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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

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish we were supportive of all the institutions in the UN, even those that need work.

The problem is that it is really unconscionable the Conservatives would play politics with our role in the UN. That is what is happening. It is not just words and insults; it is actually actions. We have seen the Conservatives engineer a steady decrease in our support for UN peacekeeping, as an example. Over 100,000 troops right now and personnel are working in 16 conflict zones, but less than 50 are Canadians. Peacekeepers disarm former combatants and have made it possible for millions of people to exercise their voting rights. That is what the UN stands for.

Why are the Conservatives standing against it?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there certainly has not been any change in that policy between our government and the previous government. Canada does financially support a lot of missions in Africa by other African countries so they will be African-led and African-sponsored missions.

We have, from time to time, had concern with some UN bodies and some of the actions they have taken. However, the true enemies of the UN are those who sit quietly, watching the decline. We should speak up for the UN and the important values that it represents. When it does not reach the full expectations that taxpayers and Canadians have, we should not be afraid to stand up for what is right, and we never will on this side of the House.

International TradeOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, as of March 15, the United States has implemented the full range of its free trade agreement with South Korea. The minister should know this is one of Canada's most important and established markets for Canadian pork and beef. The government talks of opening markets, but continues to allow established markets to slip away.

Why is the government failing our beef and pork industry in a market that is worth $1 billion and when will it stand up, level the playing field and negotiate for the benefit of Canadians' hog and beef industry?

International TradeOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, our government has been hard at work, opening new doors for Canadian farmers and Canadian manufacturers. We recently negotiated further steps toward opening market access to South Korea on beef. Our government remains confident that this decision will also help create a favourable climate which will lead to a deeper trade relationship with South Korea, a priority market for Canada.

International TradeOral Questions

June 8th, 2012 / 11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

And every single day we fall further behind in that market, Mr. Speaker.

The Minister of International Trade, though, attempts to leave the impression of support for supply management. However, impressions do not cover the true facts. The minister fails to answer whether he supports the three pillars that make supply management succeed and he has cut supply management from providing advice on the global trade advisory committee that has been created.

Why has the minister appointed established critics to that trade advisory committee and left supply management out?

International TradeOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I reject the premise of the member's statement. I reject his party's position on supply management.

I can tell members for a fact that there is one party in the House that has consistently stood up for and defended supply management, and that is the Conservative Party of Canada.

The Public ServiceOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' plan to slash the public service has been nothing but total improvisation. They are making cuts without beginning to understand the scope of the mess they are creating. They are incapable of managing their cuts, which are causing morale to plummet within the public service because of the excessive workload. Eventually, they will be forced to deal with a productivity crisis and a crisis in services to Canadians.

Why is the government incapable of managing these cuts in an intelligent and transparent manner?

The Public ServiceOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, economic action plan 2012 is our plan for jobs growth and long-term prosperity, keeping taxes low and debt low, while returning to a balanced budget.

We have found fair and moderate savings measures to reduce the deficit that will reduce the size of the federal public service by about 4% over the next three years. Seventy per cent of the savings identified are operational efficiencies. Departments are informing unions and employees about specific changes and will continue to communicate accordingly.

The Public ServiceOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know the Conservatives were eager to cut services to Canadians, do not believe in government and were giddier than schoolboys to gut our professional public service.

Now that the cuts are upon us, Conservative mismanagement has created confusion and chaos among civil servants. With these layoff letters, all they will get is low moral, dysfunctional workplaces, overworked civil servants and, ultimately, low productivity.

Are the Conservatives totally incapable of managing cuts intelligently and transparently?

The Public ServiceOral Questions

11:55 a.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 welcome this acknowledgement by union bosses that the current system as negotiated by unions is too rigid and inflexible. We hope we can count on the support of the opposition to streamline the process.

Economic action plan 2012 is our plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, keeping taxes low and debt low while returning to a balanced budget.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we are debating at third reading Bill C-31, protecting Canada's immigration system act. Bill C-31 would provide protection to genuine refugees more quickly, while allowing us to remove human smugglers, criminals and bogus claimants faster.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration please tell the House what the consequences would be if the NDP and Liberals have their way and prevent this important and necessary bill from passing?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Mississauga South for her question and for her efforts on the bill in her own riding.

If the bill does not pass, there will be no crackdown on abuse by bogus refugees. There will be no crackdown on human smuggling. There will be no ability to offer refugee status more quickly to those who truly deserve it in our country. There will be no protection for Canadians from irregular arrivals whose identity we have not been able to determine. There will be no cost savings of somewhere between $1.5 billion and $1.65 billion over the next five years to the provinces and territories across the country.

What I do know is going to happen on Monday when the bill is voted on is it will pass because of this government.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Lise St-Denis Liberal Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the Quebec Liberal caucus met with the a group representing all the Radio-Canada unions, Radio Canada International and the president of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to discuss the impact of the cuts to the corporation.

Since winning a majority, the Conservatives have been minimizing the important role played by the CBC in promoting our culture and identity. Furthermore, they have slashed its budget by 10%.

How far will this government go to destroy our most valuable Canadian institutions?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

Noon

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is kind of odd that question would come from that member and that party because when the Liberals were in government, they actually cut the CBC by $400 million without telling it in advance what was happening, and threw hundreds of thousands of people out of work in doing so.

What we know is that Canadians get up every day, work very hard and pay their taxes, and they have asked us to leave a little more money in their pockets. To do that they have asked all of government to work hard to bring the budget back into balance. That includes the CBC. It has more than enough money to carry out its mandate in both official languages in all parts of the country.

Archives CanadaOral Questions

Noon

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's procurement website currently lists an invitation to tender from Archives Canada to digitize our documentary heritage.

The problem is that the government is doing this right after announcing to archivists that half of their positions would be eliminated. Once again, the government wants to put what belongs to us into the hands of the private sector. Is that not strange? Who is going to do this work—Lockheed Martin?

Why is the government trying to privatize so many jobs and why does it want to hand our archives over to the private sector?

Archives CanadaOral Questions

Noon

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, each and every day we are learning more and more about the priorities of the NDP. Now we learn that they want to give billions of hard-working taxpayers' dollars to bail out Europe. We learned yesterday that the member for Toronto Centre actually wants to use hard-working taxpayers' money to bail out a convicted terrorist and murderer.

On this side of the House we are going to do all that we can to promote Canadian heritage. We have increased funding to the highest level in Canadian history.

The National Film Board is digitizing its collection of over 13,000 titles, and Library and Archives Canada is doing the same thing, because people from coast to coast to coast, not just people in the large cities, deserve access to those titles.

International TradeOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the NDP members continue to make it clear that they are anti-free traders. Shamefully, they continue to oppose our government's free trade agreement with Panama, a strategic hub. Surprisingly, the anti-free trade NDP and the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour called free trade agreements job destroying.

Could the parliamentary secretary share with the House how, unlike the NDP, our government's pro-trade plan is creating opportunities for Canadians?

International TradeOral Questions

Noon

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the NDP's anti-trade record is clear. The NDP members oppose free trade with Panama. They opposed free trade with Colombia. They even stood in the House to oppose free trade with Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. They opposed the greatest free trade success story, NAFTA. The NDP members cannot hide from their anti-trade record.

In challenging global economic times, Canadians know it is only our government that has a pro-trade plan to generate jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

Noon

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, two years ago the government ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We had hoped that the convention would be implemented, but we now realize that the follow-up report on its implementation has still not been made public and is more than two months overdue.

What is the Conservatives' excuse this time? Are they simply dragging their feet?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

Noon

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government is very proud that it ratified the agreement. Supporting persons with disabilities is very important to us. For that reason, we have introduced a number of measures to help them. We will continue to introduce measures and broaden their scope because we want a fully inclusive society.

If the NDP truly wants to support persons with disabilities, why does it always vote against initiatives to help them?

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, not content to rebuff the Government of Quebec again and again on matters such as the reduction of Quebec's weight in the House of Commons, the firearms registry, health transfers, the administration of justice and Senate reform, the Conservative government is opening a new front, this time with regard to banking services.

Why is the Minister of Finance trying so hard to protect banks by infringing on Quebec's jurisdiction over consumer protection?

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to remind the hon. member that, in the past year, our government settled a matter with the Government of Quebec that has been dragging on for over 15 years: the harmonization of the GST and QST. That is a great success.

We announced a new bridge over the St. Lawrence only 140 days after taking office, something that all the other parties had disregarded for years. We are going to continue to work. Not a week goes by that I do not speak with two or three ministers from the Quebec government to advance their causes. We can talk about an isolated case, but our government is a good partner to the Quebec government and we are going to continue to be.

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister made me laugh when he spoke about an isolated case. I gave him more than one example.

Since I have only 35 seconds, I do not have time to list all the other disputes that are going on right now between Quebec City and Ottawa. If he would read the letter that the Minister of Finance sent to the Government of Quebec about banking services, he would understand a lot better.

Clearly, the government did not learn anything from its failure on the Canada-wide securities issue. Yet, the Government of Quebec has been clear: it is unacceptable for the Government of Canada to unilaterally decide that provincial laws do not apply to banks.

Why does the minister want to leave Quebec consumers at the mercy of large banks? What does he stand to gain?

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, people are not at all at the mercy of large banks. Rather, Canada has the soundest banking system in the world. Our country is doing better than any of the industrialized countries because our financial system is very sound. Of course we will respect the provinces. We respect the ruling given by the Supreme Court in this regard. In our opinion, what is important here is the entire country's economy. We would not have been able to create 750,000 jobs since July 2009 if we were not making good decisions. Of course we are going to continue to work well and co-operate with the Government of Quebec.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Charlene Johnson, Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services for Newfoundland and Labrador.