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House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was insurance.

Topics

AgricultureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to our hog farmers. We are taking action for our red meat producers. We are, for example, launching a WTO trade action against the COOL initiatives in the United States.

Regarding hog producers and financial incentives, we are working closely with the producers and with the provincial government to serve them best.

AgricultureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, farmers need cash, not excuses.

The government and, in particular, the minister just do not get it. There are 8,310 hog farms on the line. Families and rural Canadians are seeing their life's work destroyed. There are 70,000 jobs as a direct result of hog production. There are $7.7 billion in economic activity and $2.1 billion in wages.

Hog producers do not need more debt. They do not need diplomatic trade diatribes. Hog producers need cash and they need it now. When will the government deliver?

AgricultureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about cash for farmers. Our government is working hard to deliver approximately $1 billion of government-backed credit to previously ineligible farmers. The Liberals said that they would support this vital legislation. Now they are turning their backs on Canadian producers.

Yesterday the member for Malpeque filibustered in committee and brought an end to the debate. Here is what he said about Bill C-29, which we were supposed to discuss and pass in committee. He said, “Do you want to get Bill C-29 through the House before the spring or not because it's not going to go through today”.

He should support our farmers.

TaxationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic action plan is taking real action to support Canada's economy. Our plan includes lower taxes, allowing Canadians to keep more of their hard-earned money in their own pockets, where it belongs.

The Liberal leader does not get it. He actually thinks Canadian taxes are too low and they should pay more. He said, “We will raise your taxes”. He would force Canadians to send more of their money to Ottawa.

Could the finance minister please inform the House how our tax-cutting measures are helping our economy?

TaxationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is good news. The Liberals want to raise taxes. We are lowering taxes. Our economic action plan includes tax cuts that help boost economic activity, including the home renovation tax credit. This is a tax credit whereby Canadians can invest in their homes to create jobs in construction, retail jobs, forestry jobs. Our tax incentive is encouraging Canadians to invest in their homes. According to a new survey, nearly 70% of Canadians intend to invest in home renovations this year.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, today's PR tour by the Prime Minister does not change the reality that less than 5% of stimulus funds have gone out the door. The government has spent a lot of energy on glitzy announcements, but little energy on getting money to municipalities.

In Sault Ste. Marie we are still waiting for funds for the International Bridge, Algoma University and Sault College. We cannot fight the recession by only making funding announcements. How much longer must communities like mine wait before the funds begin to flow?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, funds are flowing across this country. Projects are getting done. In fact, the Prime Minister and Premier Dalton McGuinty today announced $950 million in costing a project for the Sheppard Avenue East LRT line in Toronto. These are the kinds of projects that will hold the country in good stead long into the future.

This job is getting done by the three different orders of government, municipal, provincial and federal.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, it does not matter how we cut it, there is not enough stimulus money out the door, there are no jobs on the ground and poverty is on the rise.

At poverty hearings this week in Halifax and Moncton, agencies and individuals painted a bleak, dire picture. Families are more in debt and have less savings than ever before and the safety net is not there.

When EI is not there or runs out, what is the government going to do? Where is the government's poverty plan?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have done quite a bit to help people in these challenging troubled times caused by the worldwide recession. We have increased the working income tax benefit. We have provided extra benefits through employment insurance. We have provided training also to help people get the jobs that they will need for the future. We are working on it. We have cut taxes.

I have to point out that the NDP member and his party voted against every single one of those measures.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the week progresses, the answers about Bagotville's 439 Squadron become more evasive.

In response to a question I asked yesterday, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence first declared that no decision had yet been made and then, after question period, told me that they have no intention of disbanding Bagotville's 439 Squadron.

Could someone tell me outright whether or not Bagotville's 439 Squadron will be disbanded or moved, yes or no?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for the question, but I really wish he would listen. This question has been answered several times.

The Minister of National Defence has been clear, as have ministers from that region. We have no intention, with respect to the 429 Squadron, of making a decision of taking the squadron away from Bagotville. Our ministers from that region are not Bloc members. When our ministers say something, they can keep their word.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, am I to understand and conclude that this statement is an official announcement and that the government promises, here in this House, today, to not touch Bagotville's 439 Squadron?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I really appreciate the question, and the answer is, that is right.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, the deputy minister of fisheries and oceans warned fishers not to expect an ice compensation package because “ice is not a factor”.

In the meantime, this past week, several local newspapers published photographs showing tons of ice in hundreds of harbours, blocking in the vessels. People cannot fish and therefore they are unable to even feed their families.

Would the parliamentary secretary stand in this House and admit that the ice is a problem and if he says in this House that ice is not present, then who exactly is telling him that?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, in fact the member knows full well that ice conditions are often a challenge on the east coast. However, the fact is that the majority of fleets along the east coast have begun their fishing activities and are well ahead of the 2007 season when we last saw severe ice conditions.

There are some areas in Labrador and northeast Newfoundland where there were some delays, but that is not unusual at this time of year. We are monitoring the situation daily because things do change daily. It was 21°C in Twillingate yesterday, I understand.

If the member has some additional information for us, we would be glad to receive it.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, the warmer weather means that the ice loosens up more. He should read the material. That is the way it works. If he is going to talk about this and try to be a climatologist, he should do it right.

As a matter of fact, in this particular situation, I do not think the parliamentary secretary understands how it works.

Now, let us change channels for just a moment and talk about the lobster fishery. The fishers are receiving $3 a pound and they cannot even get out into the open waters.

Will the Conservatives put just a little bit of flexibility in EI and maybe do some buyouts of licences? For the love of God, can we get a bit a compassion from the government?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, in fact, I sympathize with the member because it was his colleague, the fisheries critic from that side, who misinterpreted a comment made by our minister and announced a program when no decision had been made and no program existed. He finds himself in a difficult spot, as the member does, as well.

If the member has some additional information about ice, I can tell him that there is a meeting going on right at this moment about these issues and the difficulties the lobster industry is facing and he ought to wait for that.

Human RightsOral Questions

May 15th, 2009 / 11:50 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, many gay, lesbian, transgender and transsexual refugees have had to flee their home countries due to direct threats against their lives, sometimes due to political unrest and sometimes due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. However, in a growing number of troubling instances, the situation in the country of refuge is no better, since they face legal sanctions, violence and death.

Will the government work with international NGOs, human rights organizations and refugee agencies to urgently settle GLBTT refugees in safe countries, including Canada?

Human RightsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the ministry is always focused on ensuring that we deal as quickly as possible with any refugee claim that is put in this country. The member is also aware, as the House is aware, that the minister and the ministry are currently working on trying to do exactly what the member is speaking to in terms of our refugee reforms.

I appreciate the question. In fact, we are working on it.

Human RightsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, health activists from GLBTT communities note that the government has failed to deal with issues of life expectancy, suicide, smoking, alcohol and drug use, depression, access, HIV-AIDS, specific cancers, violence, bullying, blood and organ donations, and seniors' health as they affect GLBTT Canadians. Others note that medically necessary sex reassignment surgery is denied to many trans Canadians.

Will the government, working with the GLBTT community, immediately institute comprehensive and specific GLBTT health policies and programs?

Human RightsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the delivery of health services is a provincial jurisdiction. This government is very proud to be working with the provinces. We have given the provinces more money than any other government has before. We are very supportive of their decisions.

Sri LankaOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are outraged by the civilian tragedy occurring in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan military claims to be in the final stages of operations against the Tamil Tigers, but over 50,000 civilians are estimated to remain in the conflict zone.

The Red Cross has stated that no emergency aid has been able to reach civilians since Saturday and calls the situation “an unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe”.

Can the parliamentary secretary tell the House what the government is doing to bring this terrible humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka to an end?

Sri LankaOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs for the Americas said, Canada is appalled at the loss of civilian life in Sri Lanka. That is why our government continues to call for an immediate ceasefire, the safe and voluntary movement of civilians from the conflict zone and unhindered humanitarian access.

It is unacceptable for the Sri Lankan government to disregard the plight of civilians. Equally, it is unacceptable for the Tamil Tigers to use civilians as hostages. Our officials in Colombo, at the UN and in like-minded countries are engaged at the highest levels to coordinate international action to end this conflict.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, 3,500 people in Laval lost their jobs in 2008. And job losses continue to rise.

One unemployed worker who was unable to find long-term employment was forced to accept several, very short-term contracts. Employment insurance does not take his situation into account. Like thousands of unemployed Canadians, he is waiting for the government to make employment insurance more accessible. The Prime Minister refuses to do so.

Can the minister tell this House how she intends to improve employment insurance to help Canadians?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have been doing exactly that because we do want to help Canadians who have been unfortunate enough to lose their jobs in this global recession. That is why we have expanded the EI system by adding an extra five weeks of regular benefits. People can access EI easier and for a longer period of time now in most regions of the country.

We are also trying to create jobs to help these people get back to work through our infrastructure investment program. We are working with our partners in the provinces and municipalities to get shovels in the ground and get people working.