House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, the numbers of the leader of the NDP are completely inaccurate.

For instance, over the past year, as I have said already, the increase in unemployment and the percentage increase in the unemployed and EI beneficiaries has gone up one for one. More than 80% of those who are paying in will collect employment insurance.

More importantly, this government has improved the system by lengthening the period of benefits, and by putting more money into training and for the unemployed.

When we talk about respect for the House, the NDP members should bother to read the budget before they decide to vote against it and not vote against the unemployed.

Finance
Oral Questions

April 28th, 2009 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is simply propagating myths because it does not match the reality of what people are experiencing on the street, 50 days of inaction.

Let us try something else the House has done. The House has said we need strong action to deal with the issue of credit card gouging. In fact, in the House another NDP motion was adopted, laying out what should be done, picking up on some of the initiatives that the Obama administration is bringing forward.

Yesterday the House spoke. The question is this. When is the government going to act? Is the Prime Minister going to tell his finance minister to stop talking and start acting to protect the middle class?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I just spoke about what we did in the budget on employment insurance. In the economic action plan, on credit cards, we also gave the Minister of Finance additional regulatory power to deal with some of these problems in the credit card business.

The problem is that once again the leader of the New Democratic Party and his party had decided to vote against the middle class and vote against these things before they even knew what was in the budget. That was wrong and they should stop doing it.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, today's EI numbers are staggering and they are an indictment of the government's complete mishandling of the economic crisis. There were 325,000 EI claims in February. To make it worse, we know significant numbers of those unemployed Canadians cannot get benefits because they do not qualify even though they have paid into it for years. Yet, the minister refuses to increase access.

As we continue to shed jobs in this Conservative recession, does the minister still believe that a postal code is a more important criteria for receiving benefits than the need to feed a family?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the facts. In the first three months of this calendar year, we have processed about 40% more claims than we had to process last year, but we got the job done because we are putting more people on the job.

There are more claims to be processed, not just because there are so many people unfortunate enough to lose their jobs but because access is easier.

Over 30 of the 58 EI regions in this country have seen significant improvement in access for those who live there and are unfortunate enough to lose their jobs.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in my riding we have two GM dealerships employing dozens of people. Yesterday's news from GM means these jobs are now uncertain. Today's EI numbers give little solace. A dire situation already exists for the unemployed, both those receiving benefits and those who do not qualify.

The government has failed the auto sector and is failing those needing EI. What does the government have to say to workers in my riding who are concerned about their jobs and concerned about even qualifying for employment insurance?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, over 80% of those who have paid EI premiums while they were working are eligible to collect benefits when they do lose their jobs. It is becoming easier for most people across the country to access EI benefits because we have a system that adjusts automatically every month, based on local unemployment conditions.

The worse the situation gets, the easier it is for people to collect benefits. Look at Oshawa. A person can collect benefits with two weeks less work there and get it for nine weeks longer than a year ago.

We are delivering for those Canadians who need it most.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the American government announced that it would retain control of a portion of GM and Chrysler shares. Today, the Conservatives are waking up and saying that they plan to do the same thing.

Once again, they have proven that the only thing they know how to do is play “Simon says” with the United States.

The crisis has been going on for months, so where is Canada's plan? Why are we not in Washington and Detroit every day looking out for Canada's interests?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, what we are doing on this side of the House through the economic action plan, through our budget, is making sure that Canadians are protected, making sure that Canadians can rebound out of this world economic recession as quickly as possible.

Many times we are in consultation with the Americans and with Premier McGuinty here in Ontario to make sure we have a comprehensive, integrated strategy for the auto sector because that is what the auto sector is in North America, even if the Liberals do not recognize it.

His leader goes to the other end of the country and says he does not want to help the auto sector. Then he says in this province that he wants to tax people more. That is not a strategy for the auto sector nor the economy.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, 20,000 assembly and dealership jobs will be lost at GM alone. Another 18,000 parts jobs will be lost across Canada.

The secured credit facility announced in December is yet to be deployed and industry analysts are now saying the Business Development Bank is not equipped to deploy the facility designed to stimulate car sales and leasing despite the minister's promise to get the facility going by May. That means this week.

What assurances will the Conservatives give Canadians desperate for credit that this facility will finally open for business on Friday, May 1?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have been working hard on the access to credit through the secured credit facility.

Unlike the opposition, we are actually consulting. We are listening to the industry. We have met with the dealership representatives. We are making sure that the secured credit facility will actually work for the benefit of the industry and the people who are employed in the industry.

Canada Day
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in response to a question I asked yesterday in the House, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages misled this House by claiming that the figures I gave were incorrect. The figures I gave come from a document by his own department on funding to provincial and territorial Celebrate Canada committees.

Will the minister admit that, just like the Liberals, the Conservatives are using the taxpayers' money for visibility and propaganda in Quebec?

Canada Day
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, once again, this is completely false. Those figures are completely false. The figures on the level of investments in Quebec and on the level of investments in this program are completely false.

Let us make it clear: the last group we would consult on the best way to celebrate Canada is the Bloc Québécois.

Canada Day
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, why did the minister not give his consent for us to table his department's own chart, here in this House?

Out of a budget of $3.7 million, $3.2 million are invested in Quebec, which represents 85% of the total budget.

How can the minister explain his determination to invest to such an extent in Quebec for Canada Day except by the same unhealthy desire for propaganda and visibility the Liberals had before him?

Canada Day
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the chart my colleague is referring to represents half of the existing program. We continue to seek means of improving the situation on the field so that Canada can be celebrated in each and every part of this country.