House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was services.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague, the hon. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development announced this morning new measures worth some $270 million over two years to better meet the needs of employment insurance claimants.

The changes announced today will ensure that the program promotes greater labour force participation by encouraging workers to accept any available work.

In addition, the provinces that participated in the Older Workers Pilot Projects Initiative will be offered additional funding in 2004-05. The projects are designed to help older workers aged between 55 and 64 to remain employed or reintegrate into the labour force.

Today's initiatives are but the beginning of a solution. It is still our government's intention to implement more sustainable solutions as soon as the Task Force on Seasonal Work has submitted its final report.

The Prime Minister
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, since his coronation as head of the Liberal Party of Canada, the Prime Minister claims to be change incarnate. Yet, he was finance minister in the Liberal government for nine years. He signed the cheques in the sponsorship scandal. He signed the cheques in connection with the firearms registry. He cut funding for health and education. He pirated $45 billion from the EI fund. He personally saved $100 million in taxes by registering his shipping company in a tax haven and amending legislation in his favour. He made off with $3.2 billion from the poorest seniors. He took $1 billion from Quebec families who use the reasonably priced child care centres. He refused to recognize the nation of Quebec.

The Prime Minister is not change incarnate, he embodies the usual traits of the Liberal Party of Canada: patronage, waste of public funds, demagoguery and anti-Quebec policy.

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Savoy Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, this morning's announcement about employment insurance by my colleague, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, is remarkable in many ways.

The transitional employment insurance measures in the Madawaska-Charlotte regions of New Brunswick and in the Lower St. Lawrence and North Shore regions of Quebec will be extended. Thousands of claimants will have increased access to EI benefits and for a longer duration as well.

The minister's initiative could be extended to all regions that report an unemployment rate greater than 10%.

I want to congratulate my colleague the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. His announcement this morning is great news.

This government ensured that transitional employment insurance boundary measures in the Madawaska-Charlotte, Lower St. Lawrence and North Shore regions were extended. Approximately 15,000 EI claimants will benefit from increased access and longer benefit duration. Moreover, these new measures could apply to any economic region where unemployment exceeds 10%.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the crime rate in certain areas of Saskatoon is on the rise. As the member of Parliament for Saskatoon--Rosetown--Biggar, this is of grave concern to myself and my constituents.

Limited resources, a failing justice system, and a federal government that turns a blind eye is making it worse. Break and enters and home invasion have people scared, and living in fear in their own homes. The whole community is suffering because of this.

About 82% of my constituents said child prostitution was a problem in their neighbourhood and 82% believed date rape drugs should be classified as a weapon. Some 18% knew a victim and 80% said mandatory minimum sentences would better protect the public. Close to 93% said current sentences were too lenient and 89% said the Liberals were soft on crime. Not a single person said they were doing a good job of running our prisons.

My constituents have spoken. Why will the government not listen?

Seasonal Workers
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Christian Jobin Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, seasonal workers in several regions of Quebec have every reason to be pleased today.

Indeed, my colleague, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced a series of measures aimed at meeting the specific needs of seasonal workers.

From now on, seasonal workers will be allowed to take part in a pilot project that will give them the possibility of receiving up to five more weeks of EI benefits, while encouraging them to find more work.

Our government is using a balanced approach that will not only consist in providing income support to workers, but that will also give them an opportunity to acquire skills which will allow them to remain employed, or to reintegrate into the labour force.

Canadians can congratulate the government on this initiative and may be assured that we are still contemplating other changes after the Liberal task force tables its final report.

National Nursing Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, May 10 to 16 is National Nursing Week.

Nursing Week is celebrated each year throughout Canada and the world during the week of Florence Nightingale's birthday of May 12. This week is an opportunity for all Canadians to express their gratitude for the hard work and important role that nurses perform, and also for the courageous manner in which they expose themselves to the risk in the provision of essential nursing care such as during last year's SARS outbreak.

While this week offers all the opportunity to recognize the vital role nurses play in our health care system, we should respect the contribution of nurses and other health care workers year round by ensuring proper funding, and fair and equitable employment conditions.

It is an outrage that we as a country continue to face significant shortages of nurses due to a decade of funding cuts to our health care system, coupled with the continued lack of a coherent strategy for stable funding from the federal government.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Canadian nurses for their hard work, often above and beyond their assigned duties. It is through their dedication and sacrifice that our health care system continues to be one of the best in the world.

Sponsorship Program
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, already back in 2000, the Bloc Quebecois had put its finger on the disturbing behaviour of the communications agencies run by friends of the Liberal Party of Canada and on the huge contracts that they were getting from the federal government. In fact, it is increasingly clear that, under the cover of Canadian unity, the Liberal Party used these agencies for electoral purposes in 1997 and in 2000.

Since then, the Bloc Quebecois has asked over 450 questions in the House on what was to become the sponsorship scandal. However, we did not get a single answer from this government.

What happened to the $100 million and who pocketed that money? Who is responsible for this disgusting scandal to paraphrase the Prime Minister?

The Liberal Party of Canada is now discredited. Cabinet ministers have lost the public's confidence. Today, the question is no longer whether the Liberal Party is corrupted. Everyone knows that. The only question that remains is: How badly is it corrupted?

Le Baluchon
Statements By Members

May 11th, 2004 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yolande Thibeault Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is ensuring that Canada is a country where people are treated with dignity.

On behalf of the Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for Homelessness, I announced yesterday in Saint-Hyacinthe a contribution of $350,000 for the Maison Le Baluchon under the National Homelessness Initiative.

This community organization provides shelter, support andassistance in response to needs expressed by young people between the ages of 12 and 17 who are facing difficult family or social situations. This contribution of $350,000 is for the purchase of two buildings to provide young people who are homeless with supervised shelter.

Since it was launched in 1999, the National Homelessness Initiative has produced tangible results. We are aware, however, that much remains to be done to provide the homeless with all the help they need, and which goes far beyond the basic—

Le Baluchon
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Athabasca.

Prime Minister of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, on May 5 the Prime Minister said that the Leader of the Opposition should prepare to be accountable for everything he has said over the course of the last eight years.

I am glad the Prime Minister has decided to take the idea of accountability seriously. The next election will be about accountability and he is a man unable or unwilling to take responsibility. We believe in ministerial accountability and the Prime Minister must be responsible for his record over the past 10 years.

Canadians will remember the former finance minister when they think of ad scam; CSL's tax haven; his use of the private health clinic; the GST flip-flop; the 5,000% cost overrun in the gun registry; the HRDC boondoggle; the Challenger jet purchase; Sea King replacements; tainted blood; the Bronfman billions; the Pearson airport debacle; and the list goes on.

The Prime Minister has much to be accountable for.

Lindsay Kinsmen Band
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Haliburton—Victoria—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Lindsay Kinsmen Band.

Formed in 1954 by a group of interested parents under the leadership of Lloyd McMullen and Earl and Muriel Kennedy, this boys and girls band has performed all over North America.

Teaching children to play a musical instrument, read music, march, and be part of a respected musical organization has been the focus of everyone involved in the Lindsay Kinsmen Band.

Congratulations to the instructors, the executive, the parents, the auxiliary and the Kinsmen Club of Lindsay for a job well done. We wish the band continued success.

Inuit History Travelling Exhibit
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw your attention to the role the government is playing in recognizing and sharing Inuit culture and history.

The Inuit History Travelling Exhibit was launched on May 3. Its main purpose is to tell the stories of Inuit communities and share those stories with all Canadians, especially in the north.

The Inuit have a unique culture that spans thousands of years and vast geographical distances, from northern Manitoba to Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and outside of Canada in Greenland. The Inuit Heritage Trust is dedicated to the preservation, enrichment and protection of Inuit cultural heritage. By circulating the Inuit History Travelling Exhibit, this rich heritage will be presented.

I am very happy to say the exhibit will be available in four languages: English, French, Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's charges finally came two years after the Auditor General's report on Groupaction. There are other police investigations outstanding, on sponsorship, on DND, on HRDC, on the Liberal Party of Canada's Quebec wing. I could go on and on. There are in fact at least 36 separate police investigations we are aware of into the conduct of this government. It is unprecedented in our history.

Are these charges not just the tip of the iceberg into the culture of corruption that has been the hallmark of the government for over a decade?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I reject the outrageous premise of the question just asked by the leader of the official opposition. In fact, the RCMP is conducting investigations. Charges have been laid. The RCMP will continue to pursue this matter as it sees appropriate, but I do want to underscore how singularly inappropriate I find the premise of the hon. member's question.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, instead of rejecting the premise, the Deputy Prime Minister should accept it and accept accountability for it.

I want to point out the pattern of what is going on here. The police investigations have been going on in secret for years. The judicial inquiry is not scheduled to start for a month. Now the Liberals are shutting down the public accounts committee.

Is this not the Liberals' real only hope and their real only strategy to get it all out of sight and out of mind?