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House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was right.

Topics

Office of Public sector integrityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, we will examine all of the Auditor General's recommendations. Her report contains some good recommendations. We will also put a process in place to find a new commissioner. We hope the acting commissioner will examine all of the concerns that are affecting many people. We hope to get some answers to the problems raised by the employees in that office.

Office of Public sector integrityOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General noted that several complaints were arbitrarily rejected by the former ethics commissioner, often without any investigation. This casts some doubt on the handling of all the complaints brought before the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner over the past three years.

Therefore, will the government ensure that all those files are properly reviewed as soon as possible?

Office of Public sector integrityOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, in our view, all of the problems mentioned by my hon. colleague and by the Auditor General are important. Staff members have indicated that there were problems. We hope that all of the cases will be examined.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

December 9th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, in response to a question concerning the pilot project that reduced the number of hours required for unemployed people applying for employment insurance for the first time, a project which ended on December 4, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development stated that this pilot project had been useless and very expensive. A number of unemployed people benefited from it, meaning that this loosening of the rules is critical.

What is the minister waiting for to recognize the value of this pilot project and extend it?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said, we implement pilot projects to see if certain ideas work or not. We tried this idea and it did not work. We did not meet the program's goals and it was very expensive.

We want to help people work. That is why we have invested in training to give people the skills they need to get work today and in the future. The member should have supported us in that effort.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, again, the minister is saying that employment insurance serves to train the claimants. Her argument does not make sense for workers in regions with high unemployment where it is very difficult to obtain the 910 hours required for the initial application.

Will the minister recognize the importance of this measure for these workers, and does she intend to make pilot project number 13 permanent?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, there are ideas that work and there are ideas that do not. We have already expanded the programs that were beneficial to the unemployed and the economy. This pilot project was not a good idea and that is why we cancelled it. We will continue to work for Canada's taxpayers to ensure that their money is well spent.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister told the House the policy of denying GIS benefits for seniors who make emergency withdrawals from their RRIF has been reversed, not put on hold but cancelled outright.

The House has been given false information. Internal documents I have obtained, issued to Service Canada processing staff on November 26 and 30, confirm that the May 17 policy to cut GIS benefits still stands and still is the policy of the Government of Canada today.

How do the Prime Minister and the minister explain their earlier statements?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. That change in policy has been cancelled. All applications that were made from May 2010 until the cancellation will be re-evaluated based on the rules prior to May, so everything is going to continue as it was before, because we want to make sure that the GIS is fair and helps those who need it most.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, the minister can misinform the House all she wants. These documents spell out exactly what is happening within her department today. It is business as usual at Service Canada. Make an emergency withdrawal of RRIF savings; lose the GIS in return. Contrary to what was promised, there has been absolutely no directive to re-evaluate anyone previously turned down. The secret May 17 policy still stands. The minister has given one directive, however; all future GIS applications are indefinitely to be buried in the mailroom so that this truth could not be leaked out.

What is worse, a lie or a cover-up?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman wants to, he should contribute it to the House.

Let me say, we have cancelled this change. We have cancelled it, we have cancelled it, we have cancelled it. Could I be more clear about that? We want to make sure that Canadians who need their GIS do get it. We are going to be operating under the old rules. We are putting that in place retroactively so that anyone who was applying under the rules after May 17 gets re-evaluated based on the old rules. That is what we have promised to do. That is what we are doing.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, this Christmas, there are many more Canadians living in poverty than there were when the government took office. Seniors poverty is up 25%, but while the government can find $1 billion for its bloated G8 meeting, seniors suffer. While the Conservatives were making merry at their Christmas party last night, their senators danced out long enough to kill a bill that would have made Christmas a little bit brighter for disabled Nortel employees.

Merry Christmas from their government. This on top of shafting our poor seniors by cutting their GIS. Our seniors have stood up for this country for years. Why does their government not stand up for them now?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to standing up for seniors, we have done it several times when the member and his Liberal colleagues did not. We stood up and voted in the House for splitting the pension income for seniors. We stood up in the House when it came to the GIS exemption. We stood up for making sure that seniors could work more and still collect GIS.

We are standing up for seniors. Liberals should try it once in a while.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, come on. Poverty in this country is a national disgrace. Governments make choices. They can find billions of dollars for untendered planes but nothing for seniors. Seniors poverty is up 25%. Poverty is up 2.5%. We have more people living in the streets, kids going without food, skyrocketing debt, and people with increased debt loads. Those are facts, but those are the choices that the Conservatives make. The government does not seem to give a damn. What does it say to the poor, “Let them eat planes”?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, let us face it: when it comes to caring about seniors, we put our money where our mouth is. We are the ones who took 85,000 seniors off the tax rolls by reducing their taxes so that they had more money in their pockets, not in the government's pockets. We brought in pension income-splitting for seniors. We raised the age credit.

We are doing it for Canadians. All the Liberals are trying to do is scare them. That is not right. That is not fair and it is not helping seniors.

The other thing the Liberals want to do is raise the carbon tax. They want to raise the GST. That will take money out of seniors' pockets. That will not help.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, this Conservative government came to office committed to helping improve the lives of aboriginal Canadians.

After 13 years of failed promises under the Liberals, we put in motion with first nations communities and other partners improvements in housing, water, specific claims and economic development. We not only delivered an apology to residential school survivors, but also human rights to on reserve Canadians.

Would the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development tell the House what our government is doing to help improve first nations education?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the government is committed to helping improve kindergarten to grade 12 education on reserve.

I want to tell the House and all first nations families and leaders that I am working with the national chief and the Assembly of First Nations. Today I am announcing that our government will be creating an expert panel to advise and look at options, including legislation to make positive changes for first nations students and to improve K to 12 education outcomes.

National Chief Atleo says we are generating hope and opportunity here. I agree.

Broadcasting and TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the process for choosing the vice-chair of the CRTC must be transparent. This is essential because the CRTC oversees a $60 billion industry. The process has been clearly defined. Eight candidates were interviewed and must have the qualifications required for this position.

Did the government use a transparent process or did it interfere politically in the choice of the new vice-chair?

Broadcasting and TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, yes, we are respecting the wishes of taxpayers with regard to the use of an effective and accountable process for appointing people to positions of authority.

In response to the hon. member's more specific question about the vice-chair of the CRTC, we have not yet made a decision. When we have selected someone for the position, we will make an announcement and the hon. member will be made aware of the name of the person at that time.

Broadcasting and TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the word on the street is that failed ADQ candidate Tom Pentefountas is favoured for the job, even though he was not on the short list of candidates.

The government's record on patronage is pretty appalling, but would it think to pick somebody with absolutely no experience and no qualifications? Being a political buddy to Tory bagman Leo Housakos and PMO lapdog Dimitri Soudas is certainly not a sufficient resumé for a semi-judicial body that oversees decisions worth millions of dollars.

So I am asking, is the government so brazen that it would interfere with the CRTC by picking buddies of the PMO?

Broadcasting and TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Word on the street is, Mr. Speaker, come on. This is the Parliament of Canada. We do not ask questions based on what the word on the street is.

We have not yet made an appointment to the vice-chair position of the CRTC. When we make an appointment, my hon. colleague will be among the very first to know. I am sure he will recognize that we have made the right decision for both the CRTC and indeed for all Canadians, and he can tell the word on the street that is the case.

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not just creators who are denouncing the copyright bill. The Quebec bar says that Bill C-32 is nothing but a series of “piecemeal amendments without vision or overall consistency, clumsily adopting parts of foreign models that we know to be outdated.” The president of the Quebec bar is calling on the Minister of Canadian Heritage to go back to the drawing board because Bill C-32 does not respect Canada's international commitments.

Will the minister substantially amend his copyright bill, as Quebec and its bar are calling for?

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, Bill C-32 is fair and responsible. It reflects the recommendations made across the country when we conducted unprecedented consultations in order to draft a responsible bill that responds to the needs of consumers and creators alike.

To answer the hon. member's question specifically, as to the WIPO Internet treaties, yes, this bill will make Canada the number one country in the world in terms of protecting our creators from those who pirate and steal from creators. We will work with WIPO and protect all Canadians.

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the bar association specifically says that Bill C-32 does not respect these international treaties.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages is once again showing contempt for artists by saying that creators, “are not entitled to revenue, they are only entitled to not have their work stolen.”

Therein lies the problem. The minister refuses to understand that copyright is revenue. Will the minister reconsider? Will he listen to and hear the cultural community and fine tune his bill to ensure that creators are compensated?

CopyrightOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear again. We are against imposing a massive new tax on consumers. If that is the proposal of the Bloc Québécois, we will be against it. It is the proposal of the NDP and we are against it. It does not serve consumers and it does not serve creators to make it more expensive for Canadians to have the devices on which they can consume Canadian content. It is a bad idea and we are against it.

We are not against it because we do not understand what the opposition members are proposing. We are against it because we know exactly what they have in mind.

We are against increasing taxes on consumers. We are in favour of an intellectual property regime in our country that serves the best interests of creators and consumers, and in Bill C-32 we have that.