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House of Commons Hansard #179 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was injuries.

Topics

Government ExpendituresOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, as the minister knows every word of that of conversation, it must have been one of those three-way calls set up for her.

It has been said that we cannot judge a book by its cover, so let us look through the actual main estimates to find out what Conservative priorities really are. The devil is in the details.

Let us see here. There are cuts to affordable housing, cuts to consular services, cuts to first nations health, cuts to fishery protection, and Conservative cuts to disease prevention. But wait, while cutting these essential services that Canadians need, Conservatives did find extra money for, wait for it, ministerial salaries and their chauffeur budgets.

How can Conservative priorities be so out of whack and offline with what Canadians actually need and deserve?

Government ExpendituresOral Questions

February 25th, 2015 / 2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, it feels like Groundhog Day.

Every year, this government tables the estimates and every year, we get the righteous indignation of the opposition party. Every year, we table a budget which is good news for Canadians and every year the opposition votes against it.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked about armed forces member Robyn Young's misdiagnosis by a military doctor which caused her considerable harm.

The minister responded that the Defence Department is continuing to cover these costs, but that was disingenuous. It only started to cover them recently and has not reimbursed the tens of thousands of dollars she has already spent. In fact, Robyn's family has had to resort to community fundraising to help pay her health bills.

When will Ms. Young finally get full and fair compensation from the government?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba

Conservative

James Bezan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we sympathize with this individual and her family for everything they have gone through. The Canadian Forces Health Services group is conducting a full review of this case and all the medical decisions that were involved. This is a priority for the Canadian Armed Forces.

While this review is going on, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are continuing to cover her medical costs and meet her medical needs related to her present condition. I can assure the House that the minister and our government are committed to doing everything possible to help Captain Young.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, President Obama's veto of Keystone XL marks the Prime Minister's latest failure to advance Canada's economic interests. Brian Mulroney would have gotten Keystone XL approved with Ronald Reagan. Jean Chrétien would have gotten it done with Bill Clinton.

Does the Prime Minister recognize that his failure to build relationships is costing Canadian jobs, and does he not understand that a personal relationship with the leader of our biggest trading partner is, in his own words, a no-brainer?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Kenora Ontario

Conservative

Greg Rickford ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, we will take no lessons from the party that talks about carbon taxes and energy magically getting to new markets, cherry-picking pipelines. This is a debate between the American people and the President of the United States, and the majority of people are supportive of this project. Keystone XL would create jobs on both sides of the border. It is a matter of energy security for North America.

This is not a question of if; it is a question of when. On the science and the business case for this project, it will go forward, and we will continue to be a strong advocate for this job-creating project and our approach to responsible resource development.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

That is the arrogance, Mr. Speaker, that got us a veto from Obama on Keystone XL.

To get projects approved, we need to work with others, but this is the Prime Minister who will not meet with premiers or first nations' leaders, who calls environmentalists eco-terrorists, and the Prime Minister who cancelled the three amigos conference with Mexico and the U.S. In the words of Brian Mulroney, “...the top foreign policy priority of the prime minister” should be to have a personal relationship with the U.S. president.

Why does the Prime Minister not take Mulroney's advice and build the relationships we need to defend Canadian jobs?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, to get Canadian projects moving forward, we do need to work together. That is why the Prime Minister was in British Columbia last week working with the Province of British Columbia, announcing accelerated capital cost allowances, to make sure that we are in the most competitive position possible when it comes to tax policies so that LNG projects can go forward.

It has been estimated that of the 19 proposals for LNG projects in the province of British Columbia, if five of them are approved, it would create over 100,000 jobs in the province, and that will be realized only because we have a Conservative government with a Conservative Prime Minister who is working with others to make sure that our projects get to world markets.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, universality of service continues to be a policy that haunts the Canadian Armed Forces. It has been condemned not just by soldiers but by the National Defence and the Veterans Ombudsmen. An internal report by DND shows that 70% of Afghan war veterans will be involuntarily released by the CAF within 10 years of deployment. This policy of discharge for those who face mental health challenges must be changed.

When will the minister finally do the right thing, the fair thing, and fix this harsh and arbitrary policy?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba

Conservative

James Bezan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, ill and severely injured personnel who are no longer able to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces are provided with up to three years to prepare for the transition to civilian life. The armed forces can also transfer members, if they wish, to cadet organizations, administration and training, or even to the Canadian Rangers, where they remain eligible for promotion. As always, the military provides comprehensive health care and career transition support, including job placement assistance.

It is our government that made these policy changes because we recognize that the sacrifices made by our serving men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces deserve to be handled correctly.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud NDP Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Armed Forces health services examined the files of 30,000 soldiers who served in Afghanistan, but we have learned that 70% of these soldiers will be released as a result of the universality of service principle.

This means that veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression will be shown the door.

When will this government stop trying to save money at our soldiers' expense?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba

Conservative

James Bezan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Nothing is further from the truth, Mr. Speaker.

It was our government who amended the universality of service policy to allow for a transition period of up to three years for members of the Canadian Armed Forces to prepare for civilian life. Members of the Armed Forces will have access to health services, integrated personal support centres, and they can go to the Department of Veterans Affairs and other places as required. We will work with our soldiers to build an individualized transition plan.

It was our government that increased the annual mental health budget for the Armed Forces by over 20%, allowing us to do more than double the amount of full-time mental health workers in the Armed Forces

VeteransOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, to avoid hearing complaints from veterans, the Conservatives simply eliminated the satisfaction survey of the department's clients.

In 2010, the satisfaction rate dropped drastically in response to the cuts, so the Conservatives just stopped surveying veterans. That is ridiculous.

Instead of ignoring veterans' needs, will the minister reinstate the service quality survey and, more importantly, improve the services provided to veterans?

VeteransOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Erin O'Toole Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to be part of a government that in 2010 worked with Statistics Canada to create the Life After Service Studies, which allow us to focus specifically on thousands who are transitioning and leaving the Canadian Armed Forces and becoming veterans. It is not just a client satisfaction survey, but an in-depth study. I have already directed the department to increase its focus on medically released veterans so that we can provide a better outcome for all of them after they leave their service to Canada.

VeteransOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the reason the Conservatives do not do the survey is that they do not want to hear stories like that of Robyn Young, one of the bravest young women I have ever met in my life as a member of Parliament. This woman has gone through pure hell with the Department of National Defence, and so has her mother. All they are asking for is basic dignity and basic responsibility from the department to ensure that they get all the help and services they both need to get their lives back to normal.

DND should not be reviewing this itself; rather, the minister should be reviewing it. Will he stand up and tell the family they will get all the benefits they need so they can get back to living their lives in a normal way?

VeteransOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba

Conservative

James Bezan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I thank Captain Young for her service to this country. She is a brave young woman. I can say that we are very sympathetic about her situation and want to help her. The minister has said that he will do everything and commit everything to helping her through this crisis. I would remind everyone that if she has outstanding medical claims, she should submit them and the Armed Forces will reimburse her.

Since this is a health-related matter, it would be a breach of patient confidentiality and the Privacy Act regulations to discuss this matter further.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Conservative Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, ISIL remains a threat to regional and international security. It has declared war on Canada and called for brutal attacks against Canadians.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence please update the House on Canada's continued mission to fight the savage ISIL death cult in Iraq?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba

Conservative

James Bezan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Pickering—Scarborough East for his services to Canada as one of our Armed Forces veterans.

I am pleased to inform the House today that while taking part in coalition operations yesterday in support of the Iraqi security forces, our CF-18 Hornets successfully struck three ISIL fighting positions north of Mosul using precision-guided munitions.

We are continuing to face this threat head on. ISIL has suffered a number of tactical setbacks and is pressed on multiple fronts. ISIL is struggling to sustain its military efforts in Iraq. We are tremendously proud of the work being done by the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces in Operation Impact to stop this jihadist terrorist cult.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow families of the over 1,200 indigenous women and girls who have gone missing or have been murdered in Canada will come together in preparation for Friday's national round table to offer their testimony, to find answers and solutions to end violence.

Families will also be looking to the current government to finally change its rhetoric and come together with its provincial and territorial counterparts to act upon coordinated solutions and finally call for a national public inquiry.

Will the government listen to their plea?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday in the House, the Government of Canada will have a representative at the round table. However, I want to be very clear: we do not support a national inquiry. There have been more than 40 studies. Now is actually the time for action, and that is what families have asked for.

We all need to support the police to catch those responsible for these heinous crimes and to make sure that they are held accountable and punished. That is what families are looking for. They are looking for strong action. We tabled an action plan in the House in September 2014.

The opposition members do not support that. They do not support actions for families. Whether it be matrimonial property rights or the Victims Bill of Rights, the—

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, gender equality has yet to be achieved here in Canada and around the world.

In a week and a half, the UN Commission on the Status of Women will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Beijing platform for action on gender equality. International support is quite widespread, and many countries have already reaffirmed their commitment.

Will Canada be one of those countries and immediately reaffirm its commitment to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, we have been focused on and reviewing the Beijing accord. Our intention is to attend the international event that is taking place, which celebrates all women and the opportunities they have in the future.

The Government of Canada has been very focused on International Women's Week. I encourage the opposition to please support what we are doing through that week, March 2 to 8, to ensure that women are provided opportunities in Canada to excel and achieve what they absolutely can achieve through the great commitment to Canada.

TaxationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Djaouida Sellah NDP Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are fewer and fewer volunteers to help Canadians with their taxes. The Conservatives are adding to the red tape burden and reducing training opportunities for volunteers. Also, believe it or not, in 2016 the Conservative are even going to make these volunteers submit to fingerprinting. It seems the Conservatives are doing everything they can to complicate the lives of honest citizens.

Will the minister give the volunteers what they need to help Canadian families prepare their tax returns?

TaxationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Delta—Richmond East B.C.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the premise of that question is entirely false. In fact, I was just in Brampton on Monday of this week announcing that CRA has put an additional $1 million into funding our volunteer program. We enlist about 16,000 volunteers across Canada every year, who help some 600,000 low-income new Canadians, aboriginals, and others to fill out their tax forms and get their benefits.