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House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government will further restrict access to employment insurance.

Thirty-four per cent of Canadians have jobs that do not fit into a little box—part-time, temporary or multiple jobs. These workers typically do not have access to employment insurances. Many of them belong to marginalized groups, and this bill will put them at an even greater disadvantage.

Why are the Conservatives attacking our most vulnerable workers?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:45 a.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, as I have said several times before, the top priority of the government is job creation and economic growth. That is exactly why we passed Bill C-38 yesterday evening in this House. Although the opposition were completely against all those job creation programs, we are moving forward.

The government is making improvements to employment insurance. The reason for this is to make sure we can meet the needs of Canadians. We are being responsive, to better connect Canadians with local jobs with their local qualifications.

Employment EquityOral Questions

June 15th, 2012 / 11:45 a.m.

NDP

Sana Hassainia NDP Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Trojan Horse budget is an attack on our most vulnerable workers.

The federal contractors program for employment equity affects over a million workers. The program goals have not yet been achieved. A legitimate economic action plan would include women, cultural communities and first nations.

Why are the Conservatives dismantling a program that fights discrimination?

Employment EquityOral Questions

11:45 a.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, as I have already mentioned in this House today, Bill C-38 is a job creation bill. We are moving forward to make sure that Canadians have the opportunity to have a job. In fact, we have created 760,000 net new jobs since the recession.

With respect to the Employment Equity Act, it has been amended to allow greater flexibility in programming to provide an opportunity for more Canadians to have a role, a job and something to improve the quality of life for their families.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Kyle Seeback Conservative Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the past few days we have spent an incredible amount of time on economic action plan 2012. We remain focused on this legislation, as it is the top priority for Canadians: jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. We remain committed to economic action plan 2012's positive long-term plan for the economy, while the opposition continues to advocate for big government and high taxes.

We look forward to this legislation being passed so we can put these positive measures to work for Canadian families.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance please speak to the benefits of economic action plan 2012?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for the question and for his hard work on the economic action plan 2012.

I was absolutely proud to stand with all of my Conservative colleagues yesterday against the attack, by the NDP and other opposition members, on taxpayers and on the economy. We voted nearly 160 times to say yes to a plan that will grow our economy. We voted yes for responsible resource development and for the 750,000 Canadians who work in that sector. We voted yes to the many more jobs we will create for Canada's youth, aboriginals and many more, and we voted yes to getting back to balance and respecting—

The BudgetOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Louis—Hébert.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Denis Blanchette NDP Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is the same old, same old when it comes to the F-35s.

The governance structure for the new F-35 secretariat is made up of the same players who were fingered in the Auditor General's report. In fact, these three deputy ministers had to explain themselves before the public accounts committee.

How do the Conservatives expect to get different results by changing only the exterior, and not the contents?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, importantly, there has been no money spent on the acquisition of new fighter aircraft for the air force to replace our aging CF-18s. However, we have launched the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat. This arm's-length secretariat will ensure due diligence, oversight and transparency.

The member should know that it is also made up of two independent members, including the former Auditor General, Denis Desautels. We appreciate his commitment to the secretariat.

In the interest of taxpayers, we will not purchase new fighter aircraft until we have received the conclusions and the good work of the secretariat.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Madam Speaker, perhaps the minister will actually answer this question.

The Minister of Public Works and Government Services was given the task of cleaning up the mess, which is the F-35 fiasco. However, only a few short months later, she has broken one of the most important pillars of her seven-point solution: the timely disclosure of the full cost of the F-35s.

The U.S. government has already completed its review and has disclosed its costs. Why is the minister unable to do the same? Why the delay in releasing the full cost, and where is the accountability we have been promised?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Madam Speaker, I would like to say, at this opportunity, that I am sure that the member shares my concern and condolences for the tragic incident at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Our hearts go out to the victims and to their families.

With regard to that, the secretariat itself has asked, and has recommended to the government, that it take more time to do the due diligence necessary to ensure that the costing that has been put forward by the Department of National Defence is independently validated. We agree with that, and we have given the secretariat more time to do that work.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, the Conservatives refused to deny the coming cuts to VIA Rail. The train that built this country from Toronto to Vancouver will be cut from six days a week to two days a week outside of tourist season. The only passenger rail line that connects communities in the Prairies will be reduced to a placeholder.

Once again the government is taking the Prairies for granted. When will it stand up for rail service in our part of the country?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Madam Speaker, I would like to point out to the member that in the west, in the Prairies, all but four seats are represented by this government. In think that demonstrates that the people of the Prairies believe in this government.

With regard to VIA Rail, it is a national institution. We support safe, effective and proper rail service. VIA Rail must have the ability to change its routes, depending on demand. We do not really get involved in that if we absolutely can avoid it.

I would encourage the member for Churchill to take that train from The Pas to Churchill. It is a great trip.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Madam Speaker, CN has announced its plans to close the rail line linking Moncton and Campbellton. There is currently a rumour that VIA Rail wants to cancel three trains a week between Halifax and Montreal. This will help CN remove the tracks between Moncton et Campbellton. Yet this is an important link that joins the people of Halifax and the Atlantic provinces in the east with the rest of Canada.

What does this government have against Atlantic Canada, the people of rural regions and the economic development of our regions that it would remove such an important economic driver? We need our railways. This government has a duty to leave them alone.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Madam Speaker, again, it is a bit rich, coming from that member. I have said many times that we are committed to effective, safe and efficient rail service. We give VIA Rail enough flexibility so that it can operate the rail system the way it wants. We have made significant investments in VIA Rail. However, when we talk about jobs and the economy and rural Canada, the best thing for the people of Canada is Bill C-38, the bill we passed last night and that the member voted against.

EthicsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Madam Speaker, when it comes to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, the writing is on the wall. As a matter of fact, it is not just on the wall, it is on the invoice and on the personal cheque for $21,000. The responses we have received from the government on this have more twists and turns and are so contorted that if the Conservatives wanted to bury this issue, they would have to bury it in a saxophone case.

His colleague is defending him today and is certainly staking a fair amount of his own reputation on this case. Does he not see the merit in having the parliamentary secretary stand down until this case is tried?

EthicsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, no I do not, and there is no case. The reality is that the member gave the audited and verified documents to Elections Canada, which approved them almost four years ago, and he has heard nothing from the agency since.

I disagree with the NDP members' ideas, but at least they have ideas. I disagree with their policies. I think they are terrible, but at least they have policies. The only reason the Liberals ask these questions is that they have no agenda for the country. When one does not stand for something, one falls for everything.

EthicsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Madam Speaker, one thing that has become clear is that the Conservative government keeps two sets of books. We saw that the pre-election set of books on the F-35s said they would cost $15 billion. Then the AG uncovered another set of books after the election, which puts the cost at about $25 billion.

There are two sets of books going on here. The one filed with Elections Canada says that it was $1,575 for phone call services for 630 hours. That is about $2.48 an hour. No wonder these guys went out of business.

I have a direct question for my colleague. Was the $25,000 cheque—

EthicsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order, please. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport.

EthicsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, the hon. member cannot even keep his own numbers straight now. The reality is that the parliamentary secretary filed complete, audited, verified documents with Elections Canada almost four years ago, and they were approved. He has not heard a single thing from the elections agency since that time.

By contrast, this is a member of Parliament who has been working as part of our government to produce an economic action plan that has led to the creation of 750,000 net new jobs right across this country. We won the first—

EthicsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order, please. The hon. member for Trois-Rivières.

Revenue CanadaOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, things are getting clearer. According to a study by Revenue Canada, the government is considering transferring activities from the tax centres in Jonquière and Shawinigan to the private sector.

The government would be giving up incomparable expertise. We are talking about 65 full-time positions in Shawinigan and 35 positions in Jonquière. Sensitive and confidential documents could end up in the hands of a private company.

Why are the Conservatives attacking jobs and prosperity in the regions?

Revenue CanadaOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Madam Speaker, we will not comment on rumours or speculation. However, we must ensure that taxpayers' money is spent where it will do the most good. We will ensure that the government programs are efficient and effective in achieving the expected results. Of course, our government's priority is the economy and making sure that Canadians' tax dollars are being spent wisely. Our government is committed to supporting CRA and to offering Canadians a high level of service while ensuring the integrity of the tax system.

Revenue CanadaOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Claude Patry NDP Jonquière—Alma, QC

Madam Speaker, it is unacceptable. These dozens of jobs are vital to my region, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. A Revenue Canada study tells us that 35 jobs in the SP1 category would disappear from the Jonquière tax centre; more good jobs cut in the region.

Can the government confirm this number of cuts? Can it tell us how these cuts will help the economy of my Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region?

Revenue CanadaOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Madam Speaker, we will not comment on speculation and rumours, but we will say that we must ensure that taxpayers' money is spent where it will do the most good, and Canada Revenue Agency must do its part.

Under our Prime Minister's leadership, our government has delivered a low-tax plan for jobs and growth that is working for all Canadians: for individuals, for families, and for Canadian businesses.

We really need to support Bill C-38. That is part of our plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity and getting back.