House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, this government does stand up for the equality of all Canadians.

It is only members opposite who would fight for more offices and more bureaucracy and who would fight to use 31 cents to deliver one dollar. Only members opposite would not remember that they cut the women's program budget by five times. What did they do with that money when they cut that program?

We believe in equality and we are doing something about it. We are making sure that aboriginal women have matrimonial property rights. We are making sure they have a right to a decent job. We are making sure they have financial security in their senior years.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, Finance Canada's website clearly shows a $5 million cut to the Status of Women as part of the government's elimination of so-called wasteful and ineffective programs. On September 26 and 28, the Minister responsible for the Status of Women confirmed to this House in her own words that she had cut that $5 million.

Now the minister and other Conservative ministers have said that the money that was not actually cut will be redirected. Can the Minister responsible for the Status of Women tell us on what page and on what line of the estimates we will find this explicit reinvestment?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the $5 million is available right now. We are telling them that. At the end of this fiscal year, as of April 1, that $5 million will be allocated to directly assist women in their communities. We are not talking about cutting. We are talking about making sure that we find savings in streamlining in operations and that in the next fiscal year that money will be made available directly to women in their communities.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to know where that $5 million is because we have learned that the Conservative government is closing the Status of Women Canada offices in Sainte-Foy in the Quebec City region.

This closure is part of the several million dollars in cuts that the government has made to the Status of Women Canada.

I have a question for the Minister of International Cooperation because this issue affects her region, unless the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister wants to answer. How could these two hon. members, who are women, ever have agreed to give the Status of Women Canada such a slap in the face?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, on this side of the House every member of government is committed to Canadian women. As we know, we have a responsibility and accountability. The party on the opposite side should recognize the fact that in due process there are notifications that have to be given to employees. We also know that we have obligations and that is why we are saying the changes will come into effect at the beginning of the 2007 fiscal year.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is unbelievable. This morning we met with groups of women from coalitions all across Canada and they told us exactly the opposite. They know how much damage these Conservative minority government cuts will do, not just to the Status of Women Canada but more importantly to the groups that depend on it.

Can the minister tell the House whether these two hon. colleagues, who are women elected in the Quebec City region, objected to the decision to cut the Status of Women Canada office in Sainte-Foy? Did they object in caucus, at the cabinet table or in private?

Did these women say something to help other women in Canada?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the House that not only do all caucus members in the government ensure that they meet their responsibilities to every woman in Canada but they also bring to the attention of their fellow caucus members the interests of their own constituents. We recognize our responsibilities to our constituents and all of Canada. This is a good decision for all Canadian women in every constituency across Canada.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, women’s organizations, unions, and spokespeople for all the opposition parties came and demonstrated in front of Parliament last week to denounce the cuts that this government made to programs that help women.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Status of Women give up her ideological approach, which sees grants for women’s programs as just more waste? Will she restore the funding of Status of Women Canada and the court challenges program, as a broad coalition of women asked her to do last weekend?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear and accurate. There has been no cut to the budget of the women's program. The women's program had $10.8 million last year, has $10.8 million this year, and will have $10.8 million next year. What we are talking about is $5 million more in the next fiscal year for more work, more benefits, and more direct health for women.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister’s answers clearly show that she is totally out of touch with reality. If she thought that she could divide women’s groups with this attempt, she was sadly mistaken because the Canada-wide coalition of women anticipated it and demolished it.

Are we to understand the minister’s answer to mean that she has decided, under the pretext of good management, to cut all support to women’s groups that are working so hard on the political advancement of women?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, again, let me very clear. Only the members on the other side of the House believe it is important to fund women's organizations and groups. We are saying that we will fund groups and organizations that want to directly help women in their neighbourhoods and communities to address the challenges that women are facing today and have been facing for a number of years.

Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative
Oral Questions

December 11th, 2006 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, the SCPI program ends on March 31. Thousands of people who work with the homeless are wondering what will become of the only program that is able to help them and able to fight youth homelessness.

In light of the insensitive attitude of the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, can the Prime Minister show a little more sensitivity to the poor people in Quebec and Canada and announce right now that the SCPI program will be extended?

Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we care about the homeless. That is why we extended the national homelessness initiative last spring, complete with full funding right through to the end of March 2007. We have been processing the applications in the manner they have always gone through. In addition, we made $37 million more available, money that was not spent by the previous government and money that we have made available to help the homeless situation across Canada.

Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has been boasting for almost a year now about reviewing the SCPI program, but she is not answering the question.

Is the minister waiting for the current services to run out or is she simply getting ready to abolish or cut back this program? People who work with the homeless want an answer.

Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we are very aware of the timelines that are inherent in this. As I said, we extended the program through to March 31 to give us a chance to evaluate the existing program and to see, if possible, whether there are programs that might be even better. We will be dealing with those in due course.