House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Saint-Hubert Airport
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, 300 jobs are at risk because the government refuses to invest $70 million in the Saint-Hubert airport in order to enable Pratt & Whitney to carry out flight tests.

The ministers responsible are passing the ball back and forth and alleging that the airport project does not meet the criteria for government programs.

Does the government realize that 300 jobs are at risk because the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and his colleague the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, for bureaucratic reasons, refuse to provide the $70 million necessary to upgrade the Saint-Hubert airport?

Saint-Hubert Airport
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, first of all, allow me to state that, today, the Prime Minister of the Government of Canada telephoned the new President of France to pay his respects and to congratulate him. They spoke cordially and amicably. It is definitely not the tone adopted in the sovereignist movement by the leader of the Bloc Québécois and the leader of the PQ.

Saint-Hubert Airport
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we can see that the minister is very worried about the problems of the employees of Pratt & Whitney in Saint-Hubert.

The Minister of Public Works and Government Services gave Pratt & Whitney $350 million to subsidize the development of new engines. If the government refuses to provide $70 million to the Saint-Hubert airport, Pratt & Whitney will move its international engine testing operations to Plattsburgh in the United States.

Does the government realize that it is forcing Pratt & Whitney to carry out its testing in the United States with the money of Quebec and Canadian taxpayers who subsidized the development of Pratt & Whitney engines?

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, I would like to reiterate the fact that the Saint-Hubert airport and Pratt & Whitney are asking for $70 million out of a total budget of $200 million.

Given the large amounts involved, the Economic Development Agency of Canada cannot give on the spot approval to this type of project. This matter will not be settled in the media but rather around the table. The representatives of the Economic Development Agency of Canada, Pratt & Whitney and the Saint-Hubert airport are working to find alternatives and solutions.

Saint-Hubert Airport
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal budget totals more than $230 billion, yet the government cannot find $70 million to upgrade the Saint-Hubert airport.

The Minister of Transport is passing the buck to his colleague, the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, who is saying he does not have any money. In addition, the Minister of Public Works is promising to talk about the issue. With whom? We do not know.

Does the Prime Minister realize that while the government is talking with whomever, 300 jobs are on the line and economic spinoffs worth $2 billion over 20 years could take off for Plattsburgh?

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, the hon. member should know that Ottawa is not someplace where you ask for something and get it right away. Issues have to be analyzed. Of course, there are always budget constraints. I would remind officials at the Saint-Hubert airport and Pratt & Whitney that the newspapers do not hold the solutions to their problems. They need to sit down and dig deep. The government paid out $350 million last December. They need to reach into their own pockets so that we can find solutions together.

Saint-Hubert Airport
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec stated that Pratt & Whitney had already received $350 million to develop new engines, but that his department did not have $70 million to repair the runway at the Saint-Hubert airport so that those engines could be tested.

Does the minister realize that by refusing to pay the $70 million, he is accepting that the $350 million already paid out is funding jobs that will take off for the United States?

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 want to remind hon. members once again that the budget envelope for regional economic development is $200 million for the 14 regions in Quebec. Our friends opposite should tell us which regions' budgets they want us to take away, because we would have to take away five regions' entire budget to fund this project.

As far as I know, the Bloc Québécois members are not going to be the ones who resolve this issue. I am asking officials from Pratt & Whitney and Aéroports de Montréal to sit down with our senior officials and identify solutions. The figure quoted for phase one is $9.5 million and for phase two it is $60 million. We need to sit down.

There is also a department responsible for infrastructure, which might be able to help us.

Ministerial Expenses
Oral Questions

May 7th, 2007 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the mystery of the Conservatives' apparent thrift has been solved. The ministers' seeming frugality is a trick. The NDP recently learned that the Minister of Labour spent over $150,000 on flights in private jets. These expenses were never publicly disclosed. These expenses were hidden from the public.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Are any other ministers hiding expenses from the public?

Ministerial Expenses
Oral Questions

2:25 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, that is not true. All of the Minister of Labour's expenses have been made available on websites. The fact is that the Conservative Minister of Labour's expenses in 2006 were lower than those of his Liberal counterparts in 2005.

Ministerial Expenses
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, is the measuring stick that the Conservative government is using how the former Liberal government behaved itself? It is unbelievable.

The Conservatives campaigned on accountability but they are governing like the Liberals. They are even using their measuring stick. They skirted the rules on convention fees as donations. There is the cheque cashing fiasco of the Minister of Canadian Heritage. They have made appointments to friends, issued contracts to buddies, and now their travelling expenses are hidden. It is unacceptable.

Will the Prime Minister commit to tabling all of the receipts in public so the public can have a look?

Ministerial Expenses
Oral Questions

2:25 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, as I said, all the expenses are published on the Internet. I invite the member to look a little closer and he might find them.

Certainly, as a measuring stick we would not want to use the leader of the NDP when he was on council in the city of Toronto. I have an article from the Toronto Star. In 2000 when he was on council in Toronto representing a downtown ward right by city hall, he managed to use the council's chauffeur driven limousine 194 times in one year. We thought he was always bicycling to work, but apparently not.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the chaos, the confusion--

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Brampton—Springdale has the floor.