House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec was not calling on the government to impose visas.

The minister needs to stop putting the blame for the decision on the Government of Quebec, which was not even consulted. What minister Sam Hamad does say is that the Government of Quebec needs additional funds to cover the extra costs associated with asylum seekers.

When will the minister stop imposing this irresponsible decision, and when will he release the additional funds the Government of Quebec is requesting?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Hamad said that when they extend their stay, asylum seekers in Quebec put growing pressure on Quebec's services and public finances. I have a question for the member. Why is he not concerned about the pressure on social services on behalf of Quebec taxpayers? Why is he complaining on behalf of special interest groups instead of taxpayers? Why is the Government of Quebec defending Quebec's interests? We acted to defend Quebec's interests by imposing these visas.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Lies, lies.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Not so—

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl.

Emergency Response
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General revealed today that Public Safety Canada has a budget of nearly $60 million for emergency management, yet the government has used less than two-thirds of that money in the past two years.

The AG says that Public Safety Canada is unable to develop its capacity for emergency management. This is not about a lack of money, it is about a lack of leadership.

How could the Conservatives pretend they were well prepared for an emergency when the Auditor General says they were not?

Emergency Response
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we have actually been making considerable progress in preparing for emergency management. In fact, to quote the Auditor General, she said, “Public Safety Canada has made considerable progress in improving federal emergency coordination through its Government Operations Centre”.

Indeed, our plans continue to be prepared. We have worked well with the provinces and territories who, of course, we know are primarily responsible for the delivery of emergency and disaster management. Our coordination has worked well, as we saw this spring with the floods in Manitoba, and we will continue to improve and enhance and build our emergency management capacity.

Emergency Response
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, seven hour lineups tell the tale, do they not?

The Auditor General said the federal emergency response plan has not received formal approval by the government. The AG states that until the government endorses the plan, it will be difficult for Public Safety Canada to fulfill its mandate to combat emergencies such as the pandemic Canadians are now facing.

Why, after four years, has the government refused to complete and endorse the federal emergency response plan?

Emergency Response
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I should first help my friends on the other side to understand the difference between the pandemic management plan and the federal emergency response plan. They are two entirely different documents. Canada is operating right now under the pandemic management plan.

The federal emergency response plan is prepared. It exists and continues to be developed. The Auditor General has asked that we take it to cabinet to have it endorsed there. We are going to do that. We think that is a good suggestion so that it does have that forum, but we will also continue to work to evolve it, to make it better all the time.

As we see, every time something happens we can always do better, but it has been working well, as we saw this spring with the floods in Manitoba.

Health
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, today the Auditor General reported that the federal emergency management committee, which is supposed to coordinate the response to the H1N1 virus pandemic, did not bother to meet during half of the six most recent emergencies. She warned of conflicting messages, gaps in the system and failed communication and coordination efforts.

This is disturbing news, obviously, given the current H1N1 crisis, and it confirms what people are experiencing, confusion and a lack of coordination. Why can the government not get its act together?

Health
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, again I have to emphasize that the opposition has to realize that there are two different plans.

The federal emergency response plan is aimed at natural disasters, and in the event that a pandemic reached the level where it required public safety intervention, it would be managed under that plan, but we are operating right now under the pandemic management plan, updated by this government in 2006, and the North American pandemic plan, which our government has also put in place. That plan is working well. As a result, we have available the most doses per capita of any country in the world. That is a sound accomplishment. Canadians have gotten the message that they have to get the vaccine and they are going out—

Health
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Health
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, maybe if the committee had met even once, it would have come across this disturbing fact.

The contract for pandemic vaccine for 10 years was awarded by the Liberal government to a single company in 2001, Shire Biologics, which was, in turn, sold to GlaxoSmithKline. Getting 50 million doses from one company is like trying to fill 50 million cups of water from the same tap.

The Prime Minister's old friend, Ken Boessenkool, is now a lobbyist for GSK. Is he the person who has been reassuring the government that GSK would have no problem delivering a speedy supply of the vaccine?

Health
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, what Canadians care about is the availability of the vaccine. Six million doses have already been distributed throughout the country, through the provinces and territories, and that is enough vaccine for all of the priority groups. That is more per capita than any other country in the world.

But we are not resting on our laurels. We continue to distribute the vaccine as it is produced. That is our role and responsibility, along with the provinces and territories. We are working with the public health officials. That is what people expect of us and that is what we are doing.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

November 3rd, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, today our Conservative government introduced the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act. This bill would provide self-employed Canadians with access to maternity, parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits on a voluntary basis.

This is yet another way our government is supporting Canadian families. Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of HRSDC please explain to this House how this bill will help self-employed Canadians balance work and family?