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House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of International Cooperation told the House that the government has no intention of reopening the abortion debate, but today, Canadians are hearing quite another story.

In a press conference that was disturbing, to say the least, the member for Kitchener Centre said that he wants the House to reconsider the definition of “human being”.

Once and for all, will the government keep its backbenchers in line and unequivocally protect women's reproductive rights?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been very clear: the government will not reopen this debate.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

The problem is, Mr. Speaker, it is not open, but we keep talking about it.

Canadians—

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Gatineau.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Canadians are well aware that this is a serious situation. Either the government has lost control of its caucus or it supports the comments the member made this morning, which would be vile.

The member has levelled a direct attack on women's right to choose. If the government is serious about not reopening the abortion debate, why is it so reluctant to say so? Why not make it loud and clear?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, this is an issue that people will probably continue to debate, but I will put my money on the Prime Minister. He has said very clearly that we have no interest in this debate.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, women across Canada today are facing the return of a battle we all hoped had ended years ago. The Conservative member for Kitchener Centre is reopening the debate on a woman's right to choose. Canadian women see this for what it is, an attack on our reproductive rights and on our bodies.

Silence from the government is not enough. Its claim of not reopening this old debate is not enough. Will the government stand and pledge to vigorously defend women's rights against these attacks?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this government has enacted many pieces of legislation that better protect women and victims in this country. We have no lessons to learn from that party. With respect to the subject that she was just talking about, the Prime Minister has been very clear: the government is not reopening that debate.

EmploymentOral Questions

February 6th, 2012 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, in the last year, over 60% of the jobs created in Canada have been in just one province, Alberta, but outside of the oil patch, the economic recovery has stalled. Last year, Montreal lost 36,000 jobs and Toronto lost 45,000 jobs, which pushed the unemployment rate in those two cities over 9%. In rural Canada and places like the Annapolis Valley, we are hemorrhaging jobs.

With most of the country still shedding jobs, will the finance minister offer a real jobs budget instead of just a cuts budget?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to offering a budget to this House that concentrates on jobs and economic growth. In fact, we did that last March and the member opposite voted against it. That is why he is sitting way down there rather than over here where he used to sit.

We will concentrate on jobs and economic growth. I would suggest to the hon. member that he ought to also.

PensionsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister touched off a firestorm when he placed pensions on the chopping block. Now in the latest mixed messages coming from the government, the minister has suggested that she will not attack today's seniors, just their children and grandchildren.

While the government takes cheap shots at the seniors of tomorrow, not one Conservative has had the backbone to protest. Will even one Conservative stand today, remove the muzzle and fight for his or her constituents?

PensionsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I have been very clear that we are going to protect the seniors of today, but also future generations.

I would like to read a quote:

Canada , like most countries in the industrialized world, must confront the dynamics of an ageing workforce now or risk being left behind when the current generation of workers begins to retire in the coming years. It is a challenge we simply must meet.

Do members know who said that? It was the Liberal member for Scarborough—Guildwood.

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, during an interview this past weekend, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development could not explain the changes this government plans to make to old age security to the many worried Canadians.

What is now very clear is that the Conservatives want to balance their budget at the expense of the poorest workers. Nine out of 10 of the 4 million Canadians who will turn 65 in the next decade will be entitled to old age security, over half of them having an annual income of less than $25,000.

How can this government justify attacking our poorest seniors?

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. At present, for every pensioner there are four people in the work force. In the future, there will be only two people in the work force for each pensioner. The old age security system cannot sustain this. That is why we must act now. That is what we are doing. We will protect pensions for today's pensioners, but we will also ensure that we have an old age security system for future generations.

Defence Construction CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, a report released to the public reveals serious irregularities and collusion in construction projects managed by the crown corporation Defence Construction Canada.

Apparently, problems with overbilling, doubling up on labour and shoddy work are systematic. The report describes work that was too expensive, poorly done and even botched on 17 military bases across Canada.

Why does Defence Construction Canada not seem to care about taxpayers' money?

Defence Construction CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, clearly we have an obligation to ensure we get the best value for the taxpayers' dollars.

I have to say we have not received a copy of the report from the union yet, but when we do receive it, I can ensure that any documented allegations will be investigated by my department. Importantly, the Auditor General is already conducting an audit of defence construction management. I will ensure that any documented allegations are brought to the attention of the Auditor General's office.

Defence Construction CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that we are talking about serious allegations of shoddy work done on military bases across Canada.

For instance, one contractor allegedly charged nearly $22,500 to replace a floor and do some tile work. Another contractor allegedly installed bolts in the wrong location on a building’s foundation and instead of fixing his mistake, chose to simply cover it up.

Why do these contractors seem incapable of getting the job done without overcharging Canadian taxpayers?

Defence Construction CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we have not received the report from the union yet, but when we do receive any documented allegations, we will ensure that they are investigated and I will communicate those documented allegations to the Auditor General's office.

It is important also for the member to know that Defence Construction Canada is bound by the Financial Administration Act. It also has its own internal audit mechanisms and is also audited by the defence department.

Defence Construction CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, contractors doing work on a military base in Saskatchewan reportedly doctored invoices to pad their bill, and the same contractor allegedly charged Defence Construction Canada more than $2,800 for small tools.

Who in his or her right mind hires a contractor that does not even have the tools to do the job?

Defence Construction CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we feel very strongly that the government has an obligation to ensure that we get the best value for taxpayers' dollars.

It is important to note that while this report has been shared with the media by the union, it has not been shared with us. As soon as we receive it, I can assure the member that any documented allegations will be investigated by the department. We will also communicate those documented allegations to the Auditor General's office which, as I mentioned, is undertaking an ongoing audit right now of defence construction infrastructure.

Defence Construction CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to get a clear answer. If I am hearing the minister correctly, is she agreeing that the document that was tabled by the union, the full report, will be referred to the Auditor General with a request by the government that he look into this matter to get to the bottom of it? Is that exactly what the minister is committing to here today?

Defence Construction CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, first, it is important that my department receive the report.

As I said, not only will Public Works investigate these, but it is important to note that the Auditor General is already conducting an audit of defence construction management. I cannot direct the Auditor General to conduct an audit. What I can do is ensure that any of these documented allegations are brought to the attention of the Auditor General's office. I have committed to doing that.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Aspin Conservative Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to protect the integrity of our immigration system. That is why we developed the wanted by the CBSA program. With the assistance of the public, we have been able to apprehend numerous individuals who are in Canada illegally. We have sent a clear message that if an individual is a threat to the security of law-abiding Canadians, that person is not welcome.

Could the minister please give the House an update on this program?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased with the success of the wanted by the CBSA program. Canadians from coast to coast have co-operated with their local law enforcement officials to remove those who have no business being in Canada. In fact, I am pleased to announce that another individual has been removed from Canada for being a security risk.

Canada will not be a safe haven for foreign criminals. If individuals insist on breaking our laws, our message is clear: we will send them back from where they came.