House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:25 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 indicated, senior Public Works officials in charge of this file were at committee this morning. They were open, transparent and answered all questions on the substance of this matter. In fact, when they were asked if any lobbyist ever contacted the Public Works representative who was working on this project, the assistant deputy minister in charge of acquisitions said, “no one has ever heard of this individual”.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, today's Auditor General report confirms what we have been saying all along, which is that the whole project started late, that projects were rejected simply because they did not meet the completely arbitrary deadline set down by the government and, worse than that, that they ran roughshod over the environmental assessment process. In fact, the Auditor General said that 93% of the projects never had the proper environmental assessment and that, in many cases, nobody even went down to the site to take a look at the impact on the environment.

Instead of this self-congratulation, could we find out whether the government is fixing these problems, yes or no?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the initial assessment made by the Auditor General speaks well to the good work done by the public servants at Infrastructure Canada. This was done at the political level. We thank her for her excellent work and we will obviously look to improve the process.

With respect to environmental assessments, could the member opposite identify a single project that was funded under the economic action plan with which he had any environmental concerns?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the situation is so bad that the Auditor General needs to write a separate report on precisely this point.

How can the government endorse a process that allows environmental assessments without any site visits? That is strange.

And as for the effectiveness of the program, there is no way to measure job creation.

Do the Conservatives realize that this lack of due diligence is undermining the government's credibility?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have great regard for the leader of the NDP. We funded some 23,000 infrastructure projects as part of the economic action plan right across Canada.

I would ask the leader of the NDP if there is one project that caused a concern with environmental assessments. Could he name one project with which he has a problem with the environmental record on the project? Out of 23,000 projects, I would ask him to name just one problem.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Toronto—Danforth has the floor and we will want to hear his question.

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

October 26th, 2010 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, some day the Conservatives will be back on this side and then they can ask questions.

Here we are with a government that is setting itself up to allow yet another takeover of our key strategic resources. Where was the so-called net benefit it always talks about when Vale was bringing in strikebreakers in Sudbury? Where was the net benefit when it closed the metallurgical operation in Timmins or when Stelco broke the rules in Hamilton?

When will the government stand up for Canada and say no to the sale of Potash Corporation?

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I want to underline the fact that the government funded some 23,000 projects.

Two things are true. The NDP voted against the funding for each and every one of them and, despite coming to question period here today with environmental concerns, he cannot name one environmental problem in 23,000 projects.

That shows that this government worked with the provinces and the municipalities to get the job done.

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, under current legislation, the 5,400 Air Canada maintenance jobs must be based in Canada, but now that Air Canada has only a minority interest, there are fears that those jobs will be moved to El Salvador. Over 5,000 permanent well-paying jobs would be lost under this government.

Will the government make sure the airline respects the intent of the law and protects Canadian jobs?

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, of course Air Canada will respect the law. We have the Air Canada Public Participation Act. We have made it clear that it must adhere to the law and it has made it clear that it will do so. That is the expectation and we will hold Air Canada to it.

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives hid behind Air Canada during the UAE fiasco and now they will not lift a finger to protect 5,400 permanent Air Canada maintenance jobs. Canada has already lost 162,000 permanent jobs over the last two years. We can hardly afford to lose 5,000 more.

Why will the government not assume its responsibilities and ensure that Air Canada respects the intent of the law and protects those Canadian jobs?

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the law is in place. The Air Canada Public Participation Act is in place. Air Canada must adhere to the law. I met with officials at Air Canada and they told me that they would absolutely adhere to the law. We will hold them to that and I expect parties on all sides of the House will be watching.

However, Air Canada will adhere to the law and we will make sure of it.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, what we heard in committee this morning is contradicted by the actions of the former public works minister. We know that Paul Sauvé paid a Conservative lobbyist $140,000 to get this contract.

If there was no political interference, how is it that the contractors who received millions of dollars in contracts held a fundraising cocktail party as a thank-you, with the former minister as the guest of honour?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:30 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 the hon. member knows, senior Public Works officials were at committee this morning. They were open and transparent and answered all questions on the substance of this matter.

In fact, when asked was anyone from the minister's office involved in the process, the assistant deputy minister, Tom Ring, said, “No”.