House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, today, on National Aboriginal Day, we reflect on the struggles and achievements of first nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

As parliamentarians we must deliver on the commitments under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Assembly of First Nations and the Inuit have issued calls for investment in education. As National Chief Shawn Atleo has said, “Now is the time to realize Shannen's dream”.

Will the government, today, commit to equitable access to quality education for all children?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to say that today we launched the national panel on K to 12 education.

I did that jointly with National Chief Atleo on National Aboriginal Day with a very large and significant crowd of students and teachers. I think it was a most appropriate measure. We have also launched our website for people to consult beyond the round tables. I direct people to go there.

Canada Post
Oral Questions

June 21st, 2011 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, to the Prime Minister on the so-called act to provide for the resumption and continuation of postal services, Bill C-6.

Everyone recognizes, including the workers involved, that we want to see a resumption of postal services. The workers themselves have offered to go back to work.

Why then does that legislation completely limit the discretion of the arbitrator to find a fair agreement, deny the employees the ability to negotiate on salaries and, in fact, impose a salary regime for three years which is less than what the employer was prepared to pay?

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, I do not accept much of the preamble of that question.

As I said earlier, the wage rates laid out in the legislation are the same as this government negotiated with its other public sector employees.

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that makes no sense. The Prime Minister is clearly saying that Canada Post is an independent organization whose strategy is not controlled by the government. If that is in fact the case, how is it possible that you are imposing wages on the workers that are not what they negotiated with their own employer, but what you want to impose on them? That is not fair.

How does the Prime Minister justify this?

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I wish to remind the hon. member for Toronto Centre to address his questions through the chair and not directly at other hon. members.

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, this dispute has been going on for a long time and it is causing harm to other Canadians who are not at the bargaining table. We are acting in the best interests of the Canadian economy and treating all employees of the government of Canada equitably.

Public Works and Government Services Canada
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, through you to the Prime Minister, let me ask this question.

After the 2010 strategic review the government booked savings of $172 million in the Department of Public Works. We were told before the election by the then minister, Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board, that this would all be done through attrition. Now, after the election, we are told something completely different. We are told that the government is going to be firing auditors and that it will be letting people go in the hundreds.

Why did the government deceive the people of Canada before the election?

Public Works and Government Services Canada
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada employs hundreds of thousands of people. When it is necessary to make adjustments to ensure that taxpayers' dollars are well spent, we always make sure, wherever possible, that we do that through attrition or reassignment. In this case, we are cutting expenditures that are not necessary. They are duplicative and will not affect the audit services of the Government of Canada.

Public Works and Government Services Canada
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, employees are required for a business or government to function. The economy means jobs. Jobs mean consumers. No jobs mean no consumers and no economy. Yesterday, it was announced that 700 jobs would be eliminated at Public Works and Government Services Canada. These cutbacks are a severe blow to the regional economy. They will not help to control spending and will hinder the economic recovery; that much is clear.

Such being the case, how can the government justify these savage layoffs?

Public Works and Government Services Canada
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave us a clear mandate to keep taxes low and to balance the budget by 2014-2015. We have taken a close look at spending and identified the least effective and lower priority programs in order to achieve the slated savings of approximately $98.6 million for Canadian taxpayers.

Public Works and Government Services Canada
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government fired 92 auditors at Public Works, the same department responsible for stopping corruption and misspending.

The most essential role of the public service is to ensure that public money is spent according to the rules. When a government starts to fire the very people who are paid to verify, audit and control, the message is, “If you don't tell us what we want to hear, we'll fire you”.

How can removing the controllers of public spending help control public spending?

Public Works and Government Services Canada
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we have taken a close look at spending and identified those programs that are least effective and less of a priority. This will not have any impact on internal audit services.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been two weeks since the Treasury Board President was taken down to the Auditor General's principal's office and he has been hiding under his desk ever since. We now know why.

There is a criminal investigation into how $50 million was diverted into his riding. I suggest the RCMP read the Auditor General's report, which lays out in excruciating detail how the three amigos, the mayor, the hotel manager and the minister, diverted money for these dubious pork barrel projects.

My question to the missing member for Muskoka, is it not time to come clean in this House?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, another day and another public relations stunt from the opposition.

Let us look at what the interim Auditor General said in his report. I would remind you, Mr. Speaker, that the Auditor General is an independent officer of Parliament, mandated to report to this House. The report says:

--no evidence to suggest that it was a deliberate attempt to mislead.

It also says:

I’m not aware of any specific law that was broken.

The Auditor General has made some fair observations about the process with which the estimates are presented to this House, and how grants and contributions programs could be administered. We fully accept that good counsel and will be following it in the future.