House of Commons Hansard #72 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Prime Minister announced that he would be slashing OAS benefits for low-income seniors and baby boomers.

Despite campaigning on a platform that included promises not to attack seniors, not one Conservative MP has had the guts to speak out about this.

When will the Conservative backbench grow some backbone and start standing up for the seniors in this country?

Come on, Brad, it's your chance.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I would ask the hon. member not to refer to individuals by their name.

The hon. Minister of Human Resources.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, when will the hon. member stop the fear-mongering and stop misleading Canadians because what she just said was blatantly false?

This is not about trying to conserve jobs. This is about ensuring that our old age security system is here for our current retirees and for future generations. The demographics are such that we need to take action now for the long term. We are protecting, as we have said repeatedly, the pensions of current retirees.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Fred Rhymes of Centre Burlington, Nova Scotia, retired early because of his health. However, when the markets crashed, so did Fred's savings. Now, Fred is counting on the OAS to help him make ends meet after he turns 65.

There are a lot of seniors like Fred across rural Canada. They have worked hard and saved some money but they are counting on the OAS to help them once they turn 65.

Given rural Canada's older population, does the Prime Minister not realize that any cut to OAS is a direct attack on rural and small town Canada?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, coming from rural and small town Canada, I can tell members that what the people do not need is an attack on their own intelligence, which is what the hon. member just indicated.

We just said, and we have said it repeatedly, that we are ensuring there will be no cuts. Anyone who is currently receiving OAS or who will receive OAS will not lose a cent. We have ensured that and we will ensure that. We will also ensure that OAS is around for them and for future generations.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, as we can see, the employment insurance situation continues to get worse. More than 30% of claimants do not receive their benefits and approval of their application within a 28-day deadline. My constituency office in Papineau is full of people like Mrs. Dupré-Roussel, who came because her claim still has not been approved after three months. This government is reducing pensions and the public service.

When will the minister stand up and start using her department to serve the public?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is precisely what we are trying to do, but from time to time there are special cases that are very complex. I invite hon. members to share the details of those cases with me so that I can help them come up with solutions to these problems.

Justice
Oral Questions

February 2nd, 2012 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the debate on the death penalty has been closed for decades but, yesterday, Senator Boisvenu brought it back to the fore. When he was given the opportunity to explain himself, it is true that he retracted the word “rope” but he repeated that murderers should have the freedom to choose to commit suicide. I would like to remind the members of the House that it is illegal to encourage a person to commit suicide.

Can the Prime Minister tell us whether the Conservatives and his government share this opinion?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have no intention of reopening that debate. However, if the hon. member wants to get involved with this, why does she not get her colleague, the member for Winnipeg Centre, to apologize for the shameful personal attack he launched yesterday?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the best defence is always the offence with the government.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Justice
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Gatineau has the floor.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is the Prime Minister's opinion but is that opinion shared by his entire party? That is what Canadians want to know.

Speaking of debates that Canadians do not want to reopen, we know that some backbenchers on the other side want to reopen the debate on abortion and oppose the funding of abortions in developing countries.

Can the Prime Minister clarify whether he is losing control of his caucus or whether he is giving in to the pressure exerted by intransigent members of his caucus?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government has been clear that it will not reopen those debates.

However, I would like to get an answer. How about that shameful attack on a victim of crime yesterday? Will the member get up on his feet and apologize and do the right thing for a change?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us speak about victims. Let us speak about victims of crime. The Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime tabled his report this morning. He recommended that victims be treated more fairly because victims still do not have any legal right to attend parole hearings. They are limited to simply reading a statement and are not allowed to add a single word.

This government has been aware of the problem for years. Why has it not done something to help victims instead of sticking provinces with bills that they do not want and simply—