House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was orders.

Topics

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Madam Speaker, this past Wednesday, the agriculture committee learned that only 2% of food imported into Canada is actually inspected. Yet 100% of the products that we produce and send abroad are inspected. Canadians expected, in fact believed, that all imported food was inspected. The agriculture committee now knows that is not true.

What is the government going to do to ensure that imported food is inspected so that Canadian consumers will feel safe when they feed their families?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Madam Speaker, the member should know that the CFIA enforces the same rigorous food safety standards on imported food as it does for domestic food.

I can give him some examples of what we have done to improve our import system. He should know this if he is on the agriculture committee.

Our recent budget includes an additional $100 million over five years to enhance food safety. We have delivered $223 million to the food safety action plan. To improve controls on imported food, we eliminated the 72 hour notification of inspections of meat imports. We have established an import surveillance team to perform 480 border blitzes.

Madam Speaker, I could go on, but I know my time is running out.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary should know that actually there are no CFIA inspectors at the border. CBSA is responsible to do that and it does not know how to do it. The $100 million was actually for exported food, not imported food.

The reality is we are not testing the products. In fact, we do not require that potable water be used on washed vegetables that are imported into this country.

We need to restore consumers' confidence in the system. Will the government commit today to ensuring that the CFIA budget is not cut in the next budget round?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Madam Speaker, something the NDP does not know how to do is to apologize. The member opposite should stand up and represent his caucus and apologize for the sleazy online campaign that they have been conducting.

In terms of food safety, I have quotes on that. I even have a quote from the member for Malpeque, who said, “I personally believe our food is safe in Canada”.

Employment
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Speaker, we learned today that rising inflation and higher gas prices are pinching family pocketbooks even further.

In Toronto a dismal job market means families just cannot keep up. The city has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Those who do find work get stuck with low wage, part-time jobs that just do not support families. Yet all the government has to offer them is a failed jobs plan.

When will the government finally wake up and help Toronto families?

Employment
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Madam Speaker, if the NDP members spent more time worrying about Canadian jobs than they do on the Internet with their sleazy tricks, they would actually know that 90% of those 610,000 net new jobs are full time, many of which are in the community to which he is referring. Those jobs are all across this country. Those people are happy that our government has put in place policies that create jobs.

Employment
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Speaker, the government has not created jobs in Toronto, and the numbers back that up.

People in my riding know and live it every single day. Higher prices and fewer good jobs mean more struggles for Toronto families, but the government is too busy being a cheerleader for Rob Ford to notice.

Why will the government not finally be a cheerleader for Toronto families? Why will it not introduce a jobs plan to get families back to work, create good jobs and secure the economic recovery?

Employment
Oral Questions

February 17th, 2012 / 11:50 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Madam Speaker, I am certain that I have never been accused of being a cheerleader.

However, I am actually a cheerleader for the Canadian economy, because it is something to be very proud of. It is the envy of the world right now. The reason is we have put forward two consecutive budgets that are focused on jobs and growing the economy, two budgets which the opposition voted against. Then those members have the audacity to stand up and ask where the job plan is. It is the same plan they voted against.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Madam Speaker, the office of the Chief Actuary projects that the federal elderly benefits cost in proportion to the GDP, which is currently 2.2%, will reach a peak of 3.1% of the GDP in 2030 and will decline afterward. The Parliamentary Budget Officer's projections are similar.

Does the Minister of Finance agree with these numbers? Will the federal elderly benefits reach a maximum of about 3.2% in the next two decades before declining?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Madam Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer is entitled to his opinion, whatever it may be on a given day, but we will deal with the facts.

We know that as the population ages and fewer people are left in the workplace to pay into OAS, it will become unsustainable. That is why we have to take action now so that today's seniors have their OAS benefits and future generations get them as well. That is our responsibility, one which we take very seriously.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Madam Speaker, my colleague is beating around the bush. I asked a very specific question. If she cannot answer, then the finance department representative should answer. If he does not wish to believe the Parliamentary Budget Officer, then he should answer the Chief Actuary of Canada.

Is his office wrong in stating that the cost of seniors' benefits will rise by 1% over more than 20 years and then decline afterwards? Is this figure correct? Yes or no? And if it is not, what figures does the finance department have? That is a specific question requiring a direct answer. The hon. member should stop beating around the bush.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Madam Speaker, the gentleman the member referred to is entitled to his opinion. We have the facts. We will take action to protect the old age security program not just for today's retirees, but also for future generations. It is very important to recognize that old age security will take a larger and larger bite out of the budget. It is very important to recognize that.

Magdalen Islands Airport
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

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

Madam Speaker, this week, thousands of people in the Magdalen Islands were without power and heat for several days because of an ice storm. The resources needed to rebuild the network were rushed in by boat. This incident once again shows the need to extend the runway at the Magdalen Islands airport, something residents have been demanding for 25 years.

Will the minister take responsibility and ensure the safety of the people of the Magdalen Islands by giving them a runway that can easily accommodate air ambulances and cargo planes?

Magdalen Islands Airport
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, the airport's main runway adequately meets the current needs of airport users. For example, the main runway is currently able to accommodate fully loaded aircraft and heavy transports such as the C-130 Hercules. In passing, no official request to extend the runway has been received from the airlines serving the airport.

Magdalen Islands Airport
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

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

Madam Speaker, the people of the Magdalen Islands, the Premier of Quebec and many others are calling for a runway that is up to standard.

The fact that very large aircraft cannot land at the airport puts the safety of Magdalen Islands residents at risk, but that is not the only issue. The Magdalen Islands have become a destination of choice for tens of thousands of tourists a year. Extending the runway would therefore also be beneficial from an economic standpoint.

If the safety of residents is not a convincing enough argument for the government, will it consider the economic development argument?