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

Statistics Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the individual decided to go into the private sector since he could work with free data. We thank him for his service in the public sector.

That being said, I want to remind my colleagues that with regard to the national household survey, the national collection response rate is 69.3%, which is well above the targeted rate of 50%.

Statistics Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government can easily grasp one statistic: two senior officials at Statistics Canada have resigned because this government muzzled them. In fact, since the arrival of the Conservatives, competent senior officials have been leaving one after the other, or have been fired for daring to contradict this government.

First it was the chief statistician and now, the renowned economic analyst, Philip Cross, is leaving because, as he made very clear, he does not agree with the Conservatives' decision regarding the census and he cannot speak freely.

This government listens to no one. It listens to no one about its megaprisons. It listens to no one about the firearms registry. It listens to no one about any—

Statistics Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Industry.

Statistics Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, once again, it is my understanding that the person in question decided to leave for a business opportunity now that data are being provided free. We thank him for his work in the public service.

However, with regard to the survey, the national response rate is 69.3%, well above the target rate of 50%. Let us talk about the facts. The household response rate was greater for the 2011 survey than the 2006 survey, resulting in improvement and tangible benefits. In addition, Statistics Canada has confirmed that the survey will provide useful and usable data—

Statistics Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Nanaimo—Cowichan.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

February 2nd, 2012 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, Service Canada has received almost 10,000 complaints from Canadians over a period of eight months. Why? Because after rounds of Conservative layoffs, there is no way the staff can keep up with the rising EI claims.

Every day the minister defends damaging Conservative cuts to Service Canada and, as we are finding out, every day Canadians are saying that these Conservative cuts are just a bad idea. When will the government finally fix the problem it created at Service Canada?

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our goal is to ensure that Canadians who are entitled to benefits, such as EI, CPP and OAS, receive them in a timely manner.

That is exactly why, after we had a number of requests for EI just before Christmas, more than we anticipated in fact despite the usual seasonal hike, we hired more people. We brought in 400 more people from other parts of the department to help speed up the process so Canadians could get the benefits that they deserve.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, it just gets worse.

By the end of this fiscal year, the Service Canada office is on track to hear 12,000 complaints from Canadians. The minister just keeps sticking to her automated talking points. The numbers will get a lot worse. Maybe that is why staff have been instructed to tell clients not to contact them or that there is no complaints centre.

Canadians pay for their EI. Why will the government not provide basic customer service?

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are trying to do.

Every year in December and January there is a spike in demand for EI, which is normal. Unfortunately, this year the spike was greater than we anticipated but we reacted immediately. We engaged more people to help process and clear up the backlog and move forward so that Canadians would get the benefits they need and deserve in a timely manner.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I gave the Minister of Natural Resources a break so that he could take some time to think about his answers. We still do not know if the minister is in the same camp as the radicals who deny the existence of climate change, or if he accepts the fact that science explains climate change.

So which is it? Does the minister believe the science of climate change, or does he not?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite gave me a break because I was not here.

The science is clear that human beings cause global warming. Our government has shown its support with investments of over $10 billion to support a cleaner environment and fight climate change through innovation.

What I do not believe in is the NDP's ideologically driven, Luddite battle against hundreds of thousands of jobs in Canada. Does the NDP want to deny Canadian families jobs and a secure future, yes or no?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the minister back so I can continue to ask him questions.

He says that the science is clear but on Tuesday he said that a number of scientists did not believe in climate change.

Let us assume that the minister has done his research and should know his file because he is the minister, could he enlighten us as to who these scientists are, what exactly they are saying and whether he agrees with them?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite will not take yes for an answer so I will now go on to the subject of jobs.

Maybe the NDP will listen to a Canada building trades union that says ”right now the process is being subverted, needlessly delayed at the cost of Canadian jobs”.

We need to reform the system to encourage new investment in Canadian infrastructure. This process needs to be expeditious and not stifle investment and job creation.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, we almost received an answer there.

I am pleased to hear that the minister might believe in the science but the government's actions or inactions clearly demonstrate that it does not believe it is actually a problem.

From withdrawing from Kyoto, cancelling the eco-energy retrofit program and refusing to regulate emissions in the oil sands, it is clear that the government has no track record on environment.

Instead of associating with fringe climate denier groups, when will the Minister of Natural Resources come forward with a national energy strategy to tackle climate change and bring us forward to the green economy of the future?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the NDP tunes out when it comes to job creation in the energy sector and turns its back on workers. Maybe the party should listen to Buzz Hargrove, the former CAW president, who said that we should not stop developing the oil sands because we need those jobs.