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 refugees.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the hon. member to her new file and I look forward to working with her. We have been able to work together successfully in the past, but she does need to get some of her facts right. I am happy to give her any briefing that she needs to get up to speed on the file because during the recent global recession we did add significantly to EI benefits. We gave all claimants an extra five weeks worth of benefits and we invested significantly in training programs to help people get back to work.

The CEIFB is doing its job but we want to ensure that employers are limited in how much they have to pay.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not an answer and it does nothing to reassure the thousands of workers who have lost their jobs, workers like the ones at Aveos who still do not have work to pay their bills.

We are asking the government to invest in public services instead of making cuts. The government created the Employment Insurance Financing Board of Canada to the tune of millions of dollars that did not go to help the unemployed.

Why waste money on a financing board that is not being used, when essential services for the unemployed are inadequate?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I welcome that member to her file as well but she needs to understand that business needs to be competitive, which is why we need to ensure that we keep the increases in EI premiums limited. We do need to balance the EI account over the long term, but we need to keep those costs limited to create jobs because that is the best way to overcome poverty and that is the best way to help Canadian families. It would be nice if the NDP for once would support us in our effort to help Canadian families.

Seniors
Oral Questions

April 23rd, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, after scandals and ethical problems, this government refuses to be transparent about old age security. Even though thousands of Canadians are worried about their golden years, the minister continues to turn a deaf ear. She refuses to say how much this government will save on the backs of the most vulnerable seniors by pushing the age of eligibility from 65 to 67.

Will the minister finally stop hiding information and start telling the whole truth about this unacceptable measure?

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that no senior will feel the effects of the changes to the old age security program because the changes do not start until 2023.

Changes to OAS are all about the long-term sustainability of that particular program.

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister keeps trying to confuse the issue and divert attention away from the fact that the Conservatives are raising the age for OAS. This is a move that will only punish the poorest seniors, the most vulnerable. However, the minister is silent on how much money will be unfairly taken away from tomorrow's seniors.

Canadians of all ages are wondering why the government is hiding the numbers. Will the minister stand up and tell Canadians exactly how much this punitive measure is supposed to save?

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the changes to OAS are not part of the deficit reduction program that this government is bringing in now to ensure we get back to a balanced budget in the near future. We are talking 10 years out or more before these changes come into effect. We need to face the fact that Canadians are living longer. Where life expectancy used to be 68, it is now closer to 85. Many Canadians are working longer by choice. We want to ensure the old age security system is there when they retire and for future generations.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, for decades, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the National Energy Board have been arm's-length organizations that use consultation and science to ensure a balanced approach to energy projects, the environment and the health and safety of Canadians. Now Canada's environmental system is in shambles and cabinet will get the final say over decisions made by the NEB.

Would the minister explain why political expediency is more important than science and the health and safety of Canadians?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, nothing can be further from the truth. Our government is focused on jobs, growth and prosperity for Canadians. We will focus on four major areas as we review the environmental process for major economic projects. We want to make the review process more predictable and timely. We will reduce duplication and regulatory burden. We will be strengthening environmental protection and we will enhance consultation with aboriginal people.

I wonder why the member opposite is so opposed to timely reviews, protecting the environment and consulting with aboriginal communities.

Health
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, unbelievably, the Minister of Health has made aboriginal health the number one target for cuts in her department. She has cut programs for diabetes, youth suicide and aboriginal health human resources. She says that she is protecting front-line services. Does the minister really believe that disease prevention and health promotion is not a front-line service?

A minister has choices. Could the minister explain to the House why her cuts target the population with the worst health outcomes in Canada, the aboriginal people of Canada?

Health
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, as an aboriginal person I take that type of line of questioning to be unacceptable.

Our government has ensured that we have protected the front-line services of all health care services across the sector. Our government takes first nations health seriously. There were a number of funding initiatives in budget 2012 to improve water systems on reserve. We are funding $30 million annually for aboriginal health research. Last year, we invested $2.2 billion in first nations and Inuit health programs. Why does the member not support that?

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the F-35s and the prisons agenda are not the only places that we are seeing wild improvisation from the government. The Conservatives have decided to hit the delete button on the files of 300,000 people in the federal skilled worker program. In that group are potential new Canadians who followed the rules and are simply being punished because of years of government inaction and inadequacy.

What happened to fairness when it comes to our immigration system and why this colossal betrayal of trust?

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I commend the member on her appointment as the immigration spokesman for the official opposition. I look forward to working with her, although I suspect from time to time I will not agree with her.

On this matter, we simply have to move beyond the legacy backlogs that the Liberal government left.

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

An hon. member

That you created.

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

No, Mr. Speaker. When we came to office, 840,000 people were waiting up to eight years in the backlog thanks to a decade of Liberal mismanagement.

We are fixing the problems we inherited and, thanks to this difficult but necessary decision, within 18 months we will have a real time immigration system where we will be admitting people who have applied within months rather than years.