June 20, 2008

CPC

Guy Lauzon

Conservative

Mr. Guy Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I again thank the member for his question but I will answer it with a question. This is a question from the constituents of Malpeque.

I made a couple of visits to wonderful P.E.I. and the following is the feedback I received. The constituents of Malpeque want to know why their member has asked 32 questions on the Wheat Board and only 2 questions on any issue that has anything to do with P.E.I.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canadian Wheat Board
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CPC

James Rajotte

Conservative

Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton—Leduc, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, one of the primary challenges facing our manufacturing sector is the increase in fuel prices.

Yesterday, the Liberal leader sent shock waves across the country when he announced his plan to tax energy and the transportation of manufactured goods through his carbon tax grab. Increased transportation costs will ultimately result in consumers paying more for essential items like food and clothing.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry tell the House what effect the Liberals' carbon tax plan would have on those people working in the manufacturing sector?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Manufacturing Industry
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CPC

Colin Carrie

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Edmonton—Leduc for all his hard work and his commitment to manufacturers.

Manufacturers are facing U.S. economic difficulties, a strengthening Canadian dollar and rising international energy prices. Yesterday, the Liberals had the audacity to look recently laid off workers in the eyes and say, “Shift happens”. To manufacturers who are struggling to cut input costs, the Liberal message is, “We will force you out of business”. To truckers moving manufactured goods, the Liberals say, “Pay $1,700 more per year and we don't care if you go out of business”.

Workers know the Liberal carbon tax on everything will take away their hard-earned money and we will oppose the Leader of the Opposition's tax trick every step of the way.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Manufacturing Industry
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NDP

Peter Julian

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, the Republican presidential candidate is in town, and it just so happens that a number of Conservatives will be at the meeting.

We understand that the Prime Minister wants to keep his distance, after the help he already gave Mr. McCain with the NAFTA leak.

On the subject of the free trade agreement, the Conservatives and the Republicans agree on having deep integration and on abandoning workers to serve the interests of multinational companies.

Can the government confirm that it endorses Senator McCain's NAFTA strategy?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   NAFTA
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CPC

Peter Van Loan

Conservative

Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, what we endorse is NAFTA because we believe it has been very good for Canadians as well as for Americans. It has been a very beneficial trade agreement that has resulted in the increase of hundreds of thousands of jobs in our economy, increased wealth and jobs in both countries.

It is an agreement that we will continue to advocate in favour of and we will do that with both Senator McCain and Senator Obama, both of whom, we believe, when they examine what NAFTA has meant for Canadians, will endorse it strongly.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   NAFTA
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NDP

Peter Julian

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives simply have not done their homework. Most Americans are earning less under NAFTA and two-thirds of Canadian families are earning less as well. John McCain certainly does not have the interests of working families at heart.

Now that Senator McCain wants to open up oil exploitation on all coasts, it is time to rethink our energy sellout. Canada needs an independent energy policy and the needs of Canadians must come first.

Senator Obama says, “Let's change NAFTA”. Is the government willing to reopen NAFTA so our energy resources serve Canadian needs?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   NAFTA
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CPC

Gerald Keddy

Conservative

Mr. Gerald Keddy (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and to the Minister of International Trade, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that NAFTA has been a great benefit to all three NAFTA partners, to Canada, to the United States and to Mexico. It has led to a better environment and a better economy in all three countries and it will continue to bring benefits to all three countries into the future.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   NAFTA
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LIB

Rodger Cuzner

Liberal

Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Cape Breton—Canso, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister might want to put in for some overtime pay this morning because apparently he spent most of last night in his office.

How did the government announce the details of the $490 billion in defence spending? With no fanfare and no press conference. It just posted them on the website in the dead of night. This sounds like a government with something to hide.

When will the government start showing some respect for Canadians and actually demonstrate accountability? Why is it always trying to hide something?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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CPC

Laurie Hawn

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that is pretty rich. If he wants to talk about the dead of night, let us talk about the decades of darkness under the Liberal government.

The Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence announced the Canada first defence strategy about a month ago. People wanted more details on it. It has been posted on our website, www.forces.gc.ca. Some members might want to consult that. They might learn something.

What they will learn is that this government, this Prime Minister, this Minister of National Defence are finally shining a light after decades of darkness from the member for Wascana and his pals. The Canadian Forces love it. The Canadian people love it. The people who count on the Canadian Forces love it.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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LIB

Rodger Cuzner

Liberal

Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Cape Breton—Canso, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, when we asked for details about the government's defence spending plan, we were told the Prime Minister's speech was all the detail that Canadians needed. Worse, this plan started at $30 billion, went to $50 billion, then to $96 billion and is now nearing half a trillion dollars. Even Dr. Evil would be impressed with that.

How many times will the minister have to engage in the only operation he is familiar with, damage control?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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CPC

Laurie Hawn

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, let me help my hon. colleague with some figures.

The defence budget has been increased by $30 billion a year to the year 2027-28. If he does some simple math and adds those numbers up, he will come up to the figure of $490 billion, plus or minus a billion dollars here or there. That money, over 20 years, will allow the Canadian Forces to do the jobs that we have given them to do, the jobs the previous government gave them and never funded them to do. The Liberals should be ashamed of themselves. We finally shone a light after a decade of darkness. We are getting the job done.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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LIB

John Godfrey

Liberal

Hon. John Godfrey (Don Valley West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, speaking of what is a billion dollars, here is a question about where is a billion dollars?

Yesterday, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages announced an official languages plan, but the $1.1 billion envelope was not included in the latest budget. This is troubling, because if the money has to come from somewhere else, other programs might suffer.

Can the minister tell us where the money for her official languages action plan will come from?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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CPC

Pierre Lemieux

Conservative

Mr. Pierre Lemieux (Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our government is proud of its $1.1 billion investment over five years through this new initiative, our road map.

I know why this member is upset. The Liberals made their announcement on the famous carbon tax yesterday morning. We announced this program in the afternoon. Therefore, they were unable to tax it.

I think those members are going to spend the entire summer finding new ways to tax Canadians in ways that they have never been taxed before.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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LIB

John Godfrey

Liberal

Hon. John Godfrey (Don Valley West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, what is a billion dollars? Where is a billion dollars?

The heritage minister also has reintroduced a watered-down version of the court challenges program that blatantly excludes minorities that are not linguistic minorities. Women are excluded. Gays are excluded. The disabled are excluded. Visible minorities are excluded. This is nothing less than discrimination.

Why is the government refusing to allow all minorities to use the program and defend their rights?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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CPC

Pierre Lemieux

Conservative

Mr. Pierre Lemieux (Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our new language rights protection program focuses on basic language rights, the rights that are protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and our constitutional texts.

Nevertheless, let us keep in mind that the government is helping to promote Canadians' other constitutional rights, especially through its multiculturalism and human rights programs, through the Human Rights Commission, through the Employment Equity Act, and through other initiatives.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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BQ

Richard Nadeau

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Richard Nadeau (Gatineau, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's new official languages action plan is based on a faulty understanding of the relationship between French and English in Canada. English is not under threat, but French, which is spoken by a minority of people in Canada and America, is. To treat both linguistic minorities as equals is to deny reality and allow the assimilation of francophones to happen.

By choosing to defend this kind of linguistic duality, is the minister not turning her back on the French language and those who speak it?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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CPC

Pierre Lemieux

Conservative

Mr. Pierre Lemieux (Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, our government is proud of its $1.1 billion investment over five years through this new initiative, our road map. This is a 45% increase, and we will continue to reiterate our support for official languages. Yesterday, we introduced our plan. That is further proof that the government keeps its promises, unlike the Bloc, which voted against our throne speech and budget 2008, and which is opposed to our new plan.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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BQ

Nicole Demers

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Nicole Demers (Laval, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the new court challenges program applies only to language rights and ignores other groups that are discriminated against, such as the disabled, and gays and lesbians. In addition, women's groups are excluded despite the important role that the program has played in advancing women's rights.

Does the minister intend to give everyone access to this new program or, once again, will women, the disabled, and gays and lesbians be punished by this misogynous and homophobic government?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Court Challenges Program
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CPC

Pierre Lemieux

Conservative

Mr. Pierre Lemieux (Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I said, our government is proud of its new plan to support language rights. This new plan encourages mediation and out-of-court settlements, and emphasizes fundamental language rights. It is also important to remember that the government promotes other Canadian constitutional rights through other programs.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Court Challenges Program
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LIB

Ken Boshcoff

Liberal

Mr. Ken Boshcoff (Thunder Bay—Rainy River, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Ontario government recently announced a budget increase for the northern Ontario heritage fund, money that supports economic development in the north. This increase makes the fund worth $100 million in 2011. In contrast, the similar federal program, FedNor, was cut by $6.4 million.

This is another example of a provincial government doing the right thing while the federal government runs in the opposite direction.

When will the Prime Minister start doing the right thing in northern Ontario and restore FedNor's budget?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Economic Development
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June 20, 2008