This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

AsbestosOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, we know that recent scientific studies clearly show that chrysotile fibres can be used safely in a controlled environment. Today, the International Trade Union Movement For Chrysotile, which represents hundreds of thousands of workers—again, hundreds of thousands of workers—reiterated this position in support of the safe and controlled use of chrysotile.

Household DebtOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's debt represents 34% of its income, but household debt represents approximately 150% of household income.

The government is constantly talking about its own debt, but it is not helping Canadians deal with their debt. The best cure for this is a good job.

When will the government create real jobs instead of part-time solutions and help Canadians get rid of their personal debt?

Household DebtOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am proud of the job creation record of our government: nearly 560,000 net new jobs created since July 2009, of which more than 80% are full-time jobs. This is the best record of any country in the G7. Our country has been through a difficult time, a recession that came from outside our country, but we have managed our way through it and Canadians are doing well.

Household DebtOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is just not credible. The government talks about an economic recovery, but it has no plan to end the jobs crisis. That is not a recovery. We still have hundreds of thousands more unemployed than before the recession, a recession the government did not even see coming.

Today, we learned that only 42% of the unemployed can access employment insurance, the insurance they paid into.

Why is the government continuing to make working families pay for its failure to create jobs?

Household DebtOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economy has grown for seven straight quarters now since the recession ended in July 2009. I do not know where the member opposite gets her information, but not only have we recovered all of the jobs that were lost during the recession, we have also restored all of the economic output that was lost during the recession. Only one other country in the G7, that is Germany, has a comparable record.

PovertyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, this government's lack of compassion for people living in poverty is shocking.

The Conservatives want to cut nearly half a billion dollars from the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development, but they are refusing to say which programs will be affected.

Canadians have a right to know.

Which programs does this government intend to cut?

PovertyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave us a clear, strong mandate. They want us to respect the money they make, the money we receive in taxes, and they want us to spend it very wisely. That is what we will do. We will eliminate waste.

PovertyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is simply not good enough. Twenty years after Parliament passed a New Democratic motion to end child poverty, Canadian children are still being left behind.

Statistics released yesterday show that over 100,000 children in British Columbia are still living in poverty. That is 100,000 kids who are not getting a fair start in life. This is an urgent national problem.

How can the government waste millions on gazebos and billions on tax giveaways to profitable corporations while leaving families to fend for themselves?

PovertyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government really is reaching out to help families right across this country, especially those in need. That is one of the reasons that we introduced the universal child care benefit. We have increased the national child benefit as well.

These are all initiatives aimed to help low income families get over the welfare wall, just like the WITB that we introduced and then increased.

Sadly, the NDP voted against every one of those initiatives to help the most vulnerable families.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities more than four years ago.

The Conservatives have yet to do anything to implement the principles of this convention.

Considering that there are more than four million people in Canada living with disabilities, when will the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development submit an action plan to implement the convention?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome the hon. member to the House.

However, she should know that we have done a lot for persons with disabilities in Canada. We have introduced a number of programs.

For example, it was our government that launched the registered disability savings plan, one in which some 45,000 families are now perpetuating their ability to look after their disabled loved ones.

Not only was it our government that signed the convention, but we also launched the enabling accessibilities fund that has made over 600 new facilities across Canada accessible. Her party should have supported--

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Westmount—Ville-Marie.

AsbestosOral Questions

June 23rd, 2011 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a pack of cigarettes very clearly warns us that tobacco causes cancer. Asbestos also causes cancer and yet this government refuses to put it on the Rotterdam Convention list of carcinogens.

Nevertheless, other exporting countries, such as Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam and Kazakhstan have done so. India, which imports our chrysotile, has done it.

Why is this government not doing the right thing?

AsbestosOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, for over 30 years, the Canadian government has been promoting the safe and controlled use of chrysotile fibre, not asbestos in general as the hon. member mentioned, but chrysotile fibre. Recent scientific studies have shown that this fibre can be safely used in a controlled environment. This is the position that was taken by the previous government.

AsbestosOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows full well that it is very difficult to use chrysotile in the proper working conditions. The procedures, training, complex equipment are all needed to be able to use it in a safe way so that fibres are not accidentally breathed in. The minister knows this full well. He cannot assure us that it is not being used improperly in third world countries that import it.

Why is the government deceiving Canadians and pretending that there is no problem? This is wilful blindness. The government is washing its hands of its responsibilities.

AsbestosOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, we are talking here about risk management. We know that chrysotile fibre can be safely used in a controlled environment. I would like to remind the hon. member that the International Trade Union Movement for Chrysotile, which represents hundreds of thousands of workers, supports the safe use of chrysotile. These people know what they are doing. They are experts in the field and are supported in the safe use of chrysotile. Canada's position with regard to the convention therefore reflects the country's position.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, according to its mission statement, Treasury Board Secretariat is supposed to ensure that “resources are soundly managed across government with a focus on results and value for money”.

By that criteria, the first program that should be audited is the G8 legacy fund where $50 million which Parliament authorized for border infrastructure ended up in gazebos and washrooms that had nothing to do with the G8.

Is the President of the Treasury Board refusing to call for a value-for-money audit because he knows it would lead right back to him?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General looked at this initiative and made some helpful observations about how we could move forward in a more transparent and clear way in terms of the estimates presented to Parliament. The Auditor General also made some observations with respect to the administration of the program.

The good news is every dollar is accounted for. All 32 projects came in on or under budget. In fact, the program itself was underspent by some $5 million.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka approved $50 million worth of projects that benefited his friends. This is so suspicious that the RCMP is investigating. Today, members representing ridings that did not benefit from this preferential treatment are asking legitimate questions.

Can the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka stop hiding behind his spokesperson and explain to the members from other ridings how and why the projects were approved in his riding?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to correct the record. Those projects with which the member opposite claimed were approved by the now President of the Treasury Board were in fact approved by the minister of infrastructure. I am happy to correct the record.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a figure that is of interest to all of us. Had the President of the Treasury Board approved $50 million worth of projects in all of the country's other ridings, it would have cost the public treasury $15 billion. This gives some idea of the extent of the dubious spending that occurred in his riding.

But, above all, does the President of the Treasury Board understand that by favouring his friends, he is creating a two-tier democracy—one for his friends and one for other Canadians?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let us look at what some of these infrastructure funds were spent on.

They were spent on rehabilitating the airport in North Bay. They were spent on fixing up a provincial highway. They were spent on building a community centre that was used during the summit. These are all public infrastructure projects which add great value to the municipalities that recommended and submitted these projects.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General's report shows how the member from Muskoka got away with giving out $50 million without any oversight. He deliberately froze out any accountable body. He blew off the checks and balances of Parliament. That is why we are having a police investigation.

Do the Conservatives really think it passes the smell test that three amigos-- the minister, a mayor and a hotel manager--were allowed to lord over 242 projects without any documentation? When will the minister stand up and produce the real paper trail?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, much of what the member opposite said is not true. It is not fact. The fact that he has to exaggerate suggests that the facts cannot present a powerful enough argument.

The reality is there were three individuals who reviewed the submissions, but in fact they had no decision-making authority in this regard.

The good news is that all 32 projects were completed on time. We did get some very helpful observations from the Auditor General. We thank her for her work and are fully accepting the good advice and counsel that she has provided.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, they pilfered $50 million from border infrastructure and the police have been called in, but that is just a start. The member raided FedNor. He raided the community adjustment fund. He raided the stimulus fund. He created a $100 million personal legacy project that was blown on sunken boats and paving the bunny trail.

Now the guy is in charge of Canada's treasury. Why are the Conservatives showing such contempt for Canadian taxpayers by putting him there?