March 24, 2011

CPC

Randy Hoback

Conservative

Mr. Randy Hoback (Prince Albert, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on the priorities of Canadians. This week, the next phase of Canada's economic action plan was introduced in the House.

Unfortunately, the reckless coalition, led by the Liberal leader, has said it will force an unnecessary and opportunistic election.

As a member from the north, could the Minister of Health update this House on the new measures included in the budget to improve the welfare of Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
Permalink
CPC

Leona Aglukkaq

Conservative

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am proud that our government has included in our budget new measures to forgive student loans for doctors as well as student nurses working in rural and remote communities.

In fact, our budget included a new family tax credit for caregivers of loved ones who are ill. As well, the plan also includes health transfers to the provinces and territories.

Unfortunately, the reckless coalition has said it will force an unnecessary and costly election that will kill measures that will help Canadians.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
Permalink
NDP

Jack Harris

New Democratic Party

Mr. Jack Harris (St. John's East, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, another day, another investigation into Conservative corruption.

Party insiders close to the defence minister have received senior jobs with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. One is even getting up to two years of French training on full salary before he starts work in P.E.I. ACOA is an agency of the Government of Canada, not the Conservative Party.

The Conservatives have appointed Conservative bagmen to the Senate, kept a known fraudster in their inner circle, and now there is more evidence of patronage run amok.

What happened to their promise to clean up Liberal-style corruption?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
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CPC

Keith Ashfield

Conservative

Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to accountability and transparency. The minister's office does not interfere in the hiring practices of the agency.

Our government brought in the Federal Accountability Act, which tightened up the rules. Strict Government of Canada guidelines and practices are always respected.

The real concern is that we know the coalition members across the way would recklessly increase spending, raise taxes, and kill jobs not only in Atlantic Canada but right across this great country.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
NDP

Pat Martin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, any pretense of reform under the Federal Accountability Act has given way to the old, unbridled patronage and rum bottle politics of the Mulroney years, complete with a brand new parcel of rogues lining their own pockets by peddling their influence.

I know they think that the boys have to make a living, but trying to profiteer from the third world conditions of first nations goes beyond unethical. It is loathsome and reprehensible.

In the death rattle of this Conservative government, I want it to tell us one thing. What role did Bruce Carson play in writing the Federal Accountability Act?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC)

None, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
BQ

Carole Lavallée

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Carole Lavallée (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative budget does not meet Quebec’s needs as far as cultural development is concerned. The budget does not contain any direct assistance to increase artists’ incomes, nor is there any new money for Quebec's film industry. The Conservatives have demonstrated that they have no intention of restoring the international touring grant programs. Moreover, arts and culture program spending was cut by 7% in the last fiscal year.

Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage realize that his government’s indifference when it comes to Quebec and its culture may end up triggering an election?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
Permalink
CPC

James Moore

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the member is completely wrong. Our sixth budget was tabled in the House. There has been a nationwide increase in funding for arts and culture in each and every budget. Here is what the Canadian Conference of the Arts had to say in support of our budget: “In this version of the 2011 budget, we see the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan put into place to support culture and communities, and investing in innovation, education and training.”

Moreover, Étienne Alary, president of the Association de la presse francophone, said in support of our budget that they were glad to see that the voice of minority official language publications had been heard. As usual, we have delivered the goods when it comes to culture.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
Permalink
BQ

Nicolas Dufour

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Nicolas Dufour (Repentigny, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, for years everyone in Quebec has been asking for an $800 million-plus increase to post-secondary education transfers in order to restore them to 1994-95 indexed levels. Instead of continuing to encroach on Quebec's jurisdiction by announcing new research chairs in its budget, the government should transfer the long-awaited $800 million.

Does the Minister of Finance understand that it is his government's indifference towards Quebec and its post-secondary education system that could trigger an election?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Post-Secondary Education
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has the facts all wrong. We introduced the Canada student grants program to help students with the cost of their education, to allow them to attend a post-secondary institution and reduce their debt. We want to help them take advantage of training and have access to education. Unfortunately, the Bloc voted against all of our efforts, the same way they will vote against—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Post-Secondary Education
Permalink
LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

The hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Post-Secondary Education
Permalink
LIB

Rodger Cuzner

Liberal

Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Cape Breton—Canso, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the list of politically motivated Conservative appointments is long and broad, as was said earlier in the House, but none more concerning or egregious than those taking place in ACOA. ACOA P.E.I. has become a retirement home for old Conservative cronies.

Could the minister confirm to the House how many Conservative appointees are currently being investigated by the Public Service Commission? It is a simple question. How many are being investigated?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
CPC

Keith Ashfield

Conservative

Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, again, I will reiterate my previous comments to the member across. We do not interfere in the hiring practices of the agency. Our government brought in the Federal Accountability Act, which tightened up the rules. Strict Government of Canada guidelines are always adhered to.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
LIB

Rodger Cuzner

Liberal

Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Cape Breton—Canso, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, he can tell that to the judge.

If the minister spent less time looking after his Conservative buddies and more time looking after Atlantic Canadians, maybe we would not have been shafted in the budget like we did this week. There is $85 billion dollars for Fisheries and Oceans; $35 million for ACOA; $7 million for Marine Atlantic. Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul. They robbed Peter, they robbed Keith, they robbed Gail . Where were these ministers from Atlantic Canada when this robbery was going on? Where were they when they were taking money from Atlantic Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso was talking about various names that sounded suspiciously like ministers to me and he knows he cannot refer to members in the House by their names.

However, the hon. Minister of National Revenue, I am sure, will avoid this.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
CPC

Keith Ashfield

Conservative

Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, through you, to the member opposite, with the utmost respect, I would ask him to give his head a shake.

In our budget, we have the responsibility as a government to conduct reviews of programs and practices to ensure we are delivering the best results for Canadians. Any responsible organization does that. Savings would be realized going forward and in a manner that will not negatively affect client services or program delivery.

The real concern is now we know that the coalition members across the way would recklessly increase spending and raise taxes that would affect Atlantic Canada as well as all of Canada.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
NDP

Claude Gravelle

New Democratic Party

Mr. Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, northern families are struggling to find doctors and nurses, yet this budget would do nothing to solve that problem.

Dr. Roger Strasser, the dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, said:

Just providing financial incentives are not enough to turn around the shortage of doctors and nurses in rural and remote areas.

Why are Conservatives ignoring health specialists and northern families?

Why did the Conservatives reject the NDP's practical plan to increase the number of family doctors and nurses in rural Canada?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
Permalink
CPC

Leona Aglukkaq

Conservative

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, again, how ironic. The member claims to care about the health care of Canadians and the health of Canadians, but will be voting against the budget that addresses those issues he has just raised.

The vote against the budget is a rejection of the research funding that we are putting forward. The vote against the budget is a vote against doctors and nurses in rural and remote communities. The vote against the budget is voting against the increased transfers to the provinces and territories again. This is a vote against Canadians.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
Permalink
NDP

Peter Julian

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the hated HST pushed by the government on British Columbians costs the average B.C. senior around $2.00 a day. Now Conservatives claim a measly $1.15 a day more for seniors would somehow address tragic levels of poverty.

Conservatives spend without limit every time a corporate CEO has his hand out with $60 billion in corporate tax cuts. However, what about the seniors who built this country? A loonie a day for them? How disgraceful. Canadian seniors deserve better.

Why will the government not give older Canadians the retirement security, retirement dignity that they deserve? It takes away too much. It gives--

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Budget
Permalink

March 24, 2011