House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was board.

Topics

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, this government promised to change the way Ottawa worked. We promised more accountability. People across the country felt the Liberal standard on accountability fell short.

I do note that the relationship between the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto is working quite well. I am working quite well with the Mayor of Toronto, David Miller, who just on Monday said that I was a friend of Toronto.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board, if he had read an article in the Ottawa Citizen, would have seen “people thought that this was purely political” when they were speaking about his actions in Ottawa. The new deal has become a raw deal and the minister responsible for infrastructure can do nothing about it.

Is this the new government policy, to breach confidentiality agreements, deny local democracy, use federal funding for blackmail and interfere in municipal elections?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the member for Kitchener Centre is obviously not reading the same stories in the Ottawa Citizen that I am reading. Here is what it said last week, “unprecedented scope of the investment...makes a final, ratifying endorsement entirely appropriate”. An Ottawa Citizen headline this morning said that the majority backed me on the light rail delay.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

October 18th, 2006 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of using the $13 billion surplus—which includes $2 billion from the employment insurance fund—to initiate real reforms, the government chose to put it all toward the debt.

How can the government justify this to the unemployed people who ended their long march to Parliament Hill today? How can it explain that it would rather use its billions of dollars to give generous gifts to its oil company friends than to bring about real change to the employment insurance system?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, any surpluses in the EI account go to general revenue. Those are shared by all Canadians. The benefits of that go to help all Canadians, not just those unemployed but to help create new jobs in the country as well. That is important to keep our country going and growing.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister realize that this money belongs to workers and employers?

The government's attitude is incomprehensible. It lowered employment insurance contributions to help workers. It did nothing for the people who really need help, the people for whom the fund exists: the unemployed.

If the government is that short of ideas, will it at the very least support the two bills introduced by the Bloc Québécois, one to improve the EI system and the other to create an independent employment insurance fund?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as a new government, we are reviewing every program in every department. What we have to recognize is that Canada has registered almost record low unemployment rates, 6.4% last month. That is a miraculous achievement.

We have to focus on getting more people prepared and skilled and into the workforce. That is what we have to do. That is what we are focusing on. That is why we announced our new program yesterday to help older workers participate in the workforce, not pension them off and have them sitting outside. Let us let them contribute. Let us get everybody back to work.

Older workers
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry.

Why is he trying to hide behind the Quebec government? Minister Michelle Courchesne just said that she is disappointed with the program. It does not at all meet workers' expectations, it has an adverse impact on Montreal and Quebec City, and it is not an early retirement plan. In fact, his program is nothing but a band-aid solution to a serious problem, a bridge to welfare. Will the minister admit it?

Older workers
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the information that the hon. member for Outremont has is contradicted by what the Quebec government just told us moments ago, namely that it is going to take advantage of the program and that this is an interesting initiative for Quebec workers.

I want to ask the hon. member for Outremont what his government's priorities were? The former government had 76 priorities just before the House was dissolved. However, none of these 76 priorities was related to older workers.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is reported that Chinese border guards fired on a group of about 70 unarmed Tibetans who were attempting to cross the border from China into Nepal. A 17-year-old nun was killed. The guards also reportedly took some Tibetans into custody, mostly children aged six to eight.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell the House what representation has been made to the Chinese government and what measures are being taken to have these children returned to their families?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I share the hon. member's abhorrence and dismay for this terrible incident that happened at the border. Canada strongly condemns this act of violence against unarmed civilians as an egregious violation of human rights. We have formally raised these concerns.

About the incident, we will follow up further with the Chinese government and we intend to reiterate Canada's strong condemnation of this gross human rights violation. We have called upon the Chinese to conduct a full, independent investigation and punish those responsible, as well as release the detained Tibetan children immediately to their families and abide by the relevant international obligations, including those under the UN Convention of the Rights of Children.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Charlotte Thibault, the chair of government relations for FAFIA, was presented an award by our Governor General to recognize her work promoting women's rights. The disgraceful irony is that she is honoured and the minister responsible for women has gutted the funding for Thibault's organization.

The minister has changed the mandate so that women's organizations will be unable to continue to do their work.

Will the minister stand up and defend women in our country and reverse her decision to change the funding mandate?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, nobody has to talk to me about minority rights. What we are trying to do as a government is to offer opportunities.

Unlike the previous Liberal government, this government is taking action. In nine short months, we are acting on matrimonial property rights for aboriginal women. We have introduced the universal child care benefit. We are going to put forward tougher justice legislation to protect our women. We will no longer treat the women who are victims of human trafficking as criminals.

This is action and this is what we will deliver to Canadian women.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious by the minister's non-response that she does not understand her portfolio.

By refusing new pay equity legislation and insisting that women have full equality in our country, the minister shows her total ignorance about the needs of women in Canada. She is unable, or refuses, to stand up for women at the cabinet table.

I have asked for this before and I am going to ask again. As the minister refuses to protect the mandate for the Status of Women, will she now do the right thing and resign?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I stand up for women, but every member of this caucus and government stands up for women. I will not resign.