House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugee.

Topics

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the amendment defeated.

The next question is on the main motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #183

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion adopted. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

(Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

6:55 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, in February, I asked a question about the closure of AstraZeneca in Montreal, which has resulted in the loss of 136 jobs. The closure is a symptom of problems in Montreal's research and development sector.

Since 2010, Montreal has lost approximately 1,000 research and development jobs in the pharmaceutical industry. Jobs have been lost and companies have closed their research and development centres: Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Merck, MDS, Teva, Terra Technology.

Montreal is currently facing a serious problem with respect to research and development in the pharmaceutical industry despite having developed leading-edge expertise in the field.

My question was for the Minister of Industry because the closure reflected a failure of leadership on the part of the Conservative government with respect to R&D and innovation. Since then, the government has tabled the 2012 budget.

Budget 2012 did not meet our expectations for a new direction from the government, nor did it answer this question. It refers to changes that were supposedly inspired by the Jenkins report.

There are two problems with the government's decision, which will not address situations like the one in Montreal.

The first problem is the fact that the government will use other means to fund research and development. Instead of offering tax credits, the government will provide direct subsidies to businesses or the industry. The problem is that we do not know what the criteria will be. We can hardly wait to see what the criteria will be because this could, perhaps, lead to favouritism and politically-motivated decisions rather than decisions based on economic considerations that could help the industry rather than the political party currently in power.

Second, we are concerned about another aspect of the budget, the government's dwindling interest in pure research. There is pure research and applied research. Pure research is vital. It is perhaps less marketable to begin with, but it is necessary for the full development of applied research in this country.

In terms of research and development, the 2012 budget does not support pure research. This is generally carried out by Canadian universities, which will be weakened by the new strategy the Conservative government has announced in the 2012 budget.

As I was saying, the closures in Montreal were at the heart of the question I asked in February, which the Conservative government has not answered. Unfortunately, Montreal is currently paying the price for those decisions.

I would like the Conservative government, the Minister of Industry or his representative to provide a clearer answer in terms of the direction the government wants to take with regard to research and development in order to promote harmonious and competitive development not only in Montreal, but in most Canadian cities. In the case of the Island of Montreal, I am talking specifically about research and development in the pharmaceutical industry.

7 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance recently tabled economic action plan 2012 which lays out an effective and comprehensive plan on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Through this budget, we are investing an unprecedented amount to support entrepreneurs, innovators and world-class research. Support for science and technology has been a government priority since 2006, as exemplified by the introduction of the S and T strategy in 2007 and the series of initiatives to build an innovative economy that followed. The federal S and T expenditures reached nearly $11.9 billion in 2010-11.

Innovation by business is a vital part of maintaining a high standard of living in Canada and building Canadian sources of global advantage. As indicated recently by the Prime Minister, investments in science, technology and innovation remain a priority for the Government of Canada. Economic action plan 2012 provided additional funding for CIHR, boosting its industry academic research partnership initiative by $15 million to support advanced health related research. Economic action plan 2012 also allocated $60 million to Genome Canada to help maintain Canada's research leadership in genomics.

In budget 2012, we allocated $400 million to venture capital funds led by the private sector to help increase sector investments in high growth and innovative firms. Our government also committed $110 million per year to the National Research Council of Canada to double support for the popular IRAP program. This investment was accompanied by $14 million over two years for the industrial research and development internship program and $12 million per year to make the business-led Networks of Centres of Excellence program permanent. All together, economic action plan 2012 announced $1.1 billion over five years to directly support research and development and $500 million for venture capital.

It is unfortunate that the NDP stands ready to vote against these important investments in science, technology and innovation for all Canadians. Unlike the opposition, I can assure hon. members and Canadians that we are still focused on jobs and job creation.

I want to assure the member that Canada remains a choice destination for the pharmaceutical industry. For example, GSK Canada, a subsidiary of GSK, a British-based pharmaceutical multinational enterprise, announced in 2011 the creation of a new Canadian-specific $50 million venture capital fund to support early stage research. This will have a positive impact on Canada's life sciences clusters, including the one in Montreal.

We have been focused on science, technology and innovation. We are getting the job done.

7 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the grocery list the parliamentary secretary just read to me. I have two questions for her, because what she said does not at all answer my questions, which were reiterations of a question I have asked in the past, and still did not get an answer. My two questions are very simple.

First of all, she said that $1.1 billion was allocated to directly support research and development for industry. Why did she fail to mention that this budget also eliminated $1.5 billion in tax credits in order to allow the $1.1 billion in question? This means a net loss of $400 million.

Second, once again, how can she justify the fact that this government is distancing itself from pure research and justify this budget's lack of policies in that area? How can she explain the fact that direct subsidies are being given to businesses for applied research? Just how harmful will this be to Canada's research and development sector?

7 p.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, economic action plan 2012 will help Canadian firms create jobs, modernize their operations and better compete globally. Over 690,000 more Canadians are working today compared to the end of the recession in July 2009, making Canada one of only two G7 countries to regain all of the jobs lost during the downturn. We are continuing to identify and deliver on opportunities where we can improve industry's ability to be more productive and innovative in order to achieve success and secure jobs for Canadians. We must continue to focus on economic growth and stay on course to create more jobs and an even stronger economy, including a stronger quality of life for all Canadian families.

The NDP talks a good talk but when it comes to actually supporting investments in science, research and innovation, it simply does not.

7 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, on February 28 I asked a question of the Minister of Justice regarding the report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer on the costs to the public of the changes in just one aspect of Bill C-10 which was then before Parliament. This had to do with the conditional sentences aspect.

There were considerable changes to the availability of conditional sentences in part 3 of Bill C-10. Amendments were made to 32 previously eligible offences under the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that were rendered ineligible for conditional sentences. The question was what the cost of this was. Interestingly, when the costs were looked at, other factors became known. It confirms some of the criticism that we brought forward in committee that this legislation was ineffective in reducing the amount of crime and increasing the punishment and supposedly making our streets safer which was the sub-name of the bill.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer found that 4,500 offenders would no longer be eligible for a conditional sentence and would face the threat of a prison sentence and the costs associated with that. It was also interesting that, based on a legal analysis, approximately 650 of the 4,500, in other words 15%, would actually be acquitted, meaning that fewer offenders would face any consequence of their offence and be under correctional supervision. For those who were punished, they would be under supervision by the Correctional Service for a shorter period of time. The average cost per offender, on the other hand, would rise by a factor of 16%. So effectively we got a situation where we had skyrocketing costs, ineffective results, fewer offenders convicted serving less time and that was at a 16% rise in the costs.

That was the question put to the minister and he did not adequately respond. He said that if there were fewer people convicted that would make the NDP happy. That is the kind of slur we have been getting from the other side when we raise sensible questions about government policy and the consequence of it. We had the same kind of debate last week when the government closed two prisons and a mental health facility and said, “Hey look, the opposition is all wrong, we are actually closing down prisons”. That is the kind of misinformation and misleading spin that the government likes to put on things.

At the same time, the government was building 2,700 new cells in over 30 existing prisons. One of the analysts concluded that would have the same effect as building six new prisons. So to make it look like we are closing down prisons, the Conservatives closed down two penitentiaries and a mental health unit and are opening 2,700 more facilities. That is the kind of subterfuge that goes on here. As we know from the F-35 debate, the Conservatives do not like to give any credibility to the Parliamentary Budget Officer. However, he again points out as a service to this Parliament and to the public that there is an increased cost by 16 times, with fewer people being incarcerated, fewer people actually paying the penalty for these crimes on account of changes that are being made in Bill C-10.

That was my concern and I will be interested in the parliamentary secretary's response.