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House of Commons Hansard #42 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, what I find interesting about this job posting is that the profile highlights do not mention proficiency in both official languages. There is nothing about that. Nada. Zip. Zero. Moreover, the Conservatives cannot tell us how much they paid the headhunters to put a unilingual job posting on their website.

Why did the Conservatives not feel it necessary to find an Auditor General who is proficient in both languages, as defined by the government's criteria?

And the job posting was in English only.

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Ferguson is the most qualified candidate. He has said that he wants to and will learn French.

He is supported by the former auditor general, Madam Fraser. He is supported by those who have worked most closely with him. The Premier of New Brunswick and even the interim Liberal leader of New Brunswick have supported his candidacy because he is the most qualified for the position.

G20 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians saw for the first time today disturbing images from inside the notorious G20 detention centre. These makeshift cages held almost 900 people in crowded conditions with very little food, water or even a door on the toilet.

This was the largest mass arrest in Canadian history and the majority of these people were never charged. A year and a half later Canadians are still waiting for answers and waiting for the government to accept responsibility.

When will it conduct an inquiry into the G20 summit?

G20 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, if the member has specific knowledge of some wrongdoing by police officers in the course of executing their duty, it is his obligation to provide that to the provincial authorities that were in charge of that facility during that time.

G20 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, these are the kind of answers of which Canadians are getting tired. Toronto was turned upside down by this summit. While the Muskoka minister can find millions for his riding, small businesses in my community are still waiting for their compensation.

When will the government properly compensate Toronto businesses and finally provide answers, not just to Toronto but to the entire country about the G20 calamity?

G20 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the losses and damages done to Toronto businesses are deeply regrettable. The claims process has been an independent process that has been in place since the previous government put it in place in 2001. It has been used successfully in previous summits.

In the spring I committed to having my office undertake a complete review of the claims process. Following that review, I can assure the member opposite that Toronto businesses were treated just as fairly as every other previous summit.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government is squarely focused on what matters to Canadians: jobs and economic growth. I remind the NDP that in these challenging times there is simply no better job creator than free and open trade. That is why we are negotiating a free trade agreement with India that could help our economy grow by $6 billion a year and increase our two-way trade by almost 50%.

Could the parliamentary secretary tell the House what our government is doing to further advance the job creating pro-trade plan?

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Fleetwood—Port Kells for her strong support for our job-creating free trade plan.

Today, as many members in the House know, already the Minister of International Trade is beginning a week-long trade mission to India. With 1.2 billion consumers in India, India represents tremendous opportunities for Canadian workers and businesses of all sizes.

Deepening Canada's trading relationship with India will help protect and strengthen the financial security of hard-working Canadians, and it is all part of our pro trade free trade plan.

PovertyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us is brought home when we see the number of Canadians now relying on food banks. However, the government's insulting response was “tough luck, get a job”.

Thirty-eight per cent of food bank users are children. Food Banks Canada is saying that investments in child care can help. When will the government invest in a high-quality, affordable child care program, or is its answer to our nation's hungry children that they should also just get a job?

PovertyOral Questions

2:50 p.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, it is unfortunate that people are going to food banks, but the statistics speak for themselves. The percentage of children living in low-income families has declined significantly from a peak of 18.4% under the Liberal government in 1996 to 9.5% in 2009 under this government. The poverty rate among children of single mothers fell to an all-time low of 21.5% under this government and—

PovertyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Nanaimo—Cowichan.

PovertyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us use the statistic that 38% of food bank users are children. There is a statistic.

If the parliamentary secretary would put aside her talking points, she would see the economy has lost thousands of good full-time jobs. The cost of living is skyrocketing and Canadians are having a harder time making ends meet. That is why so many are turning to the food banks. Eight hundred and fifty thousand people are using food banks in Canada and that is unacceptable.

Will the parliamentary secretary tell us what her government is doing right now to address this crisis?

PovertyOral Questions

2:55 p.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, every action we have taken to help Canadian families has allowed them to become more independent and helped them contribute to the economy and to their communities.

We will continue to make investments to make a positive difference in the lives of Canadian families. We have enhanced the national child benefit and the child tax credit. We brought the universal child care benefit into effect, which has brought over 24,000 families and over 55,000 children over the poverty line.

What has the NDP done?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, national food banks yesterday reported that over 46% in Alberta and 63% in Saskatchewan of rural users are aboriginal. Ten per cent of all food bank users are first nations, Métis or Inuit. That represents a lot of aboriginal women and children. Many rural communities do not even have a food bank to turn to. To their credit, the Samson First Nation women have started a soup kitchen to fill the stomachs of those in need in their community.

What happened to the government's commitment to end discrimination against Canada's aboriginal peoples and to ensure they also benefited from our economy?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we are working with first nations like the Samson Cree Nation. What is important is that we provide the proper incentives to get people supporting good government, that there is economic development so they can look forward to jobs and prosperity and that we do the right things in terms of K to 12 education. Those are all things we are working on in a joint action plan with the national chiefs, and we have made much progress.

PovertyOral Questions

November 2nd, 2011 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin NDP Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, food banks are an important service provided for our communities.

In my riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, a church was vandalized this week and the thieves even robbed the food bank. Unfortunately, too many families with young children depend on that food bank. This is devastating for them and completely unacceptable.

When will the government really do something to tackle poverty among young people, so that families will not be so vulnerable?

PovertyOral Questions

2:55 p.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, the best way to fight poverty in Canada is to get Canadians working.

The economic action plan is doing just that, growing the economy by 650,000 net new jobs since July 2009.

Whether it be the working income tax benefit that has helped low-income Canadians over the welfare wall or the unprecedented investments in training, this government has a plan. Why is the NDP member not voting for it?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to come back to Bill C-10.

Canada's crime rate keeps going down. It is a fact. Why does the government want to impose on Canadians the dumb-on-crime big jail agenda that has failed in the U.S.?

It will have a huge cost and it shows a total disregard for our overtaxed justice system. Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia refuse to pay for this nonsense.

Will the government listen to them and replace Bill C-10 with a policy to really fight crime and bring more justice and safety to Canadians?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are doing, but then again, if the hon. member is in fact motivated by statistics, he might find it interesting to know that drug crimes are actually going up in this country and that sexual exploitation of children is going up in this country.

If the statistics are what is motivating him, then he should be the first one on his feet to be supporting us on Bill C-10.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem with his policy is that it does not protect victims; it creates victims. The government concealed the fact that it wanted to destroy the firearms registry's database. This is a brutal act that has been widely condemned. The Government of Quebec wants to preserve the data in order to ensure the safety of police officers and the public, and the federal Privacy Commissioner considers that justified. Since the Conservatives are failing in their duty, at the very least, they must stop standing in the way and allow the Quebec government to use the data.

If the Conservatives do not want to lead, will they at least get out of the way?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, for years that member's government was busy targeting law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters and treating them as criminals.

We have consistently opposed this wasteful and ineffective measure, which does nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

Our government received a strong mandate from Canadians in order to ensure that we end the long gun registry and actually stand up for victims against real criminals.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has a bizarre way of celebrating anniversaries. To honour the CBC's 75th anniversary, the government has decided to stage a witch hunt, led by the member for Peterborough.

Canadians are particularly concerned about the committee's decision to deliberate in secret behind closed doors.

My question is for the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. Can she update the House on the status of the anti-CBC motion?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, incredibly, a majority of committee members voted to meet in camera at this time to deal with the business before the committee. This keeps our committee deliberations secret and effectively prevents committee members from commenting on the business before the committee.

I know many members believe Canadians have a right to know, but I must report that the majority of members decided that the public will not be allowed to hear these debates.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the budget for the Prime Minister's Office is skyrocketing under the Conservatives, our public broadcaster has shown remarkable fiscal discipline. Yet the Conservatives continue to attack the CBC. The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages appeared on television boasting about the draconian cuts and issuing thinly-veiled threats about further cuts.

Will the minister protect the legacy of our public broadcaster and invest in its future?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Yes, Mr. Speaker, we are demanding accountability at the CBC. For shame.

For Canadians watching question period today, this is very instructive. The NDP started question period by saying we should not spend more money on fighting crime. Then it said we should not spend more money on the Canadian Forces so that they have the equipment they need. Now the NDP stands up and says, “However, let us give hundreds of millions more to the CBC”.

That tells us everything we need to know about that party versus where Canadians stand.