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House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombia.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, allow me once again to point out all the measures we have put in place in recent months to help workers.

First, we extended the EI period by five weeks. Then we helped companies and employees by extending the job-sharing period from 38 to 52 weeks. Today we are announcing other measures to help long-tenured workers, those who work in mining, the manufacturing, automobile and forestry sectors, among others, those who have paid premiums for years. We want to help them by giving them an additional 5 to 20 weeks.

Will the opposition support us in this measure?

TaxationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is said there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. The finance minister wants to hit both with his HST scheme, and the B.C. Liberals have foolishly signed on. Now British Columbians will have to pay 7% more for essentials such as food, haircuts, vitamins, and even funerals.

Why is the Conservative government hellbent on raising taxes at a time when many British Columbians are struggling to pay their bills every day? Why are the Conservatives foisting this tax on the people of British Columbia?

TaxationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the decision by any particular province of whether or not to harmonize is a decision for that provincial government to make. It is not a decision made by the federal government.

The proposal with respect to harmonization has been in the budgets repeatedly. Years ago, under the Liberal government, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and other provinces chose to harmonize. Some additional provinces are now making that decision. It is a decision for them to make.

TaxationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister wants people to believe that he had nothing to do with raising their taxes and yet he offered the McGuinty Liberals in Ontario $4.3 billion if they harmonized their sales tax. That bribe worked and Ontario families will now be paying 8% more on vitamins, transit tickets, power bills and, yes, even funerals.

Increasing the tax burden on hard-working families is simply the wrong approach. Will the finance minister stop playing Ontarians for fools and end this Liberal-Conservative tax grab?

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

As I said, Mr. Speaker, the same proposal is there for all of the provinces that have not yet harmonized and that is their decision.

I say to the member opposite it is passing strange that she is arguing about tax reductions. Her party is the party that voted against reducing the GST, which we have reduced twice since we took office.

This is a party that reduces taxes. That is the party that raises taxes.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, while the leader of the Liberal Party continues to put his personal aspirations ahead of Canadians with talk of an unwanted election, our Conservative government is working to deliver results for Canadians hit hardest by the global recession. Many of these workers are in my riding of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.

Could the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development tell us what our government is doing for those workers?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is proposing additional support to workers who have paid EI premiums for years while they look for jobs in our recovering economy.

We intend to table legislation that will provide up to 20 weeks of additional EI regular benefits to unemployed long-tenured workers because it is the fair and right thing to do. By contrast, the Liberals would continue to push the irresponsible and very expensive 45-day work year. That is not for us.

Search and RescueOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador today are reeling from another tragedy at sea. As rescue efforts continue for one missing crew member, questions are again being asked about the adequate availability of search and rescue service.

I ask the minister responsible for search and rescue, given this most recent tragedy off our coast, will the minister now do a total review of search and rescue service in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador?

Search and RescueOral Questions

3 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, like the member opposite and, I am sure, all members of the House, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected by the loss, the ongoing search and those affected by the sinking of the Sea Gypsy.

We monitor regularly conditions with respect to search and rescue. This particular issue around the placement of search and rescue assets has been one that has required a great deal of attention.

I assure the member opposite that one Hercules aircraft is on standby in Sydney now. We continue to work with the Coast Guard with respect to this particular situation. I assure the member opposite that we will--

Search and RescueOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Trois-Rivières.

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals and the Conservatives are responsible for the current crisis with the supply of medical isotopes. The federal government, which is responsible for this crisis, has an obligation to compensate the provinces, which, for the past several months, have had to contend with the disastrous consequences of the incompetence of successive federal governments.

Will the government confirm that it is prepared to welcome any request for financial compensation from the Government of Quebec?

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we are working very closely with the provinces and territories on this issue. In fact, I will be meeting with the provincial health ministers this week in Winnipeg to discuss this very issue.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

'Mr. Speaker, nine million sockeye salmon vanished during this summer's migration to the Fraser River. A drop of the same magnitude is the collapse of the Atlantic cod, nothing less than a catastrophe, yet the minister has evaded responsibility in taking no effective action.

Courts have clearly ruled that the management of west coast fisheries is a federal responsibility. The government must make it a top priority.

Will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans convene immediately an emergency summit on salmon in B.C. with all stakeholder groups, including local governments, fishers, first nations, environmental organizations, and put in place an action plan now?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, we are concerned about the low return of sockeye salmon in British Columbia. Conservation, I can tell the member, is our number one priority.

I want to inform the hon. member that I was in British Columbia just last weekend and had a meeting with a number of industry stakeholders and we will plan the best way forward from there. I had a round table with them and they presented plenty of ideas for discussion. We will be planning a way forward from discussions with the industry.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

September 14th, 2009 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the Hon. George Prime, Senator and Minister for Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs for Grenada.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Notice of MotionWays and MeansRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 83(1) I wish to table a notice of ways and means motion to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on January 27, 2009 and to implement other measures.

I ask that an order of the day be designated for consideration of the motion.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(b) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 129 petitions.

Industry, Science and TechnologyCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 109, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to the second report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology entitled, “A Study of the Crisis in the Automotive Sector in Canada”, tabled in the House of Commons on March 31, 2009.

Corrections and Conditional Release ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-434, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (day parole—six months or one sixth of the sentence rule).

Mr. Speaker, this bill is extremely short. It has only two clauses of less than three lines each because the objective is to obtain the unanimous consent of this House.

I am convinced that all members of this House are against the provisions of the law that allows offenders to be released after serving one sixth of their sentence. We may disagree on other measures. The different parties have a number of suggestions for dealing with white-collar crime. However, if there is one thing everyone agrees on it is this bill. In fact, we could get off to a start by unanimously adopting these provisions tomorrow.

Therefore, I intend to introduce a motion tomorrow to have this bill pass all stages as of tomorrow.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canada PostPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I am tabling two petitions calling for the resumption of full Canada Post services in the south end of Sainte-Julie. Eight hundred and forty-seven citizens living in this neighbourhood signed the petition, and 813 signatures have been duly certified.

According to the petitioners, the closing of the Domaine des Hauts-Bois outlet in Sainte-Julie deprives approximately 10,000 people of postal service in the vicinity of their homes and requires them to use a busy road to cross highway 20 in order to take advantage of this public service.

Many people have rightly demonstrated that action is urgently needed in this sector because of a new seniors residence with several hundred units.

PovertyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by people from all across Canada who are concerned about the growing poverty in our country.

Whereas there are millions of people in Canada who are poor, including both individuals who work and have no work, and the inequality and social exclusion they face prevent them from leading full and productive lives for the good of themselves, their communities and our country, they are asking the Government of Canada and the House of Commons to join the provinces, territories and municipalities in showing leadership by creating and successfully implementing a national poverty plan for our country.

Rights of EmployeesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by over 12,000 former employees of Nortel.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to amend the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to protect the rights of all Canadian employees and to ensure that employees laid off by a company receiving pension or long term disability benefits during bankruptcy proceedings obtain preferred creditor status over other secured creditors.

They also call upon Parliament to amend the Investment Canada Act to ensure that employee-related claims are paid from proceeds of Canadian asset sales before funds are permitted to leave the country.

Income TrustsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present yet another petition on the broken income trusts promise.

The Prime Minister said that there was no greater fraud than a promise not kept. Two elections ago, he emphatically promised that he would never put a tax on income trusts. The Conservative government recklessly broke that promise and imposed a 31.5% draconian tax on income trusts. Independent experts subsequently provided Parliament with clear evidence that the finance minister's decision on income trusts was based on flawed methodology and incorrect assumptions.

I think we have presented well over 10,000 petitions in the House asking the Government of Canada to acknowledge that the financial justification for imposing the tax was flawed, to apologize to Canadians who were unfairly harmed by the reckless broken promise and, finally, to repeal the punitive 31.5% tax on income trusts.

Rights of the UnbornPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to present a petition in which the petitioners note that Canada is a country that respects human rights. It is included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that everyone has the right to life. They note that it has been 40 years, since May 14, 1969, when Parliament changed the law to permit abortion. Since January 28, 1988, Canada has had no law to protect the lives of unborn children.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to pass legislation for the protection of human life from the time of conception until natural death.