House of Commons Hansard #145 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was libya.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please.

“Fraud” is a different word. We have not heard that lately.

The hon. member for Chambly—Borduas.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, transitional measures were put in place in 2000, after the employment insurance economic regions were inadequately reconfigured. Certain regions, like the Lower St. Lawrence and north shore areas, have a blended unemployment rate, which was adopted in an effort to correct this error until the next reconfiguration. These transitional measures are now being phased out gradually.

Will the government renew the transitional measures until there is a fair reform of employment insurance?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, they are called transitional measures for a reason. They were extended to give unemployed workers an additional solution. The transition period has been extended until economic recovery begins.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

March 21st, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is transitional until something better comes along. This “something better” has not come yet, and the government has extended certain pilot projects to buy time until the election. Instead of proposing piecemeal measures, the government should undertake a sweeping reform of the employment insurance system to increase benefits and make it easier to access the system.

Will the government use the budget to improve the employment insurance system and provide better support for vulnerable workers?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have tabled three budgets that included measures to help workers and the unemployed. These measures include five additional weeks of employment insurance benefits, help for long-tenured workers and help for self-employed workers.

Yet these people who claim to defend the rights of workers and the unemployed voted against each of these initiatives. That is shameful.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, after four months of stonewalling Parliament, the Conservative regime continues to hide the true costs of their U.S.-style prison bills. It is treating this Parliament and Canadians with contempt. Canadian taxpayers have a right to know how much these U.S.-style prison bills will cost.

How can Canadians believe anything in tomorrow's budget when the Conservatives continue to fudge the books, and hide the true costs and the real numbers?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we make no apologies for investing in our prison institutions. Unlike the Liberals, we recognize the need to improve our facilities in order to make them modern and safe for our staff.

As I have mentioned on many occasions, the cost that we are investing is $2.1 billion over five years. That is $1.8 billion in respect of operating costs and $800 million in terms of construction costs.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, that minister told Canadians that his prison bill would cost $90 million. Now he is talking $2.1 billion. Canadians cannot trust the government's numbers. It is a government that has spent Canada into a $56 billion deficit and now it continues to hide the true cost of its prison bills. The Conservatives are ignoring the Speaker's ruling. They are asking MPs to vote on legislation without telling us what the costs will be for Canadians.

How can we trust anything in tomorrow's budget when the Conservatives continue to fudge the numbers and hide the true costs from Canadian taxpayers?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, this is a member who prepared a document for the committee, a motion that was deficient. Then he comes to committee and attempts to remedy the situation, and not only does he attempt to remedy the situation by trying to insert things that were not in the motion, he deliberately misrepresents what people have said in the past.

The record is very clear about what I said. I told the member in committee and he still continue to come back to the House, deliberately misleading the House.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Public Safety knows that we cannot suggest that any hon. member would deliberately mislead the House. That is unparliamentary. We will deal with that after question period.

The hon. member for Outremont.

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Minister of Finance has in his possession a seven-page document signed by the Quebec finance minister, Raymond Bachand. The document suggests solutions to all of the contentious issues being disputed by the Quebec and federal governments regarding compensation for sales tax harmonization.

What excuse will he come up with now for refusing to resolve this issue? Is it because he would rather announce it during an election campaign, rather than in the budget?

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, negotiations between Quebec and the federal government are going well. We are making progress, but both sides recognize that we still have work to do. We will continue negotiating.

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the real reason the Conservatives are stalling is that they are afraid that the Bloc might actually vote for the budget in that case and that is the last thing they want.

There is nothing left to settle. It is all in the document.

Quebec's offer is entirely in accordance with established precedents. Only Quebec has never been compensated. The government's refusal has nothing to do with economics or legal matters; it is purely political. Anyone can create a problem and then try to pass himself off as a hero for putting out the fire that he himself started.

Quebeckers are not fools. The time to resolve this matter is now. What are they waiting for?

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member that now is the time to resolve the issue, but to resolve the issue, there has to be the type of detailed arrangements that were made with the other provinces that harmonized recently, and that in fact were made with the Atlantic provinces that harmonized some years ago.

These things cannot be done shooting from the hip or on the back of an envelope. They have to be done carefully to get to the conclusion that we all want.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, this morning Bloomberg pointed out that thanks to Canada's economic action plan, we had the fastest growing economy with the lowest deficits in the G7. We are also the first country to recoup all job losses from the recession.

The praise continued:

Foreign investors rewarded the government with record purchases of Canadian bonds in 2010 and with the G-7’s best performing currency over the past two years.

The author also said he is very concerned about the opposition trying to force an unnecessary election.

Could the minister please inform the House if Canadians should also be concerned about an unnecessary opposition-forced election?