House of Commons Hansard #182 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pipelines.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Emmanuel Dubourg Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the situation of Haitians in the Dominican Republic has been receiving attention for some time now. Abuse is taking place in the streets. There have been injustices at sugar cane plantations. Thousands of people are expected to be deported.

Could the Conservative government tell the House whether there have been discussions with the Dominican and Haitian authorities? Furthermore, does the government expect Canada to play a role in protecting human rights there?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada is deeply concerned about these events and the subsequent violence, which is affecting both nations, as a result of a constitutional tribunal that could render countless Dominican-born persons of Haitian descent stateless. Canada encourages the governments of the Dominican Republic and Haiti to work together in good faith to resolve these issues as quickly as possible in a non-violent manner.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Réjean Genest NDP Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, since January 23, the Turk family has sought sanctuary in the Rougemont church to avoid deportation to Turkey. They have three children, are Kurds and fear for their safety.

I raised the subject with the minister, but all he did was pass the buck to other departments. The family needs answers and concrete action.

What will the Conservatives do for this family, considering that they are already well integrated into their community?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member certainly knows, Canada has the most generous immigration system and refugee determination system in the world.

I cannot comment on the details of this case in the House. I can continue the conversation with the hon. member if he wants, but in most cases, once all avenues of appeal are exhausted, we require the people involved to leave the country.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Conservative Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of thousands of Canadians have earned enormous respect at home and abroad by answering the call to fight against tyranny and evil around the world. We know that injuries to soldiers can have a lasting financial impact on their lives and the lives of their families. Can the Minister of Veterans Affairs please update this House on what our government is doing for our injured veterans and their families?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Erin O'Toole Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Pickering—Scarborough East for the question and for his service in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Today I was pleased to announce the retirement income security benefit, which will help veterans who are moderately or seriously injured in their service to Canada, and their families, with financial certainty in their retirement years.

I have also asked the department to take the multiple levels of benefits, which are lifetime benefits, and streamline them into a single pension for our most seriously injured veterans.

I would like to thank the ombudsman and stakeholders who have been working with us on this issue. It will provide certainty to families. We have been listening, and we are acting.

National DefenceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Green

Bruce Hyer Green Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, over half the health claims and medical discharges of wounded soldiers are due to MSK, that is, musculoskeletal problems. This is a financial burden on both the system and the veterans. MSK care, including chiropractic in the early stages, reduces both long-term costs and lifelong pain. Will the government commit to an MSK strategy for veterans in Thunder Bay North and across Canada?

National DefenceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Erin O'Toole Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC

Mr. Speaker, certainly if a member of the Canadian Armed Forces has a musculoskeletal problem, the good thing is that the Department of National Defence has chiropractors and world-class medical care, because our desire is to see that injured person return to duty and be given the time to do that. If the member medically releases, our system of medical and vocational rehabilitation will provide world-class support for that veteran, including chiropractic support and other services, to help him or her transition to civilian life.

CBC/Radio-CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Forces et Démocratie

Jean-François Fortin Forces et Démocratie Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, along with hundreds of others, I was in Rimouski yesterday to reaffirm the importance of having a high quality public broadcaster for all regions of Quebec. Like the people of Montreal and Quebec City, citizens who live in Abitibi, Côte-Nord, Saguenay, the Lower St. Lawrence and the Gaspé have a right to information on subjects that affect their communities. We also want people everywhere else to hear about us.

Does the minister realize that she has a responsibility to protect the CBC, rather than simply repeating the same empty rhetoric that is insulting to CBC employees?

CBC/Radio-CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, we are protecting the CBC with an investment of over $1 billion a year.

We are aware that the industry is facing some challenges right now. The president of the CBC has said so himself. That being said, once again, we are providing the crown corporation with enough funding to fulfill its mandate in English and in French across the country.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

March 9th, 2015 / 3 p.m.

Independent

André Bellavance Independent Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, a fourth derailment in a matter of weeks reminds us how vulnerable our municipalities and the people who live there are, since the government has failed to implement proper oversight measures for the railways since the Lac-Mégantic tragedy. We notice instead that the trains are longer and heavier and travel more quickly and the new tanker cars are not any safer.

Since her bill does not address all these problems, will the Minister of Transport put in place additional safety measures, along with enough human and financial resources to enforce them, as the Union des municipalités du Québec is calling for?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have an excellent relationship with UMQ as well as with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Without their advisory group, we would not have been able to get as far as we have and be able to introduce legislation that looks at all the concerns they had and make sure that we listen to those concerns and entrench them into law.

I continue to work with those institutions and appreciate very much everything they have done to make sure we have a solid piece of legislation.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Independent

Scott Andrews Independent Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, EI claimants are being told that from the date they apply for EI, the timeframe to process their claim is 28 days. However, this process is taking much longer than 28 days.

Claimants contact my office, and we contact Service Canada. We are told that additional time to process a claim is because of a backlog.

In addition, there is an issue when our office is overloaded with calls from constituents who are unable to reach the toll-free lines of the call centre. Sometimes claimants are put in the queue for up to an hour, and in some cases they hit a problem and they are cut off.

Can the minister confirm that the 400 new agents have been hired as promised? If not, is there a plan to hire, train, and allocate them to areas where they are most needed in the next 28 days?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeMinister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the allocation of staff is being timed to coincide with the peak seasons around summer and winter.

I can say now that we have increased efficiency in processing EI claims by 42% over the last 10 years. Two-thirds of claims are now wholly or partially automated, and the majority of claimants are now paid within 28 days of being approved for the claim.

However, our broader plan is to get as many Canadians back to work as possible. About 1.2 million net new jobs have resulted from our low-tax plan, and going forward we will ensure that taxes stay low so that we can create more jobs. We will not increase taxes, as the Liberals suggest.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's responses to 95 petitions.

AgriculturePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of several of my constituents asking for respect for the right of small-scale family farmers to preserve, exchange, and use seeds.

HousingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Kennedy Stewart NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I have the honour of presenting a petition both crafted and signed by the residents of Halston Hills Co-op in my riding of Burnaby—Douglas. I would like to thank Lil Cameron for her leadership on this project, as well as for all the work she does.

The petition calls on the federal government to immediately reverse its cuts to social housing, cuts that will result in a loss of $1.7 billion for low-cost housing by 2030. Renewed funding would allow Halston Hills to preserve rent subsidies for existing units, complete much-needed renovations, and redevelop a portion of its land to create specialized units for seniors.

I urge the government to pay careful attention to this petition.

AgriculturePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to bring forward a petition signed by many of my constituents in regard to the issue of small farms in the south. In particular, they are asking the government to ensure that Canadian policies and programs are developed in consultation with small family farmers and that they protect the rights of small family farmers in the global south to preserve, use, and freely exchange seeds.

I appreciate the efforts they have put in to get these signatures.

Sex SelectionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of presenting two petitions. The first petition calls on the House to condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination and to support Motion No. 408, which condemns sex selection.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition acknowledges that current impaired driving laws are too lenient. Petitioners are looking for the implementation of new mandatory minimum sentences and want the Criminal Code to redefine the offence of impaired driving causing death as vehicular manslaughter.

St. Lawrence BelugasPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the pleasure of meeting grade six students from the Allion school and St. Lawrence Academy.

The students are very concerned about the dangers facing the beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River. They presented me with a petition to that effect, which I am tabling today on their behalf.

They gathered hundreds of signatures from people who are calling on the Government of Canada to impose a moratorium on all the work being done off the coast of Cacouna, in order to protect the belugas and guarantee an intact natural environment for them.

I am proud of the students at Allion school and St. Lawrence Academy in LaSalle for their commitment to protecting the environment and the St. Lawrence belugas.

Rail TransportationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Green

Bruce Hyer Green Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I again have petitions from across my riding from Dorion, Geraldton, Schreiber, Marathon, and Thunder Bay. The petitioners say that the VIA Rail route on the north shore, which was cut over two decades ago despite being one of the busiest and most profitable of VIA Rail's routes, is an important component of our local economy, both for tourism and for residents, because of cutbacks to bus service and because it is one of the most efficient ways to travel and is integral to reducing pollution and harmful climate change.

Petitioners are asking us to please re-establish passenger rail service along the spectacular north shore of Lake Superior to Thunder Bay and on to Winnipeg.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour today to stand and present a petition on behalf of hundreds of Canadians who are concerned that the current impaired driving laws are too lenient. Petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to implement tougher laws, including new mandatory minimum sentencing for those persons convicted of impaired driving causing death, and also to redefine the offence of impaired driving causing death as vehicular manslaughter.

Genetically Modified OrganismsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to rise today to present two petitions.

The first concerns genetically modified organisms.

The petitioners are from across Canada, including Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Ontario. They are all asking that any genetically modified products be labelled so that consumers can make informed choices.

Endangered SpeciesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from residents of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. They are calling urgently for the House of Commons to provide protection to prevent the extinction of the southern resident killer whale.

This is particularly in relation to the particular vulnerabilities and sensitivities of these cetaceans to noises. It is to reduce the decibel level and also the disturbances to these incredibly important creatures, now endangered, by protecting their critical habitat from vessel intrusion.