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House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was infrastructure.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Châteauguay—Saint-Constant.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives are once again rewarding old friends with comfortable appointments. Former RCMP commissioner Bill Elliott is the latest appointment by the Minister of Public Safety. This is the man who failed to deal with sexual harassment complaints or clean up the RCMP, but he will now be the face of Canada at Interpol.

When are Conservatives going to stop putting their friends at the front of the line with these patronage appointments?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud that a Canadian was chosen by Interpol, an international organization, to participate in the very important work it does.

I am also very pleased to have announced a new commissioner for the RCMP. I believe he is an individual who exemplifies the ideals of the RCMP and has committed that he will get to the root of some of the very serious concerns that members here in the House have with respect to issues like sexual harassment.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the minister justify such an appointment? We are talking about a salary of $253,000 for a man who clearly was unable to properly manage the RCMP. This is the type of appointment that Canadians find unacceptable. This man will hold a key position. He will be the face of Canada for international law enforcement.

Can the government explain what type of deal it made with Mr. Elliott? Did they suggest he resign in exchange for a new, more prestigious position?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat surprised that the member would attack a public servant, a person who has been a member of the public service for almost all of his adult career.

I am very proud of the public service in Canada, both at the federal level and the provincial level, where I was a public servant for most of my career. The member should reflect very long and hard about those types of scurrilous accusations made against a member of the public service.

Border CrossingsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is no greater conduit for trade between Canada and the United States than the Windsor-Detroit link. For years now, a new bridge has been in the works, but threatened legal action might thwart this important project. We now learn that the government is sitting on recommendations to shield the new bridge from any legal action.

Why did the government pretend the new Detroit-Windsor bridge was on track? When will it table its support and legislation to move the new bridge forward?

The government's preoccupation with pipelines is costing manufacturing jobs.

Border CrossingsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we remain fully committed to building the new publicly owned crossing between Windsor and Detroit. We will continue to work with the governments of Michigan and the United States to examine options for delivering the new crossing. Already, the Michigan governor, Mr. Snyder, has confirmed that this project remains a top priority for him. It is the same thing for our government.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, today, the Canadian Wheat Board asked the courts for an injunction to block the implementation of Bill CF-18--

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Not CF-18.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I will give the floor back to the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre and ask all hon. members to allow him to put the question.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

CF-18 is the other insult to the Prairies, Mr. Speaker.

The CWB may just, in fact, win this court injunction because Bill C-18 offends the rule of law.

Now, if the minister wants to stop chaos and pandemonium, and uncertainty and instability in the grain industry, why does he not just grant the vote for the future of the Wheat Board to prairie farmers, as they are guaranteed in legislation and avoid all this mess on the Prairies?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I think we will rename this bill CF-35 to get it through even faster.

Let me quote the member for Winnipeg Centre who said, “Parliament has the right to overturn legislation put in place by previous governments. Then he goes on to say, “I don't want every piece of legislation to have a poison pill clause like this in it. I don't know of any other legislation that has such a clause”.

Neither do we. That is why we are moving forward with Bill C-18, to ensure that farmers in western Canada have the clarity and certainty they need on next year's crop and every crop after that.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, leading up to Christmas, my constituency offices have been flooded with calls from people desperate to get their first EI cheque from Service Canada. I would like to bring to this House one example.

She is a single mom of three. She filed her claim November 1. The claim was not processed until 42 days later, on December 12. She and her kids were forced to move in with her parents. In tears, she wanted to know why this was happening to her.

My question for the minister is, why is this happening to her?

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are endeavouring to get the cheques to people who are entitled to them just as quickly as we possibly can. Unfortunately, there is always a spike in the number of applications received in December. We put extra resources to handle it.

If the hon. member is having a specific problem, I welcome him to bring it to me. I would be happy to address it as quickly as possible.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, it were not for me, it would have been a lot more than 42 days.

For the local Service Canada employees, here is the situation. They are incredibly stressed as a result of this, not to mention the fact that they have to move. All these employees in Newfoundland, in processing, have to relocate to major centres, except the riding of the member for Labrador and the regional minister of Newfoundland and Labrador. As a matter of fact, he called, individually, each employee involved and told them their jobs were fine. He called them at home.

Will he rise in this House, no one else, just him, and confirm that he called them personally and told them their jobs were fine. Will he call the employees in my riding and do the--

Service CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Service CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, in tough times like these, Canadians are really having to watch their pocketbooks. They expect the government to do the same. That is why we are modernizing the EI system and how we process EI claims.

While we are trying to do this, we recognize that the processing behind the scenes is a ridiculously outdated paper-based system. We are trying to fix that so we can help Canadians.

AfghanistanOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a simple question for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Can the minister confirm that none of the Afghan detainees transferred by Canada are still in the hands of the national directorate of security—the NDS—an organization known for abusing detainees?

AfghanistanOral Questions

3 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that is the case.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

December 14th, 2011 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, if nothing is done by tomorrow, a man in my riding, Jean-Bernard Devilmé, will be deported to Haiti. Mr. Devilmé has been living in Canada for 25 years. He works as a carpenter and contributes to society.

Although he committed some offences in the past, his record has been clean since 2007. What is more, many community agencies agree that this man, a father of four, must stay in the country.

I discussed this situation yesterday with the Minister of Public Safety. My question is simple: what does he intend to do to help Mr. Devilmé and his family?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the public record is clear: the person is not a permanent resident and is here illegally. He has been convicted of numerous criminal offences since coming to Canada. Numerous tribunals and courts have reviewed his status, and I am not prepared to interfere with the decisions of the judiciary in this matter.

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, in the late 1990s, the Liberals introduced a poorly designed scheme to buy back fishing licences. Under successive Liberal fisheries ministers, the rules for the program were ill-defined and resulted in an uneven tax treatment for fishermen. This forced the federal government and fishermen into a costly legal battle that has taken more than a decade to resolve.

Could the Minister of National Revenue inform the House on the steps that our government has taken to resolve this matter?

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, earlier this fall I instructed officials at the Canada Revenue Agency to create a dedicated team of officials to review each of these fishermen's requests for a reassessment. I can now inform the House that over 200 cheques have been processed, and we are hopeful that dozens more will be on their way before Christmas.

We are hopeful that these actions will end an unfortunate chapter in the mismanagement of the fishery by the former Liberal government.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Naser Al-Raas, a Canadian citizen imprisoned in Bahrain for simply attending peaceful protests has been reportedly detained in solitary confinement, beaten, tortured and subjected to mock executions. Indeed, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry has itself decried the criminalization of peaceful protests and condemned such torture.

Accordingly, will the Canadian government seek the immediate release of Mr. Al-Raas and the dropping of all charges, and ensure his safe return to Canada?