House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was special.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, we agreed that we would offer special measures to help self-employed workers who do not have access to special benefits. In Quebec, that means sickness and compassionate care benefits. The government announced that it would bring in these measures. It delivered the goods this week and now, for the first time, it is offering self-employed workers an opportunity to benefit from services that will be offered to all self-employed workers in Quebec as well as all of the other provinces and territories.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister needs to bear in mind that Bill C-56 does not take into account the fact that self-employed workers in Quebec already have access to maternity and parental benefits, for which they pay $0.86 per $100.

Does the minister realize that, by charging an extra $1.36, he is making self-employed workers in Quebec pay for those in Canada?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, the government decided to help self-employed workers by offering them special benefits. That is what we are doing now by introducing this bill.

The $0.86 that the member is talking about is the amount that the Government of Quebec collects to cover the cost of maternity and parental benefits. Now we are giving self-employed workers the opportunity to opt in, but what he is talking about is mandatory. Our program is voluntary, and it finally gives people access to sickness and compassionate care benefits.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the National Assembly adopted a third unanimous motion asking that the federal members maintain the firearms registry in its entirety. The Conservative bill, sponsored by the member for Portage—Lisgar, and supported by the Liberals and New Democrats, would dismantle the firearms registry system.

So that Quebec does not lose this important crime-fighting tool, will the government comply with the request of the Parti Québécois, which is calling for the transfer of the firearms registry to the Government of Quebec, with full compensation?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote a press release I received today.

The Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs welcomes the fact that members of Parliament have supported private member's bill C-391, introduced for second reading in the House of Commons yesterday. The Fédération believes that the so-called unrestricted long arms registry is not useful, does not protect the public, and costs Canadian taxpayers a great deal of money.

The Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs represents 125,000 members.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, I met with officials from the federation, and a number of them told me that their wives did not agree.

The Government of Quebec is urging the federal government to transfer this responsibility, and the funds that go with it. Quebec believes in gun control.

Will the Prime Minister comply with this request from the Quebec nation?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the firearms registry is a huge waste of money and does not help prevent crime. That is clear.

I encourage the Bloc Québécois leader to do as the other leaders are doing and let the members vote freely, and we will have more support for the abolition of the firearms registry.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources is already under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner, and is implicated in violations of the Lobbying Act.

Today we learned of many new allegations of ethical breaches while she was president and CEO of the federal Toronto Port Authority. Instead of investigating, the government has done everything in its power to cover this up.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Will he finally demonstrate accountability and call on the Auditor General to investigate, without delay?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in the morning papers we learned nothing new, contrary to what the member opposite said.

What we do know is the Toronto Port Authority has said many times that “all expense and hospitality policies were followed”. The board has since stated that “the management and staff clearly followed all of these policies”. The chairman of the board's audit committee stated that “there was nothing unusual in expenses for a business of this size”.

Those are the facts.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, Deloitte & Touche disagrees with the minister. The minister ran up almost $130,000 in hospitality and other personal expenses as head of the authority. Now we learn that she unethically signed her own expense reports rather than the chairman of the board of directors. Contrary to the evidence, the transport minister assures us that all policies were followed. That is not the case.

When did the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Transport, and his predecessor learn of these allegations? Why is the government continuing this shameful cover-up?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is using some very colourful language. I wonder if he would have the courage of his convictions to be that colourful outside of this place.

Let us be very clear. The Toronto Port Authority has said many times that expense and hospitality policies were followed. The chairman of the audit committee stated there was nothing unusual with these expenses. That is what the arm's-length board of the Toronto Port Authority has said to us.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are shameless when it comes to promoting themselves at taxpayer expense. We have learned that the city of Mississauga has been forced to spend $90,000 putting up economic action plan signs. Another $5,000 has been spent on signs for the RInC program.

Why is the government forcing municipalities to waste their infrastructure money on partisan propaganda?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. What really embarrasses the Liberal members of Parliament opposite is that they see these signs popping up all over their own ridings. Also, they are being put in the embarrassing position where they actually have to defend why they voted against all this spending in the first place.

Last week, we were hearing that none of this money was going to Liberal ridings. Now we hear that all over Mississauga signs are popping up. It shows just how fair and equitable, and open and transparent this government has been.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's signs--

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!