House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was centre.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Liberal Party is wrong.

The reality is that the biggest increase in transfers to the provinces in my lifetime, and perhaps in his as well, has come under this government.

It is an example of the commitment to strengthening our federation that we have seen the biggest increase in transfers to the provinces. We have delivered on our commitment, and we have also done it in a way that allows us to deliver a balanced budget.

When Liberals look for a way to balance the budget, what do they do? They slash transfers to the provinces. I think he remembers that from when he was an NDP premier.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on another subject, the chairman of the Conservative brain trust, the member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, at an interview that he gave to the Meaford Independent apparently has suggested that it is time for Canada to withdraw from the United Nations.

I would like to ask the government House leader, has it really come to this on that side of the House? Has it really come to the point where the government is seriously contemplating withdrawing from the United Nations? Is that now the international policy of Canada?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our foreign policy is a values-based foreign policy based on those fundamental values we share of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, values we seek to promote around the world, values that we have promoted through our participation in a United Nations-sanctioned mission in Afghanistan, where we have helped to advance those values that we have delivered on, and a United Nations-sanctioned mission in Libya led by a Canadian, Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard.

We will continue to work to see that those values are advanced at every opportunity, including trying to see them more advanced at the United Nations.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources is finally being honest. There will be no consultations with Canadians about the massive cuts that the Conservatives are planning to make to the employment insurance program. There will be no consultations about changes that will leave thousands of unemployed workers empty-handed. There will be no consultations about changes that will force even more young people to leave their communities and that will deal a harsh blow to seasonal businesses.

Why is the minister afraid to consult people about these changes?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but I have to correct all of the erroneous, unfounded statements that the member made.

The changes that we are making to the employment insurance system are the result of consultations and what we have heard from employers and workers across Canada over the past few months. We need a system that is equitable and fair. Claimants need to understand their responsibilities.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, that is pretty pathetic.

The consultations that the minister was talking about as recently as last week were actually discussions that took place in cabinet. They were not public consultations. If she wants public consultations, she should go to the Atlantic provinces or talk to people in her Conservative colleague's riding of Kootenay—Columbia. These changes to employment insurance will affect millions of Canadians. Why insult them? Why not consult them?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, the NDP is the party that keeps insulting Canadians. We are the ones who want to help them find available jobs that suit their skills in their own regions. We are going to remove the obstacles that prevent unemployed people from working. There are many such obstacles in the system.

However, we know that there is a labour shortage across Canada, and we want to connect unemployed workers with available jobs. That is what we are going to do.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, no one is buying the idea that muzzled Conservative MPs are a substitute for genuine public consultation. The minister did not even bother to consult with premiers.

Today, Atlantic Canadian premiers are meeting in P.E.I., and the Conservatives' reckless proposed changes to EI are at the top of their agenda. Communities across Atlantic Canada rely on seasonal business and some of these communities are already struggling.

Will the minister now agree to be accountable and work with the premiers before she makes these changes to EI?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as I said to all of my Atlantic minister counterparts, I am open to hearing their concerns and taking those into consideration.

I have to tell the member that the representatives of people from right across the country have been informing me of their constituents' views. What we are trying to do here is help connect Canadians with the jobs that are available, because right now we have a shortage of skills and labour across the country. We want to help connect people with the jobs. Why does the NDP not? We want to ensure that people are better off working than they are on EI.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, punishing out-of-work Canadians is not the same thing as helping them. Right now, 40% of unemployed Canadians even qualify for employment insurance. With these changes it would mean that even fewer Canadians would qualify. More young people are going to leave their communities. Our businesses are going to be undercut and our communities are going to suffer.

Why are the Conservatives refusing to hear from the very people who would be forced to take low wages and work outside their fields? Why will the minister not stop hiding from Canadians, and when will she actually talk to the people who will be affected?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. Let us get the facts on the record. Of those people who work and pay into employment insurance, almost 85% of them can collect when they lose their job through no fault of their own. The hon. member is misrepresenting those numbers.

We want to help those Canadians who have been unfortunate enough to lose their jobs connect with jobs in their area within their range of skills so that they and their families are better off. We are making changes to the EI system to ensure that when people work they are better off than when they do not.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, either the minister does not understand or she does not want to understand. Lobsters are not trapped on Yonge Street in Toronto. They are trapped in Chaleur Bay. It is not the workers who are seasonal; it is the work.

The Conservatives are insulting workers in Atlantic Canada and in the seasonal industries. The Conservatives want the money, like the Liberals before them, in order to pay for limousines.

When will the minister consult the provinces and talk with the Atlantic premiers?

The Atlantic premiers do not want these changes. When will the minister and the Conservatives do their job?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, what we want is to continue to create jobs. Our government's priority is economic growth and job creation. For that, employers need to have workers with the necessary skills or their businesses will collapse.

For there to be economic growth, there need to be workers. The obstacles preventing them from working need to be eliminated, and that is precisely what we will do. If workers have more work, they will earn more money and that will be better for them, for their families and for their province.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

June 6th, 2012 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the attacks on Atlantic Canada and the fisheries continue. Today we hear that no less than six Department of Fisheries and Oceans offices will be closing in Newfoundland and Labrador. These offices provide front line support for the fishing industry on the east coast. They cannot be replaced by a 1-800 number.

When will the minister stand up and do his job, stop these closures that are harming not only the economy but the communities that depend on the fishery?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated many times, it should be no surprise to the member opposite that we are trying to find efficiencies in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. We are doing that. We are not only making it more efficient, we are saving taxpayer dollars, and we will continue to do that. We think that is the best way to operate.