House of Commons Hansard #69 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was custody.

Topics

Rodrigue LandriaultStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 12, Rodrigue Landriault, a great Franco-Ontarian, passed away at the age of 71. As a lawyer and deputy judge, he was known for his courage, honesty and expertise.

Mr. Landriault was also very involved in his community, particularly in French education. As a school board member for over 20 years, he served in many capacities, including as vice-president of the Ontario branch of the Association canadienne d'éducation de langue française.

In recognition of his work, he was awarded the Chantecler prize in education from the ACFO and the 125th anniversary medal of Canada.

Rodrigue Landriault was a great role model: a good father, an involved citizen, a generous companion, a reliable partner, a gentleman and, above all, a proud francophone. I would like to salute him and thank his wife, Marguerite, and their five children, Lucie, Anne-Marie, Yves, Diane and Jocelyne, who shared this outstanding man with us.

Thanks for everything, Rodrigue.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader said Canada has become a laughing stock of the world. How dare he?

How dare he come back to Canada after being away for 34 years, after calling himself an American, after accusing his fellow Canadians of living in a fantasyland, after calling our flag a pale imitation of a beer label, and call Canada a laughing stock?

This is a country with the best managed economy in the G7, that is weathering the global economic storm far better than others, a country that is rebuilding its military, defending its Arctic sovereignty and asserting itself on the world stage, a country that has welcomed hundreds of thousands of new Canadians just last year. We are one of the most peaceful and prosperous nations the world has ever known.

The Liberal leader should know that Canada is no laughing stock. Canada is strong. Canada is proud. Canada--

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member's time has expired.

The hon. member for Hamilton Centre.

HomelessnessStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently attended the second annual social justice fair organized by the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.

Students from as many as 22 Hamilton area schools are watching this live, right now, to see their concerns brought to Parliament.

Here is their message: “On any given night in Hamilton, 399 men, women and children stay in emergency shelters. There are at least 600 homeless or street-involved youth in Hamilton. Youth homelessness is a very serious issue, not only in Hamilton but in our country. There are things being done to help the homeless people in our city, but it is not enough to keep them off the streets. As a school board and as individuals, we find this inadequate. More things need to be done, but they are simply not happening. We need more transitional housing for youth and more mental health services. Fundraising is not enough because it only provides a band-aid solution. It is time for our government to take action”.

I agree with that statement and I congratulate these Hamilton students for sending this important message to Parliament. Now let us see it acted upon.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, Le Devoir put it well in a headline this morning which reads: “No additional powers for Quebec”. The Liberal leader told the newspaper he had no plans to take any action following the recognition of Quebec as a nation.

The Liberals have not changed. No one on this side of the House is at all surprised. The Leader of the Opposition embodies the worst centralist tradition of the Liberal Party. Although he tries to sweet-talk us, he too just wants to put us in our place. He told the Canadian Press as well that if he is elected, he has no plans to give Quebec additional powers.

Should Quebeckers be at all surprised to hear more double talk from the mouth of another Liberal leader? Pierre Elliott Trudeau promised change and then invoked the War Measures Act. Jean Chrétien promised clean government and then gave us the sponsorship scandal. Conservatives from Quebec have come to Ottawa specifically to put an end to this Liberal hypocrisy.

That was our promise and we got the job done.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, we had confirmation that the idea of recognizing the Quebec nation was nothing but empty words to the Liberal leader.

After saying that recognizing the Quebec nation was a “fact”, he tried to empty those words of their meaning by firmly closing the door to any specific gesture of recognition, such as the bill intended to require federally regulated companies to comply with Bill 101 in Quebec.

He did not have the courage to say as much during his speech, but the leader of the Liberal Party still felt the need to set a few limits before he spoke: “...there is no question of giving Quebec more power within the federation or taking real steps to give expression to the recognition of the Quebec nation...”

The Liberal leader can rest assured that he will find Quebec and the Bloc Québécois members in his path.

Hugh HallStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have heard wonderful, all-party tributes to the Canadians who landed on the beaches of Normandy 65 years ago on D-Day. I ask the House's indulgence while I add a personal tribute of my own.

My father, Hugh Hall, was one of those Canadians, a 22-year-old lieutenant and member of the Signal Corps with the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders. He was the first Allied soldier in Caen, laying vital communication lines. He went on to help liberate Holland and was awarded the Military Cross.

Unfortunately, he passed away a number of years ago, well before I, his daughter, even thought of entering politics, and although he might have wondered at my decision to take this path, I know he would be proud of me being here now.

I am immensely proud to be here in this august chamber, able to participate in the tributes, and even more, being able to express my pride in him.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, by virtue of his 34 year absence from Canada, the just visiting Liberal leader cannot possibly be in touch with Canadians. He cannot possibly know what they feel and what they need in their day-to-day lives—

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Peterborough knows he cannot engage in personal attacks. I would advise him to move on.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, as much as I feel it is my place to speak in the House, I respect your authority.

The quintessential symbol of a nation is its flag and the Liberal leader referred to our flag as “a pale imitation of a beer label”. Canadians from coast to coast are proud of that flag. Canadians around the world serve with that flag on their shoulder. I am proud of that symbol. I am proud of this nation that Canadians have built.

Our flag is no “pale imitation of a beer label”. It is the symbol of a strong and proud nation.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, this morning we learned that 60,000 Ontarians lost their full-time jobs in May. That is more workers than the entire populations of cities like North Bay, Welland, Caledon, Belleville or Cornwall. Because of the inequalities in the system, many of these workers cannot access employment insurance now when they need it. The safety net that they need is simply not there.

When will the Conservatives fix the EI system to help Canadian families survive this economic crisis?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we were disappointed to see the Labour Force Survey results this morning, wherein so many people had lost their jobs. However, we can assure Canadians of one thing. They are getting better response from the EI system. Over 75% of Canadians who lose their jobs today have easier access to EI. They have it for a longer period of time than they would have last fall.

What the Liberals have proposed, in conjunction with the opposition, is a 45 day work year. The people who have lost their jobs are in the manufacturing sector. They have been paying into EI for years and years. Their proposal would not help them one bit.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is cold comfort to the Canadian families that do not have any income support during these tough times.

In three years the Conservative government has overseen the greatest loss of manufacturing jobs in Canadian history. We are now at the lowest level of manufacturing jobs since 1976. The response of the Conservatives, nothing.

Why have the Conservatives turned their back on Canadian manufacturers? Is it that they just do not care, or are they too incompetent to offer Canadians a real plan to protect and create Canadian manufacturing jobs?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member has not been reading the papers lately. We have made significant investments in protecting manufacturing jobs, through our investment in General Motors and through our assistance to the other auto manufacturing parts of the country.

We are helping these people who were unfortunate enough to have lost their jobs by offering them EI benefits of up to two years if they invest in their own training to help them get the jobs of the future. That is helping those who are hardest hit by this downturn in the economy. The 45 day work year that the Liberals are proposing will not help anyone.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, how can Canadians who have just lost their jobs pay for their own training when they cannot even pay for their groceries?

Spring is here and construction sites across Canada should be busy, but building permits are down and 73,000 construction workers have lost their jobs since the January budget. The response of the Conservatives is a bureaucratic, clogged-up infrastructure program that is failing to create or protect Canadian jobs.

Canadian families cannot afford these delays. Why will the Conservatives not take the politics out of job creation? Why will they not transfer the funds directly to Canadian municipalities so they can invest the money, create Canadians jobs and build the kind of infrastructure Canadians need?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government is delivering a real plan of action that will stimulate economic growth, create jobs and support Canadian families. Most important, we are doing it 10 times faster than any Liberal government ever did. We are cutting red tape that Liberals put in place. We have made it a one page application.

We are working with our partners at the municipal, provincial and territorial levels. We are taking action where the Liberals failed continuously.

Student EmploymentOral Questions

June 5th, 2009 / 11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, preparing the future of our country is not this government's strong suit. Students are finding it increasingly difficult to find summer jobs. In May, the number of full-time student jobs declined by 59,000. The number of students employed or looking for work also recorded a sharp decrease.

If students are the workforce of tomorrow, the Conservative government is obviously failing them. Why has this government done nothing more to help students enter the job market?

Student EmploymentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the member is wrong. In our economic action plan, there is more than $10 million to help students find summer jobs. That is what we have done.

In our economic action plan we have recognized that it is a tougher time for students to get a job this year. We invested another $10 million to create new jobs to help those students get a summer job where they can get funding to pay for their schooling as well as experience that will help them broaden their careers.

Student EmploymentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that really is not enough. It is bad enough that students are suffering because of this government's inaction. However, when we learn that there were 11,465 personal and corporate bankruptcies in April, a 33% increase compared to the same period last year, we really wonder what this government is doing. Stores are closing, people are having difficulty paying their debts and companies are cutting jobs to get through the recession.

Will the government finally acknowledge that it is incapable of helping Canadians through this crisis?

Student EmploymentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have developed a plan. It is called an economic action plan. We are creating jobs through significant investments in infrastructure right across the country, in large and small cities.

We are protecting jobs. Over 120,000 people are now still in their jobs, not facing layoffs, because they are participating in our expanded work-sharing program. That is 120,000 jobs saved. We are providing unprecedented support for those who are unfortunate enough to lose their jobs, by offering them training, by expanding EI benefits by an additional five weeks and by offering those people the chance to go back to school and get the skills they need for the jobs of the future.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of blaming the Bloc Québécois for asking legitimate questions about the government's refusal to give loan guarantees to the forestry industry, the Prime Minister and his Conservative ministers should stop making statements that undermine Canada's position at the London tribunal.

Does the government agree with its own lawyers that providing loan guarantees to forestry companies is absolutely in accordance with the softwood lumber agreement with the United States?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the forestry industry is experiencing serious difficulties because of the uncertainty in the market. That is one reason our government created the Canada-Quebec committee to prepare appropriate responses to the crisis in the forestry economy.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of waiting to act, claiming opposition by the United States and the famous special committee that has done very little, the government would be better off being very clear that it believes loan guarantees are in accordance with the softwood lumber agreement, as a number of legal opinions have confirmed.

Does the government understand that the best way to counter the Americans' claims on this issue and to help the industry is to give loan guarantees to the forestry sector?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I assure members that the governments of Canada and Quebec are working together with the entire forestry industry to find solutions in the short, medium and long term to get through this crisis.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the number of unemployed workers who receive EI benefits remains ridiculously low, and the government stubbornly maintains that the current employment insurance system does not need any changes.

How can the government continue to ignore the calls for EI reform, when only 44% of unemployed workers are receiving benefits?