House of Commons Hansard #86 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gas.

Topics

Highway 175
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, on August 22, 2002, the Government of Quebec entered into a historic agreement with the Government of Canada regarding the twinning of Highway 175 between Quebec City and Saguenay. The announcement clearly stated that the cost of the work would be split 50-50.

Now the Conservative government is reneging on that agreement and categorically refusing to pay its share of the cost overruns. For no good reason, the Government of Quebec is being stuck with two-thirds of the bill. This represents quite a windfall for the federal government, which, on top of everything, will collect taxes on the last phase of work on Highway 175.

Not only have Quebec and my region been duped, but the hon. members for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean and Jonquière—Alma seem quite comfortable with the situation. I wish they would stop their kowtowing and start defending Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean more vigorously.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, our low-tax plan has helped create over 420,000 jobs, while experts have said the coalition's high tax plan would kill nearly 400,000 jobs.

Unlike the NDP, we believe in lower taxes and leaving more money in the pockets of hard-working Canadians. That is why, since forming government, we have reduced taxes for families, seniors, small businesses and individuals, lowering the tax bill for the average family by $3,000.

The NDP leader and his party have voted against Canadian families, opposing every sensible tax cut we have introduced, including cutting the GST to 5% on every purchase Canadians make, including home heating.

The opposition coalition are the group of characters who want to raise taxes and hurt Canadian families. We and Canadians disagree with their job-killing tax and spend approach.

United Nations
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, states around the world celebrate the leadership role played by the United Nations to promote peace, security, global equality and human rights.

Canadians can be justly proud of the pivotal role Canada has played. From the first draft of the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 to the creation of the UN peacekeeping forces under Lester Pearson, our presence and contribution have embodied the highest ideals that brought the founding states together more than 60 years ago.

A recent poll showed that 70% of Canadians support the UN. Armed conflicts around the world have dropped by 40% since 1992, largely because of the 17 UN peacekeeping missions.

We all know what the UN means to Canadians, but how the UN sees us is equally important. The United Nations is us. All of us in this chamber today affirm, once more and with fervour, our dedication and support for the United Nations and its founding principles.

Vive les Nations Unies.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, I attended a town hall meeting with nurses. They told me that the top priority for Canadian families is help for family caregivers, but the government is not listening.

Why is this government lowering corporate taxes instead of helping Canadian families and nurses?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government understands the huge priority Canadian families put on taking care of their loved ones when they get old and when they get sick. That is why our government has made an unprecedented commitment to health care, committing a 30% increase and delivering on that in just five short years.

There was another way done by a previous government that cut health care by $25 billion. I know how passionately the Liberal member for Toronto Centre spoke out against those cuts. I completely agree with him.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the Conservatives are rewriting the historical record. The $40 billion put in by the previous Martin government deserves to be remembered. The Conservatives are still spending it.

The nurses at the town hall on Friday were not very interested in corporate tax cuts. They could not care less about stealth fighter jets or superprisons. They want help for Canadian families. They will get it from the Liberal Party of Canada.

Why are they not getting any help from the Conservative Party?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our government has constantly reached out to doctors, to nurses, to those providing treatment for cancer, to those providing home care, to those providing prescription drug coverage, to those who cannot afford it, and we have done so respecting provincial jurisdiction by increasing transfers to the provinces and territories by some 30% in five short years. This government has provided unprecedented support for health care.

We are very proud of that. We are committed to continuing that in the years to come.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the federal-provincial health accords will come up for negotiation in the next couple of years, and the question that will have to be faced is: Who do we trust? Do we trust a party whose priorities are stealth fighters, superprisons and corporate tax cuts, or a party whose commitment over 50 years is unquestioned and wants to help that middle class family with home care?

Why has the government got so out of touch with the priorities of ordinary Canadian families?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if Canadians have to look at who they can trust, they will look at this government's record with great admiration. They see our commitment to front-line health care in every corner of this country.

Maybe the Leader of the Opposition should look back at history. There were years when he was not in Canada when previous Liberal governments cut back health care by $25 billion. That had a devastating effect on health care and health care delivery right across this country. That is something our Prime Minister would never do.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

October 25th, 2010 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, in September 2007, one week before it closed, the request for proposals for renovation of the West Block north tower was amended and the qualifications needed to bid were dramatically downgraded. Experts in the construction industry have said this would have benefited only one bidder, LM Sauvé.

Who in the minister's office approved this amendment? Why were experienced contractors not required on a building as valuable and historic as the West Block?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has contracting laws, policies and regulations in place. Public servants are responsible for and manage this entire process, including the contract award.

As I have said repeatedly, if there is any wrongdoing with individuals or contractors, they will face prosecution to the full extent of the law, including under the Federal Accountability Act, and taxpayer money will be recouped.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I specifically addressed the issue of the West Block North Tower in the House on December 8, 2009, 11 months ago. The minister responsible at the time, who is now the Minister of Natural Resources, said that the opposition was “searching for Elvis in the department” and that “the process used was fair, open and transparent”.

Now that the police are investigating, does the minister still believe that the processes were fair and transparent?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the Government of Canada has contracting laws, regulations and policies in place, which must be followed by everyone. Public servants are responsible for and manage this entire process including the contract award. If the member does have further questions, they can be directed to the public servants who will be in front of the committee tomorrow to answer on the substance of this matter.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while being interviewed by the media a few days ago, the Minister of Natural Resources made some contradictory statements. He repeated that he had done nothing wrong by attending his party's famous fundraising cocktail party in Bourassa, which was also attended by a number of contractors who were awarded Parliament Hill renovation contracts.

If it was all right to attend, why did the Minister of Natural Resources state, in the same interview, that if he had to do it again, he would not attend? It is rather confusing, to say the least. What should we make of it? Can he explain these contradictory statements?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, after years of Liberal scandals and the sponsorship affair, it was our government that, as a first step, adopted the Federal Accountability Act, the toughest anti-corruption law in the history of Canada. It is absolutely ridiculous to believe that a donation of a few hundred dollars could lead to political interference or could have resulted in the awarding of a government contract. That is absolutely ridiculous.