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House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was force.

Topics

International CooperationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, given the F-35 fiasco he served up, my guess is that the minister does not understand the numbers.

Most of the countries that have been cut by the Conservatives are in the bottom 25% of the UN human development index. These cuts hurt the people most in need around the world. We must do our share in the world.

Will the minister acknowledge that the government is cutting aid to some of the poorest nations in the country? Is that what he means by being selective?

International CooperationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, we are not cutting aid to nations on a humanitarian level. We are meeting all of our commitments. Canada is lifting way above its level. I might also add that in spite of the criticism from that member, we are getting praise all over the world for the kindness and generosity of Canadians in helping those with greater needs. It is a shame that the NDP does not recognize that.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are looking for answers.

I asked the minister a number of questions about her poor management of the Canada Revenue Agency. Her response was to make cuts to services.

We are learning today that thousands of single-parent families have been deprived of millions of dollars because of a miscalculation. That money should have been used to buy school supplies, clothing and food.

Is the minister going to apologize to those families for this serious mistake? How long will those families have to wait before they are reimbursed?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I was very disturbed to learn that so many Canadian families had not received their full children's benefits. I have expressed very strong concern to the commissioner at the CRA and my clear expectation that this situation be resolved as soon as possible.

I want to sincerely apologize to the Canadian families who have been affected. I can also assure members that the CRA will be apologizing to the Canadian families affected by this error as well.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is going to take more than words to pay back those families.

Under the Conservatives, it has been anything goes at CRA. Not only have corruption allegations been mounting, but now we find the agency cannot even follow its own rules. More Conservative mismanagement means families across the country are being shortchanged.

When will the minister finally take responsibility and what is she doing to clean up the mess?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we certainly do regret when these kinds of unfortunate errors occur and the impact that they have on Canadian families.

I can assure the hon. member that we are doing something. I have asked the Taxpayers' Ombudsman to conduct an investigation into this issue to ensure that this type of situation never happens again.

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, with unemployment stubbornly high with 165,000 young Canadians giving up on finding a job, with trade deficits rising and median income falling, it is time for MPs to bite the bullet on their own pensions. If Canadians need to suck it up, so do we. Liberals are ready for it.

I challenge the Prime Minister to commit today to that reform in the form of a single stand-alone bill that is not mixed in with other bills, like Bill C-38, so that Liberals can unequivocally vote for it.

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his exuberance. He must be ready for takeoff on some project of his own.

Insofar as the business of the House is concerned, of course, we have previously indicated that we think it is fair for parliamentarians to move up to a 50-50 cost share when it comes to their pension plan. Certainly the House will be seized of this issue in due course.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

September 19th, 2012 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the City of Vancouver released its analysis showing that the cutting of the Kitsilano coast guard base, the busiest one in Canada, will put people's lives at risk. Perhaps the Conservatives do not think it is their job to worry about those people and that is why they are trying to pass the buck.

However, the City of Vancouver cannot pick up the slack from that service gap and that is why our mayor has asked for a meeting with the Prime Minister, to explain to him why this is a bad decision and must be reversed.

Will the Prime Minister meet with the mayor, and if so, when?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated many times, the first and foremost concern of the Canadian Coast Guard is the safety of mariners. The Coast Guard is confident that the changes proposed to the search and rescue network in Vancouver have been completed. There will be no negative impact on our ability to respond quickly and effectively to distress incidents on the water. In fact, the Coast Guard held a series of round table working group meetings in Vancouver over the summer to ensure a smooth transition to the new system.

AsbestosOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I know that you would be concerned to learn that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer the world has ever known. In fact, more Canadians now die from asbestos than from all other industrial causes combined, never mind the made in Canada epidemic that we have been exporting to third world countries and developing nations.

Putting a warning label on a sack of asbestos simply is not good enough. Why does the government not join the rest of the developed world and ban asbestos in all of its forms, ban the production, sale and export of this terrible carcinogen, as the World Trade Organization, the WHO and everyone else agrees should be done?

AsbestosOral Questions

3 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I was in my riding last Friday to announce Canada's position: Canada will no longer oppose adding chrysotile asbestos to annex III of the Rotterdam Convention. At the same time, I also announced $50 million in diversification funds for the workers and families of the affected regions. Our government cares about the future prosperity of the regions and families affected, and they can count on our Conservative government.

AsbestosOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, it has taken months, but we finally fixed the broken record—hooray!

Last Wednesday, the Conservatives announced that they would stop opposing the classification of asbestos as a toxic substance and its inclusion in the Rotterdam Convention. Just one tiny piece is missing, and we will try to fix that. It is not enough to simply stop opposing it: the government must support the new classification. It is a question of public health and Canada's reputation.

Will the Minister of Industry do the right thing and admit that asbestos is harmful to public health?

AsbestosOral Questions

3 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, in case my colleague did not understand my answer, I repeat that Canada's position is to no longer oppose the inclusion of chrysotile in annex III of the Rotterdam Convention. That said, in my own riding last Friday, I had the privilege of announcing a diversification fund for the regions affected. The families and regions affected can count on a Conservative government for their future prosperity.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Roxanne James Conservative Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday a judge in Ontario decided that repeat violent and sexual offenders should not be forced to prove they are not dangerous offenders, that it was “A breach of an individual's...rights”.

The individual in question is a repeat sexual offender who attempted to choke one victim by putting lace around her neck, and another victim was wounded, maimed and disfigured while the individual committed aggravated sexual assault.

Parliament has already decided that repeat criminals convicted of serious violent and sexual crimes should have to prove that they do not pose a risk to society. Is that too much to ask?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is not at all too much to ask, and our Conservative government will vigorously defend the constitutionality of all our legislation to the highest courts in this country if necessary. We have acted to protect Canadian communities from repeat violent criminals. In fact, provincial attorneys general supported this legislation, law-abiding Canadians have supported it, and even the chronically soft-on-crime opposition parties voted for it. This government will not rest when it comes to strengthening our justice system and standing up for the rights of victims. That is what Canadians want.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, every year Chris McBride of Kingston helps 300 indigent people do their taxes and get their GST credit and Trillium benefit. Some have trouble passing the security tests on the phone because, for example, they go for years without filing and they move several times a year and do not know their last filing addresses. This used to be fixed with an in-person interview at their local CRA office, but that service is being cut.

Do the Conservatives think that it is not their job to worry about those vulnerable people? What has been prepared at CRA to protect the level of service to them?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I have said in the House previously, the way that Canadians file their taxes is changing. The way that Canadians access information from CRA is changing. There are more and more services being offered online. Therefore, in-person interactions with the agency only accounted for about 2.5% of all interactions with the agency last year. A dwindling number of people are using the service.

Canadians can visit their local Service Canada location for assistance and the CRA will provide in-person meetings for issues—

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Pontiac.

AgricultureOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, this summer's drought is threatening the livelihood of thousands of Canadian farmers. In the Pontiac, hard-working men and women may lose their farms because of the disastrous state of their crops. They do not have water and feed for their livestock. This has been going on for months, and there has been no assistance from the government. They need help now, not a year from now, when it will be too late.

Can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell us what he is going to do today to help our farmers?

AgricultureOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, as in every region of this country, we have programming at the federal level and the provincial government level—our partners in this enterprise—to address these types of issues. There was a little thing in Quebec called an election, which has slowed down the assessment. We are more than willing to get back to work. I understand the new cabinet will be named later today. I look forward to working with my new provincial colleague from Quebec on this issue.

AgricultureOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, today the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the OECD, reiterated that our government's decision to deliver marketing freedom to western Canadian farmers is a positive change for Canada.

While the opposition wants to impose a job-killing carbon tax on food production and groceries, can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell the House how our government is supporting farmers?

AgricultureOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the member for Medicine Hat is absolutely right. His farmers, my farmers and farmers from all across western Canada are embracing the opportunities that they now have available to them under the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act that we passed earlier this spring. Today's OECD report said that the end of the single desk “is a positive step to enhance proactive risk management by farmers”. We absolutely agree.

What farmers really consider risky is the NDP leader and his cohorts' job-killing carbon tax that would immediately raise costs for farmers and destroy their bottom lines. We will not let that happen.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, like other war resisters, Kimberly Rivera came to Canada because she did not want to serve in the Iraq war, a war she believed was unjust. She built a life here in Canada. Two of her children were born here. Yet she is scheduled for deportation tomorrow.

Will the minister do the humanitarian and compassionate thing? Will he do the right thing and allow Ms. Rivera to stay?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, military deserters from the democratic United States are not refugees under the internationally accepted meaning of the term. However, all individuals have the right to due process, and once they have exhausted all of those legal avenues we expect them to respect our immigration laws and leave Canada.

The one thing on this side of the House that we understand is that President Obama's administration does not persecute American soldiers. Just a warning to the other side: I hope members agree with that statement.