This page is in the midst of a redesign. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

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

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, Mike Duffy's trial on 31 criminal charges represents the chance of a lifetime for the Prime Minister. He now has an opportunity to demonstrate from the witness box that he really is tough on crime.

The Prime Minister now knows the dates of the trial and that he will be a material witness. So as he said when authorizing the $90,000 payment, is the Prime Minister good to go?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the Prime Minister has already answered that question. This case is before the courts and we will allow the courts to do their job.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, part of my responsibility as Liberal defence critic is to speak with serving members and see first hand the conditions on bases right across the country. While previous governments always promoted this, I and my colleagues have been repeatedly blocked and denied permission to visit military bases. This is shocking partisanship because Conservative members have been invited onto bases inside and outside of their riding and even attended photo ops and cheque presentations on bases.

Why is there one set of rules for Conservative MPs and another set of rules for everyone else?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has it wrong. Members from all parties routinely visit bases outside their home, whether it is with a parliamentary committee to attend an important event or to otherwise participate in government work. Also, if any member has a base within their riding, a visit can certainly be arranged.

At all times we want to ensure that the resources of the Canadian Armed Forces are used effectively.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, people on the south shore of Montreal are worried. Rail cars transporting heavy oil have been regularly travelling between Saint-Lambert and Sorel for the past few weeks.

Transport Canada inspected the 72 km of rail between these two municipalities. However, despite repeated requests from local elected officials, the government refuses to make the reports public. There have been numerous accidents showing the tragic consequences of poorly maintained railways.

Why does the minister refuse to release the reports on the rail line between Sorel and Saint-Lambert? What is she trying to hide?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member will know, this government has done a lot with respect to rail safety in the country. We have made sure to communicate with municipalities and industry on the issues.

Indeed, we are the government that has brought in more transparency when it comes to the goods being transported through communities. We issued a protective disclosure order last year to ensure that communities were being kept up to date with what was going on. We continue to facilitate the relationship between the rail, the condition of the rail and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' approach to rail safety involves handing a blank cheque over to the rail companies. We saw evidence of that in the reports on the tragedy in Lac-Mégantic.

When the current Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs was the transport minister, special permissions were being handed out like Halloween candy. We hope that the Conservatives have learned from their mistakes and that they will be more transparent and, especially, less careless.

What will the minister do to make the rail line between Sorel and Saint-Lambert safer?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we take rail safety very seriously and we do not make jokes about it on this side of the House whatsoever. It is a very serious matter.

We want to ensure that the resources are in place, that we have the inspectors in place. We have been acting on this file continuously since 2006 and we will continue to roll out measures on rail safety.

Parks CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government created the Rouge national urban park act, which will result in the first urban national park in our country.

Last year, Ontario's Liberal government signed an agreement with our government to transfer lands to Parks Canada to help establish the Rouge national urban park, but Ontario is now backtracking on its commitment.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister please inform the House on the status of that agreement?

Parks CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as members know, Liberals both here and at Queen's Park have turned their backs on the Rouge Valley by supporting a proposal that would evict our local farmers and plant trees across 2,000 acres of class-one farm land.

We brought forward legislation that would protect the Rouge Valley and gave it the highest level of protection it ever had. We provided $140 million to make Canada's first national urban park.

By attacking our farmers and by not supporting the Rouge, those Liberals have shown that they are just like the Trudeau Liberals of the 1970s who initially evicted the same farmers from these lands.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the International Year of Co-operatives, the government put an end to the co-operative development initiative, the only national program for co-ops.

Five organizations filed a complaint, since this decision is harmful to the development of official language minority communities.

The office of the commissioner concluded that the government had not fulfilled its obligations under part VII of the Official Languages Act.

One of the recommendations required immediate measures to ensure that all employees who participate in the decision-making process understand their obligations under this act.

Did the government take these measures? If not, when does it plan on doing so?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as a government, we take our official language responsibilities in this country seriously.

Fifteen departments manage their own issues in the system we have created under this government. I encourage the member who just spoke to contact the minister responsible for this file.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

September 23rd, 2014 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, members of the Pusuma family were human rights activists in Hungary and have now been living in a Toronto church for the last 32 months. If any of them step out of the church, they risk being arrested and deported, but they have been subpoenaed to testify at a hearing into problems with their former lawyer and their daughter Lulu needs to go to kindergarten.

Will the minister listen to the 43,000 people who have already signed their petition? Will the Conservatives let the Pusuma family stay in Canada?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, Canada's fair and generous immigration and asylum systems are second to none. There are numerous avenues of appeal open to all of those whose cases fail at the first instance. Once those avenues of appeal have been exhausted, we expect claimants to leave the country.

I would call upon all of those who care about this family to deliver that very clear message to the Pusuma family.

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is committed to protecting and strengthening the long term financial security of hard-working Canadians. Yesterday, we witnessed the Minister of International Trade, along with his Korean counterpart, sign the Canada-Korea free trade agreement. This agreement, Canada's first in Asia, will create thousands of jobs for Canadians.

Could the Minister of International Trade please inform the House about the next steps to implement this agreement?

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hard-working member from Sarnia—Lambton for the excellent question.

Today, our government did in fact table in the House the Canada-Korea economic growth and prosperity act. Stakeholders from across Canada are openly calling on Parliament to pass the bill without delay so Canadians can reap the benefits of the agreement.

We know the NDP's anti-trade ideology and we know the Liberal Party's mediocre record on concluding trade agreements. Only our Conservative government understands how critical freer and more open trade is to the long term prosperity of our country.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary NDP St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the fall food fishery off Newfoundland and Labrador has been officially under way since Saturday, but there has not been much activity on the water because of poor weather.

The food fishery is only eight days long, forcing people to either risk their lives in dangerous conditions to catch what they can before it closes, or else go without. People have died.

Will the Conservatives take poor weather and people's safety into account? Will they agree to extend the fall food fishery?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, we recognize the importance of the recreational cod fishery to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. That is why we reopened the fishery in 2007. I do understand that poor weather has impacted the start of the fall period of this year's fishery.

After having spoken to several people from Newfoundland and Labrador, and out of concern for the safety of others, I have directed DFO to extend the season until October 1.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Independent

Jean-François Fortin Independent Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, in its August 19 report, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, the TSB, concluded that it is the role of government to implement a balanced audit system to oversee companies that ship hazardous materials. The industry is booming. Trains are carrying, among other things, more and more crude oil in eastern Quebec. People and municipalities have concerns and want the government to protect them.

Since the release of the TSB report, has the Minister of Transport changed her approach in order to oversee the safety management systems of railway companies?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to the safety and security of Canadians. We have taken many steps and many actions with respect to rail safety in the country since 2006. Most notably, we have increased the funding for safety management system audits. We have increased the number of inspectors. We ensure that the information is disclosed to the Canadian Federation of Municipalities so it understands what goods go through their communities for the purposes of response.

We will continue to work on this file, mindful of the work that the TSB has done. I look forward to working with my counterpart as well on these matters because they are of mutual concern to all of us.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—Employment InsuranceBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Joe Comartin

Order. The member for Winnipeg North still has five minutes of questions and comments.

The hon. member for Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor.

Opposition Motion—Employment InsuranceBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, my question for the hon. member for Winnipeg North is with respect to the two plans at play here, the Conservative one and the one we are putting forth today with respect to an EI holiday, and just how substantial that would be. It would be more substantial than what is being brought forward to Canadians by the current government, certainly once one gets over that threshold of $15,000. Obviously less than that is a benefit, but anything over that becomes not only less beneficial but serves as a disincentive for marginal businesses, which would certainly take advantage of it.

I would ask the member about that particular situation and how this would be of great benefit to him and his constituents in Winnipeg North.

Opposition Motion—Employment InsuranceBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, there is a huge difference. As the Liberals try to focus on creating new jobs and hiring more Canadians, this is one of the ways in which we can grow the middle class and expand opportunities for Canadian families. Adopting what the Liberal Party is proposing would recognize the need for an EI premium exemption for every new worker hired to fill a new job in 2015 and 2016. It is anticipated that this plan would create in excess of 150,000 jobs all over Canada compared to what the Conservative plan would do, which is best said in a quote I took from one of the media outlets on the Internet. With respect to the Conservative plan, it states:

For firms that are just under the $15,000 threshold, hiring a new worker would mean crossing the line and losing the tax credit entirely. For firms that are just over the threshold, the incentives are even more perverse: firms may choose to actually reduce employment in order to be eligible for the tax credit.

They are like night and day. The Liberal plan creates jobs; the Conservative plan has a huge question mark over it. Therefore, we are calling upon the government to support the Liberal opposition motion today. By doing that, it would be supporting more jobs for more Canadians, which will enrich and assist our middle class from coast to coast to coast.

Opposition Motion—Employment InsuranceBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lawrence Toet Conservative Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have been in this House all morning and this afternoon listening to this debate, and I am disturbed by one common theme that I keep hearing from the Liberal side. It came up in a question and also in the member's speech before question period. It is the challenging of the integrity of small business owners and entrepreneurs across Canada.

The Liberals have continually stood up to say that small businesses, for the sake of a few hundred dollars, are going to shut down one employee in their business, cut people, and stop growth in their businesses. I find that shameful.

I was with the hon. member for Winnipeg North at a small business opening right next to his constituency office this summer. Does the hon. member sincerely believe that the small business owner of whom he spoke of so highly at that opening would lay off an employee and put his business in jeopardy for the sake of a few hundred dollars over the course of a few years? I find that appalling.