House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

March 7th, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only is the minister cutting employment insurance services, but she is also closing youth employment centres when the youth unemployment rate is 14%, twice that of the general population. The minister says that it is not an issue and that young people will have access to these services online. However, that will only happen if Service Canada has no further technical problems. The Conservatives should be helping young workers, not making things harder for them.

Why cut services and make things more difficult for young people looking for work?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the government's priority is economic growth and job creation, and that is what we are focusing on. According to surveys, young Canadians prefer to access information online. For that reason, we have invested in the Youth Canada website, where they can find all the information they want. They can still go to a Service Canada office if they want to be served in person.

National Research Council
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, our government knows that Canada's long-term competitiveness depends on supporting businesses that innovate and create jobs and economic growth.

Yesterday the Minister of State for Science and Technology gave a speech to the Economic Club of Canada that highlighted the important role the National Research Council must play in Canadian innovation. Could the Minister of State of Science and Technology please update the House on how this 100-year-old institution is being brought into the 21st century?

National Research Council
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, our government wants to ensure that the National Research Council's next century is even more successful than the last. We are changing and taking steps so that the National Research—

National Research Council
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National Research Council
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of State has the floor.

National Research Council
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

Let me try to share some good news again with the House, Mr. Speaker.

We are taking steps to ensure that the National Research Council's next century is even more successful than its last. We are changing it to be more responsive to industry so we can create even more jobs, better jobs and grow this economy for Canadians even more than we have.

We will continue to make key investments—

National Research Council
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, unlike the Conservatives, we are consulting Canadians about cuts to old age security. Elderly women are particularly worried, and justifiably so. Single women over 65 are Canada's poorest citizens: 46% of them live in poverty. With International Women's Day approaching, I urge the government not to make things even worse for them.

Will the Conservatives finally tell us exactly what cuts they have in store for the old age security program?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, what we plan to do, exactly, is to protect the old age security program, not only for today's seniors, but also for future generations.

The people she mentioned have nothing to worry about. Nobody who is currently receiving old age security will lose a single penny. Even people nearing retirement will not lose a penny. Younger people will have plenty of time to modify their retirement plans.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, the OECD pension team says that OAS is sustainable for future generations and the Parliamentary Budget Officer agrees. Yet the Prime Minister still wants to pull the plug on Canadians who want to retire at the age of 65.

What are the real reasons the government wants to make Canadians work until 67? Is it to fund more corporate tax cuts or is to cover for the cuts to the services that Canadians need?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the real facts are that we have an aging population that is living longer. Right now, there are four workers paying income taxes that support OAS for every one retiree. Soon there will only be two people in the workforce for every retiree and the cost of OAS will triple. That is not sustainable. Our goal is to ensure that the program is sustainable not just today but for future generations.

Inaction is not an option. We must move to protect old age security for all Canadians.

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Conservatives voted against our motion to spare veterans from the upcoming budget cuts. The Conservatives claim to support our troops, but they abandon veterans the first chance they get.

The minister says that services will not be affected. Some 1,800 jobs will be cut at Veterans Affairs Canada and 90% of its budget goes directly to services for veterans. Employees are needed to meet the needs of veterans and to administer programs. What dream world is the Minister of Veterans Affairs living in to think that cutting the budget by 10% will not affect services?

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse
Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the only party in the House that is living in a dream world is the NDP. I do not have enough fingers to count the number of times NDP MPs have voted against veterans.

The thing that gets me is that the New Democrats are misleading our veterans. The NDP wants to maintain the rampant bureaucracy. It wants to maintain the costs and maintain the red tape.

We are committed to maintaining benefits and cutting red tape. Against the advice of the NDP, we are going to provide our veterans with the unprecedented level of service we have been providing them for the past six years.

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Harold Leduc is an honoured and well-decorated veteran who now serves on the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. Somebody on that appeal board did a drive-by smear and breached his privacy. In fact, he has raised this with the minister and myself. He has written a letter to the Prime Minister, saying:

I implore you Mr. Prime Minister, to show that the harm from these privacy breaches is taken seriously. Please stop the abuse, investigate the disrespect and fix the human damage before another disabled Veteran is harmed or takes their life.

Under section 42 of the VRAB Act, the minister can investigate. Will the Prime Minister tell his Minister of Veterans Affairs to investigate this serious breach of an honoured veteran in Harold Leduc?