House of Commons Hansard #21 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was passport.

Topics

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Revenue Agency issued a cigarette manufacturing permit to a man who is now under investigation for drug trafficking in Canada, and who is also charged in the United States with running a marijuana ring. What is even more astonishing and disturbing is that this permit was issued despite the strong opposition of the band council where the accused's business is located.

In light of the seriousness of the suspicions surrounding this individual, would the Canada Revenue Agency not be fully justified in suspending his permit until the RCMP concludes its investigation?

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

Before issuing a tobacco sale permit, we check to see if the individual has a criminal record. Then, we review the business plan submitted to us by the company. Finally, we visit the premises to ensure that everything is in compliance with the business plan presented to us. We also explain to the prospective permit holder his responsibilities and obligations.

In this case, all these steps were taken. If the facts do not reflect what we were told, of course we can revoke the individual's permit.

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a fraudster who is under investigation, both here and in the United States. That individual's behaviour definitely does not reflect what he said in his statements.

Will the minister revoke his permit? That is shameful.

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, if the member knew more about the issue, he might not be asking the same question.

I will say it again. We conduct checks. We ensure that individuals comply with the rules when they apply for permits. That was done in this case.

If someone does not comply with the requirements of the law, if an individual does not do what he told us he would do, of course we can revoke his permit. The member is well aware that there are certain things which I cannot mention because of confidentiality.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, workers across Canada continue to face delays in having EI claims processed. According to PSAC, over 30,000 people are waiting to get their claims processed in Atlantic Canada alone, 8,000 of those are waiting more than 28 days.

Today Statistics Canada indicates that GDP has contracted by 3.4%. That means more heavy job losses. Yet the minister responsible for EI continues to be oblivious to Canadians who are losing their jobs.

Why is the minister incapable of understanding the hardship suffered by Canadian families that have to wait for their EI cheques?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the fact is we are very engaged in trying to ensure that those who have been unfortunate enough to lose their jobs get the EI for which they qualify as quickly as possible. That is why we have already been bringing back recent retirees who are skilled at handling EI. We have extended our hours. We are adding automation to the system to make processing go faster.

We are processing up to 50% more claims now than we were a year ago. We are doing most of those, unfortunately not all, on time. We are getting better at it too.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister really does not get it. A delay in getting a cheque to a family means that it could miss a mortgage payment or even have difficulty putting food on the table. How is that stimulating our economy?

A family that suddenly finds itself without a paycheque depends on EI to help it through a tough time. Yet the minister does nothing because she said that she did not want to make EI too lucrative. These workers paid into EI and they have a right to get it when they need it.

When will the minister do something, anything at all, or will the Prime Minister appoint somebody over there who actually cares about unemployed Canadians?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are trying to take care of these people because they need it and deserve it. That is why we are stepping up overtime. That is why we are increasing automation. That is why we are being proactive in reaching out to companies that indicate they may be having layoffs. That is why we are expanding our work-sharing program, our targeted initiative for older workers and significantly expanding the training to help these people get back to work in jobs that will last.

I thank the member for his support of the budget on that.

Pay Equity
Oral Questions

March 2nd, 2009 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is trying to mislead Canadian women. It has said that its so-called pay equity legislation is based on the Ontario pay equity model, but the government's plan could not be more different.

Could the minister explain exactly what parts of his legislation are modelled on the Ontario proactive pay equity legislation?

Pay Equity
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, what is of concern to people concerned about equity in the workplace is that women are waiting 15 and 20 years in order to have complaints resolved. We have said that there needs to be a proactive mechanism to ensure that these complaints are dealt with on an ongoing basis through the collective bargaining situation, as it is done in other provinces.

The member, in fact, is well aware of the Liberal 2004 study that looked at this issue and recommended this model. We are implementing it.

Pay Equity
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely and patently false. It is obvious that the minister has not even read the Ontario act. The Ontario model has a pay equity commission to ensure pay equity is implemented and a tribunal to hear pay equity complaints. It does not allow for women's rights to be bargained away, as the government is doing.

What measures from the Ontario model are in the Conservative government's legislation?

Pay Equity
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, one cannot bargain away those rights at the collective bargaining table. The member knows that and the member is simply making up these statements.

The other point that she raised is about the independent tribunal. There is an independent tribunal that will review these matters as well in the legislation, exactly as it is in the Ontario and other legislation.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, on February 19, the Prime Minister and President Obama met to discuss many of the issues facing not only our North American continent but those of our planet. Both the Prime Minister and the President agreed in a U.S.-Canada clean energy dialogue that would co-operate on several critical energy science and technology issues in pursuit of a clean environment.

Could the Prime Minister please update the House on the progress taken since this very important and historic meeting?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment is in Washington today to continue the clean energy dialogue that was initiated when President Obama was in Ottawa.

While in Washington, with regard to the clean energy dialogue, the Minister of the Environment will talk to the American administration about the expansion of clean energy research, the development and deployment of clean energy technology, the promotion of clean and renewable energy sources like hydroelectricity.

This is an important initiative between our governments and one we hope will be a model for the rest of the world in terms of climate change.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend the Prime Minister, like the leader of the Liberal Party, suggested that he was open to extending Canada's military role in Afghanistan beyond 2011. Reports stated that if the U.S. asked Canada to remain, the Prime Minister would want the U.S. to clearly state its long-term objectives and an ultimate end date.

Could the Prime Minister state unequivocally that if these two criteria were satisfied, would he seek to extend Canada's military mission in Afghanistan beyond 2011, yes or no?