House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was organizations.

Topics

Business of the House
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the House
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the House
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

May 5th, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Rafick-Pierre Sékaly, a world expert on AIDS, is leaving the Université de Montréal to go to the United States. The 25 researchers on his team are all going with him. Dr. Sékaly has said he hopes his departure will sound the alarm.

Has the government heard the alarm bells? Where is this government's strategy to prevent the departure of our best scientists?

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, the only government that cut funding to HIV-AIDS was the Liberal government in 2005.

What the report fails to tell Canadians is that the Conservative government committed $94 million to HIV-AIDS research this year. We committed $111 million to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for HIV-AIDS, and this research is still getting all that funding from this Conservative government.

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, those are not the facts. The Conservatives have been cutting funds to scientific research, in real terms, every year since they were elected, and our brightest minds are leaving the country.

So, I repeat the question. What is this government doing to prevent the exodus of all our brightest minds?

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, the comment of the member is absolutely false. In fact, the last time this country faced a recession, in the mid-1990s, the Liberal government cut scientific research by $442 million.

We take a different approach. We have increased funding by $5.1 billion. Let me read what the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore has said:

I would look for program review within the government to pull as much savings as we can out.

Those are the Leader of the Opposition's own words.

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is the only government anywhere that does not seem to understand that investing in science, research and technology is the key to the jobs of tomorrow. President Obama is investing more. The Ontario government is investing more. The Conservative government cut $148 million from our research granting councils.

How does the government expect Canada to compete in the information age with policies derived from the stone age?

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, I know that the member was living in the United States during the cuts under the Liberal government.

Let me just inform the member that nobody on the Liberal side voted against the strategic reviews in 2006 when strategic reviews came up for a vote. None of the members opposite voted against that.

This government took the recommendations and put that money back into science and technology. Not only did we do that, but we added $5.1 billion. On Friday I was in the United States, and they wanted to hear the good news of what Canada—

Science and Technology
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, EI access needs to be fixed. Who says that? Just about everybody: policy think tanks, poverty advocates, working people, the chamber of commerce, the TD Bank, the C.D. Howe Institute, provincial premiers. Even the finance minister's wife knows it.

The Conservative government stands alone in its mean-spirited isolation, unwilling to assist unemployed Canadians in their hour of need, unable to admit that they have failed workers, unable to put people ahead of politics.

Why will the Conservatives not apologize for their mistake, step up for Canadians and fix access for the victims of this Conservative recession?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what our government has done. We have expanded regular benefits by five weeks. We have increased the maximum period of benefits to 50 weeks. We have expanded work sharing and now 93,000 Canadians are having their jobs protected.

Yes, we did inherit a system from the Liberals. Yes, it was not quite right. That is why we fixed it. That is why we are addressing it. That is why we are trying to make sure that Canadians do get the benefits they need in a timely manner.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, excuses, denials and misleading statistics do not feed families and they do not pay the rent. The government has failed Canadians. The government has failed to manage the economy, failed to create jobs, and failed to extend EI to those who need it.

How can the government be so callous in turning its back on the people of Canada? Its arrogant refusal to step up and extend EI access is a national disgrace from coast to coast to coast.

When will it stop the excuses, give up the denials, accept responsibility and extend EI to the victims of this Conservative recession?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, maybe the member is not aware, but access is up for EI. Benefits are up for those who are unfortunate enough to lose their jobs.

Let us take a look at Oshawa. In Oshawa, it is now two weeks easier to claim benefits and get them for four weeks longer than was the case a year ago under the plan that the Liberals had. We have increased it.

Let us realize that while we are increasing benefits and while we are increasing access, the Liberals are only increasing rhetoric and they want to increase taxes, too.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have no credibility when it comes to employment insurance. In 1993, on the eve of the general election, Jean Chrétien, who was then the opposition leader, promised a change of direction on employment insurance. Once elected, the Liberals made further cuts to EI. The Conservatives did the same thing in 2006, although they promised to restore the program for older worker adjustment, which they never did do.

If it wants to get some credibility back, why does the government not take a page from our assistance plan, which includes several proposals to improve employment insurance, including eliminating the waiting period?