House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Census
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, what the federal government is doing is standing up for Canadians' freedom, for their rights.

We have said that the information surely is important, but that in gathering that information we will no longer threaten Canadians with fines and jail time because they do not want to tell the government what their religion is.

Census
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we also learned of the fervent opposition by several groups, including the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, to the Conservatives' ideologically based decision, taken without consultation.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the CJC has demanded a policy reversal. They believe that without a long form census the cultural, social, health care, educational, housing, recreational, and spiritual needs of their community will be ignored. They know that if we are not counted, we do not count.

When will the government count these people in and restore the long form census?

Census
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has introduced a private member's bill that would threaten Canadians with fines of $500 because they do not want to answer questions like what their religion is, how much yardwork they did last week, or how much time they spend with their kids.

We believe that Canadians should be treated like adults, and that we can work with the experts at Statistics Canada to find a way to get the information we need without threatening people.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, veterans across Canada are concerned that the Department of Veterans Affairs has mishandled their confidential files. One veteran approached the Privacy Commissioner to investigate how his file was handled. Today, the Privacy Commissioner tabled her report.

Can the Minister of Veterans Affairs please inform the House of the steps that he will take to ensure that the recommendations contained in that report will be implemented, so that our nation's greatest heroes will have their private information properly protected?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, it goes without saying that we must respect the privacy and dignity of our veterans.

I can tell the House that all of the recommendations in the commissioner's report will be implemented. All of them. Beyond that, we have already started to review our discipline procedures, and people who commit serious violations, for example, releasing private information, will certainly be disciplined, or even dismissed.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I think the Minister of Natural Resources must have gone to the Karlheinz Schreiber school of government relations. People should not have to grease the palm of a Conservative lobbyist to bid for a government contract. It is not okay for a minister of public works to shake down contractors at a so-called fundraiser. Nobody should have to tell a minister that.

We now know that renovation slush-fund money found its way into the coffers of the Conservative Party. Are the Conservatives going to give that money back? Are they going to make room in the hall of shame over there and fire that minister?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, no members of this government are part of this inquiry. There are rules, laws, policies, and guidelines that govern the Government of Canada's contracting policies. If it is found that anyone broke those rules, the person will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and taxpayer money will be recovered.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives think they have a good defence in saying that they are not so bad, because the Liberals were just as corrupt as they are. That is pathetic.

But this time, the Conservatives' Quebec lieutenant must be held personally accountable. Does he not understand the ethical problem with the Varin case? His wilful blindness in letting a notoriously crooked bagman organize his fundraising shows that either he has no ethics or he does not care.

When will he be ready to resign?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, no members of this government, including the Minister of Natural Resources, are part of this inquiry. As I have said repeatedly, there are rules, there are guidelines, and there are laws that govern the Government of Canada's contracting policies.

If it is found that any individuals or contractors have broken any rules or guidelines, they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and we will recover taxpayer money.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has signed agreements with Newfoundland and Nova Scotia on the St. Lawrence seabed. Quebec is trying to get a similar agreement, but nothing is happening. The Government of Quebec would like to have an agreement in place this fall.

How can the Minister of Natural Resources account for the fact that it was so easy to reach agreement with Newfoundland and Nova Scotia 25 years ago and it is so difficult to do justice to Quebec?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is surprising to hear the Bloc talk blithely about an agreement with Quebec today. We have been working with the provinces for a long time on agreements to develop our natural resources in a responsible manner. Quebec has now shown interest, and as I said yesterday, talks are under way with our provincial counterparts.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources always has time for Conservative Party cocktail fundraisers attended by people who get lucrative contracts from his government. But when it comes time to address the legitimate aspirations of Quebec, which is calling for an agreement on the St. Lawrence seabed, the minister drags his feet.

Will the Minister of Natural Resources promise to settle this matter this fall?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois has never shied away from practically spitting on fossil fuels. Now, suddenly, its head office says that this is a perfect opportunity to drive a wedge between the government and Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. That is what they want to do: be divisive.

That is not how we work. Our counterparts in Quebec are interested in settling this matter, and as I said, talks in good faith are under way as we speak.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

October 7th, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, today there are 370,000 more unemployed Canadians than there were on the day of the last federal election.

Yet the Conservatives are looking at cancelling five important EI programs, programs like best 14 weeks and working while on claim. These are programs that have helped those most in need during these tough economic times. They have benefited the most vulnerable: youth, women, low-skilled workers, and low-income families.

Why are the Conservatives turning their backs on the most vulnerable Canadians in the time of their greatest need?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we helped people through the recession by keeping those programs going. In fact, we added to them, bringing in the five weeks supplementary benefits, raising the maximum benefits that were allowed. We also brought in support for long-tenured workers, who were particularly hard hit by the recession.

As for the pilot projects, they are just that. They are pilots. We are reviewing them. Any decision about their future will be based primarily on what is best for Canadian workers and for Canadian job creators.