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House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was person.

Topics

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this consolidation will have no service impact to mariners relating to the provisions of safety, communications and navigational warnings to ships at sea. Mariners will get the same level of service that they are getting today.

Most of the impacted staff are not, in fact, residents of the north. The CCG will be working with them to address impacts of the consolidation.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, this poor management will mean that mariners in the western Arctic will have to rely on the Coast Guard office in Iqaluit, nearly 3,000 kilometres and three time zones away. This is at a time when marine traffic is expected to increase in the Beaufort Sea and on the Mackenzie River. Despite having signed a long-term lease and the increased costs of relocating staff, the government is blundering ahead with a move that puts mariners at risk.

Is this the government's plan for Arctic sovereignty--to reduce service for northerners to help a single budget line?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, with today's technology, it will have no impact on the safety and the concerns of mariners. In fact, concentrating all marine communications and traffic services into one Arctic centre allows for higher flexibility for the Coast Guard to respond to Arctic shipping demands.

Transportation of Dangerous GoodsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin NDP Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, we learned this week that the Conservative government is absolutely incapable of managing the transport of dangerous goods. The facts are alarming: inspectors report problems, but there is no follow-up to ensure that the problems are fixed. A number of companies are operating with temporary permits—some of them for over 10 years. These problems are the same ones that were identified five years ago, but the government is not taking action.

When will the government address these dangerous problems?

Transportation of Dangerous GoodsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question.

Transport Canada accepts the recommendation made by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. We are taking the recommendations and conclusions of the audit very seriously. We will implement a rigorous action plan in order to correct this situation.

Transportation of Dangerous GoodsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, I hope that Santa will at least bring the Conservatives a new tape for the new year.

Every week, on average, there are two accidents involving the transportation of dangerous goods. But once again the Conservative government is not taking these risks seriously. Its inability to take action is endangering transportation workers, first responders and our communities.

How many more years will we have to wait for the government to fulfill its obligations?

Transportation of Dangerous GoodsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, speaking of new tapes, I note that the hon. member has just asked exactly the same question as his colleague.

The program we implemented for the transportation of dangerous goods works very well. Over 30 million shipments of dangerous goods are carried out every year in Canada, and 99.9999% of them are carried out without incident. Our success rate is huge, but we will follow the recommendations to improve the situation.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians travelling abroad this holiday season should know they will be abandoned if they run into any problems. Their government will not speak up for them. Their government will not defend their rights. Just ask Philip Halliday, who has been in a Spanish prison for two years waiting to clear his name, or Hank Tepper, who has been in jail in Lebanon for the past nine months over a commercial dispute.

Why is the neo-conservative government doing nothing to help? Why has it abandoned Phillip and Hank? Why will it not bring them home for Christmas?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, we have consular officials working in over 150 countries to assist Canadians when they are in distress abroad. For the member at this time of year to so wrongfully and unfairly smear them is just beyond belief. I ask the member to withdraw that kind of language.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, while the five-star Minister of National Defence jets around the world, staying in hotel rooms that cost $1,400 a night, Canadian families are struggling. There will be no champagne breakfast for Newfoundland and Labrador families hit hard by the loss of jobs.

As we head into Christmas and there is a massive backlog for employment insurance, will the government finally help ordinary families? Since taxpayers have to foot the bill for luxury hotels, will the government help ordinary families and ensure that parents do not have to tell their children there will not be a Santa this Christmas?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, for those who have made applications for employment insurance because they have lost their jobs due to circumstances beyond their control, we are trying to ensure that they get those benefits just as quickly as possible. We understand that at this time of year it is even harder for them to deal with day to day expenses. That is why we are putting extra resources to process these claims. We do that every year and we are doing it this year.

Social HousingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, 620,000 families in Canada depend on social housing. These families live in precarious situations. Paying higher rent means that they will have to shut off the heating or skip meals.

The agreements between the government and social housing managers will soon expire. Uncertainty is not an option for these families in need.

When, and I do mean when, will the government protect the most vulnerable Canadians and announce that these agreements have been renewed?

Social HousingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we set aside money for affordable housing a few years ago. We even added more than $1 billion to our economic action plan specifically for affordable housing. This allowed us to create 14,000 projects to improve, renovate and build housing. Unfortunately the NDP voted against all these initiatives.

Social HousingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister did not answer the question about renewing social housing agreements. I will put the question in a different way.

This government spends billions on its friends in big business while spending on social housing does not keep up with inflation or population growth.

In my riding of Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, more than 875 families spend more than 80% of their income on rent. How are they supposed to make ends meet? These families will spend another Christmas not knowing what is going to happen. Why does this government not give them a break by renewing the long-term management agreements for social housing?

Social HousingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the NDP should try to support our efforts to help people who need affordable housing. The NDP voted against tax credits for first-time home buyers. They voted against our economic action plan, which provided money for affordable housing for aboriginal people, seniors and the disabled. They voted against these measures.

Newfoundland and LabradorOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians received a lump of coal from the interim Liberal leader this week when he forgot their province was actually part of Canada. He wrote a letter to his supporters saying that daylight broke over Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia and began its journey across the country.

Conservatives know that Peggy's Cove is 1,100 kilometres west of St. John's, the most eastern city in this country. Can the minister responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador please inform the Liberal leader that his province is part of Canada and that our government is committed to delivering for them?

Newfoundland and LabradorOral Questions

3 p.m.

Labrador Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Peter Penashue ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, I find it quite troubling and disappointing to see that the Liberal leader's Canada does not include the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Fortunately for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, our government will remain committed to addressing their issues like the lower Churchill loan guarantee and the useless gun registry.

Our government will continue to stand up for the interests of all Canadians, including those in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, in November, the government announced a program to help foreign Ph.D. students stay in Canada if they choose. Yet Fatemeh Kamkar, a Ph.D. student in medicine at the University of Ottawa has been denied permanent residence because of health reasons. However, she is covering her medical costs and 97% of the people who follow the treatment she is having end up well and not needing surgery.

Will the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism agree to look at the matter, use his discretion to grant her permanent residence, and ensure that there is cohesion between the program's announcement and its implementation?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, one thing I will not agree to do is to violate the Privacy Act by discussing personal cases here on the floor of the House of Commons without the consent of the individual.

The member has been here for a while. He should know that the appropriate way to raise individual immigration case files is directly with my officials, my office or me, not in a public forum that invites violation of the Privacy Act. He ought to know that. He also ought to know about the provisions of medical inadmissibility. After all, they were brought into law under the previous Liberal government in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse NDP Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, post offices all over Quebec are going to have to reduce their opening hours. Because our province is being unfairly targeted by the government's cuts, communities are going to lose essential services and an important economic development tool. For instance, the Ancienne-Lorette post office in my riding is under threat of closure.

Families and seniors will have to travel a lot further to get to a post office, which might be closed when they arrive.

And this government continues to claim that it is looking after the regions.

Will the minister reverse his decision and guarantee that postal services across Quebec are maintained?

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

December 15th, 2011 / 3 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that our government is committed to high quality, universal and affordable postal service. Canada Post is proposing to move the post office in the member's riding about two kilometres away to a new outlet. This is due to structural issues with the current outlet. However, there is still a postal outlet within 235 metres of the outlet that is going to be reconstructed.

It is very reasonable and there will be no job losses, unlike what the member suggested.

Have a merry Christmas.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder Conservative London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is now the end of a dynamic session of Parliament. We have had some intense dialogues, frankly, some more colourful than others. My Cape Breton mother used to say about politics, “After it's all said and done, there's a lot more said than done”.

However, that is not the case during this session of Parliament. I would appreciate, as we depart, if the government House leader would remind us all of some of the key outcomes achieved during this sitting of Parliament.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

3 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our government made commitments to Canadians. We have an obligation to deliver on those commitments, to focus on economic growth, job creation and tackling crime. Canadians expect us to do our jobs here and make decisions on the issues before us. That is exactly what we have done.

We have passed important economic measures in the keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act. We also have passed a bill to move every province closer to the principle of representation by population. Finally, we have given western Canadian grain farmers the freedom they have longed for, for so long. Canadians can count on our government to make decisions, move forward and get things done.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, one of the things we would like for Christmas on Vancouver Island was not on the House leader's list. We would like our passenger rail service back. Four months ago, this service came to a halt. I last asked the government in November when it would commit to its share of funding for this rail bed repair. Still I received no answer. Traffic in my riding is already at a gridlock state and when the shipbuilding begins, we need alternatives for commuters and freight.

Will the government now commit to funding its share of the necessary repairs for the E&N railway corridor and to getting this project under way? Or will it continue to risk delays in shipbuilding because of growing congestion outside the shipyard gates?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that VIA Rail provides excellent service from coast to coast. Certainly during the holiday season and the summer, I would encourage people to book their VIA Rail trip and enjoy this great country.

In regard to the member's riding, VIA Rail service between Victoria and Courtenay is also paralleled by bus service and road service, so people can get from point A to point B.

We are continuing to reflect on the infrastructure requirements.