House of Commons Hansard #78 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was park.

Topics

Omar Khadr
Oral Questions

June 18th, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, at President Obama's request, the European Union recently agreed to accept Guantanamo prisoners. And yet the Canadian government refuses to repatriate its own citizen, Omar Khadr, despite the urging of this Parliament and court decisions.

When will the government respect the will of Parliament, the decisions of the courts and the rule of law and finally bring Omar Khadr home?

Omar Khadr
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have answered this question on many occasions and it is the same answer. Our position has not changed. Mr. Omar Khadr faces very serious charges.

We are waiting the outcome of the review that President Obama has requested to be conducted.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Abousfian Abdelrazik is another abandoned Canadian citizen. In spite of the Federal Court's severe rebuke, the government continues to violate Mr. Abdelrazik's rights by refusing to bring him home.

The government has had two weeks to read a judgment that is unequivocal in its findings of fact and conclusions of law. Every day it waits is a continued violation of Mr. Abdelrazik's rights.

Does the government plan on appealing the court's decision, while delaying justice at Mr. Abdelrazik's expense, or will it heed the court's order and immediately return Mr. Abdelrazik home to Canada?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government will comply with the court order.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, even before the first meeting of the bogus committee of the Liberal-Conservative coalition on employment insurance, the Prime Minister slammed the door on the 360 hour eligibility level and the Liberal leader gave in. The Prime Minister also categorically refused to do away with the waiting period. The Liberal leader gave in on that too.

Does the Prime Minister realize that the Liberal-Conservative coalition is leaving the unemployed high and dry for the entire summer? And that if there are any results from the committee in the fall, it will have laboured mightily and given birth to a mouse, because from the very start, certain elements essential to real employment insurance reform have been shunted aside?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has already extended employment insurance benefits by five weeks, but the Bloc voted against it. We have seen eligibility increase in nearly every region of the country. The Bloc is opposed to that. We increased the funding for work sharing, for employment insurance, and for worker training. Again, the Bloc voted against it, and then again.

Instead of sticking with its ideological opposition, the Bloc should from time to time vote in favour of the unemployed workers of Quebec and of Canada.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister happens to want to have a debate with any group of unemployed people in Quebec, I am ready. Let him just say the word. But I know he will not rise to the challenge.

Where self-employed workers are concerned, what the Prime Minister has to do is to keep his campaign promise to give them access to parental leave. Self-employed people in Quebec already have that.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, as far as Quebec is concerned, this is an empty promise and what the unemployed need is a thorough reform of employment insurance?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has indicated its willingness to have self-employed workers participate on a voluntary basis in the employment insurance system. Even before those measures could be introduced, however, the Bloc Québécois made a commitment to vote against it once again.

Instead of sticking to this ideological opposition, the Bloc should consider the good things that have been proposed and support them for the sake of the unemployed workers of Canada and Quebec.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the new Liberal-Conservative coalition is improvising an employment insurance committee. In May 2001, the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities unanimously adopted a report setting out ways to improve employment insurance and make it more accessible.

Would it not be a better idea for the coalition to implement the proposals of this standing committee reached in consensus than to try to save face with a phoney committee?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, even before the working group begins its meetings to try to reform employment insurance, the Bloc tells us it opposes it. Even before the work gets started, as we prepare to allow self employed persons to enjoy the benefits of employment insurance, it is telling us it will vote against it.

The Bloc is confusing its own interests with those of Quebec. We want a prosperous country. We want to help workers and are heading in that direction.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal-Conservative coalition has chosen to create a phoney committee on employment insurance that will sit for more than two months while everyone agrees on the course of action. The Liberals wanted to resolve this matter before the holidays so the unemployed could have money quickly. They are now agreeing to make them wait another two months.

Why does this coalition not listen to the president of the CLC, who says to forget this phoney committee and implement the necessary changes now, not next winter?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, once again, we are dealing with a party that wants to create a crisis in this country rather than have it work well. That is important. Even before we begin our reform of employment insurance, they are telling us they will oppose it.

Is this defending the interests of Quebec? The interests of Quebec lie, rather, in being within a country, a more prosperous country, where its people can grow as Quebeckers, as a nation. That is what we are working toward. We have initiated reforms and will continue to do so.

Nortel
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Nortel CEO met with the finance minister, the industry minister and the Prime Minister, in a bid to maintain the company as a going concern. He was turned down flat and the company is now in bankruptcy protection, waiting to be dismantled. Thousands of trained, skilled workers have lost their jobs, their severance and they are going to lose big on their pensions.

Why not accept the will of this House, which adopted the NDP motion that would have protected pensions and at the same time could have helped save Nortel?

Why are the Conservatives intent on making Nortel the Avro Arrow of the 21st century?

Nortel
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, quite apart from that inflated rhetoric, I can tell the House that I did indeed meet with the CEO of Nortel at the beginning of my mandate as Industry minister. He presented a go-forward business plan, which in my estimation did not meet the criteria of being commercially viable. Evidently the board of Nortel came to the same agreement because it rejected that business plan as well, and it, not me, chose to go into creditor protection. That is where the matter rests. I am sure the appointed judge is reviewing the options for that company in the future.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Nortel pensioners get left behind and Nortel itself is hung out to dry by the government. That is what that is all about.

Meanwhile, behind closed doors we are going to have the Prime Minister and the Liberal leader talking about employment insurance all summer. However, the Liberal leader said that there is not even a guarantee that they can really resolve the problem.

An NDP motion and an NDP bill with proposals to fix EI were adopted by this House

Why will the Prime Minister not agree with his new coalition partner and his Liberal deputy prime minister and act to change EI now for--