House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised by this question.

Not only did we implement our economic action plan, which helped workers across the country, but we also implemented eight different measures to support workers who were losing their jobs, including work sharing, measures for self-employed workers, and five additional weeks of employment insurance benefits.

We introduced all of these measures, and every single time the Bloc voted against them.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, we need a complete overhaul of the employment insurance system. But in the short term, the Bloc Québécois is proposing that we help workers with serious illnesses. My colleague from Chambly—Borduas presented a petition last week signed by over 65,000 people, calling for an extension of employment insurance benefits to a maximum of 50 weeks for people are forced to miss work because of serious illnesses, like cancer.

Will the government show some compassion and follow through with this extremely reasonable measure?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as members of Parliament, we are obviously aware of the challenges facing our constituents. The payment of employment insurance premiums is shared by employers and employees, and we try to offer as many benefits as possible to help people. As a general rule, someone who is ill is eligible for employment insurance for a period of 15 weeks. In general, the average is about nine weeks. However, we understand the situation and are still very much aware of it.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, on April 5, relying upon European and Canadian data, the American department of transportation imposed a historic $16.4 million fine on Toyota for having deprived its customers of timely safety-related information about it vehicles, and more charges are to follow. This week Toyota admitted guilt and paid the fine. In Canada there were no charges, no fines, no admissions.

When will the Minister of Transport do his job and protect Canadian motorists by holding Toyota Canada to account?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada will ensure that the full force of Canadian law and all legal measures are taken to ensure we keep Canadians safe.

My department right now is investigating this important issue and my officials are continuing to gather information on a priority basis to ensure that all Canadian laws have been respected, and if they have not, they will take appropriate action.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, I find the minister's indifference to Canadian drivers and their families astounding and dangerous.

In November he applauded Toyota's actions to protect consumers even as it was being investigated. On February 24, the minister claimed that Toyota had been a good corporate citizen. However, on March 17, he indicated he was considering criminal charges. What happened? Yesterday he retracted, saying that ministers did not order criminal charges to be laid.

If he cannot order them to be laid, will he ask the RCMP to investigate the breaches of the law by Toyota Canada?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how the government worked when that member was a member of the cabinet, but in Canada cabinet ministers do not order criminal investigations and do not order that criminal charges be laid.

Let me tell him this. My department is working very hard. We have a top-notch group of officials that will ensure the full force of Canadian law comes down on any actor in the transportation sector that does not fully respect Canadian law.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

April 21st, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the refusal of the Conservatives to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was an international embarrassment and an insult to aboriginal peoples in Canada.

Other countries that made the same mistake are now making the right choice by signing on to this important human rights document. This week at the UN, New Zealand reversed its position and now supports the declaration with no conditions.

Will Canada finally tell the UN that we support the declaration, without conditions, and will a formal date for its adoption by Canada be announced?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the member did not read the same speech that I did from the New Zealand delegation, but we were very pleased to see New Zealand follow our lead. They have also moved ahead on this. Of course, as we do in Canada, we are consulting with first nation and aboriginal leaders across Canada.

We are putting together a package of ideas on making sure that, when we follow through on our throne speech promise to support the declaration, it will be done in a way that not only aboriginal people are comfortable with but all Canadians can be very proud of.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Native Women's Association of Canada released a report on the lack of effective programming to address the 582 cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls in Canada. It has been over a month since the government promised funding to address this serious issue, and we still have no details on how and when it will be delivered.

Aboriginal women in this country are being murdered. There needs to be action now. Will the Minister of Justice tell us when he plans to release the $10 million he promised? We simply cannot afford to wait any longer.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government is committed to ensuring that all women, including aboriginal women, are safe and secure regardless of the community in which they live. Since this is the first question we have had on this since the budget, I can say that the government will be investing $10 million over two years to address the disturbingly high number of missing and murdered aboriginal people.

We will work with provinces, territories, aboriginal people and other stakeholders for effective solutions. After all, we all have a stake in finding a solution to this terrible problem.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, during a period of global economic uncertainty, our government acted responsibly to ensure the survival of Canada's automotive industry. In co-operation with the Obama administration and the Government of Ontario, we acted to secure this vital manufacturing sector and protect its nearly half a million Canadian jobs.

Could the Minister of Industry update the House on the progress being made on our government's robust commitment to the Canadian auto sector?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister made a difficult but necessary decision a year ago to support the auto sector here in Canada. We see more evidence that it was the right decision. I am pleased to rise today and indicate that GM has repaid in full its loans to the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the United States, well ahead of schedule. It is seven years ahead of schedule, as a matter of fact.

It is clear that Canada's auto sector is back on the road to prosperity. We have new shifts. We have new jobs being announced at Canadian auto plants. Of course, this government remains committed to our manufacturing sector from coast to coast to coast.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, Dennis Vialls, an Allied war veteran who fought in Normandy alongside Canadian troops, is now battling Alzheimer's. His wife is exhausted from caring for him and from fighting this stubborn government. The Ste. Anne's Hospital for veterans has empty beds. Why can the government not allow Allied veterans like Dennis Vialls the same direct access to Ste. Anne's Hospital as other World War II veterans who fought for our freedom?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our veterans can go to Ste. Anne's Hospital near Montreal to receive the care they need.

However, not all veterans are eligible. Certain criteria must be met. In general, people prefer to go to hospitals near their homes.

We are doing everything we can to help our veterans, but we have to follow the rules.