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House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was families.

Topics

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I see the hon. member has given me a last chance, so I will repeat that our government's position has not changed on this matter.

All projects funded by CIDA are assessed against our effectiveness standards. After due diligence, it was determined that the KAIROS proposal did not meet the Government of Canada's priorities.

I will repeat this again. Our priorities are: more food, more education and more help. In other words, our priority is to make a real difference.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, what that shows is that the Conservative government does not care about CIDA's international development mission. If partisan interests are served, they provide funding. If not, they make cuts, as they did with maternal health. And if they are criticized, the cuts are made even more quickly, as was the case with women's groups.

Where is the order from the Prime Minister to intimidate NGOs and impose his Republican ideology on them?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I will summarize what our government has done with our international aid.

Under our watch, Canada is the first G8 country to double our aid to Africa. The opposition ignores the fact that, under our watch, Canada is doubling its international assistance to a record $5 billion. We led the world in addressing the MDG goals 4 and 5. Under our watch, we became world leaders in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was the same story at Rights & Democracy except that in that case, they caused the death of its president, according to his wife. They maintain that it is an arm's-length organization, but they did everything to destabilize it. Why, if not for ideological and purely partisan reasons?

Why are they doing everything in their power to sink this organization, which is the pride of Canadian diplomacy? Why?

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I heard some statements in this House that do not warrant an answer to these questions. It is regrettable that my honourable colleague decided to sink so low as to mention the death of Mr. Beauregard.

ImmigrationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week we introduced tough legislation that would prevent human smugglers from abusing our immigration system. Canadians want to know what the Liberal Party's position is on human smuggling. Yesterday the Liberal spokesman said that he would, “take the time to speak with experts and our caucus”.

Canadians want to know this. Will the Liberals support tough rules on human smuggling, or will they let human smugglers continue treating Canada as their doormat?

ImmigrationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale for the support he has given to Bill C-49. No Canadian thinks that human smuggling is acceptable. It is a serious offence that puts human lives in danger. It takes advantage of our very generous immigration system.

We want to know why the Liberal Party is dancing around this important subject instead of giving Canadians an answer. Will the Liberals stand and support this tough but fair bill and, at the very least, get it past second reading to committee?

HealthOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, according to a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, drugs account for the second-largest share of health care expenditures. That is why the provinces recently reached an agreement to join forces in order to achieve economies of scale.

The provinces, territories and first nations are all calling for a pan-Canadian strategy for prescription drugs. What is the government waiting for to introduce such a strategy?

HealthOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our government is a large spender on pharmaceutical benefits, providing approximately $600 million last year to cover pharmaceutical products and medical supplies. This funding is a positive investment for a diverse population. As well, we have continued to honour our 2004 health accord, which provides $41.3 billion in additional funding to the provinces and territories.

Our government agreed to a shared agenda with the provinces and territories to improve our collective management of pharmaceuticals, recognizing our complementary roles in this sector.

HealthOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, we all know the challenges and I thank the minister for pointing out what they are legislated to do. However, we cannot trust the Conservatives or the Liberals when it comes to medicare.

The member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca wants to privatize health care and his leader said that he supported two-tiered health care. Meanwhile, the member for Beauce wants the government out of health care altogether. That is not what Canadians want. Canadians want real leadership on health care in Canada.

When will the government wake up and work with the NDP, a trusted voice on medicare, to re-vision the future of health care in Canada?

HealthOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our government supports the Canada Health Act and the principles of the Canada Health Act. We will continue to work with the provinces and territories to improve health care delivery. We have also made significant other investments in the last few years related to information, telehealth as an example. We have made investments in research and in pandemic plans such as H1N1.

Our government's approach is to work with the provinces and territories which deliver health care.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has announced that it will fully refund the GST on Remembrance Day poppies in order to help veterans. The Bloc commends this initiative. However, at 1¢ per poppy, this is a mainly symbolic measure.

Veterans are calling for more than just symbolic measures. They would like the government to amend the veterans charter to restore the lifetime monthly pension for injured soldiers as compensation. When will this government take action?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. member that over the past few weeks we have made a lot of changes to support our veterans, in particular our modern-day veterans. Changes will follow the implementation of the new charter.

We have added $2 billion to provide these services and to ensure that our veterans, particularly those who return injured, do not need to be concerned about their financial future. It is in that context that we have made tangible improvements: currently, someone who is seriously injured receives a minimum of $58,000.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, those are not the desired changes. For weeks we have been calling for changes to the veterans compensation system. The minister tells us they are coming. It is the minister's Marshall plan. We hear a lot about it, but it never comes.

Can the minister at least commit to changing the charter to restore the lifetime monthly pension, as veterans are calling for?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is making reference to lump sum payments. For example, when someone has extremely serious injuries, he or she can receive up to $276,000. Our veterans have asked for greater flexibility on this, and we are getting ready to make changes in the near future to offer options, so that the injured person can make the best choice in consultation with members of his or her family.

PovertyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the human resources committee has completed its study on poverty in Canada. It will soon release its report after hearing from hundreds of witnesses across the country and experts around the world.

As poverty increased during the Conservative recession, the government has been missing in action on this file. Most provinces and territories now have anti-poverty strategies and they want the feds at the table. The United Nations even told Canada the same thing last year in the periodic review.

The government does not seem to care. The government chooses planes and prisons over people in poverty. Why is the government turning its back on people in need?

PovertyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we do appreciate the work that was done by the committee on the poverty study. Unfortunately, it did not take the time to recognize many successful initiatives that our government has taken over the last few years to help relieve the poverty situation in Canada.

In fact, the poverty rate for seniors is a small fraction of what it was under the previous Liberal government. We made that happen by increasing the exemption for GIS from $500 to $3,500. We have introduced pension splitting. We have done a number of things to help Canadians be better off.

PovertyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the fact is poverty rates in Canada are rising.

Last December, the Senate issued a report entitled, “In From the Margins”, a big study led by Liberal Senator Eggleton and Conservative Senator Segal. The government's response to that was to post an inadequate list of programs, which the minister just recited again and which have not made a difference.

Fighting poverty is good economics. It is good for Canada. It involves working with provinces, municipal leaders, schools, churches and community groups.

Why will the government not show some leadership, or at least show up in the fight against poverty?

PovertyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government has done a lot to help those in need in Canada. For example, the average family in Canada now has over $3,000 more in its pocket thanks to our move against poverty. We have also cut taxes right across the board for all Canadians, such as the GST which has gone from 7% to 6% to 5%. We have lowered corporate taxes, so job creation is there.

The best way to fight poverty is to give people the skills they need for the jobs that we create, and we have created over 400,000 of those lately.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

October 29th, 2010 / 11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2006 the government fired two public servants. When asked about it, it ran for cover and misled the media. We were told “there is nothing to see here”. Now we learn the government is paying out over $2 million for the wrongful dismissal of Mr. Rotor and Mr. Tipple.

If there was nothing wrong, why the need for the payout? Why were these public servants set up? Who will be held accountable?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government has had a very productive relationship with the public service. Our public service does an outstanding job for Canadians. That was best seen with the release of the Auditor General's report, in which she talked about the great work done at Infrastructure Canada and in other departments on the delivery of Canada's economic action plan.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, she also had a lot to say about conflict of interest.

Both Mr. Tipple and Mr. Rotor blew the whistle about the apparent conflict of interest between Minister Fortier and the bidders for an over $1 billion contract. The minister directed millions of dollars of business to two Conservative friends. He was called on it. He fired these public servants as a result of it.

The evidence is piling up. When will the government conduct a forensic audit on this file?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General regularly reviews the books of the Government of Canada. She has an important responsibility to do just that. We have confidence that she has and will continue to carry out her responsibilities in an appropriate fashion.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians appreciate that the economic action plan is helping protect our economy and making it the strongest in the G7. They also know that the last thing Canada's economy can afford is a Liberal-led coalition's high tax policies on job creators.

Only yesterday the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, representing 192,000 businesses employing millions of Canadians, said that the Liberal plan was, “Very damaging...it threatens the investment needed to carry an economic recovery”.

Could the parliamentary secretary please explain how our government is keeping Canada's economy on track?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canada continues with its economic growth. That shows once again that we are right on track. We have seen over 420,000 net new jobs since July 2009. Both the IMF and the OECD say that we have the strongest economic growth and will have through 2010-11.

Just today it was announced that Canada's GDP had increased again in August, for the 11th month out of the past 12.