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House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombian.

Topics

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, on the issue of pensions, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance has travelled the country over the course of the summer talking to pensioners and to people about how to improve the system.

We have taken action. Earlier this year we doubled the time required for solvency payments for federally regulated plans. We are helping to protect pensioners by requiring companies to fully fund pension benefits on planned termination.

I will just quote the member for Markham—Unionville about the Liberal plan. He said, “The Liberals don't actually have a policy on pension reform”.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government has a proven track record in providing opportunities for young people. Aboriginal youth, in particular, are one of the fastest growing and youngest population groups in our country.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage please tell this House about a new announcement that will directly improve the lives of thousands of young people and improve the communities in which these young people and their families live?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I know this issue is of great concern to my colleague from Peace River, who has over 30 aboriginal communities in his constituency.

Today I am pleased to announce that our government has renewed funding for the Urban Multipurpose Aboriginal Youth Centres initiative. It is a $150 million initiative. More important than just the renewal of this, we are renewing this fund for six years, which means that this important aboriginal youth program will be on stable footing financially until the year 2015. This program supports over 40,000 aboriginal youth in 149 communities across the country.

I know there are a lot of aboriginal leaders who are here in Ottawa today lobbying members of Parliament. I thank them for their hard work.

PovertyOral Questions

November 17th, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hunger count on the number of people using food banks is out and the figures are numbing: an 18% increase nationally and a whopping 61% in Alberta. One in ten people is using a food bank for the first time and only one in five people has a job. Thirty-seven per cent of food bank recipients are children.

When will the government get its head out of the sand, stop passing the buck and give Canada the leadership it needs for a national poverty plan?

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, since we took office, we have been working very hard to help Canadians get out of poverty and we have results.

Through our working income tax benefit, we helped 900,000 people in just the first year. When we went to enhance that, the opposition voted against it.

We have also lowered taxes, particularly for the lower income brackets. We have lifted some 85,000 seniors off the tax rolls now so they have money in their pockets. We have taken some 28,000 families and 60,000 children off the welfare lines.

We are getting the job done.

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the numbers tell a different story. People are dropping off EI and on to welfare. Seventy-two thousand people came to a food bank for the first time, some with jobs that do not pay enough or with inadequate disability or pension supports.

Under international law, freedom from poverty is a human right but not here in Canada.

I have a simple question. Where is the leadership for a national poverty plan?

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, in our economic action plan, we had several factors to protect jobs and to create jobs for Canadians so they would not need food banks.

We have invested significantly in infrastructure. We have provided extended benefits for employment insurance and have made it easier to get for a longer period of time.

Unfortunately, the leadership of which the hon. member is speaking is sadly lacking in his party because his party voted against every one of these initiatives that would help beleaguered Canadians.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, less than a year ago, the Conservative member for Lévis—Bellechasse was so sure that the future of the Lévis shipyard was bright. However, we have just learned that it posted a $6.3 million loss for the most recent quarter, that the Davie yard will have a hard time covering its costs for the coming year, and that a client of the shipyard is still waiting on support from EDC for a $100 million loan.

Can the government give us the facts and tell us whether EDC will guarantee the loan?

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois has no business lecturing us on this subject.

The Davie yard was in a difficult position. We made a decision and showed leadership, and EDC did support the Davie yard.

Nothing the Bloc does, or rather, is incapable of doing, will help the Davie shipyard survive. Their ideas are preposterous.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's shipyards are struggling to overcome two obstacles. First, they have to contend with the travel expenses policy that applies to the federal government's restoration projects, and second, they have to compete with foreign companies that receive more support from their respective governments.

When will the government recognize that we need a proper shipbuilding policy to prevent job losses in this sector?

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, this government has shown unprecedented leadership. I have met with people from the Davie shipyard, and they are very happy with the work the member for Lévis—Bellechasse has done on this file since the very beginning. It makes me laugh to see the member for Québec stand up and ask such ridiculous questions.

I would add that the people down the road in Rivière-du-Loup have also recognized that the government has kept its promises.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada performance report is a shockingly sad commentary on the minister's performance.

While hog producers are facing their worst crisis ever, hundreds leaving the farms, with beef producers facing the lowest prices in decades due in great part to the government's inaction on challenging the United States' country of origin labelling, the minister cuts back on farm income support by $961,400,000.

How can the minister be so heartless as to cut $1 billion from farmers in their time of need?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the member for Malpeque has rattled around the back benches in this place for almost two decades. Even he should know that program spending in agriculture varies from year to year.

We were very fortunate last year that the grains and oilseeds sectors did exceptionally well but we are not resting on our lawyers--laurels--

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

--or lawyers either for that matter, Mr. Speaker, they are just not dependable at all.

We are out there opening trade corridors. We are ensuring those products are moving in an expeditious way and getting returns back to the farm gate where they should be.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, maybe the Minister of Agriculture should face some of the hog producers and give that answer to those who are going broke, losing their homes and losing their land. That answer is unacceptable.

Let us be clear. The minister pretends he stands behind farmers but his is a record of failure. Of all the cruel hoaxes perpetuated by the government, the Minister of Agriculture's hoax is the worst. He is imposing an absolute cruelty on producers in this country.

Will he commit today to re-profile the $1 billion that his department misspent to producers?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, as the member gets louder and redder, what he is forgetting is that producers themselves have tremendous support for this government. Let me quote a few of them. Curtiss Littlejohn with Ontario Pork said, “These three programs provide options and choices for producers and ultimately will help to right-size the industry”. The president of the pork producers said, “We think it's going to make a huge difference.... The loans will give some farmers the liquidity they need to stay in business...”.

We are delivering the right programs at the right time to make sure our industry survives in spite of the member for Malpeque and his band of merry farmers who vote against all these programs.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, an international watchdog has ranked Afghanistan as the second most corrupt country in the world. It also happens to be the largest recipient of our foreign aid.

What is the government doing to ensure that Canadian taxpayer money we send to Afghanistan is being spent properly on aid and not ending up in the pockets of the corrupt? Are there any checks and balances, and if so, what are they?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, Canada has expressed its support to Afghanistan in that country's efforts to tackle corruption at all levels. Wide-scale corruption, as we know, hinders economic growth and good governance and engenders distrust between the people and the government.

I would remind the House that the Minister of National Defence has spoken eloquently and firmly in cautioning and urging the government of Afghanistan to crack down on corruption.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Brown has said that the U.K. will begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in 2010. For his part, President Obama has sent his advisers back to the drawing board and has asked the U.S. military to come up with a plan that includes an exit strategy. Here, our own top military commander, General Natynczyk, has begun organizing our scheduled pullout.

Why then is our defence minister publicly musing about continuing Canada's military mission? Is the minister at odds with the military leadership, or will he once and for all confirm that Canada will withdraw all its troops in 2011?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows well, Canada has been engaged in a full range of military operations while at the same time taking a whole-of-government approach that has been quite effective. General McChrystal, whom I met with recently, in fact put a seal of approval on the approach that Canada has taken.

With respect to military combat operations, they will end in 2011. The Prime Minister has been clear on that. Other ministers of this government have stated so emphatically. I do not know what part of “the military mission will end in 2011” the hon. member does not understand.

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the government tabled new legislation to implement the Canada-Jordan free trade agreement. This agreement will create new opportunities for Canadian exporters so they can create new jobs here at home.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade please tell the House why this agreement is so important for Canada?

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the potential here for jobs and opportunities is exponential. The best example is to look at how the United States was doing before it signed its free trade agreement with Jordan. It was doing 200 million dollars' worth of trade. Today it is doing two billion dollars' worth of trade.

This agreement would mean increased jobs for Canadian workers and increased opportunity for Canadian consumers.

MuseumsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the employees of the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum have been on strike for eight weeks. We are talking about eight weeks. These employees play a crucial role in protecting and interpreting our heritage, but that is not important to the Conservatives. Many events have been cancelled and programs set aside, but that, too, is unimportant. There is no agreement in sight. The parties are deadlocked, and the government is doing nothing.

Is the government doing nothing because it does not understand the importance of culture or because it could not care less about it?

MuseumsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, in fact our mediator has been working with the parties since before the strike began. We will continue to encourage both sides to come to the table and find a resolution as soon as possible. I stand ready to appoint an arbitrator, but unfortunately at this time, neither of the parties agrees to that.