House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, today's announcement of a new retirement savings tool for companies and individuals was well received by the business community, small and medium-sized enterprises and Canadians across the country. Canadians are not looking for a hike in their CPP premiums, as advocated by the NDP.

Employment
Oral Questions

November 17th, 2011 / 2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, why would Canadians believe this government, which is sitting idly by while jobs are disappearing at an alarming rate? Just yesterday, we learned that 600 workers at the White Birch plant in Quebec City will be out of a job just before Christmas. While the number of unemployed workers is on the rise, the number of employment insurance claimants is dropping because fewer and fewer workers qualify for benefits.

The question for the Prime Minister is very simple, and Canadians want an answer: where is his plan to create jobs?

Employment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are well aware that the world economy presents challenges and that, from time to time, jobs are lost in Canada. When this sort of thing happens, we work with the communities.

It is important to say that what we do on this side of the House is work on employment and job creation. We have measures before the House to do that. What we do not do is what the NDP does, which is demand that industries be shut down, demand that taxes be raised on employers and go to other countries to fight against Canadian trade. On this side of the House, we are dedicated to fighting for Canadian jobs, not against Canadian jobs.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the minister said that when we buy in bulk, we save money. That is certainly true with the CPP and the QPP. In the last quarter, the CPP outperformed the markets by a ten to one factor. The chief actuary says that CPP is funded for 70 years. Increasing CPP and QPP will mean money in the pockets of retiring seniors.

Why is the government's only plan to line the pockets of mutual fund managers? Why will it not increase the CPP now?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that today we have a good news story. We have introduced a very new pooled registered pension plan that will help millions of Canadians who otherwise have not saved for retirement.

I have to question the member's commitment to that statement when people within the CFIB have said time and time again that if we raise CPP, they are very worried about jobs, and right now we are concentrating on jobs and the economy and our low tax plan to maintain those.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister in charge of this file knows that we have been willing to work with him; in fact, we have been working with him for the past three years. New Democrats have been standing up for the tried and true Canada pension plan because that is Canadians' best option to be protected. How can people trust the government to help them when pensioners call Service Canada and are put on hold because there are not enough people? Reckless Conservative cuts at Service Canada are leaving pensioners in the cold. They are waiting months to get their cheques.

Why is the government choosing risky schemes and reckless cuts over the needs of vulnerable seniors?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that union leaders, who are clearly very convincing for members of the opposition, are selfishly attempting to ensure that old, inefficient and labour intensive methods of processing EI applications remain in place. Our government's top priority is to get Canadians back to work and to promote economic growth. We are committed to providing timely service to all Canadians who access these systems.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today in the House we are debating the question of an effective strategy for clean running water for every single Canadian across the country, and it seems to have the support of all parties as we move forward.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister, since his party has announced it is supporting this measure, could he outline what he is going to do to ensure there will be clean drinking water for every single Canadian within a fixed time point?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no need for me to outline today that the government is willing to take action on this. The government has been taking action over the past several years. We have made significant investments in this very objective because it is important for communities, particularly native communities across Canada.

What is not explicable is why the Liberal Party continually votes against these investments, so I welcome today the Liberal Party's conversion to doing something about this issue.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we can argue about conversion dates at some other point, but let me draw the attention of the Prime Minister to one particular issue which I think requires a broader solution than the one he is prepared to take on.

The other day I visited the Six Nations reserve, which is the most highly populated reserve in the country. It has a serious drinking water problem. There are 315 homes that have no water supply whatsoever.

At the same time as the Minister of Canadian Heritage is announcing a program with respect to the War of 1812, those people who were there for Canada in 1812 to 1814 have still not had recognition of a large fundamental land claim that speaks to the land that was stolen from them over the last two centuries.

What is the Prime Minister going to do on that issue?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Liberal Party should know that obviously land claim negotiations in this particular area have been difficult and have been ongoing for some time, but we continue to work to try to get them resolved.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Ontario government has clearly said that this has been going on for centuries. The federal government itself recognized this fact when it made an offer of more than $100 million, which was turned down by the aboriginal negotiators. The Ontario government has agreed to the appointment of a mediator, but the Government of Canada refuses to appoint one.

If the government is serious, why is it not appointing a mediator to work through this major problem?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, negotiations have been ongoing for decades, at least. This government has made offers, as the leader of the Liberal Party said.

The fact of the matter is these are extremely complex negotiations. They are particularly complex given the governance structure on the other side, but we continue to work to try and get this problem resolved.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague and I went to Washington to tell the Americans that the majority of Canadians are opposed to the Keystone project. Our party is doing the work that the Conservatives refuse to do.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!