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House of Commons Hansard #197 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was syria.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services has the floor.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member that as soon as there were concerns raised about the cost estimates that were provided by the Department of National Defence, we reset the process. We have created a secretariat to oversee the process, including independent oversight and we have called on KPMG to also provide us with advice.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, after several months of delays and confusion surrounding the CNOOC takeover of Nexen, we expected the Conservatives to act seriously and responsibly, as other G8 countries have done, and clarify the definition of “net benefit”. Last week, however, instead of establishing clear public policies for Canadians and investors, they only added to the confusion and politicized the rules around foreign investments.

Can the Minister of Industry tell us exactly what he means by “exceptional circumstances” and “net benefit”?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is funny to see how confused the NDP is about its own position. Clearly, the NDP members are trying to muddle everything in an attempt to camouflage their irresponsible policy. We on this side are trying to have a debate on foreign investment, although we know that the NDP wants to block all foreign investment.

We have taken a clear stand. We have clarified the guidelines to illustrate how we will exercise our discretion in the future. This has been welcomed by the markets and by Canadians. The NDP members are about the only ones who do not seem to get it. However, Canadians can count on a responsible government when it comes to foreign investment.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last year, 563 Canadian companies were taken over by foreign investors. The NDP opposed only one takeover.

Of 563 takeovers in Canada last year, the NDP has opposed one: your sellout of Canada's raw natural resources to Nexen.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I have to, once again, remind the hon. Leader of the Opposition to not address his comments directly to colleagues but through the Chair.

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the ideological opposition of the NDP to foreign investment is well-known and often expressed here by the critic of that party.

What makes this intervention particularly bizarre is that we know that the NDP, which has said so in election campaigns, is actually against the development of the oil sands entirely. New Democrats get up and masquerade somehow that they understand this industry and are defending the interests of Canadians. People know the only government that will defend the interests of this industry and Canadians is this government.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in failing to—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

December 12th, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, in failing to apply basic principles of sustainable development such as polluter pay in all of our development in Canada, the Conservatives are leaving the largest ecological, economic and social debt in history on the backs of the next generation. We will stand up and have that debate with them because Canadians agree with us.

The Conservatives are destabilizing the Canadian economy. We have lost the manufacturing sector. We will stand up for the future.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, at this time of merry Christmas, I wish serenity now to all members of the House.

As this government has done on foreign investment in making sure that we are able to attract foreign investment in a way that protects the interests of Canadians while ensuring that this country is not run by foreign governments, we are and will continue to do the same thing for the environment and the economy.

We are the first government to make progress on actually reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time we are making sure that we develop our resources and provide good, high-paying jobs.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister simply does not understand the difference between the takeover of a Canadian company by a foreign company and the takeover of a Canadian resource by a foreign power.

It is not that CNOOC purchased Nexen. It is that the government of China now owns our national resources. Under the FIPA, they can buy whatever they want in the oil patch.

The Conservatives have sold us out. That is the tragedy of this deal. They have not respected Canada's right to control its own resources.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has been very clear. In the oil sands or in other areas of the Canadian economy, we will not permit foreign governments to own a substantial portion of our resources. We have been crystal clear on that.

The FIPA with China is absolutely clear as well. Every such transaction in the future will be subject to the government's discretion in the Investment Canada Act and we will exercise that discretion to protect Canadians.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have met hundreds of veterans throughout Durham and Canada, and I know that they are some of the hardest working and most talented people around. They have an incredible training expertise and the best work ethic of any Canadian. Because of the strong fiscal management of this government, Canadian businesses are hiring.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs please update the House on what our government is doing to encourage more Canadian industries to hire our veterans?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mississauga—Brampton South Ontario

Conservative

Eve Adams ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that great new MP is absolutely right. Our veterans, and the member is included among them, are some of the best-trained, most hard-working members of our community.

Today, the Minister of Veterans Affairs joined with CN Rail to announce the creation of 2,000 new jobs. CN Rail will be creating 2,000 new jobs next year and they are looking to fill those positions with our veterans. However, that is not all. Our government further announced that we are going to partner with corporate Canada and the True Patriot Love Foundation to find even more Canadian businesses who would be lucky to hire Canada's veterans.

I call on Canadian industry to stand with our government and—

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Hamilton Mountain.

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the holidays are a difficult time for Canadians still looking for work in a shaky economy.

The minister's so-called reforms are failing. Front-line services are worse, Service Canada offices are often shut down, and people are now forced to wait longer than ever to access EI.

Money is tight and the bills are due now. Canadians cannot afford to wait for the minister to keep slowly rolling out her reversals. Why will she not tell us today what she will do to clean up the mess that she created?

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we do want to help Canadians, particularly those who have been unfortunate enough to lose their jobs through no fault of their own.

That is why we are automating and streamlining EI processing so they will get better, faster, more efficient service. That is why we are up to 99% registration for EI online now to speed up that process.

We are doing more to help Canadians because we believe the best way to help them is to help them get a job. We are providing them with training and more information about jobs in their skill range in their areas. It is a shame that the NDP is not supporting us in those efforts to help Canadians get back to work.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that there will be fewer closures of Service Canada employment insurance offices in Conservative ridings.

Previously, regions that voted for the right party were promised services. Today, services are being taken away from those that did not vote for the government. That is straight out of the Duplessis era. Workers across Canada have the right to be treated equally.

Will the Conservatives stop using public services to buy votes?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we need an efficient employment insurance system to respond quickly and appropriately to the needs of the unemployed.

In Montreal, there used to be two Service Canada offices within one block of each other, which was not efficient. That is why we are overhauling the system to better serve Canadians in need.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to punishing Quebec, the Conservatives are attacking workers who do not have access to the Internet.

With the closure of many Service Canada Centres in the regions, unemployed workers will have to submit their claims online. Many outlying areas do not have good Internet service because of the Conservatives' lack of leadership. This means that many workers will just give up. Employment insurance is not a luxury for people who lose their jobs.

When will the Conservatives finally take employment insurance seriously?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we want to help unemployed workers.

Through our efforts, 99% of unemployed workers can now submit their employment insurance claims online. It is a much more efficient system, a system that delivers results more quickly.

It is very important to acknowledge that there are still more than 600 Service Canada offices across the country, and unemployed workers can obtain services there.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the irresponsible closures of Immigration Canada offices throughout the world, including those in Buffalo and Tokyo, are resulting in much longer wait times.

The closure of the office in Dhaka, Bangladesh, has added an average of six months to the wait time. Six months is a long time. By closing offices, the Conservatives have cut services, period.

When will they admit that their cuts are reducing the services offered to Canadians?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is completely wrong.

In fact, we have actually expedited the processing of applications, particularly for permanent residents. When our government came to power six years ago, it took seven or eight years for applications for permanent residence to be processed, whereas now it takes only one or two years. We expect that, in the future, any fairly straightforward applications for permanent residence will be processed within less than 12 months. We will continue to improve online services for clients throughout the world.