House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taxes.

Topics

Canada Post Corporation
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, can the Minister responsible for Canada Post explain this initiative to the House?

Canada Post Corporation
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I see this has received the unanimous support from members of the House. Of course, Canada and the government strongly support our men and women in uniform overseas.

I am pleased to note that Canada Post will offer free letter service to the families and friends of our men and women serving overseas starting tomorrow, and will continue through 2008. This is an excellent initiative that we all should applaud.

Housing
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to housing, the government is going in the wrong direction.

“Very disturbing”, “devastating impact”, “national crisis” were words used by the UN special envoy on adequate housing, describing the housing situation in Canada. He noted Canada once had a world famous housing program, summarily abandoned, he confirmed, by past Liberal governments.

Given a $14 billion surplus, given federal housing trust funds, and given the crisis, when will the government take real action on affordable housing and homelessness?

Housing
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the government is very concerned about the plight of people who do not have a roof over their heads. That is why we put in place a housing trust that will provide homes for tens of thousands of people over the next few years.

We have put in place the homelessness partnering strategy, which has been heralded by many groups across this country. It is a community based initiative that is designed to prevent homelessness and put a roof over the heads of people who are struggling and who have been left behind so they can get the help they need.

Housing
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, reports today note the waiting list for affordable housing in Edmonton now tops 3,000 families. Some 70,000 wait in Toronto. Montreal homeless shelters report today that 400 emergency beds are in peril due to funding shortfalls. Vancouver awaits action on Olympic legacy housing promises. In Victoria, over 1,500 people are homeless.

We need action today to build homes, not just shelters. We need action today, so families do not have to choose between rent or electricity. When will the government announce a national housing strategy that actually builds homes?

Housing
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the member does not have a monopoly on concern on this issue. We are very concerned about it which is why one of the first things we did, as a government, was put in place a $1.4 billion housing trust which is designed to create thousands and thousands of homes for Canadians.

We have also moved in concert with the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to create an on reserve market based housing fund which will provide homes for 25,000 aboriginals on reserve.

We are acting, whereas the member who is concerned about this obviously is simply flapping his gums. We are getting something done.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, the government has abandoned Kyoto. It has replaced it with mushy musings about future initiatives that no one can quantify. The Minister of Veterans Affairs said on CBC radio that he has no interest in restoring the Petitcodiac River. He wants to study it more.

This is after a four year multimillion dollar study funded by both New Brunswick and federal money.

The question is this. Will the minister stand up for the Petitcodiac River, support its restoration, and get in the same wave as everyone else?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, once again it is important to recall that the government in the Speech from the Throne has committed large amounts of money, unprecedented amounts of money, for infrastructure programs. We are currently discussing this issue with the Government of New Brunswick. If basically we come to a conclusion in the near future, we will let the members of the House know what is occurring, but we are continuing our discussions.

Poverty
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, despite the recent interest of the Leader of the Opposition in poverty issues, so far the Liberals have asked zero questions on this issue in the House. Instead of focusing on issues like this, I guess the Liberals are now abstaining from asking important questions. They are trying to conjure up imaginary scandals in a desperate tactic to distract attention from their own incredibly corrupt past over the last 13 years.

I know our government has taken real action on this issue. Could the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development explain to the House what he is doing with respect to poverty?

Poverty
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we are concerned obviously about the issue of poverty. Under the leadership of the finance minister, the economy is creating thousands and thousands of jobs. We are lifting people out of poverty. We have also put in place a number of initiatives: the universal child care benefit, the working income tax benefit, many initiatives to help the disabled and seniors, billions of dollars for housing, and more money than any government in history to provide people with training so they can get good jobs.

As the throne speech said, we are committed to investing resources to helping those seeking to break free from the cycles of homelessness and poverty, and we thank the Liberals for giving us the mandate to do exactly that.

Social Housing
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the end of his observer mission, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Miloon Kothari, harshly criticized the federal government for its poor performance when it comes to social and affordable housing. He reminded Canada that it is a signatory to many international treaties recognizing the right to housing but that the government still has a great deal of work to do to prove that it keeps its word.

Can the Prime Minister confirm today, here in this House, that he will follow up on the UN recommendations and significantly increase funding for social and affordable housing?

Social Housing
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, we believe that people should have a roof over their head. We are concerned about this, which is why we put $1.4 billion into providing thousands of homes for people in this country. We provide $1.8 billion a year for social housing. The affordable housing initiative continues to create thousands of homes for Canadians. The homelessness partnering strategy is there to prevent homelessness.

I have to point out that it was the leader of the Liberal Party who admitted, not awfully long ago, that it was his party that downloaded a lot of the funding for housing to the provinces back in the 1990s.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, first we had the broken promise of a written letter to a widow of a veteran that the government would extend VIP services immediately. Promise broken.

Then the former defence minister said that we would get the job done on fixing the discriminatory SISIP clawback on injured soldiers. Promise broken.

Now we have the government, when it was in opposition, promising all civilians and veterans who were sprayed by defoliant from 1956 to 1984 that they would be looked after. Yet what did it announce? It announced a package only for those from 1966 to 1967.

Why is the Conservative government deliberately misleading veterans and their families in this country, and why do injured soldiers have to go to court to get the benefits they require from the government?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

New Brunswick Southwest
New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that member and his party have no credibility on issues pertaining to veterans or men and women in uniform or the military.

Members of the NDP stand in the House time and time again, and I ask every member in the House to examine their record, and they consistently, purposely and deliberately vote against every measure to support our men and women in uniform, including our veterans, on all military issues in terms of supply and the resources the members of the military need to do their job. The NDP has no credibility on that file.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

October 25th, 2007 / 3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of Mr. Luiz Carlos Jorge Hauly, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas.