schools and representatives of three of the churches running the schools have today reached a substantive agreement on a final residential schools settlement agreement.

I have also been informed that the lead representatives for the Catholic church groups involved have given their assurance that all these organizations will be confirming their support for the settlement agreement. The government will immediately consider the settlement agreement and the interim payments and the timing of those payments, and I will keep the House informed.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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NDP

Peter Julian

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, six months ago the House adopted the NDP motion for compensation benefits for the families of public safety officers, such as Canada's firefighters, over the strident opposition of the Liberal government. The House voted to support the families of those who give their lives to protect others. Not only have they not moved to implement the motion but, incredibly, the Conservatives even refused to send a speaker this week to the gathering of Canada's firefighters held just a few minutes away.

Will the Prime Minister betray firefighters or will he honour the vote of this House and establish compensation for their families?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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CPC

Stockwell Day

Conservative

Hon. Stockwell Day (Minister of Public Safety, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the fact that firefighters from across the country are meeting here today. What they are doing is meeting with members of Parliament, not just in our party but also in others.

We appreciate the good work they do. We appreciate the fact that these people put themselves literally in harm's way in times of emergency to protect Canadians. We will be meeting with them to hear their needs in order to see what we can do to best meet their needs.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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NDP

Peter Julian

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, words are cheap. The Liberals used to give the same answer.

I have another issue that may be another possible betrayal. Media reports are surfacing of a move to betray Canada's interests on softwood lumber.

Canada won on NAFTA but the Bush administration refuses to honour that. Anything short of full respect of NAFTA is a betrayal.

Will the Prime Minister confirm that he will not accept American control over our forest practices, not accept one penny less than the $5.3 billion illegally taken and not betray the working families that have been devastated?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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CPC

David Emerson

Conservative

Hon. David Emerson (Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have said before and I will say again that this government is committed to the softwood lumber industry. If there is a possible settlement of the softwood lumber dispute that is in the interests of the industry and all the workers and this country and respects NAFTA, we will be there.

We will be there, and if that member is saying he wants to stand up and be opposed to a settlement that the industry agrees to, then let him do so.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

Hon. John McCallum (Markham—Unionville, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, when he was in opposition, the Prime Minister said that Bill C-48 was so irresponsible, so absurd, that he wanted to bring down the government. He did not want anything for first nations, for public transit, for universities. Now things have changed. It appears he wants to use that bill.

Is there no end to the Prime Minister's daily flip-flops?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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CPC

Jim Flaherty

Conservative

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, the budget is to be delivered next week. We will be dealing with surplus issues and we will be dealing with some of issues relating to some of the items he mentioned in his question. I am sure the member will look forward to May 2, when we will be able to provide the information that he is seeking concerning many of those issues.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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April 25, 2006