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House of Commons Hansard #212 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was citizenship.

Topics

Co-operativesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry recently made comments that may lead people to believe that the Business Development Bank of Canada, the BDC, is about to invest $10 million in a capital fund for co-operatives in Quebec, or that it has already invested that amount.

However, bank officials say that it is not the case, because the bank's current mandate does not allow them to invest in such a fund. The Senate has already proposed, in a report, a change to the bank's mandate. Bank officials would like the mandate to be changed, and co-operatives across the country would also like it.

My question is very simple: when will the BDC's mandate be reviewed and revised?

Co-operativesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raises the issue of co-operatives. We agree that co-operatives are an economic engine in our country, and that they create jobs. That is why we followed up on the report's findings and repatriated the co-operatives branch in the Department of Industry.

As for the BDC, it was a major player in the support plan, when the time came to inject accelerated funds, during the financial crisis. The BDC is still providing support. Funds are available, both for co-operatives and for technology. The BDC is undergoing a review process, which will be properly carried out, as it should.

Co-operativesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is empty rhetoric.

The question is on BDC's mandate. The act requires that the mandate be reviewed as of 2010. If I am not mistaken, the review process began in July 2010. Section 36(2) of the Business Development Bank of Canada Act provides that the minister must report to this House within one year after the review is undertaken. That was in July 2010 and this is now February 2013. It has been more than two years.

Therefore, why does the minister not comply with the legislated deadlines imposed on him? Why does he not comply with the law of Canada?

Co-operativesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, many reforms and initiatives were announced in recent months.

Canada is now positioning itself as one of the best countries, when it comes to the economy in general. We were the last to enter the recession and the first to come out of it.

Over 900,000 net new jobs were created since the recession. The BDC has indeed played a role in this. It continues to do so, and the review is ongoing.

Airline IndustryOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

José Nunez-Melo NDP Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada lags far behind the United States, Europe and Asia when it comes to protecting passengers against the shoddy practices of airline companies.

The bill on the air passengers' bill of rights would ensure that Canadians' vacations are not ruined by airline companies in the wrong. Some Conservative members have openly said that they will vote against the air passengers' bill of rights.

Why are the Conservatives abandoning Canadian travellers?

Airline IndustryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we support a competitive system that serves the interests of passengers. We support a system that gives passengers a choice of airlines so they get better service and a good price at the same time.

The NDP is proposing a horrible regulation that will increase costs for passengers and workers in the industry.

I would add that the cost of fuel is also significant in this industry. Therefore, a carbon tax will also hurt passengers.

LabourOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, workers at the St. John's airport have been on strike for almost six months. They just won their case at the labour board, proving they are bargaining in good faith. Now they want their employer back at the bargaining table.

With the Minister of Labour attending a management luncheon in St. John's today, will she interfere in yet another labour dispute by crossing a picket line at the St. John's airport or will she do the responsible thing and respect this legal strike at this critical time?

LabourOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, both I and the minister have been disappointed that we have not found an opportunity for these two parties to come together. The minister continues to monitor the circumstances and the federal mediator remains involved in assisting both parties in coming to a reasonable solution. We encourage both parties to work together to come to an accommodation in the best interests of Canadians and the Canadian economy.

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

February 15th, 2013 / 11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to standing up for small businesses, especially in their dealings with credit card companies. That is why we introduced a code of conduct to ensure that small businesses and other merchants were treated fairly. The same goes for their customers.

While the NDP voted against the code, we have continued to work with small businesses and retailers to ensure their voices are heard.

Could the Minister of State for Finance tell the House how the code continues to respond to the needs of small businesses?

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, our government has released new guidelines to better protect small businesses from unfair trading practices when it comes to credit cards for merchant fees. We are committed to making this code flexible and responsive to the needs of small businesses.

Let me read a quote from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business as it applauds this move. It states, “Going forward this is going to be a huge change. The saving for businesses is going to be massive”.

However, shamefully, the New Democrats voted against the code. I am not sure what they were thinking when they were opposing small businessmen.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of National Defence strangely claimed that he stood up for veterans against their own lawyers. Was he standing up for veterans when more than five years ago he refused to even negotiate for them? Was he standing up for veterans when he argued all the way to the Supreme Court that they should not even have the right to bring their case forward? Was he standing up for veterans when he fought them in Federal Court to deny their pensions and failed?

When the minister said that he was standing up for veterans, did he really mean he was standing up to them?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.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, the minister was clear yesterday. As soon as the court decision was rendered, our government took action.

In January the government announced an $887 million agreement had been reached with the veterans' counsel, which we can all agree is a tremendous assistance to the veterans and their families. The government believes that legal fees of $66 million or $13,000 an hour is grossly excessive. We would rather have the money go to the veterans and their families.

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, although the Conservatives have decided to scrap their horrible Bill C-30 on Internet snooping, we wonder if they will manage to plant their controversial measures in another bill.

Bill C-12 contains hidden measures that would allow the government to obtain personal information without judicial oversight.

If the Conservatives are really serious about abandoning their Internet snooping bill, then why did they not withdraw Bill C-12 as well?

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

Noon

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, Bill C-12 will better protect the personal information of consumers.

We are trying to bolster consumer confidence in on-line shopping. Recommendations were made by the committee and we want to implement them quickly. If the NDP wants to vote immediately, we would be very pleased to move forward with this bill.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, the rogue state of North Korea has continued its provocative actions. They are truly a threat to international peace and security. Now we have credible reports that over 200,000 North Koreans are being held in political prison camps. There is no freedom in North Korea.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs please inform us whether Canada will support an international investigation into human rights abuses in North Korea?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

Noon

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the situation in North Korea is appalling. Canada has raised concerns at the United Nations about the deplorable human rights situation in North Korea.

We have imposed sanctions and a controlled engagement policy. Some have called for a commission of inquiry. Canada will work with our allies to support any work that will shine light on the abusers in North Korea, and bring international pressure on this regime to give its citizens the rights they deserve.

Canada PostOral Questions

Noon

NDP

Denis Blanchette NDP Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister of state responsible for postal services was quite the jokester yesterday with his email comment, but he did not deny the possibility that they might reduce mail delivery from five to three days a week. Not to mention all of the post offices that are being shut down.

If the rotating strikes by Canada Post employees, who were calling for protection of their pension and better wages, were going to ruin our economy, could the Conservatives explain what will happen to the economy if we permanently reduce postal services?

Canada PostOral Questions

Noon

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to quality mail service for all Canadians, no matter where they live.

If that member and his party were serious about mail delivery, they would not have blocked our attempts to restore mail delivery in the spring of 2011. Rather than help us, they lined up with their big union bosses and delayed the mail delivery, which had an effect on the economy and actually accelerated clients using other methods, such as email.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives keep bringing in their ideological measures and are undermining the employment insurance system.

Even though 50% of unemployed workers are not eligible for benefits, the Conservatives keep adding restrictions. For example, workers are forced to accept lower-paying jobs further away from home, there are quotas to cut $40,000 a month, pregnant women could end up disqualified, and now the work-sharing program is becoming stricter. These are the kinds of tricks the Conservatives are using to make unemployed workers pay off the deficit.

How can the minister claim day after day that workers will still benefit from employment insurance while she is in the process of dismantling the whole program?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

Noon

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is not true at all.

Here are the facts. We want to help people find jobs in their region and in their area of expertise. This will be better for workers, their families and their communities. If there is no position available in their region and in their area of expertise, employment insurance will be there, as always.

Aviation SafetyOral Questions

Noon

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was passing through Kelowna, a beautiful area, recently and discovered that the RCMP presence in the Kelowna airport and also the Victoria airport in my own riding, which has been there for 10 years in a security agreement for medium-sized airports across Canada, will end at the end of March this year.

I do not know how much community consultation took place or what security arrangements were made instead. Certainly Kelowna is an area where local law enforcement worries about a drug trade that goes through the Kelowna airport, heading to northern Alberta.

Would thePrime Minister inform the House what security measures would replace those that are now being removed through cost-cutting in our airports?

Aviation SafetyOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the deployment of RCMP assets is an operational decision and certainly we do not involve ourselves politically in the day-to-day operations of the RCMP.

I do appreciate the question, though, because it gives me the opportunity to talk about the tools that we are giving front-line officers, including the RCMP, to do their jobs.

I would ask the member to support our initiatives, especially the one currently before the House, Bill C-42, which would enhance accountability, again, and give the RCMP and front-line officers the tools that they need.

Aviation SafetyOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Is the hon. government House leader rising on a point of order?

Aviation SafetyOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, for the past two days we have seen a sudden show of enthusiasm from the opposition for one of our pieces of legislation, Bill C-12. I would like to seek the unanimous consent of the House at this time that, notwithstanding any other element of the Standing Orders, Bill C-12 be approved at second reading and sent to committee.

Aviation SafetyOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?