House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, seniors who built this country are being left out in the cold by the government. Half of all CPP-related calls to Service Canada are completely ignored. There is no one to help, not even an automated message. Seniors are looking to their government for the help they deserve, but all they find is a dead phone line.

Why are Conservatives proposing more cuts after they have already failed to provide even basic services to seniors?

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has her facts wrong. We are consolidating and improving the service for seniors and indeed for all Canadians. We are working right now, and have been working for some time, with some very old, outdated systems, very cumbersome paper systems.

That is why we are automating systems, to make the service faster, more effective and more efficient, so we can indeed help seniors and all Canadians get access to the services and benefits to which they are entitled.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the facts are simply not in line with the government's answer. The Conservatives are going to cut services that are already broken. They refuse to lift seniors out of poverty, and now Service Canada will not even answer the phone. Our seniors deserve better from their government. Canadians are just learning about those service reduction problems, but the Conservatives have known about it all along.

Will the government cancel the cuts to Service Canada, or just keep ignoring our seniors' calls for help? The phones are ringing.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as I explained, we are consolidating the processing of employment insurance. That will have absolutely no impact on services to seniors such, as CPP and old age security. Why are we doing this? Because we are dealing with an antiquated paper system that needs to be replaced and automated so we can provide services faster, more accurately and more affordably.

As for Service Canada, we are keeping all of our front-line personnel in place, so Canadians can get access to the services they need.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, if this is the government's response, perhaps the government does not understand what people are going through.

In September, nearly one in four Canadians was unable to reach anyone at Service Canada about their EI. Half of all seniors calling about CPP and old age security had to hang up because they could not reach anyone. Meanwhile, the government continues to make cuts at Service Canada.

Do the Conservatives consider these cuts to services acceptable when more and more people are unable to get through and have to hang up?

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are improving the services that Service Canada provides to Canadians, including access to the guaranteed income supplement and pensions. We have improved services for seniors. Unfortunately, the NDP voted against these improvements.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are saying that they are doing better than previous governments, but this is not the sort of attitude that really helps people.

Canadians are still not getting any answers from Service Canada and they are getting even fewer answers from the Conservatives in the House of Commons. The Conservatives are telling Service Canada and its employees to do more with less. However, statistics show that the services currently being provided are already inadequate.

When will this government understand that overburdening Service Canada workers will not result in better service to the Canadian public? It is a simple question, and the answer should be simple as well. What impact will the new cuts to services have on the public?

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have a responsibility to taxpayers: to put their money to good use. That means that Service Canada must operate effectively. That is why we are improving and modernizing our systems so that they are more effective, efficient and affordable. This will allow us to provide better service to Canadians.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

October 26th, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, as RCMP contract talks resume this week, Conservatives continue to bring more threats than ideas to the negotiating table. The province and municipalities have said they are ready to negotiate in good faith in order to keep B.C. families safe. They are asking the government to be serious and constructive.

When will the minister stop using the public safety of British Columbians as a bargaining chip?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that the solicitor general of British Columbia forwarded some of her concerns that she indicated that she would provide to me in September. I understand officials are sitting down and working together with British Columbia officials.

I understand, at the same time, that some of the municipalities that are looking at moving from municipal police forces to the RCMP would like this settled. I would urge the British Columbia government to look at the proposals that we have on the table. We will look at what it presented and come to a fair conclusion.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, with weeks left it shows how out of touch Conservatives are with reality. Conservatives are asking British Columbians to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to the federal government for rejecting its unfair HST and now Conservatives are threatening to pull the police off our streets.

The province and municipalities are ready and willing to talk, so when will the government stop playing games with our public safety and start listening to British Columbians?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the member did not hear the answer. Officials are sitting down to look over the proposals that the solicitor general from British Columbia finally forwarded to the federal officials. I thank her for sending those proposals to us. I would urge the officials to work out the bugs that remain in this contract and get to ensuring that we have an appropriate RCMP contract in place.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is constantly bragging about its law and order agenda, but it is threatening to pull the RCMP off British Columbia streets if it does not agree to a new labour contract by the end of November. Fortunately, negotiations will resume this week.

British Columbia families are wondering whether the Conservatives will start working in their best interests and in the interests of their safety, or if the Conservatives will continue to threaten to pull police officers off the streets.

British Columbia is prepared to negotiate in good faith. Are the Conservatives prepared to do the same?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I provided the answer and I do not know if the individual heard me. I would like to quote the Canadian Police Association, which members opposite should take to heart. It said:

We're quite satisfied with the efforts this government has made to work on behalf of front-line police officers, specifically with respect to the comprehensive justice legislation that has been a priority since the last election.

We would ask the NDP members to get off of their high horse and actually do things that make a difference to front line police officers and the citizens they serve.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, as the world teeters on the cusp of another downturn, with the turmoil and risk today in Europe, especially, will the government take three sensible steps to help make Canadians less vulnerable: cancel $1.2 billion in job killing EI payroll tax increases, give seniors flexibility in managing their RRSPs and RRIFs, and make tax credits equally available to low-income kids, caregivers and volunteer firefighters, not just the more wealthy?

Would the government do these three sensible things?