Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member and all members that the loss of Loretta Saunders is a firm reminder of the realities faced by not only aboriginal women but all women when it comes to violence in this country.
We as a government have made it a priority to bring forward legislation that not only toughens penalties but sends a strong message of deterrence and denunciation for any form of violence, including against children, but certainly against women, certainly against vulnerable people.
To suggest otherwise, or to suggest in any way that this government is insensitive to those challenges, is absolutely misleading.
Hon. Rob Nicholson (Minister of National Defence, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member that this is absolutely ridiculous. I extend the apologies of everyone in the government to his mother. We thank that individual for the service he gave his country.
That being said, this is an insensitive bureaucratic screw-up. I have just learned of it now, and I will take steps immediately to ensure that something like this should never happen again.
Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we appreciate the sentiment of the Minister of National Defence.
However, this is not the very first time something of this insensitive nature has happened to the heroes of our country who unfortunately take their own lives. We just want to make sure the minister fully understands exactly what has transpired here, because that cheque was not sent from the Minister of Defence; it was sent from Public Works and Government Services Canada; so somewhere along the line there is a change here in this issue.
Can the minister now assure us that this will never happen again? Can he assure us, in writing, that he will contact the family—
Mr. Speaker, members on this side of the House want to see qualified veterans placed at the front of the line for posted federal public service jobs. That is because only this side of the House truly supports Canadian veterans transitioning from military to civilian life.
Will the Minister of Veterans Affairs please update this House on the position PSAC took and what he intends to do about it?
Hon. Julian Fantino (Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.
A senior Public Service Alliance of Canada spokesman, John MacLennan, said the following about putting injured veterans at the front of the line: “It's not right.... It's disrespectful to public servants, topping up opportunities for veterans...”.
Big union bosses do not like helping injured veterans get federal public service jobs if they are qualified, which we, of course, are putting forward.
Will the opposition parties follow their big union bosses and vote against the hiring veterans act?
Mr. Speaker, just before the crisis, the employment rate was 64%. It is now 62% and has been for at least two years.
What is more, Statistics Canada has confirmed that the supplementary unemployment rate, which includes discouraged searchers and involuntary part-time workers, is over 10%.
With this sort of results, how can the Prime Minister describe his finance minister as the best in the entire world, particularly since the finance minister seems to share the Prime Minister's vision less and less?
Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that over one million net new jobs have been created since the end of the recession. Over 85% of them have been full time and 80% in the private sector, and the future looks good. Both the IMF and the OECD predict that Canada will be a major job creator in the future.
Mr. Speaker, let us talk about jobs. There is an increasing number of unpaid internships in Canada. Nearly 300,000 young Canadians are doing unpaid work. These young people work hard and did well in school, but unfortunately, they are being forced to accept entry-level jobs and work without pay for long periods of time, often in very difficult conditions.
The youth unemployment rate shows that it is extremely difficult for young people to access the labour market.
What does the minister intend to do to ensure that these young people are treated fairly?
Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his question.
We are making record investments in training young Canadians so that they can find jobs commensurate with their skill levels. That is why we proposed the Canada job grant, among other measures.
As I said before, I am very pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement in principle with all of the provinces and territories to move forward with these investments and thereby get employers more involved and increase private sector investments in the training of workers, including young Canadians.
Hon. Gail Shea (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for West Nova for his hard work on this file and for defending the seal hunt.
We have seen the actions of animal rights groups and foreign radicals disrupt the hunt and put the lives of sealers, licensed observers, and DFO personnel at even greater risk.
I am proud to announce today that our government will continue its commitment to the seal hunt by supporting Bill C-555. We hope the rest of the House follows our lead. Whether it is at the World Trade Organization or on the ice of the north Atlantic, sealers can rest assured that our government will continue to fight for them.