House of Commons Hansard #11 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as we stated before, the parties to the dispute have been unable to attain a collective bargaining agreement thus far.

That is why the Canadian government is proposing to introduce back to work legislation. That is exactly what I will do today at 3 o'clock.

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, that is going to take rights away from workers.

Canada Post employees took legitimate measures to assert their rights. The employees decided to stand up for their rights, but they also decided to continue serving the population. The employer decided otherwise. Canada Post decided that it did not care about the Canadian people or the service it is supposed to provide.

Why not denounce the employer's position? Why is the government going to reward this attitude with back-to-work legislation?

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, it is both parties at the table who are negotiating and who have been unable to attain an agreement.

That is why we are acting on behalf of Canadians, on behalf of small businesses, on behalf of charities, who are being affected by this work stoppage across the country. As I said, that is exactly why we will be introducing back to work legislation today.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the things the minister just said was that she was trying to get the parties to focus on the issues.

It is very clear that one of the key issues is that workers who used to be able to rely on a defined benefit plan that would provide them with a degree of security are no longer able to rely on that security with respect to major employers in the country. This is a pattern that has been growing. The fact remains that the defined benefit provision has been one of the main pillars of the Canadian pension system.

What is the government doing to make sure that this pillar does not simply crumble?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, in the context of the negotiations at the table, the parties have been able to narrowly define three or four issues that are in contention. Unfortunately, they have not been able to find a process or even come to an agreement themselves on those three issues. I encourage the parties to find their own way, find a process and come to an agreement. But if they cannot, today at three o'clock, we will be tabling back to work legislation.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear an answer to my question about pensions. This issue affects not just the workers at Canada Post, but all workers in the country. It is evident that there will be more strikes this year and next if we do not find a solution that provides more security for Canadian workers.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, in fact, it is this party that actually recognized the inconsistency with retirement income in this country.

We are working with our partners, the provinces and the territories. Over 63% of Canadians do not have either a defined benefit or a defined contribution plan. We are making sure that it is equal and fair for all Canadians.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have failed again to seriously deal with the pension crisis facing Canada.

Last week, all the finance minister could come up with was to tout his plagiarized version of Australia's experiment with pooled retirement pension plans. But Australia has found out already that its plan only resulted in higher fees and program costs and did not help the average Australian.

When is the government going to learn from the mistakes of others and start working to really help Canadians prepare for retirement?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the only mistake we will not follow is that of the Liberal government that chose to do nothing about this. This situation did not just happen overnight. This has taken years to build.

We have reduced taxes for seniors by $2 billion. That is an important benefit for them, but it is not all that they need. They need assistance in saving for their own retirement. That is what we are putting together in conjunction with the provinces. We will be bringing that idea forward to the House very soon, a shared plan with our partners in the provinces.

Mortgage Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, just before the recession, this government rolled out the red carpet for American companies that specialize in mortgage insurance. They invited the very companies responsible for the crash in the United States' housing market. With Bill C-3, the government is planning to take this risky policy even further.

Why should taxpayers have to assume the risks run by these American companies?

Mortgage Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I really do not know where the hon. member gets her theoretical facts.

What has happened in Canada is that we have had a solid housing market. We have not had the kinds of difficulties, thank goodness, that the United States, Ireland and other countries have had.

Why is that so? It is because we have a well run system, because we have mortgages with recourse, because we reduced amortization periods. It is because we watch the system and when intervention is necessary, we intervene, as we have done three times in the last three years.

Mortgage Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation was doing a very good job of providing mortgage insurance, and even returned a profit to Canadians. Yet the government opened the door to U.S. insurers, then pushed to relax the rules so these insurers could offer riskier mortgages, which they did. They encouraged people to sign on to mortgages they could not afford.

Why is the government asking taxpayers to risk billions of dollars for these private companies when CMHC is a much more secure, more stable way of helping homebuyers? Why is that?

Mortgage Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thought the question was actually about the housing record. It appears that the member is just concerned that private enterprise could have anything to do with business in Canada.

We actually believe in private enterprise. We do not believe the public should take 100% of the risk in insured mortgages in Canada.

The other thing the hon. member might want to think about is that it is important to have competition in that sector, as it is in every other sector in our economy. Everybody in that sector, public or private, plays by the same rules, and we set the rules.

The Senate
Oral Questions

June 20th, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been promising for years to reform the Senate but he broke his promise to have an elected Senate and to limit senators' terms. His record is clear. Like the previous governments he has so often criticized, he appointed his friends to the upper chamber. How ironic that those he appointed no longer want to give up their privileges.

If the government's credibility is in doubt within its own caucus, how can it expect to have the support of this House?

The Senate
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park
Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, we believe that the Senate must change in order to reach its full potential as an accountable and democratic institution. The effectiveness and legitimacy of the Senate suffers because senators do not have a democratic mandate from Canadians and can serve terms as long as 45 years.

Our government received a strong mandate. We are committed to acting quickly on reforming the Senate, so that it better reflects the values of Canada and Canadians in the 21st century.