House of Commons Hansard #219 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Government ServicesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, more and more Nanaimo—Ladysmith constituents face blocks getting the government services they need. My office is flooded with desperate requests from people who cannot get access to the help they need. They wait hours on the phone, only to be told to go to the website to fill out a form. Agencies are underfunded, leaving workers scrambling to deal with the growing backlog.

The Liberals promised so much more. When will they hire back the workers the Conservatives cut and get Canadians access to the services they need?

Government ServicesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, our government believes it is very important that Canadians receive the benefits and services they deserve and need. We have put in place since budget 2016 measures that are already generating significant benefits for employment insurance recipients, for instance. The rate at which Canadians are now able to connect through the call centre has increased from 29% to 82% in less than 18 months. We have a lot of work to do and will continue to do it.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Phoenix pay system is creating tons of anxiety on Parks Canada, on Fisheries and Oceans, and other Government of Canada employees in my riding of Courtenay—Alberni. My office is receiving desperate pleas from workers who are still waiting to get paid.

The Phoenix fiasco has been dragging on for almost two years, and still there is no end in sight. What is the government's plan to ensure that workers get the pay they so desperately need, and when will the Phoenix backlog finally be cleared?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable that hard-working public servants are not being paid the money they are owed. These issues have caused real hardships for many public servants and their families, and they should not have to face them.

Resolving this as quickly as possible is our priority. That is why we are focused on improving our governance, improving business processes, and increasing technical and human capacity. Rest assured, we will leave no stone unturned.

JusticeOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently at the justice committee, we heard from a number of victims groups, including Families for Justice. They made the very reasonable proposal that anyone convicted of killing someone because of their drunken driving should go to jail for at least five years.

The Liberals were very quick to reject this common-sense proposal. Why do they think that is so unreasonable?

JusticeOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, our government is absolutely committed to improving road safety. That is why we have brought forward strong legislation to provide law enforcement with the tools they need to detect and prosecute the most serious of offenders and to keep our roadways safe.

We have gone beyond merely introducing legislation, but have ensured they also have the resources and the training, by announcing $161 million for the training of those officers and providing those resources.

It is through those actions that we are going to save lives.

JusticeOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Mr. Speaker, sentences handed down for impaired driving causing death are an absolute joke, with offenders walking away with fines as low as $1,500. Instead of standing up for victims, Liberal MPs voted to defeat a Conservative amendment to Bill C-46 to provide for a five-year mandatory sentence for impaired drivers who kill. Why does the minister think it is okay for impaired drivers who kill to walk away with a slap on the wrist?

JusticeOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we absolutely do not believe that impaired drivers should be able to drive on our roadways without a reasonable prospect of getting caught. They have to know there are consequences for their actions. The legislation we have introduced provides for strong consequences, and when the evidence warrants it, appropriate sentences will be afforded to those offenders.

TaxationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Diabetes Canada is complaining that the Canada Revenue Agency is now rejecting people with diabetes from receiving the disability tax credit because their disability does not occupy more than 14 hours of their time in a week. People with type 1 diabetes have to perform 600 steps for their treatment each day.

The Liberals are now increasing taxes on disabled people. Is there anything the Liberal government will not tax, other than the Prime Minister's family fortunes and the finance minister's many corporations?

TaxationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Brampton West Ontario

Liberal

Kamal Khera LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our government has committed to ensuring that the agency delivers quality service to Canadians, and that all Canadians have access to the credits and benefits they deserve.

We know the disability tax credit is an extremely important credit for individuals with severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions. That is why our government is making it possible for nurse practitioners to complete the applications of their patients. These changes make it easier for Canadians with disabilities to access this extremely important credit.

HealthOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Neil Ellis Liberal Bay of Quinte, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the Conference Board of Canada, tobacco use in Canada costs the Canadian economy billions of dollars each year. We also know that cigarette smoking is still the leading cause of premature death in Canada.

What is the Minister of Health doing to address tobacco addiction and the use of tobacco in our country?

HealthOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the member for the Bay of Quinte for the tireless work he does on behalf of his constituents, and for his strong advocacy on this important health issue.

We have all seen the tragic statistics. Tobacco kills more than 45,000 Canadians each year. Numbers like these are precisely why our government is taking action by making tobacco use less appealing, especially to youth. We remain committed to introducing plain packaging and to reducing tobacco use in Canada to less than 5% by 2035.

Our government will work to better protect the health and safety of all Canadians.

Parks CanadaOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, Alberta is getting eaten alive. Jasper Park is turning brown due to the pine beetle infestation. Now they are fed up with Parks Canada and are moving into the foothills region, from 40,000 trees last year to over 500,000 this year. Our previous Conservative government gave $8 million to fight this. What is the Minister of Natural Resources going to do to stop the pine beetle from attacking our forests?

Parks CanadaOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Northumberland—Peterborough South Ontario

Liberal

Kim Rudd LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, certainly invasive species in our forest sector are something we have dealt with over the decades and centuries in this country. We are working hard with our partners in the forest sector to find solutions to some of these challenges. There are challenges on the east coast as well as in Alberta. I want to assure the member that we are seized with the issue and will continue to work with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the sector to come up with a solution to this challenging problem.

EmploymentOral Questions

October 20th, 2017 / noon

Liberal

James Maloney Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, internationally trained newcomers in my riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore need help getting their credentials recognized in the new country they now call home. Newcomers want to be productive members of society, but sometimes navigating the Canadian system for those who were trained abroad can be complicated. They need meaningful assistance so they can achieve their professional and personal potential. Can the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour update this House on measures taken to support internationally trained newcomers?

EmploymentOral Questions

Noon

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore for his strong advocacy on this particular issue. He deserves a round of applause.

As part of the targeted employment strategy for newcomers, we have launched a call for proposals for the foreign credential recognition program. This program will offer loans to help with the recognition process. Helping newcomers get their foreign credentials recognized faster will allow them to join the Canadian workforce faster. This is critical to growing our economy and strengthening our middle class.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, working for veterans is not just a matter of putting together beautiful public policy, it is a matter of reaching out, giving a hand, and listening. A year ago, there was a veteran on a hunger strike on the Hill. The minister refused to go and meet him. Today, the Desmond family is on the Hill. They need the minister's compassion. Will he go and meet them today, right now, after QP in a few minutes?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

Noon

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I will meet with the family at a convenient time today.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Mario Beaulieu Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is happening in Spain is truly appalling. It is no longer Catalan independence that is under attack. Spain is attacking the very foundations of democracy: the right to vote, freedom of expression, and freedom of association. Now Spain is threatening to strip Catalonia of ability to govern by withdrawing its statute of autonomy.

Will the Canadian government finally stand up for democracy and tell the Spanish government that enough is enough and to stop attacking the Catalan people?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

Noon

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada values its relationship with Spain, and we are monitoring the situation in Spain very closely.

We urge all parties to find a peaceful solution to this debate within the rule of law and in accordance with the Spanish constitution.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Mario Beaulieu Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year, the families of seasonal workers in the Lac-Saint-Jean region and the entire Quebec forestry industry spend as many as 17 weeks living in poverty because employment insurance is out of touch with our reality.

There have been pilot projects to extend the benefit period for oil-producing regions, but not for Quebec. The Conservatives did away with pilot projects.

Will the Liberal government reinstate pilot projects to extend benefits for Quebec's seasonal workers?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

Noon

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his excellent question. We believe it is important to have an employment insurance system that provides income security to families, many of whom live in very difficult conditions, and that helps people transition to new jobs.

In April 2016, we implemented very important measures that reversed the previous government's ill-advised, inappropriate changes, which did not work for the community. We have done a much better job since April 2016. We know that we can do even better, and we are eager to get started.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Mario Beaulieu Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, they are still giving us the runaround.

Twelve years ago, when Quebec designated the woodland caribou as a vulnerable species, it brought in two measures to protect them, and they work. Three-quarters of the caribou are in areas where there are no forestry activities and where they co-exist with humans, and their numbers continue to increase.

Since Quebec's measures are working, why is the Liberal government rejecting them and why does it insist on throwing forestry workers from Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean out on the street?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to working with the provinces, Quebec, the municipalities in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, and municipalities across Canada to protect and restore Canada's species at risk, including the caribou. The environment and the economy must go hand in hand, so we are working closely with the provinces, territories, and municipalities.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the offshore petroleum boards in Atlantic Canada, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board and the Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, have legislated mandates to expand oil and gas activity in the offshore. They have never had any role in environmental assessment. If they did, it would be a conflict of interest. Now it appears that the Liberals are following through on Stephen Harper's plans to put these boards involved in environmental assessment where they should not be.

Can the Minister of Environment assure this House that she will keep the offshore boards out of environmental assessment?