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House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was artists.

Topics

LibyaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I visited Tripoli last week to give Libya's interim president a direct offer of assistance and support in two very important areas: democratic development and the demilitarization of the country. These two objectives are very important. We announced approximately $10 million in aid for the new Libyan government, which was very pleased with our offer of assistance.

LibyaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, while some might celebrate the death of Mr. Gadhafi, the means of his death is deeply troubling. It is equally troubling to those of us who support the rule of law and the legitimate aspirations of the people of Libya for freedom.

I wonder whether the minister is equally concerned about this revenge killing, as it will perpetuate a cycle of violence. To ensure that the efforts of our brave men and women are not wasted, will the Government of Canada immediately offer assistance to the NTC for decommissioning and democratic institution building--

LibyaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

LibyaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, my first thoughts are with the Libyan people, not with their former dictator.

We have offered in Tripoli, directly to the leadership of the new government in Libya, President Jalil and to Acting Prime Minister Jibril, support for democratic development in terms of how they could draft a constitution, how they could build a better justice system, how they could conduct elections. We have offered a substantial amount of support where I think Canada can contribute.

Second, we have offered assistance to demilitarize the country. That is tremendously important. A lot of shoulder-to-air missiles have gone missing, and we are obviously very concerned about the large stockpile of chemical weapons. They pose a danger not just to the people of Libya, but also to the broader international community.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to veterans, Conservatives were asleep at the switch yesterday. The Conservatives are slashing funding for Veterans Affairs just as a new influx of Afghanistan veterans needs our support in dealing with debilitating injuries, including post-traumatic stress. Our brave vets have earned the support of Canadians, and we are behind our veterans. Liberals have forced the Veterans Affairs committee to get behind our veterans.

What is it going to take to finally get the Conservatives behind our veterans and stop these cuts?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, no government has been as strong in stepping up for our military, and in particular our veterans, as this Conservative government.

After years of neglect by our predecessors in the Liberal government, we have made sure that veterans are getting their due; that includes, of course, enhanced benefits that they will continue to get into the future.

We have enhanced those benefits to make up for the deficiencies of the past, improving access to monthly benefits for seriously injured veterans to up to $1,600 per month for life. We have introduced a monthly $1,000 supplement for most seriously injured or ill veterans. We have done numerous other things for our veterans. We will always be there for our veterans.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in August we saw that the number of people receiving employment insurance benefits increased by 6.6%. This number continues to rise, but the government is cutting employment insurance services and turning its back on Canadian families when they need it most. This government needs to stop hiding behind excuses.

When will it stop giving tax cuts to its corporate buddies and help the people who need employment insurance?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, our government was given a strong mandate to create jobs and lower taxes, a low tax plan for jobs and growth. This plan is working, with the creation of over 650,000 new jobs since July 2009. We are focused on what matters to Canadians: job growth, expanding the economy, investing in skills training, and helping those who are the hardest hit.

In budget 2011, our hiring tax credit for small businesses provides a one-year EI tax break for over 525,000 small businesses. These initiatives are creating jobs.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, families have known for a long time that under the Conservative government they are just not getting ahead. Yesterday, the Canadian Index of Wellbeing reported the same findings the Conference Board did a month ago. They reported that the gap between the rich and the rest of us is growing and employment insurance claims are rising dramatically. This is the reality for Canadian families, and still the Conservatives refuse to act.

When will the government start fighting for families?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, we continue to fight for families, but the NDP fights against everything we want to put forward in legislation that does help families. Canadian families want jobs. The best social program that any government can provide is an environment where the private sector can grow jobs.

We have all heard time and again that over 650,000 jobs were created, not totally because of our economic action plan but because of all the implementation. I would remind hon. members that the NDP voted against every one of those initiatives.

VeteransOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the truth of the Conservative Party's record on veterans affairs is rather quite dismal when we look at the fact that more and more veterans are now using food banks. In the city of Calgary alone, there is a food bank for veterans only. In 2005, it had 58 members and in 2010 it had over 200.

More and more veterans are becoming homeless, more and more veterans are frustrated with the system. Instead of streamlining the system to the point where veterans get more of the benefits, the government is cutting the department by $226 million.

If it really wants to do something, it should cut the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, get rid of the political appointees, and deal with the veterans—

VeteransOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

VeteransOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Mississauga—Brampton South Ontario

Conservative

Eve Adams ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, to be very clear, we are not cutting benefits to veterans. We are looking at efficiencies at the department, cutting red tape, and making things much more efficient for our veterans.

When it comes to homelessness and food banks, our government record is incredibly clear. We are the ones who created the new veterans emergency access fund that helps veterans and their families when there are no other funds available to them. We are the ones who have actually doubled the number of operational stress injury clinics.

No government in Canada's history has done more for veterans than the Stephen Harper government.

VeteransOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. I would remind the hon. member not to use proper names but ridings or titles.

The hon. member for Pontiac.

VeteransOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is just more government rhetoric. It is sad that veterans are not able to see positive changes in their daily lives.

This government plans to cuts jobs at Veterans Affairs Canada because the Conservatives claim there are fewer veterans in the country today, but that is the exact opposite of what the Veterans Ombudsman is saying. There are currently 700,000 veterans in the country, and that number is growing. Why is this Conservative government turning its back on veterans?

VeteransOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Mississauga—Brampton South Ontario

Conservative

Eve Adams ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, again, to be clear, we will maintain benefits to our veterans, including the enhanced benefits that our government introduced just two weeks ago. Changes at the Department of Veterans Affairs, as I mentioned, are focused on improving efficiency, cutting red tape, and improving service to veterans. Our government continues to deliver quality care to our veterans and a key component of that is our operations in Charlottetown.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

October 21st, 2011 / 11:30 a.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, culture does not grow only in the big cities. It is created in all corners of the country, including rural Canada. The cultural capital program is a boost to the rural economies and an essential part of preserving rural Canadian culture, yet the government has decided to wipe out the small communities category.

Small Canadian communities have made a large contribution to our country's cultural fabric. Why are they being shut out of this important program?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, no government in history has actually done more for culture than this government. During the economic downturn, we are the only government that not only maintained funding for arts and culture but increased funding for arts and culture.

We understand how important it is, not only to the large cities, to urban areas, but to all of our rural areas. That is why in communities across this country festivals are being supported, the arts are being supported, and we are very proud of our record.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives continue to turn their backs on families with these cuts. This week we learned that the Department of Canadian Heritage is making cuts to the cultural capitals of Canada program. It is cutting cultural capitals of less than 50,000 people. Rouyn-Noranda is one of them.

The community of Rouyn-Noranda depends on the program to promote the arts and create jobs. Why is the government abandoning this community?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I will reiterate for the hon. member. We have actually increased funding for arts and culture in Canada. We are the only G7 country in the midst of an economic downturn to increase funding. We understand how important this sector is to the Canadian economy. It is responsible for thousands of jobs across this country.

The real question is, why does the NDP always vote against initiatives that would help support our artists? When we talk about increasing funding to the arts community, why does it always vote against it?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary NDP St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, cuts to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have left our fishermen feeling like they have been set adrift in a sea of uncertainty, written off by the Conservative government.

The boom has been lowered on the resource conservation council and on the search and rescue marine sub-entre in my riding of St. John's South—Mount Pearl, but with another $57 million in planned cuts, we know there is even more to come, worse to come.

Which part of our fisheries, of our culture, will the Conservatives set adrift next?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, strategic review is an opportunity to assess the performance of all departments within government. It also allows us to ensure that we are responding to the priorities of Canadians.

We have a responsibility to spend money prudently and where it will do the most good. We must ensure that government programs are efficient, effective, and achieving the results that Canadians expect from us.

DFO is making steady progress in modernizing and improving our program and policy approaches to meet the needs of Canadians today and in the future.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary NDP St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, early this afternoon I will have the pleasure of opening debate on my private member's bill calling for an inquiry into the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery.

The Newfoundland and Labrador fishery rebuilding act proposes that today, 20 years after the shutdown of the commercial groundfish fishery, we begin the process of rebuilding. Unfortunately, the Conservative government appears to be sailing in the opposite direction.

Will the minister do the right thing and agree to an inquiry to restore the once great stocks that were our dowry with Confederation?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the government has learned many lessons from the poor practices that had led to the collapse of the groundfish fishery in the 1990s. While some may prefer to live in the past, our government has no intention of conducting a formal review into the collapse of the cod fishery.

In some areas, for example, on the eastern shelf, we have seen some positive indicators that our efforts are starting to pay off, and we will continue with fisheries reform and further implementation of sustainability policies.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is time for the minister to get a grip on reality. Fishers are worried about the cuts at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. People from the Gaspé and the Magdalen Islands have already suffered enough because of poor management of fish stocks. Now the government is adding to that by cuts in search and rescue. The industry's future and the fishers' safety are being threatened by these cuts.

Will the government commit to maintaining funding at Fisheries and Oceans Canada to guarantee the future of our fishers?