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House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was spam.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it does not make any difference what the leader of the NDP says in this House and whether he casts aspersions on myself and the government.

What I am saying to him, quite clearly, is that individual is still on the 1267 list that has been put together and that reunites people who are identified with al-Qaeda and who are identified with the Taliban. It is in front of the courts and that is where this litigation will be handled.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, every document that has come to light, every report that has been done and all the information that becomes available, whether from the RCMP, from CSIS or from the United Nations, all clear Abdelrazik and they show how much contempt the government has for basic human rights of Canadian citizens.

If the government thinks he has done anything wrong, there is something it can do about it. It can bring him back, lay charges and put him on trial, but it will not do that.

How much longer is the government going to leave this man on a cot in a Canadian embassy in the Sudan?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure the colleague that we take our responsibility in terms of safety and security and in terms of our international obligations very seriously. In that regard, we will assume our responsibilities. The case is now being pleaded in front of the courts and we will wait for a decision on that.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the economy has deteriorated since the Conservative budget and Canada needs extra stimulus. Economists agree that EI is the way to go. In fact, dollar for dollar, the EI system is eight times as effective as the entire tax system in mitigating the impact of a recession.

When will Conservatives stop seeing EI as a problem and see it for what it is; part of the solution?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member really should stop with the generalizations about everyone and all because she is inaccurate. Just this morning there were reports that many people were saying that this investment we are making through our economic action plan should see us through.

We hope that is the case but we are taking action. We have taken action to improve access to EI, to improve the benefits for those who are unfortunate enough to lose their jobs. One of the really good things that I am pleased with is that through our work-sharing program, we have been able to protect 93,000 jobs right across the country.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the C.D. Howe Institute does not agree with them. The Toronto Dominion Bank does not agree with them and President Obama's economic adviser has said that employment insurance is an especially effective stimulus measure. Every dollar spent on employment insurance injects $1.61 into our economy. President Obama understands this, but not the Conservatives.

When will the minister wake up and improve access to employment insurance for all workers—

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, this is nothing but more rhetoric.

We are improving access to employment insurance and its benefits. That is what we have already done and we have seen positive results.

I would also like to report what someone said in English:

I don't believe we need to make further improvements in EI....

Who said that? The Liberal member for Beauséjour.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservatives peddle their myth of a fair EI system in B.C., where there is one of the highest qualification requirements, unemployment has increased at a rate faster than the rest of the country. This week, eBay announced the layoff of 700 workers in metro Vancouver, moving operations to Salt Lake City.

Will the government introduce a uniform, 360-hour eligibility requirement and provide equal help to struggling B.C. workers?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we do recognize that there have been a lot of challenges in British Columbia and that far too many people have lost their job. However, where the member is wrong is that the EI system is now allowing those people to qualify for EI with three weeks less work and they are collecting benefits for anywhere from nine to eleven weeks longer. The system is supporting them.

What we are also doing is helping those people who may have been attached to the workforce for a long time but who have limited skills to try new jobs. We are helping them get the training they need, whether they are on EI or not. The others would rather just talk about it and raise taxes.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister continues to miss the point. One must qualify to get any kind of benefits. B.C. used to be a low employment region in 2003.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. We do not measure the popularity of members during question period. I would urge silence so we can hear the question and then the response.

The hon. member for Vancouver Centre has the floor.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister continues to miss the point. B.C. used to be a low unemployment region in 2003, when the CEO of eBay said, “we couldn't be happier” going to Burnaby due to its highly skilled workers.

Today, in 2009, B.C. is one of the provinces hardest hit by unemployment.

When will the minister get her head out of the past and respond to today's recession, and change--

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, no matter how much the hon. member waves her hands, it is not a magic wand that will fix things, unfortunately.

As I just pointed out, we have recognized that things are tough in B.C. and that is why benefits have gone up and access to employment insurance has gone up.

Over 80% of those who have paid into the system and who have lost their jobs involuntarily are able to access those benefits. Even those who are not on EI and who are not eligible can access the $500 million in additional training that we are making available to them so they can have the jobs of the future and increase their opportunities, instead of taxes.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, the arguments used by the Conservative government to prevent the return of Mr. Abdelrazik have just been shredded. Richard Barrett, the UN official responsible for monitoring al-Qaeda's activities, stated that Ottawa is mistaken and that Mr. Abdelrazik could be repatriated, even if the aircraft taking him back to Canada flies over other countries.

According to the UN official, if Canada has any doubt, it can go to the security council committee.

Has such a request been made?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I have mentioned on a few occasions, this individual's case is going to be heard by the courts. Representations will be made by both sides. I should add that the fact that this individual's name is on list 1267 does not change anything. He is suspected of being involved with the Taliban and with al-Qaeda. For this reason, he has not been removed from the list. His name is still on that list, regardless.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government claims that flying over a country is equivalent to transiting through that country, as if going over the United States when flying from Mexico to Canada is transiting through the U.S. One can only stretch the truth so much. Flying over a country is not transiting through that country.

Instead of resorting to all sorts of excuses and meaningless answers, what is the government waiting for to repatriate Mr. Abdelrazik at the earliest opportunity?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are not relying on excuses, or on a convoluted definition that the hon. member would like us to reveal. The fact remains that this person is on a list that is said to include the names of individuals who are suspected of being with al-Qaeda and the Taliban. That person remains on that list, which is made up by the United Nations. We will respect our international commitments and we will state our views before the courts.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, following on the heels of vegetable producers and food processors, poultry producers in Quebec have expressed their concerns about the “Product of Canada” label. Because of a trade agreement with the United States, Canada has to import 3% of its chicks. The new rule prevents poultry producers from marking their products with “Product of Canada” because of this 3% that is imported, which violates the 98% Canadian content rule.

Will the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food stop being so stubborn and review this ridiculous rule?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, once again, I want to remind the member that our goal is to make consumers aware of what they are getting when they purchase products on supermarket shelves. As for the 98% Canadian content requirement, consultations were held with the industry, and people were in favour of this. That does not mean that problems will not arise. We can always look at the situation. But we have to remember that for a product to be marked as Canadian, it must have 98% Canadian content. Otherwise, it can be marked with “Made in Canada” or “Made in Canada from Lac Saint-Jean blueberries”. That is always possible.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, it would be great if the real Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food could come out of his shell and meet with poultry producers on the ground. They will tell him that his measure is out in left field and that this rule does not make any sense.

The Minister of State for Agriculture told producers, and I quote: “We will review any wording you are not happy with.” He said that. Yet in this House, he says—and he said it again just moments ago—that the government is going ahead with this.

Who will have the courage to admit that this new rule is a mistake and must be changed? Who?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I had an opportunity to meet with poultry producers, and they told me about this situation. I want to say again that these people and all the stakeholders in the processing industry were consulted. They also knew that we were trying to clarify things for consumers. That does not mean that there will not be any problems. This sort of thing happens when legislation is amended. Our goal is still to let consumers know what they are getting and for this to be clear for everyone. But we are still listening.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

May 7th, 2009 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has abandoned thousands of families that are suffering because of growing job losses in the forestry sector. The industry was virtually ignored in the budget, and it is clear it has been written off by the government.

Its silence is stunning when it comes to the $860 million in direct subsidies being given to the U.S. pulp and paper industry. Why is it missing in action when it should be standing up for our forestry workers?