House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious issue and it deserves to be dealt with on the basis of facts.

As Statistics Canada reveals, over the last number of years instances of poverty have actually decreased. That is good news. We need to make sure that we take advantage of that by training people to get into the labour market. We are investing today more money than any government in history in training, in affordable housing, and in child care.

Some people propose raising the GST. It is not an answer to tax people living in poverty.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, when will the government wake up? Today's United Way report is the third in 18 months that has sounded the alarm of the growing gap that is leaving so many behind in Toronto.

Toronto families are losing ground on every measure: in median incomes, in the percentage of low income families, and in the number of families living in poverty.

There has been a net loss of jobs, with good paying jobs being replaced by temporary, part time, and contract work with no security, no benefits, and thanks to the previous Liberal and now Conservative government, no unemployment insurance.

When can the government--

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Social Development.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, this is a serious problem and the member is obliged to stick to the facts.

The truth is, in the last 22 months, 652,000 jobs have been created in this country. We have seen a wage increase of 4.1% as of October. Wages are rising.

That said, we have to do more. That is why we are investing in training to the degree that we are. Today I signed another agreement to provide training for Inuit in this country. These are important initiatives because they not only give people a job, they give people some hope, which they need.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Campaign 2000 condemned this government for failing Canada's children. The report shows almost a million children live in poverty in Canada and over 280,000 children in Canada use food banks.

The Liberal Party has proposed a plan which will help 30% of Canadian families living in poverty get out and will cut child poverty by 50%.

When will the government show some leadership, step up to the plate, and take action with a plan to reduce poverty in Canada?

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, actually the Liberal Party is proposing raising the GST. I do not see how that can possibly help people who are living in poverty today.

The member raises her plan. The Toronto Star pointed out that not only has the Liberal Party not costed its initiatives or explained how it would deal with the various contradictions in its platform toward supporting these various initiatives. The Star also points out that the Liberal leader has no idea of what it is like to live in poverty.

I know life was tough for professors in the 1950s, especially when they could not get--

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Brampton—Springdale.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government needs to stop playing games, rise above partisan politics, and take some action for the children of Canada.

The report shows that single income, first nations and immigrant families are also living in poverty. It confirms what the Liberals have been saying for months. It confirms that we have a leader and we have a party that cares. We have a national action plan to reduce poverty, versus a Prime Minister and a government that simply refuses to listen.

Are Canadians who are living in poverty being ignored because the Conservatives think they have no votes?

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot about their 30-50 plan, but frankly we cannot wait that long to deal with this issue.

The fact is this government has put in place a working income tax benefit. We have put in place $1.4 billion for affordable housing. Today we are investing more in child care and more in training than any government in history.

How did the Liberals respond to that? They voted against it at every stage. That is their stand on poverty.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice and the government has decided that Canada would only seek clemency for Canadians facing the death penalty abroad on a case by case basis, when it suits them.

I would like to ask the government: Will it seek clemency for Chen Naizhi, a Canadian citizen convicted in China, who faces a death sentence for car smuggling?

How can the government have any credibility on this issue after choosing not to seek clemency for a Canadian citizen now facing the death penalty in Montana?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we were very clear that we would have a look into every case. With respect to the case in China, we will have a close look at that.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Bashir Makhtal, a Canadian citizen, has been held in Ethiopia since January. He is potentially facing the death penalty and is allegedly being tortured. His family has received no assistance from the government and has launched a lawsuit against the government of Ethiopia on their own.

The Minister of Justice claims Canada still supports the UN's death penalty moratorium. Will Mr. Makhtal be caught up in the Conservative government's betrayal of the principle of the death penalty?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if there are any Canadians anywhere in the world potentially in difficulty, I am sure the Canadian consular officials will be in touch with that individual and will certainly look into it.

With respect to human rights and standing up for human rights, this government has a record second to none.

Guaranteed Income Supplement
Oral Questions

November 26th, 2007 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, Quebec seniors, including the FADOQ and the FADEQ, are reminding the government of its obligations to them, and are asking for a decent income. They are urging parliamentarians to take action, particularly as regards low income seniors, and are asking them, among other measures, to improve the guaranteed income supplement.

Now that the minister is being called upon by all seniors, will he take this opportunity to announce that he will grant them full retroactivity and indexation, as the Bloc Québécois has been demanding?

Guaranteed Income Supplement
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the member should know that benefits are in fact indexed.

The Canada pension plan, old age security and the guaranteed income supplement are extraordinarily important programs. We have committed in our election platform to ensure their sustainability. In fact, we have enhanced those programs.

In terms of letting people know, we have conducted extensive advertising campaigns to ensure they know. We go on reserve and into homeless shelters to ensure that everyone understands there are benefits available to them.