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

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is not at all correct. The fact is that employment insurance is adjusted based on regional conditions. That is why, in the Kitchener area, unemployed workers are eligible for employment insurance four weeks earlier than last year and they can receive an extra 13 weeks of benefits compared to last year. It is very important to recognize this. We increase benefits, whereas they want to increase taxes.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister just does not want to understand. A person who is ineligible for employment insurance is very likely to need financial assistance until a new job becomes available. Applications for social assistance are on the rise and the provinces will have to shoulder the growing costs of social programs.

Can the minister accept the idea that new eligibility criteria for employment insurance would also help the provinces face the current crisis?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have systems to support those who are unemployed. Unfortunately, there are some people who have never worked and do not have the skills to work. That is why, in our economic action plan, we will invest $2 billion in training for individuals, who will receive employment insurance benefits even if they do not qualify. We invest in our unemployed workers. The Liberals wish to invest in taxes.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, a candidate for the leadership of the Ontario Conservative Party said:

The federal EI program is unfair to Ontario. Ontarians who pay into EI during good times should get benefits when they need them, just like they were promised. EI reform is vital to help Ontarians make ends meet and get back on their feet....

Does the Prime Minister agree with the provincial member for Whitby—Oshawa's assessment, or does he agree with her husband, the federal member for Whitby—Oshawa, who thinks the system is just fine?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, recognizing that these are difficult times for a great many people, we do have to recognize that we have made changes to the existing Liberal system. We have enlarged it and added five extra weeks of regular benefits.

I wonder whether the member for Markham—Unionville agrees with the following statement. When asked about a macro overhaul or retrofit of the employment insurance system, somebody said, “We don't have time to do that. Let's just make some temporary changes that stand to benefit folks who have lost their jobs, especially in Ontario.”

Mr. Speaker, do you know who said that? The leader of the Liberal Party in Ontario.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. I remind hon. members that it is just Tuesday, not Wednesday. We could have a little more order in the House.

The hon. member for Markham—Unionville has the floor now.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, from the C.D. Howe Institute and TD Bank to the Canadian Labour Congress, everyone agrees that a single national hours worked rule for employment insurance is simply the right thing to do. It is right for fiscal stimulus. It is right for social justice. It is right for a strong Canada.

Can the minister give us one reason she will not do what is right economically and morally? Why will she not fix EI before Parliament adjourns for the summer?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have done a lot to fix the problem with the EI system that was left to us by the Liberals.

We have expanded it. We have hired extra staff to ensure Canadians, who, unfortunately, need EI benefits, can get them in a timely manner. We have expanded work sharing so that 93,000 jobs across this country are now being protected. These are jobs from which people are not getting laid off.

The hon. member says that everyone knows. Well he should look behind him because the member for Beauséjour said, “I don't believe we need to make further improvements in EI”.

Scientific and Technology
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, a leading AIDS researcher with the Université de Montréal, Rafick-Pierre Sékaly, has decided to go work in the United States, taking with him 25 researchers from his team. According to Mr. Sékaly, the young researchers will have more opportunities to put their skills to work in the United States, where President Obama has earmarked $10 billion for investments in medical research, while here in Canada, the Conservatives are cutting funds for scientific research.

Does the Minister of State (Science and Technology) realize that these cuts in basic research funding are forcing our scientists to leave?

Scientific and Technology
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, this government supports science and technology. Every budget that this government has tabled has increased funding for science and technology. This time we put $5.1 billion of new money into science and technology and the Bloc voted against all of it.

Scientific and Technology
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only has the Mont-Mégantic Observatory seen its funding cut, now the Coriolis II, the only university-owned oceanographic vessel in Canada, has had its funding cancelled. These cuts to scientific research are especially appalling given that Canada is already lagging behind the rest of the G7 in terms of the proportion of gross domestic product spent on research and development.

Does the government realize that its ideological attitude towards scientific research is destroying Quebec's industries of the future?

Scientific and Technology
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, that member is absolutely incorrect. Canada is number one in the G7 in terms of GDP expenses on R & D.

The decision with respect to the observatory is made by an independent peer review scientific panel. The member voted no for the $5.1 billion.The government makes the decision to put the money in but an independent panel makes the decision as to which scientist gets the funding. That panel chose someone else.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the fact that Mr. Abdelrazik's name is on the UN no-fly list, some exceptions do exist to allow citizens to return home. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is aware of those exceptions, although he refuses to use them.

Now that the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development is asking to hear from Mr. Abdelrazik, will the government act accordingly and do whatever it takes to allow him to appear before the committee?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as this matter is currently under litigation and will be before the courts this week. we have no further comment on this situation.

Cross Country Canada
Oral Questions

May 5th, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec cross country skier Alex Harvey has been dropped to the Cross Country Canada B development team because he refused to move to western Canada for training. This demotion will have a significant financial impact on this athlete, who is ranked 26th in the world.

Does the Minister of State (Sport) intend to demand an explanation from Cross Country Canada for the clearly abusive treatment imposed on this young athlete?