January 30, 2009

LIB

Ralph Goodale

Liberal

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Wascana, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, he should tell the BDC in Saskatoon to get its straight.

U.S. protectionism is about to make Canada's recession a lot worse. It is not good enough for those Conservatives to say they expect the Americans to live up to their obligations. The track record is not encouraging. On softwood lumber, the Conservatives capitulated. On the grain trade, despite 20 rulings in Canada's favour, the Conservatives caved in. On the oil sands, they let the Americans prohibit Canadian products.

How can we have any confidence that the government will actually fight for Canadian producers and exporters?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Trade
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CPC

Gerald Keddy

Conservative

Mr. Gerald Keddy (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we do expect the Americans to live up to their international trading obligations. They have legal obligations under NAFTA. They have legal obligations under the WTO.

This is not the time for heightened rhetoric. This is the time for calm, reasonable discussions with our American counterparts. This is the time to seek an end to this type of protectionist talk. This is the time to move forward in a reasonable, practical way.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Trade
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LIB

David McGuinty

Liberal

Mr. David McGuinty (Ottawa South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the minister acknowledged yesterday that she was aware of what she described simply as “problems” at Chalk River on December 6.

Can she clarify for the House the exact nature of the details known to her or her office that day, and can she tell us exactly when she or her office was informed of these radioactive leaks?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Nuclear Energy
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CPC

David Anderson

Conservative

Mr. David Anderson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister answered that question. She informed the House that there were difficulties on December 6 and that she was informed of those. She said that she was not aware of some of the details that later came to light. This is why she has asked the department, as well as the Nuclear Safety Commission, to get to the bottom of it.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Nuclear Energy
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LIB

David McGuinty

Liberal

Mr. David McGuinty (Ottawa South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, here is the problem. On December 15, the minister released a statement on Chalk River. Eleven days after two radioactive leaks had occurred with no knowledge of the cause and with 7,000 litres of heavy water a day leaking into the Ottawa River, the minister told Canadians, “the reactor at Chalk River continues to produce isotopes reliably”.

Was the minister negligent in the performance of her duties, or did she simply mislead Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Nuclear Energy
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CPC

David Anderson

Conservative

Mr. David Anderson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Chalk River continues to produce isotopes for people around the world. The minister has asked officials and the CNSC to give a full report on what happened during the December shutdown.

We are very concerned about this issues. Obviously the health and safety of Canadians has always been our number one priority.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Nuclear Energy
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BQ

Christiane Gagnon

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives and the Liberals were as thick as thieves yesterday, both parties rejecting the unanimous will of the National Assembly of Quebec by voting for a budget that clearly favours Ontario and western Canada to the detriment of Quebec. We are still searching the budget for signs of the big promises meant to correct the fiscal imbalance and provide adequate funding for post-secondary education.

Does the government understand that the only logical conclusion to be drawn is that it chose to put Canada first, to the detriment of Quebec?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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CPC

Ted Menzies

Conservative

Mr. Ted Menzies (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, speaking about logical solutions, that is why this government decided to put an end to fiscal imbalance. That is why we put a solution in place to fix equalization. Quebec's increase in equalization this year alone is 37% above where it was in 2005.

The government refuses to treat any province or any territory any differently than it does all of the rest.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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BQ

Christiane Gagnon

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, now that the election is over, equalization agreements are no longer being respected and the supposed will to eliminate federal spending power is being brushed aside.

Given such clear evidence, will the government admit that in these difficult times, it chose to help Canada first, and tough luck for Quebec's priorities?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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CPC

Ted Menzies

Conservative

Mr. Ted Menzies (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is the job of members of Parliament in the House to put Canada first. We will do that but not to the detriment of any individual province. We will treat all provinces and territories equally. That is why we continue to increase health transfers by 6% and social transfers by 3% to all provinces and all territories.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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BQ

Claude DeBellefeuille

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Claude DeBellefeuille (Beauharnois—Salaberry, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, not only has this government decided to ignore the priorities put forward by Quebec's National Assembly, but it is also attempting to reduce Quebec's weight and influence by proceeding with its electoral representation plan.

Will the government admit that, now that it has used the budget to seduce Ontario, it will not hesitate to sacrifice Quebec's political weight for purely electoral purposes?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Electoral Representation
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CPC

Steven Fletcher

Conservative

Hon. Steven Fletcher (Minister of State (Democratic Reform), CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the representation of Quebec will certainly not be less than the 75 seats that it currently enjoys. We will be introducing legislation that will ensure Canadians are properly represented in the House.

I look forward to the support of all members of the House to support democracy.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Electoral Representation
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BQ

Claude DeBellefeuille

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Claude DeBellefeuille (Beauharnois—Salaberry, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, one does not need a math degree to understand that this will have a negative impact on the percentage of members from Quebec.

Ontario's premier has stated that the federal government will be giving even more seats to Ontario, thereby further diluting Quebec's political weight.

For the record, will the government confirm that it agreed to amend its electoral representation bill in favour of Ontario, while continuing to ignore Quebec?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Electoral Representation
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CPC

Steven Fletcher

Conservative

Hon. Steven Fletcher (Minister of State (Democratic Reform), CPC)

Mr. Speaker, one does not need a degree in math to see that 75 seats today is the same as what will be the number of seats in Quebec in the near future. We will ensure that all Canadians, including Quebeckers, are well represented in this chamber.

Again, I look forward to working with all parties to ensure that the principles of Canadian democracy are maintained and enhanced.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Electoral Representation
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NDP

Dawn Black

New Democratic Party

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster—Coquitlam, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to program reviews, Canadians know they cannot trust that government. They know its record: cuts to the Food Inspection Agency, hidden cuts to status of women, ideological cuts to the Canadian arts and $7.6 billion in allocated spending that never went out the door. Now it is planning hundreds of millions in new spending cuts.

Could the government please outline the programs it ideologically disagrees with and which ones are now up on the chopping block?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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CPC

Dean Del Mastro

Conservative

Mr. Dean Del Mastro (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that the budget, which she intends to vote against, contains significant new investments in Canadian arts and support for artists.

Our government believes that we should carefully review every dollar spent in Canada. That is why we are conducting strategic reviews to ensure that every dollar we spend is absolutely as effective as it can possibly be.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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NDP

Dawn Black

New Democratic Party

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster—Coquitlam, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, trust is in very little supply with the government. ThePrime Minister talks tough about crime and law enforcement, but when it comes time to stand by those on the front lines, he leaves them in the cold.

The budget continues the government's betrayal of the RCMP wages by rolling them back after having signed a new contract with the RCMP only in November.

RCMP members are rightly disillusioned by this betrayal by the Harper government. If the RCMP can no longer trust the government, how can Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

I would urge the hon. member, who is experienced in these matters, to avoid referring to hon. members by name. She will want to refrain from that activity.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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CPC

Andrew Saxton

Conservative

Mr. Andrew Saxton (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we value and respect the good work the RCMP is doing to keep our communities safe. It is critical, given our current economic circumstances, that we all tighten our belts. Everyone is being asked to do their fair share to help manage government expenditures. The RCMP is no different in this regard, and we appreciate its help.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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NDP

Dawn Black

New Democratic Party

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster—Coquitlam, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, most Canadians think the RCMP is different, but that is the opinion of the government.

The government is full of lofty words and promises, but Canadians who actually look at the budget can see that the proof is not in the pudding.

The Conservatives are again making big promises to Tri-City residents about the Evergreen transit line. Yet the budget says only that the project could be funded. The Evergreen project still has to find millions in private capital, capital that simply is not there because of the credit crunch.

How does the government have the gall to continue to promise something that clearly may not happen—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
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January 30, 2009