House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rcmp.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is not an environmental strategy we have here but an environmental tragedy. That is the reality.

After the partisan appointments to key positions in research organizations and major deficiencies in the green infrastructure programs, now the Conservatives are ignoring an act of Parliament out of pure ideology.

How can the minister expect to have any credibility on the international scene when, in addition to reneging on our signature of the Kyoto protocol, he fails to abide by acts of Parliament?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, before criticizing anything, the hon. member should at least take a look at what is happening on the ground with the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. Instead, he just stays in his living room.

Over the last few weeks, I have had discussions with our colleagues in the G8 and took part in a preparatory meeting in Washington for a summit with President Obama on energy and climate change. We should work together with the international community of the UN in Copenhagen.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

May 12th, 2009 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we asked the Conservative government to explain why the $4 billion in infrastructure money promised in the budget is still languishing in the treasury. We got an answer from the Minister of National Revenue after question period. He said that it was the provinces' fault. He said, “Make no mistake: the delay is not our fault. We are in a position to start tomorrow morning. Quebec just has to pick its projects.”

Is that the government's reason for the delays?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are working with our provincial and municipal partners to identify projects across the country. We will spend the money on those projects this fiscal year. That is part of our economic action plan. It is somewhat ironic to see the NDP supporting these projects now, when it voted against them in the budget.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, but the infrastructure money was promised in January and the communities are still waiting for news. Meanwhile, the revenue minister goes around blaming the provinces as the cause of the delay. That is clearly not the case.

The cities and the provinces submitted lists of shovel-ready projects on schedule, but now they are faced with all kinds of delays and denials from the government. That is the real story.

If what I am saying is not true, then how much of the $4 billion has actually been invested and is flowing? How many jobs are there? Where are the projects?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, projects are being identified across the country in collaboration with our provincial and municipal partners. These projects will be undertaken this year as laid out in our economic action plan, but I have to say, it is no thanks to the NDP, which voted against all of these projects when it decided to vote against the budget before even reading it.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the money is not flowing. We just heard it from the Prime Minister. That is what the cities are saying, that is what the provinces are saying, and that sure is what the workers are saying who had hoped to get some work this summer as a result of all the promises we heard from the government.

Last fall, the Prime Minister was denying the recession. He has never been keen about taking these kinds of actions. The foot-dragging is obvious. He only moved when it looked like he would lose his own job. Meanwhile the NDP proposed that the money be transferred using the model of the gas tax. If that had been done, the money would be in the hands of municipalities today and people would be put to work. It is not too late. Do it now. Flow the gas tax--

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Meanwhile, Mr. Speaker, the only thing the NDP actually did was vote against the projects when we brought forward the funds in the House of Commons. That is what the NDP did, and if we followed the NDP, we would still be having this ridiculous coalition with no policies.

Instead, what we are going to have are projects rolling out across this country that are going to be for the long-term benefit of this country.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General just tabled a report with some troubling information regarding National Defence. It is saying it was unable to get enough accurate information to senior managers in time for them to decide how to spend surplus money within their department budget.

We will permanently lose $300 million made available to the department and the minister, who said they are desperately needed funds for our troops. Why is it so?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member kindly for his question. In fact, I did meet with the Auditor General yesterday. There are issues that we have to deal with in terms of accounting, and I thank her. We will have an opportunity to look through all the recommendations, as we always do.

However, I will tell the House what is a nice problem to have in the Department of National Defence these days, something that never happened during that member's time in government: We have enough money now, with the Canada first defence strategy, to purchase the necessary equipment, to support the men and women in uniform who are doing important work. That never happened during a decade of darkness when he was in government.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was the same Auditor General who said the department has “a collection of plans, not an integrated corporate business plan”, to carry out the new defence policies. Not bad for that.

Yesterday, the Minister of National Defence said that there was no truth to the rumour that the Chinooks would be based out of Petawawa. That must be true, because we will probably never see them. Something else is true, however. He should listen to the President of the Treasury Board because this is a bilingualism issue. The minister should do something about problems with language services in Borden. Francophone soldiers are not getting emergency or health services in their language.

Why is the minister treating francophone soldiers like second-class citizens?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the hon. member read the report. I have done the same.

I said we will be looking at these important recommendations. Acting as we always do across government when these recommendations from the Auditor General arrive, we of course immediately turn our attention to addressing these concerns.

With respect to Bagotville, with respect to the issues related to the helicopters, these are recommendations. These are not things we have acted upon as yet. These are recommendations that happen across government, in every department, before they even reach the desk of the minister. Very often they are late. That is what has happened in this instance. There have been no decisions made concerning relocation of equipment.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government wants to create 190,000 jobs. The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities is supposed to create 63,000 jobs, or about one-third.

Can the minister explain to the House how he intends to reach that goal, even though he decided not to ask the provinces and municipalities how many jobs their projects will create on his one-page form?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we listened to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. It released a report from Informetrica last October that highlighted the importance and the benefits of making investments in the construction of roads, bridges, sewers and public transit. It said that if we were to invest $12 billion of federal money to support infrastructure and then ask the provinces and the municipalities to join us, we could create between 300,000 and 400,000 jobs. That is exactly what we are doing.