House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, just as the NDP predicted, the Conservatives' cuts to Veterans Affairs Canada are going to significantly reduce the services provided to the men and women who have bravely served this country. We are talking about the most significant change to that department in Canadian history, with over 800 full-time jobs being eliminated.

At a time when 35,000 soldiers who served in Afghanistan will be eligible for these services, why are the Conservatives so determined to take these resources away from our courageous soldiers?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse
Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear. What we are taking away from veterans are the millions of unnecessary transactions for veterans who need our services. We are simply cutting the red tape, cutting the routine and repetitive tasks that waste paper and in no way serve our veterans. That is what we are doing. If the member really wants to help veterans, he should support budget 2012, because it maintains veterans' benefits.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, once services are taken away, it will be impossible for a veteran to actually speak to someone in person.

The government has this theory that veterans' mental health issues can be solved over the Internet or maybe with a long distance phone call which could be answered by a private company called Quantum, which answers the phone as Veterans Affairs Canada.

Why is the government privatizing veterans services to private companies? Why is it laying off so many front-line people who provide that invaluable service to the heroes of our country?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse
Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I invite my colleague to visit the National Centre for Operational Stress Injuries at Ste. Anne's Hospital in Montreal. This centre of excellence is part of a network of clinics. We have doubled the number of clinics. We have people working on the streets to help veterans. The best way to continue providing support for veterans' needs, both physical and mental, is to support budget 2012, which maintains all benefits for veterans.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

May 9th, 2012 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, access to safe food is something Canadians expect and deserve, but if the Conservatives have their way, food safety in the future will be a roll of the dice, with fewer regulations, fewer inspections, and massive cuts to food inspectors. No wonder the Conservatives refused to meet with the UN food rapporteur.

Why are the Conservatives cutting the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and gambling with the health of Canadians?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. Canada's food safety is found to be among the best in the world by qualified sources that are constantly adjudicating us.

We are not cutting food safety. What we are doing is refocusing our energy and our abilities to make sure that Canadians continue to enjoy safe food.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know what happens when the government falls short on food safety: listeriosis and E. coli outbreaks.

With fewer standards, fewer inspections and fewer Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspectors, how can Canadians continue to trust the system? We are headed straight for disaster.

Why are the Conservatives launching a direct attack on food safety?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is new to the file. I would be happy to have the department brief her on any of these issues at any time should she so desire.

The department will tell her that we have hired over 700 inspectors since we formed government. We have added hundreds of millions of dollars in capacity for CFIA to retrain and recruit new people. Last year we added $100 million in the budget and this year we have added $51 million. Every time we add moneys in the budget, the NDP votes against it.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, when campaigning for the trust of Canadian seniors, the Prime Minister promised not to cut pensions. Then after tricking seniors with false promises, the Prime Minister smiled, shrugged, and reached deeply into their pockets. Seniors believed the Prime Minister when he said that their pensions would be safe with him.

Would someone over there, anyone, stand up and tell Canadians why the Conservatives have such a problem when it comes to telling the truth?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are making sure that the old age security system is safe for today's seniors and safe for future generations. To do that we have to make some changes, but those changes will not take effect until 2023. That is when they will start to be phased in.

We have to make sure that Canadians do have access to old age security. That is what we promised. That is what we are going to do for today's seniors and for future generations.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, alleged widespread Conservative election fraud is a grave matter for Canadians and for the future of our democracy.

It is appalling that this scandal-ridden government is still in denial. Yesterday the parliamentary secretary continued the falsehoods about the tight connection between his party and the Pierre Poutine IP address, and he twisted the Chief Electoral Officer's own words of warning. That is shameful. Canadians deserve better.

When will the Conservative government take our democracy seriously and call a royal commission?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, several statements made by the member opposite are categorically false.

There is no connection between the IP address mentioned by the member and the Conservative Party of Canada, and she knows that full well.

We are working to assist Elections Canada in this matter. I wish the opposition parties would do the same.

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, when confronted with the fact that our credit card payment regime is perverse and subverts market forces, the Minister of Finance pointed to the toothless voluntary code of conduct.

As it stands now, the voluntary code is doing nothing to protect merchants and consumers from paying some of the highest fees in the world, a whopping $5 billion in hidden fees alone.

Will the minister finally admit that the voluntary code is not working, pledge today to do what other G20 countries have done and implement binding regulations to end these infuriating fees?

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, to the contrary, the code of conduct is working. It is working because there is compliance by all parties with the code of conduct. They all know full well that if they breach the code, we will move to regulation. They know that and they follow the code. There have been a couple of instances of breach; we have brought them to the relevant parties' attention, and they have corrected it.

The code works. It was created by all parties in the credit card system.

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, SMEs and consumers have good reason to be disgusted because, every year, $5 billion in hidden fees is being taken from Canadians' pockets and given directly to credit card companies. It is completely unacceptable.

Putting an end to excessive credit card interest rates is a simple way to resolve this problem. It would allow these billions of dollars to be reinjected into the economy and would stimulate growth.

Why are the Conservatives allowing consumers and SMEs to be victims of credit card companies' predatory practices?