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

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada consistently evaluates its interests. We consistently look at where we can best serve Canadian interests abroad, and in some cases, new embassies are opened. New offices are opened; others are closed. We do this in full knowledge of defending Canada's best interests.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, that sounds like a yes.

Mr. Speaker, of the 10 embassies with the most Canadian or local employees, none are African. Of the 10 Canadian embassies that hired the most employees in 2009, none are in Africa.

Some embassies, such as the one in Nairobi, which serves four countries in addition to Kenya, can take up to twice as long to process files.

Can the minister assure us that his government will not close any embassies or high commissions in Africa, whether in Cameroon or elsewhere?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, our government is an accountable government. As such, we are constantly looking at where we can best serve the interests of Canadians, our companies and our diplomacy abroad. Of course, there are times when we have to defend, advise and act in the best interests of Canadians and taxpayers. That is what we will do every time our interests are at stake.

The Economy
Oral Questions

October 26th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic action plan is lowering taxes, helping to create jobs and boosting our economic growth in communities right across Canada, and it is getting results. Over 22,500 projects are under way or completed in communities across Canada. Canada has created over 420,000 net new jobs since July 2009. Clearly Canada's economic action plan is working.

Could the Minister of Finance please tell the House just how effective Canada's economic action plan has been?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic action plan is getting results, more than 420,000 net new jobs since the end of the recession. Both the IMF and the OECD project Canada to have the strongest growth in the G7 over the course of this year and next, applauded by the OECD and applauded by the IMF.

Finally and very importantly, may I applaud the new mayor of the great city of Toronto, Rob Ford.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are five years late and massively over budget with the delivery of new helicopters.

The Conservatives said in 2006 that we urgently needed Chinooks for Afghanistan and sole-sourced the contract. Now we will not get the helicopters until 2013. The Auditor General said the sole-sourcing was unjustified and that National Defence did not follow its own rules.

If the Conservatives are breaking the rules on sole-sourcing, how can we trust them with the F-35s? If they did not know the full cost of the helicopters, how can they know the full cost of the new fighter jets?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, here is a news flash for the member. There are Chinooks flying in Afghanistan today with Canadian rondelles on their sides.

These new Chinooks, however, are going to allow Canada, for the long term, to continue with domestic and deployed operations. They are an important aircraft with respect to military personnel and equipment.

We thank the Auditor General for her recommendations. We are working on and streamlining the processes for procurement. In fact, we have, as a result of our current efforts, on average been able to reduce the time to get a contract award from 107 months to 48 months.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives issued a sole-source contract for Chinooks in 2006, only to change the specifications three years later.

This flip-flop increased the cost of the project by 70%. They dodged the required management structures that should have challenged decision making. They did not start planning for additional personnel until 2009. They have yet to come up with an estimated life-cycle cost of the helicopters.

How can the Conservatives expect Canadians to trust them with $16 billion for the F-35s when they have made such a mess with the helicopter purchase?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there is a big difference between the procurement of helicopters and the F-35s that he is talking about.

Let us go back to the essentials here. These are important helicopters that Canada will need and fly well into the future. These Chinook helicopters have demonstrated, time and time again, their capability in Afghanistan. They are literally saving lives.

This is why we make these investments. This is why I will never apologize as a member of this government for making the important investments.

The proof is on the tarmac and in the fields of Afghanistan today. We are seeing the importance of this type of procurement going forward on time to give the men and women in uniform the important equipment they need.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, “municipalities could lose all of their subsidies because it will be practically impossible to complete all work before the deadline”. This is what was said by Michel Larouche, the mayor of Roberval and a former organizer for the Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.

Will the government finally listen to Quebec's municipalities and push back the March 31, 2011, deadline, as the former Conservative organizer and current mayor of Roberval is calling for?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in this House, we are going to be very fair and reasonable on the deadline. In fact, one of the earlier requests from Quebec dealt with the deadline that they put in place, the December 31 deadline. They have asked for that to be extended, and I have agreed. That should be extended.

We will continue to be fair and reasonable. That is why we are continuing to scope the projects, we are reinvesting excess funds from other projects, and in fact, I continue to sign off on Preco projects in the province of Quebec. I signed off on two or three again this week.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the FQM and mayor of Saint-Prime, the real Bernard Généreux, who is also in the riding of the Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, gives the example of his municipality's one-stop service centre, which will definitely not be completed by March 31. He feels that the Conservatives' attitude is bordering on emotional abuse. Even the Auditor General stated that a number of infrastructure projects began late.

Will the Conservatives act on the FQM's unanimous resolution and extend the deadline for the infrastructure program?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is kind of cruel to hear these questions day after day when I have talked to the Premier of Quebec. I have told him we will be fair and reasonable.

I have talked to Minister Hamad. I said we will be fair and reasonable; just give us the data and let us know what the status of these projects is. I am still waiting for some of those details so that we can work together, as we have been with the province of Quebec and the proponents.

Many of these proponents have been rescoping the size of their projects. Some of them are finished and they are using the excess funds for new projects. We are happy to work with them.

It is all part of being fair and reasonable. The deadline is still five months away.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, unbelievably the Minister of Public Safety says he will not know what the final bill will be on the G8 and G20 summits until next spring, almost a year after the summits. Having blown $1.3 billion is just the government's best guess for now.

The government decided to needlessly hold two summits back to back in two different cities and started signing blank cheques saying that money was no object.

No parent would just hand a child a blank cheque and worry about the bill later. Why are the Conservatives running their government that way?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we do take good advice even from members opposite. We were told that, “When we are the Government of Canada, the next G8 summit will be held at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville”.

You heard it from me, Mr. Speaker. “The G8 summit will be in this community when we form the next government”. Who said that? The Leader of the Opposition.