House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I sense a wrinkle in the answers that have been given.

The comments by Premier Campbell that were contained in today's Globe and Mail show that employment insurance has now become an issue of national unity. We know from experience that downloading costs on to the provinces, causing them to have higher welfare costs, will have a serious effect on the costs of province and what is happening to them.

Why is the government so rigid in its refusal to consider a single national standard for eligibility on employment insurance?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, what is unconscionable is when that party cut $25 billion from the Canada social transfer to balance the budget.

We have not done that. We have added billions of dollars to improve skills upgrading and training, to extend EI by five weeks to help 400,000 people, to ensure work-sharing is easier to get for others and ensuring that will help employers and employees alike. That is what we have done.

We are looking after the most vulnerable and those who are hurting at this time.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the question is very specific. The government's refusal to have one eligibility threshold for all Canadians means that it is passing the cost of the recession along to the provinces. It wants to offload its problems and unload its responsibilities onto the provinces. The cost of social services will increase because of this government's refusal to budge. I hope this government will have the opportunity in the next three weeks to change its very negative policy.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, one word describes it: hypocritical. On the one hand, the members do not want the deficit to go up; on the other hand, they want to spend billions of dollars. They have taken a 360 hour, 45 day work year, from the NDP and borrowed it without the intention of giving it back.

Here is what Don Martin of the Calgary Herald had to say about that plan, “Just 360 hours to qualify for a benefit period payment just shy of a year. Come on, that's a bit rich even for the Liberals. There are many better ways to reform the system, starting with the Conservatives' $500 million to stretch benefits for long-term workers”.

That is the way to go, to enhance the benefits, just like we are doing for Canadian workers.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

May 29th, 2009 / 11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, almost half of the $16 billion increase in the deficit announced this week represents assistance to the automotive sector. Thus, Ottawa's assistance to that sector has risen from $2.7 billion to $10 billion, which represents $1.4 million per job. By comparison, the forestry sector and Quebec will receive peanuts. We do not have a problem with an assistance package for the auto sector. However, we do want to be treated fairly. At present, the assistance provided per job in the auto sector is 1,400 times greater.

Why are the Conservatives refusing to help the forestry sector and Quebec yet they are prepared to move heaven and earth for the Ontario auto sector?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the opportunity he has given me to comment. In recent days, we have seen an escalation in the pernicious Liberal partisanship as regards our citizens. They are propagating illusions and false hope motivated by the obsession to win at all costs. Over the past few days, the Liberals have shown that they are two-faced. I invite members of the Bloc to show solidarity with the forestry sector.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, to put it mildly, this response is ridiculous. The government is hiding behind the special committee on forestry to justify its inaction. It is a well known fact that forestry companies need cash flow. The industry, the Government of Quebec, the unions and the elected regional officials have pointed it out. They need liquidity.

What is the government waiting for to open its ears, respond intelligently and provide the cashflow and loan guarantees that the industry has asked for?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, while the Bloc is playing politics at the expense of workers and promising measures that could jeopardize the industry, our government is providing concrete assistance to the industry to protect forestry families and communities.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the consensus for a comprehensive reform of the EI system is growing every day. Unions and a number of conferences of elected representatives from the regions of Quebec are calling for the modernization of the system that the Liberals created and that no longer meets current unemployment needs.

Will this Conservative government finally realize that the job world is experiencing exceptional circumstances that demand a comprehensive response?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we all know that having a job meets people's basic needs for self-esteem and fulfilment. Everyone has the right to a satisfying professional life that allows them to live well. That is why we have introduced our economic action plan, with real measures to help people get through the economic crisis.

We have increased the number of benefit weeks by five. We have also added 14 weeks to the work sharing program. We also invested in workforce training so that workers are better trained for the future, while being paid to take the training. Not to mention that we have frozen EI premium rates.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that if the recession were to get worse, he would do more to help the unemployed. The Bloc's plan, which is more comprehensive than the Liberals', proposes creating a 360-hour eligibility threshold, abolishing the waiting period, increasing benefits from 55% to 60% of income, and increasing insurable earnings to $42,500.

The recession is happening right now. What is the government waiting for?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, unlike the Bloc's ideology that encourages a climate of social uncertainty, Canada's economic action plan gives hope to Canadians. Our plan contributes to a promising and prosperous future.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, for 2008 and 2009, David Denison was rewarded with a $6 million bonus, Mark Wiseman got $5 million, Donald Raymond was awarded $3.5 million, Graeme Eadie received $3.2 million. What did they do? These four executives of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board lost $24 billion.

How can they gamble with Canada's pensions on the market, lose so big and be rewarded with $18 million over two years? How can that be possible? Why will the government not do anything about this?

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

I said in answer to an earlier question, Mr. Speaker, that even for those who are arm's length from the government, such as this independent body that was established by an act of Parliament that most parliamentarians voted for, we expect compensation to be reasonable.

The compensation has been reduced by 31% since last year. In actuality, it is over a four-year average. Over that four years, that is a very sound investment board.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the election, the Prime Minister said we would have no deficit. In November, that changed to a small surplus. In January, that changed again to a $34 billion deficit. Now the Conservatives are admitting to the largest shortfall in Canadian history. The finance minister has changed his numbers so often that no one is confident he knows what he is doing.

For the good of the country, will the Prime Minister agree to turn the books over to the Parliamentary Budget Officer for an honest appraisal?