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

Topics

International Cooperation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I totally reject the premise of his answer.

The fact is that this government wants to talk about development aid when it might help the Prime Minister's image, but when it comes time to lay the cards on the table, we see that Canada's role on the world stage is not a priority for this government.

Will the Prime Minister admit that he is not at all interested in international development and that his plan for Africa is nothing but smoke and mirrors?

International Cooperation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Kootenay—Columbia
B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, again, I reject the premise of the question. The fact is our government doubled aid to Africa a year before any other G7 country even came close to being able to do that.

I am very proud of the people of Canada, the way they have stepped up, for example, on the question of Haiti. I am even more proud of the way our government said that it would match donations dollar for dollar.

We will take no lessons from the Liberals on foreign aid.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, nobody questions Justice Iacobucci's credentials. His appointment confirms, however, that Canadians cannot trust the government to give them the truth and that its stonewalling was wrong.

Why stop at half measures? Why not use Justice Iacobucci's credentials to give Canadians the full story, by presiding an open, public judicial inquiry that will go beyond simply deciding, in private, what documents remain secret? Why are the Conservatives afraid of a public inquiry into this issue?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think we can all agree on the whole subject of the Canadian armed forces, that they have been conducting themselves honourably in Afghanistan. A transfer agreement has been in place now for three years. If there are any problems with the previous one that was instituted under the previous government, perhaps he should take that up with is colleagues.

With respect to the documents, the reputation of Mr. Justice Iacobucci is beyond reproach. That will be very helpful in terms of looking at these documents, and it should have the support of all hon. members.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, no one is questioning Justice Iacobucci's competence. We are just wondering why the government is using these half measures and adopting ad hoc methods simply to continue to delay things and refuse to release the documents Parliament is requesting.

Why is the government not giving Justice Iacobucci the chance to tell the whole story to Canadians and to chair a formal public inquiry that will finally give Canadians answers? The government is refusing to answer the questions Canadians are asking.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, first, with respect to the subject of redacting documents, these are done by non-partisan public servants. Hon. members are apparently questioning that. In response to that and, again, just to ensure the process is completely open and transparent, we have asked Mr. Justice Iacobucci to have another look at that. It seems to me that should satisfy the hon. member.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

March 5th, 2010 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the job market continues to deteriorate. For instance, White Birch Paper, which has mills in Rivière-du-Loup, Masson-Angers and Quebec City, is under the protection of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. Despite increasing layoffs, yesterday's budget does not offer any measures to improve access to the EI system. The CSN pointed out yesterday that 50% of unemployed workers still do not have access to the EI system.

Why does the government refuse to improve access to the system for workers who have lost their jobs or will lose them over the next few weeks?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, here are the facts: we have already extended the benefit period by five weeks for everyone. For long-tenured workers, it has been extended by 20 weeks.

We are trying to improve opportunities for training, so that unemployed workers can learn how to do the jobs of the future.

It is worth noting that the Bloc has voted against all our efforts.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like the Minister to listen: 50% of unemployed workers do not have access to the EI system.

Not only did the government refuse to improve the EI system and not only did it plunder the EI fund for many years, but it is about to pilfer another $19.2 billion from the fund between 2012 and 2015. That money belongs to the workers and companies that pay into the system.

Why does the government want to steal from unemployed workers instead of helping them?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it is very simple. She is wrong. We froze EI premiums at the level they were at two years ago in order to protect jobs. We added five weeks of benefits for people across Canada. It is much easier to get benefits now than in the past. We have protected over 225,000 jobs with our work sharing program, and they voted against it.

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec is still waiting for $8 billion from Ottawa, including $2 billion for tax harmonization. The unilateral cap on equalization payments by Ottawa last year has caused Quebec to lose $1 billion. The FEUQ has reminded us that we have yet to receive $800 million to completely restore funding for post-secondary education.

What is Ottawa waiting for to make good on its debts to Quebec?

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, Ottawa is not waiting for anything. Ottawa is taking action. With respect to the FEUQ issue, I should note that $125 million was transferred to students in the form of post-secondary education loans, which was very well received.

In times of fiscal restraint, we need to tighten our belts. Money does not grow on trees, as our colleagues seem to think. It must be earned, and not at the expense of provinces and municipalities. No transfers have been affected. On the contrary, transfers to Quebec will increase again this year.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Let us talk about the municipalities, Mr. Speaker.

Municipal officials are unhappy about the federal government's inflexibility with respect to infrastructure projects. The president of the Fédération québécoise des municipalités said that, by maintaining the March 31, 2011 deadline, the Conservative government was primarily penalizing the Quebec municipalities that have to wait for administrative arrangements to be finalized before any work can start.

Does the government not realize that, by stubbornly maintaining the March 31, 2011 completion date, it is depriving Quebec of several worthwhile projects?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's question.

We have accomplished very good work with the Province of Quebec. All the money available for the Province of Quebec and its municipalities has been spent.

We have had a good relationship with the provincial government. In all the regions of Quebec, municipalities are ready to act, and the successes will continue until the end.

International Cooperation
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister said that other faith-based organizations would not face the same intimidation and attacks from the government that KAIROS did. That is not the issue. The issue is KAIROS, after advocating for human rights and environmental progress, issues on which the government has shown no leadership, was maliciously and wrongfully slandered as anti-Semitic by a senior minister of government.

Will the government reverse these crippling cuts and apologize to KAIROS and the churches it represents for its malicious attacks?