April 24, 2015

CPC

Kellie Leitch

Conservative

Hon. K. Kellie Leitch (Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I ask the member opposite if she is supporting the budget, because we are supporting interns. Economic action plan 2015 specifically outlines for interns in federal jurisdiction, regardless of the pay they receive, occupational health and safety benefits. Please, just read the text. We are very focused on making sure that people are safe and productive in the workplace.

In addition to that, we are also focused on making sure Canadians have jobs which New Democrats are also against. We are for lowering taxes. They are for heightening them on middle-class Canadians. The facts are that we are doing things to make sure workplaces are safe, productive, and individuals are making funds. The NDP totally opposed all those things.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Labour
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NDP

Laurin Liu

New Democratic Party

Ms. Laurin Liu (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the government talks a good line, but its actions do not measure up.

The youth unemployment rate is double the national average. Too many young people are accepting unpaid internships because there are no jobs available. In their last budget, the Conservatives promised to do something about that, but they voted against my bill to protect interns.

Does the government really intend to act, or will it leave those problems to the Prime Minister's granddaughter to solve?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Labour
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CPC

Kellie Leitch

Conservative

Hon. K. Kellie Leitch (Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I just mentioned what is in economic action plan 2015. Our government knows that internships in particular can provide important learning experiences so people get that first job. We are focused on making sure internships are available. They have been available in our previous budgets and would be available in this one. In fact, we have created 1.2 million net new jobs since the downturn of the recession, through numerous mechanisms. The New Democrats are against those things.

In addition to that, we are about lowering taxes, ensuring middle-class Canadians and even those students getting an income have lower taxes. The New Democrats want to heighten taxes on every Canadian.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Labour
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NDP

Mylène Freeman

New Democratic Party

Ms. Mylène Freeman (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservative government is putting billions of dollars into the pockets of the wealthiest Canadians, we find nothing in its latest budget to support women, nothing to provide them with support in their careers, such as affordable child care, nothing to ensure that they get pay equity.

With income splitting, this spring the Conservatives told women to stay at home; now, with their budget, the Conservatives are not giving them any other option.

Why is the government doing nothing to help women?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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CPC

Kellie Leitch

Conservative

Hon. K. Kellie Leitch (Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, in the budget there is a new action plan for women entrepreneurs, again creating new jobs. That is what we need to do, create new jobs. We know that when women lead a company they actually hire more women, again creating more jobs. Let alone, the universal child care benefit which would actually benefit every mother and every father by ensuring they have a benefit. That is unlike the plan that the NDP put forward.

We are about supporting families, particularly women, ensuring they have great jobs. The New Democrats vote against it every time.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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NDP

Mylène Freeman

New Democratic Party

Ms. Mylène Freeman (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, this budget would take no action on violence against women, pay equity or child care. There would be nothing to empower women to make those choices. Women are more than half of the university graduates, but when they graduate they will earn 10% to 30% less than men.

Women need access to child care, to proactive pay equity, freedom from violence and strong federal leadership on gender equality.

Why did the budget help the wealthiest few while ignoring half of Canada's population?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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CPC

Kellie Leitch

Conservative

Hon. K. Kellie Leitch (Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the economic action plan specifically focuses on issues with sexual harassment in the workplace, ensuring women are protected there, as well as a number of initiatives that we have moved forward on to make sure we are supporting victims of crime.

About job creation, there there would be a new action plan for women entrepreneurs, creating jobs. They in turn create more jobs, particularly for women.

I encourage the member opposite to read the budget. We are about making sure jobs are created, taxes are lowered and Canadian women are supported through the universal child care benefit. They vote against these things every single time.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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NDP

Paul Dewar

New Democratic Party

Mr. Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, in this budget the Conservatives showed once again they have no respect for public servants. How can they claim to be bargaining in good faith with the public service on sick days when they are already declaring what the outcome will be? That is not good faith, that is not respecting the process and it is not negotiation.

Why does the minister show such disrespect for the public servants who work hard every day for all Canadians? They work hard for him and they work hard for the current government every day. Why is there such disrespect for public servants here in Ottawa and across the country?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Service of Canada
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CPC

Dan Albas

Conservative

Mr. Dan Albas (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the government is committed to having good faith and meaningful negotiations with bargaining agents on sick leave and the short-term disability plan. The proposed disability plan would give public servants the comprehensive safety net that they need while protecting taxpayers who pay the bill. This is a win-win situation.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Service of Canada
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NDP

Mathieu Ravignat

New Democratic Party

Mr. Mathieu Ravignat (Pontiac, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, with their budget, the Conservatives are already banking on saving $900 million on public service sick leave and disability benefits this year even though no agreement has been reached with the unions.

The President of the Treasury Board maintains that he wants to negotiate in good faith, but does he realize that he is doing exactly the opposite through his actions? Is he purposely derailing the negotiations with public servants who are working hard to provide us with top-quality services?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Service of Canada
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CPC

Dan Albas

Conservative

Mr. Dan Albas (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, again, the government is committed to good faith and meaningful negotiations with bargaining agents on sick leave and the short-term disability plan. The 40-year-old sick-leave accumulation system is antiquated and not responsive to the needs of the majority of our employees.

Over 60% of employees in the core public administration do not have enough banked sick leave to cover a full period of short-term disability. That is why the government is proposing a short-term disability plan that would help public servants get healthy and back to work.

Again, we are looking out for the taxpayer and we are looking out for our employees. This can be a win-win for everyone.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Service of Canada
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LIB

Emmanuel Dubourg

Liberal

Mr. Emmanuel Dubourg (Bourassa, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, intimidating charities was not enough for the Canada Revenue Agency. Now it is campaigning for the Conservatives. Under the guise of requesting to confirm information it already has, the CRA is sending out mail to promote Conservative policies that have not even been approved here in Parliament yet.

Canadians are no fools. Rosemary Ronald is not happy that this money is being spent on partisan letters. Why are the Conservatives using tax dollars to campaign?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Advertising
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CPC

Pierre Poilievre

Conservative

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Democratic Reform, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the notice the government sent to parents indicates that Parliament voted twice in favour of increasing the universal child care benefit to almost $2,000 for every child under 6 and $720 for every child between 6 and 17.

The Liberals do not want parents to know that this money is available because they want to take that money away and hand it over to big bureaucracies. We are putting that money directly into mom and dad's pockets.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Advertising
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LIB

Frank Valeriote

Liberal

Mr. Frank Valeriote (Guelph, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, veterans' benefits must also be an issue the government wants to leave to the Prime Minister's grandchildren.

First, the Conservatives claw back $1.1 billion from veterans affairs so they can dole it out in inadequate portions later. Then they deny that firing 900 front-line workers was badly impacting veterans, despite their own department's warning, until they were forced to rehire a small fraction of them.

Now the Conservatives announce new financial benefits, but will not cover PTSD. Why are Canada's veterans always an afterthought for these Conservatives?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
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CPC

Pierre Lemieux

Conservative

Mr. Pierre Lemieux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, how untrue. Economic action plan 2015 not only benefits all Canadians, including low- and middle-income Canadians but also veterans.

Let me give some examples. Within this economic action plan is the new retirement income security benefit, which provides moderately to severely disabled veterans with a monthly income support payment beginning at age 65. There is also the family caregiver relief benefit, a new benefit for caregivers, and the critical injury benefit, which provides a $70,000 tax-free award to support those Canadian Armed Forces personnel who experience a sudden injury.

Will this member support our veterans by supporting our economic action plan? That is the question.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
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LIB

Frank Valeriote

Liberal

Mr. Frank Valeriote (Guelph, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, those benefits cut them from a $60,000 pension to a $27,000 pension, and back to $42,000. Why do they not get their full $60,000 pension?

Veterans suffering from latent long-term symptoms of PTSD are also excluded from VAC's new injury award under Bill C-58. Even the Veterans Ombudsman acknowledges it does not go nearly far enough in supporting injured veterans as it will affect only a handful of former service members each year, and none with PTSD.

Why are the Conservatives so stubbornly refusing to present a plan that will honour our sacred obligation to veterans and all their families?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
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CPC

Pierre Lemieux

Conservative

Mr. Pierre Lemieux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this member really needs to start following the exciting new initiatives that we are delivering for our veterans.

He should be aware that we are expanding and opening nine new mental health injury clinics to support our veterans and their families all across Canada.

I mentioned, in this economic action plan, the family caregiver relief benefit, which provides eligible veterans with a tax-free annual grant of over $7,200 to ensure that the veterans' needs are met. That is going to support the family.

Will this member support our veterans by supporting this economic action plan that has so many excellent measures for our veterans and their families?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
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NDP

Irene Mathyssen

New Democratic Party

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Ontario farmers are worried because avian flu has been confirmed on a second farm in Oxford County, and the quarantine now stretches into the Waterloo Region.

This is the second major outbreak of bird flu in Canada in the last six months at a time when Conservative cuts have decimated the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. It has lost 300 employees while 54 positions in animal health remain unfilled.

What is the government's plan to contain the outbreak and protect the poultry industry? Will the Conservatives reverse their destructive cuts to CFIA?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Agriculture and Agri-Food
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CPC

Gerald Keddy

Conservative

Mr. Gerald Keddy (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture, to the Minister of National Revenue and for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, testing has confirmed that H5 avian influenza is on a number of farms in Ontario.

We are working closely with the province, industry and producers. CFIA has placed the farms under quarantine, and has established appropriate control zones in accordance with international protocols.

CFIA will continue to keep the public informed of developments through its technical briefings.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Agriculture and Agri-Food
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NDP

Irene Mathyssen

New Democratic Party

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Mario Martinez Diaz came to Canada as a temporary foreign worker. His employer repeatedly broke the contract Diaz had signed before coming, including changing the job description and the wage, but has his employer had his labour market opinion revoked? No. Has his employer been put on the blacklist? No. So much for getting tough on abuse of the program.

Why do the Conservatives always promise reforms and then fall into the same old patterns of neglect when the media spotlight fades?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Employment
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April 24, 2015