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House of Commons Hansard #49 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was grain.

Topics

Border CrossingsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Madam Speaker, the government always carefully considers any decision it makes that may have an impact on the livelihood and trade that our nation engages in. What I am very concerned about is not only the jobs at our border but the hundreds of thousands of jobs that member's party is destroying by the destructive lobbying in the United States against Canadian interests.

Border CrossingsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob NDP Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Madam Speaker, under the pretext of cutting costs, the government is penalizing our region. While the economy remains fragile, the government's measures are harmful to farmers, tourists, emergency services that have cross-border reciprocal agreements, and all of the families that feel torn apart by these service reductions.

Will the government commit to reopening the border crossings that have been closed and returning the others to their former hours of operation?

Border CrossingsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Madam Speaker, let us talk about the hundreds of thousands of jobs that member's party, the NDP, wants to shut down. It wants to shut down the seal industry, a vital and important economic activity in many communities. It wants to shut down the forestry sector in B.C. and the aerospace sector in Quebec. It wants to shut down automobile manufacturing in central Canada. It wants to shut down the truck drivers who cross the border every day. It wants to shut down the GM food sector on farms across the country. Why will the member not work with us to create jobs, rather than shutting down our economy?

Border CrossingsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Madam Speaker, once again, they are avoiding the question without answering it.

According to Canada Border Services Agency, “As part of its strategic review, the CBSA will be making some changes to its border operations...to ensure maximum efficiency and cost effectiveness.” Meanwhile, the Americans are investing in their border infrastructure. Closing these border crossings makes no sense in terms of economic development and tourism in Canada.

Do the Conservatives realize that they are not walking the talk when it comes to public safety and the economy?

Border CrossingsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Madam Speaker, what we know is that the New Democrats are focused on shutting down the Canadian economy. They will not have to worry about border crossings; there will be no jobs here. People will not come here for tourism or for economic reasons. The New Democrats want to shut down not only the province of Quebec, they want to shut down industry right across Canada. We will continue in our efforts to maintain our trade relationship with the Americans and the border crossings that are appropriate, to keep that border open.

Border CrossingsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Madam Speaker, I will continue asking the same questions.

The Conservatives have let the Americans impose a $5.50 entry fee on Canadians; the Conservatives are going to be losers in the secret agreement on border security; and they are closing border crossings. What is wrong with this picture?

With the reductions in border services and staff, there has been an increase in criminal activities along the border between Dundee and Franklin. Even RCMP officers have said that closing the Franklin border crossing puts public safety at risk.

Why are the Conservatives suddenly being soft on crime?

Border CrossingsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Madam Speaker, we have hired hundreds of new CBSA officers. We have increased the number of RCMP officers. I know that when we came into office the Liberals had slashed the training of officers to 300 a year. In 2006, we trained 1,800 RCMP officers. We are concerned about security. We are also concerned about trade. I would ask that member to work with me to ensure that her party, the NDP, works to create jobs and opportunity and works for a safe country.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Butt Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Madam Speaker, Canada's agricultural products and agrifood industry are in high demand. However, the U.S. country of origin labelling process created uncertainty for livestock producers who depend on the smooth flow of livestock across our shared border. COOL was a step in the wrong direction and that is why we took action. The WTO COOL report was released today.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade explain why this is good news for Canada's livestock producers and workers?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville for his hard work on this file and for his dedication in standing up for Canadian farmers and livestock producers.

In 2008, our government took action to defend Canada's high-quality livestock industry against the COOL measure. Today, the WTO panel released its final report, which determined that the country of origin labelling measure discriminates against foreign livestock and is inconsistent with the U.S.-WTO trade obligations.

Thanks to our government's action, our livestock industry can get back on track, creating more jobs and more prosperity.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order, please. I would like a bit of order please.

The hon. member for St. John's South--Mount Pearl.

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

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

Madam Speaker, Service Canada budget cuts mean fewer people are processing employment insurance claims and handling calls. Claimants are often forced to wait well beyond the normal processing time of about 28 days. With no income for six weeks to two months, workers and families are having a hard time putting food on the table and paying bills.

My question comes directly from a Service Canada employee in St. John's, Newfoundland. When is the government going to stop talking about automation and actually fix the problems at Service Canada?

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:50 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

Madam Speaker, it is really unfortunate that union leaders, who have clearly convinced the opposition party, are selfishly attempting to ensure that the old, ineffective, labour-intensive method of processing EI claims is what we should be focused on.

Our government's top priority is getting Canadians back to work and promoting economic growth. We are committed to providing timely service. As we have said before, no Service Canada offices will be closing nor will there be any cuts to front-line services offered by Service Canada.

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

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

Madam Speaker, those guys just do not get the desperation of the situation.

I wonder if the Prime Minister or the Minister of Finance would be prepared to visit an EI call centre to take a few telephone calls themselves. They could hear first-hand the damage their government is doing.

Across the country, fewer and fewer Canadians are eligible for EI. Almost 60% of unemployed workers in Canada do not qualify. Delays are way beyond anything acceptable.

When will the government stop steamrolling ahead with more cuts to Service Canada?

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:50 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

Madam Speaker, as I mentioned before, no Service Canada offices will be closing. As a result of this initiative, there will be no impact on in-person services offered by Service Canada.

Automation is important. Making sure we move forward to make sure more Canadians are served in a timely manner is important. We are going to move forward with this process.

PovertyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Madam Speaker, Sunday is Universal Children's Day and the government is celebrating with a dismal record on children and families.

One in ten children live in poverty while the government offers boutique tax credits to wealthy Canadians. Two out of every five food bank users are children. Food inflation continues to rise and the government offers big tax breaks to corporations.

Why does the government refuse to adopt a long-term, comprehensive strategy to eliminate poverty that would actually make it better for children and their families?

PovertyOral Questions

11:50 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

Madam Speaker, every action this government takes is to help Canadians and their families become independent and able to contribute to the economy and to their communities.

We have had a decline since the peak under the Liberals of 18.4% to 9.5% under this government for children living in low-income families. The poverty rate for children living with single mothers has fallen to an all-time low of 21.5% from the peak of 56% under the Liberals. This government is moving forward on reducing poverty for children.

Why does the NDP not support our initiatives that are working?

PovertyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Madam Speaker, these same old lines the government keeps using will not help children. The Conservatives can pat themselves on the back, but the reality is that the number of children living in poverty has not changed.

Twenty years ago, the House unanimously passed a motion presented by then-NDP leader, Ed Broadbent, to put an end to child poverty in Canada. At least the government at that time was concerned about children.

Why is the current government indifferent towards children, especially children living in poverty?

PovertyOral Questions

11:55 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

Madam Speaker, the average Canadian family now spends $3,000 less per year in taxes. Those are funds that Canadians can use to invest in their family and their own children, thanks to this Conservative government.

Whether it is enhancing the national child benefit, or enhancing the child tax benefit, this government is working for Canadian families and their children. Why does the NDP not support these initiatives?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Madam Speaker, the story of first nations education in Canada is a tragedy of lost generations. Still only 35% of first nations children are graduating from high schools. Preliminary reports from the national panel on first nations education made clear the shameful reality that often first nations students do not go to school because there is no running water in the school and the building itself is unsafe.

Will the government confirm today that yesterday's commitment to safe drinking water in first nations homes will also address the urgent priority of first nations schools?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Madam Speaker, we are finding innovative solutions to improve the quality of education for first nations. We have a joint action plan with the national chief. The K to 12 panel is doing some very good work. We have also invested in a major way in school renovation and school construction across the country. We built or repaired 100 schools and work is under way on over 100 more. The economic action plan was a big part of this.

National DefenceOral Questions

November 18th, 2011 / 11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Madam Speaker, the Conservatives are crossing flight paths in the confusion to defend their reckless procurement of the F-35s. The Associate Minister of National Defence contradicted himself when he said the Conservatives are not looking at other options, but there is a plan B. The Minister of National Defence finally saw the light and began to share the concern we have that the F-35 project will be in big trouble when the Americans pull out.

Who is running the show? Is it the Minister of National Defence, the junior minister of defence, the Prime Minister? Maybe it is the parliamentary secretary. Who is going to take the blame?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, as we have said many times in the House, our plan to equip Canada's men and women, to protect Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic and elsewhere remains absolutely on track. The F-35 is the right aircraft for that mission in coming decades and we are glad that our allies are reminding their parliaments of the importance of this important technology that is creating jobs for Canadian companies across this country.

As the Defense Secretary of the United States said today in Halifax:

The F-35 is going to be an essential fighter that will help NORAD and will be the future in helping us with the security challenges that we face.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Madam Speaker, when will the government finally follow the advice of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel and stop playing judge and jury for the Federal Court of Appeal? Will the government finally listen to the Canadian Bar Association, Parliament's lawyer, and the opposition and wait for the courts to do their work?

When will Conservatives allow the courts to function independently and recognize that their political agenda comes second to their constitutional duties?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Madam Speaker, I would respond to the question with a question. When will the NDP understand that this is about fundamental accountability and transparency for each and every Canadian? Hard-working Canadians contribute their tax dollars to this government. Many of those dollars go toward the support of the public broadcaster. All we are seeking from the public broadcaster is transparency and accountability because families in my riding and the member's riding deserve nothing less than transparency from the public broadcaster.