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House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was prairie.

Topics

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government strongly believes in supporting and recognizing Canadian history. It strongly believes with supporting and acknowledging the head of state of Canada, and certainly has made a number of initiatives in this regard. We think these are good things for Canada and we strongly support them.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is holding closed door border security negotiations with the U.S. and Canadians deserve to know what is on the table.

Is it iris scans? Is it longer waits at the border? Is it increased fees for businesses and travellers? What is on the table?

Every single time the Minister of International Trade goes to Washington we lose as Canadians. This deal could have major implications for Canadian families. Why is the government keeping Canadians in the dark?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I know this member understands that it is tremendously important that trade across our borders is open, that manufacturing sectors, particularly in southern Ontario and southern Quebec, can get their products back and forth across the border.

Canada is a trading nation, and this government is focused on jobs and the economy like a laser. We want to ensure that we deal with some of the challenges that employers have in getting their goods and services across the border. That is why we are working very closely with the Obama administration on a deal to try to address some of these challenges that are affecting both of our economies.

We are going to continue those discussions and hope to have something in short order.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

The truth is, Mr. Speaker, that the Conservatives put us in a major trade deficit. It is costing jobs and it must be stopped. From softwood lumber to buy American, every time the government tries to negotiate a deal with the U.S., Canada comes out the big loser. This time the privacy of Canadians is at stake.

Will the Conservatives finally stop their secret negotiations and tell Canadians what will be sacrificed in this deal? What are the Conservatives willing to give up just to push through this deal with the United States?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canadians' right to privacy is something that this government respects and strongly supports but we also strongly support Canadian sovereignty. This is not an issue where Canada needs the United States. This is an issue where we need to work together to ensure that we protect jobs on both sides of the border. That could be more important in no other area of the country than his own constituency of Windsor where auto parts will cross the border some 6 to 12 times in a car manufacturing facility. We want to make it as easy as possible so that the auto workers in Windsor and southern Ontario have the very best economic conditions, not just to succeed but to thrive.

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the head the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police made it clear that the government's prisons agenda is unbalanced. He said, “Is there a balance needed? Absolutely”. Police chiefs know that keeping our streets safe must include a strategy for crime prevention, something they say that Bill C-10 just does not do.

Why are the Conservatives dead set on ignoring our police chiefs and ramming through this unbalanced prisons agenda?

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the hon. member has been but we have had a complete approach. Our national crime prevention strategy, the national anti-drug strategy, the aboriginal justice system and drug courts are all part of it. However, getting tough on violent criminals is also part of our agenda and I am very proud of our complete approach in this area.

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, ignoring our chiefs of police is a new low. The government is about to pass an irresponsible prisons agenda that our top cops insist lacks the proper balance. Police officers say that they cannot keep communities safe without a focus on crime prevention. The provinces are saying the same thing and so is the opposition and yet the government refuses to listen.

Why does the government not care what our chiefs of police think about crime prevention? Why is it burdening provincial budgets with this unbalanced approach?

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate every attempt to get tough on crime will not have the support of the NDP. However, I am very pleased and proud of the support that we have received from police and police chiefs. He can selectively quote whatever he wants but law enforcement agencies across this country know that we are on the right track, that we are standing up for victims and that we are giving them the tools they need to fight crime in this country.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government is preparing to eliminate all restrictions on extremely dangerous firearms, such as long-range rifles and semi-automatic assault weapons. Consequently, it will be easier to purchase such deadly weapons as the Steyr HS .50, which can pierce a bulletproof vest from a distance of over 1.5 km. The Conservatives are eliminating tools that the police need to protect us.

Will the Conservatives undertake to maintain control over the sale of weapons used primarily to commit crimes?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, it is very disappointing that the NDP is left with no argument to defend the long gun registry and resorts to trying to mislead Canadians. There are no changes in Bill C-19 with regard to the classifications of firearms, to licensing, or to the requirements to have a licence to purchase or transfer a firearm. The NDP needs to stop trying to mislead Canadians and tell the truth.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, why should I expect an answer that makes sense from a completely senseless government that will not listen to reason?

There is no justification for eliminating restrictions on powerful weapons that have absolutely nothing to do with hunting. The Conservatives could not care less about the advice of the RCMP, the provinces and their own advisors, who are saying that Bill C-19 will increase the sale and trafficking of illegal weapons. This is not coming from me, but from them.

Why do the Conservatives want to make things easier for criminals at any cost?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we were very pleased to hear from front-line officers over the last couple of weeks who overwhelmingly supported abolishing the long gun registry. They have asked us to get tough on violent criminals and those who prey on our children, which is what we are asking the NDP to support instead of trying to perpetuate this misleading information regarding Bill C-19, which will not change classifications of firearms, licensing requirements or transfer requirements.

Language of Work in QuebecOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government lacks vision. Rather than working with the NDP to quickly pass Bill C-315 to protect the language rights of Quebeckers working in federal works, undertakings or businesses, the Conservatives instead announced that they would be setting up a committee about which we know nothing.

Coming from a government that has invoked closure eight times since Parliament resumed, this announcement has us doubting the government's motives.

Why make the process longer rather than taking action?

Language of Work in QuebecOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the French language is an integral part of our history, our identity and our daily life. We are very proud of it. French is one of the founding languages of Canada.

However, we must not confuse the issue. The NDP has not done its homework and is now proposing to create useless and cumbersome paperwork for these entities. We have to be serious about this matter and conduct consultations to see whether there is a problem with the language of work at private entities that come under federal jurisdiction. That is what we will do and we will do it the right way.

Language of Work in QuebecOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, I feel like I am watching an improve skit set up by Yvan Ponton.

The Conservatives are proposing to set up a committee with an unspecified mandate, unknown membership and an undetermined budget. That is a waste of time and money.

Do they not know that by voting with us at second reading, they will send the bill to a committee already funded by the House?

If the Conservatives are serious about this and really want to protect the French language in federally regulated businesses, why do they not vote with the NDP to send Bill C-315 to the Standing Committee on Official Languages?

Language of Work in QuebecOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the NDP should first do its homework instead of inventing situations to get the day's news clip by improvising policies about such a sensitive issue. What we must do is conduct consultations. That is why we will strike an advisory committee to conduct consultations about whether the language of work is an issue in federally regulated private businesses. We will do this the right way. It is not true that we will bungle the job on such a sensitive issue for purely partisan and political reasons.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, after pressure from the Ontario New Democrats, the McGuinty government has agreed to extend the deadline for the stimulus program for three Hamilton projects and is now calling on the federal government to be reasonable and grant the same common sense extension.

These projects are vital to Hamilton. Will the government be reasonable and grant the extension?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, like we have said before, the date has to be respected. It was over two and a half years to deliver thousands of projects all around this country, which what most municipalities have done. I am sorry but the date was the date and it is over.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

November 28th, 2011 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, recently, the Conservative government has shown a big appetite to change long-standing institutional names, so I might suggest one: changing the minister responsible for EI from “employment insurance” to “erroneous information” because last week, in the Charlottetown Guardian, she stated, inaccurately, regarding EI, “We are currently averaging 23 days for speed of the first payment”.

She now knows full well that what she said was totally untrue. Could she tell the House today how long it is taking people who are eligible for EI to get their first payment?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I did address this issue last week. We are facing challenges meeting the needs of Canadians. We are investing in new systems, in automation and in upgrading of our systems so we can respond to Canadians in a timely manner because they all deserve and need certain benefits in a timely manner.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I still do not think she understands the situation. I asked her the question on the indicator and she had a Charlie Sheen moment, handing the wheel over to her deputy.

The speed indicator measures two things: the time it takes for the payment to be issued and the time it takes for notice of non-payment to be issued. It is tough putting oil in the tank and food in the fridge with a notice of non-payment.

The minister misrepresented that particular statistic as if everybody was getting a cheque in 23 days. Will the minister stand today, correct the record and tell us how long unemployed Canadians are—

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Human Resources.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the facts are the facts. On average, 80% of the time, people do get their cheques within 23 days. It is those who are eligible for cheques who receive them. Mr. Speaker, you do not receive one in 23 days because you are not eligible.

We are trying to improve on this because Canadians do need better than that and we want to be there to help them in their time of need.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister has no clue. She talks about effectiveness and efficiencies but she should check her departmental statistics: speed of EI payment, worst rate in five years; EI call service level, worst performance in six years; average EI processing time, worst in the last five years; percentage of calls being hung up on, the highest in six years. When people call and press 2 to get an attendant, they actually have s a better chance of being hung up on. Is this the minister's idea of efficiency and effectiveness?

We should be changing the name of Service Canada to no Service Canada because unemployed Canadians--