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 Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver Minister 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 Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison 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 Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver Minister 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 Insurance
Oral Questions

September 23rd, 2014 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale 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 Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver Minister 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 Development
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims 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 Development
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister 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 Development
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé 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 Development
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister 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.

Health
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Dany Morin 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?

Health
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister 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.

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies 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?

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister 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 Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki 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 Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson Parliamentary 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.