House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in almost 15 years in this place, I have never walked out the back door of this chamber.

I want to repeat what retired Cormorant squadron leader and pilot Major Steven Reid said in response to questions about the flight:

The flight would have flown regardless of whether or not the minister was included because the squadron conducts two training events per day as part of a regular routine.

I took part in one of those routines, and I can tell members that our SAR pilots, our participants in those missions, are doing spectacular work on behalf of our country.

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is an elderly couple in Toronto. She has asthma and bronchitis. He has Parkinson's. They can barely make ends meet. In fact, they just won a contest because of the depth of their needs. However, there are no winners here. Three hundred thousand seniors live in poverty. The government offers no help. Seniors should not have to turn to a contest just to keep their heads above water.

When will the government stop ignoring seniors and start actually helping them?

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Richmond
B.C.

Conservative

Alice Wong Minister of State (Seniors)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member opposite for bringing up this very important issue.

Seniors' poverty is something which all Canadians should be concerned about. That is why our government has been taking action. We have worked hard to put more money into the pockets of seniors by cutting taxes and investing billions in affordable housing, but it does not stop there. We have also introduced pension income splitting and have provided the largest GIS increase in a quarter century.

Canadians know that they can count on this government to deliver for our seniors.

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure the minister realizes how critical the situation is for seniors because she refuses to admit that more needs to be done. Some 300,000 seniors are living in poverty. It is not just a statistic; it is a hidden crisis and the government is doing nothing about it. This winter, seniors will have to choose between paying their electricity bills or buying groceries. It is not an easy choice. In order for our seniors to be able to live in dignity, it would take only $700 million, which is half of what this government has given in gifts to the banks this year alone.

Why does this government help CEOs instead of seniors?

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Richmond
B.C.

Conservative

Alice Wong Minister of State (Seniors)

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to supporting seniors. The largest GIS increase in a quarter century has put more money into the pockets of 1.6 million more seniors. Our low-tax plan has removed 380,000 seniors from the tax rolls completely. Our investment to combat financial elder abuse is raising awareness so that the money seniors have worked so hard to save is not lost.

I have also consulted with stakeholders around the country and have seen first-hand the positive impacts made, thanks to our government.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the NDP's perfect world, the Canada-U.S. border would be laden with trade deterrents.

Unfortunately for the NDP, under this Conservative government, we have achieved an agreement to improve the flow of goods and services between Canada and our friends and neighbours to the south.

Would the hard-working Minister of Foreign Affairs take this opportunity to tell the House about the remarkable economic benefits the beyond the border agreement would provide for all Canadians?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the relationship between Canada and the United States is very important to our government. It is one of the most successful relationships in the world.

Last week the Prime Minister and President Obama announced an ambitious, yet achievable, road map to help trade and to help people travel back and forth between our two countries. This would lead to better security and more jobs.

Improving the flow of people, goods and services over our shared border is a central part of our economic action plan. Let us not mince words. This agreement is the most significant step forward in Canada-U.S. co-operation since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement. It will help create a lot of jobs.

International Trade
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the United States has ratified its free trade agreement with South Korea. However, Canada is missing in action again. While the minister flits around all over the world talking trade, Canada continues to lose markets in established countries.

South Korea, until now, imported over $1 billion of pork and beef. Now, as tariffs go down for the United States, we can expect our product to be displaced. Why has the minister sold out the Canadian pork industry? Is it really because the government has failed to negotiate a secure auto pact for both sides?

International Trade
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is the Minister of International Trade has been working tirelessly on behalf of Canadian farmers, Canadian consumers and Canadian manufacturers and will continue to work with our friends in South Korea toward firming up our trade agreement with South Korea.

In the meantime, the hon. member has an opportunity to support a trade agreement, the one with Panama, which is before the House, and I encourage him to do it.

Taxation
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government continues to ignore hard-working families in the GTA. We have predatory temp agencies that can have half a worker's salary. We have car insurance rates in places like Brampton that are some of the highest in the country. To make matters worse, the Conservatives make huge cuts to services that help settle new Canadians in our region. It is a pile on. The Toronto area is one of the most expensive places in the country to live.

Therefore, here is a low tax plan for the Minister of Finance. Why does he not make life more affordable for Canadians and cut the federal tax on home heating?

Taxation
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member was not here at the time, but some of the members of the NDP were here when we promised Canadians back in 2006 that we would reduce the GST by two points. Then we came to this place and in our first budgets we proposed reducing the GST by two points for the entire country. Who voted against it? All the members of the NDP.

Those members have a lot of nerve coming here talking about tax reductions. They do not believe in them. They just talk about it. However, when the times comes to vote, they are not there.

Labour
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Lawrence Toet Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the collective agreement between Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, representing locomotive engineers, and CN Railway will expire on December 31 of this year. A work stoppage at a national railway would have a significant impact on the economy and on local communities.

Could the Minister of Labour please give the House an update on the status of the labour negotiations at CN?

Labour
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for giving me the opportunity to inform the House that indeed a tentative agreement was reached by both parties on Saturday before the expiration of their old contract. The best solution in any dispute is the one that the parties reach themselves.

A reliable transportation system is crucial to Canada's economic growth. Our transportation network accounts for 4.1% of our GDP, employing over 900,000 Canadians moving $1 trillion worth of goods to markets. We are the most trade dependent nation in the G8, so we require a system that is modern, efficient and reliable. I thank CN and its users.

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Oral Questions

December 12th, 2011 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, security forces have attacked demonstrators and fired on those who are challenging last week's election results. Canadians are concerned about the escalating violence in that country.

The international community has to act swiftly to prevent there being more victims.

What is Canada doing to defend human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I share the concern with the member opposite. I also shared the concern with the member for Ottawa—Vanier who raised this issue last week.

Canada spoke out very loudly and clearly on this issue this past Friday. We are tremendously concerned about the transparency of the election results and the potential for violence. We are calling on all parties to reject violence. We would like an examination to ensure that all results are posted in a transparent way so we can ensure the vote was truly democratic and fair.