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House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was panama.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has made it clear that he thinks it is necessary to continue to reduce deficits in Canada, and we entirely agree. Indeed, in the economic action plan, the emergency plan that we brought forward in January 2009, every year we had deficit reductions leading up to balanced budgets in the medium term. The Parliamentary Budget Officer supports that track, Canadians support that track, and we are not going to make the mistakes the European countries did with big deficits and big public debt.

Surely that lesson has been learned, except by the NDP opposition.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, we take no lessons from the government, because we know the job numbers that it throws out are—

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, order. The hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster has the floor.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

They do not like to hear the truth, Mr. Speaker.

Canadians are also starting to see very clearly that the government has problems managing money. The PBO report is clear. The Minister of Finance is refusing to publish important information on trade, taxation and GDP. The PBO says that its fiscal projections are $10 billion off.

We need real numbers to make a jobs plan work. Why are the Conservatives hiding the numbers, when will they commit to fiscal transparency and when will they provide an effective jobs plan in this country?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have a low-tax plan for jobs and growth. Here it is. We like this budget so much that we introduced it twice this year. The Liberals opposed it the first time, and look where they are now: down in the corner.

For members who have not had a chance to read it yet, I have good news for Christmas giving. There are still a few copies left. The demand has not absorbed all the copies. Chapter 5, in particular, has the statistics on reducing the deficit. It makes warm, comfortable fireside reading. I urge the member—

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Durban, the Minister of the Environment refused to say whether or not the government was pulling out of the Kyoto protocol. India's environment minister criticized the fact that Canada, which signed and ratified the Kyoto protocol, was considering withdrawing from it without so much as a good-bye. The government is breaking its promises to the international community and to Canadians who want leadership on climate change.

When will the government pull its own weight in the fight against climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, just to bring my colleague opposite up to speed on what has happened while she was gone, she has had colleagues ask the international community to ignore Canada. Just as a refresher, her party has voted against budgetary measures to support climate change adaptation and regulation. Our country, as we have said over and over again, supports an agreement that has all international emitters around the table to see real action in the reduction of GHG emissions.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the agreement concluded in Durban yesterday lacks ambition. Nothing will be done before 2015 and no one will have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions before 2020. These deadlines are far too long to stop global warming from becoming disastrous. Nevertheless, the Conservatives say they are satisfied with the results of the negotiations. It is that attitude that won us the fossil of the year award.

When will the government put the interests of Canadians before the interests of major polluters?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, what is ambitious is seeing the outcome of the Durban conference, which is an international will to have a binding agreement with all major emitters sitting around the table. This is how we are going to see real reductions in GHG emissions.

The key award that my colleague opposite should take note of is the fact that our country sits atop the G7 with regard to economic growth.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, instead of sabotaging climate change talks and barrelling ahead with job-killing inaction, the government should start working with the international community, because yesterday world leaders moved ahead with a climate change agreement, but our environment minister was nothing but an anchor dragging Canada behind.

Those nations are going to play a leadership role in future climate change negotiations, and the government will be left out until 2015. Why is the government killing Canadian jobs by letting Canada fall behind on climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, when we are talking about sabotaging and killing jobs, I am not sure if my colleagues' opposite trip to Washington to lobby against our energy sector was productive in that regard.

What is productive is the result that came out of Durban from our talks, which is an international will and an international agreement to put forward an agreement whereby all major emitters sit around the table to ensure that we have real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This is progress.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, we are not the only ones talking about how the Conservatives are killing Canadian jobs, because notes from the Minister of the Environment's own staff show that Canada does not have enough credible scientific information to call its oil sands project environmentally responsible. The notes also say that the minister's actions threaten Canadian jobs.

Other markets are moving ahead, moving forward with climate change policies that are leaving Canadian energy behind. The government can either start playing by the rules or gamble with Canadian jobs. Which is it?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am glad my colleague opposite brought up the point about our oil sands monitoring framework, which does provide credible science.

When we were in committee earlier this year and she asked the Environment Commissioner about this plan, the Environment Commissioner said:

What I would say is there is now an ambitious plan, a significantly important plan for the federal government to put in place a monitoring system.

Instead of this empty rhetoric, I ask my colleague to get on board with real science and a real plan.

Atlantic CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has given Atlantic Canada the hook yet again.

This time it is 200 jobs at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans gone. Instead of investing in science, marine safety and fisheries management, the government is callously handing out pink slips. Add this to the 100 ACOA jobs slashed in October, and it is pretty clear the government has it in for the good people of Atlantic Canada.

Why is the government carelessly and irresponsibly slashing good-paying jobs that support Atlantic Canada? Why the grudge?

Atlantic CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, certainly there is nothing new in this question.

As indicated under the strategic review earlier this year, we said fewer than 1% of DFO employees would be affected by the changes. The other point is that we have an annual attrition rate of over 6%, so we are very confident that most people will be placed in positions.

The letters are simply part of the process of informing employees who may or may not be affected by the changes. Those questions came from employees. They asked us to advise before Christmas.

Atlantic CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, that answer is not going to help the hundreds of employees and their families have a relaxing Christmas.

This government plans to cut at least 200 jobs in the department, in essential services such as the coast guard and scientific research. The inability of this government and its predecessors to manage our aquatic resources has already deprived countless fishing families of their jobs.

Is that the Conservatives' economic action plan? Dismiss hundreds of employees at Christmas?

Atlantic CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated earlier in my response, DFO employees asked us to proceed with this and to advise them before the Christmas season so that they could make plans.

The fact is that the actual transition process for employees will take several months. We are listening to employees about their needs as the process takes its course.

Employment SituationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, even though the unemployment rate has risen in the past few months and families are struggling to make ends meet, this government continues to cut public services rather than supporting families.

This indifference is not really in keeping with the holiday spirit.

Reducing services, as is already the case with employment insurance, will not stimulate the economy. End of story.

Will the government finally help families and maintain the services they so desperately need, especially in these difficult economic times?

Employment SituationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are doing everything possible to help people who have lost their jobs, especially in December. Unfortunately, there is a large increase in the number of unemployed workers every year at this time, but we are trying to help them by providing them with benefits as quickly as possible. That is why we have added additional resources to process benefit claims as soon as possible.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

December 12th, 2011 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, DFO jobs have been slashed once again. At a time when Canada has one of the worst rescue response times in the world, there is a skills shortage among DFO scientists, their reports are dropping in number, and employees are overwhelmed from the lack of resources. This is an absolute slap in the face.

How does the government justify cutting hundreds of crucial employees when senior officials rake in huge bonuses? Is this what the minister calls realignment?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, this is not new news. This goes back to much earlier this year as a result of our strategic review operation.

If the member opposite wants to talk about science, his party was an authority on that, gutting $50 million in 2005 alone from science.

Atlantic CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, Atlantic Canadians know very well what the Conservatives are doing to them. Let me inform the House of the total number they are firing: Veterans Affairs, 500 jobs cut; Service Canada, 200 jobs cut; ACOA, 80 jobs cut; DFO, 275 jobs cut; search and rescue, 30 jobs cut. Over 1,000 families are going to be thrown out on the street, and when a veteran or fisherman or farmer, or anyone, goes to the line, no one will be at the other end.

When are the Atlantic ministers going to stand up for the people of Atlantic Canada?

Atlantic CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, under our government Canada has created over 600,000 net new jobs. Canadians gave us a strong mandate to protect and complete Canada's economic recovery. This review is focusing on responsible government spending to ensure ongoing value for Canadian taxpayers. While the opposition is calling for higher taxes that will kill jobs and hurt the economy, our government has a plan to keep taxes low, focus on jobs for Canadians and grow the economy.