House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

TransportationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the wake of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, we were all able to see just how inadequate self-regulation and self-inspection are.

Again yesterday, George Iny, spokesperson for the Automobile Protection Association, indicated that there is a lack of inspectors to ensure the safety of Canadians.

Will the government finally commit to reversing course and ensuring that we have enough inspectors to keep Canadian drivers safe?

TransportationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Essex Ontario

Conservative

Jeff Watson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I will continue. In June 2013, Transport Canada received a report of a crash in Quebec in which the airbags did not deploy when a vehicle went off the road late at night and struck multiple trees.

Transport Canada commenced an investigation. After receiving the notice of defect from GM in February 2014, Transport Canada looked at the June 2013 fatal collision in a new light. This was when the minister first learned of the accident investigation by Transport Canada.

Again, Transport Canada has determined that the loss of control was not caused by the ignition switch.

TransportationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, the serious defect in the Chevrolet Cobalt put the lives of Canadians at risk, yet the minister would have us believe that even though her department investigated a fatal accident and specifically examined the role that a faulty ignition switch might have played, she was never briefed, even though she might have been able to warn Canadians.

Is the minister not aware of what is going on in her own department, or did she mislead this House about what happened?

TransportationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Essex Ontario

Conservative

Jeff Watson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the member that the investigation in 2013 centred around an airbag that did not deploy. It was determined at the time that the ignition switch in fact was not the cause of the accident.

Transport Canada went back subsequently, after the notice of defect was served in February 2014, and looked at that accident in a new light. Again, it determined that the loss of control was not caused by the ignition switch.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, every time we ask why the 80 individuals who are currently in Canada and who broke Canadian law by participating in terrorist activities in the the Middle East have not been apprehended, the minister dodges the question.

We are not asking him to interfere in the investigations. We are asking him why dangerous terrorists who have broken the law are allowed to go free instead of being taken into custody as required by law.

Canadians have the right to a clear answer from the minister. He must give them one.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Scarborough Centre Ontario

Conservative

Roxanne James ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as that member knows, decisions to lay charges are with law enforcement, policing agencies across this country, and they are not made by politicians.

Politicians, as legislators, bring forward laws that provide the tools for security agencies and policing agencies across this country to do their job. That is precisely what this Conservative government is doing.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, there was certainly no answer there. We do know that the government has blindly cut resources all across government in order to trigger a budget surplus for election purposes.

We now know that both the RCMP and CSIS, as a result of those cuts, have had to allocate their scarce resources. Yet, the Public Safety report on the terrorism threat to Canada states that the government is aware of 80 individuals who have returned to Canada after suspected terrorist-related purposes abroad.

Is the real reason that current laws are not being acted upon because of the government's cutbacks to security and policing agencies?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Scarborough Centre Ontario

Conservative

Roxanne James ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I just stated, it is law enforcement agencies, policing agencies, across this country that actually lay those charges. What we as politicians and legislators must do is to bring forward measures to ensure that they have those tools.

I want to bring forward the clear fact that since our government took office in 2006, we have actually increased investments in CSIS and the RCMP by almost one third—

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

You have cut back in the last two years.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Roxanne James Conservative Scarborough Centre, ON

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

If the member would like to ask another question, I can actually bring those figures forward.

HealthOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the wake of SARS, the Naylor report made it clear that Canada needed a public health agency headed by a chief public health officer who could speak directly to Canadians.

Buried in the latest omnibus bill is the demotion and muzzling of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. He has been stripped of his abilities to set priorities, determine appropriate resources, and speak directly to Canadians without political interference.

Will the government reverse this latest act to muzzle science?

HealthOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Mississauga—Brampton South Ontario

Conservative

Eve Adams ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, quite to the contrary, the role of the Chief Public Health Officer is to engage and communicate with Canadians on matters of public health. This change reflects the unique nature of the position to focus exclusively on medical expertise. The role of the administration is to oversee the day-to-day administration.

The Chief Public Health Officer is supportive of this change.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the Conservatives have a budgeting problem at the Department of National Defence. On average, over the last 7 years the Conservatives have underspent 23% of funds allocated to defence.

It is a major part of the surplus, but it is happening while mental health services are chronically understaffed; critical procurement, like the joint support ships and fixed-wing search and rescue, have been delayed for years; and while soldiers are being forced out of service before they qualify for pensions.

Does the minister really think that is good planning?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba

Conservative

James Bezan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the end of the Afghanistan mission naturally led to a drawdown in the defence budget. The fact remains that in the last year that the Liberals were in office, DND's budget was around $13 billion, and now the budget is well over $18 billion and is scheduled to increase.

When we first took office we made several purchases, including four C-17 Globemaster strategic lift aircraft, 17 Hercules tactical airlift craft, 15 Chinook helicopters sitting in Petawawa, and we have new Leopard 2 tanks. All of these purchases have greatly increased the capabilities of our forces in Afghanistan, and of course here at home.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, 23% a year for 7 years, but it is not just budgeting at DND that is not working.

The minister has yet to explain what he is going to do about the over 6,000 combat uniforms that were lost or stolen last year. This is a serious security concern, given that an individual could use these uniforms to gain access to secure facilities. Even more disturbing, what about the 10,000 weapons and other accessories that are also on the missing list?

What does the minister plan to do to address this problem and deal with the serious security issues involved?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba

Conservative

James Bezan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in cases where there is serious theft or loss of public property—there is an offence here that is an illegal act—a thorough investigation is conducted. The total value of the public property lost due to illegal acts this year was $7 million less than the year before, and the majority of losses that can be attributed are due to damaged aircraft and not stolen equipment.

The Canadian Armed Forces have instituted force protection measures to ensure the safety and security of our men and women in uniform.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud NDP Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the theft of 6,000 combat uniforms and thousands of firearms is not just a matter of money. Of course it is a great financial loss, but it also threatens the safety and security of our soldiers and of Canadians. Clearly, there was negligence, and the minister must be able to explain how this happened.

The thieves now have thousands of military uniforms and could very well use them for malicious purposes. What measures will the minister take to ensure that this situation is brought under control?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba

Conservative

James Bezan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, improvements to the inventory management process have been made and are reflected in the significant decrease in lost items this year compared to the previous year.

With respect to equipment, the thefts of a reported 3,815 stolen items were actually empty magazine cartridges. The remaining items were low-sensitivity items, such as holsters, field packs, cases, and training aids, and not actually weapons.

As I have said, all cases of theft or loss result in a thorough investigation by military police.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon NDP Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers have been waiting over six years for the government to refurbish the Quebec City Armoury. They have been waiting six years for an answer that would enable them to go ahead with other tourism and cultural projects.

Having waited over six years, can they finally believe the minister when she says that the work really will begin in 2015 and will be completed for the 150th anniversary celebration in 2017? When will we see a backhoe on the armoury grounds?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba

Conservative

James Bezan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, these types of infrastructure are very important to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. We will be working with the department to ensure that this is looked at in a very expedited manner.

TaxationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister announced fantastic new measures to help make life more affordable to Canadian families right across the country.

Could the very hard-working Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance update the House on how the government is putting more money in the pockets of Canadian families so they can best raise their families themselves?

TaxationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Edmonton—Leduc for the excellent and hard work that he does on the finance committee.

The new tax cuts will help all Canadian families prosper. We are increasing the universal child care benefit for children under age six. We are expanding it to children aged 6 to 17. We are increasing the child care expense deduction dollar limits by $1,000. Thanks to our government's tax cuts, two-thirds of the benefits flow to low and middle-income families.

The Liberal leader does not understand the basics of our policy. There are just too many tax savings for him to count.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

October 31st, 2014 / 11:45 a.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, after months of dragging their feet and making excuses, Conservatives reluctantly agreed to stand up to the rail companies. Despite Conservative promises though, the rail companies have not hit their targets for three weeks and no fines have been issued, not a single one.

Why is it so complicated? The rail companies clearly have not delivered. Why has the government not followed through on its commitment?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, I think the House knows the history of this file. The rail companies failed to transport grain from western Canadian grain farmers to their clients and to destinations in an expeditious manner. The government moved expeditiously with the support of the House.

The grain movement is being reviewed to ensure that the rail companies do meet their targets. I know the Minister of Transport is looking at this very question the member has raised in the House today.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the history of this file is the government has dropped the ball completely.

Grain transport is important. It is important to farmers, it is also important to port communities and it is important to local economies across the country, like Vancouver. Now the minister clearly promised $100,000 a day fines and then mysteriously they were reduced to $100,000 a week and even that is only in theory because the government actually has not levied any fines despite the continuing problems.

Canadians want a government that will stand up for them. Why are the Conservatives so reluctant, so resistant to stand up for grain farmers and port cities across Canada?