House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Harmonized Sales Tax
Oral Questions

9:55 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as all hon. members in the House know, that was a decision taken by the provincial governments in British Columbia and Ontario. I would encourage the hon. member to go back and speak to her colleagues in the legislature.

I have to once again remind hon. members of my recurring nightmare, and that is what happened on Wednesday evening when I saw all of those in opposition stand and vote to increase EI premiums for those who can least afford it. We are trying to create jobs. They are trying to kill them.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

9:55 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Desnoyers Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Finance announced a five-cent increase in the employment insurance premium rate. This could have been avoided had the government given back the $57 billion that has pilfered from the fund since 1990.

Why is the minister increasing premiums to be paid into a fund that was plundered for nearly 20 years, money that has yet to be returned? Is he planning to take unemployed workers' money to pay down his deficit again?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

10 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is funny math, and there is no other way to describe it. The hon. member voted for a 60¢ increase when we decided to reduce it by two-thirds to ensure that we would continue to grow jobs in our country.

Do not take my word for it; listen to the Retail Council of Canada. It said:

Retailers are happy the government has listened to their concerns and reduced the level of EI increases during a time of fragile economic recovery....We appreciate the government's leadership on this issue.

We wish the opposition would.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

10 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Desnoyers Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government announced that five pilot projects would end this fall and that it is raising premiums. Contributors will pay more for a system that gives them less.

Rather than increase premiums to finance its deficit, as the Liberals did in their day, will this government promise to improve the system so that every cent of that increase will go back to unemployed workers?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

10 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, during the recession, our government implemented a number of measures to help unemployed workers, including the five additional weeks and the program for long-tenured workers. What I do not understand is why the Bloc voted against all of these measures to help workers.

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

10 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, with respect to any possible takeover of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, what is the government's definition of net benefit to Canada?

Does the government agree that in this case, involving the biggest potash mining company in the world and the richest potash reserves in the world, all in Saskatchewan, it must be what is best of Saskatchewan that is front and centre?

Will the government commit to that and to complete transparency and enforceability in deciding this matter?

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

10 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the government is aware of this proposed transaction and will monitor the situation closely to determine how the Investment Canada Act applies.

The hon. member should be aware that the acquisition of control by a foreign investor of a Canadian business with assets of $299 million or more is subject to review, and. where a transaction is subject to review, the investor must obtain approval of the Minister of Industry prior to implementing the investment.

The minister will only approve applications for review where an investment demonstrates that it is likely to be of net benefit to Canada.

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

10 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government saying, “Trust us”, just does not work. One just need ask the victims of Nortel across the country or Vale Inco in Sudbury or U.S. Steel in Hamilton.

In 2008, the chairman of Australia's BHP said this:

Canada's policies are a worst-case scenario; Canada has lost more head offices than any other country; Canada has already been reduced to an industry 'branch office' and is largely irrelevant on the global mining stage.

Given that point of view from BHP, again I ask what the government's definition is of net benefit.

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

10 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, to correct the hon. member, this year Canadian international acquisitions exceeded the value of foreign acquisitions by a ratio of 20%.

The net benefit review process is rigorous. It involves consultations, as the hon. member knows, with the affected provinces and territories and other government departments as required.

In terms of net benefit to Canada, it is pretty clear that one thing that is of net benefit to Canada is the measures the government has taken in the economic action plan, measures that the Liberal Party has voted against every time.

Steel Industry
Oral Questions

October 1st, 2010 / 10 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, U.S. Steel just announced it is shutting down its last Hamilton blast furnace, allegedly because of market conditions.

The company says that there are no plans for layoffs but what will sustain these decent, family-sustaining jobs when the plant is not producing any iron to make steel?

While the government is hiding behind a court case that has been dragging on for years, steelworkers need answers today about the future of their jobs and pensions.

When will the government ensure that there is a net benefit to Canadians before it approves foreign takeovers and stand up for steelworkers by acting to protect their jobs?

Steel Industry
Oral Questions

10:05 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are disappointed to learn that U.S. Steel will idle its blast furnace in Hamilton, but we are encouraged by the company's statement that it will not lay off staff as a result.

As Canadians would expect our government to do, we will continue to closely monitor the situation.

Steel Industry
Oral Questions

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, as you have heard, SteelWorkers 1005 and U.S. Steel were in contract negotiations when the company suddenly announced the closure of its last blast furnace.

We had Xstrata, Vale Inco and now U.S. Steel. Again and again, foreign companies are flaunting agreements signed with the government.

What action can Hamilton workers expect from their government beyond the current lawsuit, or is the minister just planning to sit this one out?

Steel Industry
Oral Questions

10:05 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I just answered that question. I will reiterate the fact that this year Canadian international acquisitions exceeded the value of foreign acquisitions by 20%, a ratio of 1.2 to 1.

In terms of the question as to what Canadians can expect from this government, Canadians can expect the same thing from this government that they have had for five years. It is the measures we have taken that have put Canada in the most enviable position of any country in the developed world.

Those measures, the steps that we have taken to get there, have been voted against by the NDP every time.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot of concern about the Bloc-NDP-Liberal proposal to create a 45-day work year. This plan would cost Canadians $7 billion annually and increase premiums permanently by a whopping 35%. This is irresponsible and downright offensive to hard-working Canadians. Our Conservative government is the only voice in Parliament to oppose this reckless plan.

Would the parliamentary secretary inform the House how the government is helping support jobs and standing up for job creators?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

10:05 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Northumberland—Quinte West for his role in our economic action plan's rollout.

Unlike the opposition, we are worried about creating jobs. That is why we reduced the recommended EI rate by two-thirds. That is the most important announcement Canadians have heard. Canadians heard it loud and clear. I want to remind members about some of those who actually applauded that, none of them in this House: the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Labour Congress--