June 3, 2008

CPC

Jean-Pierre Blackburn

Conservative

Hon. Jean-Pierre Blackburn (Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I wonder whether the hon. member for Honoré-Mercier ever gets out of Montreal from time to time.

In the past three weeks, we have announced help to support the manufacturing industry and small and medium-sized businesses. In our 2008-2011 strategic plan, we have allocated $86 million in order to boost productivity for the next three years, $32 million in order to support innovation and $27 million to support export assistance for small and medium-size businesses.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Regional Economic Development
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LIB

Pablo Rodriguez

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I wonder whether the minister ever gets out of his bubble from time to time. To listen to him, one would think he either does not understand what is going on or he is copying the Minister of Finance who is burying his head in the sand and refusing to see reality.

In Quebec, the consumer confidence index has plummeted by almost seven points. That means that consumers are worried about the future, putting off purchases until later and spending less. Less spending means fewer sales, less production and fewer jobs.

Has the minister even thought for two seconds about a plan to stimulate the economy and save jobs?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Regional Economic Development
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CPC

Jean-Pierre Blackburn

Conservative

Hon. Jean-Pierre Blackburn (Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, again I remind the hon. member for Honoré-Mercier that the budget envelope for Economic Development Canada is around $200 million a year.

Since we came to power in 2006, we have allocated $157 million to support various business projects and that has resulted in 18,000 jobs maintained—or jobs created—since our new tools have been in place.

We listen to the advisory committees that make recommendations, and our 2008-2011 strategic plan is based on these new tools being created to support our small and medium-sized businesses.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Regional Economic Development
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BQ

Réal Ménard

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Réal Ménard (Hochelaga, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister responsible for official languages refuses to say whether or not she supports the appointment of a bilingual judge to the Supreme Court. The minister stated that she prefers to see the process run its course. In fact, she has demonstrated her lack of regard for francophones. The Commissioner of Official Languages, the Quebec National Assembly and the opposition parties are demanding that a bilingual candidate be appointed.

Will the government make bilingualism an essential requirement when appointing the next Supreme Court justice?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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CPC

Rob Nicholson

Conservative

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we have put in place a process that Canadians will appreciate.

Over the course of the next couple of months, I will be consulting widely with individuals and getting recommendations with respect to the appointment of a Supreme Court justice from Atlantic Canada.

We will present a list to a group of parliamentarians and we will have their input and ultimately there will be a governor in council appointment. I think that is an excellent way to handle this.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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BQ

Michel Guimond

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the Quebec City region, who is also the Minister of Canadian Heritage, has decided that the site of the Quebec City armoury needs nothing more than a cleaning. Yet a few weeks ago, it was her priority among the preparations for the city's 400th anniversary festivities. In addition, she admits that she is not too sure what is going to happen to the site.

Given the minister's lack of leadership and her incompetence in dealing with this issue, can the Prime Minister tell us clearly what he intends to do with the site of the Quebec City armoury in anticipation of the 400th anniversary celebrations in Quebec City?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Quebec City Armoury
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CPC

Josée Verner

Conservative

Hon. Josée Verner (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages and Minister for La Francophonie, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, once again, I will repeat what I have already said many times. Experts are assessing the structure of the armoury. Whether the Bloc Québécois member likes it or not, we will not glean any real information about the stability of the armoury's facade from the leader of the Bloc or his visits to the armoury.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Quebec City Armoury
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LIB

Raymond Simard

Liberal

Hon. Raymond Simard (Saint Boniface, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we know that contrary to all ethical obligations, the government intends to appoint the former justice minister to the bench.

Can the government, which ran on accountability and transparency, tell us where his application is? Is it in front of the judicial appointments advisory committee for Manitoba, which he personally appointed? Is it with cabinet, of which he is a member? Or is it now with the regional minister for Manitoba, the future judge himself?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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CPC

Rob Nicholson

Conservative

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we have always been guided by the principles of merit in legal experts, those characterized in the 165 appointments this government has made. Wherever I go in this country, I always get excellent feedback on the individuals we have appointed to the superior court bench and we fully intend that all the rest of them we make will live up to those standards.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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CPC

Daniel Petit

Conservative

Mr. Daniel Petit (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, while our government practises open federalism, the Bloc Québécois is experiencing an unprecedented existential crisis, and can do nothing but create imaginary scandals to try to smear this government in order to justify its own presence in Ottawa.

But our government is taking action and doing tangible things for Quebeckers. For example, last week, the Minister of National Defence was in the riding of Saint-Jean for the official reopening of the Royal Military College Saint-Jean, which was shut down by the Liberals.

Could the minister tell the House how important this reopening is to the Canadian Forces?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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CPC

Peter MacKay

Conservative

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question.

I attended the official reopening of the Royal Military College Saint-Jean and the graduation ceremonies. The college is an important institution for students in the region and in Quebec.

We know that the Liberals closed this institution in 1995, and we also know that the Bloc did not have the ability to change what the Liberals had done. This government is once again showing that it will take action to meet the needs of Canada, Quebec and the Canadian Forces.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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NDP

Wayne Marston

New Democratic Party

Mr. Wayne Marston (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Omar Khadr has been held since he was 15 years old.

The U.S. government has rigged the process. When it loses a legal battle, it just changes the rules. Now the judge has been replaced mid-trial. Countless breaches of civil, military and international law have occurred.

The Liberals left Mr. Khadr with the Americans for three years and the Conservatives have left him there for another two years, all without a proper trial.

When will Omar Khadr be allowed to come home?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Omar Khadr
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CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has sought assurances that Mr. Khadr is being treated humanely. Department officials have carried out several welfare visits to Mr. Khadr and will continue to do so.

Mr. Khadr faces very serious charges in relation to his being captured in Afghanistan.

Many questions regarding whether Canada plans to ask for the release of Omar Khadr are premature and speculative. The legal process and appeals are still going on.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Omar Khadr
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NDP

Wayne Marston

New Democratic Party

Mr. Wayne Marston (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely amazing that the parliamentary secretary would stand today in the House and reread that tripe.

The Supreme Court of Canada has said Omar Khadr's rights have been violated. Canadian officials are saying Omar Khadr is not a threat and instead is a victim of his upbringing. After six years of failing Omar Khadr, it is time for the government to do the right thing and help Omar Khadr salvage the rest of his life.

My question is for the Prime Minister. When will he act on this file and petition the U.S. to bring Omar Khadr home?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Omar Khadr
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CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat what I have said on many occasions. The Government of Canada has sought and received assurances that Mr. Khadr is being treated humanely.

However, Mr. Khadr faces very serious charges in relation to his being captured in Afghanistan. Therefore, any questions regarding Canada's plans to ask for the release of Mr. Khadr are premature and speculative as the legal process is going on.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Omar Khadr
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LIB

Roy Cullen

Liberal

Hon. Roy Cullen (Etobicoke North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the community mailboxes that Canada Post has been installing are a bad deal for communities across Canada. These mailboxes are being placed in neighbourhoods without considering the well-being of members of these communities who do not feel safe accessing their mail while traffic moves around them. Senior citizens often do not have the ability to go to a community mailbox to pick up their mail.

The government has not been looking out for the communities where these mailboxes have been installed. Why has the government put its own convenience ahead of that of the citizens and communities of Canada?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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CPC

Lawrence Cannon

Conservative

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

Once again, Mr. Speaker, it is important to recall what we have done as the Parliament of Canada. We have instructed Canada Post to maintain rural mail delivery from coast to coast to coast. That is exactly our intention and that is exactly what we are going to do.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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CPC

Luc Harvey

Conservative

Mr. Luc Harvey (Louis-Hébert, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the government is looking for realistic, long-term solutions for cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas emissions in order to protect the health of Canadians. As a UNESCO world heritage site, the historic district of Old Quebec welcomes over 4 million visitors every year, 90% of whom get there by car.

Can the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities tell the House about the government's new commitments to sustainable urban transit in Canadian cities?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Urban Transit
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CPC

Lawrence Cannon

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his excellent question. We have to tackle this problem.

Yesterday at a meeting of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities I accepted the accolades of mayors who are, naturally, very pleased that we have extended the gas tax. I also had the opportunity to participate in the inauguration of a fleet of electric buses which, thanks to the financial participation of the Government of Canada, will soon be on the roads of the Quebec City region, especially Old Quebec.

We are keeping our promises and taking action.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Urban Transit
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IND

Blair Wilson

Independent

Mr. Blair Wilson (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, Ind.)

Mr. Speaker, many organizations in my riding and across British Columbia have not been granted funding from the 2008 Canada summer jobs program. These include organizations such as the Whistler Public Library, the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, the Gibsons Landing Harbour Authority, the Kay Meek Centre, the Squamish Chamber of Commerce, the Powell River Academy of Music, and I could go on.

My question is for the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. Given the overwhelming number of applicants this year, the dire need for more funding, and with the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games only 619 days away, will he and his government commit today in the House to increase funding for summer jobs?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Summer Jobs
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June 3, 2008