House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Small Business
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, small businesses are the biggest generator of jobs in this country. They are being hit hard by this economic crisis. Tourism bookings are down. Seafood prices are falling. Retail outlets are cutting back on staff. Companies viewed as success stories months ago are now cutting operations and some are even closing their doors. People are losing jobs and people are losing hope.

When will the Conservatives stop denying and deflecting and give small businesses and their employees help from this deepening crisis?

Small Business
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, we, on this side of the House, are proud that we have a plan of hope for small businesses. In fact, we are ensuring that small businesses have the financing they need to continue with operating lines of credit and to continue with bridge financing. We have lowered taxes for small businesses.

We are getting the job done for small business. I am sorry the members opposite do not see hope when there is hope for this economy.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, on December 19, I wrote a letter to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development about EI claimants facing unacceptable processing delays. Last week, I received a letter from the minister apologizing for her delay in responding to my letter about delays.

I accept her apology but will the minister now apologize both to the thousands of laid-off workers who are still waiting due to her political mismanagement and to the hard-working staff at Service Canada who are bearing the brunt of Conservative incompetence?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, these are very challenging times for way too many people in this country. Too many of them have lost their jobs and are having to look to EI for support. We are increasing and have already increased the number of people who are handling EI and processing the claims.

We are working with companies to ensure the claims get filed faster so we can get the benefits to those who need them faster. We are bringing back retirees to ensure we have enough people to do this. We are getting the job done for those Canadians who need our help.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources has the same glib response to any question about delays in getting EI. In my riding, real people are suffering from this real crisis. One individual waited six weeks for EI. He was forced to apply for welfare while he waited. When he finally received his cheque, the province clawed it back and he still has no money on which to live.

Is the minister saying to the desperate people who fall between the cracks, “Do not worry, be happy. I am really trying”?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have a number of people in Human Resources and Skills Development who are working very hard to ensure those Canadians who need and deserve employment insurance benefits receive them in a timely manner. We are seeing unprecedented demands on this system.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those of my staff who have been working extra hours and who have been working weekends for the sake of Canadians.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board rejects applications from Haitians who were complicit in, or actually committed, crimes against humanity under the Aristide regime. Yet, Pharès Pierre, who has been appointed to the IRB by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, was part of that government which made use of torture and was complicit in atrocities. This makes absolutely no sense.

Can the minister take steps to see that he is dismissed? That is the only sensible thing to do.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, I am gravely concerned about the recommendation of this person by the IRB, which is responsible under the new system for proposing names to me after a pre-selection process. I spoke to the chairperson of the IRB yesterday and we are looking into how to address this issue. We must proceed carefully.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is defending himself by saying that this individual was recommended to him by the IRB and underwent Privy Council security checks, the Privy Council being, I might add, the Prime Minister's office. Exactly the same people who investigated the Couillard affair. That says something.

So which is it: are the investigators incompetent, or was this appointment made in order to please a Conservative crony? What is it really: incompetence or partisan politics?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the man in question is not a friend of mine. To the best of my knowledge, he is not currently an active member of the Conservative Party of Canada. He was appointed on the advice of the IRB. According to the revised process, the IRB chairperson is responsible for the selection of qualified candidates to be recommended to the minister for appointment to the IRB.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, lawyers are accusing the criminal conviction review group of obstruction and lack of transparency. They are saying that since the Conservatives came to power they have been refused evidence that is crucial to their clients' defence and have been referred to the Access to Information Act.

If the system is working properly, as the Minister of Justice maintained in committee, how can he explain the obstruction the Montreal lawyers are complaining about, and rightly so?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member has any evidence of that, he should please present that either here or at committee. I can say that the process works well. It is a process that has been in place since 2002. I think Canadians can continue to have confidence in that process.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's response is not convincing anyone.

Since coming to power, the Conservatives have increased their hostility towards anyone who does not share their views by taking away their livelihood and their resources.

Does the minister realize that by refusing to hand over crucial evidence, he is violating his legal obligations as set out by the Supreme Court?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, those are ridiculous comments coming from the hon. member for which there is absolutely no basis. The only people we, as a government, have taken hostile action against are violent criminals in this country. Those are the people we stand up to and so should the hon. member.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

March 11th, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, three days ago the finance minister said, “the construction season is about to start...and we want to make full use of the six-month construction season”. However, the government's first probation report yesterday shows it will spend the construction season this spring twiddling its thumbs instead.

The green infrastructure fund and community fund will not begin until the fall. The $2 billion infrastructure stimulus fund will not start until July, and that is after a murky application process.

Why is the government misleading Canadians, and why is it planning to waste over half the construction season?