House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was artists.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

November 24th, 2011 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, economic risks are getting worse across Europe. The contagion has moved from Greece and Italy into Spain and Portugal and maybe France. Now even Germany is having trouble selling its bonds.

Here in Canada, unemployment is going up, while job quality is going down. There are nearly 600,000 fewer full-time jobs in Canada today than just before the recession began in 2008.

Will the government stop making things worse and cancel its job-killing payroll tax increase that is planned for January 1? Just stop it.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, there are 600,000 more people working in Canada than there were during the recession. We are one of the very few western countries to have achieved that outcome.

We are obviously very concerned about the situation in Europe. That is why we have announced the employment insurance position that we have, which has been very well-received by the small business community in the country and which certainly opposes the Liberal idea of a 45-day work year that would add 65¢ to EI premiums.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, small business says, "Freeze the premiums. Don't raise them by $600 million".

Even with all of their economic trouble, the Americans do better than Canada on productivity growth. Therefore, facing this challenge, plus more global risk, more unemployment, a more vulnerable middle class, what does the government choose as its leading priority? Bigger jails. Its policy for affordable housing and mental health seems to be bigger jails. Its policy for aboriginal training and jobs is bigger jails.

Why is the government putting prisons ahead of schools? Think what that $13 billion could do for education and productivity.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, for this government, jails in our country are only for violent and repeat criminals. That is the policy of this government.

Obviously for the population at large, this government is dedicated to the creation of jobs. That is why we were elected. That is the platform on which we ran. That is what we will do.

I know the Liberal Party will vote against the creation of jobs, but that is why it will continue to sit in the far corner of the House of Commons.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, complacency is never good policy, especially when economic risks are rising and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is getting wider. Household debt is record high. Ten percent of Canadian kids live in poverty. Food banks are in growing demand. However, children in low-income families cannot qualify for the government's tax credits. Low-income firefighters cannot quality. Low-income home caregivers cannot qualify.

Why are Conservative tax credits designed deliberately to exclude low income Canadians?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government recently passed a series of budget measures to help Canadian families, to provide tax credits for things like kids' education, to provide tax breaks to small business for new hiring. However, the Liberal Party of Canada, in its obstinate way, continued to oppose these measures, which are widely supported by Canadian families and Canadian business.

We are proud to be on the right side of these issues.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister pointed to an important study by Justice Melvin Nunn to justify his misguided prisons agenda. However, today Justice Nunn is contradicting him, saying that he does not agree with the heavy-handed approach and that the government is going too far.

Is the Prime Minister now going to ignore Justice Nunn on youth justice?

When will the government finally see reason, abandon this misguided and costly prisons agenda and focus on hiring more police officers and take other preventive measures like the opposition has been suggesting?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the NDP members have trouble fighting crime on any particular level, but I am quite surprised that they would specifically mention the Nunn report.

The bill that we have before Parliament right now targets those individuals who were zeroed in on by the Nunn report, a small group of out-of-control young people who are a danger to the public and a danger to themselves.

This is why I am so proud to be a part of this party. We were elected on a mandate to fight crime. That is exactly what we are doing.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, Justice Nunn is not the only one the government is ignoring. Victims of gun crime are here today in Ottawa desperate to be heard.

The Steyr HS .50 sniper rifle can pierce an armoured target from a kilometre and a half away. The Ruger Mini-14 has killed before. However, we are losing our last remaining safeguard in this legislation. Anyone will soon be able to sell these rifles and dangerous shotguns on the street without even checking for a valid gun licence.

In 2006 the government included safeguards for rifles being bought and sold. This time there is no such luck. What has changed?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we understand the NDP is opposed to the abolition of the long gun registry, which targets ordinary law-abiding citizens. In fact, the member is incorrect. It is against the law to sell firearms to an unlicensed individual. There is a penalty of up to five years for that.

The member knows that and yet he makes that kind of a statement.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, a dangerous loophole in the bill to abolish the firearms registry could enable people without valid permits to purchase firearms such as semi-automatic rifles. Gun vendors will no longer be required to verify whether buyers have a permit.

Today, the Groupe des étudiants et diplômés de Polytechnique pour le contrôle des armes, the Fédération des femmes du Québec and the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide came to Ottawa to express their outrage. The government is leaving the door wide open for criminals and is abandoning victims. That is shameful.

Will the government wake up before it is too late?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, selling a firearm to someone without a licence is a crime. If people do so, they will be held accountable to the full extent of the law. Again, the member knows we are doing nothing in that respect by abolishing the long gun registry.

Rather than misleading people, I would ask her to get on board and work with us to target real criminals. That actually helps victims from becoming victims again.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

I recommend the minister read his own law.

This government, in the name of standing up for victims, is forcing a misguided crime bill on us that is based on personal observations instead of scientific studies. So much for being tough on crime.

The only study they have is from Justice Nunn, an expert on youth justice. This study does not have to do with every aspect of Bill C-10. In fact, this judge has been very critical of certain provisions of this bill.

Could the government give us just one scientific study in support of this bill?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have had input right across the country. I was very pleased, for instance, to get the input of the NDP in Manitoba, which has encouraged us to move forward on these initiatives. I can see that does not impress the hon. member.

The bill is very targeted. It goes after drug traffickers and those who would molest children. It sends out the right message.

The hon. member talks about victims. I am proud to be a part of the only party that stands up for victims and law-abiding Canadians in our country.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, every day Canadians learn of more pork patronage from that out-of-touch government. Today, its defeated Conservative minister, Jean-Pierre Blackburn, could soon be jetting off to UNESCO in Paris thanks to his buddies.

Appointing Conservative friends to important posts undermines all appointments. Why is the government using the Alfonso Gagliano approach to rewarding failed ministers? When will the government clean up appointments and establish a public appointments commission like it promised?