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 transit.

Topics

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the government voluntarily sought bilingual candidates for this position. In the end, this candidate was chosen on the basis of merit. Mr. Ferguson has made a commitment to become a fluent speaker of both official languages and has begun taking courses. We commend him for that.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has put the House in a difficult position. When the Prime Minister asked the leaders of the opposition parties for their views on this particular candidate, the government did not disclose the fact that he was unilingual. It did not tell us that fact. Now we are facing a situation where we find that this is the case.

We had assumed that because it was in the Canada Gazette, the government was going to meet the criteria which it itself had set out in the Canada Gazette when it was advertising for this position.

For the last 20 years, the Auditor General of Canada has been bilingual. Every single officer of this Parliament has a working capacity in both languages. Surely the government--

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member is out of time.

The hon. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Again, Mr. Speaker, the government voluntarily sought candidates who were bilingual. This candidate, after an exhaustive process with many candidates, was identified as the most meritorious candidate--

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

That's unbelievable.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. Members will come to order.

The hon. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, again, the government voluntarily sought candidates who were bilingual. There was an exhaustive selection process. The most meritorious candidate in the process was selected. It is clear from the leader of the third party's remarks that he was found to be a quality meritorious candidate. Mr. Ferguson has undertaken to become proficient in both of our official languages and he has already begun taking courses to do so.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is incorrect. I told the Prime Minister in my correspondence with him that I had no basis upon which to judge the qualifications of the individual in question and that it was going to be up to the House to make that decision. Members can look at the official correspondence if they want.

We were never told that the candidate was unilingual. That remains a fact.

Is it the position of the government that there is no competent, qualified and fully meritorious candidate in this entire country who is bilingual? Is that the government's position? It is a ludicrous--

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Again, Mr. Speaker, there was an exhaustive selection process. Many candidates were considered. Mr. Ferguson was identified as the best qualified candidate for the position. He was selected on that basis. Of course, the candidates are referred to the House for this position.

I would underscore that Mr. Ferguson has committed to become proficient in both of our official languages and has already begun the process to do so.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

October 26th, 2011 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, information obtained by the NDP reveals just how out of touch the Conservative government is with families in need. Almost 25% of people who call Service Canada about their EI hang up because they cannot reach anyone. Half of all seniors who call for help do not even get an automated message. Now, Conservatives want to take an axe to Service Canada.

As the economy slows down, why is the government cutting services that struggling families rely on?

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, in fact, we are doing just the opposite. While our priority is to ensure we create jobs and growth in the economy, for those who do need to access EI, we are modernizing the service. We are automating the service so Canadians can get better service, so they can get it faster, and so it is more affordable. We are working on that and we are making good progress so we can help Canadians.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Claude Patry Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians who have lost their jobs and who so desperately need help are losing hope. Almost 25% of people who call Service Canada about their EI hang up because they cannot reach anyone to get answers to their questions. That is unacceptable. Imagine the problems that there will be when EI processing centres close.

Families who have lost their jobs deserve better. Why is the Conservative government abandoning families when they need help?

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we want to help those who need access to EI. We are modernizing and automating the system so that Canadians can get better service, so they can get it faster and so it is more affordable.