House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was companies.

Topics

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we want answers immediately. Canadians want answers immediately. We know that a full public inquiry can take a long time to get to those answers, as effective as an inquiry can be.

I also indicated today that is the person who heads up this investigation at any time finds that there are those who are resisting bringing forward evidence or testimony, including former previous Liberal cabinet ministers, he can come to us and he will immediately be given all the powers he deems that he needs, including up to a full public inquiry.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, why will the government not rise to the occasion for once?

The government's new investigation, or the one it plans to hold, has no statutory legitimacy and will not report to the public, only to the government. This is unacceptable. We need a public inquiry, we need the Standing Committee on Public Accounts to be able to do its work unfettered and with full transparency.

Can the Prime Minister promise that this will be the case?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the commissioner has taken action. The Minister of Public Safety has taken action by launching a full and independent investigation, which he will report on as soon as possible. These are events that occurred from 2000 to 2003, under the former Liberal government.

We are very concerned about this information and the commissioner will have all the necessary power to reveal the truth to Canadians and to get this truth from the former Liberal government.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister discusses events that occurred between 2000 and 2003, but in November 2006 the Auditor General concluded that the investigation into the RCMP pension and insurance plans was not structured to ensure that it was independent and unbiased. The RCMP promised at that time to develop a new policy on investigations into its conduct. The RCMP also promised to review all amounts charged to its plans to determine whether anything needed to be reimbursed.

What steps did the Minister of Public Safety take between November and now to ensure that the RCMP kept those two critical promises?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that observation, because I met with the Auditor General on this very topic as soon as that report was complete. We went over it in detail. I noticed also what she had in bold print in her investigation. She said:

The RCMP has responded. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has agreed with each of our recommendations and is in the process of taking corrective action.

I asked at the time, and continue to ask, for the progress report on the action that the RCMP committed to give the Auditor General who reviewed this at that time, and we are still doing that.

Minister of Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety refuses to stand aside while the RCMP, for which he is responsible, investigates its own actions. There have been some disturbing allegations of corruption and obstruction surrounding the RCMP.

Will the Prime Minister take action and call on his minister to stand aside immediately?

Minister of Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, this is a very old story.

If the member is worried about people who have engaged in acts of inducing people to give up their office, perhaps he could talk to his own leader who, in order for him to have a seat in the House of Commons, the previous MP was given a seat in the Senate. It sounds like an inducement.

Saint-Hubert Airport
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the planned partnership between Pratt & Whitney and the Saint-Hubert airport will be in danger if $70 million are not invested in repairing the runway. Without that investment, Pratt & Whitney will have no choice but to use another airport to test its engines. This is not about competition between a city in Quebec and some other Canadian city. This is about competition between Quebec and other countries. High-quality jobs are at stake. Pratt & Whitney will be making its decision soon.

Does the Prime Minister realize that if something is not done soon, Quebec will surely lose jobs?

Saint-Hubert Airport
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, does the leader of the Bloc Québécois have a clue about regional economic development? In Quebec, 14 regions share a $200 million envelope. The leader of the Bloc Québécois is asking me to invest $70 million—one third of the regional economic development envelope—in a single project in the member for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert's riding. Perhaps the leader of the Bloc Québécois could give me a list of the regions in Quebec from which he believes we should take money so that we can do as his member asks.

Saint-Hubert Airport
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is the minister who was talking about the Marshall Plan. He does not look like a general; he looks like Private Ryan.

The ministers should stop squabbling about where to find the money. There is plenty of money.

Rather than insist that projects correspond to programs, should they not ensure that programs correspond to projects and save jobs rather than export them? Does he have a clue what jobs are? Does he have a clue about planning? Does he have any idea what a government is?

Saint-Hubert Airport
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, when the Bloc Québécois was elected to this House, it promised to protect the interests of all Quebeckers and all regions of Quebec. Now, instead of doing that, the leader of the Bloc Québécois wants to focus on one single issue. He wants to allocate one third of my department's funding to make the member for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert happy. We introduced six new tools to help struggling regions in Quebec. We are working to help all of the regions, not just one project.

Saint-Hubert Airport
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, let the Prime Minister and all the ministers in this government be advised that there is currently an airport capital assistance program, commonly known as ACAP, under which investments can be made in air transport infrastructure.

Why does the government not invest in the airport in Saint-Hubert through this program?

Saint-Hubert Airport
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, I do not think that the hon. member is aware of what this government is doing for the regions of Quebec and for the aerospace industry as well. In December, Minister Michael Fortier announced an investment of $350 million to help Pratt & Whitney. I repeat, $350 million to help Pratt & Whitney. This goes to show that our support for the aerospace industry is strong.

Moreover, my own department has increased by 61% what goes to the Montérégie region. That is 61% better than what the previous government did for that region.

Saint-Hubert Airport
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, ACAP is an existing program, the government has the money and cabinet has the power to increase funding for that program and to tailor it to meet the needs of the community.

What is the minister waiting for to act on the Saint-Hubert airport issue?

Saint-Hubert Airport
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, we do not need lobbyists from the Bloc Québécois to do our work with the companies. We are quite capable of dealing directly with stakeholders, and we do plan to speak with the management at Pratt & Whitney.

There is no way, however, that my department will pour one third of its budget allowance into a single file. I say no to that.