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House of Commons Hansard #142 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was prices.

Topics

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question allows me to talk about the good work that we are doing in terms of building the strategy for older workers. It is a priority for our provincial colleagues, as it is for Quebec. We are working closely together with the provinces, and in particular with Quebec, to currently analyze the evaluations of the older worker pilot projects in existence.

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, time and time again, the minister postpones making a decision. Today, we have on the Hill representatives and workers from various affected sectors; they come mainly from the Saguenay, Huntingdon, Montmagny—L'Islet and Magog areas.

Will the minister take advantage of their being here, on the Hill, to finally announce to older workers who lose their jobs that she will be implementing a real income support program for them, immediately?

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, we are working with the provinces. There is a working group established with Quebec. In fact, it is meeting again today and will meet again in November to look at the experience of and what is taking place with respect to the older worker pilot project. It is something that we take very seriously. It is a top priority for Human Resources.

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 26, 2005, the paper mill in Port-Alfred ceased operations for good. Many people have seen their EI benefits run out in recent weeks and are now finding themselves without an income, which leaves them with no choice but to go on welfare.

What is the minister waiting for to tell these unemployed people who have paid EI premiums all their lives that she intends to implement an income support program for older workers who are the victims of layoffs?

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, let me say again that developing an older worker strategy is a top priority for this government and for Human Resources. In fact, we have invested about $55 million in these pilot programs to build that strategy. We are working closely with the provinces. There is a working group established with the province of Quebec. We are taking a look at the experience coming out of these worker pilot projects to make sure that we create the right program for older workers.

Older WorkersOral Questions

October 26th, 2005 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Boire Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, workers are seeking concrete action from the minister. In the last election campaign, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs came and promised textile workers in Huntingdon that her government would be putting the POWA back in place . Since the minister made that commitment, in excess of 850 more jobs have been lost in my riding of Beauharnois—Salaberry. Many of the affected workers are no longer receiving employment insurance benefits and they are feeling abandoned.

What is the government waiting for to honour its commitments to older workers?

Older WorkersOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, let me say again that the older worker pilot projects will form the basis of our older worker strategy. There is a working group established with Quebec. That group is meeting today. In fact, we have increased the funding to the older worker pilot projects by $5 million, which will go to benefit Quebec.

We continue to work on this strategy. The group is going to meet again in November. It is something we take very seriously as a top priority because we want to make sure we develop the right strategy for older workers.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to the Liberal Premier of Ontario, the Minister of Indian Affairs is missing in action throughout the crisis in Kashechewan.

Late yesterday, the minister meekly announced that the drinking water was now free of contamination. A few hours later, the Government of Ontario commenced an emergency evacuation of a thousand women and children for medical care. Where was this minister? Where was this government?

The Prime Minister of Canada is responsible for aboriginal Canadians. Why is he missing in action? When will he stand up and prevent our citizens from living in third world squalor?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday I visited the community of Kashechewan. The residents asked me to provide good water, to provide people to work in the system to make it work. They asked me for long term and not band-aid solutions. We are working together with them on all those things. That is where I have been.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Prime Minister this simple question on behalf of all Canadians who have been sickened by the squalor of Kashechewan. The reality for these Canadian citizens is third world squalor, filth and poverty, sewage from their taps, their children with scabies, and a thousand women and children in medical care.

I have read the minister's so-called action plan from yesterday. He wants to continue the boil water advisory and initiate a study.

How bad does it have to get before the Prime Minister is prepared to intervene and take control of this department?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we are delivering the water, we are working on the system and we are working on the long term solutions that the community of Kashechewan deserves.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are pleased that the Prime Minister finally sat down with the families of the four fallen RCMP officers, but they told me last night that they really did not get any clear answers.

The families have a list of very specific and reasonable proposals: one, scrap the marijuana bill; two, reform the parole system; and three, mandatory prison sentences for serious drugs like methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and for violent crimes.

When will the Prime Minster act on these requests on behalf of all victimized families and Canadians?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as we indicated to the families, all the important issues which they raised are going to be the subject of our agenda at the federal-provincial-territorial meeting of ministers of justice.

We also indicated an approach with respect to specific initiatives regarding the concerns they had, and which we share, which we will begin to introduce tomorrow in the House of Commons.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, we need some clear answers and commitments from the Prime Minister, not more “well, we will think about it.”

Either the Prime Minister is going to scrap the marijuana bill, Bill C-17, or he is not. Either he is going to reform the parole system or he is not. Either he is going to take real action on crystal meth and marijuana grow ops or he is not. Either he is going to adopt mandatory prison sentences or he is not.

What is it going to be: real justice reform or just more talk?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows, if he respects the parliamentary process, that the bill with respect to marijuana is right now before Parliament and before committees.

With regard to the issue of mandatory minimums, we indicated, as I have said, that we will be introducing a package which will have new offences, sentence enhancements, protection, and more effective law enforcement.

We are concerned with the very issues with which those members are concerned and we share this with them: the protection of public safety and the protection of all our citizens.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government has placed great emphasis on its responsibility to protect our children. An example of this is the fact that the first bill we tabled following the last election was Bill C-2 for the protection of children and other vulnerable persons.

Can the Minister of Justice please tell us when we can plan to see that bill come into force?

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the bill, which received royal assent on July 20, which gives us one of the strongest pieces of child protection legislation in the world and which the opposition supported, will come into effect and into force in two phases.

The provisions respecting the protection of children from neglect, abuse and all forms of sexual exploitation, including child pornography, will come into effect on November 30, including provisions regarding voyeurism. Provisions with respect to facilitating the testimony of children and other vulnerable victims and witnesses will come into effect on January 2.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, after 13 days of silence from the federal government, the province has had to step in and take command of the Kashechewan crisis.

I have been in Kashechewan and I will say in this House on the record that Health Canada officials and Indian Affairs officials gambled recklessly with the lives of the people of the James Bay coast.

I am asking a simple question. I do not want BS. I do not want spin. I want the minister to stand up today and tell the people of Kashechewan that they are going to get a new community, 50 units per year until a new community is born, and if he cannot do that, then he can just sit down and let the province do the work.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, we are looking at all the options that are available, including locating housing outside the diked area. The reality is that the evacuation was the responsibility of Emergency Measures Ontario and the Government of Canada is performing its responsibilities by paying for the entire evacuation.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, this week I had the privilege to present to the United Nations, on behalf of the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament and Mayors for Peace, a joint call for cooperation in creating a nuclear weapons free world. No progress was made on nuclear disarmament issues at the non-proliferation treaty review in May, nor at the UN world summit in September.

On the eve of international disarmament week, Canada caved in to the Bush administration and suddenly withdrew its sponsorship of a resolution aimed at breaking the disarmament conference deadlock. Will the Prime Minister explain Canada's cowardly conduct, which left co-sponsors in the lurch, killing this crucial--

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I was very clear when I was in Geneva last May that Canada cannot accept that for seven years in a row we have not been able to develop a work plan for the conference on disarmament. This has been a major concern for our country. We have been looking into a number of options and possibilities.

It was after consultations with like-minded countries that we took the decision not to sponsor that resolution at this time, but we want to develop a work plan for the disarmament conference. It is a very important priority of ours, but there are other ways of addressing the issue.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, we knew that public financial contributions to the Liberal Party were dropping drastically. However, that party is doing very well with lawyers. Indeed, 60% of those who were appointed to the bench had contributed to the Liberal Party fund in the past.

Why does the minister refuse to implement a true reform of the judicial appointment process, if it is not because the current process is already working very well for the Liberal Party and its friends?

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the current appointment process is an independent one. It was put in place by the opposition. We have already reformed this process a few times; it is a sound process in theory, but it could be improved in practice.

The request to establish a code of ethics for the members of that committee, a letter confirming the mandate, and some guidelines: these are all steps that can improve a system that is sound in theory.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice refuses to admit what is abundantly obvious to every other Canadian: that this Liberal government systematically screens judicial applicants for their Liberal credentials and donations.

Only a fraction of a per cent of Canadians donate to the Liberal Party, yet according to a study by the Montreal Gazette , fully 60% of candidates named to the bench by the government after the 2000 election donated to the Liberal Party.

Does the minister honestly expect Canadians to believe that these donations had no connection to these appointments?