House of Commons Hansard #35 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was review.

Topics

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, that is an absolutely ridiculous comment by the Bloc. To be fair, we have heard a lot of those coming from the Bloc.

Bilingualism is very important. Legal competence is important.

I can tell the hon. member about the particular bill he talks about. This bill just makes no sense. As retired Supreme Court Justice John Major said, “If they want to sacrifice competency for linguistics, well, it's just a mistake”.

Persons with Disabilities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect the government to account for what is clearly political interference with the enabling accessibility fund. The minister has never explained why approximately 90% of all funding went to Conservative MPs' ridings. Remember, we are talking about a fund for the disabled. It is supposed to be for all disabled Canadians, but clearly it is not.

Could the minister start by explaining how one single Conservative riding, one riding, received more projects than the provinces and territories of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Yukon and the Northwest Territories combined?

Persons with Disabilities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of the enabling accessibility fund, as we are of many other things we have done to help the disabled. This program allowed over 300 more facilities to become accessible, including Iona Church in the member's riding.

These projects have taken place across the country and have built on what we are doing to make federal buildings more accessible. We have extended this program for the next three years so we can make even more buildings accessible to those who need to get into them and have the right to and deserve to.

Persons with Disabilities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not even care enough about the disabled to have an accessible riding office after six years in office.

This Conservative slush fund is an insult to Canadians with disabilities, who are more likely to face barriers to success and are more likely to live in poverty. They deserve better than this. This culture of deceit abandons millions of Canadians who need help. It is inexplicable and it is offensive.

Here is an easy question. How could it be that 26 individual Conservative ridings each received more projects than the entire province of Newfoundland and Labrador?

Persons with Disabilities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, let us be honest. We brought in the enabling accessibility fund. We have extended it. We brought in the funds to make federal buildings accessible.

Prior to our becoming government, for 13 long years the Liberals ran not one but two offices for disability issues, and neither one of those national head offices was accessible. Our government changed that. We made both of them accessible. Not only that, we made them into one and it has become a showpiece for how businesses can learn to adapt their facilities to help the disabled, but the member voted against that.

Workplace Safety
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is failing Canadian workers. Worse, it is actually endangering workers' safety.

A report released yesterday showed that while the provinces have cut the number of disabling workplace injuries by 25%, the number of serious injuries in federal workplaces like Canada Post and the trucking industry has increased. It is no coincidence that those rates rose at the same time the government cut the number of workplace inspectors.

Will the minister commit to hiring more workplace inspectors to protect Canadian workers?

Workplace Safety
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we have received the report, and officials in the department are currently reviewing it.

As the member opposite is aware, the health and safety of Canadians is the top priority of this government. That is why I want to talk today about the National Day of Mourning, which has not been mentioned yet in question period today. I want to extend, on behalf of the government, our sympathies to the families and friends who have lost loved ones on the job.

I know very well that no words can take away their sorrow, and the best way to pay tribute to those we remember today is to continue to strive for safer and healthier workplaces.

Workplace Safety
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the best way to pay tribute is with real action.

On this National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured at work, the flag of Parliament is flying at half-mast. The minister and other members attended the national ceremony, and some have said some touching things, but Canadian workers need much more than words and symbols. They need action from the government.

I ask again, will the government commit to enforcing health and safety protections, hiring more labour affairs officers, and setting concrete targets for reducing workplace injuries?

Workplace Safety
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative