House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-31.

Topics

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, it is precisely because of this government that seniors today have more money in their pockets, lower taxes, better programming, and an enhanced new horizons program.

As the member says, they have an outstanding minister representing their point of view at the cabinet table, something the NDP has always voted against.

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is precisely because of this government that we have two million seniors living in poverty today and that number is growing.

Retired firefighters, police and municipal employees are all waiting for government action. Why? Because they all got dinged twice by this government: once when they lost out on CPP and OAS, and the second time when the cost of living on their employer pension was impacted by StatsCan as well.

The government can find billions of dollars for corporate tax cuts. Why can it not find the money to pay back seniors for a mistake that the government made?

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the member is completely wrong. The fact is the government has moved on a number of occasions to improve things for seniors. Recently, NDP members had the chance to show that they really support seniors and failed to do it.

We have moved as a government to lift 385,000 Canadians right off the tax rolls, low income Canadians, many thousands of whom are seniors and the NDP of course voted against it.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs declared in committee that “the development and reconstruction mandate [in Afghanistan to which] Canada is committed until 2011 with the Compact and the other nations” and that “when speaking of Mr. Manley's mandate ...we are speaking only of the military mission”.

Has the Conservative government already decided to use Canada's commitment to development as a pretext for keeping our troops in Afghanistan, no matter what Mr. Manley's report says?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows Canada is in Afghanistan helping to rebuild a country that has suffered 30 years of violence and tyranny.

We are also there helping to rebuild the Afghan army, to build a police service, so that the Afghan people can have a system in place that can ensure their security and safety.

We have said over and over again that Canada's current military mission will end in 2009.

I am not sure why the hon. member continues to ask this question. We have been very clear. I want to point out that the Liberal Party did not bring major decisions like this to the House. We will.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, my concern is that those major decisions have already taken place in the Department of Foreign Affairs, obviously without consultation with this minister in particular.

The real issue is whether or not after 2011, as a result of the directive that has been given in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Canada will remain there until 2015.

As the hon. minister knows, we cannot have a question of development, a question of diplomacy, in that region without security. The real question is this. Is the government prepared to keep our troops there until 2015 or even beyond that?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, again, we have been very clear. If there is to be an extension to our military presence, there will be a vote in the House. We are committed to the Afghanistan compact which does go to 2011. Surely the hon. member understands that our diplomatic relations will undoubtedly continue.

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, all working Canadians are entitled to the Canada pension plan and to the benefits when they retire. The sad fact is that 55,000 seniors who have the right to receive Canada pension benefits are not receiving them because the government has not bothered to let them know.

When is the government going to show that it actually cares for Canada's seniors and immediately get them the information they require to get the benefits that they are entitled to?

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the member is simply uninformed on this issue. The fact is the government is constantly doing outreach. We advertise. We inform seniors of the benefits that are available to them through senior centres. We go to homeless shelters. We are actually physically on reserve to tell people about the benefits that are available to them.

The fact is there are now 597 Service Canada outlets around the country that explain all the benefits that seniors and all Canadians can receive from their government.

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's outreach is clearly not working. In addition to the 55,000 seniors not getting CPP they are entitled to, 130,000 Canadians who quality for GIS are not getting it. The government has the names, the addresses and the phone numbers. Pick up the phone and call them.

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I do not think we need to call them. I think she just did.

The fact is we are doing very aggressive outreach. The member has pulled these numbers out of the air. I can tell the member, though, we are deeply concerned about making sure that all Canadians who are eligible for benefits do receive them.

Pearson Peacekeeping Centre
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Rumours continue to circulate about the possible closing of the Montreal office of the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre. Recognized throughout the French-speaking world for its expertise, the office was set up in 1999 to provide additional support for the centre's francophone programming and help it play a larger role in supporting Canada's activities within the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs assure us that he will continue to fund the centre?

Pearson Peacekeeping Centre
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, this government stands for good governance, democratic governments and human rights. The Pearson Centre plays an important role. There are no plans for the closure of that centre.

Ice Storm
Oral Questions

December 13th, 2007 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, nearly 10 years after the big ice storm, Quebec is still waiting for the $435 million the federal government owes it under the disaster financial assistance arrangement program.

How can the government justify taking so long to reimburse Quebec when it has compensated Alberta for the flooding in 2005, British Columbia for the forest fires in 2003 and Manitoba for the flooding of the Red River in 1997? Could it be because Quebec is not in western Canada?

Ice Storm
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, since the terrible storm in 1998, the government has made eight payments to the Province of Quebec, for a total of $525,000. With our auditors, we are continuing to receive receipts from officials in Quebec so that we can make further payments. We are working with them.