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House of Commons Hansard #194 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we are determined to follow through with our seven-point plan and our thorough and transparent process to replace Canada's aging fleet of CF-18s. Our seven-point plan includes examining the options and is not limited by the statement of requirements.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

December 7th, 2012 / 11:35 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week we learned that only one in three people who appeal EI decisions get a hearing within 30 days. Currently, the board of referees collectively spends almost 20,000 days a year hearing appeals. The Conservatives' new tribunal will spend less than half that time. The minister wants us to believe that this will speed up the process. Their actions defy common sense.

Why is the minister refusing to give unemployed Canadians the benefits that they have paid for?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are trying to make sure that Canadians do get their appeals in a timely manner. That is why we are changing from having several people working part time to full-time dedicated specialists who will conduct one-member appeals instead of doing them in triplicate, which is the usual government way.

Is the member honestly suggesting that we should not try to improve it and leave it in the failed state it is now?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the reasons we never vote for the Conservatives' budgets is that they cut staff to Service Canada and their budgets increase wait times for EI. We will always oppose Conservative budgets that attack EI benefits.

The minister is cutting the number of people hearing EI appeals from 700 to just 39. Under the minister's watch, people are being denied timely access to their EI benefits.

When will the minister take some responsibility and fix the mess that she has created?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the NDP members vote against the good benefits under EI, those which help Canadians. They voted against bringing in special benefits for the self-employed so that they could have access to the maternity, parental, compassionate and sickness benefits that other Canadians have. They also voted against an extra five weeks during the recession when people needed longer to find a job.

The NDP members are not voting for Canadians; they are voting against them.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Francine Raynault NDP Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister keeps telling us that her botched employment insurance reform will help unemployed workers, but that is false.

There are cuts at Service Canada, endless delays for claimants and fewer respondents at the Social Security Tribunal, and her department no longer even meets its own performance criteria. The minister is directly attacking those who need help most.

Will she deal with the fiasco she has caused, or will she let the situation deteriorate?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are improving the system precisely because we want to help and serve Canadians.

We are making changes to the employment insurance system to help unemployed workers find other jobs. We have also improved the job alert system to inform them of positions available in their field, in their region, but the NDP is opposed to that.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister can try to make us believe that her reform is working, but her words are not fooling Canadians.

People living with disabilities already find it hard enough to enter the job market; they do not need to be penalized further by the fiasco caused by the minister. And yet she refuses to assist those who have contributed to the employment insurance fund.

Will the minister stop attacking persons with disabilities and help them enter the labour market instead?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is precisely what we want to do. That is why we have proposed a number of programs to assist persons with disabilities. For example, the Enabling Accessibility Fund has made it possible to finance renovations in more than 800 buildings in Canada to make those buildings accessible for persons with disabilities.

We also have programs to help them find jobs. Unfortunately, as expected, the NDP voted against all those initiatives.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is focused on what matters to our citizens, helping to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. While we are pushing a low-tax plan that will help create jobs, as always the NDP is pushing high-tax schemes to kill jobs.

The NDP's massive carbon tax would take $21 billion out of the pockets of Canadians and would also cripple Canadian businesses, kill Canadian jobs and raise the price of just about everything.

Can the Minister of Finance update the House on the terrific state of the Canadian job market?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette for the first relevant question of this question period.

What is actually important to Canadians are jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. The news this morning from Statistics Canada is terrific in that regard. More than 59,000 net new jobs were created in the month of November. The unemployment rate is down by two-tenths of a per cent to the lowest level it has been since the great recession of 2008-09.

As I say, this augurs well for jobs, growth and prosperity in Canada.

International CooperationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while CIDA is working on projects that are supposed to improve the social responsibility of mining corporations abroad, here at home the government is cutting funding for the Centre for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility. Once again the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

How can CIDA be a world leader when, at home, the Conservatives are making a mockery of our corporate social responsibility strategy?

International CooperationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canadians can be very proud of the results that their hard-earned tax dollars are actually achieving abroad. Canada's investments are providing food, education, health care and emergency humanitarian assistance to those who need it most.

We will continue to assure Canadians' hard-earned tax dollars are spent in ways that achieve the best possible results. Canadians expect no less.

International CooperationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my Bill C-398 would have been a simple way to reform Canada's access to medicines regime and, yes, it could have saved lives.

Many experts and high-profile organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders and UNICEF, among others, are saying so.

Bill C-398 would have allowed us to do more at no cost to taxpayers.

Will the Conservatives admit that they made a mistake by voting against Bill C-398?

Will they finally work with us to save lives in Africa and elsewhere?

International CooperationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, our government is addressing the real public health challenges in the developing world.

That is why we have invested $2.85 billion toward maternal, newborn and child health, including the $1.1 billion Muskoka initiative led by our Prime Minister, which secured the participation of the G8 countries toward a $10 billion fund. We are achieving concrete results. Nearly 25 times more people are receiving HIV-AIDS treatment than were receiving it 10 years ago.

This government will continue to focus on the measures that actually work for people in the developing world.

International CooperationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the point is that this measure would have worked. The Conservatives had an opportunity to help some of the most vulnerable people in the world, and they chose not to do so.

International experts say this kind of life-saving legislation would have saved more lives. We have some Conservatives just spreading misleading information, all to justify their decision to vote the bill down for partisan reasons.

When will they stop this misinformation campaign and actually work with us to start to help save lives?

International CooperationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear. The misleading information that the hon. member is referring to was information provided at a previous committee hearing by independent expert public servants, the very people this member purports to represent in his riding.

We paid attention to those experts, and we also heard testimony that talked about the real measures the government is taking that are having an impact on people in the developing world.

Back in 2002 we had 300,000 people receiving treatment for HIV-AIDS. Today we have more than eight million people. We will continue to focus on measures that are actually working.

SyriaOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the conflict in Syria is escalating. Members of the House, like the international community, are increasingly concerned about the potential use of chemical weapons.

We strongly support the diplomatic efforts to prevent such atrocities. At the same time, thousands and thousands of refugees from Syria are facing deteriorating conditions.

Will the government now deliver on its commitment to provide additional support to these refugees, and will it expedite family reunification for those refugees with relatives in Canada?

SyriaOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, Canada is the seventh largest donor to the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In particular, through the Minister of Foreign Affairs, we have made substantial commitments to the refugee crisis emerging from Syria, supporting those who have relocated to Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. We will continue to punch above our weight in that respect.

Finally, we have accelerated some 200 applications that were outstanding for family reunification by Canadians who have made applications for reunification of Syrian nationals.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again on the F-35, 14 months ago in the House, the Minister of National Defence said:

This is the best aircraft, the only aircraft...available to the Canadian Forces.... All of the experts agree, this is the best aircraft....

Given the recent disclosures, would the government like to revise its answer? Will the minister take responsibility and resign, or will the Conservatives continue to repeatedly mislead Canadians on the F-35, like they have for the last five years?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we are determined to follow through with our seven-point plan and with our thorough and transparent process to replace Canada's aging CF-18 fleet. The government will update the public before the House recesses.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, a Conservative did tell the truth about the F-35s, but it just so happens that he is no longer in the House.

On September 3, 2008, the Minister of Industry, Jim Prentice, admitted that there had never been a tendering process and that Canada was not committed to purchasing the F-35s.

Why did the Conservatives then distort the truth and refuse to hold this tendering process that the Liberals have been demanding for five long years? Why is the Conservatives' incompetence matched only by their ability to twist the facts?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we are determined to follow through with our seven-point plan and with our thorough and transparent process to replace Canada's aging CF-18 fleet. The government has received KPMG's report and is in the process of examining it. The government will update the public before the House recesses.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development met with the chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Shawn Atleo, and three other chiefs to discuss the lack of funding for first nations education. Despite his lovely promises, the minister has been slow to act in this regard.

What commitments has the minister made to address the shortage of funding for first nations education?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Kenora Ontario

Conservative

Greg Rickford ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we provide first nations students with the tools they need to finish high school. Since 2006, we have built over 30 new schools and renovated over 200 others. We have equipped communities with better computers and school supplies, and we have introduced new programs to improve reading, writing and math skills.

The government clearly understands the importance of education. We are proud of working with first nations students to help them finish grade 12.