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House of Commons Hansard #6 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we want to provide good competition for the consumer. Down the road, we want consumers to have the choice to pick the cellphone they want. For this, we hope to have the support of the opposition parties to move forward on reforms to come.

Personal DebtOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi NDP Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, since 2004, personal debt in Canada has increased by 40% and is at an all-time high. In Quebec alone, between 15% to 20% of credit card holders can only make the minimum payment. Families are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. They need help. However, the Conservatives have decided to help someone: the big banks. In the meantime, the Government of Quebec is taking action to protect consumers.

Where is the leadership from the federal government?

Personal DebtOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, for some years now we have heard the concerns expressed, and we have certainly expressed them, with respect to the level of consumer debt. That is why we have taken several steps. Three times we have intervened with respect to the insured residential mortgage market, including this year.

We also created the code of conduct in co-operation with small business in Canada and small retailers. They have praised that code of conduct with respect to credit cards because it is working.

Personal DebtOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi NDP Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec has just announced concrete measures to protect families and consumers. Similar measures could be taken by the Conservative government. It could choose to defend families against the voracious appetite of the credit companies, cap credit card interest rates, give financial authorities the power to prohibit excessive fees, and abolish transaction fees that are unfair to consumers and businesses.

When will the government finally take care of consumers?

Personal DebtOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

As I said, Mr. Speaker, the code of conduct that we developed was done together with small business and consumer groups. It was welcomed by small business and consumer groups.

Unfortunately, the opposition NDP voted against the code, but I gather from the question that I have just heard from the learned member of the NDP that this position will be changing and that he will be supporting our policy on the code of conduct.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, conceivably they could be done through a telephone conference call, but G8 and G20 summits are held, supposedly, to demonstrate to the world collective leadership forged from the rule of law and global stability created by fiscal prudence and respect for democratic institutions. Canada's G8 and G20 legacy? It was a showcase of unfettered and unaffordable spending, self-indulgent decision-making, and deception of democracy and institutions of democracy to arrive at that lavishness. It was quite a beacon to the world.

If the government could do it all over again, could it show some contrition and tell Canadians now that it would do it very differently?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the initial authorizations for funds to these unprecedented back-to-back summits was some $1.1 billion and we learned from the Auditor General today that they came in almost 40% under budget.

The real lasting legacy of the G8 and G20 summits in Canada is the leadership of the Prime Minister. Canada has a lot to be proud of for the summit resulted in the launch of the maternal, child health initiative, a multi-year initiative plan that will literally save thousands and thousands of lives around the world thanks to the leadership of the Prime Minister.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to today's Auditor General's report of first nations on reserve, under the Conservative watch the education gap has widened, the housing shortage has increased, and half of the drinking water systems on reserves still pose a significant risk to their communities.

The minister just said he is interested in real results. Will he tell the House when 100% of first nations will have adequate housing, when 100% will have safe drinking water, and when 100% of aboriginal youth will have the same educational opportunities as the rest of Canadians?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I was interested in the comments made by the Auditor General. He said that the first nations are going to have to work closely with government to address some of these impediments and some of these fundamental issues. He said that the openness is there on both parties to deal with some of these fundamental challenges because if we are going to significantly improve the condition on first nations reserves, we need to do this.

I agree with his commentary. That is why we announced a joint action plan with the national chief this morning.

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

June 9th, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives promised that there would not be any political interference in the $35 billion program for the shipbuilding industry, but the cat has been let out of the bag. Several prominent Conservatives met with lobbyists from Vancouver Shipyards and Irving Shipbuilding last fall. That can only lead to political interference.

Why did the Conservatives break their promise?

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I can reassure the member that this is an arm's length process that is actually managed by the shipbuilding secretariat. It is the one that will be evaluating the bids and determining the winners based on the merits of the proposals. In fact, the federal cabinet will not be involved in this decision.

The procurement is also under the careful watch of two high level interdepartmental governance committees, a fairness monitor, an international third-party benchmarking expert, and an independent validation oversight firm, KPMG. So far, the fairness monitor has told me that the process has proceeded fairly.

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot say we are going to have an open and transparent process while at the same time many of her Conservative colleagues are meeting with lobbyists when it comes to the shipbuilding industry.

The NDP has advocated for many years for a national shipbuilding strategy based on openness and transparency, and on the best business case plan. We cannot have Conservative members of Parliament meeting with lobbyists when the minister herself told a CANSEC meeting that lobbyists were to back off.

My question to the minister is quite clear. Why the different messaging here? Is she now going to tell these Conservative members of Parliament to butt out of the system and have a true and open policy?

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I can reassure the member that this is an arm's-length process.

It is managed by the shipbuilding secretariat. It is in fact the one who will evaluate the bids based on merit and announce the winners. The federal cabinet will not be involved in this decision.

I can reassure the member by providing him with the quote from the independent fairness monitor that is overseeing this process. He said that so far decisions are made objectively, free from personal favouritism and political influence, and encompasses the elements of openness, competitiveness, transparency and compliance. We will keep it that way.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Clarke Conservative Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, June 11 is the third anniversary of the historic apology to aboriginals for residential schools. It was one of the many steps that this government has taken on a path of reconciliation with aboriginal Canadians.

Could the minister tell this House what the latest step is in developing the constructive and mutually beneficial relationship?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for the steps he has taken to improve the lives of Canadians living on reserve.

Today I was proud to announce, with the national chief, a joint action plan with my department and the Assembly of First Nations. This is a practical, focused plan to improve the lives of first nations people across Canada.

The action plan is a prosperity agenda that targets four shared priorities: education, good governance, economic development, and negotiation and implementation. We are embarking on a new phase.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government was required to submit two greenhouse gas emissions reports in the last month, one to the UN and one to Parliament.

The government told the UN that its climate change policies are up to 10 times more effective than what it told Parliament. The government is telling the UN one thing, while telling Parliament another.

Will the minister tell us which report is accurate and who ordered the changes?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the two reports are based on two different compilations of data. With regard to the inventory report to the United Nations framework convention on climate change, we reported that in 2009 the oil sands contributed 6.5% of Canada's total emissions. As reported, this fact is accurate.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday at the climate change conference in Bonn, government representatives announced, and I quote, “Now that we've finished our election...Canada will not be taking a target under a second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol.”

Once again, Canada is trying to hamper the efforts of the international community.

Why did the government go to Bonn? To fight climate change or simply to collect fossil awards?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the assumption in the question is absolutely false.

The only way to achieve real reductions in global emissions is to have a treaty that covers all emitters. The Kyoto protocol fails to do that. Therefore, Canada will not be party to a target under a second commitment period under the Kyoto protocol.

The Cancun agreements based on Copenhagen, on the other hand, form a solid basis for an effective global post-2012 regime that will include all major emitters.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the recent Speech from the Throne Canadians heard that our strong, stable, national Conservative majority government will address the problem of violence against women and girls.

Could the Minister for Status of Women tell this House what our government is already doing to address this issue?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, since taking office, our government has invested more than $30 million in projects to end violence against women and girls all across this country, in addition to the $10 million we are investing to address the very difficult issue of murdered and missing aboriginal women. To date, we have increased funding to end violence against women and girls to its highest level ever.

We have raised the penalties for violent sexual crimes and we have raised the age of sexual consent from 14 years old to 16 years old to protect girls from sexual exploitation by adult predators.

We will continue to address the issue of violence against women and girls.

SeniorsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government had no problem finding a whopping $668 million for the G8 summit and it had no problem finding $50 million for perks in the minister's riding but it cannot scrape together the $700 million to ensure every senior in this country can be lifted out of poverty.

Will the minister stand in the House and explain to our seniors why gazebos are more important than food on the table and living in dignity?

SeniorsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government is the one that has been doing the most to help seniors afford the necessities of life and go beyond that. That is why we increased the age credit, not once but twice. We introduced pension income splitting for seniors. We have launched a whole program to help fight financial abuse.

Unfortunately, the hon. member and her party voted against every one of these initiatives to help our seniors.

The BudgetOral Questions

3 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister and has to do with the 2011 budget implementation bill.

The budgets of 2009 and 2010 in the Budget Implementation Acts, as we all know, became omnibus bills in which unrelated measures were included.

I would be very grateful if the Prime Minister could stand today and assure this House that there will be no hidden Trojan Horse efforts to undermine other legislation when we see the budget implementation bill next week.

The BudgetOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. member on her election to the House of Commons. I regret that it means we do not have with us any more our dear friend Gary Lunn. I do not know what the member opposite has against munchkins but I am a member of that brotherhood.

We like this budget so much we introduced it twice. I can assure the hon. member that the budget implementation act will, of course, reflect items from the budget that are referenced in the budget.

The GIS payments for seniors, in particular, are very important. We want to get those cheques out in July.