House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was petro-canada.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, women are the big losers in the cuts this government has made to employment insurance.

How can the Minister of Human Resources Development explain that pregnant women need 600 hours to qualify for benefits, while many workers can collect benefits with only 420 hours?

What does this government have against expectant mothers?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the government has shown its understanding of the workplace family dynamics facing Canadian women.

I point to the doubling of parental benefits that will be in place by the end of this year. I point to the reduction in hours required to collect special benefits. I point to the proposals that are before the House today that will ensure that women are not part of the clawback if they are home caring for their children and out of the workforce.

I point to the other proposal that says we recognize that women may leave the workforce for a longer period of time. These proposals will make it easier for them, should they need to collect regular benefits on their return to the workforce. Canadian women are at the heart of these proposals.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has had a solution proposed to her by the Government of Quebec, which has a parental leave program that is far more fair, accessible and generous.

What is the minister waiting for before giving a favourable answer to the 17 organizations which called on September 26 for the return to Quebec of the funds allotted to family benefits under the employment insurance program? What is she waiting for before she gives the green light on this?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, if I am not mistaken, those organizations recognize that the government is prepared to and will, by the end of this year, have a plan in place that will double parental benefits for all Canadian women, including those living in Quebec. If I am not mistaken, what was said was that the Government of Quebec could nicely complement the undertakings of the Government of Canada.

I remind the hon. member that our undertakings will be done in the context of the employment insurance program. They will be done without raising premiums but, as we proposed today, by continuing to lower employment insurance premiums.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, ministers attending a FACT fundraiser is not an issue of culture or ethnicity. It is about terrorism. It is about the government's priorities and mismanagement of security intelligence information.

On the one hand, Canada signed a United Nations declaration calling for a global ban on terrorist fundraising. On the other hand, ministers are attending a fundraiser for a front for terrorists. Does the solicitor general have confidence in his department's reporting service or not?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the hon. member's question is wrong, wrong, wrong. The minister did not attend a fundraiser for this group. He attended a cultural event involving the celebration of the Tamil new year.

I do not know why the member of the Alliance Party, on behalf of his party, is attempting to wrongly stereotype and stigmatize hundreds of thousands of people because of their Tamil origin.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister did not answer my question. The question is why was the security intelligence information ignored. The government is failing to fulfil its responsibility for the safety and security of all Canadians.

Therefore I ask the question again. Does the solicitor general have any confidence in his department's reporting service or not? Yes or no.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I remind my hon. colleague that CSIS does not recommend who should or should not go to any gathering.

The government strongly condemns terrorists and any group that uses violence to forward their goals and will continue to do so.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems increasingly certain that the Minister of Finance will respond favourably to the repeated request of the Bloc Quebecois and table a mini budget before the next election in order to give some of the billions of dollars of hidden surplus back to the taxpayers.

Can the Deputy Prime Minister guarantee that his government will add in the mini budget all the money needed to employment insurance to end to discrimination against women, young people and seasonal workers?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the confidence he is expressing in this government. We will consider his comments as representing interesting advice.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are calling for a mini budget because we want to make the commitments official, since, otherwise, they evaporate like a puff of smoke for lack of expression.

Are we to understand from the answers of the Deputy Prime Minister that, in the face of the bill tabled by his colleague, the government is giving up and will not put one cent more in the employment insurance system than the few hundred million dollars announced this morning?

Are we to understand from the response by the Deputy Prime Minister that the government is abandoning many of the unemployed and will continue to dip into the employment insurance fund surplus?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, in case the hon. member missed it, the proposals before the House speak directly to the issues facing seasonal workers and women. I am confused as to what more he is asking.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

September 28th, 2000 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is fairly obvious from the documents that have been brought into the House that the solicitor general has a complete lack of confidence in the reports to him from CSIS or from any of the other organizations, when the government permits ministers to go to events such as have been described in the House.

He does not understand that when terrorists slip into Canada, it is the people from their former countries who are the most put upon. Why is the minister not taking their well-being seriously?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that the government and I take their well-being very seriously. As I previously indicated, CSIS does not recommend to government who should or should not go to dinners, official dinners, fundraising dinners, heritage dinners or whatever.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, these terrorists raise funds through welfare scams, drugs, credit cards, passport frauds and human smuggling. These are all international security issues which put all Canadians at risk.

We are asking legitimate questions in the House. We are answered by blusters from the frontbench and caterwauling from the backbench. It does not change the issue. This issue is not about culture or ethnicity; it is about public safety. Why does the minister not understand that?