House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was prairie.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I did address this issue last week. We are facing challenges meeting the needs of Canadians. We are investing in new systems, in automation and in upgrading of our systems so we can respond to Canadians in a timely manner because they all deserve and need certain benefits in a timely manner.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I still do not think she understands the situation. I asked her the question on the indicator and she had a Charlie Sheen moment, handing the wheel over to her deputy.

The speed indicator measures two things: the time it takes for the payment to be issued and the time it takes for notice of non-payment to be issued. It is tough putting oil in the tank and food in the fridge with a notice of non-payment.

The minister misrepresented that particular statistic as if everybody was getting a cheque in 23 days. Will the minister stand today, correct the record and tell us how long unemployed Canadians are—

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Human Resources.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the facts are the facts. On average, 80% of the time, people do get their cheques within 23 days. It is those who are eligible for cheques who receive them. Mr. Speaker, you do not receive one in 23 days because you are not eligible.

We are trying to improve on this because Canadians do need better than that and we want to be there to help them in their time of need.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister has no clue. She talks about effectiveness and efficiencies but she should check her departmental statistics: speed of EI payment, worst rate in five years; EI call service level, worst performance in six years; average EI processing time, worst in the last five years; percentage of calls being hung up on, the highest in six years. When people call and press 2 to get an attendant, they actually have s a better chance of being hung up on. Is this the minister's idea of efficiency and effectiveness?

We should be changing the name of Service Canada to no Service Canada because unemployed Canadians--

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, people at Service Canada are working hard to see that Canadians do get the benefits they need. I do not think they need to be treated the way the hon. member just treated them. They deserve better than that because they are working to help Canadians. We are trying to help them do that by automating the system--

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. minister has the floor.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are trying to help them achieve better service levels because Canadians need and deserve that, especially in their time of need.

Health
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the current health accord says that funding commitments require that jurisdictions comply with reporting provisions. The Conservatives have failed to live up to this commitment. The minister says that the next accord will be about accountability but, without reporting, she cannot tell us what the current accords have achieved.

The government is sleepwalking into the next accord, blind to what happened under the last one. Where is the accountability now?

Health
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, I had very productive meetings with the health ministers this past Friday. We discussed many important issue, such as obesity, suicide prevention, mental health and MS.

Minister Bolduc, Quebec's health minister, said that he felt there was excellent collaboration among the provinces and the federal government. He felt that we were listening to them.

That is great news. It reflects the success of our discussions and advances that we have made together to better the health care system for all Canadians. Our government will not be like the previous Liberal government that slashed health and education transfers to the provinces.

Health
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister failed to address the key issue. The federal government has invested almost $160 billion in health care under the current accord. However, because of the government's mismanagement, Canadians do not know what value they are getting. The government has failed to ensure proper reporting on the impact of that spending.

Much of what the Conservatives promised, a pharmaceutical strategy, public health strategy and long-term care, are nowhere in sight. When will they finally demonstrate some leadership on this accord? Why wait until 2014 to be accountable?

Health
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, what was not stated in that statement is that the 2004 accord also required a committee to review the accomplishments. That work is currently being carried out in the Senate. I am looking forward to receiving the findings of the review from the Senate committee, which will be completing that report in the next month or so.

One of our goals is to ensure there is accountability in the way the money is being spent. I will continue to work with the provinces and territories in the delivery of health care to their residents.

Health
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government's record on health is appalling. Not only has it been unable to have current health accord commitments honoured, but now the Minister of Health has said that she will not be involved in negotiations for a free trade agreement with the EU. The accord calls for greater protection for pharmaceutical patents, which would force us to spend billions of dollars more every year.

Will the minister do the responsible thing and intervene in order to ensure that we do not have to pay more for our medication?