House of Commons Hansard #78 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does not appreciate what the priorities of this government are. The priorities of this government are jobs, economic growth and the financial well-being of Canadians. Those are our priorities. That is what we are working for every day.

That is in fact why we are committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the old age security system for the future. It also includes ensuring that those who are receiving old age security today and those who expect to receive it in the years ahead will be assured that they will receive it. We also have to ensure, having looked at the demographic realities, that we have a system there to also serve generations to come, in the decades to come. That is our priority.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not an answer. They simply refuse to be honest with Canadians. Our seniors worked hard their entire lives in order to leave their children with a better country. Now, under the Conservatives, they are learning that for the first time, their children will live in tougher conditions than they did. It is unacceptable and avoidable.

Those families need to know: will the government increase the age of retirement or not?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the actual risk to Canadians is if we had the kind of forward-looking policies of the NDP, those that simply ignore the future, ignore the realities, they would, if followed, result in future generations not having any old age security.

Our approach is to ensure that there is long-term sustainability, that there is a system there to ensure that those who reach their retirement 20, 30 or 40 years from now can count on old age security for the future. This is our priority. This is what we are doing. That is why we are having the discussion we are having now on how we can ensure old age security is there for those who are receiving it today and tomorrow.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, there seem to be a few facts missing in that answer. The government is unravelling in front of our eyes. It promised families it would not touch OAS. Now it is doing just that. It said it was unsustainable. Now the independent PBO has shown that it is. The government members attacked the Liberals' secret plan to raise OAS eligibility from 65 to 67 years, but they have become everything they used to oppose.

In the name of all things holy and decent, I ask the government to give seniors and families an answer. What is going to happen to OAS?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, thanks to our government, old age security will be there today, tomorrow and in decades to come. That is what is going to happen to OAS.

As for the Parliamentary Budget Officer, it was just months ago he was saying that we have real demographic challenges and it was important for the government to take action. It was just months ago when he said there was a structural deficit and he wanted to see action taken to address that. All of a sudden, he has said these are no longer issues. I am missing the report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer where he commends this government for having solved all those dramatic problems in just a matter of a couple of months.

International Trade
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, we see that the government is unable to protect the trade interests of Canadians. This week, the Prime Minister was in China to sign trade agreements and thus establish the legal framework for trade with that country. However, we do not know whether Chinese companies, if they see fit to do so, will be able to sue the Canadian government. This happened with AbitibiBowater. If it happens with the Chinese, Canadians will be stuck with the bill again.

Will the government put its cards on the table and confirm whether or not, under these agreements, Chinese companies will be able to sue the Government of Canada?

International Trade
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the reality is we have signed a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement with China which will protect Canadian companies in China. We will continue to expand our trading relationship in China for the benefit of Canadian jobs here at home.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

February 10th, 2012 / 11:20 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the Prime Minister has far more to say about foreign radicals than he has anything to say about human rights in China. In fact, I commend his speech writers. It must have been a challenge to make sure that he avoided saying anything meaningful at all on the subject last night.

Canadians expect better. Why has the government walked away from human rights in China?

Human Rights
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before, human rights is the cornerstone of this government's foreign policy.

Our government has had constructive discussions with China on a full range of human rights issues. We have also highlighted the priority Canadians place on religious freedom and the freedom of expression.

Our government will continue to take a principled approach on foreign policy and promote Canadian values around the world.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, at election time, the Prime Minister promised not to cut seniors' benefits and not to raise the OAS age. Now he is preparing to break that promise.

It is bad enough that the Prime Minister is prepared to hurt low income seniors by raising the OAS age, but why did he not tell them the truth about his plan during the election?

Why is the Prime Minister breaking his word to Canadians and to Canadian seniors?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, he is doing no such thing. As I said, he is ensuring that all those who are collecting old age security today will continue to collect old age security. The gentleman over there never seems to listen to that. For those who will be approaching retirement, it will be the same thing. Also, those generations to come will also be able to achieve old age security by ensuring its sustainability. That is what we are doing.

The real question is, why do the Liberals always oppose measures that we take to assist seniors? We increased the age credit. They opposed it. We increased the age exemption. They opposed it. We introduced pension income splitting. They opposed that. Why do they oppose helping seniors?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, it was the Liberal Party that strengthened CPP for a generation. It was the Conservatives who opposed that.

The reality is that the future of the old age security program is secure. We now have the Chief Actuary, the PBO and the government's own study saying that the system is sustainable.

The fact is that more than half of the seniors on OAS make less than $25,000 per year. When Canadians are worried about the growing gap between rich and poor, why are the Conservatives faking a crisis in order to attack Canada's poor seniors?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it was not too long ago a Liberal prime minister was saying that it was necessary for changes to be made to take account of demographic realities. That is exactly what we are doing, something that the Liberal Party never did.

What did the Liberals do? They voted against pension income splitting, something which helps a tremendous number of seniors. Where one member of the family was an income earner and the other spouse was not, pension income splitting has given them a measure of fairness, a measure of increased benefits, increased security financially in the long term. That is something the Liberal Party voted against.

The hypocrisy of consistently opposing benefits for seniors and now pretending to be on their side is unbelievable.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, what the former Liberal government did, with Conservative opposition, was to fix the Canada pension plan to make it sustainable for at least 75 years. That is what we did.

The Prime Minister once said that seniors should ask themselves which party they could trust to look after them. It is sad to see that it took the Prime Minister six years to prove to Canadians that it is not his party.

How can Canadians who are about to retire believe the promises made by this government?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are making sure that the old age security program is available now and also in the future. As it currently exists, the program is not sustainable in the long term. We will ensure that there will be a program for Canadians in the future.