This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

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

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again the Conservatives have workers in their sights. The government wants to reform pensions and potentially create a two-tier workforce by forcing new hires to work longer than their colleagues. Besides forcing new workers into longer careers, this insidious decision could eventually lead to pay and benefits cuts.

Will the Conservatives come clean? Does the minister intend to raise the retirement age of Canada's public service to 67? Yes or no?

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 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, the question is about bringing public sector pensions in line with the private sector, to ensure that the plans in the public sector are sustainable in the long term. That is our goal and now the NDP and the big union bosses do not like that. They like to complain about that. However, the fact of the matter is this is the standard in the private sector. We think it is being fair and reasonable to public sector employees while being accountable to the taxpayers of Canada.

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, finally, we have the beginning of an answer, but it is still far from being enough. A lot of information is missing. Financial security at retirement is important to Canadians and we need more information.

First, Canadians were surprised that the government was increasing the age of eligibility for old age security, and now we learn that the Conservatives want to reform Canada's public service pension plan. Who is next on the ministers' list?

Can the government tell us when it will officially increase the retirement age for workers?

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 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 already said, with the 2012 economic action plan, there will be changes to the public service, but at the same time, we will have a system that is more sustainable over the long term. Yes, it is another challenge, but the NDP and their union buddies want the status quo. That is not in the best interests of Canadian taxpayers.

It is not for the benefit of taxpayers. We will be in favour of change.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP supports a carbon tax that would kill jobs and increase the price of almost everything, but our Conservative government is focused on economic growth, job creation and long-term prosperity.

Can the minister tell the House about changes to our diplomatic ties in the Asia-Pacific region?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this morning, I had the pleasure of announcing that Guy Saint-Jacques will be our new ambassador to China.

I know Mr. Saint-Jacques personally, and I have full confidence that he will be able to maintain strong ties between our two countries. He is fluent in Mandarin, and this will be his fourth posting to China.

I know that all members of Parliament will join me in wishing Guy and his family the best as they return to China.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are going to do more than dismantle 50 years of environmental protection with their mammoth budget bill. They have a cavalier attitude. They did not even take the time to consult Canadians about the colossal changes they are making to environmental assessments. And now they are trying to make things right with limited consultations, by invitation only, months after the damage was done.

Why did the minister not consult Canadians before ramming these changes and their consequences down their throats?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that she is right, that we are conducting consultations widely across the country with stakeholders and partners.

In answer to her direct question, until the legislation was tabled it would have been inappropriate for us to consult. I can assure my colleague that we are fully engaged now.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the changes to environmental assessments affect the communities of all Canadians. They affect water quality and the food people eat. And the people were not consulted. Seismic testing, dams, wind farms and power plants do not require any federal environmental assessment whatsoever.

When the Prime Minister said that he wanted science-based approvals for projects, what kind of science was he talking about? His own?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague knows full well that the deficiencies in the previous Canadian Environment Assessment Act were well reviewed in committee in this parliament and in previous parliaments.

The improvements and strengthening that we brought forward in CEAA 2012 are there for all Canadians to see. As we move forward, implementing the new provisions of this improved law, we look forward to input from all stakeholders and partners.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, speaking of projects that no longer require environmental assessment, let us talk about the Oshawa ethanol plant.

Until the Conservatives rammed through their bill to dismantle the Environmental Assessment Act, the project was going to be subject to a full federal environmental assessment, but thanks to the minister's reckless changes the federal government has abandoned this process. The same project on one day deserves environmental assessment and the next day it does not.

Why are the Conservatives so afraid to let communities have their say?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, again, my colleague knows full well that CEAA 2012 provides for the Government of Canada and the Environmental Assessment Agency to focus on the large and most significant projects that are being proposed across the country.

The 2,000 to 3,000-plus screenings that were in effect under the previous act are now the responsibility of lower levels of government but are still subject to the same strict federal environmental laws.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are afraid of democracy. They are afraid of Oshawa city council's rejection of an environmentally risky ethanol plant, so they took over the waterfront and appointed their buddies to the port authority.

The Conservatives killed the environmental approval process and rubber-stamped the ethanol plant. When 300 people showed up to ask questions last night, the Conservative chair would not even let them speak.

Why will the Conservatives not listen to the people of Oshawa? What are they afraid of?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the NDP members are always negative. They are negative about trade. They are negative about investment. They are negative about energy. We are focused on jobs and prosperity across this country, and at every turn the NDP is trying to stop that.

We are proud of the $10 billion our government has invested in clean energy initiatives and a cleaner environment. That is three times as much as the previous government. We are proud of the significant investments we have made, which are supporting renewable power and renewable energy sources across this country. We will work to continue to develop jobs and long-term prosperity for Canada.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, U.S. inspectors caught E. coli contaminated meat at the border on September 3. U.S. inspectors had to inform our food inspection agency that we were shipping contaminated meat. It took the CFIA two weeks to notify Canadians. The recall keeps expanding. The U.S. has banned imports of XL Foods beef and we just learned people are getting sick in Edmonton from XL steaks.

Clearly, Conservative cuts are hurting food safety and trade. Will the minister tell us if we should continue to rely on Americans for our food safety and will he stop trivializing the risk?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Canadian consumers can be assured that they are a priority for us when it comes to food safety. We have enhanced the capacity of CFIA to handle these types of outbreaks.

Canadian food safety officials began containing the contaminated products on September 4. We have hired additional manpower for them to get this done. We will introduce important new legislation very soon. We hope the Liberals will support us.

PensionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, a Towers Watson study says years of volatile stock markets and low interest rates have made Canadians feel very vulnerable about their pensions and retirement. Employees are willing to sacrifice their pay, bonus opportunities and even time off if it will secure their pensions. Canadians are understanding more and more every day how important pension security is, yet the government continues to slash support for the most vulnerable.

Now that the government's PRPP proposal has been discredited as nothing more than a tax on the poor, when is the government going to get serious about pension security for Canadians?

PensionsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, I guess that is one group's opinion. However, some 60% of the people in Canada's workforce do not have a workplace pension plan available to them right now. We have put forward an option that provides a pension for them which they can contribute to. I have no idea why the opposition would actually vote against 60% of the workforce that do not have an option. The opposition said no, that is not right. We are moving forward with the pooled registered pension plans in conjunction with the provinces. We think that is good to help Canadians.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, despite promises from the Prime Minister to not reopen the abortion debate, today the House will vote on Motion No. 312 that does just that. New Democrats are the only party united to stand up to vote for women's equality. This is not a matter of conscience; it is a matter of rights. Canadians have heard a lot from Conservatives and others in the House, but the question is what those members will do tonight. Will they stand up to defend Canadian women's rights?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the New Democrats were part of the subcommittee that allowed this matter to come before Parliament. All I can tell them is if they disagree with that or if they find this very upsetting, they should take it up with their committee members and pass it on to their House leader.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister must show leadership. He must be clear with his cabinet and all his members. Women's right to choose is not negotiable. It is not a question of conscience, but a question of equality and fundamental rights.

Will the cabinet ministers who vote in favour of Motion M-312 have the courage to stand up and explain why they want to strip Canadian women of rights and why they are breaking their election promise?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is the New Democrats who have been unclear. They were part of the committee that allowed this matter to come before Parliament. That is all I can say to the member. If it is very upsetting or if those members disagree with that, they should pass that on to their House leader along with all the other issues they disagree with, and tell the House leader what a bad idea a carbon tax is, socialism. The list goes on. It is endless. That is what she should do and report back to Parliament.

Public SafetyOral Questions

September 26th, 2012 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Roxanne James Conservative Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government, thankfully, has shifted the focus from that of former Trudeau era solicitor general Jean-Pierre Goyer, who said that it was time to take the focus off public safety and put it on the rights of convicted criminals. I can assure the House that our government will always put law-abiding Canadians first.

Later today the House will vote on my private member's bill, Bill C-293, which cracks down on vexatious complaints from prisoners. Will the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety be voting for this very important bill?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by congratulating the member for Scarborough Centre. This is a common-sense goal and a bill that our Conservative government supports. It will put an end to frivolous and vexatious complaints from inmates. For example, some of them are complaining about the temperature of their food or the lighting in their cell. It will give correctional officers the ability to focus on real, legitimate complaints.

I would encourage the opposition, the NDP and the Liberals, to support the bill. It is common sense and is very much needed.

National DefenceOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in a fit of Napoleonic grandeur the Minister of National Defence crowned himself advocate in chief for our soldiers. Since this is a new position for him--