House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was research.

Topics

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that they are making cities pay the price for Conservative mismanagement. Shame on that minister.

My question is about the Conservative mismanagement of retirement security. Last month, private Canadian pension plans experienced one of the biggest slides on record. The funds lost all of the gains of the past year. This volatility is yet another example of why the Conservatives' reckless pooled registered pension plan scheme will not provide Canadians with retirement security.

When will they stop playing with the retirement security of Canadians? When will they stop playing retirement roulette?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, opposition members would actually have the opportunity to answer their own question pretty soon, because we actually have a piece of legislation that is willing and able to help 60% of the people in the workforce who do not now have a pension plan. That is an incredible number of people.

NDP members have chosen to ignore the 60% of people in the workforce who do not have a pension. They complain about not helping those people who are looking towards retirement. That is what they are doing, voting against seniors, voting against people who want to build a retirement package.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

That is not true, Mr. Speaker. The fact is that the Conservative plan is leaving Canadian seniors vulnerable. It is a disgrace.

Private Canadian pension plans have as little as 70¢ available for every dollar owed to retirees. This instability threatens Canadian retirement security. It is long past time to invest more in the stable, secure and predictable Canada pension plan.

When will the Conservatives expand the CPP and give Canadians a truly secure retirement savings option?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Once again, Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that the NDP has not done its homework. Its members do not understand the jurisdictional differences.

We do not have the jurisdiction to change the Canada pension plan whatsoever without the support of the provinces. We have actually consulted with the provinces and they have said that they support the pooled registered pension plan framework that we are putting forward. They do not all support increasing taxes on businesses and on employers, and that would be by increasing CPP at this time.

It is very important. Canadians are supporting this and most of the provinces are supporting it. It is too bad the NDP does not.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are increasingly concerned about elicit drugs being imported into Canada. In particular, there is a series of dangerous amphetamines with the street name “bath salts”. Unlike legitimate bath salts, these drugs have been known to cause serious psychotic episodes and extremely dangerous behaviour in those who use them.

The Safe Streets and Communities Act toughened penalties for the importation and exportation of dangerous drugs. Can the Minister of Justice please inform this House about the government's latest action to keep our streets and communities safe?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is correct in that the recently passed Safe Streets and Communities Act will crack down on those who would import these dangerous drugs into Canada. This legislation ensured that 21 different amphetamines, including two of the substances with the name of bath salts, will be moved into schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. This means tougher sentences for those who import and traffic these dangerous drugs.

I would like to thank the Minister of Health for moving quickly to ensure that the drug MDPV is also listed in schedule I, thus giving more tools to law enforcement agencies.

Unfortunately the NDP and the Liberals voted against all our efforts to crack down on these dangerous drugs. Shame on them.

National Film Board
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the arts community is currently crying for help to save the NFB's CineRobotheque. Indeed, the complex will have to close its doors because of the Conservatives' cuts. But it is central to the cultural life of Montreal, Quebec and Canada and has been for some 20-odd years. The CineRobotheque is well used by members of the public and artists alike. No fewer than 30,000 people visited it last year.

Philippe Falardeau, an Oscar nominee who has been praised many times by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, is a good example of the NFB's relevance: he got his start there.

Once again, the minister needs to think about the consequences. If the centre closes, we will be left with nothing, but we will see.

I invite him to reconsider his decision in order to keep this cultural centre open.

National Film Board
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham
Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I have told the House a number of times already that this government understands the importance of arts and culture in Canada, which is why this government has invested heavily in that sector.

Unfortunately, the NDP and the Liberals voted against all those investments. I hope that, in the future, the NDP will vote for our bills in order to support our artists.

We will always support our artists. We will always support communities across this country that want to join with us in investing in arts and culture because we understand how important it is to the Canadian economy.

We will continue to do that because we are going to focus like a laser on jobs and the economy. We hope the opposition will join us in doing that.

National Film Board
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government had a funny way of showing its support for artists in Canada when it cut both the NFB and Telefilm in the budget, including Mediatheque cinema in Toronto, which has had more than half a million visitors viewing more than 10,000 Canadian-made films, important films, films that tell the stories at the heart of who we are.

People make these films to share with Canadians and then the Conservatives close the cinemas that show the films. What kind of cultural policy is this?

Will the government reverse these absolutely senseless cuts?

National Film Board
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham
Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the NDP has a problem here. Every single time we have moved forward with our economic action plan to invest in arts and culture, those members vote against it. When we support cutting taxes for families, they vote against it. When we support our scientists, our communities, they vote against it. Whether it is on resources, arts and culture or tax cuts for families, they vote against it. Anything that will create wealth in this economy, they vote against it.

We are very proud of the investments we have made in arts and culture, some of the highest levels of funding in Canadian history. The only thing we know for sure is that, no matter what we do, the NDP will vote against it.

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, cutting culture and spying on veterans. The Conservatives have a fine record, to be sure.

In terms of violations of veterans' privacy, we thought we had seen it all. But here we have a Department of Veterans Affairs' inquiry into privacy violations that is now under investigation itself for privacy violations.

The allegation has led to an investigation by the Privacy Commissioner.

Can the minister tell us why he is incapable of putting a stop to the continued violations of veterans' privacy?

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse
Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear. Our government believes that any breach of confidentiality is totally unacceptable. That is why we do not agree with the Jolicoeur report. We do agree with the Privacy Commissioner's report and that is why I have asked the staff in my department to co-operate fully with the commissioner during her investigation.

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, not only privacy issues are at stake at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Surprisingly, Sarah Atwood, a 90-year-old World War II veteran was denied access to Camp Hill. Ted Shiner, a 91-year-old veteran in Bedford, Nova Scotia, was denied VIP services just like 87-year-old Harry Gulkin of Outremont and Art Humphreys, who unfortunately passed away before he was able to get a lift to help him go up and down his stairs.

All these World War II veterans were denied benefits, but surprisingly the government found $700,000 to give to well-paid executive managers at DVA.

How can the minister possibly justify $700,000 to well-paid public servants and deny World War II heroes—

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans
Oral Questions

June 5th, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse
Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have invested billions of dollars so that our veterans have access to all the services and benefits to which they are entitled.

Of course, veterans must meet the criteria to become eligible for those programs. That is what our officials do. They are dedicated people. Thousands of public servants are working every day to assess each veteran's specific needs. I can tell you that they do a remarkable job. We can be proud of the public servants in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Their job is to look after a national treasure, our veterans themselves.