House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a very simple question for the government. The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons said that the government wanted the Speech from the Throne to include and reflect the values of Canadians.

Is poverty reduction in Canada a priority for Canadians? Yes. Is it a priority for the government? Apparently not.

Why is poverty reduction not a priority for the Conservative government?

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to congratulate the member for Toronto Centre on his new position as the leader of the Liberal Party. I know that after the election in which the NDP scored surprising results, he found himself in a position of power and influence that he did not have before. We look forward to seeing him in that role in a constructive way in this House.

As members know, this party and government has been very much committed to improving the condition and well-being of ordinary Canadian families. That is why, through our measures to reduce the tax burden, the typical Canadian family is now over $3,000 better off on average in terms of the amount of taxes it has to pay.

Later today in the budget we may hear some more things that--

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

June 6th, 2011 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the allergy to the word “poverty” still seems to be there. Again, I congratulate the minister on his appointment.

In light of the statements by the government with respect to its desire to improve the condition of aboriginal people, Chief Atleo, in his statements on the Speech from the Throne, made it very clear that he regarded a meeting between the Crown and the leadership of the first nations, the Métis, and all the aboriginal people including the Inuit as necessary, and that the meeting had to take place on a government-to-government basis, on a basis that fully respected the jurisdictions of first nations and aboriginal people.

I would like to ask the minister why that commitment--

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we are at a place where we are having discussions with the national chief. We are looking at an action plan that we can work on together and part of that dialogue will be to discuss this very gathering that the member is bringing up. So, that is something we will flesh out over the next period of time. Hopefully, we will come to something quite solid in the fall.

Flooding in Montérégie
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, while we are tossing these kind words around, the people in the Montérégie region have been up to their necks in water for the past 50 days. While we are tossing these kind words around, the Prime Minister is showing as much empathy as someone having a tooth pulled without anaesthetic.

Why does the Prime Minister not want to make an exception for Quebec, which is asking that the army play a role in the cleanup?

In 1998, Jean Chrétien called Lucien Bouchard to see what was needed. People want help from the army. What has happened to them is not their fault. Instead of being attacked, they want people to come help them clean up. What are they waiting for?

Flooding in Montérégie
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, along with the hon. member and all Canadians, we are very sympathetic to the plight of those affected by the floods not only in Quebec but in Manitoba, as well those who are suffering in Saskatchewan.

As members know, the Prime Minister has been in the region this morning. We have Canadian soldiers who have been on the ground within 24 hours after being contacted by the Province of Quebec. They continue to work with the province to the best of their ability to help mitigate the damage there, continuing their efforts as we speak. There are 500 soldiers there currently and we congratulate them on that incredible effort.

Flooding in Montérégie
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, people in Montérégie are struggling with the worst flooding that this region has ever seen. After 50 days, when the Prime Minister finally showed up in the region, we learned that, unlike disaster victims in Manitoba and Alberta, people in the Montérégie region still cannot get expedited processing of their employment insurance claims.

Why does this double standard exist for the people of Montérégie?

Flooding in Montérégie
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government understands the difficulties and the stress that the disaster victims are experiencing in the Montérégie region. That is why we have expedited processing of their employment insurance claims. Once I learned about the situation, I made a request to the department. Information is now available on our website.

Flooding in Montérégie
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, back home, the entire Montérégie region is flooded. The people are exhausted. The government thought it was more important to expedite employment insurance to disaster victims in Manitoba and Alberta, and victims in Quebec have been ignored until now.

Can the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development explain why disaster victims in the Montérégie region are still waiting for this expedited assistance?

Flooding in Montérégie
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, natural disaster victims across Canada must receive the same support from their government, regardless of where they live. That is why, as soon as I learned about this situation, I asked the department to ensure that the victims of flooding in the Montérégie region immediately receive the same priority processing for employment insurance claims as victims in the rest of Canada. That priority processing is available immediately, and information is available on our website.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, both our rural and urban communities need help to revitalize their infrastructure. Take, for example, the Champlain Bridge.

The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities says that a permanent infrastructure development program will be implemented, but it is time to take action.

Will this development be sustainable? Will public transit be part of the plan?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government has already invested a record amount of money in infrastructure. Our government also has an exceptional track record when it comes to transfers to cities and municipalities.

Since 2009, our government has committed unprecedented stimulus contributions, which were announced in the March budget and which will be once again introduced today, with improvements, that the gas tax fund will be made permanent. That is an achievement of this government. We are proud of it and we are going to move forward.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the 1990s, the federal deficit was downloaded onto the backs of Canadian communities. Twenty years later, Canadians are stuck in traffic, our bridges are crumbling, and our water systems are failing. Friday's throne speech ignored municipalities and infrastructure completely. Canadians deserve a vision, a national public transit strategy.

Will the government act immediately with new funds to deal with the $123 billion infrastructure deficit?