June 12, 2015

NDP

Matthew Kellway

New Democratic Party

Mr. Matthew Kellway (Beaches—East York, NDP)

Cities, Mr. Speaker, are where most of us live. They are the engines of the Canadian economy. Yet, they have been saddled with an infrastructure deficit of nearly $170 billion by Liberal and Conservative governments.

The Minister of Finance has called further investment in urban infrastructure a risky spending scheme, ignoring most obviously the billions lost to our economy due to gridlock.

The New Democrats are ready to partner with our municipal leaders. It is in our national interest to do so. Why are the Conservatives refusing to invest any more in our cities?

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, it is this Conservative government that is making record investments in infrastructure with $80 billion over the next decade. This includes the $53 billion new building Canada plan.

Not only are we making record investments, our government is keeping taxes low and we are balancing the budget.

What would the NDP do? It would take an “Ottawa knows best” top-down approach. It would hike taxes and run permanent deficits. It would do all of the above.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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NDP

Laurin Liu

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, once again, it is our most vulnerable citizens who are paying the price for the Conservative government's choices.

We have just learned that the 300 Quebec branches of meals on wheels will no longer have access to the federal new horizon for seniors program. This means that 30,000 people in Quebec, whose average age is 72, could see their services reduced.

Is the Conservative government really going to cancel funding for meals on wheels?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Social Development
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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, we created that program to help seniors all across the country. I am pleased to report to the House that that program is working and is meant to fund very specific programs for seniors. The Minister of State for Seniors travels all across the country in order to allocate funding and improve our seniors' quality of life. We are also lowering taxes for seniors, unlike what the New Democrats would do.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Social Development
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NDP

Laurin Liu

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, funding for meals on wheels is not the only funding that might disappear.

Some $232,00 of the funding that was allocated to the Lower Laurentians under the homelessness initiative and that will not be used could end up back in the public purse, even though these organizations desperately need it. Just look at the work done by Accueil communautaire jeunesse des Basses-Laurentides in Saint-Eustache.

Will the government use that money to help combat homelessness in the Lower Laurentians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Social Development
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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, as I just said, the program in question was created and funded by our budgets and managed by the Minister of State for Seniors. She does an excellent job allocating that funding, but she also supports tax cuts and income splitting for our seniors so that they can save money. The New Democrats want to raise taxes for our seniors, the people who built our country. We will do the opposite.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Social Development
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Maclean's magazine, Paul Wells wrote that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration was “delusional and culpably misleading capsule history of Canadian immigration policy” and concluded that “He’s one of the least impressive ministers in an increasingly weak government bench”.

The minister's goose may be cooked, but will he at least do the right thing and offer a sincere apology to Canadian Muslims?

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, as some members know, I spent six years in Afghanistan. I saw first-hand the systematic oppression of women by extremists like the Taliban, who often forbade women to uncover their faces on pain of death.

I take offence to what the member said in the House yesterday. I take offence to what the Liberal Party said two days ago. I await their apology.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, despite what the minister just said, he was asked about niqabs and immediately answered about terrorists. There is incontrovertible video evidence of this that cannot be denied.

Why does the minister keep playing to his party's old immigration Reform Party base by attacking refugees and Muslims? Why does he do that? Why will he not do the right thing, reflecting that background that he just described, and apologize to Canadian Muslims?

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, we all know that the member opposite has trouble taking responsibility for his own words, for the history of his own party, which has been anti-immigration, which has been against all of the reforms that have been undertaken since 2006.

The words he has ascribed to me were never spoken by me.

On behalf of all the women of Afghanistan, on behalf of all the victims of Taliban oppression, on behalf of all those who have been forced by pain of death not to uncover their faces, I would ask the member to apologize.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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NDP

Alain Giguère

New Democratic Party

Mr. Alain Giguère (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, small and medium-sized businesses are our economic lifeblood and they create the vast majority of jobs in Canada.

Unfortunately, our SMEs are still being forced to pay some of the highest credit card fees in the world—an average of 2%. A number of countries have restricted these fees to rates from 0.5% to 0.3%, far lower than Canada's rates. My motion to lower these exorbitant fees will be debated today.

Will the government support my motion and SMEs?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Consumer Protection
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CPC

Andrew Saxton

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we heard the concerns of small business and introduced a code of conduct. The code has been welcomed by consumers and industry groups, especially small business. We continually monitor compliance, and we are working with small business and consumers to ensure that both are heard.

However, the NDP voted against the code and against supporting small business and consumers.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Consumer Protection
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NDP

Mathieu Ravignat

New Democratic Party

Mr. Mathieu Ravignat (Pontiac, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, we now better understand why no inspections have been done at the Cliff Street central heating plant.

The number of health and safety inspectors has dropped from 120 to 80 as a result of the Conservatives' cuts. Nickel-and-diming is unacceptable when it puts the lives of public servants at risk.

Will the minister intervene quickly to ensure that all public servants have access to a safe workplace?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Labour
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CPC

Cathy McLeod

Conservative

Mrs. Cathy McLeod (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and for Western Economic Diversification, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, certainly our government is committed to workplaces that are safer and productive. To state that the inspectors have been cut is categorically false. As of March 31, there were 160 labour affairs officers who enforce the workplace health and safety standards that are set out in the Canada Labour Code.

We are proud of the hard work our dedicated labour officers do each day to keep Canadians safe on the job.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Labour
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CPC

Bob Zimmer

Conservative

Mr. Bob Zimmer (Prince George—Peace River, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, once again Israel has come under attack. In recent days, a number of rockets have been launched from the Gaza strip. These rockets are indiscriminate in terms of where they land and are primarily intended to instill fear within Israel's civilian population. To be perfectly clear, these are terrorist attacks.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs please provide the House with Canada's reaction to these acts of terror.

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, I want to thank the hon. member for his hard work in Parliament.

Canada condemns, in the strongest possible terms, these rocket attacks from Gaza. According to the reports, one such rocket actually fell short of its target and landed within Gaza. This is just another proof of what we have said all along. The only group responsible for the sufferings of the Palestinian people is the terrorist group Hamas.

Israel is Canada's greatest ally in the region. While others like the NDP take every opportunity they can to single out Israel, our Conservative government stands with Israel.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Irwin Cotler

Liberal

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the treatment of blogger Raif Badawi is a violation of Saudi Arabia's obligations to Canada under the convention against torture.

Now that the Saudi supreme court has upheld Raif's cruel sentence, the only possible recourse is a royal pardon. It is up to the Prime Minister to take up Raif's case directly with the Saudi king.

Will the Prime Minister ask the king to mark the beginning of Ramadan with a show of compassion and justice by freeing Raif Badawi and reuniting him with his family in Quebec?

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, Canada is deeply concerned with the sentence given to Raif Badawi of 1,000 lashes. Canadian 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 as long as he is being sentenced.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CPC

John Weston

Conservative

Mr. John Weston (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the principles of habeas corpus, no taxation without representation, the rule of law and other fundamental pillars of a free and democratic society trace their roots to the Magna Carta. In my own life, appreciation for these things drove me to become a constitutional lawyer and to found the Canadian Constitution Foundation.

On behalf of all Canadians who love freedom, could the Minister for Democratic Reform please update the House about the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canadian Heritage
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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, I thank the member for accurately pointing to the historical importance of this eight century old document, the anniversary of which we celebrate next week. In fact, Canada will play host to one of the issuances of the Magna Carta at the Canadian history museum. I was pleased to help unveil the new exhibit. I encourage all Canadians to go there.

I am so enamoured with it because it was born out of a tax revolt. It was one of the first examples of where the power of the Crown, also now known as the state, was restrained and the power of the individual was elevated. We need to build on those principles.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canadian Heritage
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June 12, 2015