House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cree.

Topics

RCMP
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, that is a member of a party who said that the police officers had no place on the judicial advisory committee and that they did not have a right, like other Canadians, to have input in that. That is a member who said that, in respect of issues of house arrest, arsonists could burn down houses and then go home and enjoy the comforts of their own house.

That is a person who has been soft on crime, not this party.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week I introduced a bill to fix EI so new moms could access their regular EI benefits if they lost their jobs during or after their maternity leave. I challenged the government to act by Mother's Day. That is this Sunday, and new moms are still waiting. The meagre EI extension that the minister constantly trumpets does absolutely nothing for a new mom who cannot access those regular EI benefits in the first place.

Women deserve more than flowers and chocolates this Mother's Day. They deserve fairness. Will the minister give new moms fair access to fair benefits today?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, in our economic action plan, we put forward major enhancements to the EI program, including five additional weeks of regular benefits and expanding the maximum benefits that anyone could claim. We also made access easier.

While we were expanding work-sharing, providing training to long-tenured workers and making it easier for those older workers to get new skills for new jobs, the NDP members voted against every one of those initiatives. They really should learn to respect Canadians.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, in the early 1990s, the fisheries industry was in crisis in the Atlantic provinces and in Quebec. At that time, the Liberals found nothing better to do than to cut employment insurance, thus abandoning workers. Today they are trying to pass themselves off as the champions of employment insurance.

Will the government show more respect for unemployed workers than the LIberals did? The House has voted in favour of changes to employment insurance. When will the Conservatives abolish the waiting period and reduce eligibility to 360 hours as the NDP has called for?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, in our economic action plan, as I have just said, we added five weeks of benefits. We expanded the initiative for older workers so that they could get new skills for the jobs of the future.

We are doing our utmost for the unemployed, for those who have lost their jobs, but the NDP has voted against each one of our efforts.

International Aid
Oral Questions

May 7th, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have watched the situation in Sri Lanka with great concern. International organizations, world leaders and the United Nations have called on the Sri Lankan government to implement an immediate ceasefire. Reports have indicated that thousands of Tamil civilians are trapped in the war zone. With the number of displaced persons increasing, it is becoming critically important for NGOs on the ground to have unhindered access.

Could the Minister of International Cooperation tell Canadians what this government is doing to help the victims of this devastating conflict?

International Aid
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, in response to this humanitarian crisis and the Tamil community in Canada, which is the largest Tamil diaspora globally, I went to Sri Lanka and met with the president, foreign minister and other high-ranking officials. I called for a ceasefire directly as well as unhindered humanitarian access for the victims of the conflict.

Canada's primary concern is for the civilian victims in Sri Lanka. That is why our government has increased its humanitarian aid in more food, water and shelter. This is a serious situation and that is why this government is acting.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I received the following email from Anna in my riding of York West. It states:

It has been extremely frustrating trying to connect with anybody at the employment office other than literally wasting my entire day from 8:30 am appearing in person; and starting the line up at the door of the employment office (like scavengers waiting for food)...

Anna was laid off in February. It is now May. What happened to all that extra staff the minister said she was going to hire to help people like Anna and hundreds of other Canadians waiting in that line?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, there is no question that there has been a dramatic rise in the number of applications for employment insurance, sadly. In fact, just in the first three months of this year, applications were up nearly 50% over a year ago. That is why another 900 new people are working on getting the claims processed as quickly as possible. We are in the process of hiring another 400 people to do the same thing.

We have also expanded the hours at our call centres. I would suggest for people who are really having a challenge getting through to try on a Saturday. They are open then, too.

Sports
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, Défi sportif de Montréal is the only sports event in the world for athletes with all types of disabilities. It hosts more than 3,000 athletes from 15 countries competing in 13 adapted sports. In 2006, the Conservative government adopted the Policy on Sport for Persons with a Disability. However, in reality it does little to help sports. Défi sportif applied for $100,000 from Sport Canada and only received $75,000 despite the pressing need.

The question is simple. Why is Sport Canada stubbornly refusing to give Défi sportif the additional $25,000 it requested and what does the minister plan on doing?

Sports
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of State (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to congratulate and commend Défi sportif for the great work it does. It brings 3,000 disabled athletes from 15 different countries, with 9,000 volunteers and they do a great job.

Our government has been supporting it. It has received the same amount for the last three years. There were $25,000 that were ineligible, but we are proudly working with it.

Our government will continue to contribute to Défi sportif and the development of sport in Canada.

Steel Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been 66 days since the layoffs at U.S. Steel, 66 days of instability and worry for steelworkers and retirees in Hamilton, 66 days of fear, while waiting for the minister to act. It is insulting for the minister to pat himself on the back for finally taking action yesterday after waiting two months to do anything.

New Democrats demanded action 65 days ago. Could the minister explain this dithering to those workers who have lived in fear for two months?

Steel Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

I can, Mr. Speaker. It is called the rule of law. There are certain procedures that I have to go to through in terms of giving an honest review of the situation. I went through those procedures.

I came to the conclusion that U.S. Steel was in violation of the undertakings it made with the Government of Canada when it took over Stelco. I have sent a demand letter to U.S. Steel to rectify the situation within 10 days or face court action. I made this decision with seriousness.

This is a serious issue. The last thing we need is rhetoric from the NDP. All it does is have rhetoric on the situation, when we are acting on behalf of the interests of Canada and the employees of U.S. Steel.

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, today our government introduced legislation to ensure all parliamentarians would be subject to consistent ethical standards.

Could the Minister of State for Demcractic Reform explain why, even before reading the bill, the Liberal opposition is rejecting it?

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia
Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, our government remains committed to reforming the Senate to reflect the ideals of a 21st century democracy. The bill introduced today would bring the Senate ethics code under the jurisdiction of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, eliminating the separate ethics officer for the Senate and ensuring that ethical standards are constantly applied to all parliamentarians.

Why do the Liberals say that it is a non-starter before reading it? Why are the Liberals so defensive? Why are the Liberals portraying themselves as being against Senate reform and Senate ethical standards? Why are the Liberals acting guilty? It would be much more helpful if they would support this government's Senate reform agenda.