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House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was unemployed.

Topics

Human RightsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Yes, we do, Mr. Speaker. We stand in full solidarity with a coalition of over two dozen cultural communities in Canada that came to this country as refugees from totalitarian communist states, Koreans, Vietnamese, Ukrainians, all of whom remember members of their families and relatives who lost their lives under these systems.

Unfortunately, I hear heckling from the NDP on this point. We take seriously these crimes. We believe their victims must be remembered and we must teach future generations so these crimes are never again repeated.

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has been given a D for the level of poverty in the country by the Conference Board of Canada, not exactly a left-wing socialist organization.

Imagine Canada, with all its wealth, being 15th out of 17 developed countries for poor working age adults and children and we are slipping further behind. The D is for denial and do nothing. We are not living up to our reputation or our potential.

There have been three years of inaction. What is the government going to do now to improve Canada's record on poverty?

PovertyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, for once, I actually do agree with the NDP member, that the performance reported by the Conference Board is abysmal. That is because it happened up until 2005, if we check the data, under the Liberals. It was under their watch that this report was measured.

I would point out that in 2007, after our first year of government, 400,000 fewer Canadians lived in a low income situation than in 2006. That was the lowest level since 1976.

PovertyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the report focuses on how poorly the children are doing in Canada. Too many of them go to bed hungry and have no access to child care.

Provinces want to end child poverty but they do not have the money.

Here is where the money can come from: the billions spent by the Conservatives, supported by the Liberals, in promoting the HST tax grab.

Instead of blowing $6 billion on the HST, will the minister invest in the children of Canada and provide them with hope, prosperity and child care?

PovertyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the member is citing from the same report that ended in 2005 while there was the NDP coalition with the Liberals.

Let us take at look at 2007. During the first year of this Conservative government, 100,000 fewer children lived in low income families than the previous year. Why? It is because we enhanced the national child tax benefit for low income families. We introduced the universal child care benefit, which alone listed 28,000 families and fifty-six--

PovertyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Lobster FisheryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 2009 lobster season was a very difficult one. Sinking prices on the export markets and rising costs have hit the fishermen hard. In response to our pressure, the minister recognized the need to help these workers. However, the assistance plan announced in June was not warmly received in Quebec, particularly in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Does the minister plan on revising her plan, to stop penalizing the Quebec fishermen who have been practising conservation measures for a long time now?

Lobster FisheryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, we certainly are not penalizing any fishermen. What we are doing is stepping up to the plate and helping the fishermen when they need it.

TransportOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about another subject that has to do with a different minister.

The winter maritime link between the Îles-de-la-Madeleine and the mainland is essential to the economic development of our region. The winter crossing pilot project was a success this year; the number of vehicles transported was 75% higher than expected.

Does Transport Canada plan on renewing funding and making the winter maritime link permanent?

TransportOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we appreciate the real concerns faced by the member and his constituents with respect to timely and ready access to mainland Canada. I would be pleased to work with the member opposite and to look into what we might do to help his constituents and constituents on the east coast of Canada.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, we have known for a long time that farmers cannot trust the government but now the government is enhancing its own bottom line by forcing producers to transfer government debt to banks.

With hog producers facing financial ruin, the Minister of Finance is cutting his financial obligations under the advance payment program but hog producers are left holding a bag of more debt and less hope.

Why did the Minister of Finance perpetuate this scam on farmers whereby the government gets paid and farmers are left mired in debt?

AgricultureOral 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, I guess the answer is best said in the words of hog producers themselves.

Curtiss Littlejohn, the Ontario pork producers' representative, said, “These three programs provide options and choices for producers and ultimately will help to right-size the industry”.

The president of the Canadian Pork Council said, “We think it's going to make a huge difference”.

Producers themselves are saying that this is the right way to go. I wish the member for Malpeque would get on board.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, obviously the minister is not talking to ordinary producers.

Has the minister been party to this scam or was he hoodwinked by the Department of Finance into agreeing to impose this injustice on hog producers?

Here are the facts. Hog producers go to the bank to obtain a guaranteed loan. The condition is: repay the unsecured loan under the government's APP. The result: money flows through the farmers' hands to the government and farmers are left holding more debt. How does the government expect this to help hog producers?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 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 opposite forgets that this is a three-pronged approach. We put $17 million in marketing of hog products around the world. We have put $75 million into a program to help hog producers transition out, should they want to do that, and we have put in the government-backed loan system to term out their credit and ensure they have the credit available to get more cash available to them.

Once they flip this over, they will have access to more interest-free programming from the government. This is a great program for them.

SeniorsOral Questions

September 17th, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I visited 19 communities this summer and seniors from B.C. to Nova Scotia told me of receiving meagre increases to their government pensions of 30¢ to 40¢ per month.

Seniors receiving OAS and GIS are losing money because the CPI does not reflect provincial differences in the cost of living. Programs indexed to the national average of CPI are not adequate and seniors across Canada are suffering.

Will the minister commit today to correct this situation immediately so that seniors will no longer be penalized by their government's inaction?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we do care about seniors and that is why we launched a National Seniors Council and even appointed a Minister of State for Seniors. Those groups have had a tremendous impact. That is why we increased the GIS exemption from $500 to $3,500 which provides more money for 1.6 million seniors. We have increased the age credit twice, a tax savings for another 2.2 million seniors.

We are working to help seniors have more for their retirement so they can enjoy it as they deserve.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, that answer just will not cut it with seniors.

After a lifetime of work, all Canadians deserve security and dignity in their retirement years but the government is failing seniors.

As I have said, I have toured communities across this country. Far too many of the most vulnerable in our society are living in poverty. In far too many communities, the cost of living is rising faster than their GIS and OAS.

Will the government, at the very least, accept the call of the CLC and Canadian premiers and call an emergency summit on pensions?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, obviously we are very concerned about the plight of seniors. They are the ones who built this great country of ours.

That is why my colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, has been logging endless miles going across the country consulting with seniors and with sponsors of pension programs so we can take a look at how best we can support our seniors in their time of retirement.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week the UN Human Rights Council released its latest anti-Israel missive.

The Goldstone report began with a mandate to condemn the Jewish state in a process that Canada and many other nations would not support. The report accuses Israel of war crimes in the recent Gaza conflict.

Regrettably, war crimes is the same claim made by the Leader of the Opposition during the conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Could the minister of state please inform this House what the government's response is to this report?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, I would remind this House that the so-called fact-finding commission was the creation of one of the United Nations' most flawed bodies, the Human Rights Council, which includes some of the UN's least democratic states.

In commissioning this study, the Human Rights Council pre-emptively assumed Israel's culpability. This government has never equated Israel, a democratic state, with terrorist groups that seek to destroy both it and its people.

This government will continue to remind members opposite that it is one thing to offer support of words to Israel when it is convenient and quite another to stand with Israel in its--

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor.

FisheriesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, recently, four experts and former government negotiators argued that the latest international agreement tabled here in the House regarding the north Atlantic fisheries will be a disaster to Canadian sovereignty. Now the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador calls this agreement “a totally unacceptable situation”.

How can the Conservatives seriously consider this when they talk about Arctic sovereignty and yet are giving away our exclusive rights on the east coast? Will the government take this flawed deal off the table and cast it back stamped “denied”?

FisheriesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador was a party to the negotiations of the amended convention.

When our government inherited management of the international fisheries, the situation in the northwest Atlantic was desperate after years of Liberal neglect. We can thank the former federal fisheries minister for his tremendous work on this file.

Canada is a leader at the NAFO table and we have strengthened Canadian sovereignty. I have no idea why the--

FisheriesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Saint-Maurice—Champlain.

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government will soon have compensated three maritime provinces, Ontario and British Columbia for harmonizing their sales tax. But the federal government is refusing to give Quebec the same treatment, claiming that the GST and the QST are not perfectly harmonized. Yet according to Privy Council documents, the federal government acknowledges that Quebec has harmonized its sales tax. Quebec took action 18 years ago.

What is the government waiting for to pay Quebec what it is owed?