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House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was support.

Topics

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our government will always act in the best interests of the country. As we have said, this transaction will be examined very carefully. I must also remind my colleague that the Investment Canada Act contains provisions to protect national interests. These are provisions the NDP voted against.

She spoke about company executives. I can say one thing: company executives can rest assured that we will not leave them out in the cold by bringing in taxes that are too high and by opposing any form of trade and investment in the country.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, when oil industry executives have more concern about Canadian sovereignty than the government, we know there is a problem.

People are concerned about opening the floodgates to other foreign governments buying up our natural resources. No matter how much the Conservatives furrow their brows and point to their shoelaces, if they refuse to act we will have the slow hollowing out and the nationalization of our resource sector by other governments.

What is it going to take to get one of those ministers up on their feet, listening to the real concerns of Canadians?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, when we speak with the business community and entrepreneurs, the ones who created the wealth in this country, they tell us that they are very afraid of the proposed NDP carbon tax, $21 billion of revenue. They are afraid of the NDP's approach of anti-trade, anti-business, and anti-investment.

I am speaking about Canada. I am proud to be Canadian. Everything we have done on this side of the House is in the best interests of Canada.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

September 26th, 2012 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is Right to Know Week and we are supposed to be focusing on the benefits of transparency and accountability. Do members remember those words?

However, the Conservative government is marking it by hiding cuts from the Parliamentary Budget Officer and by hiding the true cost of the F-35. Now the Prime Minister has a secret cabinet committee on cuts that is chaired by the minister of gazebos himself.

When will Canadians get access to the information that they have paid for with their tax dollars?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:30 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 am not quite sure what the hon. member is referring to. I am chairing a new cabinet committee which was announced in a news release by the Prime Minister's Office. That is not exactly the way to be secretive, I would assure the hon. member.

We believe that the budget officer should concentrate his time and his energy examining how Parliament and the Government of Canada spends its money, not fretting about money we have not spent. That is the fundamental difference.

We will be accountable to Parliament on all of those expenditures.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Let me try it again, Mr. Speaker--

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Vancouver--Quadra.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister obviously did not understand the first time.

This is Right to Know Week, which is about promoting transparency. However, the government has chosen to mark the occasion by being secretive. It is refusing to provide information about cuts to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, and it is refusing to disclose the true cost of the F-35.

When will Canadians have access to the information that, as taxpayers, they are entitled to receive?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:30 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, as I have said, we will continue to report to Parliament in the usual ways, including the estimates, quarterly financial reports and the review of public accounts. We are keeping our promise to be accountable to the House.

We continue to have that kind of accountability. It is the normal course to report on these things and we will continue to do so.

We are spending money to benefit the people of Canada and we will continue to do so.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, talking about being kept in the dark, Canadians are being kept in the dark about the Nexen deal. We need to know exactly what is being considered in the proposed deal and what percentage of foreign ownership the government will allow in Canada's resource sector. Canadians want to know.

Why has the Prime Minister not been answering these questions? Why is the Prime Minister refusing to be transparent with taxpayers?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we will always act in the best interests of the country. The Liberal Party, Mr. Canada, never turned any single deal in the country.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Once again, I am passionate here, Mr. Speaker, because these guys are trying to say that we are not working in the interests of the country. However, I can say that this transaction will be scrutinized very closely.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development made a comment that demonstrated this government's contempt for people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

She said, “...when they do work, they will always be better off than when they do not.”

The minister does not care that people lose 50% of their benefits if they compensate for their loss of earnings by working one or two days a week. The minister believes that, as long as they are earning something, it is not her problem.

Is this all the consideration that the minister has for unemployed workers?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we want to help people find work when they lose their jobs and that is what we will do. However, we will also encourage them and give them money if they work while they are receiving benefits.

For example, Tracy, who receives $264 a week in employment insurance benefits, works three days a week and earns $12 an hour. Before, she would have been able to keep $106, but now she can keep $144.

We are here to help unemployed workers.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is just as we thought. The Conservatives do not have any consideration for unemployed workers.

The chair of the regional conference of elected officials in my region, the Gaspé, said that 80% of that region's economy depends on seasonal workers.

What does the minister's reform involve? Is she suggesting that fishers from Rivière-au-Renard fish all year? There are not enough fish in the sea to fish that long.

She is attacking restaurant owners in Percé. Should they stay open all year too? There are no tourists in Percé in the winter.

She is attacking forestry workers in Chandler. These people will have no choice but to leave the area.

Why are the Conservatives going after the Gaspé?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is completely false. If seasonal workers cannot find another job, then employment insurance will be there for them, as it always has been. However, if they can find work, they will be better off than if they were not working.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe what we are hearing.

It is not just the Gaspé that is being attacked.

Alain Cormier and his wife, two of my constituents who work at the Village Historique Acadien, learned that a pilot project that added five weeks of unemployment in their area ended on September 15, 2012. This means that neither he nor his wife will have a damned penny to pay their bills in the spring of 2013.

And they are not alone. All seasonal workers will suffer the same fate.

Why will the minister not extend the pilot project? In the spring, they will not have a damned penny to their names to pay their bills.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I heard a word that I believe is unacceptable. I hope the hon. member will clarify this after question period.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, this pilot project that gave people five extra weeks was introduced during the global recession. We knew that it would be even harder for people to find other jobs, and that is why we extended benefits, but things are better now. Those programs were meant to be only temporary.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary NDP St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, here is a scenario faced by a new mother in my riding. I spoke with her last night. Doreen is a French teacher, who has been on maternity benefits since January. Two weeks ago, she was offered a part-time job of four hours a week teaching French from her computer at her home. However, with the new EI changes, she will lose 50¢ on the dollar. By the time taxes are removed from her paycheque, she will not have enough to pay for diapers.

Why is the government punishing new mothers?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, right across this great country of ours we have, despite high unemployment rates in some areas, shortages of skills and labour.

In many cases, the EI system has discouraged people from working.The changes we are making are going to help most Canadians be better off when they work than when they do not. That is the objective because we need all the skills and talent at work that we can possibly get.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Tremblay NDP Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not seem to understand, so we will explain what does not work.

The mayor of Saint-Siméon, in Charlevoix, wrote to the Prime Minister. He spoke about “a serious threat to the survival of our small rural communities”, communities that depend on seasonal industries. How did the minister respond to this mayor, who is afraid that 40% of his residents will move out of the region? With indifference.

Will the minister finally listen to reason and reconsider, or is she washing her hands of the matter to the detriment of our regions?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the member obviously does not understand what we are doing. We are encouraging people to work. It was our government that introduced support for workers to help them seek and find work and prepare for interviews. We want to help people work. We want to encourage them to work, not prevent them from working. Unfortunately, the NDP voted against all our initiatives.