House of Commons Hansard #214 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was municipalities.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister confirmed that each of her inspectors must cut half a million dollars in benefits and that her employees are evaluated based on their ability to make cuts to EI benefits.

This means that the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development misled Canadians and the House, since the revelations in Le Devoir confirmed the existence of these quotas, which the minister calls “performance objectives”.

If an unemployed worker does not tell the truth, he loses his benefits. What will happen to the minister?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are working to ensure that employment insurance will be there for the people who follow the rules and pay their premiums. Unfortunately, the NDP only cares about people who cheat or defraud the system, people they call victims.

If the opposition prevents us from identifying these individuals, the only people who will lose are Canadians who follow the rules.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives accept no ministerial accountability, no Senate accountability and have no respect for the unemployed. Yesterday, the minister would not even use the word “unemployed”. She called it “transitioning to another job”. She did not call them “quotas”. She called them “performance objectives”. All this from the same minister who called the EI program “lucrative”. Playing semantic games does not answer the legitimate concerns of Canadians.

When will she take accountability for her department's quotas, targets and objectives and finally admit that she misled the House?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are working to ensure that EI is there for individuals who play by the rules and who pay into the system. Sadly, the New Democrats are only worried about people who are trying to cheat the system, people they call victims.

The only people who will lose if the opposition prevents us from rooting out those who would cheat the EI system are Canadians who play by the rules.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, to say that the employment insurance reform will have no impact on workers or on regional economies is completely false.

According to Martin Prescott from Saint-Barthélemy, the reform will impoverish the Lanaudière region and many people will have to move away and look for work elsewhere.

The reform is a direct attack on qualified workers in seasonal industries. This will have a terrible impact on productivity, because businesses in the regions will lose their competitive advantage.

Why is the minister attacking the productivity of seasonal businesses and regional economies?

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 have repeated several times, if there is no work for seasonal employees in their region in their field, employment insurance will be there, as always.

To help them find a job, we are offering an enhanced job alert service as well as help learning how look for work. The employment insurance system will be there for the unemployed if there is no other work.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives imposed quotas because they think that all unemployed workers are fraudsters. That is why the minister calls them “bad guys”. HRSDC employees are being forced to make honest people who happen to be unemployed look like fraudsters. The minister is even sending her employees to knock on people's doors to spy on them and intimidate them.

What does the minister have planned next—electronic bracelets? Why will the minister not simply cancel her reform instead of causing so much stress for these poor people who are simply trying to find a job? What will be next—

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Human Resources.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are helping people find jobs, but if there are no jobs in their field in their region, employment insurance will be there. However, it is very important to protect the integrity of the EI system, which workers pay into, in order to ensure that the system will be there for all eligible unemployed workers.

Food Safety
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, last year the Minister of Finance blamed the deficit for cuts to vital programs like food safety, but that did not stop him from doubling his own advertising budget. This year he is at it again. According to the main estimates, the increase in expenses for the finance ministry belongs to “government advertising”, with an increase of $6.8 million. These same estimates show a cut to food safety of $30 million.

Why is it a Conservative priority to waste tax dollars on Conservative propaganda instead of investing in vital programs like food safety for Canadians?

Food Safety
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, of course, we do all of that. The issue, as the Prime Minister indicated earlier, is our obligation to communicate with Canadians about programs and services that are available to them.

I would indicate to the hon. member that only 0.03% of government spending is used for advertising, and communication of all sorts. Last year, our advertising budget was $83.3 million, which is well below the last full year under the former Liberal government of $111 million.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

February 26th, 2013 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lise St-Denis Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the federal government, the staunch defender of public protection, decided to cut the budget for public safety on aboriginal reserves.

These cuts translate into a reduced police presence in some communities that find themselves in difficult circumstances because of their remote location and because of rampant crime.

Did the government account for the social costs of this decision in its main estimates?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, while policing is primarily a provincial responsibility, the federal government has long invested in first nations policing to help keep communities safe. A funding decision will be made in the near future regarding this matter. However, I can say that spending on first nations policing has increased substantially under this government, as opposed to that government when the Liberals were in power.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the Conservatives are cutting $270 million from foreign affairs, including human rights programs. That is on top of eliminating $11 million for Rights and Democracy, protecting human rights abroad.

However, it has increased $5 million to create a new bureaucracy for only religious rights. Why the shell game? What about other human rights? What about the deadly attacks on women and the LGBTQ community, or does this government not care about their concerns?

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is quite regrettable that the member opposite chooses to take the view of affairs that way. This government has made human rights the cornerstone of our foreign policy. Promoting Canadian values is something that is tremendously important. No country has spoken more loudly on human rights, religious freedom, or on the important rights that women and gays have right around the world, than this government.

We are very proud of our Office of Religious Freedom. It is a fundamental freedom. It promotes pluralism, which is a fundamental Canadian value, and we make no apologies for standing up for this important human right.