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House of Commons Hansard #165 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was terrorism.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's words, but we need more action right now. Turkey is spending more than $400 million to host the Syrian refugees. We are talking about 100,000 Syrian refugees right now in the country and many more who want to get in. Winter is coming, these are harsh conditions. Turkey has asked all countries and other countries have said yes.

Will Canada say yes? Will we support Turkey in hosting the refugees? Not only will we, but when will we?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a rich country. We can afford to do our part to provide support for this humanitarian tragedy that is unfolding, not just in Turkey but also in Jordan, Lebanon and other parts of the region. I think we are the world's fifth or sixth largest contributor to humanitarian aid.

As this crisis goes on, Canada is prepared to step up to the plate and do even more to provide for humanitarian assistance. We are tremendously concerned about the cold winter coming and the huge humanitarian catastrophe that could unfold and we will be there to provide more assistance as needed.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in nine days, Ukrainians will have a chance to exercise their deeply cherished democratic rights by participating in parliamentary elections. As we know, there have been mounting concerns over the deterioration of democratic conditions in Ukraine in the lead up to these elections. Ensuring that these elections are fair, free and reflective of the people's will is an important test at a critical juncture in Ukraine's journey toward true democracy and greater prosperity.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please share with the House our government's commitment in the upcoming parliamentary election?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member for Etobicoke Centre who has been a key advocate for the Government of Canada in playing a strong role in the upcoming elections. He and the Ukrainian community have worked hard to pressure Canada to provide some 500 election observers to monitor this vote. Our observer mission will be joined by other freedom-loving nations to ensure that the vote is fair and transparent and that these elections are conducted appropriately and fairly.

I am very pleased—

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The member for Kings—Hants should respect the rules of decorum and allow the Minister of Foreign Affairs to finish his response.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are very pleased that the member for Etobicoke Centre himself will be one of the election observers, as will my friend from Parkdale—High Park. They will do Canada proud.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Jean Rousseau NDP Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to some troubling reports, over 300 people have entered Canada illegally at the Stanstead border crossing in my riding. There were 11 more illegal entries just last night. Yet yesterday in the House, the Minister of Public Safety said there was no problem, that everything was fine and that they had tightened up border controls. The truth is that the minister has cut $146 million from the Canada Border Services Agency's budget. Those cuts cost 260 jobs in Quebec alone.

Will the minister acknowledge that therein lies the problem? What does he plan to do to solve it, particularly the troubling situation in Stanstead?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, whenever we have brought forward initiatives that would increase funding to the CBSA and to increase the number of officers, that member and his party have consistently voted against it. For him to be grandstanding for his constituents now when he is in fact the cause of any problems in terms of getting things done that our government is getting done is shameful. In fact, we have increased front-line officers by 26%.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob NDP Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot continue to deny the problem. Just last night, 11 people crossed the border illegally. This shows the direct impact the Conservative cuts are having. The Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP are in desperate need of resources. This is making it easier for hundreds of people to enter Canada illegally, and the Magog police service in my riding is being forced to deal with these asylum seekers.

And what about drug and weapons trafficking? Does the minister realize that these cuts are endangering the lives of Canadians?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Again, Mr. Speaker, that is a member who has consistently opposed our efforts to bring in reforms to deter bogus refugee claimants and other abuses of the refugee system. He has consistently opposed strong laws to combat human smuggling. He has consistently opposed a crackdown on immigration fraud through our efforts to strengthen these laws and reform the system. We have increased front-line officers by 26%. That member has voted against those measures on every occasion he could.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, my constituency office is overloaded with immigration work after the closure of the Edmonton immigration desk, this after the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has left northern Albertans in legal limbo with no citizenship judge for 10 long months.

I wrote to the minister demanding that he appoint a new citizenship judge for northern Alberta last June. He found one for his home town of Calgary months ago. Why has he left the rest of Alberta out in the cold for so long? Will he immediately appoint a citizenship judge?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

No, I will not, Mr. Speaker, because the cabinet approved one two weeks ago.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, in Sudbury, the closure of the immigration office means small business owners now need to drive four hours to Toronto for meetings with immigration officials in order to hire the foreign workers they need to continue to operate.

Instead of waiting two weeks for labour market opinions, small businesses will have to wait 14 weeks. Some of Sudbury's small business owners are now foregoing expansion because of the extra, unneeded hassle.

Why is the government stifling economic growth with reckless cuts?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

I have two points, Mr. Speaker. First, the NDP calls on us to shut down the temporary foreign worker program, except for when the NDP members ask us to provide temporary foreign workers for employers. I would ask them to pick a position.

Second, employers do not need to meet with officials to access work permits. Work permits are processed from abroad. Service Canada does the labour market opinion and then CIC does the work permits from abroad. It would be helpful if the member would inform himself about how our system actually works.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Still within my riding and many ridings throughout the Atlantic coast, many fishermen are worried about fishermen's EI. It is a special program and it is extremely beneficial to the economy but locally people are still hearing from multiple sources in Service Canada that there will be changes within fishermen's EI.

Could the minister please clear the air on this. Will she stand in the House and say, “No, there will be no changes whatsoever”, and, if there are changes, could she please outline some of them?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasant change to be asked by that particular member to provide some facts. Unfortunately, he, among others, have actually been providing Canadians with information that is totally inaccurate.

There have been no changes to the fishers' EI program. We have made that clear on numerous occasions. What we are doing with EI is ensuring that those who are on claim have the opportunity and support to look for a job while they are on claim, with the help of Service Canada.

Small BusinessOral Questions

October 19th, 2012 / 11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government is turning the small business tax credit into a firing credit.

A company that pays more than $10,000 in employment insurance premiums will lose its tax credit. If a company comes close to the limit and hires people, it will be penalized; if it fires someone, it will qualify for a $1,000 tax credit.

Why establish a tax credit that will penalize hiring and encourage firing?

Small BusinessOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question because it gives me the opportunity to repeat that our plan will encourage the growth of small and medium-sized businesses. But, at every turn, the Liberals and the NDP vote against our plan.

If my colleague truly wants to encourage the growth of small businesses, she should vote with us.

Canada PostOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Once again, Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are taking away the services that Canadians want.

In Honeymoon Bay in my riding, they are cutting the post office services on Saturdays. With the post office already closing at three o'clock on weekdays, Saturday was the only day working people had to get any kind of postal service. Now what will they do?

We know that the Conservatives want to privatize the post office but this is ridiculous. Why is the government making the lives of working people in Honeymoon Bay more difficult?

Canada PostOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post is a crown corporation that makes its operational decisions independently of the government. However, It does guarantee prompt service to every Canadian, regardless of where they live.

I would also note that the business of moving mail involves transportation, which burns fossil fuels. A carbon tax would increase the cost of moving mail across the country and therefore reduce its accessibility for Canadians.

If the hon. member wants to support accessible mail, she should oppose her party's carbon tax.

Canada PostOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Claude Patry NDP Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are continuing to use strong-arm tactics at Canada Post. Once again, rural areas are losing out. If hours of operation are not reduced, the post office is closed, as is the case with the Jonquière post office on Saint-François Boulevard.

The minister does not seem to understand that people depend on Canada Post services, especially in rural areas.

Why do the Conservatives continue to attack rural post offices?

Canada PostOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post is a crown corporation at arm's length from our government. Its operations are managed by the corporation and not by cabinet ministers. Operational decisions are affected by the cost of hydrocarbons, including gasoline.

The NDP plan to impose a carbon tax will make these operations more expensive and postal services less accessible to Canadians.

EthicsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, Canadians learned of reports that former senior Liberal cabinet minister, Joe Fontana, is under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for using $20,000 of taxpayer money to pay for his son's wedding. Canadians have not seen this kind of disrespect for their hard-earned tax dollars since the days of the Liberal sponsorship scandal.

Would the parliamentary secretary inform the House if government departments are co-operating fully with the appropriate authorities' reported investigation into the abuse of this former senior Liberal cabinet minister?

EthicsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Conservative

Susan Truppe ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I know families in London and, in fact, all Canadians are worried about the very serious allegations that have been made against their former Liberal MP.

We will trust the experienced officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to get to the bottom of this very serious matter and determine whether any taxpayer money was abused by the former senior Liberal cabinet minister. It is up to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to determine whether any criminal charges will be required.

The Liberals have not been in government since 2005 and, if these allegations are true, then they are still stealing.