House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was review.

Topics

Canadian Somali Community
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I share the concern the member opposite has raised about the Somali community in Ottawa. We have taken a number of measures through the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development to support these important members of our community.

We have also worked with the provincial government and have come to a better agreement with respect to immigration settlement funding. For far too long, Ontario did not get its fair share under the previous Liberal government, but now it is getting a substantial amount more. A significant amount of work is still required to be done and we will continue to work hard on this.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the most recent report by the Commissioner of Official Languages concerning the Olympic Games in Vancouver confirms that the government has once again failed in its duty by not including linguistic clauses in the contribution agreements to provide more of a framework for organizations that receive funding.

With preparations underway for the Canada Games in Halifax and the Pan American Games in Toronto, will the minister act in accordance with his responsibilities and ensure that the linguistic rights of francophones are respected?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Kenora
Ontario

Conservative

Greg Rickford Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we will read the report once it is released by the Commissioner of Official Languages and we will take the time needed to review his recommendations.

We will continue working with the commissioner, as we have always done, in order to support Canada's two official languages.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the communities of my riding, where thousands have lost their jobs, unemployment rates are among the highest in the country and yet less than one-third of unemployed Ontarians qualify for EI benefits. The extended benefit pilot project was reinstated to 21 regions facing high unemployment but the communities I represent were excluded by the government.

When will the government end this regional discrimination and commit to extending the same EI benefits to hard hit communities in Ontario?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, throughout the recession, we did make special arrangements to help those who were most affected by the global economic downturn. We did provide five extra weeks of benefits right across the country. We took a pilot project and made it national. We also provided extra support for long-tenured workers because we recognized that it would take longer for them to get back to work.

Most of the changes in our economic action plan were designed to be targeted, timely and temporary through the worst of the recession. We are trying to help Canadians. It is too bad the NDP never supports any of our efforts.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, lower approval rates at the independent Immigration and Refugee Board are sending a clear message to human smugglers and to those who jump the queue: if people come to Canada improperly, the Government of Canada will send them back. It also underscores the need for the opposition to support legislation currently in front of the House that would combat those who would undermine the integrity of our immigration system and undermine the confidence that Canadians have in this system.

Will the government update the House on the status of this legislation?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

St. Catharines
Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, certainly Bill C-49, our tough legislation to prevent human smugglers from abusing Canada's immigration system, gives us the tools we need to stop illegal smuggling boats. Longer detention will keep our streets safer. Preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining sponsoring relatives for five years reduces the incentive to queue jump. Finally, we will have the tools under our criminal law to pursue and punish the captain and crew.

We did it with Bill C-11, refugee reform legislation. We did it with Bill C-35, dealing with crooked immigration consultants. Let us work together to get this bill through the House.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government House leader and the government are long on words but short on action.

If they are committed to helping Somali Canadians, why have they failed to deliver the funds promised under the Canada–Ontario immigration agreement? As this agreement expired, the Conservative government withheld $207 million under the agreement. Almost half of Canada's immigrants settle in Ontario and the government is letting us down.

When will the government pay its bill? When will it sit down with Ontario and negotiate a new agreement? That is $207 million.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

Noon

St. Catharines
Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, this government is going to make no apologies for the amount of settlement funding that we have put in place since we were elected in 2006. Whether it is Ontario or any other province in this country, every province and every community has benefited from the settlement funding that it requires to do what is necessary, versus what the previous administration did, which was absolutely nothing. In fact, it cut settlement funding.

What we are doing now is ensuring, especially with Ontario, that we have a deal in place that serves the needs of the people in the province of Ontario. We are more than open for negotiations and they are happening right now.

Guaranteed Income Supplement
Oral Questions

November 26th, 2010 / noon

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, when we asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development why the government refused to increase the guaranteed income supplement by $110 a month, we were told that the government is already helping seniors through the TFSA, as though our most vulnerable citizens have the means to play the stock market with their GIS cheques.

How can the Conservative government be so out of touch with the reality facing our seniors?

Guaranteed Income Supplement
Oral Questions

Noon

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have done a great deal to help seniors. That is why we have one of the world's lowest levels of poverty among seniors. The GIS is automatically adjusted when the consumer price index increases. We have also increased the exemption credit twice and the Bloc Québécois voted against this initiative to help the seniors who built our country.

Taxation
Oral Questions

Noon

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, people from Thunder Bay to Rainy River woke up this morning to more than 15 centimetres of snow. They are also feeling the burden of the Conservatives' HST. Snow removal now costs 8% more. Home heating is up 8% too. This means that people already hit by the economic downturn will also face colder days and dangerous sidewalks.

If the HST is so great, why is it already causing so much harm to the people of northern Ontario?

Taxation
Oral Questions

Noon

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I knew the taxation was responsible for some things. I did not know it was responsible for snowfall in Thunder Bay in the winter.

The HST is a provincial responsibility. Provinces can decide to harmonize or not. Some provinces have. This is a decision that the provinces make.

The sales tax that we have federally is called the GST. We have reduced it from 7% to 6% to 5%, as we promised in the last election. Promises made, promises kept.

Every time we want to reduce taxes, the NDP votes against it.

Taxation
Oral Questions

Noon

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte is rising on a point of order.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated during the course of question period, I will be seeking unanimous consent to table documents that are in direct reference to the government's recent decision to amend the OAS regulations to exclude RRIF funds from an optional exercise of the calculation for purposes of the guaranteed income supplement.

Specifically I would like to table five items.

One is a recent letter that I referred to during question period, from the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development to a constituent of mine. This letter indicates that she understood the program, accepted the program and defended the program. It is the same program that she now says she knows nothing about.

The second item is on the regulations, the actual revisions to the functional guidance given to members of Service Canada in revising the program. This is dated May 17, 2010. These are the functional guidance orders that the minister authorized to amend the program that she says she knows nothing about.

The third item is a court case, which the minister refers to in her letters to my constituent. One is the case of Ellen Ward, made January 11, 2008 by Justice Hershfield. When we talk about whether or not the minister was aware of this, I will read the following for the relevance of members so that they understand whether to accept that or not:

[I]t may be necessary for the appropriate policy and legislative department of government to revisit the subject provision with a view to ensuring that it operates in a manner that reflects the policies of government in an intelligible way and in a way that does not discriminate against one group of retired persons...[versus] another

These are all relevant documents that I am sure hon. members will want to have tabled in the House.