House of Commons Hansard #81 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was guns.

Topics

Air Canada
Oral questions

2:50 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on jobs and growth, and so we are concerned that labour disruptions represent a threat to the Canadian economy.

I am pleased to inform the House today that I have received agreement from both Air Canada, the employer, and the union that they will submit to the extended mediation process.

I want to thank the parties for their commitment to the bargaining process. They have an area for free collective bargaining, which our government believes in. I am very grateful for the work they are going to put in, and we expect them to get a deal.

The Environment
Oral questions

February 15th, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is the seventh anniversary of the coming into force of the Kyoto protocol. One hundred and ninety-one countries signed and ratified the Kyoto protocol on climate change. Only one government has broken its word: this government. The Minister of the Environment exaggerated the penalties in order to justify withdrawing from the protocol, but he still has no plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

If he truly believes the science, when will the minister table a science-based plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions?

The Environment
Oral questions

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that the Kyoto protocol is not working. Canada is standing tall.

We announced that we would legally withdraw from the protocol under article 27 and spare Canadians spending billions of wasted tax dollars in compliance fees visited on this country by the previous Liberal government.

We are working for a post-Kyoto climate change regime that would include all major emitters.

The Environment
Oral questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, even the Prime Minister's new BFF is shocked by his disregard for Canada's international commitments.

No, not Er Shun or Ji Li, but China, who was joined by India, Brazil and South Africa in condemning the Conservative withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol. They said that they seriously questioned the government's credibility and sincerity on climate change and slammed Canada for casually setting aside our existing legal commitments.

Why will the government not stop working against Canada's national interest and start defending our reputation?

The Environment
Oral questions

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the entire world, or most of the world, recognized that the Kyoto protocol was not working, and a post-Kyoto climate change agreement needs to be created.

Canada is working with other countries. We began with the Durban platform in December and we will work through this year to create a new climate change regime that includes all major emitters, including China, India and Brazil.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, clearly, from any ministry we ask questions of, we do not get a straight answer, so let me try another one.

Across the country, especially in cities like Toronto, the government is making families wait longer and longer before being reunited. Parents and grandparents wait an average of seven years to come to Canada. One family in my riding has waited over 16 years. Instead of solving the problem, the minister has placed a moratorium on new applications.

Why are Conservatives making these Canadian citizens wait so long to be united with their loved ones?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, that is a good question that the hon. member should ask of the Liberals. I think there are two former immigration ministers over there who left us with a 110,000 person backlog for parental reunification.

We are finally cleaning up the mess the Liberals left to us. That is why, for example, this year we are increasing by some 60% the number of parents and grandparents who will be admitted to Canada. We are doing the same thing next year, and we brought in the super visa to allow ten-year, multiple entry visas to facilitate long-term visits by loved ones with their relatives here in Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the super visas are not known by many people, and not many people are being accepted under them.

Toronto is one of the most ethno-culturally diverse cities in the world. Strong families are a cornerstone of our city and a key Canadian value. That is what family reunification is all about.

Even for spouses and children it can take up to three years, a far cry from the immediate processing they were promised.

When will Conservatives stop failing Canadians and put families first?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, of course family reunification is an important part of Canada's immigration program. That is why our government has actually increased the number of sponsored family members, parents, grandparents, spouses and kids, admitted to this country since--

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Moratorium.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The member for Scarborough—Agincourt has to let the minister respond to the question.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

I know the member is a bit sore and defensive about this, Mr. Speaker, because after all, the Liberals left behind a huge mess, nearly a million people waiting with their immigration files, including over 110,000 parents and grandparents.

We are cleaning up the problem. In fact, this year and next we are going from the average Liberal admission of parents and grandparents of 17,000 a year to 25,000 a year. That represents a 60% increase and faster reunification for family members.

Pensions
Oral questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Pinocchio certainly lives in this House on that side.

Last Christmas the Conservatives refused to protect disability benefits for sick and dying Nortel workers. Today, they want to dip their hands into seniors' pockets.

The Prime Minister forgets the OAS is the only income many seniors, particularly women and the disabled, will have after they are no longer able to work.

In the interests of compassion, will the minister put down her lines just this once? If they can find billions of dollars for Cadillac jets and American-style jails, can they not find a couple of bucks, just a few, to keep sick and low income--

Pensions
Oral questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Human Resources.

Pensions
Oral questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have to take action right now to make sure that there are funds there for seniors and the OAS system, not just for today's seniors but for the seniors of the future.

Old age security is funded through general revenue. The numbers are very clear. With the shift in demographics, we will have fewer people in the workplace taking care of a much bigger number of retirees.

We have to make some changes to make sure that those who are most vulnerable do have access to the program in the future, and that is exactly why we will take action and that is exactly what we will do.