June 12, 2015

LIB

Stéphane Dion

Liberal

Hon. Stéphane Dion (Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage has botched the preparations for the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

We have been calling for plans for these celebrations for over a year now. Instead, the Conservatives have come up with a preposterous infrastructure program, leaving just a few weeks for submitting proposals, and excluding lots of players, including the municipalities of Quebec. This patchwork plan has been rushed and handled in a disorderly fashion.

Will they admit that they are just waiting to hand out goodies before the election?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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CPC

Peter Braid

Conservative

Mr. Peter Braid (Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Communities, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is very proud to have established the Canada 150 community infrastructure program.

We are seeing significant interest from community groups, from not-for-profit organizations, from legion halls and from across the country. We look forward to working with them, to partnering with those important organizations in our communities to not only renew recreational infrastructure but to celebrate this country's 150th anniversary.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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LIB

Judy Sgro

Liberal

Hon. Judy Sgro (York West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister clearly is not known for bridge building.

In fact, after pilfering 90% of the building Canada fund, Canada's 150 slush fund will now dole out ad hoc goodies without a plan for Canada's long-term infrastructure needs. Municipal leaders know that federal co-operation with our cities is at an all-time low. Canada's mayors are begging for money for sewer lines, subway lines and all the Prime Minister does is offer them political lines.

Cities know the difference between civil engineering and campaign engineering, but when is the Prime Minister going to know it?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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CPC

Peter Braid

Conservative

Mr. Peter Braid (Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Communities, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, that question is a bridge to nowhere.

We will take no lessons from the Liberals with respect to infrastructure. Since our Conservative government formed office, Canada has consistently led G7 countries with respect to investments in infrastructure as a percentage of GDP. Over the next decade, our Conservative government will invest $80 billion in infrastructure. This includes the $53-billion new building Canada plan.

What will the Liberals do? They will hike taxes, and we learned this week they will raid pension plans in this country. Canadians want the Liberals to keep their hands off—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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CPC

Barry Devolin

Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Barry Devolin)

The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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LIB

Adam Vaughan

Liberal

Mr. Adam Vaughan (Trinity—Spadina, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, if Canadians want to build the country, there is a party on this side prepared to do it. If all they want are talking points, those are talking points.

Across Canada, cities and towns are scrambling, holding emergency meetings, and trying to fill out very complicated and convoluted application forms for the Canada 150 fund. There is different criteria for different cities. There are different provinces dealing with different applications forms. The government has spent more time composing its talking notes and creating billboards than it has actually creating an infrastructure program that works for towns and cities.

Why does the government not sit down with the FCM and municipalities, and come up with real money for transit, housing and infrastructure, instead of these gimmicky plans and silly programs?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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CPC

Peter Braid

Conservative

Mr. Peter Braid (Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Communities, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we are not only making record investments in infrastructure across this country, we are also making record investments in public transit.

These investments in public transit will go even further. Public transit is an eligible category under every component of the new building Canada plan. Of course, in our recent budget we announced the public transit fund. This will provide support to major projects in large cities across this country.

This Conservative government is getting it done. Canadians understand these achievements.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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NDP

Kennedy Stewart

New Democratic Party

Mr. Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, in 2012, the former minister of citizenship proclaimed with great fanfare that the government was going to revoke the citizenship of thousands of fraudsters.

Three years later, the government has acted on only 81 cases, and the department has quietly admitted that many of the people it was pursuing were innocent. This is a consistent pattern from the Conservatives and especially that minister, exaggerating threats to score political points.

Why do the Conservatives not, for once, put partisanship aside and focus on finally eliminating huge immigration backlogs?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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CPC

Chris Alexander

Conservative

Hon. Chris Alexander (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, that is a strange question coming from that party, which opposed our measures to improve the integrity and strengthen the value of Canadian citizenship.

We have taken action to revoke citizenship for misrepresentation, for fraud, based on due process, based on investigations under the law, and we will continue to do so.

What is scandalous is that that party continues to oppose the idea that dual nationals should have their citizenship revoked. That provision is now enforced, thanks to this government, when they are convicted for terrorism.

That is what Canadians want, and the NDP has always refused it.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe

New Democratic Party

Ms. Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds—Dollard, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the minister is all talk and no action: in 2012, he was extremely proud to announce that his government was going to revoke the citizenship of 3,000 people who allegedly obtained it under false pretenses. Three years later, 81 people saw their citizenship revoked. Again, the Conservatives chose to play politics on the backs of new arrivals by accusing them of fraud and by inflating the figures. What is more, the processing of these cases has dragged on. Some files have not moved in three years.

Will the minister apologize to the Canadians he unjustly accused of fraud and will he fast-track these files?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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CPC

Chris Alexander

Conservative

Hon. Chris Alexander (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, there are still thousands of investigations under way, hundreds of serious cases where revocation is still on the table, and, yes, dozens of cases where we revoked citizenship on account of fraud. It is no thanks to the support of the NDP that this was possible, quite the contrary. The NDP insisted on opposing all our measures to enhance the integrity and value of Canadian citizenship, including by revoking citizenship from dual nationals who are convicted of terrorism. It is scandalous.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe

New Democratic Party

Ms. Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds—Dollard, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the completely inhumane treatment of blogger Raif Badawi seems to be mobilizing everyone but the government. Today, the Government of Quebec will announce that it will immediately issue a selection certificate to Mr. Badawi on humanitarian grounds. The minister in Ottawa has not said a word. It is the eleventh hour for Mr. Badawi, as his cruel punishment could even resume today.

Will the minister follow his Quebec colleague's lead and take action to reunite Mr. Badawi with his family?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Hon. Deepak Obhrai (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has spoken with Minister St-Pierre from Quebec. The minister discussed their mutual concerns regarding the sentence given to Mr. Badawi. The minister looks forward to meeting with Minister St-Pierre in the very near future.

Again, Canada considers the sentencing to be a violation of human dignity. We will continue raising this matter with the Saudi officials as we have in the past.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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NDP

Wayne Marston

New Democratic Party

Mr. Wayne Marston (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, this is an urgent situation. Mr. Badawi's health is at risk and his punishment is certainly inhumane. Advocating for human rights and democracy is certainly not a crime. Now the Government of Quebec has said that province would welcome Mr. Badawi and is prepared to deliver a certificate of humanitarian selection to Mr. Badawi.

The obvious question: Why is the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration not taking action to reunite Mr. Badawi with his family?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Hon. Deepak Obhrai (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the minister discussed this week our concern regarding the sentence given to Mr. Badawi with Minister St-Pierre from Quebec. We are deeply concerned that Saudi human rights activist Raif Badawi has been sentenced. Canadians officials have raised this matter with the Saudi government.

Canada considers the punishment of Mr. Badawi to be a violation of human dignity and we continue to call for clemency in this case. This will continue, going forward, until clemency is granted.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CPC

Bryan Hayes

Conservative

Mr. Bryan Hayes (Sault Ste. Marie, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on what matters to Canadians, jobs and economic growth. Our plan for jobs is tax cuts, trade and training.

Since the recession, 1.2 million net new jobs have been created, and almost 59,000 jobs in May alone.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance update this House on what the government is doing to make life more affordable for Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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CPC

Andrew Saxton

Conservative

Mr. Andrew Saxton (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to note that Canadian household net worth increased in the first quarter to an all-time high, reflecting continued gains in household assets. This is proof our low-tax plan is working.

Our government has delivered on its promise to Canadians to make life more affordable and continue to lower taxes. This past year alone, we have doubled the tax-free savings account, introduced the family tax cut and enhanced the universal child care benefit. As a result, the average family of four has $6,600 more in their pocket this year.

With a fragile global economy, now is not the time for risky schemes and untested—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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CPC

Barry Devolin

Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Barry Devolin)

The hon. member for Laval.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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NDP

José Nunez-Melo

New Democratic Party

Mr. José Nunez-Melo (Laval, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Laval has had enough of Canada Post's intransigence. Together with Montreal, Longueuil and Westmount, Laval has decided to go to court to stop Canada Post from eliminating home delivery. This movement is growing across the country. More than 600 municipalities are opposed to the end of home mail delivery.

Will the Conservative government finally stop and consider the thousands of petitions against this plan that have been signed by the people of Laval?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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CPC

Jeff Watson

Conservative

Mr. Jeff Watson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, in 2014, Canada Post delivered 1.4 billion fewer pieces of mail than in 2006. Two-thirds of Canadians do not have mail delivered to their door, and Canada Post must balance its books without being a burden on Canadian taxpayers. The NDP plan for Canada Post will cost taxpayers half a billion dollars a year, which means that the NDP will increase the tax burden on all Canadians to finance its plan. That is not what we on this side of the House are going to do. Instead, we are going to keep taxes low for Canadians.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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June 12, 2015