House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I spoke with the president-elect of France, François Hollande, on Sunday evening to congratulate him and tell him that the hon. Lawrence Cannon would be the next Canadian ambassador to France and that Mr. Cannon has my full confidence and the experience needed to represent our country.

This shows the importance we place on our relationship with France, a country with which we have economic, cultural, linguistic and historic ties. Clearly, we would like to thank the former ambassador, Marc Lortie, for his service.

Housing
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of groups throughout Quebec have submitted projects under the homelessness partnering strategy.

Funding was supposed to be renewed by April 1, 2012. However, only the projects in Quebec are still awaiting approval by the minister. The partnership agreement, duly signed with the Government of Quebec, has been in place for 12 years. Many groups depend on this funding, but there has been nothing but silence from the minister.

Since there is agreement on all the projects and the parliamentary secretary to the minister has confirmed that the funding was available, then why the delays?

Housing
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, access to housing is a very important step toward gaining independence and it helps at-risk Canadians contribute fully to society.

We are working with the provinces to help people find housing. That is why we invested in almost 700 projects in Quebec in 2011.

Housing
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the money is there; the minister simply has to sign off on it.

For the past 12 years, everything has gone like clockwork: there have been no problems with any HPS applications and all projects approved by Quebec received funding. Now, HPS applications, including the one from RAPSIM, are facing closed doors and silence from the minister. Yet, these projects are supported by the community—and they work.

Why does the minister refuse to respect the HPS agreement with Quebec? Is this yet another way to muzzle those who dare stand up to the Conservatives?

Housing
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it was our government that invested in that program. It is a five-year program, for which we want to ensure a predetermined amount of nearly $2 billion invested in Canada. This program aims to help homeless people, in partnership with the provinces. Every decision is made in partnership with the provinces, but there is a fixed amount and we want to invest that money in the best possible way.

Employment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, unemployed workers who need help are ill-served by this government. Soon, they will have to accept any job that the minister deems acceptable or risk losing their employment insurance benefits. And yet, the minister refuses to explain what the word “acceptable” means.

The Conservatives' Trojan Horse bill directly attacks unemployed workers by lowering their incomes. Why are the Conservatives so doggedly attacking unemployed workers?

Employment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government's priority is to create jobs , promote economic growth and get Canadians back to work in their communities.

This bill includes measures to help unemployed workers find jobs. This is the best way to help them because it is good for them, their families and the Canadian economy, particularly right now since there is a shortage of skilled workers.

Employment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that under the Conservative government, fewer Canadians have access to EI than ever before, and now the minister will be able to kick people off EI if they do not take a so-called suitable job. However, she refuses to say what suitable is.

To avoid accountability, the Conservatives chose to sneak these changes into their Trojan horse budget bill.

The Conservatives are even cutting back on the ability of unemployed Canadians to appeal EI decisions. Can the minister tell Canadians how just 74 people are going to fairly adjudicate the over-31,000 cases each year?

Employment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we made a promise to Canadians, and that was to respect the spending of their taxpayer dollars. That is why we are undergoing changes to ensure we do things both more efficiently and more effectively, while maintaining or increasing our services to Canadians.

Let us face it: across this country we have and will have growing shortages of both skills and labour, so we need to make sure that those people who are unfortunate enough to lose their job have every opportunity to become aware of jobs that are available in their area, to have the help they need to access those jobs and to get those jobs. That is the best for them and for their families and for the economy.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the chickens are coming home to roost with the government's bad punishment policies.

In Canada's overcrowded jails, prison violence has already increased 37% over five years and it will only get worse. That is not only dangerous for staff and guards but it is also dangerous for the Canadian public when these prisoners are released back into their communities.

When will the government pay attention to the overwhelming evidence that its crime agenda creates more victims and is doing more harm than good?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar
Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the opposition has been continually criticizing us and saying that we will be building new prisons. We will not need to build new prisons because our legislation will not create new criminals, It just ends the revolving door.

We would ask the opposition to support our initiatives to make offenders more accountable, which, for example, as we announced yesterday, asking offenders to pay for some of their expenses. Canadians pay for their room and board. We are asking that offenders pay for some of their room and board. It is reasonable, and we ask the opposition to support these initiatives.

The Environment
Oral Questions

May 10th, 2012 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, contaminated sites put the health, safety and economic interests of Canadians at risk for generations to come. Radioactive material may pose cancer risks and one litre of gasoline can render one million litres of water undrinkable.

Does the minister understand that 13,000 sites may need to be cleaned up, that he should stop congratulating himself on a job half done and instead stand up for the environment, develop aggressive timelines and provide the necessary resources to protect Canadians?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague does not seem to understand the context of the federal contaminated sites program. Hundreds of these sites fall under the responsibility of 16 departments and agencies. The federal contaminated sites program, $3.5 billion announced by our government, is to address the largest, most serious of the federal contaminated sites. We are 50% of the way through those target sites and we will continue.

RCMP
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP is in the news again today for the wrong reasons: the ongoing failure to act on sexual harassment against female officers.

The RCMP Public Complaints Commission is investigating. The RCMP commissioner is doing a gender audit of RCMP policies. However, for too long the government has failed to set any deadlines for concrete action on this crisis, in effect ignoring the stress this places on those officers who serve to make our communities safer.

Where is the government's sense of urgency? Where is the minister's commitment to getting a timely resolution to this unacceptable situation in the RCMP?

RCMP
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar
Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, all of us in the House are concerned when we hear allegations of any individual, including any RCMP individual, having to deal with sexual harassment. We are very pleased that the new commissioner is taking this very seriously. He has taken a very tough stance on this. He is investigating and we are waiting for the reports and recommendations that come out of that.