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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

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, we have a responsibility here. We have a clear mandate, and the majority of Canadians are seeking tougher penalties for violent criminals and rapists who prey on children.

This is what we are doing. We are making laws more severe to ensure safety in our streets. To be more severe is not the opposite of rehabilitation; it is complementary. We should get out of these ideological debates.

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the message from the provinces to the government is clear. They are worried about being saddled with the costs of the Conservatives' wrong-headed prisons agenda that will not reduce crime.

This out-of-touch government wants the provinces to foot the bill for more jails, more staff and more congestion in the courts.

Where does the government expect the provinces to get the money, from health care and education? How many front-line police officers will be taken off the streets to pay for the Conservatives' megaprisons?

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear there are benefits to actually putting rapists and dangerous criminals behind bars. It means that ordinary Canadians are protected.

I know that the opposition NDP would like to target duck hunters, sport shooters and farmers in my riding, but that will not bring the crime rate down. Targeting real criminals will.

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, past transfers to the provinces will not help pay the billions in bills from the government's misguided prisons agenda.

Experts have testified at committee that this bill will not actually improve public safety. The Canadian Bar Association's criminal justice section, made up of prosecutors and defence counsel, called the bill counterproductive. Yet, the government is bullying provinces into writing a blank cheque with taxpayers' money.

Will the government listen to the provinces and abandon its out of touch prisons agenda? When will it start helping provinces and communities invest in crime prevention and more front-line police officers?

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest to the member that he perhaps go to downtown Winnipeg and speak to members of his party, the NDP party, that holds government there, that supports Bill C-10, and wants to actually see dangerous offenders in prison.

It is willing to pay the cost and, furthermore, it does not want the long gun registry. It knows it is a waste of resources. It knows it detracts police from actually hunting down real criminals.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the government on the question that I think still preoccupies most Canadians, which is the economy.

We on this side of the House are finding it hard to understand why the government is still pursuing an ideological path when it actually has an opportunity to do something about two very direct issues which we have raised before. The first one is the increase in employment insurance premiums, which makes zero economic sense at the present time. The second is the failure to ensure that tax benefits and credits go to those Canadians who need it most.

Why is the government having such a hard time addressing these two questions?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, the path that we are taking is working and we are following that path. Canada has created over 650,000 jobs and the Liberals voted against it. We allowed income splitting for older people and they voted against it.

We created measures to ensure the fees for EI premiums would not increase and the Liberals voted against it. Now they are opposing the tax credit for hiring SMEs and, once again, they will vote against it.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a $1.2 billion employment insurance premium increase at a time when the world economy is hitting a very heavy storm, and when Canadians and small businesses need help. I am asking the government to take off the ideological blinkers. Let the government see what needs to be done and let the government respond to what is a clear and compelling need of small business, workers and the people of Canada. That is what it is not responding to.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about payroll taxes. Each time we have taken action to protect jobs, the Liberals have voted against it. Recently, we took steps to scale back the recommended increase in EI premiums and, once again, the Liberals are against them. They are making a fuss today, but when it comes time to vote and actually take real action that will affect all Canadian taxpayers, they are not shy about voting against such action. That is precisely what is so offensive and shameful.

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, clearly, the process for appointing an Auditor General is seriously flawed. The government cannot announce in a job posting that a position requires proficiency in both official languages and then appoint someone who is not qualified based on the government's own requirements. This is an affront to the principles of natural justice.

Will the government agree to postpone the vote, until all the parties can come to an agreement on the appointment of the next Auditor General?

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Ferguson was chosen on the basis of merit for his capabilities. He is very capable. He must speak French. He said he would learn to speak French. He is taking French lessons and he will speak French. Here is what Sheila Fraser said:

He will be a very good auditor general. He is very capable, a very nice person and I think once parliamentarians get to know him, they will appreciate him.

Learning a second language is not easy, but others have done it before him. It is possible. I think Mike is a very intelligent person. He knows it is important for him to become bilingual.

The matter is therefore closed.

JusticeOral Questions

November 2nd, 2011 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's crime legislation is misguided. It will cost taxpayers billions of dollars, but the government does not seem too concerned about that because it is sending the bill to the provinces. Quebec has no intention of absorbing this undisclosed expense and it is not the only province refusing to do so. This government is not even considering the provinces.

When will the government realize that its plan completely misses the mark?

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has not taken into consideration the thoughts of the voters of this country who gave us a mandate to crack down on crime. That being said, I understand the NDP position. Any money being spent to crack down on people in the long gun registry is okay, but its members draw the line when it goes after drug traffickers and child pornographers.

Canadians gave us a mandate to go after criminals in this country and that is exactly what we are going to do.

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the provinces are right to refuse to cut their social services in order to fund megaprisons, especially when Canadians do not even know how much such a program will cost. The NDP has been saying from the beginning that this program will cost Canadians an absolute fortune without any certainty that it will have a real impact on reducing the crime rate.

Will this government go back to the drawing board and consult the provinces to ensure that they are not penalized by such a misguided program?

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have had extensive consultation with the provinces. They are all very aware of the pieces of legislation that we have put together. The administration of justice is, of course, the responsibility of the provinces.

That being said, I was very pleased when I saw in the last budget that there was an increase for the transfer to the provinces of $2.4 billion to allow them to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities. All of us should support that and take some comfort in that.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, B.C. has now joined the list of provinces upset about paying for the Conservatives' prison agenda. Provinces want to invest in front line police officers so we can have safer communities. However, the government is shortchanging the provinces. We know who will pay for it, B.C. families.

Why will the government not let provinces like B.C. have a say in how they are going to spend their own money? When will the Conservatives finally reveal the full cost of their out of touch prison agenda?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, let me get this straight. We should spend more money on police officers so that they can catch bad guys, but we should not put them in prison. That is the fundamental flaw with the NDP philosophy. The members believe in talking tough as long as we do not do anything.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is just so typical of that minister and that government. They do not understand—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh has the floor.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, they have no concept of what front line police officers do in terms of preventing crime.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. As I said earlier this week, if members cannot come to order, they might find themselves short of questions. Order, please.

The hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh.