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House of Commons Hansard #58 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was arrest.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, several community groups across the country are doing excellent work in this area. Other proposals will be made in the future. Last year alone, our government invested $42 million in HIV/AIDS research.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, if these organizations are doing excellent work, as the parliamentary says, then why is the government stalling on giving the information to these organizations?

The fact is these organizations need secure funding now before their doors close. These organizations work on the front line every day and their services are vital to the quality of life of those living with HIV-AIDS. Without reliable information from the government, their ability to plan for the future is at risk. There is no rationale for the delay in AIDS funding in Canada.

Why will the government not immediately give stable funding and make it clear that—

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. parliamentary secretary.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, no other government has done more for AIDS and AIDS research than our government. As I had said in French, there are some community groups across the country that are doing excellent work. Call for proposals will be done in the near future.

Last year alone our government provided $42 million in HIV-AIDS research funding through the CIHR. If we look at the past, since 2006, CIHR has invested $203.6 million in the fight against HIV-AIDS. I wish the NDP would get on board with those very important initiatives.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, over a month ago, following the tragic death of Jamie Hubley, I asked the Conservatives to tell us their plan on youth bullying. The Minister of Foreign Affairs replied, “Bullying and intimidation have no place in our schools. Our society needs to engage in promoting tolerance and acceptance”.

The tragic suicide this week of Marjorie Raymond, a bullied teenage girl in Gaspésie, proves once again that we must act now.

Ontario is acting. Quebec is acting. What will the federal government do to protect our children from bullying and how long do we have to wait for this?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our hearts go out to the family and friends of Marjorie Raymond, as well as anyone who has been victimized by bullying. Bullying is completely unacceptable and it should never be tolerated. We do support the measures that provinces take.

I encourage anyone who is a victim of bullying to reach out to an adult and know that he or she is not alone. Call Kids Help, do something, there are people there to help. We support them as I think all of us in the House do.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, that answer tells me that the Conservative government does not believe that the federal government can play a role in this area. I believe it can.

The NDP introduced a bill to establish a national suicide prevention strategy. It is part of the solution that made the headlines one day and was written off by the Conservatives the next. We have to put in place a coordinated plan to fight bullying. Ontario and Quebec are taking action; now it is Ottawa's turn to do so.

I will be introducing a bill in the near future to directly attack this serious societal problem. I am asking the Conservatives to set aside partisanship and work with the NDP to effectively fight bullying and its devastating effects on our children.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we all have a role to play in combatting bullying. I am very proud of the work our government has done in funding some specific projects. For example, in Ontario we help fund My Webworld: Truth for Rural Youth, which deals specifically with bullying.

We all need to work together and lead by example, even the House, as individuals, MPs and parents, that we do not tolerate bullying on any level at all.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week's brazen attacks on the British Embassy in Tehran were extremely disturbing. Iranian authorities failed to uphold their responsibilities under the Vienna Convention, which specifically safeguard diplomatic missions. Following this outrageous act, the British have pulled their ambassador to Iran.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please update the House on the status and well-being of our diplomats in Tehran?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I know I speak for all members of the House that the safety and security of our diplomatic staff in Tehran is a top concern when we hear about the outrageous attack on the British High Commission. We are in very close contact with the embassy in Tehran. We have had a limited engagement strategy for the last four years and we are following the situation very closely.

I have asked my deputy minister to conduct a complete security review and we will do what is best for the Canadian officials who are doing the important work of Canada. We will ensure their safety if that requires evacuating them earlier.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has replaced 1,000 real people at Service Canada with voicemail and it calls that progress. Any Canadian who has ever been stuck on hold knows that is just not true. As phone lines jam and service levels drop, the minister has no plan except to blame the remaining front-line workers.

The solution is clear. Instead of blaming staff, will the minister just commit to getting Service Canada job postings out the door today?

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:45 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, our government's top priority is job creation and economic growth. We are committed to providing timely service to all Canadians who access the system. Service Canada is modernizing its EI processing systems to ensure that Canadians receive the best possible service.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, first the human resources minister blames front-line workers for the problems at Service Canada and now the President of the Treasury Board is calling federal public servants unconstructive and self-serving. Meanwhile, Canadians are waiting on the phone for their EI and pension cheques that they have paid for and that they deserve.

Why is the government blaming hard-working Canadians when Conservative mismanagement is really the problem?

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:45 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, I said no such thing. I wrote to the president of the union, who I had asked several months ago to join us in a collective effort to find savings on programs that had outlived their usefulness or that could be delivered better to Canadians. He, instead, decided to go on full rhetorical mode.

We on this side of the House are focused on the issues that Canadians care about: jobs, economic opportunity, economic growth and making sure governments spend within their means. It is clear that union bosses do not have the same agenda and they are joined at the hip with the NDP.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Claude Patry NDP Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government's logic makes me weep.

It cuts 1,000 positions at Service Canada and then blames the few employees who remain for the delays in service. That is what it is doing.

Canadians are paying the price in unreasonable delays in processing employment insurance claims.

Will this government finally realize that it is the problem and stop blaming others for its inaction?

Service CanadaOral 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, we are committed to providing Canadians with the best possible service. Service Canada is modernizing its EI processing systems to ensure that Canadians have the best possible service.

While this Conservative government continues on its strong direction, reducing taxes and creating jobs for Canadians, we urge the opposition to stop obstructing this great plan to create efficiencies and provide better services for Canadians.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Claude Patry NDP Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, as if that were not enough, this week, the President of the Treasury Board described Public Service Alliance leaders as self-serving. He criticized them for not offering any constructive recommendations with regard to the $4 billion in cuts this government wants to make.

Is that this government's tactic? Is that how it goes about finding solutions to return to balanced budgets: blame everyone else and try to shirk responsibility?

Instead of attacking public servants, will this government take action to help the Canadians who have to deal with unacceptable delays at Service Canada?

Service CanadaOral 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, I already said that we are trying to work with the unions to ensure there is an action plan that works, but the union leaders are saying no. They are saying no to Canadians. They are saying no to the fact that it is important to have more jobs in our society. They are saying no to the decisions that work for Canadians. We have said yes.

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to section 26 of the Financial Administration Act:

no payments shall be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund without the authority of Parliament.

We have now learned that the government transferred over $100 million from the green infrastructure fund to other departments, without even bothering to inform Parliament.

Why are the Conservatives breaking the law?

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the transfer of the $170 million was clearly indicated, as stated in Industry Canada's 2011-12 Report on Plans and Priorities.

This money was transferred to achieve important government priorities. The government and the Treasury Board gave all the necessary approvals.

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

There was no approval by Parliament, Mr. Speaker. That is the point.

The law states that “no payments shall be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund without the authority of Parliament”. We know the government transferred $50 million from the border infrastructure fund to spend money on gazebos in Muskoka without Parliament's approval. Now we have learned it transferred more than $100 million from the green infrastructure fund to other government departments without parliamentary approval.

Why does the government continue to think that it is above the law?

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, all Treasury Board approvals for the transfers were obtained. The transfers were referenced in various parliamentary reports beginning last fall. In particular, they were detailed in the 2011-12 reports on plans and priorities and again in 2010-11 departmental performance reports. This is nothing new.

SeniorsOral Questions

December 1st, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian seniors built this country, but the government is letting too many older Canadians live in poverty. An HRSDC study found that, despite being eligible, more than 125,000 seniors are not receiving the old age security benefits they deserve. The government has known this since 2009. It has known about the problems in the program.

Why has the government not acted to ensure that all Canadian seniors receive the benefits to which they are entitled?

SeniorsOral 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, our government has made great progress in providing for seniors. We have increased the GIS and appointed a minister to ensure that we have enhanced opportunities for seniors. We have expanded the new horizons fund to encourage seniors to mentor students and their family members to get involved in their communities.

This government understands what seniors have done to build our country. We will continue to support them.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government keeps going on and on about what it has already done in order to justify turning its back on seniors in desperate need.

Figures from the task force on financial literacy completely contradict what the Parliamentary Secretary just said. Every year, $1 billion in old age security benefits goes unclaimed. Furthermore, 70% of seniors who do not receive benefits have an income of less than $10,000. They are spending their golden years in poverty.

Is the government trying to save money at the expense of seniors, by refusing to pay them their pensions?