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House of Commons Hansard #179 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was families.

Topics

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to point out that the Conservatives hold the shameful record of muzzling the members and cutting off debate 29 times since the beginning of this Parliament.

I would like to take this opportunity to urge the government to take action on employment insurance. For the past few weeks, it has been using surreptitious means to pressure and harass job seekers who are already feeling the stress of not being able to make ends meet.

On the one hand, the government is going after unemployed workers like a desperate vulture and forcing them to send from three to five CVs a week, under the pretext that there is a labour shortage. On the other hand, we have the facts: Statistics Canada has said that the Canadian economy is not producing enough jobs, and the Parliamentary Budget Officer tells us that cuts in 2012 will eliminate another 125,000 jobs.

Canadians need jobs. The government needs to stop wasting its time hounding unemployed workers and do what it was elected to do.

The government wants unemployed Canadians to work. The solution is simple: create jobs.

Portage—LisgarStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, as we all prepare for possible boundary changes in our ridings, I would like to bring the attention of this House to a location of immense importance in western Canada.

The prime meridian sits on a small plot of land in the northeast corner of my riding of Portage—Lisgar. This is where, beginning 1872, the dominion surveyor measured, mile by mile, on all points of the compass, over 200 million acres of land from Manitoba to British Columbia.

Immigrants and settlers moved onto the land and words section, half-section and quarter-section came into our vocabulary. Our roads, our farms, our towns and villages all designated from this one simple beginning.

The measure of any great nation is the strength of its history and the character of its people. The prime meridian is an important starting point for the western Canada we know and love. Today, a cairn marks this historic spot in my riding and preserves its history for centuries to come.

Canadian Young Scientist Journal AwardsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Chungsen Leung Conservative Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to share with the House the success of some of our young scientists for their candidacy for the Canadian Young Scientist Journal best paper awards.

As members may know, the Canadian Young Scientist Journal located in my riding of Willowdale provides a unique opportunity to high school students to express their views on a broad range of scientific topics and introduce themselves to the national scientific community.

The competition helps young people to discover the innovative potential of tomorrow through a platform that allows them to discuss their ideas with their peers and academic communities. The success of these young scientists will surely lead them on the path to university or further research.

Today I congratulate Abhishek Chakraborty, Brittney Allen, Carlos Xu, Alexandra Ficht and Rachel McLay. They have worked hard to come up with some of the best papers in this cross-Canada competition.

These aspiring young scientists are truly leading citizens of our nation and the world.

Mr. Speaker, I am sure you and all hon. members join me today in recognizing the achievement of these young scientists.

Birthday CongratulationsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my great privilege to rise today to pay tribute to Stephen Lewis on the occasion of his 75th birthday on November 11. I am very proud to follow in the footsteps of New Democrats. like Stephen Lewis, who have represented my community. Stephen was the MPP for Scarborough West for 15 years, 8 of them as leader of the Ontario NDP.

Among his many accomplishments, Stephen served as Canada's ambassador to the United Nations and the UN's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, work that he continues today through the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Anyone who has heard him speak knows of his oratory skills and mastery of the English language. They also know of his passion: his passion for Africa; his passion for women's rights and equality; and his passion for a just society.

On behalf of the official opposition and, indeed, all New Democrats, I wish Stephen Lewis a happy 75th birthday and I extend our best wishes for many more to come.

Remembrance DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe raid in August was a powerful reminder of the bravery and dedication that Canadians demonstrated during the Second World War. Of the nearly 5,000 Canadians who participated, only 2,210 returned to England, many of them wounded. Tragically, 916 Canadians died as a result.

Those who participated in the Dieppe Raid were among the more than one million Canadians who served during the Second World War. Their efforts helped ensure victory was achieved. During the Second World War, approximately 55,000 Canadians were wounded and more than 45,000 gave their lives in the fight for freedom. This was a remarkable sacrifice for a young nation with a population of only 11 million people.

It is our duty to preserve the legacy these courageous men and women granted us and ensure their selfless dedication is never forgotten. We must pass the torch of remembrance on to future generations so they, too, can understand and appreciate the importance of commemoration.

Lest We Forget.

Media Literacy WeekStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the digital world offers an incredible opportunity for free expression, social engagement and learning and yet, along with this unprecedented access come serious issues, particularly for young people who are navigating the world of chat pages and social media. This is why privacy online is a right. Privacy matters.

This is the message of the National Media Literacy Week. The New Democrats are very proud to support the seventh annual Media Literacy Week that was launched by MediaSmarts which, along with the Canadian Teachers' Federation and 70 other organizations, are working with young people, teachers and community leaders to raise awareness and understanding of digital literacy online.

We call on the government to get proactive, to ensure that the rights of young people online are protected and to ensure that the Privacy Commissioner has the tools she needs to protect the rights of Canadians in the digital realm.

VeteransStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank everyone who so generously shared their touching poems, thoughts, stories and feelings on the Records & Collections page of the Veterans Affairs website. I would like to quote an excerpt from a poem by Madeleine Heckbert entitled Remember:

Remember them:
The war they waged,
The lives they saved,
The freedom they gave.
Remember them.
Remember that for justice,
For love of country,
Many perished.
These children we cherished,
They fought for justice.
...
Remember their bravery,
Their strength and invincibility.
We depended on them
And they on us.
Some gave their lives
While others still live.
Our love for them thrives.
Our thanks we still give.

I would like to join with Ms. Heckbert in saying: lest we forget.

Remembrance DayStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on the eve of the 74th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, when, in 1938, Nazi troops stormed Jewish neighbourhoods in Germany, vandalizing Jewish homes and businesses, desecrating synagogues and cemeteries, arresting some 30,000 Jews, murdering others and burning books, as a precursor to burning people and the atrocities to come.

We commemorate Kristallnacht on the eve also of Remembrance Day when we honour the brave men and women who fought for Canada and for freedom, including those instrumental in defeating the Third Reich.

This week is also Holocaust Education Week, wherein the lessons of the Holocaust are transmitted to generations of Canadians will resonate globally with Canada as incoming chair of the International Task Force for Holocaust Remembrance and Education.

The lessons of the Holocaust are universal. We remember the dangers associated with cultures of hate and the importance of speaking out against injustice.

Tonight, I will attend a commemoration of Kristallnacht and, on Sunday, Remembrance Day ceremonies in my riding. As we remember the horrors of the past, let us ensure that the world will never experience such horrors again.

Lest we forget.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, next week, members of Parliament will travel back to their ridings to speak with their constituents on the things that matter most to them. I can assure members that we will not hear a call for higher taxes.

Canadians are pleased with our government's low tax plan for jobs and growth and for lowering the price on almost everything with our 2% cut to GST.

What they do not want to see is the NDP's proposed carbon tax that would raise the price on almost everything. Its sneaky tax scheme would have Canadians spend more of their hard-earned tax dollars on gas, groceries and electricity.

Why does the leader of the NDP want hard-working Canadians to pay for his $21 billion carbon tax?

TaxationStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week will be busy back in my riding of Newton—North Delta. Not only will I have the pleasure of participating in multiple events but I will also have to explain the $8 billion Conservative money grab. That is right, for the last six years Conservatives have been sneaking increases to user fees for Canadians. They are now twice as high as they were a decade ago. What are the Conservatives gouging Canadians for? Youth exchange programs, maps, family reunification, even divorce, and I could go on. There are many more.

What is worse is that almost all of their budget cuts are to the very services Canadians rely on. Increased user fees and blind and reckless cuts, it is a double whammy for Canadians and their wallets. That is why New Democrats vote against the Conservatives' irresponsible agenda.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, in May of 2011 the NDP misled Canadians when it titled its election platform, “Give families a break”. In fact, this could not be further from the truth. What it should have called its platform is, “Give families a $21 billion carbon tax”. At least then it would be accurate.

It is located right on page 4 in the same platform in black and white, an NDP carbon tax scheme that would raise the price of all things Canadian families need, such as groceries, gas, electricity and heat. In effect, this NDP tax gets tough on Canadian families, not giving them a break as the opposition would have Canadians believe.

Thankfully, Canadian voters gave our Conservative government a mandate to keep taxes low, grow jobs and really give Canadian families the break they so rightfully deserve.

Social ServicesOral Questions

November 8th, 2012 / 11:15 a.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, we learned that the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development will announce a plan to privatize social services. One of the models that she wants to use to justify the government's massive cuts to public services is that of Goldman Sachs, the commercial bank accused of fraud in the American real estate scandal no less.

Can the Conservatives tell us exactly what services they are going to privatize and why those services are no longer part of the government's plans?

Social ServicesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, our government has been focused on making sure that communities and families are well supported. That is exactly what this initiative is doing, very unlike the NDP's approach.

Whether we put forward initiatives such as the enabling accessibility fund or whether it is the registered disabilities savings plan, these are initiatives to help Canadians and help communities, unlike the NDP's approach where it wants to tax individuals to make sure that we cannot provide those programs for them.

Social ServicesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's disengagement is not going to put more money in people's pockets.

The other model that the minister is using is that of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. The people of Great Britain opposed it, and their government had to rethink its plan four times.

What the minister is proposing here is merely a public relations exercise to justify new cuts to services for Canadians. Why imitate a plan that failed so miserably in the United Kingdom?

Social ServicesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we actually have a plan in this country. We have the economic action plan, and we are putting it in place to make sure that Canadians have jobs. We want to make sure that Canadians are able to provide for themselves and build their communities. That is exactly what we are doing with this initiative.

I look forward to the NDP supporting the economic action plan, but apparently it is not willing to do that. It is not willing to help create Canadian jobs, as we have done with 820,000 net new jobs.

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer says that 85% of Conservative cuts are to front-line staff and services Canadians rely on. Service Canada is already in bad shape. One in four EI applications are not being processed on time. The majority of calls are not being answered.

Why is the only Conservative response to this more privatization?

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is clearly not the case. We have indeed put forward more resources to ensure that Canadians have the services when and where they need them, all across this country. We have done so in a way that is economically efficient and responsible, and reacts to the needs of communities that are diverse all across the country.

Just because things are being done differently does not mean that the NDP members have to put on their tinfoil hats and come up with conspiracy theories. The reality is that Canadians need these services, and we are providing them. We have increased services to those communities that are most in need. We will continue to do so because they are indeed the services that Canadians have come to expect.

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the proposed Conservative model for fiscal restraint is to focus their cuts on the services that Canadians rely on and then use Goldman Sachs as a model for prudent management. What is motivating the Conservatives here is not actually any concern about social services, it is a PR stunt to make up for the fact that they are making these reckless cuts.

Can the Conservatives tell us what in the world they hope to learn about social service delivery from investment banks?

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned before, our government recognizes that we have to take steps to ensure we enable communities to tackle local problems. That is exactly what these initiatives do. They allow communities to deal with their local issues so that they can be effective in supporting families.

It is very unlike the NDP approach, which wants to tax and spend, making sure that Canadians do not have the funds in their pockets to help with their local communities. We are about creating jobs. We are about making sure we build communities. I encourage the NDP to support the economic action plan, which helps create those jobs and build those communities.

Parks CanadaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, today we also learned that Conservatives will stop maintaining cross-country ski trails in many of our national parks. They include Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan, Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba, and Elk Island National Park in Alberta. This is another example of cuts to direct services.

Can the Conservatives tell us if they plan to use a private company to deliver these services as well, perhaps Goldman Sachs?

Parks CanadaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, no government has done more when it comes to protecting our great natural spaces. National parks and historic sites will remain open this winter. Parks Canada is working with volunteer groups to provide assistance and equipment for ski tracking and trail maintenance.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Public Safety, yesterday he told the House, in the course of an answer, that he in fact had been instrumental in instructing officials to settle the civil suit between Ashley Smith's family and the Government of Canada.

What facts was the minister aware of that led him to reach that conclusion? Second, does the government have other videos in its possession with respect to the treatment of Ashley Smith? Does it have other videos in its possession with respect to the treatment of other people in our prison system?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I think the Minister of Public Safety was very clear on this matter yesterday. Of course, the treatment of Ashley Smith is indeed a tragedy. That is why the coroner's inquest is ongoing. The Minister of Public Safety has instructed all those associated with the inquiry to provide all the information necessary so that we can not only get to the bottom of the Ashley Smith incident specifically, but also more broadly ensure that those who are in custody going forward are treated with respect and appropriate techniques that are greatly improved, based on the tragedy that we saw in the treatment of Ashley Smith.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is odd that the minister who is aware of the situation did not answer the question, but I am willing to accept the other minister's response on behalf of the government as long as he provides the specific answers we need. I asked the minister very specific questions, and I think that we are entitled to receive answers that are just as specific.

What facts led the government to settle with Ashley Smith's family? Is the government in possession of any other videos with respect to the treatment of Ashley Smith? Is the government in possession of any other videos with respect to the treatment of other mentally ill people in the Canadian prison system?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

I would remind all hon. members not to refer to who is or is not in the chamber.

The hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage.