House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, yes, the Liberals did a great job of ensuring that the CPP was solvent.

It is significant for Canadians who do not have enough money to make ends meet and families that are struggling to understand why the Conservative government will do nothing to help them.

The new minister of seniors has several pensions. I can assure members that most Canadians do not.

How can the Prime Minister be against an enhanced CPP? It is cost-effective, efficient, secure, and it is Canadian. Which one of these things does he oppose?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the only thing we would oppose would be jeopardizing what is a very good system: the Canada pension plan that has been in place longer than that member has sat in this House, by the way.

It is important that we look at the big picture and how we can help Canadians save for their retirement. It is not through jeopardizing the present system that we have, but by enhancing the system that we have.

We are putting forward, along with our provincial counterparts, a pooled registered pension plan that actually will be a pension for the rest of Canadians that the hon. member speaks of who now do not have the option.

Child Care
Oral Questions

February 3rd, 2011 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, after five years of Conservative government, Canada ranks last among OECD nations in the provision of early learning. It disbanded a national system and promised new child care spaces, but failed miserably. Now, this very week, the human resources minister has her lawyers appearing at an EI tribunal, citing a report that could open the door to slashing by half the Liberal program that doubled parental benefits in 2000, allowing parents to spend the first year with their infant children.

Is this part of the government's tough on families agenda?

Child Care
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, when we were first elected to government five years ago, one of the very first things we did was fulfill a promise we made to Canadians to provide them with a choice on how they got their child care.

We believe that parents are the best ones to decide who will, and how to, raise their children and where. That is why we provided them with the universal child care benefit. It has helped over two million children across this country get the child care their parents want for them.

We believe in choice. It is too bad the Liberals do not.

Child Care
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about this. Will the minister explain what exactly is the position of the government on the matter of parental leave? Does she support the Liberal benefit period? If so, why does she say one thing here and have her lawyers do something else in court? Will she instruct her lawyers to stop attacking the concept of extended parental benefits?

The minister has already told us she thinks families should take vacation time to help sick family members. Does she also think families should raise infants only on vacation time and weekends?

Child Care
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it is the Liberals who wanted to ensure that parents were forced to have other people raise their children. We do not believe in that.

We are the ones who support whatever kind of child care parents choose to have. If they want to stay at home and look after their children, we support that with the universal child care benefit. If they want to take advantage of formal daycare outside the home, we support that. If they want to rely on a family member or a close friend or neighbour to help raise their children, we support that. We support families 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Haiti
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the earthquake in Haiti, the Canadian government committed to matching funds donated by the public to the earthquake relief fund. But the $220 million from the government will be taken from the promised urgent relief funds and the money committed during the New York conference. In other words, there is no new money.

Why is the government playing accounting tricks at the expense of the Haitian people?

Haiti
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, we have nothing to apologize for in our response to the earthquake in Haiti. Canadians generously opened their wallets and Canada disbursed over $150 million in humanitarian and early recovery assistance. We will continue to stand by the people of Haiti as they work to rebuild their country.

Haiti
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to lacking transparency, the Canadian government is dragging its feet when it comes to getting Haiti the aid promised. According to the organization Concertation pour Haïti, barely a third of the $400 million that Canada promised in March 2010 has been transferred to organizations helping the Haitian people.

Can the government explain why, when there is a desperate need for help, the promised aid still has not reached the victims?

Haiti
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, we continue to stand by the people of Haiti as they work to rebuild their country.

We are working with the Red Cross, Oxfam, World Vision and UNICEF. We are working with the Haitian government. We are working with the United Nations.

There is no quick fix solution, but I can assure Canadians that we are in Haiti for the long haul and we are making a difference.

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to keep mum about the creation of a Canada-U.S. security perimeter. The public and parliamentarians are not getting any information. The government even refuses to confirm that talks are already under way. Yet this week we learned that a working group will be created to define the new common border policy.

Why is the government refusing to be transparent? What does it have to hide?

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, ever since we came to power on this side of the House, our top priority has always been to defend the interests of Canada and Canadians and also, as everyone knows, to promote our exports and trade with the United States.

In that respect, I remind hon. members that nearly $1.6 billion worth of Canadian goods and services are traded across the U.S. border daily. This provides jobs in Canada. It obviously provides jobs in the United States. We are going to continue in that vein.

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government claims, as it just did, to want to enhance border security and facilitate mobility. However, a number of border crossings in the Eastern Townships and the Montérégie area are going to be shut down or will cut back on services. The Minister of Public Safety is completely out of touch with reality. He did not even bother to respond to the letter I sent him on this.

How can the government negotiate an agreement with the United States when it is shirking its own responsibilities by cutting its border services?

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Border Services Agency does an excellent job of ensuring that people and goods flow across our border and indeed prevent the entry of individuals and goods that are not welcome.

We look at each situation and make the determination as to how taxpayer money is best spent. I believe that CBSA has been doing an excellent job in accomplishing that goal.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, almost 50% of businesses in Canada are owned by women entrepreneurs. Eight in 10 new jobs are generated by small business owners just like them.

The cost of doing business is on the rise, yet the Conservative government has raised payroll taxes on small businesses while cutting taxes for the richest corporations. Why is the government punishing women entrepreneurs when they are the ones creating the jobs?