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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

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have some good news for the leader of the NDP. Eight hundred and twenty thousand net new jobs have been created since the end of the recession. The better news is that 90% of those net new jobs are full-time jobs. That is a great start, but the job is not done. As long as there is one Canadian looking for work, the government will remain focused on job creation and economic growth.

When it comes to skills training, it is this government that has increased the transfers to provinces by 3% a year, something substantive and meaningful for job creation.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, there are 350,000 more unemployed workers. Canadian families deserve better than that; that is for sure.

The Conservatives do not want to have any public debate on the trade agreement with China. They are refusing to hold any public consultation on the nationalization of our natural resources by a Chinese state-owned company, and they are unable to develop clear criteria. A serious government would consult experts, investors, and above all, the public. There are now seven days left.

When will the new rules be published and when will this government finally act responsibly?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Canadians can count on a government that has a responsible approach. We are open to foreign investment as long as it provides a net benefit to Canada. On the other side of the House, the NDP has a radical and irresponsible anti-investment and anti-trade agenda.

Each transaction that is proposed in Canada is assessed on its merit based on what will bring the greatest benefit to Canadians and what will be in their best interests. This is the approach that we are going to continue to take.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, under a responsible NDP government, we will have clear criteria. We will consult Canadians because Canadians deserve better than what they are getting from the government. Incompetence, thy name is Conservative.

We are seven days away from a final deadline on Nexen and there is still no criteria, no transparency and Canadians have been completely shut out. Billions are at stake and so is control of Canada's natural resources. Industry has no clue what is going on. Wall Street traders are confused. Share prices are falling fast. Therefore, where is the new criteria? When will the government do its work? When will it start to act responsibly?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, clearly the criteria proposed by the NDP members is no investment at all, no trade at all, no progress at all in terms of the economy. They propose a carbon tax of $21.5 billion on the shoulders of Canadians. It would be a job-killing tax. They want to tax everything. They want to raise taxes everywhere. That is not responsible.

We welcome foreign investment that provides net benefit for Canada. Each transaction is reviewed under its own merit.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one thing we do know is that with slower growth, inequality is only going to be increasing in the country. It poses a very serious challenge, particularly to those who are disabled.

I have a very simple question for the government. The government has a disability tax credit, but it only applies to those people who are disabled and who have an income. Would the government consider making this income tax credit refundable?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government has taken substantial efforts to encourage economic growth and substantial efforts to help those Canadians with a disability.

For example, just with respect to inequality, this government has an EI hiring tax credit, the third quarter project, a youth employment strategy, an apprenticeship incentive grant. The Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development has a substantial amount of work going on. A report on Canadians with disabilities will be coming to her in very short order. We are certainly prepared to continuously do more to help Canadians with disabilities.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one thing we know is that, with a significant slowdown in economic growth, inequality in our society is only going to get worse. This is a growing problem.

Once again, I am asking the minister the question that he did not answer: why not make tax credits for people with disabilities refundable?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government has taken substantial initiatives to help all Canadians who seek employment. We are particularly concerned, obviously, by those Canadians who are disabled and have trouble seeking employment. That is why this government has brought in a series of initiatives to try to specifically address the needs of Canadians with a disability.

As I said, my colleague, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, has a report coming very shortly, which will outline even more advice to the government of what more we can do to help Canadians with a disability. We are going to continue to do even more.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a very simple fact that most of the tax credits that the government has introduced for all kinds of things, for sports equipment, piano lessons, whatever it may be, do not apply, are not refundable for people who do not have taxable income. There are millions of people who do not have taxable income, 9 million families.

Why not make these tax credits refundable? In particular, why not make the tax credits refundable for those people with disabilities? It is a very simple and basic change and a very simple question.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government has brought forward a substantial number of tax reductions that help all Canadians, including those Canadians with a disability.

Just before Parliament we have measures to improve registered disability savings plans. The Liberals are trying to delay those initiatives from being tackled. This government has brought forward the working income tax benefits. This government has brought forward substantial tax reductions. This government cuts taxes for Canadians who pay taxes, and that is, I guess, a fundamental difference from the Liberal Party.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

December 3rd, 2012 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to combatting climate change, developing countries need financial help from richer countries to meet their commitments. Canada has the worst record in this regard.

While Canada heads to Doha empty-handed, CO2 emissions reached record highs last year. Without an effective national policy, there will be no international treaty.

Do the Conservatives recognize the urgency of taking action both here in Canada and abroad?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, when Canadians wake up in the morning they switch on their lights to electricity that is produced from some of the cleanest sources in the world and under regulations that regulate coal-fired plants. They also drive vehicles that will be 50% more efficient than they were when our government took office.

Under our government, even though Canada only produces 2% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, we have seen a stabilization and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for the first time ever. This is our government's track record on climate change.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, being ranked last in the developed world is nothing to be proud of. It is our children who are going to pay the biggest price for Conservative inaction.

The head of the climate talks had a clear message for those who think it is a problem they can put off: “The door is closing fast on us because the pace and the scale of action is simply not yet where it must be”.

Exactly how much of the Arctic melting will it take before the Conservatives stop stalling?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government's track record with regard to international talks has been to encourage an agreement where all major emitters come to the table. We need to make sure that emitters like China, India and Brazil come to the table so that we do not have an agreement where only 13% of the world's emissions are covered.

We have also contributed hundreds of millions of dollars, which are seeing increased soil fertility, food security and reforestation in vulnerable countries. Canada is a world leader on the global stage when it comes to climate change.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' track record is one of dumping the environmental deficit on future generations and dismantling social programs.

The new social security tribunal will double the wait times for appeals, and there will be no guarantee that an appeal will be heard. The Conservatives have systematically reduced access to programs, and they are now doing the same thing with appeal mechanisms. Why discourage unemployed workers from appealing, if not to force them to move and accept a lower wage?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, this new tribunal will hear appeals more quickly and efficiently than before. That is why we created it.

We have to wonder whether the hon. member is loyal to Canada or to separatists, because she made donations to the Québec solidaire party. Is she fighting for or against Canadians?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member made a $100 donation to Élaine Hémond, who encouraged women to become involved in politics.

We will always vote against the dismantling of social programs—unlike the members opposite—and against unfair budgets that target unemployed workers and deprive people of their rights. The question is not only whether the system is more complicated, but also whether it takes rights away from the unemployed. An in-person hearing is essential to ensure that the ruling is fair. However, the new tribunal will be able to reject an appeal without having to provide an explanation.

Why is this government violating the rights of unemployed workers?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the member complains that the current system is too slow. We are trying to speed this system up so that unemployed workers can get fair and equitable decisions more quickly. That is what we will do.

Why is she opposed to that?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister could write an entire manual on how not to reform a government program. Instead of a simpler, fairer process, we get a more complex and less transparent EI appeals process. The Conservatives' new social security tribunal will now have the power to summarily dismiss appeals.

How can one fairly rule on an appeal before one has even heard from the person? Why is the minister turning the EI appeals process into a kangaroo court?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the current system just is not working as well as it should for Canadians. It takes too long, it is too cumbersome and too burdensome, and there are replications and duplications. That is not what Canadians deserve. They deserve a fast, efficient, responsive appeal system. That is what we are introducing. It is one that will meet the needs of Canadians much better.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, a fair process is precisely what they are not getting from the government. The Conservatives tell the unemployed to take any job at any salary or lose their benefits. They claw back benefits from part-time workers who find just a day or two of work each week and they introduce an appeals process that is twice as long and takes away a person's right to defend themself.

Why are the Conservatives denying benefits to the very people who have paid for them? Why are they targeting the unemployed?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our target is to help the unemployed get a new job, one that will pay them more than employment insurance and not working. We want to help Canadians get the skills and training they need so they can take better advantage of the opportunities that are being created right across this great country. Over 800,000 net new jobs have been created. We want to do even more and help those who are unemployed get jobs so they and their families will be better off. Why does the NDP keep opposing these measures?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals dipped into the employment insurance fund. Now the Conservatives are trying to kill the program all together. That hurts Canadian families.

The Conservatives would have us believe that the electoral fraud happened only in the riding of Guelph, when in fact, no less than 55 other ridings are currently under investigation: 20 in British Columbia, 14 in the Prairies and 20 in Quebec, and that number continues to rise.

The Conservatives voted in favour of our motion to give the commissioner more powers and they promised to make changes, but nothing has been done since.

When will the Conservatives take electoral fraud seriously?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, a comprehensive proposal from the government will be forthcoming shortly.

The fact is that the Federal Accountability Act passed through the House in 2006. In that act we eliminated any donations by corporations and unions, and yet knowing that the NDP still accepted thousands of dollars in illegal donations from unions.

The real question is, can it follow the law?