June 17, 2010

CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, those of us on this side of the House have made it clear that we recognize the Quebec nation within a united Canada. The only party in the House of Commons still questioning that is the Bloc Québécois. Proportional representation by population is a basic principle in the 1867 Constitution.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Quebec Nation
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BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

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

Mr. Speaker, that principle has been applied very generously in the case of Prince Edward Island.

Federalism has been bad for the Quebec nation both politically and economically. The government is refusing to give Quebec the $2.2 billion it is owed for harmonizing its sales tax, despite having compensated the Atlantic provinces, Ontario and British Columbia.

Is that not further proof that the Prime Minister could not care less about Quebec, its priorities or its National Assembly?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Quebec Nation
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker. Again, this government's policy is to offer all provinces the opportunity to harmonize their sales taxes with the federal tax, the GST. Five provinces have decided to do that, but Quebec chose another route. It decided to keep two separate taxes. We want true tax harmonization. Negotiations with Quebec are ongoing, and I hope that Quebec will decide to harmonize its sales tax with the GST.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Quebec Nation
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BQ

Daniel Paillé

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Daniel Paillé (Hochelaga, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, disputes with this government have multiplied. Open federalism has become predatory federalism. The issue of securities, in which the Conservatives want to take from Quebec to give to Ontario, is one example. The project is so flawed that the minister is incapable of clearly telling us whether or not it provides for the dismantling of the passport system.

Could the Minister of Finance clearly tell us if the passports issued by regulators, such as the AMF, will be unconditionally recognized, should his commission ever see the light of day? Clearly, please.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Securities
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CPC

Jim Flaherty

Conservative

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I have been saying, it will be a system that is—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Securities
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?

An hon. member

Voluntary.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Securities
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CPC

Jim Flaherty

Conservative

Hon. Jim Flaherty

Yes, it will be a voluntary system. You have listened closely. It is a voluntary system. That is correct. Voluntary means voluntary, nothing else.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Securities
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BQ

Robert Bouchard

Bloc Québécois

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

Mr. Speaker, this government turned its back on the Quebec forestry sector in favour of the auto sector, which is concentrated in Ontario. Although it gave $10 billion to the auto sector, it gave only $170 million to the entire forestry sector.

Faced with such an imbalance, how can this government keep claiming that it defends the interests of Quebec, when it helps Ontario and not Quebec?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Forestry Industry
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CPC

Denis Lebel

Conservative

Hon. Denis Lebel (Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec), CPC)

Mr. Speaker, how can the member make so many false claims in one question?

We helped the forestry industry in Quebec and in the rest of the country. I remind the member that the loans given to the auto sector have almost all been repaid, and the companies continue to pay them back. We will continue to support the forestry industry in Quebec, while others will just talk, as in the fable we heard earlier.

Today we heard yet more bad news about the market. The price of softwood lumber has gone down, but we will continue to support this industry. The market has been the problem from the beginning.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Forestry Industry
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, first, I have to give three thanks. I thank the families who called for an inquiry into the Air India tragedy so that no other Canadian families would have to suffer what they suffered through, I thank the government for calling the inquiry and I thank Justice Major for his very important report.

I am hopeful, and perhaps the Prime Minister can give us an indication here, that he will be grabbing hold of the initiative offered by Justice Major to provide some coordination to our national security services to pull things together because there has been this attitude of complacency that he noted. I think it is an urgent matter that needs to be taken care of quickly. I would simply encourage the Prime Minister to do so.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Air India
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the leader of the NDP for his kind words and also for his support for this inquiry dating back to when we were in opposition. I have noted Justice Major's recommendations and his critique. I think I was very clear on the nature of that critique earlier today.

Steps have been taken through the creation of the position of the national security advisor to provide greater coordination to our security apparatus. We have seen that pay off to some extent in cases like the Toronto 18. Clearly, more needs to be done and we will be acting on that.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Air India
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, on another matter, from an organization standpoint the G8 summit is becoming more and more of a fiasco.

The United States has announced that it does not want Americans to visit Toronto during the G8. This will harm businesses in our community. Small- and medium-sized businesses and other businesses that suffer losses will need help from the federal government. The management of this project is questionable at best, especially when small- and medium-sized businesses are not being put first and will suffer losses because of this summit.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   G8 Summit
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CPC

Lawrence Cannon

Conservative

Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, the Government of Canada is not legally bound to pay compensation for losses suffered as a result of international meetings held in Canada. However, the policy in place is fair and has been effective in the past. It is the same policy that was in place for the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City and the summit in Kananaskis before that. The assessment of all claims will be made in close co-operation with Audit Services Canada.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   G8 Summit
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, world leaders are piling on the Conservative government when it comes to keeping the environment off the G20 agenda. The national health initiative turned sour because the government reopened the debate on abortion.

Most recently, we had the UN special advisor, Jeffrey Sachs, slamming our Prime Minister and saying that Canada was failing to live up to the tradition of Lester Pearson by falling far short of his target for international aid.

How can the Prime Minister explain such a blow to Canada's reputation?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   G8 Summit
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, first, Canada's initiative on maternal and child health has been widely welcomed by all of our G8 partners and, indeed, the wider international community. As I have indicated before, it is traditional to have some discussion of climate change at these conferences, but not in a way that interferes with the role of the United Nations process.

As for development assistance, Canada is the first country in the world to have met all its international aid commitments, to have reached all of the goals set by the G8, the first one to do that across the entire world.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   G8 Summit
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LIB

Anita Neville

Liberal

Hon. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's refusal to fund access to safe abortion where legal is not just unethical and paternalistic, it also flies in the face of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, including government members, who yesterday recommended that access to safe abortion be funded by Canada at the G8.

Will the Conservative government adopt the committee's recommendations and end its shameful denial of legal rights of mothers abroad?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
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CPC

Rona Ambrose

Conservative

Hon. Rona Ambrose (Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I know the opposition wants to reopen this debate, but Canadians want us to focus on saving the lives of women and children. I am proud the members on the Status of Women committee from the Conservative Party are supporting a minority report that clearly states that witnesses urged the members of the committee to focus on helping women and children and to stop playing political games. Those witnesses are right. The members on this side of the House are correct, and I will be happy to table the report after question period.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
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LIB

Lise Zarac

Liberal

Mrs. Lise Zarac (LaSalle—Émard, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives claim they are helping women and children, yet they are ignoring the advice of experts.

Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, said that the Conservatives' refusal to fund safe abortions was “disappointing and far from accountable”.

The Conservatives finally relented and added the environment to the G8 and G20 agendas.

Will they listen to the international community and the majority of Canadians, and reconsider their regressive plan for maternal health?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
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CPC

Rona Ambrose

Conservative

Hon. Rona Ambrose (Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the international community supports our plan to save the lives of women and children. In fact, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave praise to Canada. She said:

We commend the Canadian government for focusing attention on this issue by offering a flagship initiative on maternal and child health at the upcoming G8 meeting.

The international community supports us, international aid agencies support us, the G8 supports us, Hillary Clinton supports us. I wish the opposition would support us.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   International Co-operation
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LIB

Ralph Goodale

Liberal

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Wascana, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Prairie farmers are facing their worst spring seeding situation in history. It is too wet and too cold and 30% of the crop is not yet in the ground and what is in, is being flooded out. The provincial governments say that they are willing to cost share a disaster program but they need specific information from the federal government by the first week in July.

Exactly how much new funding is the agriculture minister asking from the Treasury Board to top up existing programs and will farmers have clear answers by the first week in July?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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June 17, 2010