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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

Pension PlansOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, as we have already said, our government is moving forward with its plans. Do not just take our word for it. I will quote Yves-Thomas Dorval, president of the Conseil du patronat du Québec, whose comments reiterate our commitment to this.

The Quebec government could follow the federal government's lead and put in place the conditions that would allow Quebec businesses to establish similar plans and encourage workers to make voluntary contributions to retirement savings plans.

Pension PlansOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Madam Speaker, by relying solely on the performance of the stock markets to provide retirement funds for Canadians, the government is playing a dangerous game. Families' retirement savings are melting away like snow in the sun. What is the government's solution? It will let big banks speculate with families' money. The Conservatives insist on going ahead with a program that just does not work.

Will this government finally listen to Canadians in order to protect their retirement savings?

Pension PlansOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, we have worked very hard to enhance Canadians' retirement security. For example, we reduced taxes for seniors and retirees by more than $2 billion, mainly by allowing pension income splitting. But the NDP voted against that. We restructured the framework for pensions that are under federal jurisdiction in order to better protect retirees. What did the NDP do? It voted against that. Together with the provinces, because we respect their jurisdictions, we reviewed proposals for making other improvements. That is why we are now introducing our pension plans—

Pension PlansOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order. The hon. member for Gatineau.

Pay EquityOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Madam Speaker, after almost three decades of legal battles the Supreme Court of Canada made a quick ruling in favour of women workers at Canada Post asking for pay equity. Women should not have to wait so long for justice.

The government has turned back the clock even further by introducing regressive legislation that excludes women from even making complaints.

Why does the government not believe in the right of equal pay for work of equal value? Why is the government so tough on women?

Pay EquityOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, the government is committed to equal pay for equal work. The decision in this three decades old case actually shows that the previous system was broken. Our government fixed the system, so that unions can no longer negotiate away equal pay only then to force legal, costly and adversarial court battles.

Women should not have to wait decades to get equal pay for equal work.

Pay EquityOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Madam Speaker, that is the problem. The Conservatives do not understand the concept of pay equity. We are talking about equal pay for work of equal value.

The Conservatives' pay equity bill is nothing more than a smokescreen. Women and unions are no longer able to make complaints. The result is simple: women must forget about justice. Today, women still earn 70¢ for every dollar a man earns. We need federal pay equity legislation similar to what we have in Quebec. Canadian women deserve equality.

Why does this government refuse to ensure that women earn the wages they deserve?

Pay EquityOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, our government believes that women deserve equality. Our Conservative government believes in the principle of equal pay for equal work. The decision made in this nearly 30-year-old case shows that the previous system was broken. Our government fixed the system so that unions can no longer negotiate away equal pay and then provoke long and costly legal battles.

Women should not have to wait decades to obtain equal pay for equal work.

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Madam Speaker, at the last G20 meetings the government signed on to the principles of consumer protection for the financial sector. It promised to guarantee access to a fair and independent complaints system for Canadians, and yet the TD bank recently walked away from the banking ombudsman without even a peep of concern from the government.

Why is the government refusing to stand up to banks and protect Canadian consumers from being gouged?

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, currently, all banks are required to have consumer complaints procedures in place and have a third party dispute handling body.

However, there is variation in procedures used, and this is of concern to us and to consumers. To better protect consumers, we are forcing banks to belong to government approved independent third party bodies. We are establishing uniform regulatory standards for internal complaints procedures. We are giving the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada the authority to monitor and enforce compliance. We passed legislation for this and are now finalizing regulations.

Unfortunately, the NDP voted against all of that.

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Madam Speaker, we vote against the government's inaction on creating jobs and the economy.

What we need to see from the government is not allowing the big banks to police themselves. The Royal Bank and the TD have dropped out. Others could soon follow. The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments has helped protect Canadians for more than 15 years, the best way to keep the banks honest. However, the government cares more about tax breaks for banks than keeping them accountable.

When are the Conservatives going to close the door on allowing banks to leave the OBSI and protect Canadians?

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, I am going to close the door on that feigned concern for Canadians and the economy.

When we look at the real facts here, NDP members really do not care about jobs and the economy. Why are they pushing a $10 billion tax hike on employers that would kill Canadian jobs? Why are they subscribing to a massive CPP payroll tax hike that would kill jobs?

The NDP has an anti-trade agenda. It is anti-Canada by going to the United States and asking that Canadian jobs be eliminated. I would ask that the NDP members explain why they are so against our country and our people?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Madam Speaker, the United States is moving towards a green economy, and that is what Canadians want to do as well. We went to Washington to tell them what Canadians think about the Keystone project and to do this government's job.

But this government is still failing to take action on the environment. Canadians do not want a dangerous pipeline. When will the government stop listening to the oil lobby and start listening to Canadians?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Madam Speaker, Canadians are extremely fortunate to have the third largest proven oil reserves in the world, including the oil sands. We intend to develop those. We believe we can do that with the environmental protection that is necessary.

It is unfortunate the NDP opposes all of those things. I do not know why it continues to denigrate our economy, and goes down to Washington trying to damage job creation in this country. We are going to continue to work for Canadians.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Madam Speaker, the government can shut down debate in the House, but it cannot shut up the opposition.

Rather than continuing its lobbying efforts on behalf of big oil companies, the government should do what it promised and actually regulate oil sands emissions. The government's PR campaign is not fooling the Europeans or the Americans.

When will the government stop listening only to the oil lobby and do the right thing by introducing emission regulations for oil and gas?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Madam Speaker, the more I hear from the NDP about the economy, the more I understand why my province fell behind with NDP governments. They are disconnected from the real concerns and needs of Canadians.

We continue to work to build an economy. Why is the NDP working so hard to destroy Canadian opportunities?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Madam Speaker, it falls to MPs on this side of the House to speak up for Canadians who care about the environment because that side is too busy meeting with oil lobbyists.

While we are working toward a green economy for the future, it has its own meetings. We found out today that TransCanada lobbyists met with government officials a whopping 56 times since May. It is such a cozy relationship that it is not hard to believe that the government is big oil's number one cheerleader.

Why is the government so willing to listen to big oil but not Canadians? Just who does it work for?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Madam Speaker, why do the NDP members not support this country in the development of the economy across the country? Them talking about jobs and about pipelines, and oil sands is ridiculous.

Their former critic calls for a moratorium and actually some of their leadership candidates want to shut down development of the oil sands as well. Why do they not be honest? They are standing up and talking about destroying hundreds of thousands of jobs for Canadians.

We believe we can move ahead with the proper environmental protections and the proper economic development. We are going to continue to do that for Canadians. We are going to continue to provide them with jobs and more opportunities.

Government ExpendituresOral Questions

November 18th, 2011 / 11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Madam Speaker, under the government's watch federal spending has shot up 37%. That is 60 billion more dollars a year spent. The Conservatives go around preaching small government, but meanwhile they have squandered the surplus and wasted so much money on gazebos, jails, and pet projects that they are now slashing departmental funding just to make ends meet. They spent Canada into a deficit even before the recession.

I am from a small business background where every penny counts, so I would like to ask, does the government need our help understanding the real priorities of Canadians?

Government ExpendituresOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, it is true that we did increase transfers to the provinces for health care by some 33% after they had been slashed by the opposition when they had their hand at the helm.

We did restore funding for the military, this is true, and we did take action during the economic downturn with stimulus funding. As a result, we have been able to create over 600,000 net new jobs since that downturn. We have been delivering for Canadians.

It is also time now to ensure that we move toward that fiscal balance that is necessary. We are doing that by winding down stimulus spending and by implementing our deficit reduction action plan.

From the opposition, we only hear calls for higher taxes that will kill jobs and opposition to projects that will create jobs. We are delivering for Canadians with more jobs.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Madam Speaker, lots of smug talk about fiscal balance, but we have just learned that the Prime Minister has overruled his own Minister of National Defence and is forcing National Defence to repaint a VIP government aircraft because he does not like its colour.

The current fleet of aircraft are painted military grey because they are used in critical military operations. The Prime Minister's vanity paint job will make the plane unsafe for those very military operations. Why is the Prime Minister putting his own vanity above the needs of the military?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, apart from being a complete non sequitur with the member's first question, the accusation made is completely unfounded. These changes would only happen in accordance with the regular maintenance cycle of National Defence and if they are cost neutral. These aircraft are repainted every six years and there is no current plan to change the paint scheme for any airbus aircraft.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Madam Speaker, we have known for some time that Canada would win the WTO challenge against the United States protectionist country of origin labelling. We know that this action has cost Canadian livestock producers in excess of $5 billion and has forced some Canadian farmers out of business. Yet, with that leverage in hand, where are the ministers? Doing a photo op. Ministers should be in the United States capital demanding compensation for Canadian losses and Canadian producers.

I ask the minister, has the government even entered negotiations with the United States to secure this victory for farmers?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Madam Speaker, the hon. member is absolutely right, today the WTO panel released its final report which determined the country of origin labelling measures discriminated against foreign livestock and was inconsistent with U.S. WTO trade rules.

I can also tell the hon. member that we will continue to work on behalf of Canadian producers to supply more Canadian jobs and more opportunity, whether that means going to the WTO or going directly to our trading partners.

Border CrossingsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob NDP Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Madam Speaker, since April 1, three border crossings in my riding—Morses Line, East Pinnacle and Glen Sutton—have had their hours of operation reduced, while other crossings have been completely shut down. In addition to restricting the flow of goods and services as well as people, this also puts jobs at risk.

Does the government realize that it is seriously jeopardizing the socio-economic balance of that border region? Will it reverse its decision?