House of Commons Hansard #199 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was immigration.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, actually of the money that was announced in the last budget, virtually none of it went into classrooms. Even kids get this.

On Valentine's Day school children across Canada will take part in Have a Heart Day, demanding equal funding for on-reserve schools. On-reserve schools receive nearly one-third less per student in government funding than provincial schools.

Why will the minister not agree that the status quo must end now and equal funding must be provided for children on reserve?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to structural reforms. We cannot throw money at a problem. We need to make structural reforms.

In December I launched an intensive consultation process that will take place with first nations parents, students, educational leaders and educators from coast to coast to coast. The first of these sessions took place last week. I have written to every community to invite them to these sessions. Their input will be critical to the development of the national first nations education act.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are fed up with the status quo.

During the January 11 meeting with first nations, the Prime Minister said he would put someone in cabinet in charge of aboriginal issues to ensure that promises made during the meeting are kept.

Can the Prime Minister tell us who he put in charge of this file and whether that person will report to Parliament on progress with the talks?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, as a result of the January 11 meeting at which the Prime Minister and I met with first nation leaders to discuss economic development treaties and comprehensive claims, there was a commitment for a high-level dialogue on the treaty relationship and comprehensive claims, enhanced oversight from the Prime Minister's Office and the Privy Council Office and meeting with the National Chief in the upcoming weeks to review next steps. We believe that working together with first nations is the best way to achieve our shared objective.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in November 2011, the House voted to approve a resolution that said we need to bring safe, clean, running water to all communities on an urgent basis. That was in November 2011, but since 2006 when the Conservative government took office, there has been a 23% increase in the number of first nation reserves that are living under boil water advisories, from 95 communities to 117. The problem the government faces is that the facts on the ground do not match the rhetoric in this place. That is the reason for the skepticism among first nations.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has made massive investments in first nations water, precisely to address these problems that had been ignored for so long. As always, the Liberal Party and the other opposition parties voted against these investments, but they are important and there is also legislation before the House on this specific matter, and I would encourage all the opposition parties to give that legislation their support.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is currently no legislation before the House of Commons about the resources needed to fix this problem.

In 2011, 73% of first nations water systems were categorized as risky. That was not in 2006, 2007 or 2008. That was in 2011. So the problem remains. The facts on the ground do not match the Prime Minister's rhetoric.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there were problems with water systems long before the Conservative government took office, and we have made massive investments to deal with those problems. Unfortunately, the Liberal Party voted against those investments. There is currently legislation before Parliament on this specific matter, and I would encourage the opposition to support that legislation.

Parliamentary Budget Officer
Oral Questions

January 29th, 2013 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is clear after the Minister of Finance's attack on the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Mr. Kevin Page, that it is the Prime Minister's intention to turn the taxpayers' watchdog into his personal lapdog. That is the plan the government has.

The government having fired Marty Cheliak, Pat Stogran, Linda Keen, Peter Tinsley, Paul Kennedy, Adrian Measner, Munir Sheikh, Steve Sullivan and Rémy Beauregard, why is the name of Kevin Page being added to this list of people who are being thrown out of the bus because they had an independent opinion about something?

Parliamentary Budget Officer
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course it was this government that created the Parliamentary Budget Officer to ensure that Parliament has independent and non-partisan information on the financial position of the government. We are committed to that and want to make sure in future that the office does credible and non-partisan work.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Genest-Jourdain Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, after decades of inaction, it is time to walk the talk.

Over a year ago, the Prime Minister committed to build a new relationship with aboriginal peoples, but he has not kept this promise. If the Conservatives had honoured their commitments, there would be no Idle No More.

On January 11, the Prime Minister once again committed to begin high-level dialogue, but nothing has happened since.

Can the Prime Minister tell us what meaningful action will result from his meeting with aboriginal leaders?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of the concrete steps we have taken to improve living conditions and economic opportunities for aboriginal communities. We have built or renovated hundreds of schools, built thousands of homes, invested in safe drinking water and introduced measures to create economic opportunities. While we have made progress, we recognize work still needs to be done. We will continue to work with aboriginal leaders who choose to work with the government to create jobs and economic opportunities.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the Conservatives have not honoured their commitments to aboriginal peoples. If they had done so, there would be no protests in the streets here in Canada or around the world. Nor would there be an emergency meeting with aboriginal leaders.

In aboriginal communities today, one in four children lives in poverty. The suicide rate among young aboriginals is five to seven times higher than among young Canadians.

What exactly does the Prime Minister plan to do to address those two specific problems?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, as I have mentioned, we continue to work with willing partners on shared priorities including education, economic development and access to safe drinking water. Our government will continue to take action because we believe that first nations deserve the same opportunities as all Canadians.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, since he refused to discuss it yesterday, let me remind the Minister of Finance of yesterday's bad economic news: a downgrading of the credit rating of the major six Canadian banks, and today another report on the real Conservative record. Corporations now get a much better tax deal than everyone else. Conservative policies mean corporate taxes go down and household debt goes up.

When will the Minister of Finance stop putting his well-connected friends ahead of the rest of Canadians?