House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservative.

Topics

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, this year's theme for International Women's Day is “Girls' Rights Matter”. It was chosen because girls across the globe face serious obstacles that must be overcome. A girl who enjoys equality has a greater likelihood of being self-confident and aware of her own potential and being empowered to access education and job opportunities that will contribute to her success.

At Status of Women, we have doubled our funding in support of community organizations that want to empower Canadian women and girls.

I urge all members today, on International Women's Day, to reflect on the incredible progress that we have made and, more importantly, on the potential for our girls to reach even greater heights.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day today. While we have much to celebrate, too many women in Canada still face an uphill battle.

After a lifetime of building our country, almost one-quarter of senior women live in poverty. Canadian women deserve to retire with dignity and security.

Will the government ensure that senior women do not have to choose between paying for food, medicine or even home heating? Will the government enhance the Canada pension plan and give women the respect they have earned?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government has gone to great lengths to help seniors and women, particularly senior women who face financial challenges. We have brought in pension income splitting. We have lowered the tax rates. We have increased the age credit, not once but twice.

There are so many things we have done just to help those people she is talking about. It is a darned shame the hon. member and her party have not supported a single one of those efforts.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, constituents tell me they face significant delays in receiving GIS payments. For new applicants, the wait can be 20 weeks. For the recently widowed, the wait is four months or more. For those with changes in income, it is five to six months. It has been suggested that the delay is due to a lack of resources. The majority of low income seniors seeking GIS are women.

On International Women's Day, will the government commit the resources to clear the backlog and help our seniors?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to ensuring that seniors do receive the benefits to which they are entitled on time. That is why we have done things like the automatic renewal of the guaranteed income supplement as long as the senior files a tax return. In fact, over 95% are now having their GIS automatically renewed.

As to the rest, many times people apply for GIS and old age security long before they are eligible, many months before. That is why they get delayed. We wait until they are eligible to pay them. Well over 90% of seniors do receive a cheque within the first month of eligibility.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, in response to a question that I asked last Friday about changes in terminology within his department, the Minister of Foreign Affairs had the nerve to insult the members of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, saying that our work was not serious. Once again, instead of being accountable, a Conservative minister chose to denigrate the work of parliamentarians.

If he wants to protect women's interests, how can the minister say that the work done by the Standing Committee on the Status of Women is not serious?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to dredge up that debate on semantics.

This is about gender rights and equality between women and men.

Overall, the committee generally does excellent work. I dared suggest that the committee study the action plan that we tabled concerning UN resolution 1325, which aims to protect women in conflict zones around the world.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs' sneak attack on the members of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women is symptomatic of the government's attitude in general. In recent years, the Conservatives have slashed Status of Women Canada's budget, cut funding to numerous women's rights organizations and abolished the court challenges program. As a female Conservative senator said, with the Conservatives, women had best shut up.

When will this government stop attacking those who promote women's rights?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, that is entirely false. In fact, our government has increased funding to Status of Women to its highest level ever in the history of our country. We are supporting projects in every province and territory across the country. In fact, we are oversubscribed.

We are doing work with organizations everywhere, including in Montreal where we are now funding a program in which 85 community workers and trainers in charge of immigration integration are going to receive training in gender-based analysis as well as leadership and women's rights in Canada.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, today faith leaders from across Canada are meeting in Ottawa, talking to politicians about poverty and discussing the human resources committee report on poverty that was tabled in the fall.

Under the government, poverty is rising dramatically, by 25% in fact, and the government refuses to address it. The minister snuck her response to the poverty report into Parliament without so much as a word. Why not? It is an insult to Canadians who live in poverty, just as she insulted people on EI and Canadians who used child care.

If the Conservatives refuse to listen to Parliament, the UN, or all the social advocates, what do they say to Canada's churches that want action on poverty?

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government has taken several steps to reduce poverty levels in Canada, including introducing and then increasing the working income tax benefit, reducing taxes and creating jobs. We believe that lower taxes create jobs.

However, let us see what the Liberal colleague says:

We cannot increase corporate taxes without losing corporate investment. If we lose corporate investment, we have a less productive economy...That means fewer jobs. That means more poverty.

That is the member for Kings—Hants.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is International Women's Day. Women, including single moms and elderly single women, suffer from poverty and it is getting worse under the government.

How can the minister justify $6 billion for corporate tax cuts and billions of dollars for jets? By the way, spending billions of dollars on megaprisons is not a national housing strategy. A fraction of that money could lift so many women and families out of poverty.

Canada's faith leaders are part of the call for action. The minister's choices are hurting Canadians. Did she even read that poverty report? Does anybody over there care about Canada's poor?

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it is our government that voted for pension income splitting, that increased the age credit to help seniors and that raised the age for RSP. We brought in the new horizons for seniors program and a financial abuse awareness program to help defend seniors.

We voted for those things because we brought them in to help seniors and to help keep them out of poverty. Unfortunately, that member and the Liberals voted against every one of those things.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

March 8th, 2011 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Sayisi Dene of northern Manitoba are in Ottawa today seeking nothing more than justice.

In 1956 the Government of Canada forced the people to relocate. This relocation caused trauma, suicide and a dark history that this first nation struggles with today. While the government has apologized to others, this first nation still waits. Today is about a chance for leadership and a new beginning.

Will the Minister of Indian Affairs agree to meet with the Sayisi Dene? Will the Government of Canada truly commit to a path of reconciliation?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, in 2009 Dr. Jeremiah Bartram was engaged to explore the prospect of a negotiated settlement with the first nation. Dr. Bartram has submitted his final report and it is currently under review to determine the best way forward.

We recognize the Sayisi Dene First Nation's difficult history. Addressing historical grievances is a complex process that requires significant time and care in order to ensure they are resolved in a manner that will satisfy all parties and stand the test of time.