House of Commons Hansard #57 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was yea.

Topics

Justice
Statements By Members

November 30th, 2011 / 2:15 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, more and more people oppose the Conservatives' unbalanced incarceration agenda. The provinces have indicated that they do not have the means to pay for it. Police chiefs say that the Conservatives' approach is unbalanced. Families want more police officers on the street, not bigger prisons. And we now know that even the Minister of Public Safety thinks this bill is seriously flawed. He has even proposed amendments to the Conservatives' bill.

However, his own incompetence got in the way. It turns out that he cannot invoke closure, shut down debate and then put forward amendments.

The Conservatives now have a choice to make. They can stand with the chiefs of police, with provinces, with families, with their own Minister of Public Safety and vote against this failed prisons agenda.

If the public safety minister has any shred of integrity whatsoever, he will stand with others who know the bill is flawed and vote against it.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week I had the opportunity to read a new job-killing scheme from a backroom NDP strategist.

It is clear that the NDP actually believes that money is spent on tax cuts. The NDP actually believes that income does not belong to Canadians, that it is just the money government has been kind enough not to tax.

Our government has cut taxes so Canadians can spend and invest their tax savings into our economy and job creators can spend their tax savings, invest in new equipment and technology and hire new employees. Thanks to our Conservative government, Canadians are paying a lot less tax than they used to. In fact, the average Canadian family pays up to $3,000 less in taxes than it used to before we took office. The NDP opposed this tax relief.

The NDP's plans to impose job-killing taxes on Canadian families and business is the last thing our economy needs.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I was in Attawapiskat yesterday, and I want to tell the Prime Minister about the situation in that community. It is terrible, unimaginable, worse than anything we could imagine. People are living in shacks, tents and trailers. There is no running water, no heating. The little heat they do have could turn their shelters into fire traps. They are sleeping on mouldy mattresses and their children are living outdoors. What will the Prime Minister do? Will he show some leadership and go to visit these people?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, the government has invested more than $90 million in this community and these results are unacceptable. That is why we are taking immediate action to help these people who are in need of immediate assistance. The government will also take action to improve the long-term management in the community. The minister will make an announcement about that later.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the Prime Minister that we cannot just throw money at Attawapiskat and think that all its problems will be solved. It is true that this requires a short-, medium- and long-term plan. It takes political will, which we have not seen in the past 10 years. What is the Prime Minister waiting for? Where is his leadership?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is the government that is taking action and the opposition that is voting against investments in this community. I will say it again: this government has invested more than $90 million. The results are unacceptable, and we will take other steps to obtain better results.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has to take responsibility. He has to take charge. It is his duty to help the people of Attawapiskat, an entire Canadian community living in third world conditions in the Arctic cold. It is minus 22°C today. That is what we see right now.

The Prime Minister should go there and see for himself. He should sleep in a shack in a sleeping bag. He would see that the sleeping bags provided by the Red Cross are not the solution. We need better. Winter is coming. Where is the action? Where is the leadership?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has invested more than $90 million in this community since coming to office. Obviously the results are not satisfactory.

That is why the government has people on the ground taking additional emergency action. It is also why we will be announcing additional steps to deal with management problems in this community.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, a state of emergency was declared in Attawapiskat a month ago. The situation is very serious. The Red Cross disaster relief team is on the ground now. But we want to know where the federal government's plan is. The government must work with the community to find a long-term solution.

Will the government declare a state of emergency and assist the people in distress in Attawapiskat?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we are continuing to work with the province and the community to implement the emergency management plan to ensure the residents have access to warm, dry and safe shelter.

On the ground assessment has determined that urgent health and safety issues demand immediate action. Therefore, we have informed Chief Spence that we are placing the first nation in third party management.

I have also requested a comprehensive audit to identify how money has been spent and what oversight measures have been taken over the past five years.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, Attawapiskat is ground zero of a national catastrophe, and after a month of inaction when the Red Cross has had to step in, when emergency measures have had to step in, the Conservatives' solution is to blame the community. If they wanted to know what was happening in the community, they could have called their co-manager who is on the ground right now and with whom I spoke yesterday.

When the Red River floods, people show up. When Slave Lake burned, politicians showed up. Why are the people of Attawapiskat treated so differently? Why is it that when it is a first nation community in distress, the government's response is contempt?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, our priority is ensuring that people in immediate need get adequate shelter as quickly as possible. We are also looking at ways to ensure this situation does not happen again.

We agree that we cannot have band-aid solutions. There are larger structural issues that need to be addressed. We will provide short and longer-term ways to address these concerns.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government that should be placed under third party management is right across the way. It is right over there. That is what should be under third party management.

It is a classic case. There are dozens of Attawapiskats right across the country. It is not the only community that is facing these conditions and these difficulties. In her last report, the Auditor General of Canada said that the aboriginal people of our country were living in intolerable conditions.

It is the government that has to take responsibility for what has happened and not simply continue to blame the victims. The government is all hat and no cattle when it comes to—

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, this government has made large scale investments into this community, unlike the party opposite when it was in government. This government is determined and is prepared to take the steps necessary to ensure results with those funds.

By the way, that is why the people of Canada placed the Liberal Party under third party management.