House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was oil.

Topics

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

That, Mr. Speaker, is the Attorney General of Canada.

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. In about 25 seconds the members of the government can feel free to applaud the member for Gatineau, but I will ask them to wait until then, when she has finished asking the question, and not before then.

The hon. member for Gatineau.

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, telling Justice Nadon that he should resign and join the Quebec bar shows how low the Conservatives will go.

The Prime Minister said that he refused to speak with the Chief Justice about the appointment, but his office was giving pointers to Justice Nadon. Even the one dissenting voice, Justice Moldaver, noted that this would be absurd.

It shows that the Conservatives knew all along that appointing Justice Nadon was a problem. Therefore, why was this suggestion made, and by whom?

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as throughout this story, I am not going to comment on unnamed courageous voices who are speaking to the press about this. I can tell the member the process that we followed.

As the hon. member herself knows, being part of that process, there were names that came forward, that came from the Federal Court. We know Mr. Justice Nadon's name was among those names. We also know it was in fact that member who described Mr. Nadon as a brilliant legal mind, and I agree with her.

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I guess somebody will have to teach the minister the difference between being competent and eligible.

The worst part is that Justice Nadon reportedly expressed his disagreement with the suggestion from the Prime Minister's Office, and even after that, they still consulted former justice Ian Binnie to find out what trick they could use to circumvent the law.

The question is simple. Why did the government stubbornly insist on still proceeding with the appointment of Justice Nadon? Why did it take such a huge risk?

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, that is a very good question.

We went ahead with this process on the advice of two former Supreme Court judges, Binnie and Charron. We went ahead on the advice of Peter Hogg. We went ahead on the advice of a committee, of which the member was a part.

We went ahead on the presumption that the numerous Federal Court judges who had applied to be members of the Supreme Court of Canada believed, as she, apparently, and her leader do not, that Federal Court judges were in fact eligible. The word is “eligible”.

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know the Prime Minister hates the Canada pension plan. We know he will get a strong, stable government pension. Maybe that is why he so outrageously dismissed Premier Wynne's concerns about retirement savings with nothing but a smirk and a platitude.

Two-thirds of Canadians who work in the private sector will have trouble making ends meet when they retire. How can the Prime Minister make such a mean-spirited comment?

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, at face of this Ontario campaign is a Liberal premier who wants to raise taxes on businesses and ordinary citizens by $100 a month. This is a huge tax grab from a government that is already proposing to hike hydro rates by 40%.

It looks like the federal Liberals are on the same track, high taxing, high spending Liberals who want to ruin jobs and opportunities, not only in Ontario but throughout Canada.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, he and his boss, the Prime Minister should just butt out of the Ontario election.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Markham—Unionville still has the floor.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the NDP member for Western Arctic wrote to the Minister of Employment and Social Development to complain about the fact that low-skilled temporary foreign workers were being overpaid. That same NDP member said that higher salaries were making the program “unworkable”.

Does the Minister of Employment and Social Development agree with the NDP that paying temporary foreign workers market wages is harmful to the program?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism

Mr. Speaker, that is the first time I have been asked a question about NDP policy.

It is true that I received a letter from the member for Western Arctic, which was published in the media. The member was complaining about the fact that employers have to pay temporary foreign workers a reasonable wage. It is not the only letter I received from NDP members.

However, I received similar letters from Liberal members as well.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have not seen such a Liberal letter.

It is not just the NDP that wants to suppress Canadian wages, it is the Conservatives. In 2009, the Conservative member for Yellowhead wrote to ask that an employer in his riding be allowed to pay foreign workers less. In 2012, the government did just that.

Was the minister leaping into action in response to a caucus proposal, even when that action resulted in the deliberate suppression of Canadian wages? Was that his intent? Is that why he did it?

EmploymentOral Questions

May 8th, 2014 / 2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism

Mr. Speaker, since the member for Markham—Unionville is getting up on his soapbox and pretending to be holier than everyone else on this issue, I must remind him that his own leader asked us to overturn the refusal of a temporary foreign worker application by one of his favourite restaurants in Montreal.

Then when I put the moratorium on the food services sector, the member for Markham—Unionville complained about it and said we should lift it for one of his favourite restaurants in his constituency.

It was the Liberals who created the low-skill stream in 2002, and let us not forget that it was the Liberals who admitted 600 strippers as temporary foreign workers every single year. That is their record.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the temporary foreign worker program has become a real free-for-all. Even federal ministers and a political office are using the program to recruit staff.

The Department of National Defence, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Agriculture Canada, Health Canada and even the Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness have qualified to hire temporary foreign workers. I cannot believe that in a country with a population of 34 million they are unable to find qualified employees to work for the government.

When will the minister realize that the program is flawed and needs major changes?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism

Mr. Speaker, that is completely ridiculous. First of all, the political assistant the member mentioned was hired by the PQ government of Quebec, not the federal government.

Yes, it is true that Agriculture Canada hired two scientists with very specific skills, much like there are Canadians working abroad as experts in certain fields.

The NDP members were complaining about the program rules being too stringent.

I have a letter from the member for Halifax complaining that it is unreasonable to ask employers to continually complete lengthy and cumbersome LMO applications, creating a heavy administrative burden on employers. She wants us to streamline the whole program.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, before all of the details of the Conservative fiasco came to light, the NDP thought that this program was well managed and so we promoted it. Clearly, we cannot trust the Conservatives to properly manage programs.

The government claims that the temporary foreign worker program can be patched up. However, given that the Conservatives would rather hire temporary foreign workers to work in the federal public service than young Canadians who have just finished university or experienced Canadian workers, there is a serious problem.

When will the minister finally decide to call on the Auditor General for help?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, this question shows that the member has no idea what she is talking about. We are talking about a few Canadian scientists who needed to hire other scientists from overseas with a very specific skill set to work on specific research projects.

Does the NDP believe that we should not let scientists from overseas come to Canada to work on research projects? That is ridiculous.

Letters or no letters, the NDP wants to streamline the process.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is pretending to fix the program but has failed to stop abuses, failed to protect Canadian jobs, and failed to clean up the mess he has made of this program. He claims to acknowledge the problem, yet he is even authorizing the hiring of temporary foreign workers to work in government departments.

Will the minister acknowledge that he is acting just like the Liberals when it comes to mismanaging labour market opinions?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism

Mr. Speaker, is it really the position of the NDP that when government scientists in Canada require the collaboration of scientists from overseas with specific skills, they should not be permitted to do research in this country? Is it the position of the NDP that when foreign military forces have an exchange program with Canada, they should not enter Canada? That is exactly what the member is complaining about. Those, believe it or not, are temporary foreign workers.

However, it is funny that I have a letter here from the member for Halifax complaining about the approval times in the program, complaining that we ask employers continually to complete lengthy and cumbersome LMO applications that create a heavy administrative burden, and asking that we streamline the LMO process.

We did not listen to her.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

There is a lot of hypocrisy on display today, Mr. Speaker, just like when the minister—

EmploymentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EmploymentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. This is now the second time I have had to remind members to hold their applause until the member is finished asking the question. It is taking a lot of time, and I would hate to run out of time toward the end of the list. I will ask members to come to order.

The hon. member for Newton--North Delta has the floor.