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House of Commons Hansard #78 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was balance.

Topics

PensionsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister seems to be manipulating the facts to make us believe that it has no choice but to cut old age security. However, it could choose to change old age security; it could choose not to cut old age security. It is unacceptable. The government is mortgaging our young people's future even though it says that it is trying to secure their future. The youth unemployment rate is double the nation's average.

I will repeat my question. I am sure the minister heard me, but for some odd reason, she never answered. Will the government raise retirement age from 65 to 67, yes or no?

PensionsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we will protect the system for both today's seniors and tomorrow's. I can assure you that people receiving old age security benefits today will not lose a penny. We will protect them. We have to ensure the viability of the old age security program, and that is what we will do.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives immediately reject any statistical data that do not correspond to their ideology: the science of climate change, statistics on lower crime rates and on the use of the long gun registry. On top of that, the Conservatives have done away with about 40 Statistics Canada publications regarding important, reputable analyses in area like health care, culture, the economy and food distribution. All social indicators will be flushed down the drain.

Will they ever stop seeing the world based on their ideology instead of on science? Will this wilful blindness never end?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I think the word “efficiency” is lost on the NDP. There are ways to be more efficient. I understand that Statistics Canada put an end to those surveys because they were redundant and in order to get the best value for taxpayers' dollars. That is a foreign concept on the other side of the House.

We will not take any lessons from the opposition parties. No other government in Canadian history has invested as much as we have since 2007 in science and technology. And the members opposite were always happy to vote against those investments. It is completely ridiculous and unbelievable.

PensionsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are standing up against the Prime Minister's attack on pensions. Yesterday, Conservative MPs' offices were occupied by their constituents concerned about how they had been conned. Yet, like trained seals, no one on the Conservative bench is willing to stand up for constituents against the wrong priorities of the government.

The Prime Minister, in 2005, stated, “We will protect public pensions”. He is now breaking his word.

Will the government stop its betrayal of seniors and rethink its budget priorities?

PensionsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is committed to protecting seniors' pensions and that is exactly what he is doing.

However, we are not so short-sighted as the Liberals. We are not saying that if one has an old age security cheque today that is fine and one can forget about the future. No. We need to take care of all Canadians.

We need to take care of Canadians who are retired today and collecting OAS. We are going to do that. We are going to make sure that they do not lose a penny because of any changes. The same goes for those who are nearing retirement. However, we have a responsibility to Canadians to ensure the viability of the system for the future.

PensionsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister does have a responsibility to Canadians.

Before the Prime Minister was the Prime Minister he was out campaigning. He told Canadians something very concise in regard to the old age supplement and that was, “Today we must fight to preserve seniors' hard won gains”. How does increasing the age from 65 to 67 mean that he is fighting for seniors?

Like the ad says, even kids know that it is wrong to hold out on people when they are counting on you--

PensionsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Human Resources.

PensionsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly why we are doing what we are doing.

Canadians can count on us. They want to count on us. They will be able to because we are going to make sure that there is an old age security system there for them today and for generations to come.

The math is quite simple. Proportionately speaking, there will be half as many people in the workforce paying taxes into the general revenue fund, that pays for OAS. Half as many people will bear three times the cost. That is not sustainable. We are going to make it sustainable so that future generations can access OAS.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's style of dictatorial federalism is to shut down discussion and try and intimidate anyone who disagrees with him.

He has the member for Fort McMurray—Athabasca insinuating that first nations are accepting bribes from environmentalists. While in China, he is undermining our environmental processes and our regulatory review, boasting that he will make sure the northern gateway pipeline goes through no matter what.

The citizens of British Columbia will not be intimidated and we will not be dictated to.

Will the Prime Minister stop his assault on British Columbians and stop his assault on our regulatory processes?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, one of the great strengths of the Prime Minister is that he is able to work with other groups and the provinces. He has been doing that since we were elected as government.

The Minister of the Environment has referred the northern gateway pipeline to the joint review. The panel is holding hearings. We look forward to it conducting those sessions.

We will continue to work with the provinces, with industry and with first nations in order to see these projects go ahead in a safe and environmental way.

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has received a deluge of letters from Canadians worried about the Canada-Europe trade negotiations opening us up to more privatization of our health care system.

Greater control of these services is a key target for European companies in this deal. Leaked documents now confirm this. It seems that the Conservatives are willing to roll back protections for our public health care system.

Will the government listen to Canadians and take health care off the table in the CETA negotiations?

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I have said several times in this place that the NDP should not put any credibility in leaked documents. Those members should get their facts straight.

Like all of Canada's trade agreements, a free trade agreement with the European Union would exclude public services such as public health, public education and social services. Canada's trade obligations do not require us to privatize any part of our health care system. End of story.

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, that response clearly demonstrates that the Conservatives are incapable of standing up for Canadians when it comes to signing trade agreements.

Health care experts in Quebec have consulted the annexes only to realize that public services, including health care, are not yet part of the official exemptions. Thus, the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec is not sufficiently protected in the negotiations.

Why sacrifice public services that are vital to Canadians? Will the government commit to protecting our public health care system by putting it on the list of exclusions? Yes or no? The question is clear.

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we should be perfectly clear. The provinces have been part of these negotiations since the very beginning. They have been apprised of the negotiations. They have been in the room with our negotiators and European Union negotiators.

Any aspersions that somehow this is going to affect health care in Canada are simply false.

AsbestosOral Questions

February 10th, 2012 / 11:40 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is because the provinces are concerned that we rise in this House. Moreover, we stand up for all Canadians.

There are other concerns. For years, the Conservatives, with the complicity of the Bloc, have been supporting the asbestos industry, an industry that kills thousands every year, an industry that produces materials that we have banned here at home.

The Conservatives see no problem in selling so-called safe, carcinogenic chrysotile asbestos to the highest bidder. They even refuse to add it to the Rotterdam Convention list of hazardous materials.

Will the Conservatives finally put human lives ahead of the electoral interests of the ministers who are exporting death?

AsbestosOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, for more than 30 years, the Government of Canada has been supporting the safe use of chrysotile. Recent scientific studies have shown that chrysotile can be used safely in a controlled environment.

AsbestosOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it still raises the question: why are they ignoring the mountains of scientific evidence that shows that asbestos causes cancer?

The government is still trying to find new markets in the developing world to export this deadly substance. It is even opposed to warning other countries about the danger. It has blocked the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos on the list of dangerous products under the Rotterdam convention.

I ask again, why is the government ignoring the evidence and turning a blind eye to asbestos victims?

AsbestosOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, for more than 30 years, the Government of Canada has been supporting the safe use of chrysotile. Recent scientific studies have shown that chrysotile can be used safely in a controlled environment.

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government has an ambitious pro-trade plan.

Led by the hard-working Minister of International Trade, it is getting results. As an example, in China he recently concluded a job-creating investment agreement. With one in five Canadian jobs generated by trade, we know that when we pursue trade opportunities in high-growth markets, it is a surefire way to create economic growth and jobs for Canadian workers and their families in every region of our country.

Can the parliamentary secretary please explain how our pro-trade plan is getting results?

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is absolutely right. Our government's ambitious pro-trade plan is getting results.

Canada's 2011 trade balance is in a surplus, fuelled by an almost 27% increase in exports to China. As the hon. member said, with one in five Canadian jobs generated by trade, this is great news.

We are focused on growing Canada's economy and creating jobs with our pro-trade plan. The NDP continues to promote its anti-trade agenda that will kill jobs. The NDP's reckless and irresponsible anti-trade agenda is a danger to the Canadian economy and to Canadian jobs.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, we do not support the government's trade plan because it reminds us of the F-35. Its shortcomings emerge daily and it just does not get the job done for Canadians.

Yesterday the response from the minister revealed that the F-35 has become an article of faith for the government. That finally explains its refusal to listen to experts, to independent studies and even to our allies. All the evidence points to a deeply flawed developmental program plagued with technical setbacks and enormous cost risks.

Why will the minister not put a little faith in an open and transparent procurement process to replace the F-18s?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the member well knows, we have answered all of these questions and more.

The F-35 is flying. Nine countries including Canada remain committed to it. Some have committed to purchasing very large numbers of these aircraft. The project is creating jobs across Canada, through over $300 million of contracts for over 60 companies in 6 provinces.

This government will ensure that the Royal Canadian Air Force has the right aircraft to protect our sovereignty at home and to promote our interests around the world.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, those old speaking notes are contradicted almost daily by breaking news and evidence.

Today's news on the F-35 is that the Italians have cut back their purchase of the F-35s. Italy realized that it will not be able to afford these planes. It, like so many of our allies, realizes that when the price tag on these planes is at last known, it will inevitably be wholly indecent.

Why will the Conservatives not have a competition so that we can get the best plane for the best price?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the only member I have seen in this House today speaking from notes is the member opposite. We have heard them before. The NDP really should get its facts straight.

The largest country committed to this project is the United States. It has recently confirmed it will take delivery, over many years, of 2,443 of these aircraft. Canada is with them, with eight other of our allies and partners.

This is the right aircraft to do the job. We remain committed.