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House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Zed Liberal Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, 22 billion of those dollars were in Liberal programs.

Canada's mayors know how to do their jobs and they know dire the situation is. They know that municipal infrastructure in this country is on the verge of utter collapse.

This government does not take mayors seriously. That is disgraceful. That is neglect. It is disdain for all Canadians.

The mayors left Ottawa with a bagful of insults, just as the seniors did with regard to income trusts.

Would the Prime Minister ask his ministers to treat Canadian--

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the member puts an actual contradiction in his own question. If the Liberals got the job done, why are the mayors complaining? The mayors are complaining between the Liberals did not get the job done. This government is getting the job done.

There is $33 billion in a building Canada fund. This money is going to be spread across the country and every region will benefit, including his own constituents, even if he will not vote for their benefit. We will get the job done for the people of New Brunswick and his own constituents in Saint John.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Premier of Ontario just wants Ontario to be treated fairly, with respect to representation in the House of Commons. Nothing more; nothing less. Yet the only responses he gets from this government are small-minded insults.

Does the Minister for Democratic Reform have any argument based on fact to explain why Ontario is treated differently from all others? Or does he have nothing to offer but childish gibberish?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:40 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, if the hon. member would familiarize herself with the current law on the books, she would see that there are actually a lot of accumulated rules that cause all kinds of provinces to be treated differently and they have various grandfathering clauses.

However, one of the consequences is that Ontario, Alberta and B.C. are severely underrepresented in the House of Commons under that existing law. We are looking into correcting that, to give them more seats.

Apparently, they want to either take away those guarantees that other provinces have now or render them meaningless or ensure that Alberta, B.C. and Ontario continue to be underrepresented.

We will not allow that to happen. We will protect the guarantees that small provinces have and we will give fairness for the other provinces as well.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, what part of representation by population does the minister not understand? This is about fairness. I am astonished that all Conservative MPs from Ontario are missing in action on this file and the NDP has gone into hiding right along with them.

Ontario soundly rejected the Conservative vision in the last provincial election and Ontarians continue to reject the mean-spirited attitude of the federal neo-Conservatives.

Is the government trying to disenfranchise Ontario voters as revenge for their electoral choices?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:40 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, Ontario is disenfranchised today under a law that the Liberal Party never changed when it had two chances.

Liberal members did not do it for Alberta. They did not do it for B.C. They did not do one thing to advance representation by population. We are seeking to correct that and we are doing it in a way that respects the guarantees to smaller provinces without wiping them out.

Perhaps that member wants to eliminate those guarantees, or perhaps she does not want to help out B.C., Alberta, and Ontario. We want to do both of those. We want to ensure they are protected and there is fairness.

International AidOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been estimated that nearly 10 million children under the age of five die from preventable causes every year. Regrettably, half of all the child and maternal deaths in the world occur in Africa.

Canada has been a world leader in terms of aid delivery in the fight against HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. In fact, our government continues to work toward the eradication of extreme poverty in developing countries.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation tell the House what the government is doing to combat child mortality rates?

International AidOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Brian Pallister ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to tell the House that Canada's government is making a difference and a positive one.

This morning in Tanzania the Prime Minister launched the Canadian-led initiative to save a million lives. This program will deliver basic cost effective and lifesaving health services to mothers and children in countries where the needs are greatest. The Prime Minister said this morning that we will be delivering $105 million and training over 40,000 health care workers.

This government is not sitting on its hands. It is getting positive things done, both at home and for people around the world.

PovertyOral Questions

November 26th, 2007 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, after months of Conservative indifference and years of Liberal inaction more and more Toronto families are slipping into poverty.

Since 1990, the number of Toronto families living in poverty has doubled. Today, 30% of families live in poverty and more than half of Toronto's single parent-led families are poor. The Conservative government, like previous Liberal governments, is letting Canada's largest city fall farther and farther behind.

With today's United Way report, can the government tell us why it has billions of dollars for corporate tax cuts and nothing to help poor families in the city of Toronto?

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious issue and it deserves to be dealt with on the basis of facts.

As Statistics Canada reveals, over the last number of years instances of poverty have actually decreased. That is good news. We need to make sure that we take advantage of that by training people to get into the labour market. We are investing today more money than any government in history in training, in affordable housing, and in child care.

Some people propose raising the GST. It is not an answer to tax people living in poverty.

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, when will the government wake up? Today's United Way report is the third in 18 months that has sounded the alarm of the growing gap that is leaving so many behind in Toronto.

Toronto families are losing ground on every measure: in median incomes, in the percentage of low income families, and in the number of families living in poverty.

There has been a net loss of jobs, with good paying jobs being replaced by temporary, part time, and contract work with no security, no benefits, and thanks to the previous Liberal and now Conservative government, no unemployment insurance.

When can the government--

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Social Development.

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, this is a serious problem and the member is obliged to stick to the facts.

The truth is, in the last 22 months, 652,000 jobs have been created in this country. We have seen a wage increase of 4.1% as of October. Wages are rising.

That said, we have to do more. That is why we are investing in training to the degree that we are. Today I signed another agreement to provide training for Inuit in this country. These are important initiatives because they not only give people a job, they give people some hope, which they need.

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Campaign 2000 condemned this government for failing Canada's children. The report shows almost a million children live in poverty in Canada and over 280,000 children in Canada use food banks.

The Liberal Party has proposed a plan which will help 30% of Canadian families living in poverty get out and will cut child poverty by 50%.

When will the government show some leadership, step up to the plate, and take action with a plan to reduce poverty in Canada?

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, actually the Liberal Party is proposing raising the GST. I do not see how that can possibly help people who are living in poverty today.

The member raises her plan. The Toronto Star pointed out that not only has the Liberal Party not costed its initiatives or explained how it would deal with the various contradictions in its platform toward supporting these various initiatives. The Star also points out that the Liberal leader has no idea of what it is like to live in poverty.

I know life was tough for professors in the 1950s, especially when they could not get--

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Brampton—Springdale.

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government needs to stop playing games, rise above partisan politics, and take some action for the children of Canada.

The report shows that single income, first nations and immigrant families are also living in poverty. It confirms what the Liberals have been saying for months. It confirms that we have a leader and we have a party that cares. We have a national action plan to reduce poverty, versus a Prime Minister and a government that simply refuses to listen.

Are Canadians who are living in poverty being ignored because the Conservatives think they have no votes?

PovertyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot about their 30-50 plan, but frankly we cannot wait that long to deal with this issue.

The fact is this government has put in place a working income tax benefit. We have put in place $1.4 billion for affordable housing. Today we are investing more in child care and more in training than any government in history.

How did the Liberals respond to that? They voted against it at every stage. That is their stand on poverty.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice and the government has decided that Canada would only seek clemency for Canadians facing the death penalty abroad on a case by case basis, when it suits them.

I would like to ask the government: Will it seek clemency for Chen Naizhi, a Canadian citizen convicted in China, who faces a death sentence for car smuggling?

How can the government have any credibility on this issue after choosing not to seek clemency for a Canadian citizen now facing the death penalty in Montana?

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we were very clear that we would have a look into every case. With respect to the case in China, we will have a close look at that.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Bashir Makhtal, a Canadian citizen, has been held in Ethiopia since January. He is potentially facing the death penalty and is allegedly being tortured. His family has received no assistance from the government and has launched a lawsuit against the government of Ethiopia on their own.

The Minister of Justice claims Canada still supports the UN's death penalty moratorium. Will Mr. Makhtal be caught up in the Conservative government's betrayal of the principle of the death penalty?

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if there are any Canadians anywhere in the world potentially in difficulty, I am sure the Canadian consular officials will be in touch with that individual and will certainly look into it.

With respect to human rights and standing up for human rights, this government has a record second to none.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, Quebec seniors, including the FADOQ and the FADEQ, are reminding the government of its obligations to them, and are asking for a decent income. They are urging parliamentarians to take action, particularly as regards low income seniors, and are asking them, among other measures, to improve the guaranteed income supplement.

Now that the minister is being called upon by all seniors, will he take this opportunity to announce that he will grant them full retroactivity and indexation, as the Bloc Québécois has been demanding?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the member should know that benefits are in fact indexed.

The Canada pension plan, old age security and the guaranteed income supplement are extraordinarily important programs. We have committed in our election platform to ensure their sustainability. In fact, we have enhanced those programs.

In terms of letting people know, we have conducted extensive advertising campaigns to ensure they know. We go on reserve and into homeless shelters to ensure that everyone understands there are benefits available to them.