House of Commons Hansard #49 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was grain.

Topics

Border Crossings
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Madam Speaker, I will continue asking the same questions.

The Conservatives have let the Americans impose a $5.50 entry fee on Canadians; the Conservatives are going to be losers in the secret agreement on border security; and they are closing border crossings. What is wrong with this picture?

With the reductions in border services and staff, there has been an increase in criminal activities along the border between Dundee and Franklin. Even RCMP officers have said that closing the Franklin border crossing puts public safety at risk.

Why are the Conservatives suddenly being soft on crime?

Border Crossings
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Madam Speaker, we have hired hundreds of new CBSA officers. We have increased the number of RCMP officers. I know that when we came into office the Liberals had slashed the training of officers to 300 a year. In 2006, we trained 1,800 RCMP officers. We are concerned about security. We are also concerned about trade. I would ask that member to work with me to ensure that her party, the NDP, works to create jobs and opportunity and works for a safe country.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Butt Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Madam Speaker, Canada's agricultural products and agrifood industry are in high demand. However, the U.S. country of origin labelling process created uncertainty for livestock producers who depend on the smooth flow of livestock across our shared border. COOL was a step in the wrong direction and that is why we took action. The WTO COOL report was released today.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade explain why this is good news for Canada's livestock producers and workers?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville for his hard work on this file and for his dedication in standing up for Canadian farmers and livestock producers.

In 2008, our government took action to defend Canada's high-quality livestock industry against the COOL measure. Today, the WTO panel released its final report, which determined that the country of origin labelling measure discriminates against foreign livestock and is inconsistent with the U.S.-WTO trade obligations.

Thanks to our government's action, our livestock industry can get back on track, creating more jobs and more prosperity.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

Order, please. I would like a bit of order please.

The hon. member for St. John's South--Mount Pearl.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

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

Madam Speaker, Service Canada budget cuts mean fewer people are processing employment insurance claims and handling calls. Claimants are often forced to wait well beyond the normal processing time of about 28 days. With no income for six weeks to two months, workers and families are having a hard time putting food on the table and paying bills.

My question comes directly from a Service Canada employee in St. John's, Newfoundland. When is the government going to stop talking about automation and actually fix the problems at Service Canada?

Service Canada
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, it is really unfortunate that union leaders, who have clearly convinced the opposition party, are selfishly attempting to ensure that the old, ineffective, labour-intensive method of processing EI claims is what we should be focused on.

Our government's top priority is getting Canadians back to work and promoting economic growth. We are committed to providing timely service. As we have said before, no Service Canada offices will be closing nor will there be any cuts to front-line services offered by Service Canada.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

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

Madam Speaker, those guys just do not get the desperation of the situation.

I wonder if the Prime Minister or the Minister of Finance would be prepared to visit an EI call centre to take a few telephone calls themselves. They could hear first-hand the damage their government is doing.

Across the country, fewer and fewer Canadians are eligible for EI. Almost 60% of unemployed workers in Canada do not qualify. Delays are way beyond anything acceptable.

When will the government stop steamrolling ahead with more cuts to Service Canada?

Service Canada
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, as I mentioned before, no Service Canada offices will be closing. As a result of this initiative, there will be no impact on in-person services offered by Service Canada.

Automation is important. Making sure we move forward to make sure more Canadians are served in a timely manner is important. We are going to move forward with this process.

Poverty
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Madam Speaker, Sunday is Universal Children's Day and the government is celebrating with a dismal record on children and families.

One in ten children live in poverty while the government offers boutique tax credits to wealthy Canadians. Two out of every five food bank users are children. Food inflation continues to rise and the government offers big tax breaks to corporations.

Why does the government refuse to adopt a long-term, comprehensive strategy to eliminate poverty that would actually make it better for children and their families?

Poverty
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, every action this government takes is to help Canadians and their families become independent and able to contribute to the economy and to their communities.

We have had a decline since the peak under the Liberals of 18.4% to 9.5% under this government for children living in low-income families. The poverty rate for children living with single mothers has fallen to an all-time low of 21.5% from the peak of 56% under the Liberals. This government is moving forward on reducing poverty for children.

Why does the NDP not support our initiatives that are working?

Poverty
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Madam Speaker, these same old lines the government keeps using will not help children. The Conservatives can pat themselves on the back, but the reality is that the number of children living in poverty has not changed.

Twenty years ago, the House unanimously passed a motion presented by then-NDP leader, Ed Broadbent, to put an end to child poverty in Canada. At least the government at that time was concerned about children.

Why is the current government indifferent towards children, especially children living in poverty?

Poverty
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, the average Canadian family now spends $3,000 less per year in taxes. Those are funds that Canadians can use to invest in their family and their own children, thanks to this Conservative government.

Whether it is enhancing the national child benefit, or enhancing the child tax benefit, this government is working for Canadian families and their children. Why does the NDP not support these initiatives?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Madam Speaker, the story of first nations education in Canada is a tragedy of lost generations. Still only 35% of first nations children are graduating from high schools. Preliminary reports from the national panel on first nations education made clear the shameful reality that often first nations students do not go to school because there is no running water in the school and the building itself is unsafe.

Will the government confirm today that yesterday's commitment to safe drinking water in first nations homes will also address the urgent priority of first nations schools?