House of Commons Hansard #203 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rail.

Topics

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 totally in support of making sure EI is there for those who need it when they are eligible for it. That is the whole purpose of it; but to do that, we have to maintain the integrity of the system. That means rooting out fraud. That means going after people who are cheating the system and claiming taxpayer dollars to which they are not entitled. We do wish that the NDP would support us in rooting out these people, so that those who are entitled to EI, who are eligible, will have the funds there for them when they need it.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the recent changes to EI are another example how out of touch the Conservatives are with Canadians in the arts and culture sector. Instead of supporting them, they have left them out in the cold, and it is the young workers who are affected the most. Often they work contract to contract, and in between they are looking for the next job. That is how it works. That is what Conservatives do not understand. When will they stop characterizing all unemployed as the bad guys and start taking seriously the issues of work in the arts and culture sector?

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 well aware of the changes our government has made to support artists, to support those who work contract to contract. It is our government that brought in the EI special benefits made available to those workers on an opt-in basis. That was the first time this had ever happened, the first time these people could access sickness benefits, compassionate care benefits, parental leave when they are expecting and have had a child. It is our government that is standing up to support not only the arts but the artists as well.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the people protesting today are not a band of fraudsters. They are protesting in good faith to express their disagreement with the employment insurance reform.

People wonder why the Conservatives want to punish and even expel people from the resource regions. They are shocked that they have not been consulted and they are right to be shocked.

The minister will have a chance to consult them on February 27. Rather than call them “bad guys” and “fraudsters”, will she attend that meeting?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, no government does as much as ours when it comes to consulting Canadians before creating policies.

There is a shortage of workers with certain skills in this country. The changes to the employment insurance system include increased assistance and support to unemployed workers so that they can find another job, so that they can earn more money when they work than when they do not work.

We are here to help those people and their families. The NDP should support us in helping those families.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, Acadians have already been deported once, and the Conservatives will not be deporting them a second time. It is not true that they are going to be punished because they live in resource regions that depend on seasonal work.

Let us get one thing straight: this reform punishes honest workers. And honest workers are not "bad guys", as the minister said. They are people who support their families. Even the Conservative members from the Atlantic provinces say that this reform is an insult to workers.

Why does the minister not get out of her office and go and see what is going on in the field? I invite her to come to Caraquet and to—

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the employment insurance system is available for full-time and seasonal workers.

Employment insurance will continue to be there for workers in the regions that depend on the resource sector, but they are still responsible for making a reasonable effort to find another job during the seasons when they do not work. If they cannot find a job, employment insurance will be available.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week I asked the minister a question on behalf of the people who have had their personal information exposed by her department.

These people want to know when the last time was that her department can account for the stolen hard drive. Now she has had last week and the weekend to work on this, and those impacted are sick and tired of the talking points: that it is totally unacceptable, that she takes this very seriously and that she is taking measures.

I have a simple question. When was the last time the minister's department can account for the lost hard drive?

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it is true that this loss of information by the department is totally unacceptable. It was unavoidable. It is not acceptable, and it is not acceptable to treat that lightly as the hon. member is trying to do.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development has the floor.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have instructed the department to overhaul all the systems, all the processes they have regarding the protection of Canadians' information, so that this sort of thing will not and cannot happen again.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, today the Conference Board rated Canada's performance on income inequality as “significantly below average”.

Clearly we have a lot of work to do. Last June the House passed my private member's motion that gave the finance committee one year to conduct an in-depth study of income inequality. That was eight months ago, and the study has not yet been commenced.

Will the Conservatives accept the will of this House and allow and support the finance committee to do an in-depth study on income inequality and how we should tackle it?

Poverty
Oral Questions

February 4th, 2013 / 2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it is a little bit late for the Liberals to be showing an interest in this. Child poverty, under their reign, was over 18%. It is now under 8%.

Why; because of tax measures our government has tabled to raise people out of poverty. We have introduced several supports, the working income tax benefit, the child tax benefit, the child tax credit, the universal child care benefit.

We have cut taxes over 140 times, so that Canadians have more money in their pockets—in fact, over $3,000 on average per family to help raise them out of poverty.