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House of Commons Hansard #32 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was leave.

Topics

PensionsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the only deceit here this morning comes from the opposition when it even suggests that it cares about seniors. Maybe it did in that half-day conference that was convened here in Ottawa to listen to seniors. Those who could not travel here, I guess the Liberals did not want to hear from them.

Last year we consulted with those involved in the federally regulated private pension plans. We found out what the problems were and we put in fixes for them. They are in Bill C-9 and we would encourage hon. members to actually read that they are in the budget and help us get them through for those people.

PensionsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are continually trying to mislead people. More promises of consultation is all we hear from them. Even Jack Mintz, one of their favourites, is asking why Ottawa is holding back on pension reform.

The former employees of Nortel want to know why the government is doing nothing to help them and all Canadians want to know why the government is standing between them and a secure retirement strategy.

Why is the government more interested in covering its own tracks than helping Canadians prepare for retirement?

PensionsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if we are covering tracks, it is tracks left by the Liberal government, where it did nothing.

If the hon. member had actually read the budget, she would see that what we are putting in helps protect pensioners. We are making pensions more stable for those who are impacted by it. We are giving pensioners more negotiating powers.

I have been in six different sessions where the provincial finance minister in that jurisdiction has sat shoulder to shoulder with either the finance minister or myself. We are actually listening to seniors and we will come to some solutions that will help seniors without the Liberals' help.

TaxationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, many low-income Canadians are discovering that they do not qualify for the home renovation tax credit.

They saw the advertisement with a woman saying they could save $1,350 on their home renovations. They renovated in good faith, but they have been taken in by the Conservative culture of deceit.

Will the government apologize to those who were duped?

TaxationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if there is any apology due, it would be from those on the other side of the House who actually voted against one of the most popular programs that was put forward in our economic action plan. It is pretty incredible when they vote against something and then come back and say we should extend it.

Let me speak very slowly. It is a tax credit. It is not a tax deduction.

TaxationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ron and Barbara Johnson are two Welland area seniors who spent $10,000 renovating their home, only to discover that their income was not high enough and they will not be getting the $1,300 they were promised by the Conservatives' commercials.

I know the Conservatives like to be tricky, to string words together in a way that leaves their real meaning open to interpretation, but this time their culture of deceit has targeted vulnerable Canadians.

When will they apologize?

TaxationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have a task force travelling across this country right now. It is called the Task Force on Financial Literacy. I would suggest the hon. member sign up, because he obviously does not understand the principle of a tax credit. That is what we put in. That is exactly what thousands and thousands of Canadians have applied for and they will be receiving that tax credit back.

JusticeOral Questions

April 23rd, 2010 / 11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberal member for Ajax—Pickering said that he would oppose the government's legislation that would make it clear to the courts that house arrest would no longer be available to those who commit serious and violent crimes such as aggravated assault, human trafficking, luring a child, and arson.

Could the Minister of Justice please inform this House what failing to pass this important legislation could mean for the law-abiding citizens of Canada?

JusticeOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his support of our tough on crime agenda.

It is true that anytime we introduce a bill that will get tough on crime and stand up for victims and law-abiding Canadians, 10 seconds later somebody from the Liberal Party opposes it. The Liberals' soft on crime approach has always been a mystery to me. The Liberals should go home to their constituencies and explain to their constituents why they support the current law that if somebody sets fire to their house, that person should be able to go home to his or her home.

This is just one more reason why anybody who worries about crime in this country should never support the Liberals.

EthicsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, with the culture of secrecy that allowed corruption to flourish under the Liberals, no one was more sanctimonious about their ethical lapses than Rahim Jaffer and the Conservative coalition, but now that they are in power, it is still all about who one knows in the PMO. In fact, it is even worse. Those guys make Roch LaSalle smell like a spring day.

Why did the Conservatives think there was nothing wrong with Rahim Jaffer's illegal lobbying until the public found out about it? Why did the Prime Minister only act swiftly and immediately after it hit the front pages of the newspapers?

EthicsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister received the allegations from a third party, he referred them to the relevant authorities. These authorities will reach their own conclusions. These allegations have nothing to do with government business. When the allegations from the third party came to our attention, we acted quickly and appropriately.

I should add that none of these allegations from this third party involves any other MP, minister, senator or government employee.

EthicsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government's claim of no harm, no foul because Mr. Jaffer's illegal lobbying was not successful is laughable. It is like saying if one robs a bank and there is no money in the vault, then no crime took place.

It is up to lobbyists to register their activities. We know that. But there is also an obligation on the part of the minister to live up to the spirit and the intent of the law, the very law that the Conservatives wrote, the very law that was the centrepiece of their legislative agenda.

Maybe the minister needs to have his moral substance recalibrated, but why did he not send Rahim Jaffer packing the first time he showed up with those--

EthicsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

EthicsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his carefully reasoned and thoughtful question.

As he properly pointed out, we have a Federal Accountability Act which brought in place the Lobbying Act. That Lobbying Act requires that anyone who carries out lobbying activities register and report those activities.

If the member has any evidence that someone has broken those rules, I am sure he will make an equally thoughtful submission to the lobbying commissioner so that it can be investigated.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government is doing everything it can to avoid shedding light on its complicity in the torture of Afghan detainees. Eight days of hearings of the Military Police Complaints Commission could be cancelled because of the Conservative government's failure to cooperate.

Is it not time to set up an independent public commission of inquiry to finally shed light on the torture of Afghan detainees?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

No, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has got it completely wrong. The MPCC and officials will continue to work with that group to provide all relevant documents. There is a mandate put in place for the MPCC, and the hon. member should have confidence in that process.

Democratic Republic of the CongoOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Congolese president, Joseph Kabila, is pressing for the UN peacekeepers to begin withdrawing from his country in June. But according to Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Cormier and many NGOs, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not ready for the peacekeepers to pull out.

Will the government respond favourably to all those who want this important mission to continue?

Democratic Republic of the CongoOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I answered a similar question from another colleague earlier this week. I said then that Canada was one of the nations to which the UN Secretariat was considering offering a command position.

At present, Canada has to consider its capacity. We are analyzing this request and will pass on the information as soon as we have completed our analysis.

FisheriesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the gulf crab fishery is made up of both traditional and new entrants alike.

In recent years, former groundfish-dependent fleets were allowed entry into area 12, but when the minister announced the 63% reductions in quota this year, rather than cutting the newer entrants first, a policy known as last in, first out, all shared the cuts proportionately and all shared the remaining quota, regardless of when they entered the fishery.

Will the minister confirm that she will be consistent and apply this same decision to northern shrimp, should quota reductions occur in that fishery?

FisheriesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the member will know that these decisions are always difficult decisions, especially when a quota is cut. These decisions are reached after considerable consultation with industry and science.

That is what was done in this case. We are following the precautionary approach and we will continue to do so.

FisheriesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, integrity begs the minister to do exactly the same on northern shrimp, should quota reductions occur, as she did on gulf crab.

Now decisions have to be made because the fishery has not yet recovered from the turmoil of the global recession. The global economic crisis is still keeping lobster prices low and shrimp at rock bottom prices. Crab prices are suffering despite resource cutbacks.

Why will the government not respond with a significant, comprehensive and augmented economic assistance package for the fishing industry?

Let me point out that should they spout off about what they have done so far, they are saying nothing--

FisheriesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

FisheriesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I know the minister will welcome the hon. member's advice.

At this point there is no plan to provide some financial assistance, but we do allow some flexibility in the rules governing how the fishery is implemented, and we will assist harvesters in that way.

The member will also know that the standing committee unanimously supported a motion to take a look at the crab issue in Atlantic Canada. Perhaps these issues will be raised there.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, Parkwood Hospital in London, Ontario plans to close 72 veteran care beds. The problem is that veterans hospitals are only mandated to care for World War II and Korean war vets.

Does the Minister of Veterans Affairs have the wisdom to change the mandate for Parkwood and other veterans hospitals so that Canadian Forces personnel and RCMP who have served in peacekeeping missions and combat deployment since the Korean war would be eligible to access the same benefits and services offered to earlier generations?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to clarify a few things. Of course our veterans are entitled to receive care in extended care beds. To that end, some hospitals reserve beds specifically for long-term care. However, since our veterans are dwindling in number because of their advanced age, some beds are no longer occupied. It is in these circumstances that we would talk to the hospital or organization about reducing the number of beds. Of course there is always room for our veterans, and other people can use the space when it is available.