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

Citizenship and Immigration
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

5:05 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I mentioned earlier that Canada has a declining birth rate. There have been fewer children born in the last 10 years. I believe it dropped from 4 million kids under 10 to 3.6 million. We need more families, children, immigrants and refugees. That is a decline of 14%. As a country we absolutely need more people. We are talking about 400,000 kids.

We need more immigrants because we know that every immigrant coming into the country creates at least 1.2 jobs in Canada. Certainly, in my riding of Trinity—Spadina I see that the Vietnamese people have done tremendously well. They are in every type of business. They are not just merchants. They own a lot of different types of companies and are very good business folks. They work very hard and their children excel in school. They are contributing tremendously.

I have no doubt the 152 Vietnamese who are still in the Philippines would be able to contribute tremendously to Canada if we allowed them to come here. If the member for Winnipeg Centre is willing to take some Vietnamese refugees in Winnipeg, I am sure the city of Toronto could take a share and probably Burnaby would too.

Citizenship and Immigration
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to address the House and question the member with regard to the immigration committee's report and the concurrence motion therein.

The government has moved swiftly to set up a secretariat to help with the recognition of foreign credentials: people who come to Canada well trained, well educated, and ready to put their skills to work to build on the Canadian dream. They are held up because oftentimes their credentials are not recognized here on Canadian soil.

The government is moving swiftly to set up a secretariat that will help lead to the recognition of those credentials, so that Canadian immigrants can live out the Canadian dream and contribute in a maximum way to the Canadian quality of life.

Does the member support the initiatives of the government to enhance the recognition of foreign credentials and to build on the opportunities that immigrants in this country are provided?

Citizenship and Immigration
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, swiftly is not the word I would use. I would say very slowly.

The government is now talking. The Conservatives promised $18 million to set up a central agency. At most $2 million has been spent right now for consultations, for talking, while we have taxi drivers with many degrees. We could have invested some of that money to bridge programs, create a mentorship program and actually set up a portal, a website and a one stop shop. We could do all of that.

Instead, $16 million is sitting in the budget for next year. Hardly anything is being done, other than talk and hot air. I would not call that dealing swiftly with a foreign credential program.

I come back to the issue in front of us. Many folks stuck in the Philippines have no hope. They cannot find any way for any of their credentials to be recognized. When their kids go to school, guess what, their degrees, or never mind degrees, any kind of a certificate is not being recognized by the Philippine government, the Vietnamese government or the Canadian government, even though they have been in school for some time. These people have absolutely no sense of hope in the Philippines. That is why we need to bring them to Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Is the House ready for the question?

Citizenship and Immigration
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Citizenship and Immigration
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Pursuant to order made earlier this day, all questions necessary to dispose of the motion are deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred until Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.

The House will now continue with the remaining business under routine proceedings.

Volunteerism
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I want to present a petition signed by more than 1,500 Canadians from across Canada, including some from my riding of Laval—Les Îles in Quebec, in favour of Canadian youth volunteering in Canada and abroad. These people from Laval, just like the many other signatories of this petition, are calling on Parliament to enact legislation or take measures that will allow all young Canadians who wish to do so to serve in communities as volunteers at the national or international levels.

The text of the petition says: “it would be difficult for Canada to argue that non-governmental organizations continue to turn away thousands of young volunteers each year due to a lack of funds”.

In its response, the Conservative government should explain to these thousands of petitioners why it eliminated nearly $10 million from the Canadian volunteerism initiative when the government has a budgetary surplus of $13 billion.

Volunteerism
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure to present a petition signed by over 1,200 Canadians.

The petitioners express their concern about the lack of resources provided for young Canadians who want to volunteers. The petitioners say, among other things, that several tens of thousands of young Canadians want to serve the community as volunteers here or abroad. Many of them are denied this opportunity due to the lack of government funds provided for non-governmental organizations that offer these types of programs to young Canadians.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to enact legislation that will allow all young Canadians who wish to do so to serve in communities as volunteers at the national or international levels. It is my pleasure to present this petition on their behalf.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

December 11th, 2006 / 5:15 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 113 will be answered today.

Question No. 113
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Regarding the cuts announced by the government in the area of youth employment: (a) which programs are affected by the cuts; (b) what is the extent of the cuts by program; (c) how will the summer career placements program be affected; (d) how will the skills link program be affected; and (e) how will the career focus program be affected?

Question No. 113
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the youth employment strategy, YES, helps young people, particularly those facing barriers to employment, get the information and gain the skills, work experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition to the workplace.

YES includes three streams of program, namely skills link, career focus and summer work experience. The skills links and career focus programs were not affected by the announced reductions

The summer career placement, SCP, initiative, which is a component of the summer work experience, provides wage subsidies to employers to create career related summer employment opportunities for students 15 to 30 years of age inclusively.

In budget 2006, we promised to review our programs to ensure every taxpayer dollar spent achieves results, provides value for money and meets the needs of Canadians.

When this government examined the spending in the summer career placement programs, we found that many employers would have provided these jobs even if they did not receive one cent of funding.

Canada’s new government will instead focus funding where students need help, whether it is in rural communities, for new Canadians, or targeted at other barriers for employment. We will help students where they actually need it.

Recently, we announced a budget reduction for SCP of $10.4 million in 2006-07 and $45 million in 2007-08. As a result, the program will be re-focused on students who need it the most because of where they live or the barriers they face.

The effect of our new program will be known when we evaluate the 2007 summer career placements applications.

I assure the member that the department will honour its ongoing commitment to help youth in need make the transition to the labour market.

The SCP initiative will continue to assist students in obtaining employment. In early 2007, employers will be invited to submit applications for creating summer employment. These applications will be assessed using a transparent, rigorous assessment process to ensure the initiative responds to students who need it most.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, if Question No. 111 could be made an order for return, this return would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 111
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie Victoria, BC

With respect to government spending on workplace skills: (a) to what year(s) was the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development referring in her statement in the House on September 29, 2006, specifically “we are spending over $2 billion a year in developing workplace skills”; and (b) what is the precise government spending in developing workplace skills from 2004-05, broken down by program, in each province and territory?