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 criminal.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, these changes are meant to clarify the responsibilities of employment insurance claimants. One of their responsibilities is to make a responsible effort to look for another job.

Employment insurance exists to help these people and to provide support while they look for a new job. We are helping these people find jobs, but if they cannot find one, EI will obviously be there for them, as always.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows full well that her EI changes will force out-of-work Canadians to accept a pay cut of up to 30% in their next job, driving down wages and likely pushing some people into poverty.

The minister wants unemployed workers to simply accept low skill, low wage jobs or risk losing their benefits altogether. These are benefits that the workers paid for, not the government.

Jobs are scarce in many parts of our country. Why are the Conservatives punishing Canadians for the government's failure to manage the economy and create decent jobs?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, in fact, there are skills and labour shortages in many parts of this country, including in areas of high unemployment. We are trying to help connect those who are out of work with the jobs that are available in their geographic areas and their areas of expertise so that they and their families will always be better off when they are working than when they are not. We are trying to help connect Canadians with jobs. I wish the NDP would help us help them.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister can try to sugar-coat these reforms, but the resource regions are not buying it.

Workers from all over the Gaspé and New Brunswick are very worried. Up until now, the minister has refused to meet with representatives for the workers or for the economic sectors affected.

Will the minister stay in her ivory tower or will she visit these places to see the full impact of her reform?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the NDP needs to stop fearmongering.

We have said it many times: claimants have a responsibility to make an effort to find work. However, if they cannot find a new job in their community and in their field of expertise, EI will be there for them, as always.

We are trying to help people find a job.They will receive much more money if they are working than if they are not working.

Regional Development
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, thousands of people throughout eastern Quebec and Atlantic Canada have mobilized against the Conservatives because they know an attack on their communities when they see one. It is blatant and it is not just EI.

Conservatives allowed Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation to give millions of dollars for a marina with little local benefit but strong Conservative ties while singling out ACOA for cuts. When will the minister stand up for Atlantic communities and stop the short-sighted Conservative cuts to regional development?

Regional Development
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Conservative

Bernard Valcourt Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, if the hon. member cares to look at the budget of ACOA, he will find that all programs, either for community development or business development, are fully and solidly funded. As a matter of fact, we have turned down no application for lack of funds. We continue to help small and medium-size businesses to create jobs in Atlantic Canada. By the way, they are taking advantage of the huge naval shipbuilding initiative which will create thousands of jobs all across Atlantic Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism keeps himself busy with photo ops and junkets, he ignores the serious problems in his department. Under his watch, the department is in chaos and does not have the proper resources to process applications. Nineteen regional offices have closed. Front-line services across Canada have been slashed. Visa offices have closed abroad. Citizenship processing times can reach over five years.

When will the minister stop focusing on rhetoric and start improving immigration services?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the member is entirely wrong.

Since coming to office, this government has admitted 1.6 million new permanent residents, an average of 256,000 per year, which is 16% more than was the case for the 13 years under the previous Liberal government. We have welcomed 1.2 million new Canadian citizens to our national family, an average of 176,000 new citizens every year, which again is more than under the Liberals.

When we came to office, we inherited from the Liberals a backlog of 840,000 people waiting eight years for a decision on their permanent residency applications. I am pleased to announce, thanks to the measures taken by this government, which were opposed by the Liberals, that we have almost cut in half the backlogs and the wait times.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Oral Questions

January 29th, 2013 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have a quick update on the lost student loan files.

First, over half a million Canadians had their private information stolen. Next, the minister offered to pay for coverage that is already free to Canadians in eight out of ten provinces. Then, the company providing that service said that the protections are not enough. Now we find the government's own Financial Consumer Agency advises to use at least twice the level of protection as a minimum.

Canadians are once again left paying for this government's incompetence. When is the minister going to find a real solution to this very real problem?

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, without doubt, this loss of information was absolutely and completely unacceptable. That is why we brought in the Privacy Commissioner. That is why we brought in the RCMP to investigate. Fortunately, there is no evidence so far that any of the data has been fraudulently used.

We are going one step further. We are helping protect the credit ratings and information of these individuals. We will be doing so for six years at no cost to them.

To prevent further episodes of this nature, I have instructed significant change to the way that data are handled by the department so that no one else has to be at this risk.

Consumer Protection
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Finance was out there breaking ethics rules lobbying the CRTC in his capacity as minister, thousands of regular Canadians were also out there trying to make their voices heard about a new unfair billing practice. Over 10,000 people have already signed a petition against forcing Canadians to pay a fee just to receive their bill in the mail, the way they always have.

It is a simple question. When will the Conservatives stand up and protect Canadians from being ripped off?

Consumer Protection
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have the code of conduct that all of them signed on to. I know the NDP voted against it. I know the Retail Council of Canada was in favour of it. I know that consumer groups were in favour of it and that small businesses were in favour of it, but the leader opposite laughs at all of them because he does not care what their views are about protecting consumers in Canada.

That is the purpose of the code. The code functions well. It is being used across the country.

Consumer Protection
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a code that is not working if one is a senior. It is the most vulnerable being hit here: seniors, people on fixed incomes, people with little or no access to the Internet. The CRTC has said the fee is “an increased burden on consumers on limited incomes”.

Instead of going to bat for their big business buddies and their insider friends who are well connected, when will the Conservatives stand up and protect Canadian seniors from this ripoff?

Consumer Protection
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is speaking of banking fees, there are some differences in the fees being charged and some changes that are being made by some of the large Canadian financial institutions. I welcome consumers across Canada, as informed Canadians, to make sure that they exercise choice not only between banks, but also credit unions and other financial institutions in Canada.