February 8, 2008

LIB

Paul Zed

Liberal

Mr. Paul Zed (Saint John, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the government's $33 billion plan really should be named the failing Canada plan.

Members should check out this deception: over $18 billion from previous Liberal programs, over $6 billion that cities cannot even apply for.

Cities feel like our children after two years of Conservative child care, or our aboriginals after the betrayal on Kelowna, or New Brunswickers after the deception on equalization, all abandoned by the Conservative government. When will the government provide real funding for our cities?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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CPC

Lawrence Cannon

Conservative

Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am always astonished by the Liberal Party. The Liberals refused to recognize that there was a fiscal imbalance in this country, and here they are, talking about what is not happening or what is not going right.

We are providing $33 billion and $1 billion committed to urban transit. We are getting the issues settled, issues that the Liberals were not able to settle. Even in that member's riding we are settling the problems in the harbour.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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LIB

Scott Simms

Liberal

Mr. Scott Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on January 31 a boat sank off Newfoundland, taking the lives of Larry Parsons and Christopher Wade Oram. Our sympathies go out to their loved ones.

Since 2004, eight lives have been lost off the northeast coast of Newfoundland in three separate disasters. Questions have been raised about response times. For example, there are 41 lifeboats across this country in the Coast Guard. How many are located on the east coast of Labrador or northeast Newfoundland? None.

Canadians deserve better, and better means more boats and more resources. Will the government make sure that these resources will be in the next budget?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Coast Guard
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CPC

Loyola Hearn

Conservative

Hon. Loyola Hearn (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we sympathize with the families of those who have lost their lives as many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have done over the years.

Let me correct the hon. gentleman. He said there are no boats stationed around the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. First of all, we have 15 major Coast Guard boats stationed, but we have 450 Coast Guard auxiliary boats captained and manned by the most experienced seagoing people in the world, Newfoundland and Labrador fishermen.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Coast Guard
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LIB

Todd Russell

Liberal

Mr. Todd Russell (Labrador, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, in the wake of the Check-Mate III sinking, people are wondering if this tragedy could have been avoided.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans took the axe to the Coast Guard presence in Labrador that would have increased marine security. This, despite the lip service he paid to such issues while in opposition.

Referring to the Melina & Keith II disaster in 2005, the now minister said, “...the time it took to respond cost lives. It should never ever happen again”, and yet, sadly, it has. Why?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Coast Guard
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CPC

Loyola Hearn

Conservative

Hon. Loyola Hearn (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, again let me set the hon. member straight for the record.

Since we came to government, we have added $750 million in two years to put 12 new Coast Guard boats in service. When the Liberals were in power, the Coast Guard boats that were tied up in St. John's did not have fuel. They did not have enough money to go to sea. Those members should not talk to me about search and rescue. They should look at their record.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Coast Guard
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BQ

Robert Bouchard

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Robert Bouchard (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Revenue Agency has closed 27 payroll service centres across Canada. On October 12, 28 jobs in Shawinigan were cut , supposedly to save money and improve services.

How can the minister responsible for the agency claim to have improved services by closing these centres, firing workers and centralizing activity in Ottawa and Winnipeg? How?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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CPC

Gordon O'Connor

Conservative

Hon. Gordon O'Connor (Minister of National Revenue, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, CRA continues to improve efficiency in the service. Through a very thorough study, it found that centralizing this service in two locations would deliver better service. I should also note that CRA continues to expand numbers. Employment overall in CRA continues to increase.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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BQ

Robert Bouchard

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Robert Bouchard (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the organization works very well. A number of casual employees working for the Canada Revenue Agency, including those in Jonquière and Shawinigan, have trouble getting paid. They sometimes wait up to 12 weeks before receiving their cheques. When they lose their jobs, they wait up to six weeks for their records of employment.

Can the minister guarantee that these casual employees working for the agency will receive their pay and their records of employment without delay?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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CPC

Gordon O'Connor

Conservative

Hon. Gordon O'Connor (Minister of National Revenue, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, some new employees did not receive their salary cheques on time. CRA has taken vigorous action to correct this. If the member opposite is aware of any specific individuals who have not received their cheques, I would appreciate his advising me and we will take action.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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LIB

Pablo Rodriguez

Liberal

Mr. Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec has consistently shown his ineffectiveness and powerlessness. In the Magog area, more than 3,000 jobs have been lost in the past five years. In the Centre-du-Québec region, the mayors of Sainte-Eulalie and Saint-Léonard-d'Aston are still waiting for concrete action.

Will the minister ever understand that empty rhetoric, with no new funding, means nothing? Why is he never there when Quebec needs him?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Regional Economic Development
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CPC

Jacques Gourde

Conservative

Mr. Jacques Gourde (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to hear this first question from my colleague from Montreal concerning the economic development of the regions.

My minister has taken the trouble to call the mayor of Sainte-Eulalie on two occasions. Two telephone calls from a minister are worth more than one acknowledgement of receipt from a charming receptionist.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Regional Economic Development
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CPC

Bev Shipley

Conservative

Mr. Bev Shipley (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this government will not waver in its support for our brave men and women in Afghanistan. The Bloc and the NDP want the government to withdraw the troops. They seem to have no idea what this would mean.

As part of the Afghan compact, Canada is committed to helping with the development until 2011. The Manley report clearly states, “fostering development and improving governance cannot proceed without security”.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence tell the House what the disastrous consequences of a complete withdrawal would mean to the development in Afghanistan?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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CPC

Laurie Hawn

Conservative

Mr. Laurie Hawn (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as one of the eminent Canadians of the Manley panel put it:

--our men and women are there willingly, and enthusiastically, and they take pride not only in their military operations, but also in the faces of the young girls—once shrouded—who now proudly sit in school and write their names with pencils provided by our aid dollars.

If the Liberals, Bloc and NDP succeed in their efforts and withdraw from Afghanistan, they will have changed the face of Afghanistan development forever.

It is the faces of the young children learning for the first time. I looked into some of those young faces last Christmas in Afghanistan and we simply cannot do that.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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NDP

Peter Julian

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, sellouts and broken promises, that is the Conservative's hallmark on trade. The government is selling out Canada's health and safety, our energy, sovereignty plus everything else in the SPP and it refuses to bring any of the discussions here to Parliament.

It is the same thing with the EFTA sellout where Liechtenstein outmanoeuvred, outnegotiated and outclassed this inept and incompetent government. Goodbye shipbuilding industry.

When will the government do what it said it would do, stop the secrecy, bring the SPP here for full scrutiny and the EFTA agreement to Parliament for a vote?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Trade
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CPC

Colin Carrie

Conservative

Mr. Colin Carrie (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, since late 2005, officials have held roughly 12 consultation meetings with various shipbuilding industry representatives.

This FTA addresses domestic shipbuilding concerns in a number of very important ways. In response to concerns expressed by the shipbuilding industry, the draft agreement includes a 15-year tariff phase-out on the most sensitive shipbuilding products.

The phase-out period includes a bridge period of three years, during which time tariffs will be maintained at their current levels under the FTA. These provisions provide Canadian shipbuilders with considerable time to adjust to duty-free environment. It is the longest phase-out period for Canadian tariffs in any of our free trade agreements.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Trade
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NDP

Peter Julian

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, it kills the shipbuilding industry and that is no surprise.

The process that the Conservatives have adopted is littered with bruised, broken, battered and bleeding industries. They have been sold out by this government, including our softwood communities, our shipbuilding industry, our auto industry, and our manufacturing sector. Now it wants to sell out Canadian values on human rights by pushing a Canada-Colombia trade agreement, with Liberal support.

The U.S. Congress is saying no to this deal because it will worsen the human rights situation there. When the human rights community is saying no, why is the government trying to sell out Canadian values on--

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Trade
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Trade
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CPC

Colin Carrie

Conservative

Mr. Colin Carrie (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the pursuit of trade liberalization, and the promotion and protection of human rights are complementary and mutually reinforcing objectives. Economic development can strengthen the social foundations of countries and contribute to a domestic environment where individual rights and the rule of law are respected.

Our FTAs are complemented by provisions on labour and environment cooperation, which commit all parties to respect key labour and environmental management principles.

The Minister of Labour recently announced a $1 million contribution to fund labour related technical assistance in Colombia.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Trade
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LIB

Maria Minna

Liberal

Hon. Maria Minna (Beaches—East York, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the chairperson of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women.

Does the chairperson plan an early meeting of the committee to consider how the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages misled the committee this week during her appearance regarding equality?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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February 8, 2008