December 14, 2016

LIB

Bill Morneau

Liberal

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the numbers are clear. This was a good year in Canadian politics.

We started with a tax cut for the middle class. We also improved life for seniors by enhancing old age security. We also created the Canada child benefit, which helps nine out of ten families have more money. These are the measures we have taken. Next year, we will continue to help the middle class.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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CPC

Gérard Deltell

Conservative

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is definitely not by taxing people's private insurance that they are going to achieve that goal.

In addition to taking money out of workers' wallets, the minister has nothing to put under the Christmas tree for business people, who are the creators of jobs and wealth. In the new year, they are going to have to deal with the Liberal tax on carbon, additional contributions to pension funds, the elimination of tax credits, and the refusal to lower business taxes. That is what our business people, our job creators, can expect.

As Christmas approaches, why is the minister acting like Scrooge towards our job creators?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

Bill Morneau

Liberal

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we want to make investments for the future while we help the middle class, and that is exactly what we are doing.

We have made historic investments in our country's infrastructure, which will improve Canada's future growth.

Next year we will proceed with our program that will invest in the future of our children and grandchildren.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach

New Democratic Party

Ms. Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Salaberry—Suroît, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, over the past two months, I have been calling on the government to do something to help students who are still not getting paid as a result of problems with Phoenix.

Yesterday, we learned that nearly 1,700 student workers at Parks Canada have had problems with their pay. Students have a lot of expenses, particularly with the rising cost of tuition.

These young people finished working four months ago. They were not volunteers. When will the Minister of Public Services and Procurement be able to assure me that all of these students will get paid?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Services and Procurement
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LIB

Judy Foote

Liberal

Hon. Judy Foote (Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, it is totally unacceptable for anyone to go without pay for work performed, certainly in the case of students. I can report today that there are three students who are still waiting for pay. We are working very hard on their cases in order to get them resolved as quickly as possible.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Services and Procurement
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NDP

Niki Ashton

New Democratic Party

Ms. Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it has been two months since the Phoenix deadline, and 10,000 cases have yet to be fixed, meaning thousands of Canadians are still waiting to get paid, yet we have learned that executives in charge of this fiasco are getting bonuses. Let us get this straight. Executives are getting performance bonuses for a program that does not work.

With the holidays around the corner, this adds insult to injury to the so many who are still waiting to get paid. Will the minister prove that her government takes this seriously and halt the bonuses until Phoenix is fixed?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Services and Procurement
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LIB

Judy Foote

Liberal

Hon. Judy Foote (Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, there is no one more concerned about this issue than I am as the minister responsible. We are working very hard. We have put measures in place, including satellite offices. We have hired 250 additional people to deal with these issues. We are now dealing with really complex issues. In fact, the 10,000 cases that remain are issues that have been outstanding, some going back three years. We are doing everything we can to deal with the issue, and we will continue to do that.

In the interim, if there are any employees who are affected by this pay system, I encourage them to get in touch with us, and to make sure that they—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Services and Procurement
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LIB
LIB

Neil Ellis

Liberal

Mr. Neil Ellis (Bay of Quinte, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, after three governments, four prime ministers, and 14 years since the project began, I was proud that our government has successfully acquired fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft. These aircraft play a critical role, carrying out search and rescue operations to respond to Canadians in distress across our vast country of over 18 million square kilometres.

Can the Minister of Public Services and Procurement please inform the House what this announcement will mean for all Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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LIB

Judy Foote

Liberal

Hon. Judy Foote (Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Bay of Quinte for his hard work.

Last week in Trenton, we announced the awarding of a contract to acquire a new fleet of 16 modern search and rescue aircraft. This announcement fulfills our commitment to ensure that men and women in uniform have the equipment they need to carry out the work expected of them.

This contract will create middle class jobs for Canadians throughout the country and generate growth for Canada's aerospace and defence sector, but more importantly, these aircraft will help our military save the lives of Canadians everyday.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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CPC

James Bezan

Conservative

Mr. James Bezan (Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have refused to provide any details about the deployment of 600 Canadian troops to a dangerous African mission. Canadians are demanding the facts.

Yesterday, the defence minister broke his promise to provide Canadians with the information by the end of this year. He is now saying he is going to hide that information until next year. This is not like keeping our children's Christmas presents a surprise. The lives of our soldiers are on the line.

Will the Liberals finally start being transparent about their blatant political decision, and allow for a full debate and a vote before they deploy our troops to Mali?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Stéphane Dion

Liberal

Hon. Stéphane Dion (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is completely right. This is a very serious decision. It must be taken very seriously and in a comprehensive way. Where the member is in contradiction with himself is by asking me to do that in the next 10 seconds that I am allowed in the House.

No, it will be done properly, in due time, with true transparency, and will show how much Canada will honour its commitment for peace.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CPC

Pierre Paul-Hus

Conservative

Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the minister is not answering the question, so I will ask it another way.

Before the government decides to deploy any troops, as the Liberals are going to do with the mission in Africa, the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence is asking it to inform the House of the size of the mission, its goals, the risks involved, the costs, and the rules of engagement, and to obtain the support of all parties. The Senate is making this recommendation based on the Dutch model, which focuses on transparency and reaching a consensus.

Will the Minister of National Defence heed this advice and provide the House with all the facts so that we can hold an informed debate, or will he hide the truth from Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Stéphane Dion

Liberal

Hon. Stéphane Dion (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, that is the same question so I will give the same answer. It is very important that the Government of Canada be open and transparent about this fundamental decision to send our troops to support the cause of peace, as they always have. Canada is one of the few countries in the world that has never sent its troops abroad for reasons other than to protect democracy, peace, and justice. That is what we will do, and we will provide all the information to Canadians, because they have a right to know what is happening.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CPC

John Brassard

Conservative

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Australia, the United States, and the U.K. have banned the use of mefloquine, the anti-malarial drug, by members of their armed forces. Last week, we learned Germany will no longer be administering the drug to their armed forces. This decision puts the Canadian Armed Forces one step behind our NATO and European allies. The drug has a toxic side effect, and leads to aggression and suicide. The defence minister continues to defend the use of mefloquine.

Why can he not see that our allies have acted to protect their forces from mefloquine and do the same to protect Canadian troops?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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LIB

John McKay

Liberal

Hon. John McKay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we take the health of our troops very seriously.

Malaria is a life-threatening disease present in many areas of the world. Individuals are carefully assessed and screened by their health services. The Chief of the Defence Staff stated lately that the Surgeon General is looking into the use of mefloquine and will report back imminently.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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CPC

Cathay Wagantall

Conservative

Mrs. Cathay Wagantall (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, all of our allies are facing that same malaria.

In August of this year, Lord Dannatt, head of the British army apologized to troops who had taken mefloquine while he was chief of the general staff. Although he did not take the drug himself, he saw first-hand its catastrophic side effects.

On September 15, the Australian department of veterans affairs established a dedicated mefloquine support team for its service members and veterans.

Why is the Liberal government willing to risk the health and lives of our soldiers by refusing to recognize the dangers of mefloquine, like our allies have, before it deploys them to Africa?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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LIB

John McKay

Liberal

Hon. John McKay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, mefloquine is a Health Canada approved drug, and continues to be an option for malaria prophylaxis, as recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada and by most public health and travel medicines around the world.

Having said that, however, the Chief of the Defence Staff has caused the Surgeon General to look into the use of mefloquine prior to any future deployments.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
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NDP

Romeo Saganash

New Democratic Party

Mr. Romeo Saganash (Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, for more than a year now, the Prime Minister has been talking about how important the relationship with indigenous peoples is. For more than a year now, I have been rising in the House to ask why the government is not really sending that same message to first nations.

This morning, we learned that survivors of St. Anne residential school, where there was an electric chair and children were forced to eat their own vomit, have to go to court to fight for compensation and to ensure they will not have to cover the government's legal costs. That is what I call disgusting and despicable.

When will this government start walking the talk?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Indigenous Affairs
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LIB

Carolyn Bennett

Liberal

Hon. Carolyn Bennett (Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to justice for all victims of this dark chapter in our history and to ensuring that everyone who is eligible for compensation receives it.

We do not typically seek to recover costs from claimants under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Generally, matters related to costs are resolved once the case is settled, not while it is before the court.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Indigenous Affairs
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December 14, 2016