House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

Service Canada
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are trying to ensure that Canadians do get their cheques faster, do get their deposits faster. That is why we are changing the system.

We know it needs fixing. We know that the employees at Service Canada need more help to achieve their goal of helping Canadians.

That is why, in our budget, we included funds to help put in new computer systems that are going to speed up the process. Unfortunately, the hon. member and his party voted against that help.

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, allegations of corruption at the Canada Revenue Agency have been making the news for six years now.

The Minister of National Revenue refuses to say what is going on at the agency because there is an RCMP investigation. But yesterday, a senior official at the agency confirmed that concrete measures were in place to combat corruption.

Why is the minister refusing to tell us what the measures are? Does she have something to hide?

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the government does take this allegation of misconduct very seriously. We will not tolerate this type of activity.

We are co-operating fully with the RCMP investigation. It is important to note that many of these allegations go back more than a decade. The RCMP is working its way through the criminal justice system. Of course, the integrity of our tax system is critical to all of us.

I would, please, ask the hon. opposition to let the RCMP do the work. We believe that it can move forward and will get answers in due course.

Persons with Disabilities
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities two years ago, but there is still no independent mechanism in place to ensure that it is complied with, even though that was a requirement under the convention. This Saturday is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Unfortunately, it will be another opportunity to underscore this government's inaction and empty promises.

Why this refusal to establish independent oversight of the implementation of the UN convention?

Persons with Disabilities
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to wish everyone a happy International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It is very important that we help persons with disabilities, and we have launched a number of programs to that end.

For example, the registered disability savings plan has far exceeded our expectations in terms of take up. It will help families with someone who is dependent upon them plan for the future.

We have also provided additional funding for the disabled, so that they can attend post-secondary education, and made it easier for them to get financed. We are doing a lot to help the disabled and we will continue to do so.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

December 2nd, 2011 / 11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, Camp Ashraf, in northern Iraq, is a makeshift home to political refugees. Those people are opposed to the nearby regime in Iran.

Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, they have been protected by the U.S. and coalition forces. However, with the U.S. winding down its operations in Iraq, who is going to protect these people? Iraq has demanded the camp be closed by the end of the month.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please inform the House of his opinion on what is going to happen at Camp Ashraf and of our action on this important file?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me congratulate the member for his efforts as a member of the human rights subcommittee.

Canada encourages the Iraqi government to extend the closure deadline to allow remaining residents sufficient time to take the required steps to seek asylum, and to allow the United Nations Human Rights Council to consider and process applications.

We call on Iraq to meet its obligations under international law. We also want to ensure that Camp Ashraf residents are not forcibly transferred to another country where they could suffer.

I can assure the House that my officials and I will be monitoring the situation very closely.

Trade
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, under the guise of being a trade-oriented government, the Conservatives have been ignoring our established markets. First the minister is surprised and disappointed when the United States shuts us out of its market. Now Canada's pork producers have a market worth $300 million at risk in South Korea because of government inaction. Just as with jobs, not losing markets is every bit as important as finding new ones.

Why has the minister consistently failed to secure a trade agreement with South Korea? Why?

Trade
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Abbotsford
B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, our government is working hard to open up new doors for Canadian farmers, workers and businesses. We recently negotiated further steps toward opening up market access with South Korea on beef and are closely monitoring its domestic implementation process.

We will only sign trade agreements that are actually in the best interests of Canadians, unlike the Liberals. In less than six years, we have concluded free trade agreements with nine countries. We continue to work on agreements with 50 more.

Public Transit
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

José Nunez-Melo Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are many problems with traffic congestion in the greater Montreal area. People are using public transit more, especially in Laval. The regions's public transit commissions are already seeing large increases in their ridership. This trend will continue in the coming years. A national public transit strategy would result in better coordination of services.

Will this government work with us on a national strategy?

Public Transit
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank the hon. member for asking this question because the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport is studying this matter.

First, we must recognize that public transit is under provincial and municipal jurisdiction. The federal government's role is to support these two levels of government. That is why we have already made record investments to support public transit and other means of transportation in rural communities.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have heard from many constituents in my riding and across Canada worried about troubling U.S. tax laws that would punish Canadians. For many of these constituents, their only transgression was failing to file IRS paperwork they were unaware they were required to file. As such, our government called on the U.S. government to look upon these individuals with leniency. We were also clear that penalties imposed by the IRS under FBAR will not be collected by the Canada Revenue Agency on their behalf.

Can the parliamentary secretary please update the House on this situation?

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, of course our Conservative government understands that this has been a source of considerable anxiety. We have raised this issue repeatedly with the government of the United States. The Minister of Finance has been working closely with American officials on a common sense solution. We appreciate their engagement, especially that of the U.S. ambassador.

We are happy to report that the U.S. has agreed to show leniency. It will waive penalties for many and allow potential refunds of penalties already paid. More details will follow in the coming weeks. This is a victory for Canadians and a testament to our positive working relationship with our American neighbours.

Canada Post
Oral Questions

Noon

NDP

Marc-André Morin Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, I heard some holiday greetings being exchanged earlier. Like Canada Post workers, I am not feeling the Christmas spirit. I am feeling the spirit of Mr. Scrooge.

The government is trying to pacify us by saying it has adopted the Canadian Postal Service Charter, but the quality of service is not the problem, it is the lack of service when the government cuts hours at the post offices. With the cuts, postal workers in my riding will have to find a second job in order to make ends meet.

Will the government listen to reason and assure the people of Rivière-Rouge and elsewhere in Canada that their post office will remain open?