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House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was yea.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:25 p.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, our government's top priority is job creation, economic growth and getting Canadians back to work. The government is making improvements to the EI program to ensure that it is fair, continues to meet the needs of Canadians and is responsive to local labour market demands both now and in the future.

As we know, we are facing unprecedented labour skill shortages. It will be critical that we work directly with Canadians to make sure they have access to available jobs.

Employment EquityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, this budget does not put people back to work. It cuts jobs, cuts growth and hurts seasonal industries.

This budget bill also quietly deletes employment equity rules for federal contractors, provisions brought in by the Mulroney government. These rules are not a problem for bidders, yet Conservatives are recklessly dismantling a program that helps businesses tackle discrimination.

Why is the Prime Minister using a Trojan Horse budget bill to go after some of the most vulnerable Canadians? Why would he do that?

Employment EquityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that the federal contractors program is actually being strengthened by our actions.

What we are doing is we are actually making it a contractual obligation with the federal government to ensure that contractors have employment equity plans if they want to do business with us. I think that is an excellent change.

Employment EquityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

Employment EquityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, now they love me!

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

I have a question for the Prime Minister.

When the Atlantic premiers met a couple of weeks ago, they expressed strong concern about the impact of federal legislation on their jurisdiction. When the western premiers met, they called for a national energy strategy, something they felt was lacking with respect to the federal government.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister, in light of the fragile economic situation to which he refers so often, does he not think it is finally time to call the first ministers of this country together, to develop a national plan for our economy to get this country moving and to stop the divisiveness and lack of consultation—

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course this government consults regularly across the country, not just with provincial premiers but with all affected Canadians.

There were literally hundreds of consultations done in preparation for this year's economic action plan. I believe the fact that we do those kinds of consultations explains why the economic policies of this government have been so strongly supported by Canadians, and have shown such good results for the Canadian economy.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister must admit that the Atlantic premiers are quite concerned about the problems with Bill C-38. The western premiers have called for some strategies as well.

Does the Prime Minister not see the contradiction here? He goes to Europe demanding fiscal co-operation between the European countries, but when it comes to Canada, he refuses to even meet face-to-face with this country's premiers.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. As I just said, we consult regularly across the country, not just with provincial premiers but people who represent the public interest. This government obviously respects provincial jurisdictions. One of the results of these consultations is the superior performance of Canada's economy.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's parliamentary secretary has admitted that he wrote a cheque for $21,000 prior to the election to a company called the Holinshed Research Group. He has also admitted that in the middle of the election campaign, an invoice was changed to lower the amount so that it would be underneath the election expenses of his campaign. The records now show that at least 630 hours of calls took place, which have not been explained or justified.

The member who is heckling me now is the member who promised just a couple of days ago to reveal all, that he would answer all the contradictions.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister if he has the answer to these questions.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, the hon. member for Peterborough has submitted all of his information to Elections Canada.

In fact, that report was certified several years ago. The member of Parliament not only won that election but has since won a subsequent election. He serves his constituents and this House honourably, and I think we all should treat each other with a little more consideration than that.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, hidden in the Conservatives' outrageous budget bill is the rejection of foreign skilled workers who have played by the rules and waited in line. Conservative mismanagement, on top of Liberal mismanagement, has left a huge backlog of applicants. How many of them are doctors? How many are skilled tradespeople? Now, we will never know, because the Conservative budget bill simply rejects them all, sight unseen.

Will the minister reverse this reckless and unfair decision?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. When this government came to office in 2006, it inherited from the Liberals a backlog of immigration cases, with 840,000 people waiting for up to eight years in the system. That is absolutely true.

In 2008, we brought forward amendments to the immigration act to allow us to begin to reduce those backlogs. The Liberals and the NDP voted against those amendments. Had we not adopted those amendments in 2008, the backlog would now be 1.5 million cases, with people waiting for up to 15 years. Thanks to the actions in this budget, in Bill C-38, we will have a just-in-time immigration system.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP will always vote against the Conservatives' irresponsible budgets. These changes should have been debated independently from the budget measures.

The people who wish to immigrate here followed the rules. They put their lives on hold, believing, as they should, that Canada would process their applications in a fair and equitable manner. However, under clause 707 of Bill C-38, exactly the opposite will happen.

Instead of wiping out tens of thousands of applications with the stroke of a pen, will the minister agree to withdraw this clause from the bill?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, no, absolutely not, because if we were to follow the NDP's policy, the processing times for immigration cases would go from eight years to 10, 12 or 15 years. That is completely irresponsible. Canada needs an effective immigration system, one that can match new immigrants with the jobs that are available. Our reforms to the economic immigration system will increase income and employment levels among newcomers.

We want a system that works well for the Canadian economy and for newcomers.

PensionsOral Questions

June 13th, 2012 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, without any consultation, without any facts and without any consideration for what happens to people and their families, the Conservatives' Trojan Horse budget bill is pulling the rug out from under Canadians who have worked hard and played by the rules.

Many Canadian seniors are already living in poverty because the Conservatives have refused to invest properly in OAS and GIS. However, instead of trying to better serve seniors, they are actually making things much worse.

Why this attack on tomorrow's seniors?

PensionsOral Questions

2:35 p.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, just to state again, there will be no reduction in seniors' pensions.

Just this week, the OECD released its “Pensions Outlook 2012”, which urges countries to make the necessary changes to ensure long-term sustainability of these retirement plans. I will quote the Secretary-General of the OECD:

Bold action is required. Breaking down the barriers that stop older people from working beyond traditional retirement ages will be a necessity to ensure that our children and grand-children can enjoy an adequate pension at the end of their working life.

We are taking action to create sustainable programs. I ask the NDP why it has never supported—

PensionsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

The hon. member for Hochelaga.

PensionsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Conservatives are saying, old age security has a proven track record. It is a viable system.

Maybe the Conservatives do not realize this, but for tens of thousands of low-income seniors, this program is the difference between living in dignity and living in poverty.

If the Conservatives' math is so reliable, then why are they unable to justify their decision to start stealing money from seniors in 2023, and not 2030 or 2050?

PensionsOral Questions

2:35 p.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, let me state once again, there will be no reductions in seniors' pensions.

In order to ensure the sustainability of OAS in the future, we are increasing the age from 65 to 67 over a gradual period of time, from 2023 to 2029. Our government is committed to sustainable social programs and a secure retirement for all Canadians.

Once again, I ask the NDP, why is it that we on this side of the House support sustainable social programs for this and future generations, and it does not?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP respects Canadian seniors, and that is why we will not vote in favour of the budget.

The environment commissioner said that with Bill C-38, there would be only 20 to 30 federal environmental assessments a year.

These irresponsible cuts will allow pipelines to cross our rivers with virtually no safeguards. But Canadians are already carrying the weight of $7 billion in environmental debt.

Why add to the environmental debt of future generations? Why are the Conservatives so irresponsible?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this is from a colleague who did not even bother to attend the committee.

Our goal in this government is to strengthen world-class protection of the environment, even as we make Canada the most attractive country in the world for resource investment and development. We will implement a policy of one proposal, one review in clearly defined time periods. We will strengthen environmental protection. We will make reviews of resource projects more predictable. We will reduce duplication. We will enhance consultations with aboriginal Canadians.