House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government has done a lot to help seniors over the last four and a half years. We have seen the poverty rate drop to record lows compared with what they were under the previous Liberal government.

We have introduced pension income splitting. We have raised the age credit limit, not once but twice. We have made it possible for them to defer withdrawals from their RRSPs. And we have reduced taxes for all Canadians, giving them more money in their pockets to do the things they want to do in their retirement.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have wasted millions of dollars on ridiculous expenses, such as building a fake lake for the G20 meeting. Now they want to borrow billions and billions of dollars to give tax cuts to big corporations. Yet they are not doing anything for the 2.7 million family caregivers in Canada, over 40% of whom have to dig into their savings to take care of their relatives.

I would like to ask the government what its priorities are. Does it care more about fake lakes or about Canadian families?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, maybe the member was not here, but we have done a lot to help families, especially families of parents and children.

We have introduced the universal child care benefit so that families can have the choice of raising their children at home. We also introduced tax credits to help with the expenses of family members who are ill and who need to be at home. We also brought in and extended the compassionate care benefit under employment insurance.

We are doing things to help Canadian families. It would be nice if the Liberals supported some of those things.

Child Care
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's priorities are completely out of touch with Canadians.

Families in British Columbia are struggling with the high cost of living and day to day concerns like high tuition fees, caring for aging parents, insecure pensions and access to child care. In fact, the day care at UBC alone has over 2,000 children waiting for a space.

I ask the minister, why does the government consider G8 glow sticks and trinkets more important than the basic needs of families?

Child Care
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, one of the very first initiatives of our government four and a half years ago was to introduce the universal child care benefit, which put $100 a month in the hands of Canadian parents so they would have the choice in child care that they deserved, whether they wanted commercial day care or whether they wanted a parent to stay at home and raise the child.

The other thing we did was provide funds to the provinces, which after all have jurisdiction and responsibility for providing child care spaces, to create new spaces. So far, the provinces have reported that they have created over 62,000 new spaces.

Child Care
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not understand the word “universal”.

Families in my riding are desperate for child care spaces. If they are to find a space, it is often more than their mortgage payment each month. They are asking me how the government can justify its excessive spending of $300,000 for bug spray and sunscreen when that money could have gone toward helping Canadian families make ends meet.

How can the government justify valuing bug spray and sunscreen more than Canadian children?

Child Care
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have done a lot to help families, particularly low income families, meet the challenging financial demands of these days, including, as I mentioned, the universal child care benefit.

But there is more. We introduced the working income tax benefit, better known as WITB, to help people get over the welfare wall. We increased that. We also augmented the national child tax benefit and credits.

We have provided a number of things to help families financially. It is a shame that the Liberals just do not support any of them.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's decision by the Ontario Superior Court on the Bedford prostitution challenge struck down key components of our anti-prostitution laws and was deeply troubling to a number of Canadians.

Could the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada please update the House on what action our government is prepared to take on this very important issue?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, prostitution is a problem that harms individuals and communities. That is why I am pleased to indicate to the House that the government will appeal and will seek a stay of that decision.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, to say that the Department of Veterans Affairs is in a mess would be an understatement. From the government appointing its friends to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, to the many years of bureaucratic delay it takes for a veteran's appeal, now we have members of our veteran community, Sean Bruyea and Colonel Stogran, the ombudsman himself, who are fearful about their medical information being released to the minister.

My question for the minister is quite clear. How many other people is he aware of whose medical and psychiatric information has been shared among the department and with the minister? Has the minister himself seen any personal file--

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, protection of privacy is extremely important to us, sacred even. It is so important to us that when I found out the day before yesterday that more information about our veterans had been disclosed to individuals who were not entitled to that information, I made sure that my staff called the commissioner to find out if she could broaden her investigation, given that the problem was systemic. She was happy to agree to do so.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is one thing for the Privacy Commissioner to look into DVA, but the problem is that the Privacy Commissioner has no legislative ability to change the structure of DVA.

What is required, and what many veterans across the country are asking for, is a public inquiry into the practices and policies of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

My question for the minister is quite clear. Will he now stand in this House and ask for a full public inquiry into the practices and policies of the Department of Veterans Affairs?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, once again, I want to emphasize how important it is to protect our veterans' privacy. I asked the Privacy Commissioner to look into everything that is going on right now because these problems appear to be systemic.

The reason I made an effort to contact the commissioner about this is that I want to know what she recommends. The department will make changes based on what she tells us. We will not just sit back and wait. We are already taking action to make changes in the department so that we can protect our veterans' privacy.

Radioactive Waste
Oral Questions

September 29th, 2010 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is holding public consultations on the request by an Ontario company to use the St. Lawrence to ship radioactive waste. Officials at the commission have already come out in favour of the plan.

How can people have any confidence in these public consultations when the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission already seems prepared to authorize the use of the St. Lawrence to ship radioactive waste?