House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, again, there is no such policy as the hon. member suggests there is. In fact, quite the contrary.

What we are trying to do with our economic action plan 2012 is take advantage of the fact that Canada is blessed with tremendous natural resources and with tremendous people, tremendous potential in those people. We want to ensure that all of them have the opportunity to achieve their full potential. That includes our first nations and, especially, young aboriginals who are looking for greater opportunities to participate in the economy.

That is why the economic action plan said that Canada's young aboriginal population has that tremendous potential for long-term success and economic prosperity and our government will work to help them achieve that.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jonathan Genest-Jourdain Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are making yet another mistake.

Rather than implementing real programs to help aboriginal people enter the labour force and allow them to meet their housing and transportation needs, the Conservative government prefers to threaten that it is going to steal food from aboriginal people's mouths and take away their welfare benefits if they do not take training. This is yet another initiative that proves that the Conservatives are out of touch with reality.

Did the Conservatives not learn their lesson from Attawapiskat? Why are they insisting on making life even more difficult for aboriginal people?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, that is not at all the case. In fact, we intend to help aboriginal people become very successful in the economy. That is why we stated the following in the 2012 economic action plan: “Equipping First Nations people with the skills and opportunities they need to fully participate in the economy is a priority both for this Government and for First Nations people.”

That is a good idea for all Canadians.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

June 1st, 2012 / 11:30 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been a rough few weeks for Canadians looking for answers about employment insurance changes. They are still waiting for the Conservatives to say what “suitable employment” really means; to explain how communities relying on seasonal industries will be affected; to explain whether they are even taking into account the difficulties facing youth, minorities and the disabled in finding jobs.

When will the Conservatives finally do the right thing: stop their attacks and start listening to Canadians concerned about these changes?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the real question is, when will the NDP stop spreading misinformation and trying to scare Canadians?

What we would be doing is giving those people who have lost jobs through no fault of their own help in finding jobs within their skill sets, within their geographic area. For the first time, we would make available to them job alerts twice a day, not three times every two weeks, to let them know what jobs are out there. We would ensure that if they cannot find a job in their area, within their skill sets, EI will be there for them, as it always has been.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, only the Conservatives would see targeting Canadian workers as helping them. How else can we explain changing the fair wages law to make federally contracted construction workers earn less, or why some Canadians would be forced to work for 30% less without even getting a fair chance to look for work in their field?

There have been no consultations, no accountability and no real answers from the minister. These EI changes are a mess. When will the minister finally admit that this is flawed legislation that needs to go back to the drawing board?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, these changes are actually common sense. Our priority is job creation and increasing the growth and prosperity of our country. In fact, we have been very successful with that, creating over 750,000 net new jobs since the recession.

At the same time, we recognize there are Canadians who have difficulty finding work, particularly, in areas where it is mainly seasonal work or seasonal industries or one-industry towns. We would help those people get access to the jobs that do exist. However, if they do not exist, we would ensure that they still have access to EI.

Atlantic Economy
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, what we know is the Conservatives' changes to EI are an attack on seasonal workers and they are meant to drive down workers' wages.

The government's attack on coastal communities continues. It is so out of touch that now we see bonuses being handed out to ACOA executives while that agency cancels support for community economic development. ACOA has already cut dozens of staff and programs meant to help Atlantic communities.

How can the minister be so tone deaf to the interests of Atlantic Canadians? Why will he not stand up for coastal communities?

Atlantic Economy
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Conservative

Bernard Valcourt Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, the member ought to know that the law provides clearly that ministers do not have discretionary authority over at-risk pay for public service executives.

If the member wants to talk about ACOA, we will talk about ACOA and the work it does in Atlantic Canada.

We remain focused on creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. For example, the naval action plan helps small- and medium-size enterprises throughout all of Atlantic Canada to benefit from a $33 billion initiative, the national shipbuilding procurement strategy, which will create jobs--

Atlantic Economy
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives are simply failing Atlantic Canadians. Now they are undermining our livelihood with their attack on fisheries protection.

Former fisheries ministers, including two Conservatives, are condemning the government's proposals. How do the Conservatives respond? They accuse former minister Siddon of not reading the bill. Wrong again. He not only read the bill, he renamed some of these reckless clauses. Clause 147 is the “let them off lightly” clause. Clause 150 is the “minister cops out” clause.

Why is the government ramming through changes that will harm our fisheries and hurt our coastal communities?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission
B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we are providing a much needed greater focus on fisheries, particularly on recreational, commercial and aboriginal fisheries, so that we can ensure that those resources are available for future generations.

Frankly, I am a bit surprised that the member thinks this is a novel concept. In 1998, under a Liberal minister, there was a new policy document that explained how to apply the habitat section of the act. It says:

Section 35 is not about the protection of fish habitat for the benefit of fish, but of fisheries. Therefore, the decision required is a determination of whether or not the potentially affected fish habitat directly or indirectly supports - or has the potential to support - a commercial, recreational or subsistence fishery.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the only thing the Conservatives want to protect is the bottom line of their industry friends.

This reckless dismantling of fisheries protection will harm our fishing communities and the economies that sustain them. Fishery groups are already warning that the Conservatives' cuts to DFO science would put the fisheries at risk. Scrapping in-house research for a hand-picked talk shop will not serve Canadians who rely on fisheries science to protect their livelihood.

How does the minister expect to respond to crises that could cripple vital fisheries without this science?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission
B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, we certainly agree that science is very important to the protection of our fisheries. That is why we invest about $230 million every year in science. We will continue to invest in the priorities so that we can protect these fisheries that Canadians depend on. We are committed to that.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are ready to roll the dice to determine the fate of coastal communities. The minister will not even say whether he has consulted anyone on separating the fleet and he is keeping mum on his plans. Local fishers are worried and rightly so. They see a minister who is abandoning his responsibilities with respect to scientific research, fisheries and fish habitat.

The coastal communities are entitled to answers.

Is separating the fleet part of the minister's plans or not?