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House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was victims.

Topics

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today I visited a family in Gatineau. Mike has cancer and his wife Helen is sacrificing everything, including her vacation time, to care for Mike.

Why is this government insisting on cutting corporate taxes instead of taking care of families like Mike and Helen?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, today, for the fifth time, the Liberal Party has recycled the promise of additional home care. That is the fifth time. Each time they say they will pay for it by increasing employment insurance premiums and increasing taxes on companies that create jobs. They have never delivered on home care, but they have delivered on tax increases.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Mike has been suffering with cancer for five years. Helen has given up all her vacation time to care for him. Does the Prime Minister not understand that when the minister gets up and says that Helen should take more vacation time to look after him, what she fails to understand is that Helen has exhausted all her vacation time and that it is an insult to talk to her this way? Does he understand that he is letting these families down?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, for the fifth time the Liberal Party has recycled the promise of additional home care. The fact is that party will pay for it by raising taxes on those who create jobs, by raising taxes on employers and employees.

When it came to the things this government actually did, such as increase EI compassionate care, increase the new horizons program, give income splitting and age credits, the Liberal Party always voted against tax breaks for those families and always voted for tax increases.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a Liberal family care plan would provide six months of compassionate care leave. It would provide a tax benefit for families that provide care to families. This could be paid for six times with the corporate tax giveaways to which the Conservative government is committed.

Could the government explain these priorities to hard-working families, like Helen and Mike, that are trying to look after each other?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party already spent away a hike in business taxes. The Liberals already spent that over two times last week when they voted for 45-day EI.

I wish the Liberal Party would actually get its messages right. I look at this brochure. On page 6, the Liberals talk about health care. On page 4, they promote somebody smoking.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as a former family caregiver myself, I understand how every day close to three million family caregivers struggle to keep their jobs and to provide care in the home for a loved one, a sick child, an aging parent. I understand it and I get it because I have been there.

Why does the Conservative government not get it? Why is it more important to the Conservatives to give $6 billion in tax cuts to the largest, most profitable corporations rather than help Canadian families?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are sensitive to the needs of families that have to care for ill family members. That is exactly why we expanded the eligibility for compassionate care, broadening it so more family members and even close friends would be able to help out in times of need. That is also why we introduced compassionate care benefits, along with other special benefits, for the self-employed.

We want to ensure that Canadians do have the support they need in times of trouble.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as a former family caregiver myself I completely understand the situation of close to three million family caregivers who struggle day to day to keep their jobs while providing care for a sick child or an very ill, aged parent.

On behalf of those caregivers, I want to know why it is more important to this government to give nearly $6 billion in tax cuts to the largest corporations than to help these families?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have made this promise five times and they have never kept it. We have focused on job creation. Without jobs, no one could provide care for a family member. We are focusing on jobs. The Liberals should support us.

Ministerial ResponsibilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources stated that he learned through the media that his former aide, Sébastien Togneri, had intervened on more than one occasion to prevent the release of documents obtained under an access to information request. In fact, Mr. Togneri did not act alone. Two other officials close to the minister were also involved in the ploy.

How can the Minister of Natural Resources have the gall to say that he knew nothing about the system—developed by three people who worked closely with him—used to control access to information requests?

Ministerial ResponsibilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister has already accepted the employee's resignation. In addition, the minister is co-operating with the Information Commissioner, who is conducting an investigation.

Ministerial ResponsibilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the same logic cannot be applied to two opposite things. When it was time for Mr. Togneri to appear before the committee, the minister and the Prime Minister said that they were responsible, that those people could not appear before the committee, and that it was a question of ministerial responsibility. Now that he has acted improperly, they are no longer responsible. That does not work.

We knew that he was irresponsible. He should now be responsible and resign.

Ministerial ResponsibilityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister is responsible for his employees. For that reason, he accepted the employee's resignation.

Ministerial ResponsibilityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, in committee, the Minister of Natural Resources said that he would answer for the actions of his aides. Now that three of his closest advisors have been caught pressuring government officials to cover up this information, in violation of the Access to Information Act, the minister refuses to take responsibility.

How does the minister explain that in June, he was ready to take responsibility for the actions of his staffers, but now that they are in hot water, he is nowhere to be seen?

Ministerial ResponsibilityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. It is our government and our party that championed expanding the access to information law to bring more sunlight into the halls of government. That was our first priority when we were elected to this place.

Let me also be very clear that the minister has accepted the resignation of his assistant. The minister has done the proper thing and has referred the entire matter to the commissioner so she can review the issue.

Ministerial ResponsibilityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot get out of his responsibilities that easily. His aides violated the Access to Information Act. They tried to hide information from the public.

If ministerial responsibility is more than just a principle to help them avoid being held accountable, will the minister act accordingly and resign in light of the actions taken in his name?

Ministerial ResponsibilityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Access to Information Act is very important. What is very clear is that every ministerial assistant and every public servant is required to obey the act. That is what the act says, and we must all respect it. The minister has done the proper thing and has referred the matter to the commissioner. We will wait to hear her views.

Foreign TakeoversOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, just like his predecessors, the Prime Minister is failing to protect industries that sustain Canadian jobs and our place in the world. Canada's technology leaders, JDS and Nortel, are gone. Canadian mining leaders Falconbridge, Alcan and Inco are gone. Canada's steel leaders, Dofasco and Algoma, are gone. And there is U.S. Steel's destructive takeover of Stelco.

The Conference Board is saying that BHP's potash bid offers no net benefit but lots of risk. Will the Prime Minister finally use the legal provisions at his disposal to protect Canada's jobs and our industry-leading companies?

Foreign TakeoversOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the report to which the hon. member refers has just recently been released. It would be inappropriate for me to comment on its contents at this time.

I can assure Canadians who are watching today that we will be, and are, carefully monitoring the situation closely. We will be applying the Investment Canada Act, which has a net benefit to Canada test.

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us look at a different sort of example. The Air Canada Public Participation Act requires that Air Canada:

...maintain operational and overhaul centres in the City of Winnipeg, the Montreal Urban Community and the City of Mississauga;

The act refers not to some centres, but to all operational centres.

Yet Air Canada is trying to get around this act and export thousands of Canadian jobs to El Salvador. The Minister of Finance is responsible for enforcing this act.

Will the Minister of Finance strictly enforce this act, or will he be as soft as when he lets foreign interests buy Canadian companies?

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government takes its responsibilities seriously. The Air Canada Public Participation Act is important legislation. It complies obligations on Air Canada, as the member said, in Winnipeg, in Mississauga and in Montreal. The government will continue to work with the industry and with the company involved to ensure the law is fully respected.

Foreign TakeoversOral Questions

October 5th, 2010 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, thousands of takeovers have been approved, with only one rejected to date. The government is failing to protect our strategic industries. It imports the lousiest owners and exports our best jobs.

It gets worse. The Conference Board confirms the government is using Canadian tax dollars to finance these foreign takeovers that ship our jobs and resources overseas, such as Vale, Xstrata and BHP. Profitable foreign multinationals can writeoff their takeover costs against the taxes they owe Canadians. It is an absurd loophole.

When will the Prime Minister finally stand up and undertake to close it?

Foreign TakeoversOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is painting a picture which is not quite accurate. A number of these companies, just as Canadian companies are expanding overseas, create new jobs, new opportunity and new innovation. It always has to be done under the rubric of a net benefit to Canada test.

The hon. member is wrong to suggest that Canada gets nothing out of the interaction between foreign companies that invest, the jobs that are created and the investment and the innovation that is done in our country.

Ministerial ResponsibilityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the former minister of public works says that he has nothing to hide in the investigation into the illegal information cover-up scheme operated by his senior staff. He told the House that he had the current minister forward the Togneri file to the Information Commissioner.

Could he explain why he is refusing to have that minister turn over hundreds, maybe thousands, of emails that would shed some light on this affair? Why the culture of secrecy? Will the minister stop stonewalling the Information Commissioner and provide the evidence, all of it?