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House of Commons Hansard #190 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was lake.

Topics

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but we are talking about an investigation into voter fraud. I do not know if the member understands that. Maybe he does not understand that 56 ridings are now being investigated. The Conservatives' claims that they are co-operating do not add up because we have found out that Conservative Party lawyers delayed responding to Elections Canada for 90 days. That is not co-operation; it is called stalling for time.

Since the numbers have been traced back to the Conservative Party's headquarters, when is the government going to get serious about holding itself to account? Whom are the Conservatives covering up for?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have said all along that we are working proactively with Elections Canada to find out exactly what went on in the riding of Guelph.

That is in stark contrast to the approach of the NDP when it accepted $340,000 in illegal union money. That party did not co-operate with Elections Canada or anyone else. That party tried to cover it up so that Canadians would not find out. Canadians did find out and the NDP will be held accountable by the Canadian people.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member needs to update his Rolodex of sleazy excuses.

The Conservatives claim that the issue in Guelph involved one kid. We are talking about 56 ridings and the fact that they refuse to answer to Elections Canada.

Speaking of that, the Labrador minister has refused to come clean about his breaking of election laws. He has refused to explain why he hid free flights and refused to explain why he and his campaign manager were promoted by the Prime Minister after they broke the rules.

Since it has worked out so well for him, I would like to ask the member for Labrador, does he take the issue of election crime seriously, yes or no?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, of course he does. I think all Canadians take it seriously when they learn that a political party has taken $340,000 in illegal union money.

On this side of the House we have a member of Parliament for Labrador who is working hard to defend the interests of the people he represents and working to create jobs in his community. What does the opposition do? It attacks him for spending too much time in his community and making too much of an effort creating jobs for his constituents. Those are the kind of attacks that we can live with.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, Conservative financial incompetence has ballooned Canada's national debt to more than $600 billion, but it is Canadians who are being punished. Nowhere is this more evident than in first nations education.

Despite the insulting assertion of the minister, the chiefs know that funding for each student attending reserve schools is less than half of that for students off reserve. They want action for their youth, who have the lowest educational outcomes in this country.

Why is the minister making first nation students pay the price for the government's financial incompetence? When will he close the gap?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, every year we invest in education for over 117,000 students on reserve. Recently I announced additional measures, such as early literacy programming to further education outcomes. I also made announcements in regard to new school infrastructure.

We have already completed 263 school projects, including 33 new schools. We are continuing to take concrete steps to improve educational outcomes for first nation students.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

December 3rd, 2012 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are being punished with cuts to core services to pay for Conservative financial incompetence. That is being seen as Canada's national debt rises to over $600 billion.

Closures of immigration offices across Canada and in Buffalo have left people asking questions they cannot get answered. The CIC website barely provides updates on increases in processing times but is a virtual black hole when it comes to updates on personal files.

When will the minister reinstate these services and make the necessary changes, instead of leaving people in the dark?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the member has it absolutely wrong. Our new central processing office in Ottawa is processing applications more quickly than they were in Buffalo.

This is astonishing, coming from the Liberals. The Liberal immigration legacy left us with wait times of eight and nine years across the entire range of programs. There was a million people waiting in the backlog.

Thanks to strong action taken by the government, opposed consistently by the Liberals, we are now getting to a just-in-time system that is going from seven and eight year wait times to one year processing times for applicants for immigration.

Government ServicesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development plans to eliminate 46% of jobs in Service Canada offices in Prince Edward Island.

The Minister of Veterans Affairs plans to close our only district office and eliminate 800 jobs.

The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has already closed our only Citizenship and Immigration Canada office.

The Minister of National Revenue closed our only consultation office, where people could go in person.

Why is Prince Edward Island being punished for the Conservatives' financial incompetence?

Government ServicesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. Yes, it is true that, as part of our efforts to reduce operating expenses in order to reduce the deficit, we have decreased the number of offices. However, we have increased our online services in order to meet people's needs much more efficiently.

The Liberals' immigration policy forced permanent resident applicants to wait up to eight years for a response. We are moving to a just in time system that will process new applications for permanent residence in one year or less. Those are the kinds of results our government is achieving.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-398 proposed simple changes to Canadian legislation, which could have saved thousands of lives at no cost to taxpayers. A number of Conservative members caved in to pressure from the Prime Minister's Office and refused to send the bill to be examined in committee, even though a similar bill was passed by the House in the last Parliament.

Why did they vote against streamlining the system, thereby refusing to save lives?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. The bill would not improve the lives of the people it purported to help. The real question is this: why did the NDP vote against $4 billion in initiatives that would have provided medications to countries in need?

The NDP always voted against those initiatives. The $4 billion would have secured a global fund of $10 billion. Those are real initiatives, not just rhetoric. That is real action. Shame on the NDP for voting against them.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that sounds like more hollow excuses.

Conservatives could have acted. They could have agreed with those around the world who believe that we have a responsibility to act. Even the Toronto Sun lamented the cruel death of this lifesaving bill. Forty-four percent of women, men and children living in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to lifesaving medicines.

Why will the Conservatives not put partisan games aside and work together with everyone to ensure that we get lifesaving medicines to the people who need them?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. This bill would not help the ones that it claims to. The fact is that we put forward $4 billion of initiatives to make sure that medicines are provided to the countries in need, and the NDP always voted against it. The question is why it votes against it when we know that this $4 billion helped to secure a global fund of $10 billion for the countries in need. This is real action, and shame on New Democrats for voting against that.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are failing yet again to show leadership in health care, and Canadians are paying the price. The Canadian Institute for Health Information reported that Canada has the highest percentage of people waiting more than four hours in emergency rooms, and more than half of Canadians say they cannot get appointments with their family doctors when they need them.

Why is the Minister of Health cutting billions of dollars from health transfers rather than working with the provinces to reduce wait times, which is a significant issue in this country?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our government is absolutely playing a leadership role when it comes to health care. I appreciate the hon. member's question because it gives me an opportunity to talk about all the great investments our government is making. Transfers to the provinces and territories are at record levels and will increase to approximately $40 billion per year by the end of the decade—

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. Minister of Health has the floor.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Conservative Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, they are the ones who cut the transfers.

We are also funding more than 10,000 health research projects across the country. We have introduced debt forgiveness programs for doctors and nurses who work in rural and remote areas. The opposition talks a good game, but our government is taking concrete actions.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Djaouida Sellah NDP Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, a recent poll indicated that Canadians care about Tommy Douglas's legacy and the universal health care system. That is a Canadian value.

But leadership is also required to maintain a health care system capable of meeting Canadians' needs. Reducing provincial transfers is not leadership.

When will the Conservatives provide the resources the provinces need to do their job?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, transfers to the provinces and territories have increased to $40 billion by the end of the decade.

It also gives me an opportunity to talk about more investments we are making. We have created the Mental Health Commission of Canada; we have made significant investments in food safety; we funded the creation of medical residents positions; we fund national organizations like the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. The list goes on.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, union bosses from CUPW want taxpayers to cover their trip to an anti-Israel conference in Brazil, which advocated the release of Ahmad Sa'adat. Sa'adat heads a banned terrorist group called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Public Safety Canada says this group “took part in some of the boldest terrorist attacks”, hijacking three civilian airliners and using suicide bombers and guerrilla tactics.

Sa'adat is imprisoned right now for 30 years for ordering the assassination of an Israeli minister. Does the government still consider Ahmad Sa'adat's PFLP to be a terrorist organization?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Yes, we do, Mr. Speaker. Convicted murderer and terrorist Ahmad Sa'adat wrote a jailhouse letter thanking conference goers, including the Canadian postal union bosses. Now union bosses plan to use workers' dues to file a grievance because Canada Post refuses to fund the trip to the freedom-for-terrorists conference. Here we have the latest example of union bosses using other people's money to lavish themselves and to fund the most odious of causes. Is it not time for union financial transparency?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 2008, the Prime Minister promised aboriginal peoples and all Canadians that reconciliation was at the heart of the historical apology to survivors of residential schools, but it was all empty words. Years of mounting frustration over access to government records has prompted the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, just like the Parliamentary Budget Officer, to turn to the courts for help because the government is blocking it.

The right to use these documents is a vital part of the truth and reconciliation process. Who is holding up the release of these documents?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, my department is working with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and 22 other departments to ensure that all relevant documents are made available. To date, almost one million have been disclosed, and it is our aim to have the remaining disclosed in 2013.

Our government remains committed to bringing closure to the legacy of residential schools, and we will continue to honour the agreement.