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House of Commons Hansard #199 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was criminal.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the Conservatives are dismissing the work of the government of India on safety.

With the government, when Canadians see rules, they see loopholes. Let us look at the Conservative House leader's inability to admit that the Minister of Finance and the parliamentary secretary for health broke the rules when they tried to intervene in a CRTC dispute.

Did he not read the ethics commissioner's ruling that said that he not only broke the rules, but told him not to pull those stunts again? How about a change here? How about “I am sorry?” How about “The government will not break the rules anymore?” How about that?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I think I have answered that clearly.

It is not unheard of for MPs to write to the CRTC. In fact, I have a letter here that says, “Freedom of speech is an essential fabric in our Canadian culture” this MP said, writing to the CRTC. “It is something we treasure and preserve”. Then, with regard to the application, he said, “I whole heartedly support this venture and urge the CRTC to approve the application”.

It is signed by the NDP MP forTimmins—James Bay. That is what he wrote to the CRTC.

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder Conservative London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada exports world-class goods, services and expertise to markets around the world as a key part of our government's economic action plan. It is designed for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

Africa is one of the most dynamic regions in the world. According to the International Monetary Fund, 5 of the world's 20 fastest-growing economies are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade share with the House how our government's focus creates new opportunities for exporters in my city of London and for companies across Canada as we open up markets in this region?

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, Canada is committed to creating opportunities for Canadian businesses and workers, including in London West.

This week the Minister of International Trade is leading a trade mission to Ghana and Nigeria. He is accompanied by representatives from 28 Canadian companies, promoting industries in high demand in developing countries.

Canadian companies are creating jobs and prosperity throughout Africa. This is yet another example of how deeper trade is a win-win for Canadians and for our trading partners around the world.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, never have so few unemployed Canadians been eligible for employment insurance. This is a failure. The Conservative reform penalizes the economy in the regions that rely on seasonal work and limits workers' access to the benefits they themselves paid into.

The Quebec National Assembly, the Association québécoise de l'industrie touristique, the Fédération québécoise des municipalités and thousands of protestors have spoken out against these changes.

Why has the minister not taken action?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, these changes are meant to clarify the responsibilities of employment insurance claimants. One of their responsibilities is to make a responsible effort to look for another job.

Employment insurance exists to help these people and to provide support while they look for a new job. We are helping these people find jobs, but if they cannot find one, EI will obviously be there for them, as always.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows full well that her EI changes will force out-of-work Canadians to accept a pay cut of up to 30% in their next job, driving down wages and likely pushing some people into poverty.

The minister wants unemployed workers to simply accept low skill, low wage jobs or risk losing their benefits altogether. These are benefits that the workers paid for, not the government.

Jobs are scarce in many parts of our country. Why are the Conservatives punishing Canadians for the government's failure to manage the economy and create decent jobs?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, in fact, there are skills and labour shortages in many parts of this country, including in areas of high unemployment. We are trying to help connect those who are out of work with the jobs that are available in their geographic areas and their areas of expertise so that they and their families will always be better off when they are working than when they are not. We are trying to help connect Canadians with jobs. I wish the NDP would help us help them.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister can try to sugar-coat these reforms, but the resource regions are not buying it.

Workers from all over the Gaspé and New Brunswick are very worried. Up until now, the minister has refused to meet with representatives for the workers or for the economic sectors affected.

Will the minister stay in her ivory tower or will she visit these places to see the full impact of her reform?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the NDP needs to stop fearmongering.

We have said it many times: claimants have a responsibility to make an effort to find work. However, if they cannot find a new job in their community and in their field of expertise, EI will be there for them, as always.

We are trying to help people find a job.They will receive much more money if they are working than if they are not working.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, thousands of people throughout eastern Quebec and Atlantic Canada have mobilized against the Conservatives because they know an attack on their communities when they see one. It is blatant and it is not just EI.

Conservatives allowed Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation to give millions of dollars for a marina with little local benefit but strong Conservative ties while singling out ACOA for cuts. When will the minister stand up for Atlantic communities and stop the short-sighted Conservative cuts to regional development?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Conservative

Bernard Valcourt ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, if the hon. member cares to look at the budget of ACOA, he will find that all programs, either for community development or business development, are fully and solidly funded. As a matter of fact, we have turned down no application for lack of funds. We continue to help small and medium-size businesses to create jobs in Atlantic Canada. By the way, they are taking advantage of the huge naval shipbuilding initiative which will create thousands of jobs all across Atlantic Canada.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism keeps himself busy with photo ops and junkets, he ignores the serious problems in his department. Under his watch, the department is in chaos and does not have the proper resources to process applications. Nineteen regional offices have closed. Front-line services across Canada have been slashed. Visa offices have closed abroad. Citizenship processing times can reach over five years.

When will the minister stop focusing on rhetoric and start improving immigration services?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the member is entirely wrong.

Since coming to office, this government has admitted 1.6 million new permanent residents, an average of 256,000 per year, which is 16% more than was the case for the 13 years under the previous Liberal government. We have welcomed 1.2 million new Canadian citizens to our national family, an average of 176,000 new citizens every year, which again is more than under the Liberals.

When we came to office, we inherited from the Liberals a backlog of 840,000 people waiting eight years for a decision on their permanent residency applications. I am pleased to announce, thanks to the measures taken by this government, which were opposed by the Liberals, that we have almost cut in half the backlogs and the wait times.

Human Resources and Skills Development CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have a quick update on the lost student loan files.

First, over half a million Canadians had their private information stolen. Next, the minister offered to pay for coverage that is already free to Canadians in eight out of ten provinces. Then, the company providing that service said that the protections are not enough. Now we find the government's own Financial Consumer Agency advises to use at least twice the level of protection as a minimum.

Canadians are once again left paying for this government's incompetence. When is the minister going to find a real solution to this very real problem?

Human Resources and Skills Development CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, without doubt, this loss of information was absolutely and completely unacceptable. That is why we brought in the Privacy Commissioner. That is why we brought in the RCMP to investigate. Fortunately, there is no evidence so far that any of the data has been fraudulently used.

We are going one step further. We are helping protect the credit ratings and information of these individuals. We will be doing so for six years at no cost to them.

To prevent further episodes of this nature, I have instructed significant change to the way that data are handled by the department so that no one else has to be at this risk.

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Finance was out there breaking ethics rules lobbying the CRTC in his capacity as minister, thousands of regular Canadians were also out there trying to make their voices heard about a new unfair billing practice. Over 10,000 people have already signed a petition against forcing Canadians to pay a fee just to receive their bill in the mail, the way they always have.

It is a simple question. When will the Conservatives stand up and protect Canadians from being ripped off?

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have the code of conduct that all of them signed on to. I know the NDP voted against it. I know the Retail Council of Canada was in favour of it. I know that consumer groups were in favour of it and that small businesses were in favour of it, but the leader opposite laughs at all of them because he does not care what their views are about protecting consumers in Canada.

That is the purpose of the code. The code functions well. It is being used across the country.

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a code that is not working if one is a senior. It is the most vulnerable being hit here: seniors, people on fixed incomes, people with little or no access to the Internet. The CRTC has said the fee is “an increased burden on consumers on limited incomes”.

Instead of going to bat for their big business buddies and their insider friends who are well connected, when will the Conservatives stand up and protect Canadian seniors from this ripoff?

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is speaking of banking fees, there are some differences in the fees being charged and some changes that are being made by some of the large Canadian financial institutions. I welcome consumers across Canada, as informed Canadians, to make sure that they exercise choice not only between banks, but also credit unions and other financial institutions in Canada.

MaliOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Conservative Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Mali continues to cause us great concern. The number of internally displaced people continues to rise and the humanitarian situation continues to worsen.

Canada has been among the most generous countries in the world in its humanitarian work in Mali over the past few years. Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please give the House an update on our government's most recent announcement to help the people of Mali?

MaliOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I commend the member for Don Valley for his interest in this issue.

As we speak, the Minister of International Cooperation is in Ethiopia at meetings of the African Union. Earlier today he pledged $13 million to support the people of Mali in their humanitarian needs during this crisis.

Since last year, Canada has provided more than $75 million in humanitarian aid. The people of Mali can continue to count on Canada's support during this crisis, and we will help them move towards stability, security and prosperity.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, a recent Conference Board of Canada report has again ranked Canada as scraping the bottom of the barrel in environmental performance, ranking 15th out of 17 countries. This is another embarrassing grade for the government on the environment.

The Conservatives could help improve their negative performance by changing their reckless decision to close the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area.

Would the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans do the right thing and restore funding to this valuable scientific facility?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, over the past five years our government has provided significant funding in new investments in research and science. Economic action plan 2012 continues that trend by committing to cleanup efforts for Lake Winnipeg and Lake Simcoe and supporting research, education and training with new funding for universities, granting councils, and leading research institutions, such as Genome Canada.

Co-operativesOral Questions

January 29th, 2013 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, in response to the Special Committee on Co-operatives, all the Conservatives did was transfer responsibility for co-operatives to Industry Canada. That is worrisome.

They have already gutted the Rural and Co-operatives Secretariat and cancelled the Co-operative Development Initiative. Industry Canada is also facing major cuts.

In light of this, can the minister tell us what additional resources he will provide to help co-operatives flourish?