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House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the parliamentary secretary could let us know how he feels about sitting behind a former Bloc member.

Yesterday, it was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister with serious allegations and outstanding questions swirling around his head. These are on top of and separate from Conservative voter suppression investigations.

The problem is that the Conservatives just keep refusing to take action in answer for their crimes. They blame others and ignore the facts.

At what point do the Conservatives start to admit they may have done a few things wrong? Where is their decency and humility?

EthicsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, every member of this Conservative caucus believes in a united Canada. Every one of us on this side of the House believes in supporting a united country.

On that side of the House that party has a member who donated to Québec solidaire while he was sitting in the federal House proposing himself as a future cabinet minister in this country. One has to start believing in the country before governing the country.

I am hoping that some member of that party will stand and confirm whether its entire caucus is federalist and whether its entire caucus believes Canada should stay united.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, clearly the Prime Minister thinks he is a dictator. We just need to listen to what he said in France yesterday. He said, “If it's the case that we're spending on organizations that are doing things contrary to government policy, I think that is an inappropriate use of taxpayers' money and we'll look to eliminate it”.

My goodness, why does the Prime Minister make such outrageous statements whenever he is out of the country? Is he afraid of Parliament?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our Prime Minister constantly talks about Canada being a world leader on the international stage because we are. We are a leader in job growth and we are a leader in ensuring security in our financial system.

With regard to our environmental regulations, we have a great balance between ensuring predictability and timeliness in our review process and ensuring that the environment is still protected.

We also support research across the country. It is one of the cornerstones of our budget. We are proud of our budget and I hope the Liberal Party will support it.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, in an order paper question response, the Minister of Public Works said that after she received DND's submission on the F-35's she interviewed another manufacturer “to discuss their ability to meet the DND mandatory capabilities”. Shortly thereafter, and with indecent haste, the minister signed off on the F-35's as sole sourced.

Last night on national television it was exposed the powerful and pervasive influence of lobbyists on military procurement.

I have a simple question. Who was the lobbyist and who was the manufacturer?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as has already been communicated to the publicly funded broadcaster for its shockumentary dramatization last night, Canada's involvement in the F-35 program, as the member would know, goes back to 1997. It was in fact under a previous government. The decision in 2010 to purchase the F-35 was based on the advice of officials within the Department of National Defence, the Department of Public Works and members of the Canadian Forces, and, in fact, not lobbyists at all.

The member also knows that we have a secretariat now in place to increase transparency and accountability and reporting to the public. We will wait on that advice.

No money has been spent thus far on the acquisition. Funding is frozen at this point.

Copyright ActOral Questions

June 8th, 2012 / 11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, experts have testified that digital lock provisions in the Conservatives copyright bill will be a big benefit to software pirates.

The Conservatives are making it illegal for Canadian companies to conduct CSI-type investigations to prove a crime was committed. Countries, like New Zealand, allow these types of investigations but the bill would not.

Why are the Conservatives aiding and abetting software pirates?

Copyright ActOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the copyright legislation that the hon. member talks about has been before the House for a few years now. In fact, it had more consultation probably than any bill that has ever been before the House.

As we heard during the committee process, witness after witness commended the government for finally moving ahead on something that was long overdue.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the government decides to fundamentally change a program, talking to those who will be affected by those changes is the least it can do. However, the Conservatives are too scared to talk to seasonal and contract workers and the millions of other Canadians being denied EI through this irresponsible, careless and ill-conceived change.

Can the minister show a bit of decency and consult with Canadians before imposing changes that are going to turn their lives upside down?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, people need to understand what we are trying to do. There is a labour shortage across Canada. That is why we want to help the unemployed who might not know that there are jobs available at their skill level, near where they live. We want to help them find those jobs. It would be better for them, their employers, their families and for the community. That is what we want to do to help Canadians and their families.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are not connecting people to jobs, they are uprooting people from their communities and forcing them to work for less. The ministers across the way, whose lavish lifestyles have upset many Canadians, should come down from their ivory tower. They are sabotaging tourism, fisheries and agriculture, and they are stealing money from seniors. They are doing all this from the comfort of Ottawa, without consulting anyone.

Does the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development realize that her job is to help people, not ignore them?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I have travelled across the country to listen to people. What I have heard is that there is a Canada-wide labour shortage. Every worker in Canada is needed to fill that labour shortage and do those jobs.

There are things in the employment insurance system that prevent and discourage people from working. We are going to change that. We are going to improve things so that workers have jobs, which will help both employers and the employees' families.

EmploymentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, summer is approaching and many young Canadians are looking for work. They are looking to put their education to use, get a job and contribute to the economy, but the job market in Canada for youth is very bleak. There are 250,000 less jobs for young people than there were before the recession.

What is the response from the Conservatives? They pat themselves on the back as they shut down youth job banks.

It is our universal responsibility to leave more to the next generation. Why are the Conservatives so happy to leave less?

EmploymentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to helping young people get jobs, we certainly would not take any lessons from the NDP. Why? Because our government increased funding to the Canada summer jobs program, helping over 30,000 students get the experience they need for the job market as well as funding to help their way through school. Of course, the NDP voted against that.

We have added an additional $50 million in this current budget specifically to help young people who face challenges finding jobs to get the work experience they need to get the jobs for their future. The NDP is voting against that.

Thanks to our youth employment strategy, over—

EmploymentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Scarborough—Rouge River.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, again, more self-congratulations, but no real help for unemployed young Canadians.

In Toronto, we are still witnessing rising joblessness with an unemployment rate that is higher than the national average. Toronto is home to a thriving tourism industry and many contract workers. However, without any consultations, Conservatives are ramming through EI changes that will hurt tourism and force workers in Canada's most expensive city to take a 30% pay cut.

Will the minister put the brakes on her reckless EI changes?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, what we want to put the brakes on is the member's reckless misunderstanding of the truth. We are working to help Canadians, whether they are in seasonal jobs, or other jobs or if they have lost their jobs to get back to work sooner. We are providing them with information about jobs of which they may not be aware. We will help them get the skills they need to apply for the jobs and keep them.

We will also ensure that anyone who works part-time, someone who is unemployed and on EI, will always be better off working than just being on EI.

AgricultureOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, while we know the opposition members vote against food safety funding at every opportunity they get, our government is committed to food safety. Canadian families want to know that when they go to the grocery store, their food is safe. Consumers want more diverse foods than ever before and technology is constantly changing the way food is processed.

Could the parliamentary secretary please explain what the government is doing to modernize our food safety system and to continue to keep Canadian families safe?

AgricultureOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Crowfoot for his hard work on food safety for Canadians.

Our government is committed to strengthening food safety for Canadian families and the safe food for Canadians act would create a more consistent inspection regime and would implement tougher penalties for those who would risk food safety. Bob Kingston, the president of the union representing food inspectors, says that the government is “taking the best of each piece and putting it under one roof”.

I ask that the opposition to put politics aside and join with our government and with consumers in supporting safe food for Canadians.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, we are shocked to see the extent the military's public relations machine is being used to protect the military instead of helping the public and the family understand the facts of the 2008 suicide of Afghanistan veteran Stuart Langridge. His family members became increasingly frustrated with the lack of information from the investigation, which was supposed to be provided to them. They even had to wait over a year to learn that there was a suicide note addressed to them.

Why is so much energy and effort put into a communications strategy to hide the truth when the efforts should have been put into finding out what went wrong in the tragic death of this soldier?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it was a tragic death. The loss of anyone, any soldier or any Canadian to suicide is a tragedy. We have expressed our condolences to the Fynes family. I have met with Corporal Langridge's mother. In fact, we have put additional funding into the Military Police Complaints Commission process, which is ongoing. As the member would know, there are funds there, over $2.3 million, to ensure commission counsel and additional funding for the Fynes family into this affair.

Being a lawyer, the member would and should know that this process is ongoing and we should wait for the result.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the amount of time and energy put into this communications strategy by the military to hide the facts as to what happened to one of its own is deeply worrying. The lack of transparency goes straight to the top as the Minister of National Defence is still refusing to release all documents in this case. This is looking more and more like a coordinated effort to damage control, rather than helping to get at the truth.

When will the Minister of National Defence stop trying to combat negative media coverage and instead focus on combatting the lack of transparency in his own department?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member knows that the entire premise of his question is false. He repeatedly puts false information before Parliament and before Canadians.

With respect to protecting clients, the member also should know, being a lawyer, that the Supreme Court has specifically spoken out on this issue. The Blood decision of 2008 said, “Solicitor-client privilege is fundamental to the proper functioning of our legal system”. The decision went on to say, “Without that assurance, access to justice and the quality of justice in this country would be severely compromised”.

The member is the one who is compromising the truth by repeatedly putting false information forward.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, despite their denials, it would appear that the Conservatives want to abandon the United Nations. When the United Nations points out that there is a lack of access to food for Canadians who are poor, what do the Conservatives do? They throw insults at the rapporteur. When the UN flags government responsibility to prevent torture, Conservatives make vague threats about funding. The Conservatives are in such a rush to bash the UN, they are tripping all over themselves.

Will the minister tell Canadians this? Are the Conservatives planning to pull out of the UN, or are they just playing to their base?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me answer that question from my friend from Ottawa Centre very directly. The answer is no. From time to time, we have concerns about actions of certain UN agencies, but by and large we have a very good relationship with the UN.

Canada has been a strong supporter of the Special Envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, both diplomatically and financially. We have been a strong supporter of the work of Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General, in her work on humanitarian relief. We have been a strong supporter of the United Nations World Food Programme. Canada is the second largest supporter of the excellent work that program does.