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House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservatives.

Topics

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives never campaigned on gutting environmental protection, but that is exactly what they are doing.

I will read a quote:

This is a covert attempt to gut the Fisheries Act...it’s appalling [to] be attempting to do this under the radar.

Who said that? It was former Conservative fisheries minister Tom Siddon.

He also said:

The minister...is the one remaining...person in Canada to protect this marvellous, historically important resource...our fishery. That's his job.

The question is, why will this minister not do his job?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is, of course, inaccurate as usual.

There are massive improvements to the act that the opposition is blatantly ignoring. In fact, our government's changes will improve several areas of the act, provide tools that will identify ecologically sensitive areas that require enhanced protection, make the Fisheries Act conditions enforceable and allow higher maximum penalties for rule breakers. It will also allow the creation of new, clear and accessible guidelines for Canadians to follow for projects in or near the water.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government will not listen to former ministers, fisherman or Canadians. It will not even listen to its own commission.

The Prime Minister created the Cohen Commission to study the most dramatic collapse in the wild salmon fishery in British Columbia's history. It has spent two years and $26 million hearing evidence on the importance of protecting salmon and salmon habitat.

Why is the government throwing away the work of the commission and gutting protections for our wild salmon fishery?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, again, this is not the case and the question as posed is entirely inaccurate.

We support the work of the Cohen Commission. We recognize the importance of this issue in British Columbia, not only to the people of British Columbia and the economy of British Columbia but also to Canadians in general who are anxiously awaiting the Cohen report. We have supported it fully and we expect that report this fall.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government no doubt enjoyed the endorsement it got today from a U.S. Republican ex-convict who was jailed for illegal voter suppression. His fellow operatives worked with Canadian Conservatives. This ex-convict praised the Conservative robocall scam as systematic and sophisticated, all driven off the central Conservative database known as CIMS.

Has the government ever used that partisan database for government business? Has CIMS ever been checked about an access to information request, grant application or immigration matter? How far does Big Brother reach?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I think he reaches about four rows behind the hon. member, to his colleague from Guelph who was first caught and then had to admit that he sent out false autodials to his constituents with fake phone numbers and fake identifications. After he was caught, he then had to apologize.

We all know that all of these controversies originated in his riding and that the calls went to Liberal supporters; perhaps he should look five rows back to get the answers he seeks.

PensionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, as each day passes it becomes more apparent that the Conservatives are a government stained by election fraud. Canadians now know that the government deceived them by promising not to cut the old age security pensions, and then, once the votes were cast, low-income seniors and baby boomers became the target.

Experts agree that the Conservative OAS cuts are not grounded in economic necessity but are instead Conservative choices. When did the Prime Minister know he was going to break his promise to seniors—before or after the election?

PensionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. What the hon. member has just said is absolutely wrong. There are no reductions to seniors' pensions. Anyone who is currently collecting OAS and anyone who is 55 years old or older will not see any change. Any change that is going to happen will take place gradually and only start being introduced in 2023. We are doing this so that we will have old age security not only for today's seniors but also for future generations.

PensionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians feel betrayed by the Conservatives' decision to increase the age of eligibility for old age security from 65 to 67. Canadians themselves are saying so, not just the opposition.

The Prime Minister's Office is being inundated with complaints from unhappy people, and they have good reason to be unhappy. Even though the PMO may have already gotten rid of this embarrassing correspondence, it does not change the fact that the announced changes to old age security will affect the most vulnerable members of our society.

Why are the Conservatives targeting people who are unable to save for a comfortable retirement?

PensionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our country's seniors can rest assured that the old age security system will be there for them. If they are 55 or older, they will not see any change. We are going to increase the age of eligibility from 65 to 67, but this change will be made gradually and will only start being introduced in 2023.

We need to do this so that we have old age security for today's seniors and for future generations.

PensionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are right to feel cheated by this Prime Minister. Exactly a year ago they voted, yet not once during the election did the Prime Minister say that a key priority for him would be to attack seniors' retirement income. Now we see why. Canadians are upset and are telling the Prime Minister directly in letters and emails that they are angry about changes to OAS. Still, the Conservative government ignores them. Will the government listen to Canadians and reverse course on its attack on OAS?

PensionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are protecting OAS by ensuring it is there. There will be no reduction in OAS payments to any seniors who are receiving OAS today. Anyone who is 55 or older will see no reduction. We will be raising the age gradually from 65 to 67, starting in 2023. We want to ensure seniors do have a secure retirement.

Why does the NDP keep voting against every single item on the long list of things we do to help seniors?

Small BusinessOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Conservative Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's entrepreneurs create jobs and drive growth, all across the country. Thanks to their efforts and their work, the Canadian economy is improving.

Can the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism tell the House about our government's initiatives to help small businesses in Canada?

Small BusinessOral Questions

May 2nd, 2012 / 3 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his exceptional work for entrepreneurs in his region and for our government.

As we promised during the election campaign, we have extended the hiring tax credit for small businesses. We will cut red tape and the administrative burden so that entrepreneurs can focus their attention elsewhere.

However, the most important thing is that we will not do what the opposition has been calling for for months: increase taxes on small businesses. No means no.

We will continue to fight for Canadian families and business people by cutting their taxes once we have balanced the budget.

Atlantic CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, we all know what the Prime Minister's attitude toward Atlantic Canada is, and it is with disgust and anger that I give the one-year report card of what the Conservatives have done in Cape Breton.

Last fall, there was no money for our northern Cape Breton rink and 100 jobs were cut from Service Canada. This spring, we have 185 Parks Canada jobs affected and 10 Veterans Affairs jobs gone. This is on top of pickpocketing our seniors.

There is nothing left for the Conservatives to plunder. Should we hide our fiddles before they take our music?

Atlantic CanadaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I think the member is way off tune.

We have made numerous investments in Atlantic Canada, not the least of which is the historic investment to build ships in Atlantic Canada for the Royal Canadian Navy. It will bring about massive opportunity and employment, coupled with other important investments we have made in communities throughout Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. I am extremely proud of the one-year anniversary of our majority government and just how much time, effort and money we have put into the needs of the people of Nova Scotia.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, there are 6,500 disabled veterans who are not very proud of the Conservative government.

Yesterday a Federal Court judge ruled unequivocally, after five years of legal wrangling, that the SISIP payment for pain and suffering should not be deducted as income, yet the Conservative government continues to take them to court.

Now the government can do the right thing. It can stop the legal challenge and stop wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on lawyers. It can stand up, meet with Dennis Manuge and his legal team, reach a settlement and give these heroes of our country, those 6,500 disabled veterans, the money they so rightly deserve.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, all of the inaccuracies in the member's statement come as no surprise to me. This is a member whom we have seen consistently, throughout his entire career, vote against every single measure that has been taken by this government and previous governments to make the lives of veterans, members of the forces and their families better. I merely point to the fact that he has voted against providing funding to assist five new operational stress clinics, the creation of the Veterans Ombudsman and the $282 million to expand the veterans independence program.

We have made great strides in helping veterans and we will continue to do so.

Government of CanadaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, one year after our strong, stable, national majority government victory, we are proud of how much work we have done to support families. In the last election, we made specific promises to support families. Would the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development please provide an update to the House with some of the promises for families that the government has delivered in the last year?

Government of CanadaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it is a long list, so I will just keep it to the highlights.

We committed to supporting the families of murdered and missing children--

Government of CanadaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I hate to cut off the hon. member, but there seem to be some side conversations going on. I would ask members to hold their conversations until question period is over.

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development has the floor.

Government of CanadaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, as members know, we also increased accessibility and funding for the Canada student loan program. We launched the children's art tax credit and the family caregiver tax credit. We also provided the largest increase in the guaranteed income supplement for Canada's lowest-income seniors that has been seen in over a decade. We are proud to have delivered so many things for Canadian families. It is a shame that the opposition did not support any of those things.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are breaking their election promises and making decisions that harm the economy of the regions.

In my riding, for the past ten years, the Economic Development Agency of Canada has funded the youth employment program for the Centre d'aide aux entreprises de Montmagny-L'Islet, which has had some of the best results in Quebec. One hundred entrepreneurial projects have been supported by the program.

The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities had promised, one day before the last election, to keep the program going for another two years. However, one year later, he cut the program. Why did he break his promise?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, in 2011-12, we signed an agreement with the Centre d'aide aux entreprises de Montmagny-L'Islet, which clearly stated that the agreement would be in effect for one year.

In March 2011, we entered into a $154 million comprehensive five-year agreement with the Sociétés d'aide au développement des collectivités and the Centre d'aide aux entreprises du Québec to support economic development in Quebec's regions. Under this agreement, the Sociétés d'aide au développement des collectivités are the only organizations involved in delivering the youth employment strategy program. No Centre d'aide aux entreprises receives funding for that program.

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the legal action taken by the Government of Quebec to save the data in the Canadian firearms registry, to force Air Canada to respect its obligations and to prevent changes to the Senate, now the Conservatives are provoking another dispute with Quebec by trying to exempt their friends, the banks, from consumer protection legislation.

Why has the Minister of Finance not responded to the Quebec Justice Minister's letter of April 19, confirming to him in black and white that the banks will continue to be subject to the Quebec consumer protection laws?