House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was artists.

Topics

Veterans
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the truth of the Conservative Party's record on veterans affairs is rather quite dismal when we look at the fact that more and more veterans are now using food banks. In the city of Calgary alone, there is a food bank for veterans only. In 2005, it had 58 members and in 2010 it had over 200.

More and more veterans are becoming homeless, more and more veterans are frustrated with the system. Instead of streamlining the system to the point where veterans get more of the benefits, the government is cutting the department by $226 million.

If it really wants to do something, it should cut the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, get rid of the political appointees, and deal with the veterans—

Veterans
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Mississauga—Brampton South
Ontario

Conservative

Eve Adams Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, to be very clear, we are not cutting benefits to veterans. We are looking at efficiencies at the department, cutting red tape, and making things much more efficient for our veterans.

When it comes to homelessness and food banks, our government record is incredibly clear. We are the ones who created the new veterans emergency access fund that helps veterans and their families when there are no other funds available to them. We are the ones who have actually doubled the number of operational stress injury clinics.

No government in Canada's history has done more for veterans than the Stephen Harper government.

Veterans
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. I would remind the hon. member not to use proper names but ridings or titles.

The hon. member for Pontiac.

Veterans
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is just more government rhetoric. It is sad that veterans are not able to see positive changes in their daily lives.

This government plans to cuts jobs at Veterans Affairs Canada because the Conservatives claim there are fewer veterans in the country today, but that is the exact opposite of what the Veterans Ombudsman is saying. There are currently 700,000 veterans in the country, and that number is growing. Why is this Conservative government turning its back on veterans?

Veterans
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Mississauga—Brampton South
Ontario

Conservative

Eve Adams Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, again, to be clear, we will maintain benefits to our veterans, including the enhanced benefits that our government introduced just two weeks ago. Changes at the Department of Veterans Affairs, as I mentioned, are focused on improving efficiency, cutting red tape, and improving service to veterans. Our government continues to deliver quality care to our veterans and a key component of that is our operations in Charlottetown.

Arts and Culture
Oral Questions

October 21st, 2011 / 11:30 a.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, culture does not grow only in the big cities. It is created in all corners of the country, including rural Canada. The cultural capital program is a boost to the rural economies and an essential part of preserving rural Canadian culture, yet the government has decided to wipe out the small communities category.

Small Canadian communities have made a large contribution to our country's cultural fabric. Why are they being shut out of this important program?

Arts and Culture
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham
Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, no government in history has actually done more for culture than this government. During the economic downturn, we are the only government that not only maintained funding for arts and culture but increased funding for arts and culture.

We understand how important it is, not only to the large cities, to urban areas, but to all of our rural areas. That is why in communities across this country festivals are being supported, the arts are being supported, and we are very proud of our record.

Arts and Culture
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives continue to turn their backs on families with these cuts. This week we learned that the Department of Canadian Heritage is making cuts to the cultural capitals of Canada program. It is cutting cultural capitals of less than 50,000 people. Rouyn-Noranda is one of them.

The community of Rouyn-Noranda depends on the program to promote the arts and create jobs. Why is the government abandoning this community?

Arts and Culture
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham
Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I will reiterate for the hon. member. We have actually increased funding for arts and culture in Canada. We are the only G7 country in the midst of an economic downturn to increase funding. We understand how important this sector is to the Canadian economy. It is responsible for thousands of jobs across this country.

The real question is, why does the NDP always vote against initiatives that would help support our artists? When we talk about increasing funding to the arts community, why does it always vote against it?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, cuts to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have left our fishermen feeling like they have been set adrift in a sea of uncertainty, written off by the Conservative government.

The boom has been lowered on the resource conservation council and on the search and rescue marine sub-entre in my riding of St. John's South—Mount Pearl, but with another $57 million in planned cuts, we know there is even more to come, worse to come.

Which part of our fisheries, of our culture, will the Conservatives set adrift next?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, strategic review is an opportunity to assess the performance of all departments within government. It also allows us to ensure that we are responding to the priorities of Canadians.

We have a responsibility to spend money prudently and where it will do the most good. We must ensure that government programs are efficient, effective, and achieving the results that Canadians expect from us.

DFO is making steady progress in modernizing and improving our program and policy approaches to meet the needs of Canadians today and in the future.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, early this afternoon I will have the pleasure of opening debate on my private member's bill calling for an inquiry into the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery.

The Newfoundland and Labrador fishery rebuilding act proposes that today, 20 years after the shutdown of the commercial groundfish fishery, we begin the process of rebuilding. Unfortunately, the Conservative government appears to be sailing in the opposite direction.

Will the minister do the right thing and agree to an inquiry to restore the once great stocks that were our dowry with Confederation?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the government has learned many lessons from the poor practices that had led to the collapse of the groundfish fishery in the 1990s. While some may prefer to live in the past, our government has no intention of conducting a formal review into the collapse of the cod fishery.

In some areas, for example, on the eastern shelf, we have seen some positive indicators that our efforts are starting to pay off, and we will continue with fisheries reform and further implementation of sustainability policies.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is time for the minister to get a grip on reality. Fishers are worried about the cuts at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. People from the Gaspé and the Magdalen Islands have already suffered enough because of poor management of fish stocks. Now the government is adding to that by cuts in search and rescue. The industry's future and the fishers' safety are being threatened by these cuts.

Will the government commit to maintaining funding at Fisheries and Oceans Canada to guarantee the future of our fishers?