House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

National Nursing Week
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, throughout this week, I encourage my colleagues to have a special thought about some of the hardest-working Canadians: our nurses. Let us all honour those who care for us in our time of greatest need during National Nursing Week because. The slogan for this year's nursing week is, “Nursing: You can't live without it!”

National Nursing Week is our opportunity to extend special thanks to all those who care for us and our loved ones through the trials of illness “with heart and skill”, as this year's slogan says.

National Nursing Week is timed to coincide with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who defined the modern role our nurses play.

Even though nursing has changed a great deal since the Crimean War, when Florence Nightingale redefined the nurse's role, it is still a huge and difficult job. That is why, on behalf of all the members of this House, I want to say thank you to all these dedicated people.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, at the annual policy convention, the Liberal Party passed a motion reaffirming its support for a job-killing carbon tax.

Even during these times of economic uncertainty, we should not be too surprised to see the carbon tax back on the front page of the Liberal platform, considering that overtaxing Canadians regardless of the economic situation is encoded in the Liberal DNA.

There is more. Not only is a job-killing carbon tax in the works but the Liberal leader also committed his party to raising even more taxes when he said, “We will have to raise taxes”.

What taxes does he want to raise, a new tax on Canadian families, a crushing tax on businesses? We have no details on this new Liberal tax scheme. What taxes do the Liberals want to raise? Who would be affected? How would the Liberals go about raising these taxes? Why do they refuse to tell Canadians?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

May 11th, 2009 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the unemployment rate is the highest it has been in eight years. Over 300,000 Canadians have lost their jobs since the fall. These Canadian families are the ones bearing the brunt of the Conservative recession, but the government has done nothing to address regional inequalities in the employment insurance system.

When will the government establish a national eligibility threshold that is fair to all Canadians, at 360 hours?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are concerned about people who have been unlucky and lost their jobs through no fault of their own. That is why we extended benefits. It is now easier for people to collect benefits, and they can collect them for a longer period of time. For example, people in Kitchener can collect employment insurance five weeks earlier than last year. They can collect benefits for 14 weeks.

They are all about rhetoric and raising taxes; we are about increasing benefits.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, we already know that the Conservative government has a frustrating tendency to break its promises: income trusts, income tax. Last fall, the Conservatives promised to make employment insurance available to self-employed Canadians. They have not done so.

The government seems to be counting on Canadians to create their own jobs, so when will it keep its promise and give them access to employment insurance?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are looking at alternatives. Of course we are. One of the things that we committed to Canadians we would evaluate are what options exist for people claiming maternity benefits or parental benefits when they are self-employed. We committed to establishing an expert panel to study that and we look forward to doing that.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, if excuses were gold, the Conservative government could pay off its humongous deficit in a matter of a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, excuses do not count for much when the power is shut off at home because one's EI cheque has not been delivered. Excuses do not put food on the table and they do not pay for children's clothes.

Why has the government sat on its hands while hundreds of thousands of Canadians face financial ruin? Why?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, if the Liberals are so dissatisfied with the EI system, why did they wait 13 years while they were in power and do nothing about it?

Canadians deserve to get the benefits for which they have paid. That is why we brought on another 900 people, to make sure that they get those benefits quickly. We are hiring 400 more to make sure that those who are unfortunate enough to become unemployed through no fault of their own are getting the benefits. We have expanded those benefits.

Meanwhile, the Liberals are only expanding their rhetoric and they want to increase taxes to go with it.

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, violence continues in Sri Lanka today while Tamil Canadians mourn death after death. Civilians are being massacred and Canada has failed to step up to the international plate. Yesterday the UN called this conflict a “bloodbath”, but the UN is still not allowed a role in securing safety for civilians.

Specifically, what instructions has the government given to our UN ambassador and our high commissioner to aggressively pursue a ceasefire and to ensure an international humanitarian presence?

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, our government has taken significant steps. We have continually asked for a ceasefire and unhindered access for humanitarian aid. We have increased our humanitarian aid support.

I was in Sri Lanka last week. I gave instructions to our high commissioner there to diligently pursue the call for a ceasefire. We have engaged with the humanitarian organizations that are working there. We will continue to support the innocent civilian victims.

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, volunteers are today digging mass graves for Tamil women and children killed by Sri Lankan army shelling. Tens of thousands more have been herded into government detention camps where British television exposed horrific living conditions, murders, disappearances and rampant sexual abuse of women.

I ask the government why it has been so late and so lame in the defence of women and children against this brutality.

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, our government is very aware of the impact this is having on innocent women and children. That is why we have called for unhindered free access for humanitarian organizations, who are being kept out of the no-fire zone, who are being kept out of the refugee camps.

We are taking significant steps and we are joining other concerned countries in the pressure we are applying for a ceasefire and help for the innocent victims.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, just as we are learning that Canada could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020, the government appoints an individual who has denied the existence of climate change to the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council. This same government has called climate change a socialist plot. I would like to remind members that the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council provides funding to scientists who study climate change.

By appointing a person who does not believe in climate change to a scientific research council, is the Prime Minister plotting with the oil companies this time?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we are making progress on greenhouse gases.

I would like to inform the House today of a disconcerting fact. The Bloc environment critic has spent his political career criticizing the oil sands and considering himself an expert in environmental issues. However, when given the opportunity to travel to Alberta with the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development and to form his own ideas about the oil sands operations, he refused the invitation and remained in Ottawa. Why?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am having some difficulty understanding this answer.

I would like to come back to the fact that this appointment is absurd. It is like appointing someone who does not believe in the existence of cancer to a medical research council.

Will the Prime Minister admit that by appointing people who dispute a scientific reality, in this case climate change, he is once again taking an ideological approach?