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House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was guns.

Topics

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives were supposed to clean up Ottawa and put an end to patronage appointments, but we now see that their solution is to replace Liberal patronage with Conservative patronage. Another broken promise.

We have seen patronage at the Oshawa harbour and at the Port of Québec, where another defeated Conservative, Bernard Généreux, was appointed as the federal representative on the Québec Port Authority, even though he does not have the skills required for the job.

My question is simple: why are the Conservatives so generous with their friends who lost in the election?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, quite the contrary. First of all, our government makes all appointments based on merit. Everyone appointed to those positions must have the qualifications needed to carry out their duties. In the case of ports across Canada, there is an appointment process in place and we will follow that process.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the main qualification needed is to be a Conservative.

The Conservatives have no respect for public money. They thank their cronies by handing out positions that are paid for using Canadian taxpayers' dollars.

Here is another example: the Prime Minister ordered a study on the orange wave. The Conservatives spent $16,000 of public money to try to understand the electoral phenomenon that resulted in a strong NDP majority in Quebec.

They did not understand it last May and they still do not understand it today: Quebeckers voted for the NDP because they are fed up with partisan politics, they are fed up with patronage, they are fed up with the Conservatives' old tricks and they are fed up with the misuse of public funds.

How—

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, since 2006, our government has been pursuing an open federalism that respects provincial layers of responsibility and recognizes the strength and contributions of each region of this great country.

We do so by staying connected to what is happening in the provinces and staying in tune with the developments and challenges our country faces. We make no apologies for making certain that the province of Quebec has the tools it needs to develop within a united Canada.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am deeply disgusted to see what the Conservatives have done with the accessibility fund.

Since 2007, 85% of the money has been spent in Conservative ridings, and less than 3% of the money has gone to Quebec. The accessibility fund is a good program that can truly help people living with functional limitations.

It is deplorable to see that once again, there are rules for the government and rules for everyone else. Will the Conservatives stop playing partisan politics at the expense of persons with disabilities?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, no other Government of Canada has done as much as ours to help persons with disabilities. We are very proud of the accessibility fund, which has helped make more than 600 buildings accessible to everyone.

The funds were distributed according to demand.

PensionsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I met with hundreds of online viewers and 20 of the nation's greatest experts on pensions and services for seniors. We heard from advocacy groups, health care providers, occupational therapists, economists and everyday Canadians and they all agree that cutting the OAS is wrong-headed and a threat to Canada's future. So, the verdict is in. Cutting the OAS today or in the future hurts those who need our help the most.

Knowing this, and the government clearly has this information the same as I do, why does it insist on hurting those who are the most vulnerable, our Canadian seniors?

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I do not understand why the hon. member keeps misleading Canadians and why she keeps fear-mongering. The Prime Minister and I have been very clear in saying that no one who is currently collecting OAS will see any change and no one who is nearing retirement will see any change.

What we are doing is protecting the old age security so that future generations will be able to enjoy it as well. We will ensure that any changes to the system will be gradual and responsible and will allow enough time for those who are planning their retirement to do so successfully.

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is more baloney that we continue to hear. The problem with those tired lines that the minister is providing is that she knows they are false, just as the experts know it. We know the OAS is fully sustainable. The Conservatives are just choosing to pay for prisons on the backs of our seniors of today.

One of our experts today said that the OAS was the key income source for many Canadian women, especially those living in rural Canada, and that taking it away would be like throwing a drowning person a brick.

Why is the government so committed to hurting the most vulnerable in society? Will it not get a heart, given the fact that tomorrow is Valentine's Day?

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, my heart goes out to those who are being misled.

We want to ensure that seniors have access to a solid, stable, reliable and viable old age security system. There are several experts who agree that we need to make changes: professors at Carleton University, at the International Centre for Pension Management, at the OECD and at the Rotman Business Information Centres. These people all recognize that the upcoming demographic shifts will have an impact and that somebody needs to do something and do it now. That is how we are taking action to protect the old age security system.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, the personal medical file of yet another veteran has been violated for political reasons.

Harold Leduc, a veteran and now a member of the veterans appeal board, had his personal records searched by the Conservative government in order to harass him because he fights for veterans. Does that sound familiar? Yes, it has happened to Dennis Manuge, Sylvain Chartrand and, before that, Sean Bruyea.

Last year, the minister said that there would be no more attacks on the privacy of veterans but it happened again. Will the minister support public committee hearings into this urgent matter?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we believe that any privacy breach is totally unacceptable, especially for our veterans and their families. That is why we established a 10 point privacy action plan to tackle this issue. We have dealt with it with the Privacy Commissioner. We are on our way and we will update this program.

We cannot comment on any specifics but I can assure the member that any privacy breach is taken seriously and will continue to be.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the government was here telling us that it wanted to cut spending, the Privy Council was paying for very expensive flights for top bureaucrats. When ministers use planes and helicopters as their own personal taxis, it is easy to see where money is being wasted.

The Conservatives are asking families to tighten their belts and forcing workers to delay retirement while they themselves live in the lap of luxury. This very government is about to cut billions of dollars in public services to Canadians, yet it wastes money left and right. How can we trust this government?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously, taxpayers expect government and government officials to conduct the business of the nation at a reasonable cost. This is something our government takes very seriously.

However, it strikes me as somewhat ironic that this question would come from a party that is unlikely to support any cost efficiencies that this government will be seeking to keep the costs of operating government low on hard-working Canadian taxpayers.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is unbelievable. Obviously, this is a “do as I say, not as I do” government. On the one hand, the Conservatives say that they want to cut travel spending, but on the other hand, no expense is spared for Conservative ministers and the Privy Council. Yet again, a double standard.

Will this government explain to families why it is asking them to tighten their belts while its ministers have carte blanche to waste public funds?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure where the member has been. This government has reduced the use of Challenger jets by 80%. We cut down on the cost of ministers' travel dramatically.

We expect members of the PCO to conduct their business at a reasonable cost. That is the message that we will be sending to them on behalf of hard-working taxpayers.

We also will be sending a message to Canadian taxpayers that we will do everything possible to ensure that this government runs as effectively and efficiently as it possibly can.

Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, members on this side want the government to lay off Canadian taxpayers and stop cutting their services. That is what we want.

The government is hacking and slashing away at public services and it is Canadian families that are feeling the impact. There is a backlog at EI and people are not able to get through to Service Canada. It is Canadians who are beginning to feel the impact.

We want the government to back off, to recognize what it is doing to Canadians and to reconsider what it is doing.

Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, what we are doing is trying to make services better for Canadians and to respond to their requests. We have enhanced our online services. We are working with employers to ensure that when they lay people off they file their records online. That will speed up the processing but it is a long process.

We are putting on extra staff to deal with the surges in demand because we want to give Canadians the services to which they are entitled.

Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, while the minister and her colleagues are patting themselves on the back, my constituents Dartmouth—Cole Harbour are calling me to ask when the government will stop.

Transport Canada is cutting $22 million from aviation security and road safety. Citizen and Immigration Canada is slashing $60 million. Public Safety Canada is slashing $13 million. These are programs that directly affect Canadian families and yet the government is continuing to hack and slash.

Will the minister recognize the harm that these cuts are having, go back to the drawing board and back off Canadian families?

Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian people gave this government a mandate to ensure we deliver excellent quality public services at a more accountable and better price to Canadians, and that is what we are doing. That is our mandate. That is why we want a low tax Canadian jurisdiction that delivers excellent services.

However, when we come to this place and put these proposals before this House to give better services, to do better things for Canadians and to lower taxes, they on that side of the House always vote against them.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry once and for all, and that is exactly what we are doing.

As many have said before, we are not the only ones who made that promise. Many NDP members from rural or remote areas said the very same thing to their constituents. Unfortunately, we are beginning to see the troubling trend of MPs caving to their leadership rather than standing up for their constituents.

Could the minister please update the House on the importance of Wednesday's vote?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his hard work to help our government stop the needless targeting of hunters, farmers and sport shooters.

The member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley aspires to lead his party. He said:

I have always said that when there was a clear opportunity to vote to scrap the long-gun registry I would do just that.

On Wednesday, the member will have a clear opportunity to show his true leadership skills, stand up to his big union bosses, vote the will of his constituents and vote to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

JusticeOral Questions

February 13th, 2012 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the difference between a Conservative and a New Democrat is that a Conservative turns a blind eye where a New Democrat is able to analyze the facts before making a decision.

Let us talk about bad decisions. The Canadian Bar Association is sounding the alarm, saying that the Conservatives' crime bill could free more accused criminals than it incarcerates. A minimum sentence means that more cases will have to go before the courts, which will increase the waiting time even more.

I have a very simple question for the minister: according to his department, how many cases will be dismissed for unreasonable delays, if this bill passes?

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I got it straight from members of the NDP. Now they are worried that real criminals will not be going to jail under the bill.

I want to assure the hon. member that the right people will be going to jail. Those people who are in the business of drug trafficking and abusing children will go to jail. She can count on that.