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House of Commons Hansard #128 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was labour.

Topics

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, there were certainly quality nominations, but there are limits to the amount of money available for these types of events. This year, Calgary and Niagara Falls were named cultural capitals. Last year, Lévis, Quebec, got this designation. Another year, Trois-Rivières, Quebec, was listed. And one year, it was Saint-Jean.

We will continue to conduct this type of analysis, but in the future, we will support events that are responsible, and that have good local projects. It is true that this year, those two cities were not designated cultural capitals, but, once again, we will fund good quality community events that benefit the people in these regions.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Claude Patry NDP Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, if there is one region that will be suffering from the recent Conservative budget, it is Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. After they did nothing for the forestry industry and let jobs in the region vanish, now it is the survival of the Jonquière tax centre that is in jeopardy as a result of the ill-considered cuts in the Conservative budget.

Is the government going to reassure working people and families in the region and assure us that the Jonquière tax centre will not be affected by cuts at Revenue Canada?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Revenue Agency must ensure that our programs are efficient, effective and achieving the best results for Canadians. Our top priority is the economy and ensuring that we spend tax dollars wisely.

We will be revealing more details on CRA's budget very soon. However, we are committed to supporting the CRA in providing a high level of service and ensuring the integrity of the tax system.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, first there was concern in Shawinigan and then in Jonquière, not to mention the underhanded manoeuvres surrounding the relocation of the Rimouski service centre. Things are definitely not working under the Conservatives.

The future of the jobs at the Shawinigan tax centre is still up in the air and the news from Jonquière is not comforting. Although this is not the first time the problem has been raised, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development is still unable to clarify the situation.

Are the Conservatives finally going to shed some light on the cuts foreseen at the Shawinigan and Jonquière centres?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I cannot comment on rumour and speculation.

However, what I can say is that more details from CRA's budget will be coming soon. At the same time, we are committed to ensuring a high level of service to Canadians and the integrity of our tax system.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government talks about an unprecedented skilled labour shortage and that being the reason for EI changes last week.

If there is a skilled labour shortage, it has been developed under the current government's watch.

What we have seen is that six years of doing nothing has put us in the situation we are in today. With a million and a half Canadians out of work, the government's answer is, “Let's get seniors to work two more years. Let's let disabled people live in poverty for two more years. Let's attack seasonal workers in seasonal industries. Let's help depopulate rural Canada”.

Is that the best the government can do? Is that its A game over there?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, if that is the best the Liberals can do to come up with facts, then they are in sorry shape.

It is our government against the votes of the Liberals that has created over 750,000 net new jobs in this country since the recession.

Again, our priority is job creation and economic growth. We are so successful at that that right now we do have skills and labour shortages in a wide range of occupations right across the country. We want to help people get back to work because it will be better for them, for their families and for the good of the country.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

In any event, Mr. Chair, as pots and pans are being banged in Montreal, we can see from the questions and answers we are getting today that we are stuck with a load of empty Conservative vessels who do not use their heads. What we are seeing today is disgusting. There is no consultation with the provinces and no sensitivity to the regions; seasonal workers are left by the wayside kicking their heels.

I simply want to know something. Since they are killing the regions and killing off industry, is the minister going to do her job and start over again from zero, in order to protect seasonal workers? That is what we want to know.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as I said, our government is the one that has created and helped to create over 750,000 jobs in Canada. Our priorities are economic growth and job creation. That is why we now have a shortage of workers and skills. We want to help Canadians who have lost their jobs, whether they are full-time or seasonal jobs, to find new positions in their areas that are suited to their qualifications.

National DefenceOral Questions

May 28th, 2012 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, after only a few hours of testimony, the Conservatives are set to shut down the inquiry into the AG's scathing report on the F-35, with only seven hours of investigation and nearly seven years of Conservative mismanagement.

The Conservatives have misled Canadians by hiding somewhere between $15 billion and $30 billion of life cycle costs. They pledged accountability and transparency, so why are they now stopping Parliament from getting to the bottom of the F-35 fiasco?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, we have heard from the Auditor General three times, once for the report as a whole, once for the beginning of the chapter and once at the end of the chapter. We have heard from senior government officials at two different sets of meetings that detailed the government's response. We have heard from the Parliamentary Budget Officer to compare his numbers versus others.

The purpose of the committee is to study the Auditor General's report. We have done that. We need to get on with writing the report.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, none of that dispels the odour of cover-up that permeates the House today. Either the Minister of National Defence stands today to disclose the truth about the F-35 procurement or his government has to let the committee do its important work.

We learned early not to hold our breath waiting for answers from the minister. Therefore, will his government reverse its decision and allow the F-35 investigation to continue?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, as I have mentioned, we have heard from the Auditor General not once, not twice, but three times. We have heard from departmental officials not once but twice. It is time to get on with writing the report.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, over the weekend, I was overjoyed to learn that Abby and Dominic Maryk were reunited with their mother and returned to Winnipeg after being abducted by their father and taken to Mexico four years ago.

It has been a complex and sad case but one with a happy ending.

Could the Minister of State responsible for Consular Affairs please update the House on this case?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the excellent support she has provided to these constituents. The Maryk children did indeed return to Winnipeg yesterday with their mother.

It was a coordinated effort. I sincerely thank consular officials, our partners in Mexico, the Province of Manitoba, the RCMP and the CBSA for their hard work in locating and returning these children.

I hope the mother and her children can now rebuild their family life and that those responsible for this abduction will be held responsible.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I would hope that by now we could assume that the minister has finally completed his homework and is up to speed on the 31-page Federal Court decision on veterans pensions.

With only a few days before the Conservatives must decide whether to appeal this very clear ruling, is the government now in a position to tell the House and thousands of affected veterans what action it intends to take?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of National Defence. The hon. member for Beauharnois—Salaberry.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, a working group in the Department of Natural Resources of Canada has concluded that the federal government should regulate the shale gas industry better.

I repeat: this is a federal government working group, so I do not want to hear the excuse that this is under provincial jurisdiction.

The group says, among other things, that the public is not well informed and the regulations are based on old practices that do not take into account the consequences for the water table.

Are the Conservatives finally going to listen to that recommendation, or will they continue to ignore the concerns expressed by Canadians?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the shale gas exploration development has been going on in the west for many decades. This is a provincial matter, under provincial jurisdiction. It is being investigated from a regulatory perspective in a number of provinces, and we await the results.

In the meantime, there is no indication of any leakage or any harm to water in the areas in which it is being developed.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were horrified to hear of this weekend's massacre in the Syrian town of Hula in which more than 100 people, including 34 children, were killed. Even with UN observers on the ground, the Assad regime continues to ignore its commitment to the Annan peace plan and flaunt its utter disregard for human life.

Would the Minister of Foreign Affairs please update the House on Canada's reaction to this weekend's violence in Syria?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his interest in this humanitarian disaster. This weekend's shocking attack has yet again demonstrated the Assad regime's utter contempt for humanity and decency. We call upon the Security Council to take stronger action, including having United Nation's Security Council sanctions.

Canada continues to view the Annan peace plan as the best option. However, the international community must redouble its efforts to get adherence or move on to explore other diplomatic solutions to the crisis.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, as people around the world watch the negotiations with Iran over the issue of nuclear proliferation, Canadians want to know if the government is willing to take international leadership on nuclear disarmament.

A year and a half ago, the House unanimously endorsed a New Democrat motion to prevent nuclear proliferation and increase the rate of nuclear disarmament. When will the government implement the intent of that motion and take leadership on nuclear disarmament?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I share the concern of the member opposite about nuclear disarmament. I think the strongest measures we can take are on stopping nuclear proliferation. That is why what is going on in Iran causes us all such deep concern.

Before the P5+1 talks in Baghdad this past weekend, I had a long chat with Catherine Ashton, the high-level representative from the European Union. I spoke with her for more than half an hour after these meetings and offered Canada's full support for these efforts.

If Iran obtains nuclear weapons, not only will it be a disaster for the Middle East and a disaster for the world, it will see the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, something I do not think any of us in the House want to see.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-François Fortin Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to making the unemployed accept lower-paying jobs that are further from home, the employment insurance reform announced last Thursday risks doing much worse.

By forcing employees trained by seasonal businesses to go elsewhere, it will deprive employers of the skilled labour they need to maintain their activities. This is a direct attack on the fishery, tourism, agriculture and forestry industries that provide a living for the regions of Quebec. One might think that the Conservatives have forgotten that winter comes back every year in Quebec.

Is the government going to respond to the outcry over these harmful measures for the workers and the regions and will it retreat and drop this reform?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, clearly the hon. member does not understand the changes we are proposing. These changes will help people who have lost their jobs to find new jobs. Such jobs will be in their local area and will correspond to their qualifications. We want to help these people because it is in the best interest of their families and our country to do so.