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House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, that is completely disingenuous. The government has moved to make sure that seniors get more support than they have ever received.

We have put in place a secretary of state for seniors, who has done an outstanding job of touring this country hearing from seniors and representing their point of view at the cabinet table. We have a national panel on seniors' issues. We have moved to put in place additional funding to combat elder abuse. We have lowered taxes so that 385,000 low income Canadians, many of them seniors, no longer have to pay federal income tax.

We are standing up for seniors, while all the Bloc can do is talk.

Pay EquityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is Pay Equity Day. Unlike female workers in Quebec, which has passed a proactive law to protect women against arbitrary employment decisions, female workers subject to federal laws are still waiting for similar legislation from the Conservative government.

Why does the Minister of Labour not use this day to tell women that he is planning to introduce a bill in the coming weeks?

Pay EquityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, Treasury Board, as the employer of the core public administration, is committed to the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in accordance with the Canadian Human Rights Act, and we will proceed in that direction.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

November 22nd, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, women also face inequalities when it comes to employment insurance.

A study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives showed that two out of three women who contribute to EI do not receive benefits when they lose their job. This study recommended that the number of hours needed to qualify for benefits be changed to 360 hours in the last 52 weeks.

Will the minister listen to this suggestion and show that she truly cares about the best interests of women?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the member should be careful about believing everything she reads. The fact is that 82% of women in the workforce today working full time can claim EI benefits, 97% can claim special benefits and 65% who are working part time can claim benefits, a far bigger number than for men.

The good news for men and women is that more of them are working today than at any point in our history. That is tremendous news.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, in his October 9 report, the Commissioner of Official Languages concluded that abolishing the court challenges program is not in keeping with the commitment made by the Government of Canada in 2005 in Part VII of the Official Languages Act. The Conservatives supported these amendments when they were in opposition.

Does the government intend to correct its mistake and restore in full the court challenges program?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, we are committed to promoting the linguistic duality of Canada. In the Speech from the Throne, we clearly stated that the action plan for Official Languages will have a second phase.

For his part, my colleague has chosen to do nothing on this issue.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question was on the court challenges program. It is not the first time the Conservatives have attempted to cancel it. They did so in the early nineties under Brian Mulroney.

Now, however, because the law has been strengthened, which they supported, we face the extraordinary situation of an officer of Parliament feeling compelled to seek intervenor status against the government.

Why will the Conservatives not listen to the advice of an officer of Parliament they nominated and who got unanimous support from Parliament?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I repeat that our government is committed to the country's linguistic duality. The 2007 budget set aside an additional $430 million to help minority language communities.

As the member knows full well, the matter is before the courts. I will not comment any further.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians do not understand why the Conservative government is making false statements about the violation of the Geneva Convention. Even the Prime Minister had the gall this week to contradict his own government's report on torture and juvenile detainees.

When children use denial as a substitute for shirking their responsibility, it might be forgivable but when a government uses denial to shirk its obligation to our country and our troops, it is indefensible.

When will the government simply come clean and tell us why we transferred juvenile detainees to torturers and how many?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, first let me say that the Canadian military, in fact all Canadians in Afghanistan are certainly meeting all their international obligations.

There has not been one single, solitary proven allegation of abuse of detainees, let alone juvenile detainees in Afghanistan.

The member likes to extrapolate on evidence. He has not been able to produce one solitary example. Rather than producing hogwash and hornswoggle, maybe he can bring some cold, hard facts instead of this torqued rhetoric.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, Senator McCarthy over there should get a grip. He is embarrassing Elmer and Karlheinz.

We are not talking about the detention conditions at the Kandahar base but about the conditions after detainees are transferred. We are not blaming the soldiers; we are blaming the government. The Conservative ministers are duty bound to respect international conventions. Their own officials are saying that there is torture, that there are child molesters and pedophiles in the prisons to which the detainees are transferred.

The minister's responsibility and duty is to explain why—

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The Minister of National Defence.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, more wild-eyed speculation and allegations without any factual basis whatsoever.

Canada has undertaken a very rigorous process of following up and monitoring as a result of this enhanced agreement, building on the flawed agreement that was left in place by the hon. member's government.

The hon. member continues to make these allegations without any evidence whatsoever, extrapolating that somehow Canadian soldiers might be complicit in war crimes against the Geneva Convention. That is disgusting.

The member should apologize and, while he is at it, he should apologize to the captain of team Canada.

Criminal CodeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, organized crime and rapidly evolving technologies are making identity theft easier than ever.

Yesterday, the Minister of Justice introduced legislation aimed at addressing this growing problem. Bill C-27 is the third in a series of new tackling community crime bills tabled by the justice minister in just three short days.

Could the minister explain how this bill would help combat identity theft, one of the fastest growing crime problems in Canada.

Criminal CodeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this is a problem that affects thousands of Canadians and has grown into a $2 billion a year problem.

Right now, those individuals who obtain, possess and traffic in other people's personal identification are not covered by the Criminal Code. This is something that should have been addressed by the previous government years ago. It did not get the job done. We are getting it done.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the manufacturing sector is in crisis. Plants have closed in London and Ingersoll, leaving many with no choice but to dip into their EI benefits. Sadly, many, especially women, will be shocked to find out that they do not even qualify. The minister is mistaken. The truth is that two out of every three women who pay into EI will not receive a penny in benefits if they lose their jobs.

Will the minister protect Canadian jobs so that people do not have to rely on our unfair EI system?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the government has moved to reduce premiums and improve benefits.

However, I must tell the member that her facts are simply wrong. Eighty-two per cent of women today working full time are eligible to qualify for employment insurance benefits, 97% for special benefits and 65% for part time benefits.

The member is simply wrong, but she should rejoice in the very good news that Canadians today are working at a level that they have never worked at in the history of this country. That is tremendous news.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, not in my constituency because we have lost manufacturing jobs and the government has not fixed the EI system.

The CCPA report found that the current system excludes all but the most advantaged of women. The Conservatives have left the poor out in the cold again.

We need a fair system for EI that all working families can access, not just a fortunate few.

Will the minister make the changes, the real changes that we need in order to end this lack of fairness in EI?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I hate to provide facts that completely contradict what the member says but I will do it. Eighty-two per cent of women who are working full time today are eligible for benefits.

This government takes a completely different view than the NDP, and everyone should be glad for that. We think that the best pathway forward for people to get out of poverty is a good job. That is happening in increasing numbers because this government has invested in training like no other government in the history of this country. That is great news.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is one more broken election promise from the Conservatives.

Their platform said that they would restore representation by population for Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta but their bill does exactly the opposite. It ensures that every province has representation by population except Ontario.

Why are the people of Ontario the only ones who do not deserve representation by population?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the law on the books right now means that fast growing provinces like Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta are shortchanged in their representation in the House of Commons.

That member was a member of a Liberal government that twice introduced bills addressing representation in the House of Commons but never once suggested increasing the representation for Ontario. I do not recall her ever saying one word before today on the issue.

The fact is that this government is taking action to increase the representation for Ontario and deliver fairness for Ontario, Alberta and B.C., and move to restore the principle of representation by population, which is not the case under the law today.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians believe in fairness and that means having real representation by population, but they also believe in respect. The approach that the minister has used in dealing with the Premier of Ontario is a disgrace.

The minister simply cannot explain the fundamental unfairness of his bill so he has resorted to insults.

Is this what the government meant by the end of federal-provincial bickering?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the fundamental unfairness is the law that is on the books today.

The fairness is our effort to restore it. The small act of a small-minded person, the small man of Confederation, is to say “when I'm getting more seats for my province, when I'm getting more fairness for my province I'm going to complain and I don't care about the consequences for national unity and the rest of the country”.

They know it is tough and that is why the Liberals never did anything for Ontario, Alberta and B.C. on representation. We are doing it after they never did.

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the tabling of legislation yesterday affirmed what Nova Scotians knew eight months ago, that the government gutted the Atlantic accord. No matter how much the government denied it, it gutted the accords.

This new political salvation scheme it is on now is, at best, marginally better but it does not deliver what it promises.

Will the minister scrap the side deal and reinstate the accord?