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House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was businesses.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the last group to talk about EI should be the Liberal Party, which raided EI to the tune of some $60 billion. It is hardly in a position to talk about what we are going to achieve, which is a balance in the EI account.

As to their ill-conceived, back-of-the-envelope policy, basically, it would encourage firing temporary and seasonal workers.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, economists from Jack Mintz to Mike Moffatt have slammed the Conservative plan, saying that it will discourage job creation and economic growth. Liberals have a better idea: an EI break for firms that actually create jobs.

Today the CFIB endorsed our plan, saying:

Love the #LPC plan to exempt small biz from EI premiums for new hires.... Lots of job potential.

Will the Conservatives listen to reason and adopt the Liberal plan for jobs and growth?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said, our plan, which will put $550 million in the hands of small businesses, will create 25,000 new jobs. It will be affordable, and it will work.

We have created 1.1 million jobs since the depths of the recession. We are going to continue to work for hard-working Canadians, and we are going to achieve a surplus, which will enable us to do more.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the CFIB and economists like Mintz, Moffatt, and Gordon all support the jobs approach of my colleague, the member for Papineau.

At a time when there are 230,000 more unemployed Canadians than before the recession, and 240,000 fewer jobs for young people, the country needs a relentless focus on new and incremental jobs. The government's plan does not do that. It caps employment, and it even incents layoffs, but for that exact same money, such failings can be fixed. So why not?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our plan will work, unlike the Liberal plan. The CFIB has supported the plan, because it understands that it will create 25,000 new jobs. It will alleviate the tax burden for the great employers in this country, our small businesses. Some 780,000 businesses will benefit from this, 90% of all businesses.

We are proud of the plan. We know it is going to work, and it is supported by small business and the CFIB.

Social DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadians are waiting years for a hearing at the Social Security Tribunal, and now, with the lowest ever access, Conservatives reveal that this was part of their plan all along. Instead of helping, Conservatives decided that tribunals would simply hear 25% fewer cases.

Seniors, the unemployed, and people with disabilities are left years without income waiting for an appeal. Why are the Conservatives making it almost impossible for vulnerable Canadians to exercise their right to appeal?

Social DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as is often the case, the member gives new meaning to “hyperbole”. One thing she does not recognize is the very significant progress made by my department in reducing by some 90% the number of employment insurance appeals, because the department is now actually handling reconsiderations internally, resolving these cases without people having to make an appeal. This has reduced by 90% the number of EI appeals and has reduced the processing time for EI appeals from six months under the former board of referees to two months now.

When it comes to getting benefits to unemployed Canadians, we are getting the job done faster.

Social DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is completely different.

Since the new Social Security Tribunal was established, thousands of Canadians have been waiting for their appeals. Their employment insurance or pension cheques have been held up as a result. Now we are learning that the Conservatives have made draconian cuts to the tribunal's operating budget and that they want to reduce the number of appeals heard by 25%.

Clearly, the Conservatives are hoping that the congestion in the tribunal will save them money. It is obscene.

Why is the government trying to save money on the backs of our society's least fortunate?

Social DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, at least the New Democrats are consistent linguistically. They repeat the same rubbish in French and in English.

We have seen a very welcome reduction of 90% in the number of appeals made by employment insurance claimants because my department reviews rejected claims. This has resulted in a 90% reduction in appeals. We have also cut the time it takes to process appeals, from six months to two months.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to a study released this morning, half of all Canadians are unhappy with health care wait times.

In 2014, the Conservatives cancelled the transfer of $250 million to the provinces, funds that were supposed to reduce wait times. Thus, the Conservatives broke their 2006 election promise. They also cut regular health care transfers and refused to listen when it came time to create a pan-Canadian health care plan for seniors.

When will the Conservatives show some leadership and work with the provinces to reduce wait times?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the government has shown leadership on wait times by providing $1 billion for the provinces and territories to establish guarantees in wait time priority areas. We have seen some very good progress with the provinces. They have met almost 80% of their time targets, including for radiation therapy, hip replacements, and hip fracture repair. We will continue to work with them, but this is an area they are focused on.

I would remind the member as well that we know from the recent report of the Canadian Institute for Health Information that we have the highest level of physicians now working in Canada. This is a tough challenge for the provinces and territories, so we stand ready to support them.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is ignoring the fact that her government actually cut the money for wait times in this country. As we can see today from the new report from the Wait Time Alliance, Canadians are becoming increasingly frustrated with this government's inaction. In fact, 94% of Canadians are concerned about waiting too long to see specialists, and a majority of Canadians, according to a poll, believe things have gotten worse, not better, under the current government.

When will the government finally provide the leadership Canadians are looking for and work with provinces to reduce wait times?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have done exactly that, and of course, we have given all the tools necessary to the provinces and territories in terms of funding, and up to $40 billion annually, year in and year out by the end of the decade, and are also providing funding above and beyond that to help them reach their priority areas for wait times. They are seeing some results in the areas where they have set priorities for wait time guarantees. We are working with them on that.

This is a complex area. As I have mentioned, we have more physicians now working in Canada than ever before, so it is more than just availability of doctors. The provinces are working on better models of care, and we will support them to do more.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the United States and its allies have carried out airstrikes against ISIL and Syria. As members are aware, ISIL has been using Syria as its launching pad for its operations in Iraq. These airstrikes were aimed at key ISIL areas, including ISIL's stronghold, Raqqa.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs please comment on this latest development?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada is united with our allies in recognizing the need to address this barbaric terrorist threat. We will not stand idly by while ISIL continues its murder of innocent civilians and religious minorities. Inaction is not an option. That is why Canada has deployed Canadian Armed Forces members to provide strategic and tactical advice. We have provided funding to support regional efforts to limit the movement of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria, and we support the U.S. efforts to conduct airstrikes against ISIL in Syria.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

September 23rd, 2014 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the recent conflict in Gaza took a tragic toll on civilians, especially children. Yesterday the Canadian Medical Association Journal published an editorial in support of Dr. Abuelaish's initiative to bring injured Palestinian children to Canada for treatment. Health professionals are willing and able to help. Canadians want to help. Will the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration do the right thing and immediately grant visas for these children and their caregivers?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

Mr. Speaker, we applaud the humanitarian instincts of those who want to assist victims of Hamas. We recognize the importance of ensuring that innocent victims receive the medical support they need close to their families and their loved ones. That includes avoiding the medical risks and dangers of being transported overseas.

Our government is exploring options with international partners and stakeholders on how best to deploy Canadian medical expertise, financing, and material to support victims of Hamas and to create sustainable medical solutions in the region. We will continue to work with our allies on this.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the Middle East needs is a balanced approach that focuses on protecting civilians. The leader of the official opposition is the only one advocating this approach, which is why the Conservatives are spewing out rhetoric rather than answering questions.

The truth is that the children of Gaza will not receive the specialized care they need. In an unprecedented editorial, the Canadian Medical Association Journal is calling on the Conservatives to stop blocking efforts to bring approximately one hundred children who were injured in the conflict here to Canada for treatment.

Why does the minister not care about the health of the children of Gaza?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we are exploring ways in which we can deploy Canadian medical expertise over to Gaza because we want to eliminate the risk of overseas travel for the little ones who have been injured by Hamas. They need their parents and their loved ones close to them during these difficult times.

We want to ensure that medical support in the Gaza Strip has greater capacity in the hospitals and that they will be able to treat the wounded and provide ways for doctors—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, because of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration's lack of leadership, Canada is once again missing an opportunity to do something useful on the world stage. While the civil war in Syria has been raging for four years and 43% of the population has been displaced, Canada has received “a huge” total of 150 refugees. Canada is clearly not living up to the expectations of the international community.

Since we have the expertise and resources to receive more refugees, why is the minister dragging his feet?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it is sad to see a former foreign service officer carrying out a misinformation campaign targeting the Canadian public.

We have said many times in this House that over 200 government-sponsored refugees have arrived in Canada, and that more than 1,500 Syrian refugees are already receiving protection in Canada. Let us be serious about a serious crisis. That is what we are doing on this side of the House.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, what is really pitiful is the Minister of Immigration, who will not do his job when the world community asks for Canada to do its job, sitting behind words and throwing mud at us.

The Syrian conflict is serious. The UNHCR has asked Canada to do more. It has asked us to take 10,000 refugees and what do we hear from the minister? Nothing, except that the government has brought in 200. That is not enough. What Canada should and must do is its job. It is the Canadian way. It is the right thing to do.

Why will the minister not do his job and accept more Syrian refugees?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we have not only done our job in Syria by taking in 1,500 refugees and growing, we have not only done our job in Iraq, by taking in 18,000 plus refugees, more than any other country in the world, we have not only done our job as a donor with over $600 million of support in all fields to meet the needs of people affected by that crisis, but we have also done our job on the security front.

Our Prime Minister and our government will revoke the citizenship of dual nationals who commit terrorist acts and will revoke the passports of those who go there. Why will the NDP not support us on these—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Charlottetown.