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House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's budget shows no leadership on health care.

A 2004 health accord goal to reduce wait times calls for effective community services, including home care. After five years of Conservative government, there is still no national home care, and wait times for acute hospital beds remain unacceptably high.

While it dithers on the 2014 accord, will the government tell us what steps it will take to implement the wait times goal and create a national home care strategy?

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, in our effort to support the provinces and territories to deliver health care we have increased the transfers by 33% since we formed government. We have also sent additional funding to the provinces and territories to help with a specific wait time guarantee. A number of provinces have made improvements in important wait time areas. Recently I announced over 100 family medicine residencies for rural practice.

As well, our government takes concrete action to support provinces and territories in delivering health care--

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The member for Papineau.

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the agreement with the provinces on health will come to an end in barely three years. For quite some time now, the premiers of Quebec and Ontario, among others, have been calling on this government to convene a meeting with all the premiers, but to no avail. In fact, in his six years on the job, the Prime Minister has never held any formal meetings with his provincial counterparts on any topic.

When will he take his responsibility as Prime Minister seriously and initiate dialogue to plan the future of our health care system?

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, the health accord expires in 2014; not this year, not next year, and not the year after.

In the meantime, our government has been working with the provinces and territories on the present accord. We have encouraged the statutory review of the 2004 accord in both the Senate and the House. As well, we have been supported by the provinces and territories in the reduction of wait times. Also, we have gained a lot of ground in establishing electronic health records. Provinces and territories continue to deliver the--

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for York West.

SeniorsOral Questions

June 7th, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, after months of talk about the difficulties facing seniors throughout Canada, I am clearly disappointed in budget 2011. The $1.67 a day for the poorest of the poor and non-refundable tax credits just do not cut it.

Given the increases on gas, hydro, food, et cetera, it is making it very difficult for people to cope on a day-to-day basis and stay in their homes. I heard this on the doorsteps in Toronto, but clearly the Conservatives did not.

Where is the vision, the plan to make a difference in the lives of seniors? Do they not deserve better? Are they just going--

SeniorsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Richmond B.C.

Conservative

Alice Wong ConservativeMinister of State (Seniors)

Mr. Speaker, since this is my first time to rise in the House, I would like to thank the voters of Richmond for voting me back in with 58.4%.

I would like to correct the member on some facts.

With the next phase of the economic action plan we are enhancing the GIS in the new horizons program. We are also ensuring the strength of the retirement income system and introducing a new family caregiver tax credit. In fact, when asked about these measures, CARP's Vice President of Advocacy said that their members are “happy and thrilled with these issues--

SeniorsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Wheat Board is the largest and most successful grain marketing company in the world. It is a great Canadian institution wholly owned and operated by Canadian farmers. Now the Conservative government wants to legislate it out of existence without even allowing the farmer producers to vote on it.

If there is such great merit in the government's position on the Wheat Board, why does it not follow the legislation and allow Prairie producers to have a democratic vote on it?

The Conservatives' majority does not mean they can run roughshod over democracy.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. speaker, certainly there was no vote for farmers who were forced into this monopoly in the first place. The real vote took place on May 2 when farmers across western Canada expressed their opinion about the Canadian Wheat Board and its monopoly in electing members on this side of the House to support them virtually right across the Prairies. Those farmers wanted the same freedom that other producers across this country have had for many years.

There appears to be a small group who do not want the Wheat Board to succeed after change. I hope the member opposite is not one of those people and that he will work with us to create a new environment for farmers.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, there is no business case for abolishing the Canadian Wheat Board. It is an ideological crusade that defies reason, logic and even economics.

Before the Conservatives use the heavy hand of the state to deny farmers their democratic right to vote, will they at least table any cost benefit analysis, any research they might have, any impact study on the Port of Churchill and the Hudson Bay line in northern Manitoba, the rural economic base for rural communities?

Surely the Conservatives would have done this research before they would undermine the Prairie economy by destroying this great Canadian institution. Will they table it here today?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we can see why the member has been moved off the portfolio that he had before, because he made as much of a fool of himself on that as he is on this issue.

We have a letter—

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Jonquière—Alma.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Claude Patry NDP Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the Minister of Finance's optimism, there are close to 1.5 million unemployed workers in Canada. That is over 330,000 in Quebec alone.

What is even worse is that nearly 6 out of every 10 unemployed workers who have paid premiums for years are not entitled to receive benefits when they lose their jobs.

How can the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development justify the fact that the budget tabled yesterday does not offer anything to the unemployed workers in my region?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister said today, job creation is a major priority for our government. It is the best way to help unemployed workers. That is why the budget includes incentives for small businesses to hire new employees. In addition, the targeted initiative for older workers is still in place to help unemployed workers prepare for these jobs. I therefore hope that the hon. member will support these initiatives to help these people.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, we are learning today that the former parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Defence saw hope that higher unemployment would help recruiting for the Canadian Forces. It is unbelievable.

Would the government tell the House whether it favours higher unemployment for this reason? Does this explain its lack of a proper job creation strategy?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our job creation strategy is far-ranging.

It includes helping small businesses by giving them incentives to hire new people. It gives them incentives to invest in new equipment to make them more productive and more competitive on the world stage.

We are trying to help people get back to work so that Canada can be as strong as it can possibly be competing on the global stage. We need to support workers. We need to support industry so it can grow.

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada has been a world leader as we continue along the path to economic recovery.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance comment on what Canada is doing to ensure our fiscal advantage?

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment to thank the member for her hard work on this file.

Last year we set out a three-point plan to return to budget balance by winding down the temporary stimulus, putting in place targeted spending restraint measures, and reviewing government administrative and overhead costs.

This year we are building on that plan by delivering on the 2010 strategic reviews, closing tax loopholes and launching a one-year government-wide strategic and operating review.

We remain on track to balance our budget by 2015-16.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, as members know, the Conservatives' slogan throughout the election campaign was “Our region in power”. Like many constituents in my region, I am very disappointed.

When we look at the government's plan, we see that the regions of Quebec are not a real priority for the government. In its budget, the government plans on cutting close to a third of the budget of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.

Can the minister explain how these cuts to economic development agencies can benefit the regions of Quebec?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec is a very important tool for all regions of Quebec. I visited the member's riding a number of times before he came along, and we have always worked for all regions of Quebec. With respect to his claims of cutting one-third of spending, I think he should take out his calculator and do his homework.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, tax cuts for major corporations do not create jobs in the north. FedNor is a real economic driver in northern Ontario, and it would not cost anything to make this agency independent and protected from ministerial interference.

When will the minister make FedNor independent, like the other development agencies in Canada?