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House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only is the minister cutting employment insurance services, but she is also closing youth employment centres when the youth unemployment rate is 14%, twice that of the general population. The minister says that it is not an issue and that young people will have access to these services online. However, that will only happen if Service Canada has no further technical problems. The Conservatives should be helping young workers, not making things harder for them.

Why cut services and make things more difficult for young people looking for work?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the government's priority is economic growth and job creation, and that is what we are focusing on. According to surveys, young Canadians prefer to access information online. For that reason, we have invested in the Youth Canada website, where they can find all the information they want. They can still go to a Service Canada office if they want to be served in person.

National Research CouncilOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Conservative Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, our government knows that Canada's long-term competitiveness depends on supporting businesses that innovate and create jobs and economic growth.

Yesterday the Minister of State for Science and Technology gave a speech to the Economic Club of Canada that highlighted the important role the National Research Council must play in Canadian innovation. Could the Minister of State of Science and Technology please update the House on how this 100-year-old institution is being brought into the 21st century?

National Research CouncilOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, our government wants to ensure that the National Research Council's next century is even more successful than the last. We are changing and taking steps so that the National Research—

National Research CouncilOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National Research CouncilOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of State has the floor.

National Research CouncilOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Let me try to share some good news again with the House, Mr. Speaker.

We are taking steps to ensure that the National Research Council's next century is even more successful than its last. We are changing it to be more responsive to industry so we can create even more jobs, better jobs and grow this economy for Canadians even more than we have.

We will continue to make key investments—

National Research CouncilOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard.

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, unlike the Conservatives, we are consulting Canadians about cuts to old age security. Elderly women are particularly worried, and justifiably so. Single women over 65 are Canada's poorest citizens: 46% of them live in poverty. With International Women's Day approaching, I urge the government not to make things even worse for them.

Will the Conservatives finally tell us exactly what cuts they have in store for the old age security program?

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, what we plan to do, exactly, is to protect the old age security program, not only for today's seniors, but also for future generations.

The people she mentioned have nothing to worry about. Nobody who is currently receiving old age security will lose a single penny. Even people nearing retirement will not lose a penny. Younger people will have plenty of time to modify their retirement plans.

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, the OECD pension team says that OAS is sustainable for future generations and the Parliamentary Budget Officer agrees. Yet the Prime Minister still wants to pull the plug on Canadians who want to retire at the age of 65.

What are the real reasons the government wants to make Canadians work until 67? Is it to fund more corporate tax cuts or is to cover for the cuts to the services that Canadians need?

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the real facts are that we have an aging population that is living longer. Right now, there are four workers paying income taxes that support OAS for every one retiree. Soon there will only be two people in the workforce for every retiree and the cost of OAS will triple. That is not sustainable. Our goal is to ensure that the program is sustainable not just today but for future generations.

Inaction is not an option. We must move to protect old age security for all Canadians.

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon NDP Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Conservatives voted against our motion to spare veterans from the upcoming budget cuts. The Conservatives claim to support our troops, but they abandon veterans the first chance they get.

The minister says that services will not be affected. Some 1,800 jobs will be cut at Veterans Affairs Canada and 90% of its budget goes directly to services for veterans. Employees are needed to meet the needs of veterans and to administer programs. What dream world is the Minister of Veterans Affairs living in to think that cutting the budget by 10% will not affect services?

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the only party in the House that is living in a dream world is the NDP. I do not have enough fingers to count the number of times NDP MPs have voted against veterans.

The thing that gets me is that the New Democrats are misleading our veterans. The NDP wants to maintain the rampant bureaucracy. It wants to maintain the costs and maintain the red tape.

We are committed to maintaining benefits and cutting red tape. Against the advice of the NDP, we are going to provide our veterans with the unprecedented level of service we have been providing them for the past six years.

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Harold Leduc is an honoured and well-decorated veteran who now serves on the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. Somebody on that appeal board did a drive-by smear and breached his privacy. In fact, he has raised this with the minister and myself. He has written a letter to the Prime Minister, saying:

I implore you Mr. Prime Minister, to show that the harm from these privacy breaches is taken seriously. Please stop the abuse, investigate the disrespect and fix the human damage before another disabled Veteran is harmed or takes their life.

Under section 42 of the VRAB Act, the minister can investigate. Will the Prime Minister tell his Minister of Veterans Affairs to investigate this serious breach of an honoured veteran in Harold Leduc?

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, any breach of privacy is totally unacceptable. That is why this government has posed a 10-point action plan.

One other thing I can say is the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore has voted consistently, not against the veterans, but against the military, their families and even against farming in his own riding.

We will continue to provide our veterans with the services they deserve and the tribunal will continue to deliver its service to the veterans.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, my question is regarding the maritime rescue sub-centre's closure in both St. John's and Quebec. I would like the minister to stay away from the talking points for just one moment because new information has come to light. The information is that none of the old coordinators are going to Halifax from St. John's. We now know that the Conservatives have agreed to hire new coordinators with less experience and less qualifications.

Within his talking points, could he tell us if this is true and if safety is not being compromised, why are they hiring people less—

Search and RescueOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Search and RescueOral Questions

3 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, safety will not be compromised and the safety of our mariners is of the utmost importance. All people in the sub-centre in St. John's were given the opportunity to transfer if they so wished. Obviously some of them did not want to go.

Search and RescueOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the minister is repeating his robo-answer, I will address the question to all my Conservative colleagues.

By closing the rescue centres in St. John's and Quebec City, by lowering qualifications, by not respecting the French language, the government will not save a cent. It will overload the centres in Trenton and Halifax and, above all, put lives in danger on the St. Lawrence River, in the gulf and on the Atlantic Ocean.

Do not let this happen. Do not remain passive. Lives are at risk. They will be on the conscience of the Conservatives.

Search and RescueOral Questions

3 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, that was an incredible statement, totally inaccurate, and not the truth at all. We will not compromise safety in any way, shape, or form, and certainly language is of the highest priority. The member is totally wrong.

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have legitimate concerns about what Ottawa is negotiating away to Europe. Canada's trade relationship with Europe is vital, but the Conservative capitulation means the cost of medication will skyrocket, manufacturing jobs will be lost and even cities and towns will lose their rights. Industry is concerned, cities are concerned, towns are concerned and Canadian families are concerned.

Why the secrecy? When will the Conservatives table the European trade agreement so all Canadians can see the results of their actions?

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it is worth noting that we know the NDP members are ideologically opposed to trade. They have never supported a free trade agreement in the House, yet this time they are opposed to a trade agreement that is not negotiated yet. Perhaps we have ideology gone mad here. I am not quite sure what it is. However, after the agreement is negotiated, maybe they would have an opinion.

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats support trade deals that create jobs in our communities, not ones that sell out Canadian families.

Cities like Toronto are raising flags over the backroom trade talks with Europe. Last night, an overwhelming majority of Toronto city council members said no to CETA and demanded an exemption from the deal. They said that the deal would handcuff their ability to create local jobs and local economic development.

Will the government respect cities like Toronto with their request to opt out?

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I am waiting for the NDP to name a trade agreement that it has supported, but we will move on to the rest of his question.

The reality is the Minister of International Trade met with the association of Canadian municipalities. It supports the trade agreement. We have met with the provinces and the territories. They support the trade agreement. There is nothing in the trade agreement that prevents any governments from addressing local needs and providing support to local businesses through the use of measures such as grants, loans or fiscal incentives.