House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ontario apple and tender fruit farmers have been heavily hit by a spring frost that is expected to devastate the industry this year. Apple farmers alone are expected to lose a staggering 80% of this year's crop.

Ontario farmers are major producers of Canada's apple crop. This impact will be felt widely.

What will the government do to assure farmers that they will receive timely support from the government to help them through what is a major crisis in tender fruit in Ontario?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the first thing we did was to get in contact with the provincial government. Minister Ted McMeekin has been touring the area, as have some of my officials, looking over the crop, ensuring that the farmers will be covered by the programs that are there.

We have a number of different programs for them. First and foremost, is crop insurance, in which I understand some two-thirds of the farmers have invested. That is good. We also have agrirecovery, which will pick up the slack after that. There are a number of different venues open to farmers who have made use of those management tools.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, farmers will be paying attention to whether that money arrives on time or not.

Ontario farmers are poised to lose tens of millions of dollars. Jobs will be lost and local businesses will suffer. Programs exist to deal with minor losses. Single farmers in a bad season, for instance, will get coverage. However, when an entire sector is hit, like it is now in Ontario, special measures should be taken to ensure its future is not put at risk.

What additional support will the government commit to the apple and tender fruit sector to help it through this major crisis?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, let us do a bit of a reality check here. This government is the government that stood with farmers regardless of what hit them, whether it was weather or market related. We have had programming to be there to backstop them. The opposition on the other hand has voted against every one of those issues.

When it comes to serving farmers, we will be with them.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, in spite of all the pre-election photo ops, the much ballyhooed $50 million pasta plant in Regina has now been shelved. The company says that it was “because of uncertainty in the North American grain market”. Guess who caused uncertainty in the grain industry by deliberately destroying the most successful grain marketing company in the world, the Canadian Wheat Board?

How much did the government give to Alliance Grain Traders Inc. to conveniently announce this latest pasta plant scheme? What did that photo op cost us? How much of that money are we getting back?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, western Canadian farmers have worked with Alliance Grain over the last number of years.

Murad Al-Katib and his great team at Alliance Grain have been major processors and exporters of pulses. They now look with envy at moving into the durum market, the same market that they are feeding with their pulses. The same farmers who they are buying from can also work in the durum. Unfortunately, with the environment in Europe their major market is stagnant at this point. They have decided to delay the movement on the pulse/durum processing facility, but they look forward to the day when they can put shovels in the ground and put that facility right near Regina.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, there is no case for abolishing the Canadian Wheat Board. There never was one and the minister knows it. Now the chaos and uncertainty the government has created with its ideological crusade is actually driving business away.

The Wheat Board used to market 20 million tonnes of grain to 60 different countries with every penny of profit going back into the pockets of Canadian farmers.

The Prime Minister claimed that killing the Wheat Board would create some kind of a free market nirvana. Will he now concede that all it has caused is insecurity for farmers, uncertainty for industry and instability for the rural prairie economy?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, there are so many things wrong with that diatribe that I do not know where to begin.

I can assure the House that western Canadian farmers have embraced the opportunity. They are putting their crops in the ground right now. Canola has surpassed wheat as king in the Prairies. There are a number of farmers looking to the barley, wheat and durum market with envy. They are already forward contracting those commodities through the Canadian Wheat Board, which is still in existence. The gentleman opposite has that wrong too. It is still there at the same address with the same Rolodex and selling to the same countries around the world.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government announced that it would replace our aging fleet of Hercules aircraft. Many Canadians have seen them in every domestic emergency and every foreign mission. They are the workhorses of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The Hercules are used in a variety of roles, including transporting equipment, troops and supplies to the most remote regions of this vast nation.

Could the Associate Minister of National Defence please update us on this important equipment replacement project?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for her hard work on behalf of the men and women in our military.

This modernized Hercules aircraft is bigger, can fly faster and further and hold more passengers and cargo than our previous model. It was key to have the aging fleet replaced without any operational gaps.

I am proud to say that we accomplished this task successfully. The new aircraft has completed critical missions around the world and has been heavily involved in many search and rescue operations.

On Friday, at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, the air force took delivery of the last of the 17 new Hercules aircraft.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

May 14th, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the minister's reckless rush to change Canada's immigration system, mistakes are being made. The latest, according to an internal government document, has to do with privileging applicants with job offers from Canadian businesses. It turns out that this is leading to more fraudulent job offers and may even create a market trafficking in fake jobs.

The minister must do his homework before ramming sweeping changes through like this. What will the minister do to address this situation?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I assure the hon. member that we are hardly new to the idea of efforts to defraud Canada's immigration system. There are always people seeking to circumvent our fair rules, which is why we have put in place rigorous quality control initiatives. We have experts in our missions abroad who do checks on the integrity of the veracity of arranged employment offers.

However, what we do know from our major study on the skilled worker program is that those immigrants who arrive with a pre-arranged job make nearly $80,000 in income after their third year in Canada, twice as much as those who arrive without jobs, which is why the data tells us that as much as possible we should arrange jobs for immigrants before they get to Canada so that—

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has already had to backtrack on certain parts of his bill—a bill that looks like it was written on a cocktail napkin. Now it appears as though history is going to repeat itself.

As things now stand, potential immigrants have a better chance of settling in Canada if they have a job offer, and the Conservatives would like put even more emphasis on this approach. However, doing things this way could lead to cases of abuse. An internal evaluation of Citizenship and Immigration Canada found that there may be trafficking in job offers. When things are done in haste, mistakes are made.

Are the Conservatives going to redo their homework rather than encouraging fraud?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member must be aware that we have put enormous emphasis on fighting immigration fraud. We have a system that will enable us to eliminate fraudulent job offers.

That said, we know that immigrants who have a job offer have an average income of nearly $80,000 after they have been in Canada for three years, which is twice as high as the income of immigrants who arrive with no job offer. This is one of the reasons why we will be giving preference to immigrants who have a good job offer before they arrive in the country, because we want to see them succeed in Canada.