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House of Commons Hansard #144 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was child.

Topics

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Cooperation is hard to believe when she told the House on Wednesday that she respected your ruling and would provide all the clarity needed truthfully. Yesterday she was evasive again and refused to answer the questions.

Therefore, let us try again for the 91st time. Who specifically added the word “not” to the KAIROS funding document and who at the PMO ordered this change? Why will the minister not step up to the plate, show some accountability and start naming the names?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister reported at committee 11 times on December 9, 2010, that she was the one who made the decision.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate the government will not let the minister speak for herself. There continues to be more evasion.

Does the government not understand how serious this actually is? Does it not understand that the government is on the verge of having the first minister in Canadian history to be found in contempt of Parliament? Why did the minister think she was entitled to ask someone to doctor a document already signed by public servants?

Again, who at the PMO put the minister up to it and why does she continue to mislead Parliament? We need the names. Start stepping up to the plate and showing some accountability.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the member for Brampton—Springdale is just trying to change the channel.

I have in my hand a press release, which says, “Paul Martin government announces prudent and ambitious budget”. It is at the www.fin.gc.ca press release. Who is quoted in this press release? I cannot mention his name, but his first name is Ralph.

PensionsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister and the rest of the government voted in favour of the New Democratic motion that laid out the road map for pension reform in Canada. The Conservatives said that they agreed with our plan, yet two years later little has been done.

Will the government include the NDP's practical proposal to increase CPP in its upcoming budget? When will the government finally address the poverty of seniors?

PensionsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, we have looked into it, along with our partners, the provinces, which need to be consulted on any changes to the Canada pension plan. They said that they do not want to move forward with increased costs for employers right now. We continue to look at options where we might make the Canada pension plan better for Canadians.

However, what is more important is a proposal, on which the provinces agreed with the federal government, to look at the option of a fully registered pension plan.

I would encourage the hon. member to get behind the bandwagon on that. This will help more seniors and more Canadians prepare for their retirement.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, Major Mark Campbell of Calgary is one of Canada's heroes. Unfortunately, he lost both of his legs in Afghanistan, while serving his country. He has already fought one war. He does not need to fight another one with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Again, Mr. Mark Campbell is one of Canada's heroes. The Conservatives gave him zero and Christiane Ouimet half a million dollars to keep quiet, and she did not do her job. Major Mark Campbell did his job.

Will the veterans affairs minister or his staff immediately meet with Major Mark Campbell to assess his needs and ensure that he is entitled to every benefit that he and his family should have in order to give him—

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the individual responsible for this file has in fact contacted Major Campbell. Veterans Affairs Canada has several programs to help injured soldiers returning from Afghanistan, among others.

Indeed, there will be a vote in the House today on Bill C-55, which will bring further improvements to help our modern-day veterans, in order to ensure that they and their families do not experience financial difficulties.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, I understand that building and maintaining the F-35 military aircraft will create thousands of jobs in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada.

Can the Minister of Veterans Affairs explain to the House how the Government of Canada is going to create jobs for Quebeckers in the aerospace industry?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, the CF-18s are near the end of their useful life. We need new equipment. We made a choice: the F-35. With eight other countries, including the United States, we developed the best aircraft out there—a new technology. We invested $168 million.

Today, the Bloc is abandoning the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord and the military base in Bagotville. We want to give that military base 40 years of security. We want to give it a long-term future, but this party is failing our soldiers.

TaxationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, rural Canadians are faced with skyrocketing prices for gasoline and home heating oil. It hurts those who can least afford it. It hurts those on fixed incomes and it hurts our seniors. Loggers, tourist operators, farmers and fishermen will be faced with a cash crunch.

The Conservatives betrayed these people in the last election by promising them a 2¢ a litre break that never happened.

Why is the government giving a corporate tax break to big oil companies instead of giving a break to rural Canadians?

TaxationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure where that hon. gentleman was when we voted on reducing GST for all Canadians. We reduced it from 7% to 6% and then from 6% to 5%. That is reduced costs for every Canadian for all products on which GST is placed.

As I said earlier, we are proud to remind everyone that we have had 15,000 net new jobs in February. The low tax plan we are on is working for all Canadians.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Service Canada's chief operating officer has said that the four Atlantic provinces will now be grouped into a single, unilingual English, administrative region. Yet, there are nearly half a million francophones in Atlantic Canada. Once again, the Conservative government is making a mockery of the Official Languages Act.

Will the government review this offensive directive and ensure that Service Canada offers services in French to the Acadians and francophones of the Atlantic provinces?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to providing Canadians with excellent service in their choice of either official language. All Canadians have the right to speak the official language of their choice, no matter which Service Canada office they go into.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend the government House leader will be visiting my riding of Nickel Belt, lending support--

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Some hon. members

Ho, ho!

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order please.

The hon. member for Nickel Belt.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, he will be lending support to candidates who are having trouble explaining why the government has not been protecting pensions, funding long-term care facilities or giving constituents a break on the GST. The Conservatives even voted against FedNor. The government has no interest in helping the people of northern Ontario.

Is this visit just another example of ministerial resources paying for Conservative campaigns?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I will in fact be in Sudbury on Sunday and Monday next week. I will be making a government announcement. I will be talking about issues like the gun registry on which a lot of New Democratic members broke faith with their constituents.

I will also be talking about the GST, which has gone from 7% to 6% to 5% and how the New Democratic Party wanted the GST to stay high rather than support the significant tax reduction this government delivered to families in Sudbury, the Nickel Belt and throughout all of northern Ontario.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Conservative Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to rise today to recognize the first anniversary of our Conservative government's ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Our Conservative government is committed to removing barriers for persons with disabilities, who play a vital role in the success of our economy and our communities.

Can the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development please inform this House about the important investments our government is making toward this goal?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

Noon

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, through the RDSP, the enabling accessibility fund, and unprecedented investments in training, our government continues to break down barriers to ensure that all Canadians can participate fully in and contribute to our great country and economy. We are delivering for Canadians with disabilities.

I would quote Al Etmanski from the Plan Institute, who said:

I believe...[this] Government is hands down the most effective Federal champion people with disabilities and their families have ever had.

ElectricityOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, the development of the Lower Churchill transmission line to Cape Breton has the potential to create thousands of jobs. The proponents of this project want the federal government to provide a loan guarantee to help make this project move forward. All three parties in Nova Scotia endorse this project.

Will the Prime Minister stop delaying and provide this loan guarantee so that we can move this critical project forward?

ElectricityOral Questions

Noon

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, discussions are indeed continuing between officials from the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada.

I agree with the hon. member that this is a very important project for Atlantic Canada. We encourage those discussions to continue.

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities adopted a motion calling on the government to increase the budget for the Canada summer jobs program to account for the higher cost of living and minimum wage. Since we are talking about the regions, this program allows thousands of young students to gain valuable work experience in their region.

Will the minister immediately increase that program's budget so that it reflects today's reality, as called for by hundreds of organizations and municipalities across Quebec?