March 31, 2009

CPC

Ed Komarnicki

Conservative

Mr. Ed Komarnicki (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I will not get into the specifics of that particular case. We understand that people are going through difficult times. To the extent that we are, we have made modifications to the EI program that will bring benefits to many people, benefits of $2 billion to $4 billion.

We are taking three approaches: we are strengthening benefits for Canadian workers, we are enhancing the availability of training and we kept the employment rates frozen so there is no additional cost to employers and employees.

If the member has a specific issue, she can bring it to my attention after question period.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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LIB

Rob Oliphant

Liberal

Mr. Robert Oliphant (Don Valley West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, since October the number of unemployed Canadians has risen by 295,000. According to the OECD, it will continue to rise.

A young mother in my riding took on an internship to get Canadian experience. Her employer has just cut the program, leaving her on the street. She has 724 hours, but because she lives in Ontario, she does not qualify for EI.

What plans does the government have to bring EI into the 21st century?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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CPC

Ed Komarnicki

Conservative

Mr. Ed Komarnicki (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with the EI program. The variable rate requirement for hours was set in 1997 by the previous government, but we are enhancing it significantly to deal with the issues in the economy at the present time.

We will be benefiting 400,000 Canadians by extending the EI program by five additional weeks, not two, and by extending training programs for people who do not qualify for EI, those who need enhanced training, by a total of 190,000 people. This is looking after those who are in need at this time.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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NDP

Dawn Black

New Democratic Party

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster—Coquitlam, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, there is disturbing news from Afghanistan today that laws passed by the Karzai government will make women even more vulnerable. Afghan women's groups and the UN say these new laws restrict a woman's right to leave her home, permit child marriage and, most disturbingly, legalize rape.

The government claims that protecting Afghan women is at the heart of our combat mission, yet with these laws women have never had it so bad.

Will the government, in no uncertain terms, let President Karzai know that this is totally unacceptable?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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CPC

Stockwell Day

Conservative

Hon. Stockwell Day (Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, if these reports are true, this will create serious problems for Canada. The onus is on the government of Afghanistan to live up to its responsibilities for human rights, absolutely including rights of women. If there is any wavering on this point from the government of Afghanistan, this will create serious problems and be a serious disappointment for us.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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NDP

Dawn Black

New Democratic Party

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster—Coquitlam, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it is true, these laws explicitly give men all the rights in child custody, in divorce, in inheritance, but most horrifyingly is the fact that these new laws legalize rape within marriage. At a time when the world is coming together to hammer out a new international consensus on Afghanistan, women's rights in that country are being dealt a death blow.

How can we say that our soldiers are there to protect women's rights when the western-backed leader of this nation pushes through laws like this? Allowing women to be treated like a piece of property, is this what we are fighting for? Is this what our people are dying for?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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CPC

Stockwell Day

Conservative

Hon. Stockwell Day (Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, if these prove to be true, it will create serious problems for the Government of Canada, for the people of Canada. Absolutely, the onus is upon the government of Afghanistan to live up to its human rights responsibilities, absolutely including the rights of women.

If there is any wavering on this point, as we have said, this will create serious difficulties, serious problems for the Government of Canada. We expect this to be addressed. We expect the government of Afghanistan to live up to its responsibilities to protect the rights of people and to respect the rights of women.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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CPC

Steven Blaney

Conservative

Mr. Steven Blaney (Lévis—Bellechasse, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our government is supporting Quebec's aerospace industry in this time of global economic uncertainty. Today Bombardier announced a new $1.5 billion purchase agreement for its new CSeries plane, in which our government is a partner and investor.

My colleague, the hon. Minister of Industry, was in Montreal this morning to announce new investments in the aerospace industry. I am anxious to hear about the results of his trip to Montreal.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aerospace Industry
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CPC

Tony Clement

Conservative

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question.

This morning in Montreal, I announced a repayable investment of $250 million to support CAE Inc.'s development of innovative modelling and simulation technologies used in the aerospace and defence sectors. This government recognizes that the Canadian aerospace industry is one of the best in the world and now, with our economic action plan and the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, I have no doubt the industry will be very successful in the future.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aerospace Industry
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. minister knows very well that he must not use the names of other members. This is not permitted in either questions or answers.

The hon. member for Mississauga East—Cooksville now has the floor.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aerospace Industry
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LIB

Albina Guarnieri

Liberal

Hon. Albina Guarnieri (Mississauga East—Cooksville, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the government has said that unemployment must never be lucrative. Here is another sample of its success. In Toronto, a car accident forced a veteran to leave his job after 30 years. When he turned to EI, he was denied the maximum benefit and was cut off after only 15 weeks, not enough time to find a job in today's Ontario. He ended up losing his car and his apartment.

When will the government finally make EI fair for this veteran and Ontario workers?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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CPC

Ed Komarnicki

Conservative

Mr. Ed Komarnicki (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we certainly can empathize for the particular situation the member raises and we are doing whatever we can to enhance the EI program that was instituted under her government.

We have made additions to it to make sure that there are benefits that are available to people by extending the program in a number of ways such as the five week additional benefits and ensuring that those who do not qualify for EI are eligible for retraining.

We have put dollars into that with the provinces as well. We appreciate that there are cases that will be difficult, but overall, we are trying to attend to it to deal with the situation as best we can.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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BQ

Bernard Bigras

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, at the Bonn conference on climate change, the EU denounced Canada's lack of leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and failure to use 1990 as the reference year.

Vicki Pollard of Climate Change Strategy and International Negotiation has deplored the fact that there are no greenhouse gas reduction regulations in place.

Can the minister tell us when he will put in place his new greenhouse gas regulations?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Jim Prentice

Conservative

Hon. Jim Prentice (Minister of the Environment, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case. The Bonn conference is currently underway and these meetings are just one stage before the Copenhagen meeting. The member opposite knows the Canadian Ambassador for Climate Change, Mr. Michael P. Martin. We have had discussions and meetings in Poznan and Mr. Martin is leading a team in Bonn to ensure that Canada is one of the leaders in fighting climate change and introducing a global plan.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

I am afraid the time for questions has expired.

I would like to draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Abdullahi Ahmed Abdulle, the Minister of Diaspora Affairs for Somalia.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Presence in Gallery
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?

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Presence in Gallery
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

Order please. The hon. member for Bourassa is rising on a point of order arising from Oral Question Period.

I give the floor to the hon. member for Bourassa.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Point of Order
Sub-subtopic:   Oral Questions
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LIB

Denis Coderre

Liberal

Hon. Denis Coderre (Bourassa, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, these past two days, during Oral Question Period, a tendency has been exhibited in this place, especially between the Bloc Québécois and the Conservative Party.

I find it totally unacceptable, and I say so as a Quebecker, to see members from either side question the legitimacy of members of Parliament. Today, the member for Saint-Lambert, like the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie yesterday, referred to “token Quebeckers”. The member for Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière also questioned the legitimacy of the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie by referring to him as “the token member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie”.

I find it unacceptable that members of Parliament be described as “token”. Every member of this House serves adequately his or her constituents. Some may be less competent than others, but the legitimacy of members should never be questioned. I therefore ask that, from now on, no reference to token Quebeckers be made in this House.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Point of Order
Sub-subtopic:   Oral Questions
Permalink
LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

The hon. whip for the Bloc Québécois on this point of order.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Point of Order
Sub-subtopic:   Oral Questions
Permalink
BQ

Michel Guimond

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's remarks, but I should point out to him and to the House that such expressions are part of the vernacular in Quebec.

I refer to page 522 of Marleau and Montpetit, under the heading “Rules of Order and Decorum”, and nowhere do I find the expression “token Quebecker” mentioned in the definition of unparliamentary remarks.

I submit this very respectfully.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Point of Order
Sub-subtopic:   Oral Questions
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March 31, 2009