House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was water.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, again, more self-congratulations, but no real help for unemployed young Canadians.

In Toronto, we are still witnessing rising joblessness with an unemployment rate that is higher than the national average. Toronto is home to a thriving tourism industry and many contract workers. However, without any consultations, Conservatives are ramming through EI changes that will hurt tourism and force workers in Canada's most expensive city to take a 30% pay cut.

Will the minister put the brakes on her reckless EI changes?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, what we want to put the brakes on is the member's reckless misunderstanding of the truth. We are working to help Canadians, whether they are in seasonal jobs, or other jobs or if they have lost their jobs to get back to work sooner. We are providing them with information about jobs of which they may not be aware. We will help them get the skills they need to apply for the jobs and keep them.

We will also ensure that anyone who works part-time, someone who is unemployed and on EI, will always be better off working than just being on EI.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, while we know the opposition members vote against food safety funding at every opportunity they get, our government is committed to food safety. Canadian families want to know that when they go to the grocery store, their food is safe. Consumers want more diverse foods than ever before and technology is constantly changing the way food is processed.

Could the parliamentary secretary please explain what the government is doing to modernize our food safety system and to continue to keep Canadian families safe?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Crowfoot for his hard work on food safety for Canadians.

Our government is committed to strengthening food safety for Canadian families and the safe food for Canadians act would create a more consistent inspection regime and would implement tougher penalties for those who would risk food safety. Bob Kingston, the president of the union representing food inspectors, says that the government is “taking the best of each piece and putting it under one roof”.

I ask that the opposition to put politics aside and join with our government and with consumers in supporting safe food for Canadians.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, we are shocked to see the extent the military's public relations machine is being used to protect the military instead of helping the public and the family understand the facts of the 2008 suicide of Afghanistan veteran Stuart Langridge. His family members became increasingly frustrated with the lack of information from the investigation, which was supposed to be provided to them. They even had to wait over a year to learn that there was a suicide note addressed to them.

Why is so much energy and effort put into a communications strategy to hide the truth when the efforts should have been put into finding out what went wrong in the tragic death of this soldier?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it was a tragic death. The loss of anyone, any soldier or any Canadian to suicide is a tragedy. We have expressed our condolences to the Fynes family. I have met with Corporal Langridge's mother. In fact, we have put additional funding into the Military Police Complaints Commission process, which is ongoing. As the member would know, there are funds there, over $2.3 million, to ensure commission counsel and additional funding for the Fynes family into this affair.

Being a lawyer, the member would and should know that this process is ongoing and we should wait for the result.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the amount of time and energy put into this communications strategy by the military to hide the facts as to what happened to one of its own is deeply worrying. The lack of transparency goes straight to the top as the Minister of National Defence is still refusing to release all documents in this case. This is looking more and more like a coordinated effort to damage control, rather than helping to get at the truth.

When will the Minister of National Defence stop trying to combat negative media coverage and instead focus on combatting the lack of transparency in his own department?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member knows that the entire premise of his question is false. He repeatedly puts false information before Parliament and before Canadians.

With respect to protecting clients, the member also should know, being a lawyer, that the Supreme Court has specifically spoken out on this issue. The Blood decision of 2008 said, “Solicitor-client privilege is fundamental to the proper functioning of our legal system”. The decision went on to say, “Without that assurance, access to justice and the quality of justice in this country would be severely compromised”.

The member is the one who is compromising the truth by repeatedly putting false information forward.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, despite their denials, it would appear that the Conservatives want to abandon the United Nations. When the United Nations points out that there is a lack of access to food for Canadians who are poor, what do the Conservatives do? They throw insults at the rapporteur. When the UN flags government responsibility to prevent torture, Conservatives make vague threats about funding. The Conservatives are in such a rush to bash the UN, they are tripping all over themselves.

Will the minister tell Canadians this? Are the Conservatives planning to pull out of the UN, or are they just playing to their base?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me answer that question from my friend from Ottawa Centre very directly. The answer is no. From time to time, we have concerns about actions of certain UN agencies, but by and large we have a very good relationship with the UN.

Canada has been a strong supporter of the Special Envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, both diplomatically and financially. We have been a strong supporter of the work of Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General, in her work on humanitarian relief. We have been a strong supporter of the United Nations World Food Programme. Canada is the second largest supporter of the excellent work that program does.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish we were supportive of all the institutions in the UN, even those that need work.

The problem is that it is really unconscionable the Conservatives would play politics with our role in the UN. That is what is happening. It is not just words and insults; it is actually actions. We have seen the Conservatives engineer a steady decrease in our support for UN peacekeeping, as an example. Over 100,000 troops right now and personnel are working in 16 conflict zones, but less than 50 are Canadians. Peacekeepers disarm former combatants and have made it possible for millions of people to exercise their voting rights. That is what the UN stands for.

Why are the Conservatives standing against it?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there certainly has not been any change in that policy between our government and the previous government. Canada does financially support a lot of missions in Africa by other African countries so they will be African-led and African-sponsored missions.

We have, from time to time, had concern with some UN bodies and some of the actions they have taken. However, the true enemies of the UN are those who sit quietly, watching the decline. We should speak up for the UN and the important values that it represents. When it does not reach the full expectations that taxpayers and Canadians have, we should not be afraid to stand up for what is right, and we never will on this side of the House.

International Trade
Oral Questions

June 8th, 2012 / 11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, as of March 15, the United States has implemented the full range of its free trade agreement with South Korea. The minister should know this is one of Canada's most important and established markets for Canadian pork and beef. The government talks of opening markets, but continues to allow established markets to slip away.

Why is the government failing our beef and pork industry in a market that is worth $1 billion and when will it stand up, level the playing field and negotiate for the benefit of Canadians' hog and beef industry?

International Trade
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, our government has been hard at work, opening new doors for Canadian farmers and Canadian manufacturers. We recently negotiated further steps toward opening market access to South Korea on beef. Our government remains confident that this decision will also help create a favourable climate which will lead to a deeper trade relationship with South Korea, a priority market for Canada.

International Trade
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

And every single day we fall further behind in that market, Mr. Speaker.

The Minister of International Trade, though, attempts to leave the impression of support for supply management. However, impressions do not cover the true facts. The minister fails to answer whether he supports the three pillars that make supply management succeed and he has cut supply management from providing advice on the global trade advisory committee that has been created.

Why has the minister appointed established critics to that trade advisory committee and left supply management out?