House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was afghanistan.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Kania Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the Toronto area alone, 207,000 unemployed Canadians are not receiving EI benefits. One of those many Canadians is my constituent, Dan Trotta, a 41-year-old disabled Canadian with spinal stenosis. He has three young children, a mortgage and numerous financial obligations. He and his family are very afraid. EI approved him only for re-education funding, not benefits.

On behalf of Mr. Trotta and all unemployed Canadians, why will the Conservatives not provide the help that is needed now? Mr. Trotta is watching right now--

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we know these are very trying times for too many people and, unfortunately, it will continue for a while longer.

We are investing in additional programs, even programs for people like Mr. Trotta. We want them to get the skills and training they need to get the jobs that will help them take care of their families in the future so that they do not need to rely on the EI system and will be able to take care of themselves.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, people in the city of Toronto and across the country are struggling in the worst economic situation in over 50 years and when they need help, they expect programs like EI to be there.

However, in my riding, a woman in her early forties has just been laid off. When she applied for EI, she was told that she was 80 hours short of getting benefits. Now she and her husband are both jobless and cannot receive EI.

When will the government put its money where its mouth is and help those Canadians most in need?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our economic action plan has three main thrusts to it.

The first one is to create jobs through our $12 billion investment in stimulus infrastructure so people will have jobs.

Second, we are preserving jobs through the expansion of the work sharing program, where people can stay on the job, take a day off, not work one day a week but get EI benefits, so their jobs are preserved.

Then there are those who are unfortunate enough to lose work and we have provided not just expanded EI benefits but training for those who are not eligible for EI so they can get the jobs of the future.

Anti-Crime Legislation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dona Cadman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the born-again crime fighters in the opposition just showed their true colours. Despite all the public posturing over the last few weeks coming from those opposite, the Liberal, NDP and Bloc facade was revealed.

This morning, all opposition members voted to delay debate on measures aimed at fighting organized crime and drugs. After pressure from this government, they finally decided to pass an organized crime bill at second reading. What about our other bill aimed to crack down on drugs in this country?

Anti-Crime Legislation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that Canadians will finally see the second reading passage of our bill to crack down on organized crime and gangs in the country.

Next on our list is the drug bill that would send out the right message to anybody who wants to get into the grow op business, start selling drugs to kids or start bringing narcotics into this country. The message is that they will go to jail. I would like to see that bill get passed in one day because for once I want all the opposition to our crime agenda to be coming from gangsters and drug dealers and not from across the aisle.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

March 26th, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, because of the Conservative government, more than 800 people are going to lose their jobs at the CBC. The Conservatives think it is okay to do away with local radio news at noon across the country, to cut the television news by half an hour in Atlantic Canada and elsewhere, to lay off two thirds of the employees at the Windsor station—they may as well close it—and to slash youth-oriented news programs such as RDI Junior.

We know that the Prime Minister dislikes the CBC so much that he does not even give interviews to the network. Is that any reason to destroy Canada's public broadcaster?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, during the 2006 and 2008 election campaigns, we made a specific promise to Canadians. We said we would increase or maintain the budget for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. With each of our budgets, we have delivered the goods and kept our promise. That is what we have done. Now, though, here in this House, the NDP is making itself out to be the great defender of the CBC, even though it has voted against the CBC in our budgets year after year. It has voted against the CBC. That is terrible.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are now seeing crippling losses at CBC in Windsor, Sudbury and Thunder Bay.

While we are talking about pink slips, he should be giving them to the Conservative MPs from Quebec who will pay for his decision to blow 260 jobs yesterday in Montreal alone. These job losses were completely avoidable. All it required was his signature so that they could get a bank loan or bridge financing, and it would not have cost the taxpayer a money.

Why did the minister put an ideological vendetta ahead of the public interest of Canada?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member, frankly, does not know what he is talking about.

The president of the CBC said publicly that even if the CBC were extended a loan of $125 million, it would still be laying off people. This is the problem with broadcasters in this country, public and private. There is a massive drop in ad revenue for all broadcasters in this country. It is not the fault of taxpayers.

Taxpayers elected our government on our campaign commitment to maintain or increase funding for the CBC. We have done our job but the NDP, of course, voted against those increases in funding.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, although the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism claims that he is reviewing the unacceptable appointment of Pharès Pierre, the latter is currently undergoing training as a board member and already has been assigned an office at the board. In reality, the minister is doing absolutely nothing. A number of board members are refusing to work with Pharès Pierre because they believe he is unworthy of the position.

Does the minister realize that his inaction is a disgrace to our immigration system?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the gentleman in question was recommended to the government for appointment to the IRB by the IRB, in accordance with a pre-selection system that we have adopted. The chair of the IRB is responsible for candidates recommended to the government. We accepted the recommendation and he was appointed. It is up to the IRB chair to deal with IRB members.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to the appointment of Pharès Pierre, we would like to point out that of John Cryer, a Conservative supporter and homophobe. The list of new board members also contains at least two other well-known Conservatives: Darcy Tkachuk and Cheryl Walker, an aspiring Conservative candidate and fundraiser.

Will the minister admit that his government is continuing the old Liberal practice of making partisan appointments?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I will not. The IRB appointment system was radically changed to prevent the kinds of problems we had under the Liberal government. All candidates for consideration are recommended after a pre-selection process that is independently managed by the IRB.

Since I was appointed minister, there have been more than 40 board members appointed to the IRB and four of them may have had previous ties to the Conservative Party.