House of Commons Hansard #218 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

PensionsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the adoption of the United Nations resolution dealing with elder abuse was meant to push the government to stop violence against seniors and the theft of seniors' finances.

The Seniors Retirees Against Pension and Elder Abuse, a grassroots organization in Fort Frances, is concerned that the government, through its inaction, condones the theft of seniors' hard-earned pensions, a form of elder abuse. According to its chairman, Allan T. Bedard, Canada has not addressed the elder abuse that is created as a result of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. Pension money belongs to all those senior retirees who worked hard all their lives, ensuring their hard-earned pensions were there to help them through their retirement years. Pensions are earned and are clearly deferred wages

Mr. Bedard and hundreds of thousands of other seniors across Canada have earned their pensions. I agree with them.

I ask my colleagues to work together to bring forward legislation now that will correct this abuse against our seniors. Together, let us make the necessary changes to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and other relevant legislation to correct this severe injustice.

Young HeroStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Friday I received a call from Ivan Whitteker of Williamsburg telling me about his 10-year-old neighbour, Tyler Barkley, who should be recognized as a hero in the riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry.

That is correct; 10-year-old Tyler Barkley is responsible for saving the life of Elsie Knight. Due to his keen hearing, Tyler heard Elsie's cry for help after she had fallen outside her home and was exposed to sub-zero weather for more than 30 hours with a broken leg.

Because of his boy scout training, Tyler sprang into action and summoned his father, and together they saved Elsie.

His proud parents are Rick and Carolyn Barkley. His equally proud grandparents are Rick and Greta Roberts, Sylvia Barkley and the late Ray Barkley, and I am Tyler's proud member of Parliament.

Community PartnershipStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Etobicoke Centre, St. Philip's Lutheran Church was looking to donate some space for community programs and Madbakh Women's Initiative was in search of a home to continue its great work in the Somali community, supported by Midaynta Community Services, helping families and children who receive tutoring and other important services from qualified volunteers in an after-school program.

Along with my office manager, Liz Gawur, I recognized the opportunity and introduced the parties to each other, resulting in an inspiring intercultural, interfaith partnership between St. Philip's Lutheran Church, Madbakh and Midaynta.

I congratulate Madbakh and its leader, Halima Saad, and Mahad Yusuf of Midaynta for their service to our community. I sincerely thank St. Philip's Lutheran Church, its pastor, Tuula Van Gaasbeek, and the congregation for extending hearth and home to Madbakh.

This is a brilliant example of how one community can share with another by bridging faith and by embracing our diversity, as only Canadians can and do.

Homelessness Partnering StrategyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal HPS, in collaboration with Canada's various regions, helps prevent and fight homelessness.

A recent study showed that, in the province of Quebec alone, over 70,000 people have benefited recently from this financial support. In Quebec City, the three new stakeholders in the Café rencontre du centre-ville have fed, counselled and supported 3,000 people. In Montreal, the Anonyme mobile intervention unit has provided education and prevention services to 1,000 men and 500 women, including a number of youths.

In my own riding of Hochelaga, the CAP Saint-Barnabé alone has renovated a rooming house for women and welcomed, fed and supported 1,800 people, and it is about to open a respite centre for homeless men and prostitutes.

The HPS is the only program to fund facilities. Its survival and enhancement are essential. The government must commit to this in its next budget.

Income TaxStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Aspin Conservative Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes the strain that tax filing season can place on Canadians. This is why we have worked hard to cut red tape and improve services for Canadians.

Last year, the mail out of income tax forms resulted in nearly 80 million pieces of paper going to waste. Canadians can appreciate that this is not a responsible use of taxpayer dollars.

Just as before, Canadians can still file using paper returns. Tax forms are available at Service Canada centres, at post offices or by phone.

I must say I am disappointed to see that the NDP is purposely trying to confuse Canadians on this issue for cheap political gains. I call on the NDP to join us in educating Canadians on the many services available to them.

If there is one thing we would expect the NDP to support, it is tax collection.

CommunitiesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the last few days for me have been an inspiring reminder of the value of strong communities. On Friday, I met with community members to discuss priorities for the upcoming budget. Whether it was John Burton from the Boys and Girls Club, Kevin Little who works with people in poverty, or Graziella Grbac from the Main Street Dartmouth Business Improvement District Association, everyone there works hard to strengthen our communities and we are grateful for them.

Then on the weekend, I saw first-hand the value of a strong community when I attended the funeral service for Joel Hopkins in Woods Harbour. The members of that community are still dealing with the grief of their tragic losses, and they are doing it together. Their collective strength was truly humbling, but not surprising because it is a very Canadian thing for community members to come together and support one another in times of need.

My job is to work hard to ensure decisions we make in this House do not weaken our communities but serve to support and strengthen them and the work they do every day.

Northern DevelopmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kyle Seeback Conservative Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government is taking action to create jobs and strengthen northern communities. We have introduced Bill C-47, the northern jobs and growth act. This act would fulfill legislative obligations flowing from land claims agreements and would contribute to improving the conditions for investment, while ensuring the north's resources are developed in a sustainable manner.

According to the president of the Mining Association of Canada,

The legislation comes at a critical time for Nunavut, with its promising mineral potential and opportunities for economic development never before seen in the territory's history.

Indeed, under the unprecedented leadership of the Prime Minister, our commitment to creating jobs for northerners and all Canadians has never before been seen in our country's history. We continue to take action to ensure that Canada's north is a prosperous region within a strong and sovereign Canada.

Cape Breton CentenariansStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, the Cove Guest Home in my riding held a centenarian tea party in celebration of 10 residents who marked this milestone. I was honoured to attend these festivities and share the stories of their journeys over the last century.

I rise today to recognize these Cape Breton centenarians: Ethel Nicoll, Lillian MacKeigan, Mary Campbell, Harriet Dean, Charles Wall, Dinah Doucette, Jack Yazer, Mabel MacDonald, Mildred Boutilier and Beulah MacLeod.

I thank the board of directors, staff and the many volunteers of the Cove Guest Home. Since 1944, they have been providing a warm, welcoming and nurturing atmosphere for their residents. It was my pleasure to share in the celebrations last Friday, and I would like the House to join me in wishing a very happy birthday to all the recipients.

International TradeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, one in five Canadian jobs is generated through exports. While our government is engaged in the most ambitious pro-trade plan in Canadian history, the New Democrats are stuck in their archaic, anti-trade ideology. Here is what the NDP's trade critics have said. One former critic said he supports the efforts of big-union bosses to stop further trade negotiations with Korea, Japan and the European Union. Another described free trade agreements as “job-destroying”. Yet another former trade critic, the member for Burnaby—New Westminster, said free trade has “cost Canadians dearly”.

Canadians support opening new markets to increase Canadian exports to create jobs and economic growth here at home. While the New Democrats stand consistently against all free trade deals, our Conservative government is standing up for the interests of hard-working Canadians.

EthicsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, across Canada, employment insurance recipients are wondering when they will get the next knock on their door from a Service Canada investigator. Last week, leaked documents revealed that EI investigators can go so far as to ask mothers on maternity leave for proof of their delivery date. Anything goes in the name of fraud prevention.

However, it is a very different story when it comes to Conservative senators. The Senate operates on an honour system. That is right; the people under investigation for residency claims and improper expenses, not to mention partisan work on the taxpayer dime, are to be trusted on their word alone.

I know Conservatives love their Senate and love packing it with their cronies. It makes me wonder who will be next in line for the gravy train. After all, B.C. has a vacant seat. Maybe the Conservatives are holding it for Christy Clark. I hear she will be looking for work soon.

TaxesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, since 2006 our government has brought in countless measures to help Canadian families, including bringing in the working income tax benefit, which has helped more than one and a half million Canadians and removed one million Canadians from the tax rolls completely.

We have also provided the largest increase in GIS benefits to seniors in over a generation, removing 380,000 seniors from the tax rolls.

We have also lowered the GST from 7% to 6% to 5%.

In contrast, the NDP voted against these measures and wants to impose higher taxes on Canadian families to pay for its risky spending plans. That party wants to impose a $20 billion job-killing carbon tax that would raise the price of everything families pay for, including gas, groceries and electricity.

The NDP's plan to raise taxes is a bad plan. It is bad for Canadians, bad for families and bad for the economy

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the CBC obtained documents that reveal the tactics being used by inspectors against EI claimants during home visits.

Inspectors must ask questions about the identity of children and the parentage of claimants. They are also told to check claimants' bank accounts and even to comment on claimants' physical appearance.

If the Conservatives thought the long form census, which was anonymous, was too intrusive, how can they justify such an invasion of privacy?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, our employment insurance system is essential to Canadians, to communities and especially to unemployed workers.

Service Canada has a duty to protect the integrity of the system, so that Canadians who pay into it can receive benefits when they need them.

The NDP is fearmongering on this issue, but all Service Canada programs and processes are meant to protect the integrity of the system so that we can keep our EI system intact.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, unemployed workers get the secret police. Meanwhile, senators do not even have to say where they live.

The Auditor General revealed that when it comes to expenses, the Senate operates on the “honour system”. Senators are not required to provide any documents even as they submit claims for tens of thousands of dollars.

Why the honour system for senators and home interrogations for the unemployed?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the second part of his question is, of course, not true. Hyperbole aside, the NDP leader should know better than to fear-monger about those in our society who are most vulnerable.

With regard to the Senate, yes, of course, we do believe that senator's expenses need to be appropriate. They need to be transparent and available to taxpayers. We do believe in that, and we are taking measures to ensure that those transparencies are made a reality.

Equally, we are following through on our commitment to reform the Senate to make sure that we have Senate elections and term limits for senators. If the NDP actually believes their rhetoric about modernizing the institution, they will stop blocking this legislation and move forward in a responsible way.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, actually, the guidebook for EI home inspectors makes it clear that they are required to demand financial records—one set of rules for the unemployed; another for their unelected, unaccountable, unapologetic senators. The Auditor General discovered that senators do not even have to provide any details to the administration in order to be reimbursed.

Why do they continue to defend Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau while treating the unemployed as if they were a bunch of liars and criminals?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, it is funny—the same person, two different arguments. On the one hand, the leader of the NDP likes to, of course, trash individuals and an institution, but on the other hand, just last week, in this place, he tabled Bill C-476, where the leader of the NDP actually wants to give new powers to the Senate over officers of Parliament.

If the leader of the NDP is actually serious about reforming the Senate, he would get behind our effort to have an elected Senate with senators who have term limits. He can do so in a responsible way rather than trashing individuals, and on the other hand, putting forward legislation to empower an institution that he says has had its best day behind it.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have no idea what to do about Senate reform and so have opted to let the Supreme Court of Canada deal with it.

It is a rather strange contrast nonetheless: the Prime Minister relies on an honour system for the Senate, but treats honest job-seekers like common criminals.

While we try to nail down where senators' truly live, the Conservatives might go so far as to have unemployed workers take a lie detector test.

Even Michael Fortier agrees with us that the Senate must be abolished.

When will the Conservatives do something to put an end to the wasteful spending?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I believe that the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages already answered. We are attempting to restore democratic elections in the Senate. Those reforms are, of course, being blocked by the NDP, which allows me, now that I'm on my feet, to refer to the fact that in cultural news, the New Kids on the Block are on a reunion tour. Perhaps the member across the way, who donated 29 times to the separatists, could launch his own boy band, New Kids in the Bloc, with hit singles like “Let Me Go”, or “Gilles, It Just Hasn't Been the Same Since You've Been Gone”.

Public SafetyOral Questions

March 4th, 2013 / 2:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The Hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie has the floor.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us not forget that the Bloc Québécois was a Conservative Party creation.

When we rely on the honour system with the Conservatives, we end up with appointments such as that of Arthur Porter. The police have proof that millions of dollars earmarked for a hospital were funnelled to certain individuals. Thanks to the Conservatives, Dr. Porter was part of this corrupt scheme, which was going on while Porter was overseeing Canada's intelligence activities. At the same time, he was making cheques out to the Conservative Party. The Conservatives appointed him, even after a background check.

How did they manage to get a major criminal to oversee their intelligence at—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I find it interesting that the NDP thinks that it can speak on behalf of matters of ethics. Let us take a look at the New Democrats' illegal union money. They took some at their convention in Quebec City in 2006, in Halifax in 2009, in Vancouver in 2011. That is more paying gigs than the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay had when he was a band member. They really do know how to put the union back in reunion tour over there, do they not?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, in his gloomy presentation to the public, the Minister of Finance said that the answer to the recipe for slow growth was going to be more public sector layoffs and more austerity. On the weekend, he said that he did not like the competition among the banks to provide lower interest rates to consumers for their mortgages.

Can someone over there explain why the government's recipe for the economy is more austerity, less competition and less of a break for consumers? Why is that the recipe?