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House of Commons Hansard #88 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was election.

Topics

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I want to inform the member that under this government we have increased SSHRC funding by 20% in three years. Natural sciences and engineering has increased 21% in three years. The NRC's budget is up 13% in three years. We are doing that because we believe in all kinds of science, from beginning to the end, from basic to discovery.

The member wants to explain to the House why he voted against $1.4 million to CEGEP de Granby for knowledge infrastructure. Why are those members voting against help for scientists and students in their own province?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, while seasonal workers have been going through a crisis for a number of years already, the Conservative government and the NDP are excluding them outright, instead of making them eligible for the 20 additional weeks of EI benefits.

On Monday, here in the House of Commons, the Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism said, while referring to employment insurance, that the extra weeks of benefits would go to those who deserved them.

Does the Prime Minister too find that seasonal workers do not deserve these 20 additional weeks of EI benefits?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we know that many Canadians were affected by this global recession. But here in Canada, we are dealing mostly with people who have worked, who have paid EI premiums and taxes for years, and who have never collected benefits, or hardly ever. It is often these people who have the hardest time finding a new job. That is why they need our help and we are providing that help. I would like to see the Liberals recognize that.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, seasonal workers too have paid premiums and taxes all their lives.

Whether it is seasonal workers in the forestry, tourism, fishing, agriculture, highway or construction sector, whether it is new graduates or mothers going back to work, why do the Conservatives and the NDP not want these people to have access to additional weeks of benefits? Why are the Conservatives saying that these people do not deserve these extra weeks? What do they have against workers? What do they have against the taxpayers of our country?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have already announced and delivered five extra weeks for all workers in Canada, up to a new maximum of 50 weeks per claim.

We have delivered an extra five weeks for all workers across Canada and increased the maximum to 50 weeks per claim. That is a big improvement.

We are also trying to help those who have been hardest hit by this global recession with a hand up while it takes them longer to get back to work. We are there for them, and we wish the Liberals--

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, a fundraiser for the natural resources minister was organized from the president's office of the Toronto Port Authority, and the minister's former executive assistant sent out invitations and collected the names, all on the taxpayer's dime.

Using a public agency for a political fundraiser is an abuse of the public trust. Has Janet MacDonald performed other political activities in the past and does the minister know of this abuse, or is this a standard Conservative fundraising practice?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, government resources, resources of taxpayers, of the agencies, boards and commissions of the government, are not to be used for political fundraising. Such practices are totally inappropriate and totally unacceptable.

Toronto Port AuthorityOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently the Minister of Transport appointed Robert Poirier to the port authority. Mr. Poirier is a generous Conservative donor who organized yet another fundraiser, this one for the industry minister, at $1,000 a plate.

Other board members include Craig Rix and Jeremy Adams, both former staff of the Harris Conservative government. No wonder Torontonians call it “the pork authority”.

When will the Prime Minister disband the board and return the port and the waterfront to the good people of Toronto?

Toronto Port AuthorityOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the basis of the member's concern about the Toronto Port Authority is that it operates an airport. She does not want the airport to be there. The people of Toronto and the people of Canada have shown overwhelmingly that they want the airport to be there. This government supports the airport being there. There is an honest difference of opinion on that.

Let me tell members why it is a good thing that airport is there. Not only is it providing support to a lot of commuters in the city of Toronto and across the country, but the airline that operates out of there is buying good Bombardier technology, Bombardier airplanes built right in the city of Toronto, and that is creating a lot of jobs for Canadian auto workers.

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, as the Liberal leader steams toward forcing an unnecessary and opportunistic election, he constantly distorts facts to take down the Canadian economy and the workers and businesses that fuel it.

He twists figures to preach doom, mocking Canada's economic performance on the world stage, all for his own personal scheme to force an election. Canadians deserve better than a Liberal leader who would jeopardize our fragile economic recovery for self-interest.

Could the Minister of Finance please inform the Liberal leader what the IMF said today?

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, while the Liberal leader talks down the economy, we have created a plan that is stimulating the economy, creating jobs, cutting taxes and much more. It is a plan that is getting results, putting Canada in one of the strongest positions.

The IMF said today that not only will Canada experience one of the smallest drops of G7 countries in 2009, but Canada will be the fastest growing economy among G7 countries in 2010.

Canada is coming through this economic recession stronger than other G7 countries. That is what the IMF said about our great country today.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

It appears that the Minister of Natural Resources knowingly put herself in a conflict of interest by using a registered lobbyist to organize her political financing and that she was in breach of the code of ethical conduct for ministers by using the resources and private information of the federally regulated Toronto Port Authority to promote her political financing.

Will the Prime Minister be requesting investigations by the Ethics Commissioner, the Commissioner of Lobbying and by the Chief Electoral Officer, and if not, why not?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I said in response to a question a few moments ago from the New Democratic Party, government resources, those of taxpayers, of agencies, boards and commissions, are not to be used for partisan political fundraising. That practice is wrong. It is totally unacceptable and it is totally inappropriate, and that has been communicated in no uncertain terms.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of the Environment said that U.S. Senators Boxer and Kerry introduced a bill with the same target as in the bill passed in Canada two years ago. Not only is the minister misleading us, because Canadian targets are based only on intensity targets, but he is forgetting that the Conservative government has not introduced a shred of legislation on climate change.

With less than 100 days to go until the Copenhagen conference, can the Minister of the Environment tell us when he is going to introduce enforceable legislation on climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government will make sure that our policies protect the environment without compromising our economic recovery.

Our economic reality demands that our environmental policies be harmonized with those of the United States. The Americans have just adopted a vehicle emissions standard similar to ours. This week they are proposing targets identical to Canada's. This concrete collaboration illustrates our commitment to the environment.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, I asked the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development a question about one of their election promises.

I asked her to show us her plan to extend EI benefits to self-employed workers. This is a priority for the NDP.

The minister responded, and I quote, “We made this promise and we are going to deliver the goods.”

I have a simple question for the minister. When does she expect to deliver the goods?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is correct. We made that promise. We will deliver the goods, and when we do so, I hope that the NDP will support us.

SeniorsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the United Nations International Day of Older Persons. It is a day to stop and appreciate the contributions that Canadian seniors have made to this country, to our communities and to our families. Seniors built this great country.

Our Conservative government has a strong record when it comes to supporting Canadian seniors. Can the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development please remind the House of some of the great things our government is doing to help seniors?

SeniorsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it is true that Canada's seniors did build this country and they raised our families, and our Conservative government is listening to them. That is why we created a minister of state and a seniors council, to listen to their issues.

As a result of that, we have taken concrete steps so that seniors can keep more of their hard-earned money in their own pockets. From pension income splitting to increasing the age credit, twice, to increasing the GIS exemption from $500 to $3,500, we are standing up for our seniors.

International CooperationOral Questions

October 1st, 2009 / 3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy that Canada has moved so quickly to help countries in need through the World Food Programme.

But as I have been saying since February, francophone African countries such as Burkina Faso and Burundi, which are among the least developed countries in the world, also need our help.

Can the minister tell us when her government will act to help these francophone African countries, as it has helped other countries?

International CooperationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian government is responding to all of those in need. In fact, we have made contributions through the World Food Programme, particularly directed to the francophone countries that are being affected by the disasters.

We have addressed many of the urgent needs. We are aware and we continue to monitor the situation.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the six recipients of the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case: Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, Daphne Dumont, Bev LeFrancois, Karen Messing, Mary Scott and Pauline Fogarty.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, should the NDP continue to sustain the Conservative government through the votes tonight and if we are still sitting tomorrow and next week, could the government House leader indicate what he plans in terms of the work program for that period of time?

Also, in light of the deadline that will be approaching in less than a week's time with respect to the amendment to the NAFO agreement, would he reconsider and provide time between now and the end of next week for a take note debate on the NAFO issue?