November 27, 2006

LIB

Bill Graham

Liberal

Hon. Bill Graham (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, you will appreciate I was not naming a member; I was referring to a state of mind over there.

Canadians cannot trust this government when it comes to the environment and climate change. Now it has no credibility on the debt issue and every time it talks about taxes and priorities, it is trying to manipulate Canadians.

Why will the Prime Minister not admit that he could not care less about the environment or about the very foundations of our economy? Or is this just one more thing we have to accept in this government's cruel new world?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Policies
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, quite simply, this government has reduced taxes for all taxpayers in this country. This government has invested in major social programs and is paying off the country's debt. The only reason the Leader of the Opposition is asking these ridiculous questions is that he has nothing better to criticize.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Policies
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LIB

Lucienne Robillard

Liberal

Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Westmount—Ville-Marie, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, criticism of the Conservative government is mounting. Today, the executive director of the United Nations environment program stated that the international community was disappointed by Canada in Nairobi, that the international community regrets that Canada has reneged on its commitments. Because of the Conservatives, our country is unfortunately lumped with the United States and Australia in terms of environmental policy.

Will the Prime Minister finally listen to the voices speaking out against his environmental approach so lacking in credibility?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Mark Warawa

Conservative

Mr. Mark Warawa (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, actually the environment minister had very good meetings with her international counterparts and they were establishing a workshop that will be held within weeks. The EU, U.K. and United States will all be participating in discussions on carbon trading.

This government takes climate change seriously. The party that has zero credibility on environmental issues is the Liberal Party. For 13 years the Liberals did absolutely nothing and were a total embarrassment in Kenya.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Lucienne Robillard

Liberal

Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Westmount—Ville-Marie, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the UNEP executive director also stated that Canada's lack of a clear program with regard to the Kyoto protocol hampers the most disadvantaged countries by cutting $5 million allocated to fight global warming. It also eliminates business opportunities for Canadian companies that could have benefited from this mechanism. Too bad for the made in Canada plan.

Why is the minister, with her smoke-and-mirrors plan, not doing anything to help developing countries, Canadian entrepreneurs and the health of our planet?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Mark Warawa

Conservative

Mr. Mark Warawa (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is hopelessly wrong.

The environment minister stayed in Kenya for an extra couple of days and a MOU on conservation was signed with the Kenya government.

This government has a great reputation on the international stage. It is the Liberal Party that shamed Canada on the environmental issues because for 13 years it did absolutely nothing. We now have a report that it wants to increase the emissions by 47%.

This government is taking action on environmental issues.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, last week the Prime Minister tabled a motion in the House of Commons recognizing that Quebeckers form a nation. He also stated that he wished to limit federal government spending power in areas of jurisdiction belonging to Quebec and the provinces.

Accordingly, will the Prime Minister give Quebec its fair share of the $260 million that he announced for his Canadian strategy for cancer control, a program in the field of health care, which is a Quebec jurisdiction?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Programs
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as far as the Canadian strategy for cancer control is concerned, this government obviously intends to collaborate fully with the provinces.

That is the first question from the leader of the Bloc Québécois following his about-turn on the resolution. This is important, because after 40 years of the sovereignist movement, 16 years of the Bloc Québécois in the House of Commons and two referendums, the people of Quebec have forced him to recognize that the Canadian identity is part of the Quebec identity.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Programs
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BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, that will be part of the debate. The Prime Minister will go down in history as the Prime Minister of the first country to have recognized that Quebeckers form a nation. There will be others in the future.

That being said, the Prime Minister has recognized the Quebec nation and he has promised to respect Quebec’s areas of jurisdiction, but he is incapable of taking concrete, consistent action.

Is the Prime Minister going to take action so that the federal government withdraws from Quebec’s areas of jurisdictions and compensates Quebec financially, as Quebec has asked, for example, for the cancer control program, and to do so unconditionally?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Programs
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we will have got this motion adopted in the House of Commons. I hope that this evening the House will adopt this government motion, because Quebeckers want recognition, respect and reconciliation. This is all that this government delivered and this is what Quebeckers want; they do not want another referendum.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Programs
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BQ

Paule Brunelle

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Paule Brunelle (Trois-Rivières, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister recognizes the nation of Quebec and, in the same breath, says that he does not want to interfere in Quebec's jurisdictions. But the federal government's intentions with respect to securities are clear: it wants to take over that sector.

Given that Quebec's Liberal finance minister does not want to transfer his responsibilities for the securities sector to the federal government, will the Prime Minister promise to respect Quebec's wishes?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Securities Industry
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CPC

Jim Flaherty

Conservative

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as part of our discussions with respect to fiscal balance and the state of the economic union in Canada, the finance ministers have discussed issues relating to mobility between the provinces in Canada of goods, services and people. We have also discussed the reality that we have 13 securities regulators in the country which impedes the movement of capital. There is a plan among the provinces relating to the passport system that has some merit and with respect to which there has been some activity. I look forward to having further discussions concerning the efficacy of a common securities regulator with the finance ministers in December.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Securities Industry
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BQ

Paule Brunelle

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Paule Brunelle (Trois-Rivières, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the government is trying to cloud the issue.

How can it boast about wanting to respect Quebec's jurisdictions at all costs and, at the same time, authorize the Minister of Finance to set up a common securities regulator, when securities regulation has always been Quebec's responsibility?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Securities Industry
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CPC

Jim Flaherty

Conservative

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I want the hon. member to understand clearly that what has been discussed and what has been put forward in some of the reports, including the report by Purdy Crawford which had representations from across the country, is not a federal securities regulator. It is a common securities regulator for our country, with representatives, equal representation from the provincial governments and from the Government of Canada.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Securities Industry
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the homelessness crisis is growing right across the country. In the Prime Minister's own hometown of Calgary the officials are telling us that the number of people sleeping in the streets is up by 238%. There have been three homeless deaths in that community. The crisis is spreading everywhere, even as far as places like Fort McMurray.

Every Canadian has the right to affordable shelter, but the Prime Minister, like the previous one, does not seem to care.

Why does he come up with billions of dollars for tax cuts for profitable corporations, but nothing for the homeless who need a roof over their heads?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Homelessness
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we recognize that the homelessness situation in our country is a terrible one. That is why one of our earliest moves was to extend the national homelessness initiative. To that, we added $37 million that had gone unspent by the previous government.

This is a very unfortunate situation as cities grow. We want to work with those communities and the provinces to try to not only alleviate homelessness, but to eliminate it entirely by helping those people achieve what they need to achieve to keep them safe and sound and off the street.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Homelessness
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, after 13 years of what we saw from the Liberals, the people helping the homeless are stretching absolutely every penny to try to prevent the tidal waves of deaths that happen when we have these cold snaps.

Contrary to what the minister has just said, where she claims that she has somehow extended the funding for programs for the homeless, the fact is there has been no extension. Those programs are closing right now in communities all over the country, right as the coldest weather is hitting. The latest one we heard about is in London, for heaven's sake.

Why will the Prime Minister not stand in his place now and say that there will be funding for the homeless and affordable housing in our country?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Homelessness
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has his facts wrong. All of our national homelessness initiative programs have been continued through March 2007. Those organizations have received their funding, just as they have for the last several years. In fact, there is $37 million more available to them this year.

We are working hard to ensure that this money makes a difference on the streets where it is really needed.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Homelessness
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, last week in a piece of Enron accounting, the finance minister figured that instead of shooting for a real goal, he would simply move the goalposts. He decided to offset the government's debt with all the money in the Canada pension plan. This is the second time in a few short months that the minister has tried to monkey around with the CPP.

Does he still not understand that it is the people of Canada, not the government, who are the owners of the Canada pension plan?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Economy
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CPC

Jim Flaherty

Conservative

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I believe what the member is referring to is the idea of net debt, that is assets and liabilities being even. That is where we want to go. We want to accomplish the elimination of the net debt in Canada by 2021. That will mean we have to reduce taxes each year. We will do that with the savings we get by reducing debt each year.

That is a tax back guarantee for Canadians, as has been done in Sweden, as has been done in Australia, as has been done in New Zealand, accomplishing the elimination of net debt.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Economy
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November 27, 2006