House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was honduras.

Topics

Canal Classic
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, hockey's place in Canadian culture is more than a simple sporting pastime. It is a unifying force that brings the whole country together, regardless of age, gender, language or political affiliation. That being said, I would like to invite everyone to come down to the Rideau Canal tomorrow morning to watch the first annual Canadian Tire/Sport Chek Canal Classic. It is a hockey game between parliamentarians, NHL and Olympic alumni, representatives from the media and the team at Canadian Tire and Sport Chek in support of Jumpstart Charities.

Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities is a national charity that helps kids from financially disadvantaged families participate in organized sport and recreational programs by covering the costs of registration, equipment and transportation, thus helping more Canadian kids get physically active through sport and recreation opportunities. With the Sochi Winter Olympics just a week away, what better way to celebrate Team Canada than to strap on a pair of skates and play Canada's official winter sport, even if it is against the opposition?

Veterans Affairs
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have cut vital services that veterans rely on. They have called veterans “NDP hacks” when they complain. Now the minister has held a so-called round table. Why? Apparently it was so he could insult veterans to their faces.

In Thunder Bay, the Conservative government has betrayed local veterans and is closing our Veterans Affairs office on Friday. Second World War veteran Roy Lamore said it is “a disgrace”. This office was helping to support veterans when they were at their most vulnerable.

Our military personnel and veterans are facing a crisis. There have been eight suicides in just two months. Sadly, the Conservatives have been more focused on using the military to boost their brand than listening to veterans.

These brave men and women serve Canada with courage and distinction. Our duty is to be there for them in their moment of need, not abandon them to budget and service cuts. Members should make no mistake. New Democrats have always stood, and will continue to stand, shoulder to shoulder with our veterans.

Cyberbullying
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, earlier this year the ministers of justice and public safety launched our government's anti-cyberbullying public awareness campaign: Stop Hating Online. The campaign raises awareness of the impact of cyberbullying and makes sure youth know that this behaviour often amounts to criminal activity. Our government took concrete action by introducing the protecting Canadians from online crime act, which would create a new criminal offence to prohibit the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. This bill would give police the tools they need to do their job.

We have also launched a Stop Hating Online website as a comprehensive resource for parents and youth, with the information and tools they need to prevent and stop cyberbullying.

I am pleased that our government is taking strong steps to help protect our children and youth from cyberbullying. They deserve it.

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Veterans Affairs was disrespectful of the people he is supposed to be serving. Some of the veterans were in tears.

The Prime Minister must apologize and fire his Minister of Veterans Affairs. What is he waiting for?

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister has already apologized for yesterday's events.

The record of this government and this minister is clear. Our government has increased services for veterans without precedent and we will continue to do so.

Veterans
Oral Questions

January 29th, 2014 / 2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when the veterans complained that the minister had missed their meeting, he said he was not going to stand there and listen to that, and he stormed out. How is that acceptable to the Prime Minister?

Will the Prime Minister do the right thing, apologize himself and fire that incompetent?

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister has apologized for the events of yesterday, but the fact of the matter is that this government and this minister have increased services for our veterans without precedent.

It is an important priority for our government—it always has been—to protect those who wear the uniform and who once wore the uniform, which is why we have overwhelming support for veterans and we will continue to serve them.

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Overwhelming support for veterans, Mr. Speaker; let us look at that.

Can the Prime Minister of overwhelming support explain why the Conservative government wrote to the family of a veteran who took her own life on Christmas Day, demanding that it repay her benefits because she died before the end of the month? How could this happen?

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the Leader of the Opposition raises that question because of course it is unacceptable.

As soon as the minister heard about that, he immediately said it was unacceptable and ordered a change. That is the kind of work we get from this minister.

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is what we get from that minister after that minister has asked the family to repay the benefits. The first thing that comes to the mind of the Conservatives is to ask for the money back, not help the veterans.

On Friday they will close eight more veterans offices. One is in Charlottetown, P.E.I., where they have just doubled the ministerial staff.

Why is it more important for them to find budgets for their ministerial staff than to help Canadian veterans who risked their lives for our country?

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what the leader of the NDP will not accept is that sometimes government officials and bureaucrats make mistakes. When that happens, it is up to the elected government to make sure they do the right thing, which is what the minister has done in this particular case.

More generally, when we have a small number of duplicative veterans offices that have a very small case load, it makes a lot more sense—I know the unions do not like it—to have 600 points of service for veterans that will be closer to that—

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Actually, Mr. Speaker, the veterans do not like it either.

Until now, veterans were able to go to individual appointments to get help.

As of Monday, those same veterans, some of them over 90 years old, will have to line up at a Service Canada office only to be sent to a computer. They even talked about that yesterday when they met with us.

Does the Prime Minister understand the difference between a human and a computer?

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, veterans have access to in-person services not just in a few service centres, but at 600 points of service across Canada.

It is important that we state the facts and ensure veterans get these facts. This government is increasing points of service for veterans from a very few number of offices, the 600 points of service across the country. I know why the unions and the NDP oppose that, but this is in the best interests of veterans. They can play politics; we are going to keep delivering services to veterans.