House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was autism.

Topics

Poverty
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the human resources committee has completed its study on poverty in Canada. It will soon release its report after hearing from hundreds of witnesses across the country and experts around the world.

As poverty increased during the Conservative recession, the government has been missing in action on this file. Most provinces and territories now have anti-poverty strategies and they want the feds at the table. The United Nations even told Canada the same thing last year in the periodic review.

The government does not seem to care. The government chooses planes and prisons over people in poverty. Why is the government turning its back on people in need?

Poverty
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we do appreciate the work that was done by the committee on the poverty study. Unfortunately, it did not take the time to recognize many successful initiatives that our government has taken over the last few years to help relieve the poverty situation in Canada.

In fact, the poverty rate for seniors is a small fraction of what it was under the previous Liberal government. We made that happen by increasing the exemption for GIS from $500 to $3,500. We have introduced pension splitting. We have done a number of things to help Canadians be better off.

Poverty
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the fact is poverty rates in Canada are rising.

Last December, the Senate issued a report entitled, “In From the Margins”, a big study led by Liberal Senator Eggleton and Conservative Senator Segal. The government's response to that was to post an inadequate list of programs, which the minister just recited again and which have not made a difference.

Fighting poverty is good economics. It is good for Canada. It involves working with provinces, municipal leaders, schools, churches and community groups.

Why will the government not show some leadership, or at least show up in the fight against poverty?

Poverty
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government has done a lot to help those in need in Canada. For example, the average family in Canada now has over $3,000 more in its pocket thanks to our move against poverty. We have also cut taxes right across the board for all Canadians, such as the GST which has gone from 7% to 6% to 5%. We have lowered corporate taxes, so job creation is there.

The best way to fight poverty is to give people the skills they need for the jobs that we create, and we have created over 400,000 of those lately.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2006 the government fired two public servants. When asked about it, it ran for cover and misled the media. We were told “there is nothing to see here”. Now we learn the government is paying out over $2 million for the wrongful dismissal of Mr. Rotor and Mr. Tipple.

If there was nothing wrong, why the need for the payout? Why were these public servants set up? Who will be held accountable?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government has had a very productive relationship with the public service. Our public service does an outstanding job for Canadians. That was best seen with the release of the Auditor General's report, in which she talked about the great work done at Infrastructure Canada and in other departments on the delivery of Canada's economic action plan.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, she also had a lot to say about conflict of interest.

Both Mr. Tipple and Mr. Rotor blew the whistle about the apparent conflict of interest between Minister Fortier and the bidders for an over $1 billion contract. The minister directed millions of dollars of business to two Conservative friends. He was called on it. He fired these public servants as a result of it.

The evidence is piling up. When will the government conduct a forensic audit on this file?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General regularly reviews the books of the Government of Canada. She has an important responsibility to do just that. We have confidence that she has and will continue to carry out her responsibilities in an appropriate fashion.

The Economy
Oral Questions

October 29th, 2010 / 11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians appreciate that the economic action plan is helping protect our economy and making it the strongest in the G7. They also know that the last thing Canada's economy can afford is a Liberal-led coalition's high tax policies on job creators.

Only yesterday the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, representing 192,000 businesses employing millions of Canadians, said that the Liberal plan was, “Very damaging...it threatens the investment needed to carry an economic recovery”.

Could the parliamentary secretary please explain how our government is keeping Canada's economy on track?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canada continues with its economic growth. That shows once again that we are right on track. We have seen over 420,000 net new jobs since July 2009. Both the IMF and the OECD say that we have the strongest economic growth and will have through 2010-11.

Just today it was announced that Canada's GDP had increased again in August, for the 11th month out of the past 12.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, the numbers are out. The Prime Minister's office budget has ballooned by 30% to $10 million per year.

Residents in the Ingonish, Cape Breton area have been waiting for a new federal building, at a cost of $10 million. The building would house the RCMP, DFO and Parks Canada. Year in and year out the government has said no, resulting in increased costs and delay.

Why can the Prime Minister find $10 million for his own office when he cannot find $10 million for Ingonish?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, the Prime Minister has a very important responsibility to communicate with Canadians, to get off Parliament Hill and to travel the country and do a lot of listening.

Those Canadian voices that were heard led to Canada's economic action plan, a plan that has been incredibly successful in helping create some 400,000 net new jobs.

We are constantly reviewing the demands across the country. We will certainly respond in short order.

Seal Products
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the European embargo on seal products has been in effect since Thursday, when a European court reinstated it. This means that Quebec hunters are losing their primary export market. Some hunters make as much as 35% of their income from the sale of seal products.

Will the government recognize that it must fight harder to have this embargo lifted as soon as possible?

Seal Products
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission
B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, we, too, are very disappointed by the actions of the European Union, particularly this recent decision by the European General Court. The fact remains that the Canadian seal hunt is carried out in a humane and sustainable way.

Our government is firmly committed to defending the legitimate interests and livelihoods of Canadians and sealers in coastal communities. We are moving ahead with the WTO challenge.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, the G20 summit saw one of the most disturbing violations of civil liberties in Canadian history. The rights of citizens to assemble and express their opinions were trampled. The rights to counsel and to be free from illegal search and seizure were ignored.

Eleven hundred citizens were arrested, 900 of them with so little basis that charges were dropped immediately after the summit. Yet the government has been utterly silent on this mass violation of constitutional rights.

Given the approach of Remembrance Day, which marks the sacrifice of veterans who gave their lives so that we could have democratic freedom, why does the government refuse to defend the very rights for which they paid such a dear price?