House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cuts.

Topics

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

St. Catharines
Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, the minister makes nothing up as he goes along. In fact, everything he has done on the immigration file over the past number of months and years has led to a much better system than we were left with, a broken, disgusting system that did not work in this country.

The economic action plan of 2012 includes measures that will transform Canada's suite of economic immigration programs to create a just in time system that works for the people who come to this country, works for the people who live in this country and works for the strength of the Canadian economy.

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the minister is short of solutions, he should come and talk to the NDP. We are very open and could advise him.

People are starting to lose confidence in the system, because the Conservatives keep on inventing new rules. A class action lawsuit is being organized against the Conservatives for how they have mismanaged the immigration backlog.

It has been proven that the government's current plan is costing taxpayers more than it would to come up with a sustainable solution to the problem. How much will the minister's plan cost?

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

St. Catharines
Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, if the NDP members would take a bit of time to read the budget, they would see exactly what the cost of the strategy would be moving forward with respect to this immigration policy.

More important, the immigration committee is spending six hours a day for the next number of days reviewing and determining the extent to which Bill C-31 would have a positive impact on this country.

I simply ask the NDP if it is willing to put its money where its mouth is, because it has not yet. If it wants to come forward with constructive amendments, if it wants to support the legislation that would work for this country and for the refugee system that we have, in fact, it should--

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

The hon. member for Prince George—Peace River.

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, as part of our jobs, growth and long-term prosperity act, our government announced changes to the best weeks EI pilot project to better align this program with local labour market conditions.

Would the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development inform the House about how this new national, legislated approach will make the EI program more fair and responsive to labour market conditions throughout the country, while removing disincentives to work in low unemployment areas like my riding of Prince George—Peace River?

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, starting in April 2013, a new national best weeks program will be introduced to the EI system that would base the number of best weeks on the local unemployment rate. The average of the best weeks would be used to calculate the weekly amount of benefits that EI recipients would get. The current best 14 pilot will be extended through to April next year while this transition goes on.

These changes will remove barriers to employment in low unemployment areas, but will also ensure that people in regions with similar labour market conditions actually get similar benefits.

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism stand on the back of a ship at great expense to our refugees.

Today, we find out in committee that in fact the current system, in terms of detentions, has been working. There is no need to fix the system, in terms of the detentions.

My question for the minister is, and he asked for positive amendments, why is the government pursuing the need to have a one year minimum detention for refugees when it was made very clear today in committee that it is just not necessary?

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

St. Catharines
Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I have to smile when hearing a member of the Liberal Party say there were no problems with the immigration system that the Liberals created a number of years ago and then stand today and say that no changes are necessary. That is why the Liberals are sitting in the third place and we are sitting here.

We are prepared to take the stands necessary. We are prepared to move forward on this legislation. If they actually do, because they have not--not once have they moved any amendments or spoken in a way that was going to be constructive and build upon this system. They have not done it yet. I am going to hold my breath and see.

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, last week, my Atlantic caucus colleagues and I had the pleasure of visiting Prince Edward Island. We met with people concerned about the Conservatives' total lack of transparency and their habit of making decisions with no local consultation, like the cuts to Veterans Affairs, like the possible elimination of fleet separation and owner-operator policies, or like the closure of Service Canada's claims centre in Montague, which has a severe impact on the local economy and was announced with no notice and no justification.

The people of P.E.I. deserve better. My question is, why is the government refusing to be accountable?

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, this government has done extensive consultations. Pre-budget, ministers of the crown, our entire caucus, went throughout this country to every nook and cranny, and consulted with Canadians about the future of our country, about jobs and opportunities, and about economic growth. That is what is in the budget and we are proud of that.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, nearly one year ago today, Canadian farmers, along with millions of others, helped elect a strong, stable, national Conservative majority government with a focus on creating jobs and economic growth for the agriculture industry. They sent a clear message that they wanted a government that was committed to bolstering trade and opening new markets for their top quality products.

Last week, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food was joined by industry representatives in Morocco to expand opportunities for our farmers. Could the minister please update the House on the successes of this mission?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Crowfoot for his dedication to farmers and agriculture.

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food was in Morocco where he formally invited Moroccan officials to Canada in June for the next round of free trade agreement negotiations. He also met with his counterpart to sign a memorandum of understanding to strengthen agricultural co-operation between our two countries.

Out of interest, in 2011, Morocco's agriculture imports from Canada totalled more than $188 million mainly in durum wheat and pulses. Canadian farmers are eager to build on that number.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Association de la presse francophone and the Société franco-manitobaine are worried. Funding rules, which are based on magazine circulation, penalize official language minority communities. Ignoring the linguistic reality means that the quality of information for francophones in Sudbury, Manitoba and Alberta will suffer. Even worse, some magazines may not survive.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage exempt these magazines so they can continue to serve francophone communities, yes or no?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

April 30th, 2012 / 3 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the accusations made by my colleague opposite are completely false.

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, back in March 2005, when the previous Liberal government attempted to place the redefinition of a subsection to the definition of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act within a budget bill, the then opposition leader and current Prime Minister was outraged. He said that this was a back door way, a dangerous way of proceeding. He went on to say that it would not allow any parliamentary approval or discussion whatsoever. He said that it was completely unacceptable.

If changing one subsection to environmental law through a budget bill is completely unacceptable, why is changing hundreds of sections of a dozen environmental laws acceptable to the Prime Minister?