February 8, 2011

BQ

Bernard Bigras

Bloc Québécois

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

Mr. Speaker, if the minster's plan is working, then why is Canada the country that is most threatening to the planet? That is the reality. Like the Bloc Québécois, Climate Action Network Canada is asking the federal government to use the upcoming budget to put an end to tax breaks for dirty fuel and implement policies for reducing our dependence on oil.

Why does the Conservative government continue to subsidize the oil industry and the oil sands rather than investing in clean energy alternatives?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Peter Kent

Conservative

Hon. Peter Kent (Minister of the Environment, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our gas emitting friends on the other side of the House should be aware that all Canadians are proud of the Canadian oil sands as a natural resource. It is well-regulated and responsibly administered in an environmentally-sensitive and sustainable manner.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Michael Savage

Liberal

Mr. Michael Savage (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, speaking of plans that are not working, let us talk about child care.

Canadian families are amazed at how out of touch the human resources minister is. Last week I asked her to indicate the government position on parental leave because her departmental lawyers were in court questioning the value of the current one year parental leave that supports parents to stay at home for a year with their children. She did not answer that one, but she did ignite a firestorm of protest by insulting parents who use child care when over 70% of mom's work.

Will the minister apologize to Canadian families and does she support the current one year parental leave plan brought in by the previous Liberal government?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we respect the right of parents to choose the form of child care that their children receive. Whether it is mom and dad staying at home, whether it is granny looking after them, or whether it is institutionalized day care, we support that choice through our universal child care benefit.

Let us take a look at the Liberals, when it comes to insulting parents. They are the ones who said that parents would spend the universal child care benefit on beer and popcorn. It was the Liberals who said that staying home to raise kids does not constitute a real job. We have a lot more respect for parents.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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LIB

Michael Savage

Liberal

Mr. Michael Savage (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the minister talks a lot about choice, but Canadians do not think much of the choices she has to offer. She suggested that families choose vacation time to help a sick loved one. She suggested EI was too generous, that perhaps workers choose to be on EI. Now she offends parents who use child care, and it seems that the one year parental leave program is on the chopping block as well. That would be quite a choice for Canadian families.

When will the minister stop attacking families and call a halt to her tough on families agenda?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we have done a number of things to help families. Apart from the universal child care benefit, we have made it possible for families with low income to get over the welfare wall with the introduction of the working income tax benefit and doubling it. We provided sports tax benefits to encourage the health of our children.

We are not going to insult Canadians like the Liberal member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel did when he referred to the universal child care benefit and said:

--the problem that I'm seeing is that the parents don't provide. They may have the money, but they use it for their own purposes--

That is an insult to Canadian families.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

Hon. John McCallum (Markham—Unionville, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the government has decided to punish social housing. The $400 million social housing program is one of the only infrastructure programs that did not get a seven-month extension.

Will the minister assure us today that it was simply an oversight and that the social housing program will also get a seven-month extension?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Social Housing
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of what has been done under the economic action plan to help people in need of housing. We invested $2 billion in this project, which immediately created jobs and helped thousands of people across Canada obtain the housing they needed.

For example, there are more than 12,000 projects currently under way to help these people. We are proud of that.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Social Housing
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

Hon. John McCallum (Markham—Unionville, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, decent housing is the foundation of decent health, jobs and productivity, and the minister has just said no to this question.

She has acknowledged that alone among the infrastructure programs, social housing is not going to get an extension, but just about everything else is. Among the $400 million, many millions are going to the poorest people in the country on aboriginal reserves.

Why is she signalling out social housing destined to benefit the poorest in the land for this special treatment of not getting an extension?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Social Housing
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, there are more than 12,000 housing renovation or construction projects under way right now as part of the economic action plan. The majority of these projects have already been completed. We are proud of that.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Social Housing
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CPC

Mike Wallace

Conservative

Mr. Mike Wallace (Burlington, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this morning the President of the Treasury Board tabled supplementary estimates (C), showing our government is on the right track to balancing the budget. These estimates ensure a strong economy and we urge the opposition to support them.

We are taking action to balance the budget. These estimates also show that we are not doing it on the backs of hard-working taxpayers like the Liberals did in the 1990s.

Could the President of the Treasury Board update the House on this important plan?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Economy
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CPC

Stockwell Day

Conservative

Hon. Stockwell Day (President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's diligence on doing his part and listening to his constituents in terms of furthering our action plan.

The documents that I tabled this morning in fact show increased payments and enhancements on things like the agri-stability program for our farmers, enhanced benefits for veterans, and an increase in the educational savings grant program for families saving for college education. We are pleased to do that.

It also shows, in these numbers that were tabled, that we are on track to a balanced budget.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Economy
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NDP

Thomas Mulcair

New Democratic Party

Mr. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, everyone agrees that white collar criminals deserve sentences that reflect the seriousness of their crimes.

In order to ensure that the system of granting parole after one-sixth of a sentence is served, which was brought in about 15 years ago, is updated in a responsible manner, the NDP believes that this bill needs to be carefully studied. That is our primary responsibility as parliamentarians.

I have three questions concerning the Conservative-Bloc scheme that was concocted behind closed doors. How many cases will be affected? What effect will the charter have on retroactivity? How much will it cost?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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CPC

Vic Toews

Conservative

Hon. Vic Toews (Minister of Public Safety, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, there is only one person and one party standing in the way of ensuring that we end accelerated parole for criminals and that is the New Democratic Party. It is consistent with its policies in respect of soft on crime and allowing criminals to victimize people through fraud, especially our senior citizens.

I am asking that member to reconsider his ill-thought out position, stand with us, and pass that bill today to end accelerated parole for fraudsters.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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NDP

Thomas Mulcair

New Democratic Party

Mr. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for proving that they cannot answer a single question.

The individual at the Competition Bureau who is responsible for collusion cases for Quebec is all alone. He has no resources and cannot do his job. And yet, that falls under federal jurisdiction.

Consider the famous case of Earl Jones. Documents submitted in court clearly show that the Royal Bank knew that he was committing fraud, yet it did nothing. Who is responsible for watching over the banks? The federal government. What did it do? Nothing.

Is that not the real problem? Instead of trying to prevent us from doing our jobs, the government needs to start doing its job.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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CPC

Vic Toews

Conservative

Hon. Vic Toews (Minister of Public Safety, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the heart of the problem is the law now allows the individual to get out of prison after serving one-sixth of his or her sentence.

The New Democratic Party is standing in the way of reforms that would ensure individuals like that serve their debt to society and are not released back on the street to victimize other individuals.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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BQ

Pierre Paquette

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre Paquette (Joliette, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is handing out partisan appointments left, right and centre. After Rights & Democracy and the CRTC, it is now the turn of the CBC to be subjected to the Conservatives' attempts to take control by appointing Pierre Gingras to the board of directors of the crown corporation.

Will the Prime Minister admit that his government is packing the boards of the organizations he wants to control with his party's cronies in order to impose his Conservative ideology?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government appointments
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CPC

James Moore

Conservative

Hon. James Moore (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I just told the NDP, that accusation is completely false. Mr. Gingras will do a very good job at the CBC. I would also like to point out that Mr. Gingras was a candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada, not the Conservative Party, in 2004. He is at arm's length from the government and he will do a good job at the CBC.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government appointments
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BQ

Jean Dorion

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Jean Dorion (Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the widow of Rémy Beauregard, the former president of Rights & Democracy who died while still in office after being harassed by some members of the board of directors appointed by the Conservatives, said she is stunned and deeply shocked by the renewal of Jacques Gauthier's and Elliot Tepper's terms. She is calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to reverse, and I quote, “this completely irrational decision”.

Will the minister listen to Suzanne Trépanier, who is calling for the removal of these board members?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government appointments
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CPC

Lawrence Cannon

Conservative

Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we informed the opposition of our intention to renew the terms of some board members. As with other appointments to Rights & Democracy, we are consulting the opposition in the hope of obtaining a positive response. If the opposition members have strong opinions and wish to make constructive comments, we would be pleased to listen to them. This is the standard procedure for such appointments.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government appointments
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February 8, 2011