House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was railway.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, quite simply, the member is mistaken. He is wrong. We will ensure that everyone who can work has access to information on the jobs that are available and that they can apply to those jobs. Everyone feels better when they are working, as opposed to being unemployed. We will ensure that anyone who wants to work has the opportunity to do so.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the member for Trinity—Spadina and I last year asked why Gary Freeman, who lived in this country peaceably for 40 years and had several children, was not being allowed back in the country. The answer was because of an event that happened in Chicago in the sixties for which he had served a short jail time. They said that because he was not a Canadian he was not allowed back in.

We just learned that the British criminal Conrad Black will be allowed in despite serving a second term in a federal American penitentiary. Why the double standard?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, matters such as this are matters of personal privacy. I cannot comment on specific cases without a privacy waiver. Having said that, I can advise in respect to this individual that I indicated to my department that I would not have any involvement in an application from that individual, and that his application would be treated by highly trained independent members of our public service.

In terms of the individual that the member raises, I understand that member has made interventions on behalf of a convicted police murderer in the United States seeking his entry into Canada.

We believe decisions on admissibility should be made by public servants, not by politicians.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the facts are simply wrong. Gary Freeman lived in Canada for 40 years, and has several children here. We met the press with Natercia Coelho, his wife.

It is a clear case of a double standard, one for an American black man from Chicago, another for a British white man coming out of federal penitentiary in Chicago.

The Conservatives should be ashamed of their double standard.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, that statement says a lot more about the Leader of the Opposition than it does about Canada's fair—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

An hon. member

Shame on you, smearing the public service.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. minister has the floor.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, decisions on admissibility are made by highly trained independent members of Canada's professional public service. They are not made by politicians. They should not be made by politicians.

I know that member and his party like to politicize these matters. They want to make a former vice-president of the United States inadmissible to Canada, but they want us to welcome convicted cop killers.

We think the law should be consistently applied by independent highly trained public servants, not by political demagogues.

Statistics CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, apparently the government just does not like facts. First, it cut the long form census and compromised years of data collection. Now, it is slashing half of the jobs at Statistics Canada. StatsCan provides unbiased demographic data that is essential for small businesses, for the success of new Canadians and for public services. That benefits all Canadians.

Why does the government make decisions based on belief and ideology rather than evidence? Will the government stop its war on information and reverse the StatsCan cuts?

Statistics CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave us a strong economic mandate. I must remind the member of the third party that this means ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent as wisely and efficiently as possible in all government departments, including StatsCan.

StatsCan has developed these savings in order to operate more efficiently while continuing to offer high quality statistics and services to Canadians. That is what Canadians are expecting.

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health refuses to answer questions on her draconian cuts to aboriginal health, questions she calls “unacceptable”.

What is unacceptable is her disregard for the concerns of aboriginal leaders themselves. National Inuit Leader Mary Simon calls her cuts “unconscionable”. The president of the Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada said that Inuit women will suffer a direct and negative impact as a result.

Does the minister also think that it is unacceptable for these organizations to criticize her cuts?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, I take no lessons from that party in terms of how they handled health care in this country.

The answer is very simple when it comes to the National Aboriginal Health Organization. Through the annual general meeting of the AFN there was a resolution put forward by those memberships to dissolve NAHO. At the same time, I received a letter from the three elected leaders of NAHO asking me to dissolve NAHO because it was dysfunctional.

We listened. Why can those members not listen to the elected aboriginal leaders of this country?

VeteransOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian veterans have fought courageously for their country, yet this government keeps telling them that they have to take care of themselves. The decision to close nine Veterans Affairs offices will make things even more difficult for a huge number of veterans and their families who need help.

We recently learned that the number of suicides by military personnel rose in 2011. How can the government tell veterans to seek help online instead of talking to a real, live human being?

VeteransOral Questions

May 1st, 2012 / 2:55 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague on his new veterans portfolio, which is an important one. We will continue to provide services to veterans across the country. We are even about to increase our service offerings near military bases and wherever the need is greatest.

There is one thing that the new critic should do if he wants to help veterans, and that is support budget 2012, in which we will maintain services to veterans and cut red tape. I urge him to support budget 2012 and veterans.

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, what absolute nonsense. He is now telling veterans on Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton Island that in order to see someone they have to go all the way to Halifax to meet the individual.

What is worse, the Conservatives are cutting back on offices to the point now that when veterans call 1-866-522-2122, the veterans number, they get a private company called Quantum. This private company gets over $600,000 of tax money to say, “Veterans Affairs Canada”.

Why is the government allowing a private company to disguise itself as Veterans Affairs Canada and why is it so ignorant of the needs of the heroes of this country?

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is good to have two critics because I can clearly answer the question.

We are proud to work with Service Canada. It has employees here in this country, in the Atlantic, serving Canadians for general information.

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Excuse me, kindergarten, I am speaking.

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. minister has the floor.

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to add that any veteran--

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs has the floor.

VeteransOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, any veteran who is addressing our department will be served by the great experts of the department. Members should support budget 2012. We are maintaining benefits. We are cutting red tape and we will continue to do so.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Conservative Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were troubled when they heard the story of David Chen, an immigrant restaurant owner who was charged for defending his property. This captured the attention of many, especially new Canadians.

Thankfully, our government is committed to clarifying the laws regarding self-defence and has taken action by introducing citizen's arrest legislation.

Can the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism please update this House on the progress we have been making with regard to this important piece of legislation?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, This is a serious matter. Mr. David Chen is a hard-working grocer in downtown Toronto who I am honoured to call a friend. He loses up to $70,000 a year from his hard-earned property to shoplifters. When he detained a repeat shoplifter, Mr. Chen, the victim of the crime, was charged. This brought about a recognition that we needed to modify the law to clarify that shop owners have the right to use appropriate authority to protect their property.

I am pleased to see that the Lucky Moose bill passed through the House of Commons today and will be law shortly so that shop owners can use reasonable and appropriate authority to protect their property.