House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Securities
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, as he did yesterday, the Minister of Finance is claiming that 10 provinces—the Minister of State just said it again—are working with him on this proposed commission. What planet is he living on? Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and British Columbia are all so opposed to the proposal that they are intervening against it in the Supreme Court.

Could the Minister of Finance, or the Minister of State, tell us which mysterious 10 provinces support the proposal? Even his own province of Alberta is against it. Does the Minister of Finance's province of Ontario count as 10?

Securities
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, let me tell you what planet we live on. We live on a planet that wants to protect our investors. We live in a country where we welcome investments from outside this country.

We have heard it from many different companies that want to come to Canada, that want to invest, that want to be part of this great economy we have. They face the challenge of 13 separate regulations. They have to jump through 13 different sets of hoops. They pay for the applications.

That is not a welcome mat. We want to provide a welcome mat for investors coming to this country.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, secret immigration quotas obtained under the Access to Information Act show that the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism is planning on slashing reunification for parents and grandparents this year.

Even worse, Ukrainian Canadians should not expect to see their loved ones anytime soon, since Ukraine has been allotted only 25 of 11,200 spots.

Odds are against Ukrainian Canadians' parents and grandparents ever being reunited with their families in their lifetime. Why such a heartless quota?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, every year public servants at Citizenship and Immigration Canada make allocations to particular missions typically based on the number of applications received the year before. It is done in a completely independent fashion by our public servants.

What is really interesting is that we are now benefiting from more immigration of Ukrainians to Canada than was the case under the previous government. We are benefiting from more immigration overall, immigration that is helping to grow our economy and our future prosperity.

Instead of playing political games with immigration like the Liberals do, we believe it should be calibrated to grow our economy and create new jobs.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, what is the secret quota for Poland? How many parents and grandparents can Canada's one million Polonia expect to welcome in 2011? We can count it on one hand: five.

The government is leaving Canadians to fend for themselves when it comes to child care. Now it is clamping down on new Polish Canadians' ability to reunite with their loved ones.

How can the minister and his party claim to support family values while pursuing such an anti-family agenda?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, that comes from the same member who accused me of going on a junket when I represented Canada at Auschwitz. The member is out of control.

The reality is very simply that last year we received the largest number of newcomers to Canada in 57 years and 80% of those newcomers were family members. They were husbands and wives, dependent children, parents and grandparents.

We have the most generous family reunification program in the world. Last year we received more family members from all around the world than was the case under the Liberal government. Canada is open for newcomers.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, we heard that the government wants to close Service Canada offices all across the country, especially in rural areas.

News reports show that five offices in Cape Breton will be closed. Rural communities like St. Peter's and Port Hood will lose access to Service Canada.

How does the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development explain that by closing Service Canada offices it is in the best interests of all Canadians?

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our goal is to provide all Canadians with timely, co-operative service so that they can get access to the benefits to which they are entitled.

That is why we are changing how we deliver services. Instead of having people there who are only basically available to hand out brochures, we are putting in full-time Service Canada personnel on a regular basis so that we can actually provide Canadians with the service they need.

Canadians will be able to actually apply for their old age security or their guaranteed income supplement, even for a social insurance number, and they will get the professional help they need when they need it.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I will try to make her understand. In New Brunswick, 44% of employment insurance cases awaiting review take more than 29 days to process. In Canada, it is 45%; in Quebec, 55%.

In some cases, it can take up to 41 weeks to process Canada pension plan and old age security cases.

In Bathurst alone, Service Canada is laying off 60 call centre employees.

How can the minister justify these layoffs? They are providing more than just brochures in Bathurst. They are providing services.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have ensured that seniors have access to their benefits as quickly as possible.

Statistics show that 92% of those who apply for old age security receive their benefits for the first time as soon as they become eligible. That is very important. Last year, we began to automatically renew their applications, which helped 96% of seniors who applied for the guaranteed income supplement.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

February 15th, 2011 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday evening, we learned how immigrants from Sri Lanka, Mexico and Colombia are exploiting our immigration system by paying human smuggling rings.

By paying to commit illegal acts, these people are showing contempt for Quebec and its laws. Unlike the Conservatives from Quebec, the Bloc MPs are opposed to our measures against human smuggling and their complicit and willing clients.

Can the minister tell the House about the measures he has taken to protect the regions of Quebec from the threats posed by illegal immigration?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right to say that we have a problem with human smuggling at the border between the United States and Quebec. It is one of the reasons we have to pass Bill C-49, in order to deal with the human smugglers who are taking Canada for granted and violating the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Unfortunately, the leftist urban elite in Quebec are against a strong approach to this matter.

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, for thousands of people from the south shore, crossing the Champlain Bridge is a daily necessity. My constituents are worried. Everyone has known for some time now that the bridge is reaching the end of its lifespan, yet nothing is being done.

Transport officials are more concerned with how to restore the toll booths than how to replace the busiest bridge in Canada.

Does the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities understand that when the concrete blocks are falling down, his pious assurances that the bridge will last another 10 years ring hollow?

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Yellowhead
Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Minister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House and all Canadians, particularly those living in the Montreal area, that the Champlain Bridge is absolutely safe. There is a study taking place at the present time. We are looking forward to the results of that study by Quebec and the federal government. We will have better information once that report is in our hands.

Labour
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, several unions in Quebec and Canada will be demonstrating today in support of Mexican unions. There are still too many illegal and violent attacks against independent Mexican unions.

Canada should be helping to improve the plight of Mexican workers, but the Canadian government is refusing or cutting funding for co-operative programs with labour organizations in the south.

Will the minister admit that she is making these cuts because standing up for the rights of workers and labour organizations does not jive with her Conservative ideology?