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House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

Baha'i Community in IranStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very concerned about the international human rights situation. Still today, too many people are being oppressed because of their religious beliefs, their political opinions or their nationality. The Baha'is are one example, and those in my riding are worried about the fate of the Baha'i community in Iran. Since 2004, 545 people have been imprisoned for no other reason than their religious convictions.

The Iranian government considers these people threats to the nation, even terrorists. For 46 months now, seven teachers have been detained without just cause. Despite a strong show of support by the international community, Iran continues to persecute people who self-identify as Baha'i, even though their religion promotes peace and unity.

Today, I again call on the president of Iran and the chargé d'affaires and head of mission, Mr. Sheikh-Hassani, to put a stop to the oppression and wrongful imprisonment of members of the Baha'i community. I also call on the government to do more to help these people.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kyle Seeback Conservative Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic action plan 2012 is full of measures to promote job creation. It is important that we pass this legislation quickly so these measures can start helping job creation in our country.

The NDP continues to look out for the interests of its special interest fringe groups and its big union bosses. Economic action plan 2012 includes important measures that will stimulate the Canadian economy, while protecting the environment. This includes support for many environmental initiatives.

We will continue to strike a balance between protecting the environment and protecting the economy. It is time we bring this important bill to a vote so Canadians can see the benefits of Canada's economic action plan 2012. We urge the NDP to put the best interests of Canadians ahead of the interest of its special interest groups and big union bosses and support this important budget.

Mental HealthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is mental health awareness week and today is National Child and Youth Mental Health Day.

Approximately 1.2 million children and youth in Canada are affected by mental illness and 70% of adults with mental health problems said that they noticed symptoms before the age of 18. However, fear and stigma is a big deterrent to seeking treatment.

One in five Canadians is impacted by mental illness, yet our primary health care system falls far short of helping those with mental health problems get appropriate care. Indeed, mental illness is often undiagnosed and untreated until major symptoms appear and the patient is in dire need.

The federal government is the fifth largest health care provider, but given the high rate of Inuit and aboriginal suicide, it is unconscionable that these programs have been cut when they should be augmented.

Early diagnosis of mental illness is critical. Early treatment and support programs are essential. Therefore, a comprehensive integrated national mental health strategy must be a core part of a responsive health care system.

New Democratic PartyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP recently appointed the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie to a high-profile position in his shadow cabinet. This is another surprising choice by the NDP.

Let us look at the facts: the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie voted with the yes side during the 1995 referendum. He has even represented an extreme-left, sovereignist party, Québec Solidaire. He has donated thousands of dollars to that sovereignist party's election fund. Even more unacceptable is the fact that his most recent donation to this radical sovereignist party was made this year.

The NDP leader has chosen a team that threatens dangerous economic experiments, job-killing taxes, and reckless spending that we simply cannot afford. This team has demonstrated a disturbing willingness to put the interests of a narrow band of activists ahead of the interests of hard-working Canadian families.

41st General ElectionStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the last few days we have seen troubling new evidence further linking the Conservative Party of Canada to suspected voter suppression during the last election. We have learned that a single IP address now links RackNine calls to Conservative operatives and to the Conservatives' federal voter database. We know they used burner cellphones, proxy IP addresses and disposable credit cards in an attempt to hide their tracks. Elections Canada is questioning more Conservatives. Missing evidence about who accessed the Conservative database may never be recovered.

Despite this mounting evidence, Conservatives continue to deny any connection and are not even admitting that they are under investigation. No one trusts the Conservatives on this. When will the government do the right thing and call an independent public inquiry?

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, the recently announced NDP shadow cabinet contains the member for London—Fanshawe, the critic for pensions. The member opposite is a union activist who had a stint in the Ontario NDP cabinet of the current federal Liberal interim leader. That disastrous NDP government was best known for destroying Ontario's economy in the 1990s. She supported the then NDP premier's devastating tax rates, the highest in North America, and his record deficits. She helped guide Ontario into its greatest job purge since the Great Depression, leaving Ontario then as the welfare capital of Canada.

The aftermath of the NDP government in Ontario offers a frightening glimpse of federal NDP plans for our country: dangerous economic experiments, job-killing taxes and reckless spending we simply cannot afford.

The NDP has demonstrated a disturbing willingness to put the interests of a narrow band of activists ahead of the interests of hard-working Canadian families.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have introduced a so-called budget bill more than 400 pages long, 70 acts, more than 753 clauses amended and one Parliament being asked to vote blind, gutting environmental protections, ripping up the Fisheries Act and eliminating entire laws. Asking a single committee to review the bill will mean that it will not get the scrutiny that it deserves.

Will Conservatives work with New Democrats, respect Parliament and agree to split the bill?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, budget 2012 is about creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians. We tabled this bill on March 29 and it is now May 7. Canadians want us to get on with the task of creating jobs, lowering taxes and having economic stability for the country and that is what this budget implementation bill is all about.

The budget implementation act will be debated more than any other budget implementation act that Parliament has seen in 20 years. We are getting the job done, delivering for Canadians and putting forward a responsible budget that Canadians support.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, allow me to quote someone familiar to my friend across the way. That person said:

—I would argue that the subject matter of the bill is so diverse that a single vote on the content would put members in conflict with their own principles.

Who said that? A younger version of the Prime Minister.

I remember working with the government in the early days on accountability. It seems like no one on that side is at all interested in the very word, never mind the notion. Is there anybody left over there who believes that Parliament should have the scrutiny and the power to review laws before it?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the only party playing games with this budget is the NDP whose finance critic, in the first week that this budget was debated in the House, spoke the entire week, filibustered the budget bill for over 13 hours of debate and denied any other MP the opportunity to speak on it. The NDP members are proud of the parliamentary games they are playing.

We are delivering a budget that we campaigned on, that lowers taxes for small business and that provides more training for young Canadians who want to enter the workforce. We are delivering. It is the NDP that has played games since day one. It is time to get back to work for Canadians.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague says that wanting to split the bill is an ideological position, but it was the position taken by the Prime Minister when he was in opposition.

Has power made him change his principles? For years, the Conservatives promised to do better than the Liberals, but now they are doing exactly the same thing. There is no transparency, no accountability. Why not split the bill and let the committees do their job?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's accusations are frankly ridiculous.

We tabled budget 2012 here in the House on March 29, and it is now May 7. It is time Parliament acted responsibly to benefit our economy and our communities. The Conservative government is going to keep its promises to lower taxes for families and for small and medium-sized businesses across Canada so that they can create jobs and opportunities for the future.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Finance is supposed to study finance, not food safety. The Conservatives are going to cut environmental impact assessments, the Fisheries Act, health, old age security, and much more. It is not surprising that the Conservatives want to quietly pass this Trojan horse bill.

Are the Conservatives in such a hurry because they know that the more time goes by, the more Canadians will learn about the harmful consequences this bill will have for an entire generation?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, economic action plan 2012, which is the budget, is a major plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in Canada. It is a large budget. It was rejected by both of the opposition parties within a few hours of the budget being announced on March 29. A large budget begets large budget bills.

There is the bill before the House. As usual, there will be another bill in the autumn, another large budget bill for jobs, growth and prosperity in Canada.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the most worrisome parts of this bill is the attack on old age security pensions. Under the bill, the retirement age will be raised to 67. Canadians will lose over $12,000 in retirement income. The Conservatives ran on jobs, but the centrepiece of this Trojan horse budget bill is an attack on pensions.

Is the government seriously telling Canadians they have to wait an extra two years to get their pensions, but the government cannot wait more than one week for a serious parliamentary review of this bill?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, there will be no reductions in seniors' pensions. In order to ensure the stability and sustainability of OAS, the age of eligibility will be gradually increased from 65 to 67 starting in 2023. It will be phased in over six years. That is a long way out. Right now, no seniors will have their pensions cut. Anyone who is near pension age will not see any change.

The hon. member across the way should stop fear-mongering among our seniors.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in establishing its priorities the government always makes a point of saying that it wants to do the best for men and women in uniform.

Given that today is Mental Health Day, given that this week the report of the Mental Health Commission of Canada is being released, and given that 20 serving soldiers committed suicide last year and cuts are being made in services for mental health by the Department of National Defence, how does the government justify that at this particular time?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, there is no question that the government has an obligation to make sure that those brave men and women who served this country so bravely have the services that they need. Our government is proud that in every one of our budgets we have taken measures and adjusted our policies to ensure that our veterans have the services when and where they need them.

Specifically, with regard to mental health that the leader of the Liberal Party raises, I am also pleased to point out the fact that mental health services for Canadian soldiers are at a greater number than any of our NATO partners. We are delivering for our soldiers. They deserve it because they are the bravest and the best.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot deny the reality of the situation. This year, the government will be cutting services to veterans returning to Canada with serious illnesses. Veterans have to wait four, five or six months for services.

How can the minister justify such cuts to services at the very time when the Mental Health Commission of Canada is insisting that improvements be made and that the federal government show leadership?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, there are simply no cuts being made to direct services to veterans. They need these services, and the services will be there for them because Canada asks the most of our veterans.

We will continue to have these types of services in each budget. We will continue to keep our promises, make investments and implement policies that protect the needs of our veterans.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

May 7th, 2012 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, very empty words at a time when those people have served the country so well. Their time of deepest need for those services is when they come back to Canada.

I would like to ask the minister a final supplementary question with respect to the visit to Canada of the UN special rapporteur on the right to food. I wonder if the minister could explain the embarrassing situation. We are the first industrialized country that the UN rapporteur has decided to visit because of complaints that he has received with respect to food services in Canada, with respect to nutritious food and with respect to running water.

How does the minister feel about that particular situation?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, without question, it is a fact that Canada has made extraordinary strides under our government in providing those core services to aboriginal Canadians both on and off reserve in housing, health care, education, food and water.

We look forward to the visit to brief the UN and to make the point that our government has delivered and is delivering. We will continue to deliver in the future. We are making sure that we have results. We want to make sure that it is clear not only to all Canadians but to the entire world that Canada is leading the world when it comes to protecting core services for all of our citizens.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of following its own rules and providing a detailed formal statement of operational requirements to justify its decision to go with the F-35, the government preferred to use a letter with only 160 words—which, incidentally, was kept from parliamentarians—to confirm its decision to spend $25 billion. It used a letter—with spelling mistakes no less—to justify its decision not to run an open, transparent competitive bidding process. It is completely ridiculous.

Can the entire Conservative selection process really be summed up in three paragraphs?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member opposite that the Government of Canada has taken action to ensure that all due diligence, oversight and transparency are firmly embedded in the process to replace Canada's aging fighter aircraft.

Moreover, we are following a seven step action plan to fulfill and exceed the Auditor General's recommendations. This includes freezing the funding and establishing a separate secretariat outside of national defence to lead this project forward.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, trying to justify the sole sourcing of the multi-billion dollar purchase of fighter jets on the basis of a 160 word letter is not acceptable.

However, there is more to this story. Today, a retired assistant deputy minister from National Defence released a book. It is about how the F-35 process was botched. It is a disheartening and shameful story of Canadians being misled by their government and of a government that would do anything to hide from accountability.

Why will Conservatives not listen to reason and put this contract out to tender?