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House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Employment EquityOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, reducing administrative burdens for the Conservatives means no more criteria and no more making checks and balances of equity.

Bravo indeed, but more than a million companies with government contracts are going to be affected by this change. The government should lead by example with the private sector instead of just setting the bar as low as possible. One by one, the measures in place to reduce discrimination are being eliminated.

Why dilute legislation that should instead be strengthened? When will this assault on women's equality end?

Employment EquityOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is focused on ensuring that small and medium-sized businesses can be successful in this country. We are focused on job creation and economic growth in this country. The improvement to the act allows small and medium-sized businesses to thrive in this country.

PensionsOral Questions

April 27th, 2012 / 11:30 a.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, attacking women is a national sport for the Conservatives. Abortion, pay equity, organizations that promote women's health— nothing is sacred. The most vulnerable people, such as seniors, are also under attack. The minister says that the eligibility age for old age security must be raised.

What should we trust: the minister's common sense or the experts' studies? I wonder. Does the minister not understand that studies show that the most vulnerable will be affected by an increase in the eligibility age for old age security?

PensionsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I do wish that the NDP would stop th needless scare-mongering and fear-mongering for our seniors.

We have made it very clear that the changes to the OAS will not affect anyone who is currently collecting benefits and that anyone who is younger and not near retirement right now will have a lot of time to plan and prepare for it.

The key thing is that we need to ensure that this program is sustainable for future generations, which is exactly what we will do, and the Chief Actuary agrees with us.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the government continues its campaign of diversion, distraction and distortion when it comes to the election fraud scandal for which it alone is responsible.

However, Canadians do not trust or believe it. Senior staff on the Prime Minister's campaign have been named as being connected with the illegal robocall campaign. Court orders on Conservative offices are becoming the order of the day.

What is the government hiding? If the Conservative Party is not in fact guilty, why does it not call a full royal commission and prove it? What is it afraid of?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it was only a few short weeks ago that the Chief Electoral Officer said that he found it troubling all of the sweeping allegations of wrongdoing with no facts to support them.

We just heard the diatribe from the member for Malpeque, completely fact free I might add.

However, I will point out one thing. The member talked about trust and he talked about Canadians. Canadians do not trust the Liberal Party and that is why he is way down there.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, Canadians now realize that the Prime Minister is responsible for an increasingly corrupt government.

Election fraud may have been what got him here. We have a CIDA minister who cannot control herself when it comes to abusing taxpayer dollars, a Minister of Industry who was convicted of one and facing two more ethical probes, a Minister of National Defence who believes that the truth is for someone else and a Prime Minister who claimed there was an F-35 contract when now we know there is not one.

Will the Prime Minister give Canadians—

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. . The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, those kinds of allegations from the Liberal Party, I suppose, are to be expected.

However, if we look at the Liberal Party's record, it ran a program that stole $363 million from Canadians, $43 million of which is still missing. It is a party that collects personal records of MPs in other parties and leaves them in filing cabinets so that its staff can run vicious Twitter attacks and then says that it does not want them to do it but seem to encourage it.

That is a party that Canadians have lost trust and faith in.

SeniorsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the average old age security recipient receives $16 a day to pay for rent, food and medical bills, $16 that the government is taking back in the name of austerity.

All this while the government quietly paid an amount equal to 2,400 days worth of OAS for catered snacks at Old Port of Montreal Corporation. The Prime Minister clearly thinks that Canadians will shrug these issues off.

Why does the Prime Minister insist on making Canadian seniors pay for all of the Conservatives' outrageous spending?

SeniorsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the hon. member. Where was she when we were reducing expenses for seniors? She was busy voting against pension income splitting for seniors. She voted against the increase in the age exemption. She voted against everything we have done to help seniors keep more of their money in their pockets.

In fact, a senior was quoted the other day in saying that thanks to this government, he and his wife now have $4,000 more a year in their pockets than they had under the Liberals.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, after promising not to, the Prime Minister has now opened the door to keeping soldiers in Afghanistan after 2014. Conservatives are proposing the fifth extension to Canada's role in this war. Is the government going to bring this latest extension before Parliament for a debate and a vote, or is it going to avoid Parliament like it did last time?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are very excited on this side of the House to have the member for Ottawa Centre back as the official foreign affairs critic. We look forward to working with him.

I will say that we have not received any formal request nor made any decision on not having received any formal request to extend anything. However, the Prime Minister has always said that he would bring these issues before Parliament, just like we did on November 25, 2010, when the last extension was voted on.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister has to choose between listening to Canadians or to his friends in Washington, then I am rather afraid of what he will do.

Government sources have confirmed that the Canadian Forces have been asked to remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014. However, the Prime Minister is saying the opposite.

Canadians continue to tell us that they want this mission to end. Will the Conservatives debate this issue in Parliament or will they ignore the will of Canadians by acting unilaterally?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have an announcement for the House. I have three friends in Washington: President Obama; Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton; and Canada's ambassador to Washington, the former NDP premier of Manitoba, Gary Doer. We work very well with them.

The NDP do not support sending troops abroad for anything. Let us look at what the former leader of the NDP CCF said. “...I would ask whether we are to risk the lives of our Canadian sons to prevent the action of Hitler...”. The former leader of the NDP CCF, J.S. Woodsworth, said that.

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse NDP Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are concerned. The Conservatives are hiding facts about the mission in Afghanistan, and trade agreements are being negotiated behind closed doors.

While the department of Conservative propaganda, also known as the Prime Minister’s Office, launches a costly charm offensive, over 50 municipalities across the country have voiced their concerns about the trade agreement with the European Union. The municipalities are concerned about their jobs and local economies.

Will the Conservatives raise Canadians' concerns during these negotiations or are they too busy trying to push the deal through?

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we obviously believe that trade is an important part of expanding economic growth and creating jobs, hope and opportunity. We are working closely with the provinces to negotiate a free trade agreement with the European Union. We think there are a lot of jobs, hope and opportunity for Canadians in this and we are going to continue to promote trade.

The NDP has been very consistent. It opposes trade with every other country in the world. We want a big Canada, not a little Canada.

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats are in favour of trade. What we are opposed to is selling out Canada.

Canada was built on trade. We believe in trade deals that are actually good for our communities and businesses. However, from softwood lumber to buy American--

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Ottawa Centre has the floor.

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, from softwood lumber to buy American, Conservatives have a very poor track record as negotiators. Instead of spending their time on these bizarre anti-NDP propaganda tours, why do they not negotiate some responsible trade deals?

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that the NDP members are ideologically opposed to trade. They do not get it, they do not understand it and they do not like it. The government is focused on the priorities of Canadians because we know that we can drive economic growth through trade.

As we are negotiating the free trade agreement with the European Union, we know that it is going to present significant benefits to Canadians with a 20% increase in trade, 80,000 new jobs and $12 billion of increased GDP. What is it about trade that the NDP does not get?

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to have a follow-up. One in five Canadian jobs is generated by trade. That is why our government is leading the way in one of the most ambitious trade plans in Canadian history. With over 500 million consumers, the EU is the world's largest market.

I know the Minister of International Trade would like again to update this House on the negotiations and how this trade plan would positively affect Canadian workers, businesses and yes, families across this great country of Canada.

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my good friend, the member for Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, for his great work on the trade committee.

A free trade agreement with the European Union would create tremendous opportunities for Canadians. That is why today at events right across our country we are highlighting the benefits of a trade agreement for Canadian workers and their families, including, as I said earlier, the creation of some 80,000 new jobs.

Canadians are not buying the anti-trade myth machine of the NDP. Our government understands what the opposition does not, and that is that trade is the new stimulus.

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Papineau, in 2008, significant amounts of money were given to the Conservatives by an individual by the name of Michael Chamas—also know as “the banker”— who is now on the run over a drug deal.

The Conservative candidate admitted that this man, who went by false names, gave thousands of dollars to his campaign. The Conservatives broke the law by accepting this money, and they made no bones about keeping it.

Will they return all the illegal donations from this individual? How many other campaigns were financed using dirty money?

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, of course the Conservative Party did no such thing. The member knows full well that these allegations relate to a local riding association. The Conservative Party does not have access to information about any such donations. Anyone with information suggesting the law has been broken should provide that information to the appropriate authorities. I would encourage the member to do that.

The Conservative Party of Canada respects all Elections Canada Act requirements for fundraising.