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March

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    MPlib
    Mar 12, 2015 11:40 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister is the most controlling in Canada's history. Nothing happens in the government without his approval.

    RCMP documents show the PM's direct involvement in the Mike Duffy cover-up. The ethic commissioner's report shows his direct involvement in funding a failed project that benefited only the Conservative Party.

    This is corruption at its highest level. How can the Prime Minister defend this?

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    MPlib
    Mar 12, 2015 11:10 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today in remembrance of the tragedy that unfolded off the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador six years ago on March 12, 2009.

    On that fateful day, 17 of 18 passengers and crew lost their lives when a Cougar helicopter, Flight 491, crashed into the frigid North Atlantic Ocean while en route to the SeaRose FPSO and the Hibernia platform.

    Among the 17 who died were my constituents Wade Drake and Burch Nash, both from the Burin Peninsula in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's.

    Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have long looked to the sea to make a living, whether by fishing or working in the oil industry. Unfortunately, all too often the sea has claimed the lives of many men and women who bravely risked their lives to provide for their families. The sadness that continues to be felt by the spouses, children, and members of the extended family of the 17 victims who died so tragically is shared by all who remember the tragedy.

    I ask all members of the House to join me in remembering this solemn occasion and again offer our sympathies to those who lost loved ones.

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    MPlib
    Mar 11, 2015 3:35 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals agree to apply the vote and will be voting yes.

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    MPlib
    Mar 11, 2015 11:40 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, when arranging to cover up for Mike Duffy, Nigel Wright said, “We are good to go from the PM”. Soon after, $90,000 was paid from Wright to Duffy.

    When the then human resources minister spoke to that same Nigel Wright about a project that had failed badly against all others, but was good for the Conservative Party, Nigel Wright said the PM told him to “sort it out”.

    Soon after, this project was approved for more than $1 million. Just like Duffy, this leads right to the Prime Minister. How can he defend this corruption?

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    MPlib
    Mar 10, 2015 11:10 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Major Rhonda Stevens, originally from North Harbour in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's.

    Rhonda has been appointed Officer-in-Chief of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax. Rhonda's interest in search and rescue was piqued at a young age. Her father spent 25 years with the Canadian Coast Guard. His team responded to many distress calls, including the Ocean Ranger tragedy, which occurred on February 15, 1982, and saw 84 lives lost.

    After spending time as an air cadet in Clarenville, Rhonda left home at age 17 to attend the Royal Military College, where she honed her skills as a flight navigator. She has logged more than 3,000 hours of flying time, both as a pilot and a navigator.

    Her 21 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, 15 of them with search and rescue, have ensured that Rhonda is well prepared to take on this new challenge.

    Rhonda's parents, Art and Una Eddy, are understandably proud of her accomplishments. I ask all members of the House to join me in congratulating Major Rhonda Stevens and wishing her all the best in this new position.

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    MPlib
    Mar 09, 2015 4:05 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals agree to apply the vote and will vote no.

February

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    MPlib
    Feb 25, 2015 11:55 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, Marine Atlantic is a vital transportation link between Newfoundland and Labrador and the rest of Canada, so vital to our economy and well-being that it is constitutionally protected under the Terms of Union. Included in the cut to Marine Atlantic in the estimates is $97 million in operating funding. An earlier cut of $16.3 million to Marine Atlantic's operating budget resulted in fare increases in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

    Can the minister guarantee that this cut to operational funding to Marine Atlantic will not result in further fare increases and cuts to service?

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    MPlib
    Feb 23, 2015 11:00 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize three young men from Marystown, in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's.

    The heroic actions of 18-year-old TJ Fitzpatrick and Justin Saunders and 17-year-old James Stapleton saved the lives of three people from almost certain death in a blaze that destroyed a hotel in the early morning of February 16.

    When TJ noticed smoke coming from the hotel, he alerted the local fire department. While waiting for the fire department to arrive, he and his two friends forced their way into the building. Once inside the smoke-filled hotel, the trio made their way into rooms, looking for sleeping guests.

    It was because of their efforts that two guests staying at the hotel and the receptionist were safely led from the building. Just 20 minutes after TJ came upon the scene, the hotel was completely engulfed in flames.

    When asked about their actions, they said they just did what anyone else would do in the same situation: “You don't think about yourself. You just think about who might be inside.”

    I ask all members to join me in recognizing the bravery shown by TJ Fitzpatrick, Justin Saunders, and James Stapleton.

January

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    MPlib
    Jan 26, 2015 12:20 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    With regard to government expenditures on sporting event tickets: since January 1, 2013, what was the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) ticket cost, (iv) identity of persons using the tickets, (v) nature of the sporting event, for all sporting event tickets purchased by any department, agency or crown corporation, or any person acting on behalf of a department, agency, or crown corporation, whether the event was held in Canada or outside Canada?

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    MPlib
    Jan 26, 2015 12:15 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    With respect to the Public Service Health Care Plan for pensioners: (a) how many plan members were or are members of (i) the federal public service, (ii) the RCMP, (iii) the Canadian Forces, (iv) the Veterans Affairs client group; and (b) what will the pensioner contribution rate be for single person supplementary coverage as of (i) April 1, 2014, (ii) April 1, 2015, (iii) April 1, 2016, (iv) April 1, 2017, (v) April 1, 2018?

December

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    MPlib
    Dec 10, 2014 11:45 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Veterans Affairs misleads Canadians when he says that his harmful cuts to veterans are in the back room.

    Last year, direct spending on health care services was cut by $82 million and spending on disability and death compensation was cut by nearly $70 million, but spending on back office programs rose by more than $13 million and the minister's political staff increased by over 400%.

    The minister has abandoned veterans. It is a national disgrace

    When will the minister resign?

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    MPlib
    Dec 09, 2014 11:40 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Veterans Affairs has overseen the clawback of over $1 billion that Parliament approved for veterans. He has cut front-line services that veterans desperately need. He has rewarded staff with thousands of dollars for denying veterans access to mental health services.

    Does the Prime Minister really believe that no one else in the Conservative caucus can do a better job than the current minister? What message is he sending to Canadians who elected the other Conservative MPs?

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    MPlib
    Dec 09, 2014 11:10 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Northern Harvest Sea Farms Group, a company with operations in Atlantic Canada, including in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's.

    The company achieved four-star certification when its subsidiary in Stephenville, Northern Harvest Smolt Limited, earned its best aquaculture practices certification from the Global Aquaculture Alliance. This recognition makes it the first salmon company in the world to achieve such a designation. In addition to receiving best aquaculture practices certification for its hatchery, Northern Harvest has also received this certification for its processing plants, farm sites, and feed mills.

    As well as the hatchery in Stephenville, the company has other facilities throughout the Coast of Bays region of Random—Burin—St. George's. The employees, who come from the small communities along our coastline, have proven to be the key ingredient in building the aquaculture industry and turning Northern Harvest into a world leader.

    I ask all members to join me in congratulating Northern Harvest Sea Farms Group for this impressive accomplishment and wishing the company and its employees many more successful years in the aquaculture industry.

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    MPlib
    Dec 03, 2014 3:00 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, Liberals agree to apply the results of the previous vote, and we will be voting no.

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    MPlib
    Dec 02, 2014 11:40 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, over the past year, the Conservatives have closed nine regional Veterans Affairs offices, slashed the department's budget, and laid off staff. Veterans I know must wait months or even years to receive the mental health services they require, and the minister continues to mislead veterans and turn his back on those who attempt to voice their concerns.

    Meanwhile in the estimates, the Conservatives have asked for another $5 million for advertising. This neglect of Canada's veterans must stop. When will the minister do the right thing and resign?

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    MPlib
    Dec 02, 2014 7:05 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I stand today to present a petition on the cuts to postal services by Canada Post. This is one of several petitions that I have presented on behalf of particularly rural communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

    The petitioners are saying that the government should in fact tell Canada Post to maintain full postal service, particularly in rural communities, because of the impact it will have not only on the people who avail themselves of the services but on the economy in the area.

November

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    MPlib
    Nov 25, 2014 1:20 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question and her recognition of how serious this issue is with respect to those who served in the military and returned suffering from PTSD.

    There should not be a window. The service should be available to a veteran whenever it is determined that they need the services. As my colleague has said, in a lot of cases it may not even present itself very soon after the veteran returns home. Therefore, to put a timeframe in place in which they have to work is really unfair, which again points to the lack of support for our veterans. Our veterans need to be able to avail themselves of whatever services are available to them, as our way of thanking them for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of Canadians.

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    MPlib
    Nov 25, 2014 1:15 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, if colleague has been in Francois, McCallum, and La Poile, he has indeed been in my riding, which is one of the most beautiful parts of the country. It is also a riding where we have many men and women involved in the military, who do so much to represent Canada in fighting wars abroad.

    The veterans in Random—Burin—St. George's avail themselves of whatever services are available to them, whether in a building, through other services, or whether they try to use the Internet. A lot of them of course do not use the Internet, and when they return to rural communities it is much easier if there is a short drive. A short drive, for instance, is to go from a small community like Stephenville, or Stephenville Crossing, to Corner Brook. The Conservatives have now closed that office in Corner Brook, so for any of those veterans, it is now at least a three-and-a-half hour drive to St. John's to be able to have the same service they could have received before the government closed the office in Corner Brook.

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    MPlib
    Nov 25, 2014 1:05 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in support of a measure that would provide support for the brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian veterans, to whom we owe so much. My concern is that while Bill C-27 may provide support for a small number of service members and veterans, it would not do nearly enough.

    Bill C-27 is designed to amend the Public Service Employment Act to provide increased access to hiring opportunities in the public service for certain current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces. In Random—Burin—St. George's, over 700 men and women are serving in all branches of the military, and it is those young men and women and the repercussions of the experiences they have that I think about whenever we talk about veterans or going to war.

    The proposed legislation in Bill C-27 would ensure priority is given to Canadian Armed Forces members who are released because of service-related illness or injury, and would extend eligibility to reservists and Canadian Rangers.

    Bill C-27 would also provide increased access to internal public service postings for eligible members and veterans and increase their period of eligibility. This all sounds very good. We can all agree these changes are indeed positive steps.

    However, what they are not is a substitute for a real plan to ease the transition of service members and veterans into civilian employment. The government can and must do more to assist veterans in finding work following their military service. Unfortunately, nothing in Bill C-27 actually ensures that veterans will get jobs.

    We know that helping veterans find jobs is a crucial step in their return to civilian life and well-being upon release from the military. Under normal circumstances, placing injured veterans at the head of the civil service hiring line and increasing access for veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces would be considered a valuable commitment and something to be applauded. In this instance, however, the promise is being made by a government that has already cut 20,000 public service jobs and is on track to cut 30,000 more.

    Regrettably, Bill C-27 appears poised to have little impact on the day-to-day lives of the majority of Canadian veterans. In the words of Jerry Kovacs, a director with Canadian Veterans Advocacy, “In theory, it's a good bill. ... Initiatives to hire veterans are good initiatives. [But] if there are no jobs, how can there be any priority hiring? So it's kind of a hollow promise."

    After years of cuts and hiring freezes, there are fewer civil service jobs for veterans to fill than ever before. Bill C-27 would do nothing for veterans who may be too ill or too injured to work.

    In his recent report, Guy Parent, the Veterans Ombudsman, stated that “Severely impaired Veterans can face a lifetime of loss of employment and career progression opportunities". Simply put, even injured veterans who are already entitled to government assistance are not receiving it. The Veterans Ombudsman's report indicated that nearly half of the country's most severely disabled ex-soldiers are not receiving a government allowance intended to compensate them for their physical and mental wounds. The ombudsman also concluded that many of those who are receiving the permanent impairment allowance are only being awarded the lowest grade of the benefit, which is the minimum amount.

    The federal government also has an obligation to assist injured and ill veterans to find jobs when they are released from the Canadian Armed Forces, but Bill C-27 should not replace the government's responsibility to help injured CAF members stay in the forces when that is their wish.

    Furthermore, there is a genuine concern that soldiers may hide health problems so that they will not lose their income. The Conservative government must do everything it can to ensure Canadian Armed Forces personnel suffering from physical and mental injuries need not fear being set adrift and having to keep their wounds secret in order to qualify for their pensions.

    Recently released government statistics show that approximately 1,100 of the 6,200 soldiers discharged because of health conditions since 2009 were unable to serve the 10-year minimum required to collect a full pension.

    Under the existing policy, many Canadian Armed Forces personnel face the dilemma of having to choose between risking their physical and mental health or risking their financial future. Soldiers suffering from PTSD and other ailments can either avoid seeking help in the hope of making it to pension eligibility, or seek necessary care and risk losing their pensions. Bill C-27 is clearly just the latest example of the Conservative government attempting to hide its inaction on the many issues affecting CAF members and veterans today. The Conservatives boast how much they support our soldiers and care about veterans and their families, but the facts show otherwise. Shamefully, the Conservative government continues to abdicate its responsibility to care for Canadian veterans.

    A few months ago the Minister of Veterans Affairs called into question the social and legal responsibility Canada has for its soldiers. On at least two separate occasions since then, the Minister of Veterans Affairs has literally turned his back on veterans and their families who have come to Ottawa to voice their concerns about the lack of respect and support they have been receiving from the Conservative government. When it closed nine regional Veterans Affairs offices throughout the country, including one in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, and committed to eliminating 781 jobs from the Department of Veterans Affairs by 2014-15, it claimed it was doing so in an attempt to cut costs. Meanwhile the Conservative government continues to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on partisan advertising while neglecting Canada's veterans. Then, at the last minute, when it knows the Auditor General's report is coming out, it comes out with a pot of goodies that we know are promises and only promises.

    In his report today, the Auditor General concluded that Veterans Affairs is largely unconcerned with how well veterans are being served and whether programs are making a difference in their lives. While $1.13 billion in funding for veterans having gone unspent since the Conservative government took power, veterans have been forced to wait months for the mental health services they so desperately need. According to the Auditor General's report, about 15,000 veterans and serving military personnel were eligible to receive health support from Veterans Affairs through the disability benefits program at the end of last March. The number is expected to increase as more veterans of the Afghanistan campaign leave the military for civilian life in the coming years.

    Over the past decade, 160 Canadian Armed Forces members have died by suicide, and 158 died serving in Afghanistan. Many more continue to struggle with mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The Auditor General's report confirms what Liberals have long maintained, that the Conservative government simply is not doing enough to help our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much for their country. They have put their lives on the line and some have made the ultimate sacrifice, yet we are not there for them in the way they need us to be.

    As Canadians we owe a debt of gratitude to our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and their families. They require assistance in so many ways. Unfortunately, because the Conservatives are refusing to respond to the needs of our veterans, the latter are being forced to mobilize in a variety of ways to get their message out about how unfairly they are being treated. Bill C-27 does very little to address a much larger problem. This bill is a step in the right direction, as my colleague has said, but there is much that still needs to be done. It is time for the government to start treating our veterans and their families with the respect they have earned and deserve from those of us who get to live a much better life, and those throughout the world who get to live under better circumstances because of their efforts. This begins by listening to the concerns being raised by those who have already sacrificed so much, instead of ignoring them when they reach out for help, which unfortunately the Conservative government continues to do.

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    MPlib
    Nov 19, 2014 11:55 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, the small craft harbours program has seen drastic cuts in recent budgets, but the latest action by DFO brings into question the very existence of the program.

    Without consultation, DFO is cutting by half the number of area managers in Newfoundland and Labrador, leaving eight people in total responsible for 335 harbours and 205 harbour authorities. Volunteers run harbour authorities. They apply for funding to fix aging federal infrastructure and should receive a timely response.

    Why is the government willing to risk the safety of those who earn a living at sea?

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    MPlib
    Nov 17, 2014 3:20 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    With regard to government funding, for each fiscal year since 2007-2008 inclusive: (a) what are the details of all grants, contributions, and loans to any organization, body, or group in the electoral district of Random—Burin—St. George's, providing for each (i) the name of the recipient, (ii) the location of the recipient, indicating the municipality, (iii) the date, (iv) the amount, (v) the department or agency providing it, (vi) the program under which the grant, contribution, or loan was made, (vii) the nature or purpose; and (b) for each grant, contribution and loan identified in (a), was a press release issued to announce it and, if so, what is the (i) date, (ii) headline, (iii) file number of the press release?

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    MPlib
    Nov 06, 2014 11:35 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, millions of two-parent families with young children have been cut out of the Conservatives' income-splitting plan and will get nothing. Single parents get nothing. Parents who are struggling to help their children through university get nothing. Meanwhile, people in the top 1% of earners, like the Prime Minister, would get $2,000 in their pockets.

    Can the Conservatives explain to the millions of Canadians they have forgotten about why income splitting is fair to them?

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    MPlib
    Nov 06, 2014 11:00 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Mrs. Marguerite Gillam, originally from Aguathuna, but now residing in Stephenville, in Random—Burin—St. George's.

    On November 11, this remarkable woman will celebrate her 100th birthday.

    Mrs. Gillam demonstrated an aptitude for and love of music at a very young age. She learned to play piano at age seven, and later the accordion. She performed with a local band, provided music during silent movies at the local theatre, and was the organist at her church for 35 years.

    Mrs. Gillam enjoyed travelling, and among her favourite memories are the times she spent swimming in the Bahamas.

    She spent several years as a teacher and has been an active member of her community, including knitting and crocheting items which she often donated to local charities.

    When a storm destroyed the Anglican church in her community in 1948, she was instrumental in securing funding and free labour to build a new church.

    Mrs. Gillam and her husband Israel raised three children. She has 11 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren.

    I ask all members of the House to join me in wishing Mrs. Gillam a very happy 100th birthday.

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    MPlib
    Nov 03, 2014 1:40 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, anyone looking at what is being proposed in this particular bill would have to agree that it is not fair. It does not matter where they live in the country. The fact that the government did not even consult with the provinces, with the exception of one province, Ontario, in terms of fiscal financial arrangements clearly points again to the fact that the Conservatives have no respect or consideration for the impact legislation they propose will have on Canadians, no matter what region of the country they live in, their walk of life, or their income.

    We are finding that we have a budget on which input is limited. It is only input from the Conservative caucus or from the Prime Minister's Office that is considered. We are members of Parliament who represent Canadians throughout this country. We can bring valuable input to the table. Yet the current government chooses to put measures in place that will have a negative impact on women, children, seniors, and veterans, and the Conservatives are not listening to how they could improve things for people from coast to coast to coast.

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    MPlib
    Nov 03, 2014 1:35 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her question, recognizing again the limited amount of time she has to speak to this bill itself.

    She is absolutely right, in fact, that there is so much contained in this omnibus budget bill that it really does not give parliamentarians the opportunity they need to act on behalf of the people they represent. We do not get to scrutinize the legislation. Everything gets rolled into one bill, and by the time we get to read the bill and look at the impact it would have on Canadians from coast to coast to coast, we are limited in terms of the amount of time we get to discuss it. These omnibus bills that are put forward by the Conservative Party on a regular basis are not fair, not only to the parliamentarians who represent Canadians but to Canadians in general, because they need an opportunity to hear what is being said and proposed.

    At the end of the day, we end up voting on a bill that we have had little time to digest. Canadians have no idea what is involved in it. Then we are asked to vote. Maybe some things are good in it, but there are lots of things that are bad in it. We cannot vote for the good, because we cannot possibly vote for the bad.

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    MPlib
    Nov 03, 2014 1:25 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to the budget implementation bill no. 2. I only wish I could say that I am pleased to speak to this particular bill. However, Bill C-43 does nothing to address many of the challenges facing my constituents in Random—Burin—St. George's and Canadians in general.

    This omnibus bill is clearly the product of a tired, void-of-ideas government that has completely lost touch with the people it is meant to serve. Once again, the Conservatives have introduced omnibus legislation full of changes that simply do not belong in a budget bill. At 460 pages, with over 400 separate clauses, Bill C-43 represents an abuse of power. To use a single omnibus budget bill to limit debate on a host of unrelated measures is undemocratic. If the government does not recognize this, it really is time to put it out to pasture.

    Using a single omnibus budget bill to limit debate prevents members of Parliament from doing their jobs and properly scrutinizing legislation. Since forming government in 2006, in its rush to push through legislation, and by ignoring input from other parties, the Conservatives have cemented a disturbing number of preventable errors in law. By my count, Bill C-43 attempts to fix no fewer than 10 of those sloppy mistakes, including many from previous omnibus budget bills.

    The government has proven time and time again that it is not interested in input from anyone outside the Conservative caucus and the Prime Minister's Office, even if it means that Canadians would be negatively impacted.

    Take for instance the so-called EI tax credit proposed in Bill C-43. This flawed measure actually discourages job creation and economic growth. This measure in particular is bad for employers, bad for workers and those seeking work, and bad for the Canadian economy as a whole.

    In a recent report, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that the Conservatives' EI plan would cost $550 million over two years and would create only 800 net new jobs. This translates to a cost of almost $700,000 to taxpayers for each new job created under the Conservative program. Canadians deserve a plan for jobs and growth. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has confirmed that the Conservatives' EI plan provides neither.

    While the Minister of Finance claims that EI cuts for small businesses would produce thousands of new jobs, the numbers prove otherwise. The reality is that the government's changes to EI would encourage businesses to stay small and would actually punish them if they grew and were successful. For instance, the Conservative changes to EI would offer up to $2,234.04 to small businesses for firing a worker but only up to $190.52 for hiring a worker. Furthermore, there is no requirement for job creation. Regardless of whether a small business hired new workers, remained the same size, or even fired workers, so long as a business pays less than $15,000 in EI payroll taxes, it would qualify. This may be a tax credit, but it is certainly not a job credit.

    There are currently over 6,000 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who had a job this time last year but who are now out of work. My constituents in Random—Burin—St. George's, and people throughout the province, face unemployment rates well above the national average.

    For young workers, job creation is even more important. Youth aged 20 to 24 in Newfoundland and Labrador face higher unemployment rates than their peers throughout the country. At a time when many are struggling with high debt loads, youth unemployment is high and many young workers are forced to leave the province to seek work.

    The Conservative government continues to compound the problem. What we need in Newfoundland and Labrador are more jobs, not fewer. Canadians from coast to coast to coast deserve a government with a plan to encourage job creation, not a government that is committed to limiting growth. As the Liberal leader said, Canadians from coast to coast to coast are generally worried about their future.

    For the first time in our country's recent history, people are concerned that the next generation will struggle more than the present generation. Unfortunately, out of necessity, it has become common practice for adult children to live with their parents to make ends meet, and in doing so they have made it difficult, in some cases, for their parents to make ends meet. Such a practice was rarely heard of but is now more the norm than the exception.

    That is why the Liberals are committed to helping create the right conditions for investment and economic prosperity, which will foster those badly needed jobs. Our proposed EI holiday on new hires would reward employers for creating new jobs instead of rewarding employers for firing workers. The Liberal plan has been applauded by job creators throughout the country, such as Restaurants Canada, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Yet the Conservative government refuses to consider a proposal that would be helpful, preferring instead to forge ahead with a proposal that is fraught with problems. Unfortunately, this is nothing new.

    Since taking office, the Conservatives have also shown little respect for Canada's democratic institutions. The government has often refused to work in partnership with the provinces and territories to help solve many of the challenges it currently faces.

    Last week, we heard that the government is unwilling to listen to its provincial partners in terms of amending the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act. According to an official, only Ontario was consulted about these changes, in spite of the fact that Newfoundland and Labrador would be affected by these changes. It and eight other provinces had absolutely no say. The Conservative government did not just ignore input from Newfoundland and Labrador, it ignored Newfoundland and Labrador altogether.

    This amendment was not one the provinces asked for. In fact, the same official has confirmed that there had been absolutely no demands from any province for this change, none whatsoever. It is puzzling that the Conservative government is committed to pushing through a change that no province asked for and no province seems to want, while ignoring calls for policies and programs that would provide real benefits to Canadians.

    In some cases, Bill C-43 would not add support. What it would do is add taxes.

    Many of my constituents of Random--Burin--St. George's, as in other ridings, are seniors, who are often living on fixed incomes. For the government to add GST and HST to some services provided by non-profit health care facilities, such as residential services provided at an old age home, is simply wrong. At a time when the rate of poverty among Canadian seniors is rising, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is warning that current pension supports may be insufficient, adding to their financial burden is just not right.

    Now I will speak about what is not in the budget.

    In a 460-page document, with over 400 separate clauses, there is not a single mention of veterans. After years of ignoring the needs of Canadian veterans and their families, the Conservative government had an opportunity to finally act. Instead, it chose to remain silent.

    In June, the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs outlined a series of measures that would make a difference in the lives of veterans and their families, but without further legislation, the Department of Veterans Affairs can only act on the recommendations that do not require any new money. This leaves it unable to implement many of the recommendations supported even by the government's own committee members.

    In its response to the committee report, the government stated:

    The more complex recommendations require further inter-departmental work, budgetary analysis, and coordination with a wide range of federal departments, as well as with the Veterans Ombudsman and Veterans' groups.

    They will be dealt with at a later date.

    Why do complex recommendations to support veterans require additional scrutiny, when the Conservatives maintain that many of the other measures proposed in the bill do not? Surely amending the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act is a complex measure. Yet without consulting with the provinces, the government saw fit to include it. Why will the government not give veterans the same priority? Bill C-43 was an opportunity to implement these recommendations. However, it has proven to be yet another opportunity wasted under the Conservative government. Sadly, Canadian veterans and their families will have to wait another year in the hope that the Conservative government will finally follow through.

    This also would have been an opportune time to restore and enhance search and rescue capabilities; support Canadians with mental health issues, including PTSD; and address many more priority items.

    Unlike the Conservatives and their flawed budget implementation bill, the Liberals are committed to growing Canada's economy and helping to create jobs by investing in infrastructure, education, environmental initiatives, our culture, and science and technology. We believe that government must not only create the right conditions for economic growth but must also ensure that growth is sustainable and will help struggling families.

October

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    MPlib
    Oct 24, 2014 8:35 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, the government has indicated it is considering new legislation with new powers for law enforcement. Can the minister confirm whether the existing tools that were passed by the House as part of Bill S-7, the Combating Terrorism Act, have been employed in any of the RCMP's 60-plus active national security investigations?

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    MPlib
    Oct 24, 2014 8:00 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Marystown Volunteer Fire Department in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's.

    The department was recognized by Muscular Dystrophy Canada as its 2013-2014 Fire Department of the Year for the Atlantic region. This recognition was welcomed by a department that takes its commitment to help fight MD very seriously.

    Approximately 145 fire departments in Atlantic Canada raise funds for muscular dystrophy. This past year, the Marystown Volunteer Fire Department held four fundraising events in support of MD patients, and since 1983 it has collected nearly $70,000 for this worthwhile cause.

    Muscular Dystrophy Canada has 10,000 clients, 200 of whom are in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, the organization estimates there are approximately 50,000 people in Canada who suffer with MD.

    I ask all members to join with me in thanking the Marystown Volunteer Fire Department for its work on behalf of Muscular Dystrophy Canada and in thanking all volunteer firefighters who raise money for this and other very worthwhile causes.

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    MPlib
    Oct 21, 2014 2:15 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that the vote be deferred until after government orders tomorrow, Wednesday, October 22.

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    MPlib
    Oct 21, 2014 1:15 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, first, I thank the member for Vancouver Centre for the motion, which is so important. It is about transparency, it is about knowing what is happening, and it is about knowing how the Ebola crisis is being dealt with. Never before have we seen a crisis as complex as this, when it comes to Ebola.

    As the member said, the reporting to Parliament is very important, but what it would also do is provide information to Canadians, from coast to coast to coast, so that they have a level of comfort about what is happening, in terms of how their country is dealing with this issue and how, as a country, we are reaching out and helping in other parts of the world, which is our responsibility to do as a part of this global nation.

    Yes, we need to have more transparency and more accountability. That is what the motion would do. I am hoping that everybody in the House will recognize that and support the motion of the hon. member for Vancouver Centre.

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    MPlib
    Oct 21, 2014 1:00 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in support of this important motion from my Liberal colleague the hon. member for Vancouver Centre.

    The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been described by the United Nations as a crisis unparalleled in modern times. Never before have we seen an outbreak of Ebola this large, severe, or complex. According to the World Health Organization, as of October 12, 2014, a total of 8,973 cases and 4,484 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, with an additional death recorded in both Spain and the United States. Clearly it is an unprecedented global health crisis requiring an unprecedented international response. However, in the words of Doctors Without Borders international president Dr. Joanne Liu, the international response has been “lethally, inadequate”. The disease has taken its toll on health care workers in West Africa, with 427 infected and so far 236 dead.

    After seeing the price being paid by brave health care workers in the region, I was deeply concerned to read reports that even after the Ebola outbreak began, the Canadian federal government chose to sell off rather than donate roughly $1.5 million worth of stockpiled medical equipment at bargain basement prices, even though this very equipment is urgently needed.

    GlobalMedic's director of emergency programs estimates that 130 of the 150 pallets of personal protective equipment his organization has shipped to Sierra Leone and Liberia came from the Public Health Agency of Canada's stockpile that was sold off at an auction. This is simply unacceptable. How was it allowed to happen? Surely health care workers fighting the Ebola crisis in West Africa need masks more than the Canadian government needed the $50 it reportedly received for 500,000 masks sold at an auction.

    However, as we have seen through the tragic infection of health care workers in Dallas and Madrid, even the well-equipped, sophisticated medical systems of the west are not immune.

    My Liberal colleagues and I are concerned about the recent cases of Ebola that have emerged in North America and the government's minimal communication to the public and to Parliament on the level of Canada's preparedness. At any outbreak, clear and open communication is key to both the coordination of prevention efforts and reducing fear and confusion. That is why I am calling on members of the House to support the motion from my Liberal colleague the hon. member for Vancouver Centre. Regular and frequent updates are essential measures to keep Canadians safe and informed about the Ebola virus disease.

    Having key members of the federal government appear before the health committee on a twice-monthly basis to inform Parliament and Canadians on the specific measures they are taking to ensure the Ebola virus does not pose a threat to the health and safety of Canadians is an important part of the motion. Hearing from experts such as the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada and from the ministers responsible for Canada's response would help to ensure Parliament is kept informed and Canadians receive timely updates on the government's actions.

    Having the ministers and the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada appear before the health committee would also allow members to question the government on, for example, what precautions are being taken for the Canada Border Services Agency at land and marine crossings, in addition to airports. These are areas the government has not been clear about. Being open and transparent is essential to keeping the public informed and reducing confusion about the dangers these diseases pose to our country.

    Recent false alarms throughout Canada, however, have shown the strength of the Canadian medical system and the professionalism of our public health professionals when they have the information and the resources they need.

    Earlier this month, for instance, Eastern Health in Newfoundland and Labrador undertook a series of simulated emergency preparedness exercises in three hospitals in St. John's. According to Dr. David Allison, Eastern Health's Medical Officer of Health:

    The purpose of this exercise is to further challenge and validate our procedures to ensure that possible cases of Ebola, or other infectious diseases, are correctly contained, diagnosed appropriately and treated quickly

    This past weekend, the Public Health Agency of Canada conducted a practice drill, deploying one of its Ebola rapid response teams to Nova Scotia. This is an important exercise, and we believe that the agency must continue to work with provincial and territorial governments to ensure that regional hospitals are set up with the highest level of isolation protocols and treatment units if a case should reach Canada.

    I know that I and all residents of Newfoundland and Labrador are comforted that we have such capable and dedicated public health professionals guarding against Ebola in our province. We should not, however, be complacent. The current government has shown little regard for public health in the past. It was only this September that the government finally appointed Dr. Gregory Taylor as chief medical officer, 16 months after his predecessor stepped down. To leave that critical job vacant for 16 months, even as the health crisis gripped West Africa and potential Ebola patients were being isolated in Canadian hospitals, is deeply troubling.

    The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions has also raised concerns about the lack of training and protective equipment in some areas. Every front-line health care worker throughout the country should be provided with training, and personal protective equipment should be made available. The recent exercise by the Public Health Agency of Canada in Nova Scotia is an excellent start, but these emergency preparedness drills should be held throughout the country to ensure coordinated responses in all provinces and territories.

    Furthermore, the Public Health Agency of Canada must coordinate regular meetings of professional groups like the Canadian Public Health Association, the Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association, and the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada to ensure members and member associations, such as the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, are kept informed of data protocols, evolving medical best practices, and risk assessments. These organizations have a vital role to play in ensuring medical personnel on the ground are aware of early signs and symptoms of Ebola and how to deal with suspected cases in a way that protects them and everyone around them.

    I commend the selfless efforts of the many Canadian public health professionals who have already answered the call for assistance and have been taking on leadership roles in the medical response in West Africa. Currently, Dr. Eilish Cleary, New Brunswick's Chief Medical Officer of Health, is in West Africa working with a World Health Organization team to contain the outbreak. So far, 14 employees of the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg have gone overseas to assist with disaster response. Doctors Without Borders and the Canadian Red Cross have mobilized Canadian health care workers to aid in the response. We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude, and we wish them a safe return home when their work is finished.

    These Canadians have put themselves at risk and have made incredible personal sacrifices to help fight this devastating epidemic at its source. Despite their efforts, the number of Ebola cases in West Africa is growing every day, and humanitarian organizations' capacity to respond is diminishing.

    The current government has made many promises, but of the $35 million pledged this September, only $4.3 million has been committed according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Both at home and abroad, we need more transparency in the federal government's response to this public health crisis, and that is patently obvious when we watch the news. Last night I watched a piece on the CBC by Adrienne Arsenault. It was heartbreaking to look at what is happening in countries abroad with respect to Ebola, and to see people who are helpless, who are looking for help, and that help is not there.

    We have to do our part as Canadians. We have to do what Canada is known for doing, and that is being there to help in times of crisis. Unfortunately, it does not appear that we have been doing what people expect Canada to do, and that is to be at the forefront of fighting a crisis like the one we are now experiencing with Ebola.

    This motion is an important step in the direction of ensuring that we are aware of what is happening on a daily basis, that reports are being made by those in a position to give us and, more importantly, Canadians the information so we are able to deal with this crisis in a manner that will save lives, not see more lives lost.

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    MPlib
    Oct 09, 2014 11:50 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, under the government, Canada Post has not only been allowed to reduce services but has closed post offices entirely and continues to eliminate door-to-door delivery.

    As a result, seniors are being isolated, businesses are facing yet more barriers to success, and rural Canadians are being treated as second-class citizens.

    When will the government do the right thing and tell Canada Post it is okay to deliver the mail?

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    MPlib
    Oct 09, 2014 11:05 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a talented young woman, Alaina Joe, from Conne River in the Coast of Bays area of my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's.

    Alaina was a contestant in the Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador Pageant this past week. After winning the Miss Humanitarian and People's Choice Awards, she was crowned Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador on October 5, becoming the first member of the aboriginal community in Newfoundland and Labrador to receive the title.

    Alaina is a level II student at St. Anne's School where she excels academically and participates in the school's extracurricular program She is also an active member of her community, where she is a Canadian junior ranger, a native cultural dancer and performance choir member. Despite her hectic schedule, Alaina still finds time to volunteer in Conne River. She says her career goal is to become a neurosurgeon.

    Alaina's proud parents are Barry and Olivia Joe.

    As we approach October 11, the International Day of the Girl, I ask members to join me in recognizing this remarkable young woman and wishing her and all girls around the world the very best in the future.

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    MPlib
    Oct 01, 2014 4:20 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals agree to apply the vote, but the member for Guelph was not here for the last vote and we want to include him in this vote.

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    MPlib
    Oct 01, 2014 12:10 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I present a petition today on behalf of the residents of the community of McCallum, which is an isolated community in the riding of Random—Burin—St. George's. The petitioners call on the government to change its mind with respect to the closure of Canada Post offices. They are also saying that the reduction in hours makes it very difficult for them to receive mail.

    In a lot of cases in rural communities, the post office is the only federal presence that exists, and it is very much part of the social fabric and economy of the community. The petitioners are asking the government to go after Canada Post and to try to work with it to impress on the corporation not to follow through with its plans to close and reduce the number of hours of operation.

September

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    MPlib
    Sep 24, 2014 12:20 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I stand to present four petitions, again based on the reduction in postal services by Canada Post.

    There is one from the community of Garden Cove in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's, another from Robinsons, another from Conne River, and another from the community of Heatherton.

    The petitioners are saying that what is happening with Canada Post under the government and under its direction is in fact not fair. The government is cutting back on services in communities where sometimes the only federal presence is the post office. Not only is Canada Post cutting back on hours throughout the week, but it is also cutting out the entire service on Saturdays, the time when most people are able access service at the postal outlets.

    The petitioners are calling on the government to reinstate the hours that have been reduced as well as to reinstate full-time service on Saturdays.

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    MPlib
    Sep 23, 2014 2:15 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order. I ask that the vote be deferred until September 24 at the expiry the time provided for government orders.

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    MPlib
    Sep 23, 2014 1:05 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague is absolutely right. We are hearing that. Anyone who will be honest, open and upfront will have to admit that this is what they are facing in all of their ridings in terms of representation of people who are being hit hard by the new changes to the EI program.

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    MPlib
    Sep 23, 2014 1:00 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I, too, would like for things to be clear here. I am not sure why the NDP is choosing not to be supportive of the Liberal plan. In fact, under the NDP platform for 2011, the New Democrats wanted to establish a job creation tax credit. They said:

    We will introduce a Job Creation Tax Credit that will provide up to $4,500 per new hire:

    Employers will receive a one-year rebate on the employer contributions for the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance premiums for each new employee hired...

    Here we are with a motion that keeps in mind the needs of Canadians, doing what we need to do to ensure that there are jobs for Canadians, using the same amount of money that the Conservative plan is proposing to put in place and doing much more in terms of the number of jobs that would be created.

    I am seeking clarification, too, from the member who asked the question. How can the New Democrats, on the one hand, in the 2011 platform cite a program that is similar to the one that we have put forward now, but find fault with this motion today?

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    MPlib
    Sep 23, 2014 12:50 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I stand today to speak in support of our opposition day motion. I want to repeat it for those who may be listening in. It states:

    That, in the opinion of the House, the Employment Insurance...plan announced by the government on September 11, 2014, and which will begin on January 1, 2015, will not create jobs and growth but will instead provide a financial incentive for employers to lay off workers; and therefore, the House urges the government to re-direct those resources by providing employers an EI premium exemption on newly-created jobs in 2015 and 2016.

    This is yet another example of a hopelessly misguided Conservative policy. The Conservatives' small business job credit is so flawed that it actually discourages job creation and economic growth. Quite simply, the Conservative proposal is bad for employers, bad for workers, and bad for the Canadian economy.

    The Conservatives' EI credit plan encourages businesses to stay small and punishes them if they grow and are successful. Under the Conservative scheme, only businesses with EI payroll taxes below $15,000 get any money back. Moreover, despite being billed as a job credit, there is no requirement that companies actually hire new workers to qualify. That in itself is mind-boggling.

    The Conservative proposal lowers the EI rate of a business from $2.63 to $2.24 per $100 of salary paid for any employer paying less than the threshold, with no requirement for job creation. Regardless of whether a small business hires new workers, remains the same size, or even fires workers, so long as they remain below the $15,000 threshold, they qualify. This creates a perverse incentive for businesses to fire workers to get below the $15,000 threshold.

    Mike Moffatt, professor of economics at the lvey School of Business, expressed his concerns about the effect of this policy on wages, stating:

    ...it is clear that firms under the $15,000 EI threshold have a big incentive to keep wage increases to a minimum so they do not lose their tax credits. Conversely, firms that are just over the $15,000 EI threshold have an incentive to cut the pay of their staff in order to gain the tax credit.

    Wages are not the only thing in danger under this plan. In fact, the Conservative scheme offers up to $2,234.04 for firing a worker and only up to $190.52 for hiring a worker. This approach sets a dangerous precedent, especially in provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador, where over 5,000 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who had a job this time last year are now out of work.

    My constituents in Random—Burin—St. George's and their fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians face unemployment rates well above the national average. On the Avalon Peninsula, unemployment is 8%. In Notre Dame-Central-Bonavista, the rate is 16.4%, and in the South Coast—Burin Peninsula region, the unemployment rate is 17.3%.

    More and more of my constituents are telling me that they are struggling to make ends meet, and many of my constituents have had to look for work elsewhere. What we need in Newfoundland and Labrador, and in other parts of our country, are more jobs, not fewer. The current government must do more to help create jobs instead of helping to drive high unemployment.

    For young workers, job creation is even more important. The situation faced by youth across Newfoundland and Labrador is even more troubling. Unemployment among youth ages 20 to 24 is 15.3%, which is higher than the average in Newfoundland and Labrador and higher than it is for their peers across the country. More and more young people graduating from college and university programs have high debt loads and absolutely no guarantee of finding jobs. They are forced to move back home with their parents, and in many cases, their parents, some of whom are also having trouble making ends meet, try to assume the debt load and living costs of their children, which jeopardizes the future for all involved.

    The best way to combat youth unemployment and to help create secure financial futures for all is with new jobs. There is nowhere more important where this will come up than in Newfoundland and Labrador, where there is such a high unemployment rate and a need for steady employment. At a time when youth unemployment is high and many students and recent graduates are struggling to find jobs or co-op placements, the government is continuing to compound the problem through its actions.

    Instead of providing incentives for businesses to eliminate jobs, Liberals believe in providing businesses with incentives to create jobs. We have a solution: an EI premium exemption for new jobs created in 2015 and 2016. This would represent a benefit of up to $1,279.15 for each newly created job. That is an incentive. That is an encouragement to a business. The Liberal plan would represent a benefit of up to $1,279.15 for every new person hired by a company, which, for the same price as the proposed EI premium exemption, could produce over 175,000 new jobs.

    This is a plan we know works. Under a previous Liberal government, similar incentives were offered through the new hires program as part of budgets 1997 and 1998. That program, unlike the current Conservative plan, provided an incentive to create jobs rather than an incentive to eliminate them, and experts agree. Today Professor Moffatt concluded in his latest piece:

    The New Hires Program provides a great framework for a new Small Business Job Credit. I hope the government will take [the Liberals'] suggestion seriously and correct the flaws in their current proposal.

    I too hope that the government will realize its error and admit that there is another way of making sure that we respond to the needs of Canadians and the need for employment, especially among our young people. I hope the government listens to the experts and votes in favour of the motion before us today.

    What Canadians from coast to coast to coast need the government to do is encourage job creation and growth, not stagnation. Businesses should be encouraged to create more jobs, whether the company pays $14,999 or $15,001 in EI payroll taxes.

    What is more, small businesses agree. Just this afternoon, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which government members quote all the time, endorsed the proposed EI holiday for job creators, saying that it had, and I quote, “Lots of job potential”. It is also important to note that EI is a fund paid into by employees and employers, not the government.

    According to a report from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada, in 2015 the government is expected to collect $3.5 billion more in employment insurance premiums than needed. Even with the estimated $225-million proposed tax credit, it still means the Conservative government will be taking in $3.25 billion more than necessary.

    What this serves to do is to create the illusion of a larger surplus going into 2015, and we know that. We know what is happening with the cuts that are taking place under the government in terms of trying to create a surplus so it can do things leading up to the next election. As my colleague, the hon. member for Kings—Hants has said:

    They're padding their books on the backs of workers and employers to fund a pre-election spending spree. At a time when employment numbers are soft and growth has stalled, it’s irresponsible for the Conservatives to maintain high job-killing payroll taxes just to fund their pre-election budget.

    Canadians believe, and rightly so, that the government has a responsibility to not only create the right conditions for economic growth but to also ensure that growth is sustainable. We need to create the right conditions for jobs and growth to benefit all Canadians. What we have here is a tale of two policies: a Liberal proposal designed to create stable, long-term job creation and to spur economic growth, and a Conservative policy that creates incentives to fire workers and that discourages growth.

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    MPlib
    Sep 23, 2014 11:00 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Clarenville High robotics team on its outstanding achievements at the remotely operated vehicle international competition held in Michigan.

    Clarenville High was one of 60 teams chosen from 600 entries worldwide to compete in this prestigious event. The team was entered in the ranger category, in which it was named the overall champion. It placed first in the intermediate category and won the award for innovative design. Mackenzie Dove, a member of the team, was recognized with the engineering evaluation MVP award.

    Under the guidance of dedicated mentors Michael Spurrell, Bert Roberts, Chris Clarke, Steven Butt, and Nolan Porter, the 12-member team of Christopher Barnes, Michaela Barnes, Gregory Brockerville, Courtney Clarke, Kyle Clarke, Mackenzie Dove, Patrick Dove, Kyle Evans, Ian King, Claire Sawler, Amy Short, and Brooke Snow competed against high school and university teams from 18 states and 13 countries.

    I ask all members to join me in congratulating the remarkable youth and mentors of the Clarenville High robotics team.

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    MPlib
    Sep 23, 2014 7:05 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I present a petition today on behalf of my constituents who are calling on the government to put in place an independent offshore safety regulator. This is a serious issue for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, in particular relating to people who work in the offshore industry and the loss of life we have experienced.

    Judge Robert Wells, in recommendation 29 of his report, called for the setting up an independent safety regulator, which was referred to as the most important recommendation that he made. That has not happened. Therefore, the petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to create an independent offshore safety regulator to encompass the prevention of injury and loss of life, and the protection of the environment.

  • retweet
    MPlib
    Sep 22, 2014 11:35 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, experts are saying that the $550 million Conservatives are prepared to spend on an EI program will not create the jobs intended and may even encourage layoffs. At the same time, Conservatives have cut infrastructure spending by 90%, which will further hamper economic growth in Canada.

    Will the Minister of Finance take his own advice that he gave to Europe and commit to reversing the 90% cut to infrastructure?

  • retweet
    MPlib
    Sep 15, 2014 12:30 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    With regard to government expenditures associated with the National Day of Honour on May 9, 2014: (a) what is the total cost; (b) what is the cost and nature of each individual associated expenditure; (c) what is the breakdown of these expenditures, by (i) government department, agency, office, Crown corporation, other government body, program activity and sub-program activity, (ii) category; (d) what was the total cost to transport veterans and their families to Ottawa for the ceremony; (e) what is the cost and nature of each individual expenditure associated with the transporting of veterans and their families to Ottawa for the ceremony; (f) what is the breakdown of the expenditures in (e), by (i) government department, agency, office, Crown corporation, or other government body, (ii) program activity, (iii) category; (g) what are any expenditures associated with the National Day of Honour that have not been itemized in (a) to (f); and (h) for all related contracts, what were the (i) vendors’ names, (ii) contracts’ reference numbers, (iii) dates of the contracts, (iv) descriptions of the services provided, (v) delivery dates, (vi) original contracts’ values, (vii) final contracts’ values if different from the original contracts’ values?

  • retweet
    MPlib
    Sep 15, 2014 12:25 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    With regard to government funding, for each fiscal year since 2007-2008 inclusive: (a) what are the details of all grants, contributions, and loans to any organization, body, or group in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, providing for each (i) the name of the recipient, (ii) the location of the recipient, indicating the municipality and the federal electoral district, (iii) the date, (iv) the amount, (v) the department or agency providing it, (vi) the program under which the grant, contribution, or loan was made, (vii) the nature or purpose; and (b) for each grant, contribution and loan identified in (a), was a press release issued to announce it and, if so, what is the (i) date, (ii) headline, (iii) file number of the press release?

June

  • retweet
    MPlib
    Jun 18, 2014 11:55 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, protests are taking place in Port aux Basques today against Marine Atlantic's decision not only to increase fares but also to cut the number of crossings between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. This is not only crippling the tourism business, but it is hurting the entire economy in Newfoundland, because goods that are exported and imported are being delayed and jobs are being lost.

    I ask the Minister of Transport, what has she done to make Marine Atlantic reverse this harmful decision since I last raised this issue with her?

  • retweet
    MPlib
    Jun 10, 2014 7:10 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    With regard to the accounts of the former Canadian International Development Agency for 2012-2013, compared to those of 2011-2012: (a) what was the total amount of increased funding for multilateral programs; (b) what sectors within the multilateral programs have seen an increase in funding; (c) what sectors within the bilateral programs have seen a decrease in funding; (d) was multilateral spending increased for maternal, newborn and child health; (e) has funding for education decreased or increased, and for which Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Assistance Committee codes; (f) why was there an unused balance of the Crisis Pool Quick Release mechanism; and (g) can the balance of a certain mechanism’s unused funds be reallocated to different programs?

  • retweet
    MPlib
    Jun 06, 2014 8:00 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Mrs. Frances Peddle from Stephenville Crossing who turned 108 years old on May 29 and is the oldest resident in Newfoundland and Labrador.

    Mrs. Peddle left her home in Green's Harbour, Trinity Bay when she was age 15 to go to work, including travelling to Montreal. She returned to the province where she married and raised six children.

    When her first husband passed away, she later remarried and was stepmother to eight other children. Mrs. Peddle has also been blessed with 60 grandchildren, 92 great-grandchildren, 57 great-great grandchildren and 4 great-great-great grandchildren.

    Mrs. Peddle always made time to volunteer, which she continued doing until the age of 90. She was an active legionnaire, a member of the Fishermen's Lodge, the Ladies Orange Benevolent Association and the Anglican Church Women's Group.

    For the past 26 years, she has lived with her daughter Margaret and son-in-law Ivan Bennett who welcomed me to their home when I visited Mrs. Peddle.

    I ask all members to join with me in recognizing this remarkable woman who, at 108 years old, is healthy, alert and credits her ripe old age to hard work.

  • retweet
    MPlib
    Jun 05, 2014 7:55 am | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of constituents who live in the west coast part of my riding, in the Stephenville area, who are opposed to the cuts announced by Canada Post.

    The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to have Canada Post reinstate door-to-door delivery, because a lot of the individuals who live in this part of my riding are seniors or are disabled.

    The petitioners are asking the government to work with Canada Post to reinstate these services.

  • retweet
    MPlib
    Jun 04, 2014 12:15 pm | Newfoundland, Random—Burin—St. George's

    Mr. Speaker, the government's decision to cut $16.3 million from Marine Atlantic, but still require it to recover 65% of costs, has resulted in fares being raised by 11%. As a result, fewer people are making plans to travel to Newfoundland and Labrador this summer, so Marine Atlantic has cut the number of crossings. Tourism will be hurt and jobs will be lost.

    Given how important the service is to the province's economy, will the Minister of Transport provide Marine Atlantic the resources it needs to reverse this harmful decision?


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MP
Judy Foote

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